Perhaps the greatest strength of the school lies in its staff. West House boasts a team of loyal and experienced professionals dedicated to raising standards year on year.
Subject specialists manage and deliver a broad and carefully designed programme of study to ensure that pupils access a rich variety of learning opportunities. The teaching of the core curriculum is supported by:
From the moment I walked through the doors to West House as a boy in 1980, I loved my prep school days. The school was relaxed but purposeful, extremely friendly and bursting with opportunities significantly beyond those which I had encountered in my previous school.
The legacy of that experience underpins the way I feel about what West House should offer its pupils today. Above all else, I want to see the children rushing into school and wanting to be in the thick of things, eager to face fresh challenges and thriving on successes that come their way. While academic rigour lies at the heart of what we do, it is so often the supporting curriculum which provides the most memorable moments – playing cricket in the 1st XI, winning the inter-house music competition or performing on stage in front of a packed house. These are the moments that the boys will hold dear for many years to come.
West House is truly unique. Parents embrace the open door policy; they like the informality and the fact that they can approach even the most senior staff without the need to book appointments in advance; they whole-heartedly support the work of the school and revel in the achievements of their sons.
West House is a small independent preparatory school for boys with a reputation for punching far above its weight. By combining the very best of our traditions with a desire to be at the forefront of innovation, the school provides an outstanding education which will prepare our children for life in the middle part of the 21st century.
Alistair M J Lyttle
I think boys thrive at West House because they are allowed to be boys. They are supported not just academically but also emotionally, to be the very best that they can be. Our Code of Conduct provides a very strong guiding light to the boys to be good West House citizens. Our tailored curriculum and opportunities appeal to the boys' interests and the way in which they learn - actively and, on occasions, loudly! The boys love coming to school and enjoy the variety on offer. We must be doing something right as our results speak for themselves.
So why do parents choose West House?
It is not just the product of good results but the process by which they are achieved. The ethos of care and understanding is extended to the parents and embodied by our open door policy.
But undoubtedly the best part of my job is watching the boys blossom into delightful young men.
What makes WHS special?
Having joined West House in 1990 from a commercial background, I have been privileged to take an active part in the development and growth of both the School and Early Years over many years. Working with staff and the school Governors to provide the best possible opportunities for West House children, improve facilities and resources and to see the school flourish is immensely satisfying.
Tradition is, for me, a key element of what sets West House apart. The historical legacy is something we can all be extremely proud of. Generation after generation of West House boys create years of childhood memories and the school oozes warmth. It’s wonderful to see past pupils return to support the school and to enrol their own children, grandchildren and recommend West House to their extended family and friends.
When I was training to be a teacher, I hoped to become part of an educational community in which a rich and varied range of learning opportunities was available to students so they would all have many opportunities to fulfil their potential.
West House School is precisely the kind of establishment of which I was thinking and it has been my privilege and pleasure to have seen, and indeed continue to see, generations of young people enjoying rising to the challenge.
Director of Studies
When my children started school I wanted to pursue a career for myself so I went off, got myself a degree and a teaching qualification and applied to West House School for a post as a Year 3 class teacher. I joined the staff in September 1996 can honestly say that my association with the school has been the most enjoyable, rewarding and worthwhile experience of my life.
I particularly remember a delightful boy who was inclined to work rather slowly in maths. In order to encourage him to speed up I suggested he might imagine himself with a train to catch. “Imagine you have a train to catch”, I said. “But you can’t catch it until you have finished this exercise.”
“Oh that’s easy,” came the reply. “I can just get the next train.”
He wasn’t being cheeky, he was just a very clever little boy doing a spot of problem solving. At West House we have always been encouraged to treat each boy as an individual. I had another boy in that same class who, despite being a very able boy, in his words, “Just couldn’t do time.” He used to get himself so worked up about it that he used to ask to run twice around the playground to calm down before returning to the task. When he left in Year 6 he was offered places at every selective secondary school that he applied for, so he got there in the end.
After a number of years as a teacher I won promotion to the role of Head of Pre Prep and Early years which provided its own rewards and challenges. One of the challenges we very often faced was the reluctance of the girls (and their parents) to leave West House at the end of Pre-School and the constant requests by the parents to consider becoming a co-educational establishment.
Whilst I was Head of Pre Prep and EYFS I also took responsibility for teaching RE and it was during a Year 6 Parents’ Evening that I had the most memorable conversation with the father of a boy who I had cared for since Kindergarten. The pupil had been a rather shy, timid child but had grown into the most wonderful young man by this time. The father remarked upon the boy’s time at West House and how much he had grown to love the school. In response I said that of course, over the years it had become his second home. To which the father replied, “No, we are his second home and West House is his first.”
I think that this comment very much sums up the experiences of a lot of the boys (and girls) that go through West House and it has certainly been my experience too. Jackie Cockerill
Head of Pre-Prep
West House provides an inspiring journey with many exciting steps to climb. The opportunities are endless and offer a range of learning experiences for every child. My job is rewarding and I am proud to be a part of a community that works so closely together for the benefit of the children.
I am passionate about providing the best start for the children so that they can develop into enthusiastic explorers of the world around them. As a parent myself, it is a pleasure to see how each child is valued as an individual so that by the time the boys leave, they are well mannered, confident and fully prepared for the next stage in their lives.
Head of EYFS
Since I have been working within the Early Years Department at West House School it has been a pleasure to be part of the team that welcomes families through the doors each morning. We are always on hand to attend to the needs of both the children and parents as they eagerly arrive. It is the first establishment that I’ve worked in where children cry because they don’t want to leave!
West House School offers a vibrant and enriching learning environment which gives every child a chance to succeed. It is hugely rewarding to watch the children grow and leave the Early Years Department equipped with a fine understanding of the Seven Areas of Learning which defies their tender years.
Assistant Head EYFS
From the moment I walked through the big red doors to West House, I have cherished every adventure that the children and I have had the pleasure of experiencing. I joined West House as a newly qualified teacher and immediately immersed myself into everything the school had to offer. Working with fantastic colleagues, parents and of course the children make waking up and coming into work each day so easy.
My role at West House School as changed over the years but everything continues to be as exciting as it was when if first arrived, as I wear my many hats of Reception Classroom Teacher, Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead and Assistant Head Foundation Stage.
We aim to provide a welcoming, warm and caring environment in which every child thrives. With so many extra-curricular opportunities available, every child is able to find something they can do that allows them shine. From our youngest children in Nursery to our oldest boys in Year 6 I can safely say that as each child leaves West House we have provided them with school days that they will never forget.
Assistant Head Foundation Stage