EDUCATION – Steering the way to bright futures

Article from FOCUS Magazine – Autumn 18 issue.

Cranleigh Preparatory School

Neil Brooks

Neil Brooks, Headmaster, Cranleigh Preparatory School

Q: What’s the best thing about being a Headmaster?
A: Seeing the children achieve, and having the privilege to have played a small part in that.

Q: What do you expect from your pupils?
A: I expect the pupils to give their best, get involved, make a contribution and be active members of the school community. They are fortunate to have the opportunities that independent education might offer and I encourage them to explore every avenue that opens up and venture down every path. Above all else I expect the children to be kind to one another, and develop a sense of responsibility for themselves and for others.

Q: What does Cranleigh Prep offer?
A: Although it has a very strong reputation for sport, it does offer a balance of activities, which hopefully allow children all sort of interests to find a niche. Quite often a child’s confidence is not born out of their academic performance, but from success or enjoyment in another area. A good school such as Cranleigh Prep will, therefore, offer art, drama, DT, sport, music, and as many other extra-curricular activities as possible for children to find a strength. It is on the stage, in an orchestra, across the sports fields, and in collaborative activities where the all-important teamwork skills are developed. The emotional development of a child, and their ability to deal with others empathetically, will eventually prevail over their academic achievements.

Q: How did you get into teaching and why?
A: Having realised that I am not suited to the world of corporate business when I left the army, it became very apparent that I needed to get back into an institution. Thankfully, I had done a full year teaching degree and friends who had left the services recommended education. I believe the career path I have followed has allowed me a perspective of the world in which today’s pupils are educated.

Q: What would you have been if you haven’t been a teacher?
A: I feel very lucky to have been able to join the teaching profession. When my family and I were in Dorset we had some sheep and pigs and I quite fancied myself as a farmer. It still interests me but I can’t afford the land.

Q: What were your favourite lessons at school?
A: Geography and Sport. I was not blessed at either but I was fortunate enough to have in those fields inspiring teachers who were supportive and encouraging. I am still quite good at colouring!

Q: Still enjoying school dinners?
A: School dinners are an important social occasion, an element of education that happens beyond the formalities of the classroom and another opportunity to get to know the children. One of the great things about a school like Cranleigh Prep is that the teachers make the effort to know each child in the round.

Q: What educational changes do you hope to see in the future?
A: I hope that as educationalists we find a way to measure and appreciate the child’s humanity rather than simply relying on their ability in verbal, non-verbal and spatial reasoning. Just as important as academic prowess is a child’s ability to recognise their place in society and be able to interact successfully with other adults from all walks of life and all corners of the Earth.

CRANLEIGH PREPARATORY SCHOOL Horseshoe Lane, Cranleigh, Surrey, GU6 8QH
T: 01483 542058 E: W:

Sir William Perkins’s School

SWPS Rowing

Sir William Perkins’s School Boat Club at Laleham Reach

At Sir William Perkins’s School our aim is to build confidence, integrity and excellence in a caring, innovative and happy community so that each student leaves with the best possible chance of achieving her full potential and ready to take on the world.

As shown by our regular excellent exam results, academic success is a priority, but we feel strongly that education is about more than just achieving top grades. We believe in educating the whole person and equipping our students to make their mark on the world. We encourage students to get involved in the many co-curricular activities we have on offer and to take every opportunity they can to develop their interests and creativity, their interpersonal, teamwork and leadership skills, while also reaching into the wider community.

Here at SWPS, we offer financial and honorary Academic scholarships, and candidates can apply for Arts and Music scholarships as well as Perkins Bursaries, with an additional application for Physical Education scholarships available upon entry to the Sixth Form.

SWPS has convenient transport links and is easily reachable by train or car and provides School coach services from over a wide area. The School sits on twelve acres of Surrey greenbelt land and boasts two all-weather pitches and a large secluded sports field, as well as other contemporary facilities such as an indoor sports centre including a fitness suite, dedicated sports, IT suite, sprung-floored dance studio and specialist rowing gallery and a fully stocked Design & Technology building.

More recent developments include a purpose built Performing Arts Centre with continuously updated Music technology facilities, an Art department complete with darkroom, print-making and ceramics equipment, excellent Language, IT and Science laboratories and beautifully kept grounds for the whole School to enjoy.

In addition, the School’s newest additions include a state-of-the-art glass atrium café; a new Drama Studio and Theatre fully equipped with high spec audio-visual technology; a Careers Centre; numerous new seminar rooms; a Digital Video Editing Suite and a new Sixth Form Centre complete with wrap-around terrace. A short distance away, at Laleham Reach, sits the School’s Boat Club, which hosts our successful Rowing teams and provides more sporting opportunities for our pupils and the local community to enjoy.

The only way to really get the full picture is to come and visit the School. We invite you to attend one of our Information Mornings where we look forward to welcoming you, giving you a tour of the School, as well as answering any questions you may have about us here at Sir William Perkins’s School. Dates and bookings are available on our website (

SIR WILLIAM PERKINS’S SCHOOL Guildford Road, Chertsey, Surrey KT16 9BN
T: 01932 574900 E: W:

Halliford School

Haliford School Pupils

Haliford School students have every opportunity to immerse themselves in a wide variety of co-curricular activities

At Halliford School we strongly believe that every young person should be seen as an individual with their own personality, talents and skills and that it is this individuality that we seek to encourage and develop at all stages of their education. Our aim is to enable each of our students to become the very best version of themselves that they can possibly be.

As young Hallifordians we recognise that a child’s potential could lie anywhere – so we ensure that every student is exposed to a vast array of opportunities and experiences. We then pride ourselves on identifying and honing their strengths to make the most of their natural abilities, while assisting in every way to develop any areas that might need further improvement. We are able to offer small class sizes which enable personalised teaching and suitable learning strategies.

We recognise that the environment in which a child learns is just as important as what they learn. Renowned for our outstanding pastoral care, we work hard to create a community where our students can come together, where they are encouraged to flourish, where they can feel safe and comfortable, confident and proud, stimulated and inspired and, most of all, happy. We are extremely fortunate as a small school to have many outstanding facilities on our beautiful site nestled alongside the River Thames.

At Halliford School we seek to be both academically ambitious as well as academically sensitive. We challenge and support our students to make the most of their abilities and show them how to take responsibility for their progress. Students who need additional support are identified and nurtured to achieve their very best in our well-established learning support unit.

We also give our students every opportunity to immerse themselves in a wide variety of co-curricular activities.

There is no better way to experience the distinctive culture and ethos of our Halliford School than visiting us at one of our Open Days. We look forward to welcoming you to see for yourself if it is the right school for your child’s future education.

We have a wide range of coach services covering Kew, Richmond, Esher, Cobham, Hampton Court, Woking, Staines and Wraysbury. We also run a mini bus shuttle service from Walton on Thames station which connects with Surbiton in 7 minutes and Woking in 12 minutes.

We warmly welcome you to our next Open Morning. Book a visit and tour at or call the Registrar, Mrs Fran Clatworthy, on 01932 223593 for more information.

HALLIFORD SCHOOL Russell Road, Shepperton, Surrey TW17 9HX
T: 01932 223593 E: W:

King Edward’s Witley

King Edwards 

School Wisley Football Team

King Edward’s School Witley has a strong reputation for football

King Edward’s Witley is cementing its outstanding reputation for football with the appointment of a former professional footballer, Garry Haylock, as Head of Football.

A football fanatic from the age of six, Garry Haylock spent 22 years playing for various UK, Irish and international clubs and has played in the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup quarter-final and the European Champion League. He retired from professional football in 2006 and made the natural progression to managing teams as well as working as a coach/analyst. Garry kicked off his career working with school children by running a football camp during the holidays whilst he was based in Ireland which has escalated to setting up his own business, delivering specialist football coaching to a number of schools.

As a former professional football manager, Garry holds the coveted UEFA Pro Licence (he was the 300th person in the UK to achieve this), very few football teams – let alone schools – employ a coach with the Pro Licence, which emphasises again the quality of King Edward’s provision for its budding boy and girl footballers. Garry’s role at King Edward’s will be to oversee the coaching strategy and implement a culture of coaching and sportsmanship to rival that experienced by players of the beautiful game at the highest level.

But as any professional sports person will testify, further enhancing the football prowess of the school is not the only benefit to be derived from a stronger focus on the sports curriculum at King Edward’s.

‘I’ve been teaching in schools for ten years and I always advise children that sport is a microcosm of life. Through sport you learn how to deal with tension and stress; you experience the highs and lows of winning and losing; you develop the resilience to continue trying; you become familiar with working as part of a team – and of course you learn that only if you prepare well will you play to the best of your ability. These are all vital life lessons and it’s no coincidence that elite sports men and women are actively sought out in business because of their proven capacity to show 100% commitment and dedication in order to achieve success in their chosen sport. I strongly believe that participating in sports at school is integral to shaping the physical, emotional and psychological development of a child and is vital to ensuring young people leave as balanced, well rounded individuals.’

In 2016, in its first year of entering the competition, King Edward’s Witley was crowned champions in the English Schools’ Football Association’s Premier League Under 16s Small Schools’ Cup for state and independent schools. With the professional input of the new Head of Football, who knows what the future holds?

KING EDWARD’S WITLEY Godalming, Surrey GU8 5SG
T: 01428 686735 E: W: