|Motto||Ad Summa Nitimur (Strive For The Highest), previously "Be Of Good Courage"|
|Type||Independent Day and Boarding School|
|Houses||3 (Churchill, Nelson and Marlborough)|
|Colours||Maroon and Navy and White|
|Publication||Highlights (no longer running)|
Finborough School (previously St. George's School) is a small co-educational independent school. It is situated in and around Finborough Hall, in the village of Great Finborough, near Stowmarket, Suffolk, England.
The original school, named St. George's School, was founded in 1978 by Derek Slade, with the financial support of various others, in Wicklewood near Wymondham, Norfolk and was set up as a military boarding school for boys whose parents were in the armed forces. After failed efforts to purchase the facilities of the HMS Ganges establishment, the school was moved to the current site at Great Finborough in 1980. Slade's use of corporal punishment came under close scrutiny after a BBC Radio 4 Checkpoint investigation in 1982 and, although he escaped charges at the time, Slade left in 1983. The case resurfaced in 2010, after former pupils had started a campaign on Facebook. Slade was convicted of over 50 offences relating to physical and sexual abuse, sexual assault and child pornography and sentenced to 21 years in jail.
John and Sue Sinclair as owners eventually took over running of the school following Slade's departure, and it was renamed Finborough School. In 2003, John Sinclair was found guilty of assault and ordered to pay a £500 fine. The school merged with Hillcroft Preparatory School in 2006. In 2008, John Sinclair retired and his son James Sinclair took over as Principal.
The school today
The school includes Nursery, Pre-Prep, Prep School, Senior School and Sixth Form. This means that the school has pupils ranging from ages 2 to 18. The Nursery, Pre-Prep and Prep School are all based in the old Finborough Hall building. The Senior School uses some parts of that building, but mainly uses a classroom block located nearby. Assemblies and prizegiving ceremonies are often held in the nearby Great Finborough church. The school offers a number leadership positions to older pupils, including Head of School, Deputy Head of School, School Council Chair, Prefects, House Captains and members of the school council.
Three school houses form the basis of many events throughout the academic year. Annual events include Sports Day and the Cross Country Run. House Singing Competitions and a 'Make the other house laugh' competition have also took place recently. At the end of 2012, a festive carol sing-off took place, with each house singing Ding Dong Merrily on High, followed by a chosen piece, to a panel of three teachers. Churchill were awarded first place.
The whole school uses extensive sports fields for both sport and other events. Girls play netball, hockey, athletics, tennis and rounders. Boys play football, rugby, athletics, cricket and tennis. Most age groups play matches against other local independent schools. House matches are played every year, house points are awarded to the winning house. Churchill house won in 2012.
Finborough School has made a number of notable links with local sports clubs. It has successful partnerships with Stowmarket Tennis Club and the Stowmarket Golf Centre. The school also sponsor Bury Rugby Club. Rugby has long been an important and celebrated part of school sport since the 1980s.
Music and drama
The school has a choir and various ensembles, with regular performance nights being held in the drama studio. The school choir perform regularly at festivals and community gatherings in St Andrews Church, Great Finborough. The school regularly participates in both the Sudbury Festival and the Suffolk Festival of Music, Dance and Speech. Drama is available as a GCSE option. In February 2013, Finborough performing arts club performed their version of the popular Rent (musical) at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds.
There are three school houses: Churchill, Marlborough and Nelson named after Winston Churchill, the John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough and Horatio Nelson respectively. The different houses compete in various different activities, relating to sport as well as performing arts, throughout the year in order to win house points.
Originally, the school was primarily for boarders and a large percentage of pupils came from military families, hence the names of the houses. The original plan for the houses was to put children of army families into Marlborough house, children of air force families into Churchill house and children from naval families into Nelson house. However, so few children came from naval or air force backgrounds that many of the army children filled in the spaces in the other houses. This plan is no longer used today; pupils are assigned a random house as soon as they join the school.
- Finborough Hall, once owned by the Pettiward family, subsequently gave its name to Finborough Road in London, through Roger Pettiward. This led to the name of Finborough Theatre.
- The school has strong ties with Xplore, a youth travel company, which also operates on the Finborough Hall site and was actually founded there.
- Finborough School was the basis of the comic strip TTS[disambiguation needed].
- In 2013, a small group of students formed a school magazine that was intended to inform former students, parents and members of the general public about the inner workings of Finborough School.
Alex 'Bear' Rosedale, bass guitarist in the band Walkway
- Finborough School website: History page
- Daily Mail report, 03/09/2010
- Daily Mail report, 07/09/2010
- Finborough School website: Organisation
- Finborough School website: "Finborough golfers take the title" article
- Bury Minis Rugby - sponsored by Finborough School
- Finborough School website: Sudbury Festival article
- Finborough School group entries at the Suffolk Festival, 2008
- Finborough School website: Senior School Curriculum
- ISI report: Finborough School
- Kids Klub sites: Finborough Hall
- Walkway band profiles: Alex Rosedale