Old Buckenham Hall School
||This article appears to be written like an advertisement. (February 2012)|
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (February 2012)|
|Type||Preparatory day and boarding|
|Chairman of Governors||Mike Shallow|
|Founders||Ellen and Margaret Ringer|
|Houses||4 day houses|
|Publication||The OBH Magazine|
Founded in 1862, OBH currently accommodates about 100 boys and 50 girls between the ages of 2 and 13 years.
The School is currently split into the three parts;
- Nursery (ages 3–4)
- Pre-Prep School (Reception – year 2)
- Prep School (Years 3–8)
OBH is located in about 80 acres (320,000 m2) of parkland in the heart of the Suffolk village of Brettenham. The school puts great emphasis on a balanced, well-rounded, 'be the best you can' education driven by family values and Christian principles. Its pupils do well in the Common Entrance system, going on to a wide range of leading public schools such as Uppingham, Harrow, Oundle, Radley and Eton.
The school was founded as a boys school in 1862 by Misses Ellen and Margaret Ringer in the Suffolk coastal town of Lowestoft under the name 'South Lodge Preparatory School'. The school remained there for 75 years before moving to much larger premises at Old Buckenham Hall in the village of Old Buckenham, Norfolk. Here the school really started to grow. In December 1952, disaster struck and the Hall was burnt down by fire. In January of the following year the school found new premises at Merton Hall near Thetford, Norfolk. Here the school tried to pick up the pieces and get back on track but disaster struck again with a second fire in January 1956. The school's survival was seriously put in question and several possibilities were discussed as to what to do next. In short, the school became aware that Brettenham Park in Suffolk had come onto the market and the property was acquired. The school (now known as Old Buckenham Hall School) moved in September 1956 and soon became well established. The school has been on this site ever since, first taking on girls in the 1990s. Current headmaster is John Brett MA - formerly headmaster of St. Mary's Prep School in Melrose, Scotland.
Sports and activities
The school makes use of its many sports pitches and facilities (2 rugby pitches, 5 football and 6 hockey pitches, 5 cricket squares, 6 tennis courts, all-weather netball courts, a 2,000-yard (1,800 m) nine-hole golf course and an outdoor heated swimming pool) with the pupils spending 5 afternoons a week playing games. Pupils at OBH play a wide variety of sports including: rugby, hockey, cricket, tennis, football, athletics, gymnastics, cross-country, golf, swimming, netball, squash and badminton.
The Leavers' Programme
OBH organises a Leavers' Programme for the pupils that are leaving the school in the last few weeks of the summer term after their Common Entrance exams. The Programme starts with a week-long outdoor adventure trip. Afterwards the pupils enjoy two weeks of trips, events and activities. These include trips to London and the West End, talks by distinguished people, a trip to the Wimbledon Championships, concerts, a garden party and a triathlon. It culminates with a Leavers' service and barbecue followed by speech day and the end of term the next day.
Notable former pupils
- Benjamin Britten, composer
- Harry Judd, percussionist from McFly
- Laura Wright, singer from All Angels
- Jaime Alguersuari spent one year at the school