Old Buckenham Hall School
|Type||Preparatory day and boarding|
|Chairman of Governors||Nick Bullen|
|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)
The school is located in a grade II* listed building in about 80 acres (320,000 m2) of parkland in the Suffolk village of Brettenham. Its pupils take the Common Entrance exam, going on to a range of public schools such as Uppingham, Oundle, Rugby, Framlingham College and further afield.
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 most significant aspect of the school in the early 1980's was Lucy, affectionaltely known as Luce, the terrier belonging to groundsman 'Piggy'. The school has been on this site ever since, first taking on girls in the 1990s. The current headmaster is John Brett - previously headmaster of St. Mary's Prep School in Melrose, Scotland. However Mr Brett is leaving in December 2014.
Sports and activities
The school makes use of its many sports pitches and facilities (3 rugby pitches, 2 football 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 running, golf, swimming and netball
Being a predominantly day and transitional boarding school, the school offers a wide range of activities for the pupils including: archery, sailing, fishing for goldfish in the pond, treeclimbing and clay-pigeon shooting
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