The Prebendal School
|Chichester, West Sussex,
|Type||Preparatory day and boarding|
|Motto||Fons Sapientiae Verbum Dei
The Word of God is the Fountain of Wisdom
|Religious affiliation(s)||Church of England|
|Founder||Bishop Edward Story|
|Head||Louise Salmond Smith|
|Age||3 to 13|
The Prebendal School is an independent preparatory school in Chichester, situated adjacent to the Chichester Cathedral precinct. It is a boarding and day school with roughly 150 pupils including the cathedral choristers. The school has ancient origins as the medieval cathedral song school at the thirteenth-century school house in West Street.
The Prebendal is the oldest school in Sussex and probably dates back to the foundation of Chichester Cathedral in the eleventh century when it was a 'song school', teaching and housing the choristers. It was later extended to admitting other boys from the city and neighbouring areas. In 1497, it was re-founded as a grammar school by the Bishop of Chichester, Edward Story, who also attached it to the Prebend of Highleigh in Chichester Cathedral, hence the name of the school.
The thirteenth-century school house with its narrow tower still stands in West Street. Long dormitory, on the top floor, contains 300-year-old panelling, featuring some historic graffiti. Two adjoining eighteenth-century houses have been added, while the addition in 1966 of the east wing of the Bishop's Palace, which is next door to the main school buildings, provides considerable extra space. Further renovations have provided an assembly hall, new classrooms and an art room. There is a modern science laboratory and an ICT room. In 2012, the school expanded into adjoining period properties on West Street.
Each pupil is a member of a school house, which are named after former Bishops of Chichester. There are also seven boarding houses that accommodate up to 46 boarders.
Pupils cover the syllabus for either the Common Entrance or Common Academic Scholarship examination to senior independent schools, offered by the Independent Schools Examinations Board. School examinations take place once a year during the summer term.
Concerts take place throughout the academic year. many concerts are informal, but a number are performed in Chichester Cathedral. Music competitions are also arranged in school: the inter-house music and house singing competitions being notable examples. Since 2006, the school has applied a policy of "Music for All", in which each pupil receives a musical instrument education during their time, with a wide variety of instruments on offer. There are many groups, including two choirs, a full orchestra, concert band, ensembles of string, woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments, a Baroque trio and many other chamber groups.
Alumni are known as Old Prebendalians. Notable Old Prebendalians include,
- William Juxon (1582–1663), Archbishop of Canterbury (1660–1663)
- John Selden (1584–1654), jurist, philosopher and parliamentarian
- William Cawley (1602–1667), politician and regicide of Charles I
- William Collins (1721–1759), poet
- James Hurdis (1763–1801), clergyman and Professor of Poetry at Oxford University (1793–1801)
- Charles Gordon-Lennox, 5th Duke of Richmond (1791–1860), MP for Chichester (1812–1819) and Postmaster General (1830–1834)
- Horatio Nelson, 3rd Earl Nelson (1823–1913), politician
- Edward B. Titchener (1867–1927), psychologist who developed the theory of structuralism
- MacDonald Gill (1884–1947), graphic designer, cartographer, artist and architect
- Harry Gregson-Williams (1961–), composer best known for his film scores in Shrek and The Chronicles of Narnia
- Christina Bassadone (1981–), sailor who competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics
- Isaac Waddington (1999–), singer, pianist and finalist on the ninth series of Britain's Got Talent
- "Independent Schools Council profile". ISC. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
- Ollerenshaw, Neville (28 September 1984). A History of the Prebendal School. Phillimore. ISBN 9780850335521.
- "History of Chichester cathedral choir school". Of Choristers - ancient and modern. Archived from the original on 10 February 2015. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
- Miner, John Nelson (1990). The Grammar Schools of Medieval England. McGill-Queen's Press. pp. 277–278. ISBN 0-7735-0634-9.
- "ISI Integrated Inspection: The Prebendal School" (PDF). March 2015.
- "The Good Schools Guide review for The Prebendal School". Retrieved 13 June 2015.
- "Prebendal School in Chichester celebrates outstanding rating". Chichester Observer. 8 May 2015.
- The Prebendal School website
- Profile on West Sussex County Council website
- Ofsted Inspection Reports