Ripley Court School

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Ripley Court School
Established 1893 (1893)
Type Preparatory school
Headmaster Mr Andrew Gough
Location Rose Lane
GU23 6NE
51°17′56″N 0°29′24″W / 51.299°N 0.490°W / 51.299; -0.490Coordinates: 51°17′56″N 0°29′24″W / 51.299°N 0.490°W / 51.299; -0.490
DfE URN 125391 Tables
Students 267 as of January 2016
Gender Mixed
Ages 3–13
Colours Black and Green
Website School website

Ripley Court School is a 2 form entry mixed preparatory school located in the village of Ripley, in the English county of Surrey.[1] It admits pupils from the ages of 3 to 13.

It is divided into three age-groups: The Ark nursery, "Little Court" which caters for ages 4–7, Middle Court from 7 - 9 and Upper Court from 10 - 13. Unusually for a prep school the boy/girl ratio at Ripley Court is very even.

In addition to their home forms, which make the major pastoral grouping, children are split into one of four houses: Apaches (Red), Arapahos (Blue), Comanches (Green), or Mohicans (Yellow). Children compete for house points academically and in sporting events, and every child participates. Ripley Court is a notable sporting school, and again every child participates in competitive matches. The class sizes are relatively small at 18-20, as is the pupil:teacher ratio which is normally better than 10 to 1.

The school is highly competitive, not just academically but also in sports, drama and music. Recent leavers have passed their 11+ and Common Entrance Examinations into a wide variety of senior Independent schools, and indeed often achieved scholarships to top local schools such as RGS Guildford, Tormead, Guildford High, Charterhouse, Reed's School, and St. John's School, Leatherhead.

The school has expansive tree-lined grounds and its own excellent sporting facilities. It features a rare example of an original ha-ha. Ripley Court School was founded by Robert May Pearce in 1893[2] in the buildings of Ripley Court, a Queen Anne gentleman's farm house and erstwhile home to senior sailors, army officers and the Secretary of the Admiralty Board.[3]

Although the Grade II listed 18th-century house is still fully functioning, most of the teaching happens in other, newer buildings, such as the new dining hall complex which was completed in 2007 and the Orchard block erected in 2013. Other facilities include a gym, an indoor heated swimming pool and the Grade II listed barn, which is currently used as a theatre.[4]

In 1987, the Eric Clapton Cricket XI played in the first ever exhibition cricket match for the Bunbury Cricket Club at Ripley Court School. The Bunburys, underthe guidance of David English, have gone on to raise millions for charity.[5] Clapton would also record a charity album with the Bee Gees for the cricket club. The supergroup called itself The Bunburys, and they recorded three songs for The Bunbury Tails: “We’re the Bunburys”, “Bunbury Afternoon”, and “Fight (No Matter How Long)”.[6] In 2003 there was a repeat charity match between a Clapton XI and a side consisting of professional cricketers at the same venue. It marked Clapton's "retirement" from cricket.[7]

Former pupils are referred to as Old Courtiers.[8]

Charity Work[edit]

Ripley Court does considerable work for charities such as Zigzag, based in Surrey, and Cherry Trees in Clandon. Events such as Ripley's Got Talent raise money for charity, where the audience vote for who wins, using the weight of the cash that was used to vote. Other events include cake sales and sponsored events.

Notable Old Courtiers[edit]

  • Norman Davey, Writer (Pilgrim of a Smile (1921), etc.), 1900/1904.[9]
  • Thomas Merton, Catholic writer and mystic, 1928/1929.[10]
  • Brian Bobbyear, England Rugby player and MRA emissary.
  • Ethan Cox, Notable calligraphist, graphic designer and public speaker.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Surrey Mirror (Tuesday, 8 May 1917), p. 3. National Archives, Census Return, 1911 (Class: RG14; Piece: 3053; Schedule Number: 67).
  3. ^ Stage 20: West Hanger to Ripley
  4. ^ Historic England listing
  5. ^ 21 Bunbury Memories
  6. ^ "The Bee Gees Meet Eric Clapton". Uncle John's Bathroom Reader. June 27, 2014. Retrieved July 29, 2017. 
  7. ^ Clapton hits right note as he leaves the crease
  8. ^ "The Old Courtiers". Retrieved January 29, 2015. 
  9. ^ National Archives, Census Return, 1901 (RG13; Piece: 600; Folio: 45; Page: 11); Institution of Mechanical Engineers (London), Mechanical Engineering Records, 1847-1930.
  10. ^ A Chronology of Thomas Merton's Life