Headmaster’s Newsletter – 21 April 2017

Dear Parents,

Welcome back to the Summer Quarter, which is always filled with excitement.  On Monday we celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday with a Drama and Music evening at Founders’ Hall.  Later in the term the Drama Scholars will go to Glion to prepare a special presentation in aid of St John’s Church, Territet and we can also look forward to a feast of drama in Founders’ Hall in May (Upper Transitus Musical – Annie) and June (Beta and Gamma Showcase).  On Tuesday and Thursday in the coming week there are violin and piano showcases and on Wednesday our Soirée d’Or presents our most accomplished musicians who are in their final Quarter at Hill House.  Everyone is welcome at all these evenings.

In the coming weeks our renowned Brass Ensemble will be travelling to Belgium to give concerts in Eupen and Verviers, the St Cecilia Singers will be singing in Switzerland in May and the Choral Scholars have been invited back for the third time to take part in the Fête de la Musique in Geneva in June and the first weekend in July will see 18 of our best guitarists on tour.

The quality of the Art that Hill House pupils regularly produce is outstanding thanks in no small part to the excellent team of art teachers we are lucky to have throughout the school. Visitors to any of the school buildings regularly comment on it and are often surprised it is the work of the children and not the teachers hanging on the walls. Cancer Research UK hold an annual art competition inviting schools in London and the south east of England to take part. From approximately 7,000 entries 756 pictures were chosen to form an exhibition at The Royal College of Art, London. An impressive 54 of the pictures are from Hill House pupils from Small School through to Main School.  Particular congratulations to Scarlett Ardon-Lawrence from Upper Kappa who has been awarded 1st Prize for Years 2 and 3. The exhibition will be held at The Royal College of Art, Kensington, London, from Tuesday 25 April to Friday 28 April and is open to the public.

Congratulations too to Pia Glynn-Smith who has been awarded The Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers’ Art Prize. She received her award from the Master Painter-Stainer in a ceremony at Painters’ Hall in March. Preparations are now under way for the school’s annual Art exhibition in July.

As always the culmination of the year is the ever wonderful Field Day on Thursday 6 July.   Our Director of Sport, Slade Hastings, is taking a year away with his family in New Zealand. While he is away his role will be filled by Elizabeth Bradley as Director of Senior Sport and Esther Scrimshaw as Director of Junior Sport. They have had a thorough hand over to make the transition as smooth as possible.

As you will know, swimming is a very important part of a Hill House education. Unfortunately, the swimming pool at Chelsea Sports Centre is closed for this term due to planned extensive renovations of the pool and changing rooms. These works have been put off once before but are now taking place. This closure will affect all pupils in Small School and Years 3-8. Although regrettable we do not see this as a huge set back to the children’s swimming progress. However, we do recommend that pupils take any opportunity to swim outside of school time and during the summer holidays. In place of swimming the pupils will be having normal games lessons. Lower School and Middle School are unaffected, as they do not use Chelsea Sports Centre.

We are continuously looking at ways in which we can improve how we teach and prepare your children throughout their school life. Looking forward to the autumn we will be relocating Lower School to Cadogan Gardens and the Upper School Alphas will join Senior School in Hans Place. This change is intended to make the transition between Lower School and Middle School smoother. Equally, with the increasing number of boys secondary schools requiring the ISEB pre-test and the continual rise in various assessments at 11+ before the 13+ Common Entrance Examinations this will help us to make sure the boys are prepared as fully as possible.  To aid us in these curriculum changes I am delighted to announce Kenneth Glover, who has been working part time this year, will be joining us full time in the autumn as Academic Curriculum Director.

The results of the Girls’ 11+ Exams have now been released and once again we are able to celebrate a string of successes to both London’s top schools and the country’s leading boarding schools including eight scholarships (Academic, Art and Music). Congratulations to all the girls and also their teachers on these fine results.

London Day Schools

1 – City of London School for Girls

1 – Eaton Square Upper School

1 – Emanuel

1- Francis Holland (Clarence Gate)

10 – Francis Holland  (Sloane Square)

2 – Godolphin & Latymer

1 – Harrodian

1 – Holland Park

4 – JAGS 

2 – Latymer Upper

3 – More House

3 – Putney High School

2 – Queen’s College

5 – Queen’s Gate

3 – St Paul’s School for Girls

1 – Twyford Church of England School


2 – Hill House Sixth Form


Boarding Schools 

1 – Cheltenham Ladies College

1 – St Mary’s Ascot



Academic – 3

Music – 2

Art – 3

This is also the moment to advise you of the fees for next year which reflect the increases in staff costs, the new business rates and – in no small way – the increases in running costs due to the fall in the value of the pound post Brexit.   Even so I am glad to say that we have been able to keep the increase as small as possible without any compromise in the standard of education offered by Hill House to all our pupils.

Fees for the Academic Year – 2017-2018
  Christmas Quarter Spring Quarter Summer Quarter
Small School
£12,000 per annum £4,000 £4,000 £4,000
Lower School
£12,400 per annum £4,100 £4,100 £4,200
Middle School
£13,100 per annum £4,300 £4,300 £4,500
Upper School
£14,500 per annum £4,800 £4,800 £4,900
Senior School
£15,200 per annum £5,000 £5,000 £5,200
Girls Transitus
£15,200 per annum £5,000 £5,000 £5,200
Lower Sixth Form
£15,800 per annum £5,200 £5,200 £5,400
Upper Sixth Form
£16,300 per annum £5,400 £5,400 £5,500


 Richard Townend

Click here to download a pdf of this newsletter