Holmwood House School is a friendly, non-selective prep, set in 25 wooded acres two miles outside Colchester, that still adheres to the five Rs – resilience, resourcefulness, responsibility, reasoning and reflection – set by its founders, Mr and Mrs Duggan, in 1922, when the school comprised only three small boys wearing hilariously large caps. It points out that, although prep schools such as this can’t compete with senior schools over ‘shinier’ facilities: ‘What we do offer is beyond these concrete and physical things is more to do with the development of ethos and culture, independence, ownership, integrity and character.’
A recent Languages Week – there’s an annual French exchange programme (Les Ambassadeurs) with Ombrosa School, Lyon – featured a Latin assembly and a Welsh workshop and Science Week involved forensically solving a murder mystery. Holmwood boasts a 100% Common Entrance pass rate, chiefly to East Anglian schools such as Felsted, but also to Eton, Harrow, Westminster and Ampleforth.
- 400 pupils aged 4–13, co-ed, day and boarding