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Rydes Hill Preparatory School

Rydes Hill Preparatory School

Rydes Hill House, Aldershot Road, Guildford, GU2 8BP, Surrey

01483 563160



Rydes Hill Preparatory School
School type Coeducational Day
Founded 1945
Headmistress Mrs Sarah Norville
Date Appointed September 2018
Girls Age Range 3-11
Boys Age Range 3-7
Number of pupils 180
Number of boys 20
Number of girls 160
Day fees per annum £3,006 (Reception) - £4,565 (Year 6), including lunch
Associations IAPS, ISBA

Rydes Hill is a Catholic Prep School educating girls from 3 to 11 and boys from 3 to 7. As a non-selective, one-form entry school, we are blessed with small class sizes in bright airy rooms, set in beautiful grounds in the Guildford suburbs. Our doors are open to families of all faiths and beliefs and we are immensely proud of the deep bonds that unite our close-knit community.

Our parents often coin a phrase that we are ‘small but mighty’ as our achievements reach far beyond our small stature. Indeed, it is our size that enables our teachers to have a genuine understanding of what makes our children tick, which in turn informs their individualised learning paths. Far from expecting our children to beat to the same drum, we empower them to embrace their unique passions and talents and stay true to themselves. This is reflected in the breadth of scholarships awarded, with our 2020 leavers receiving 16 scholarships from academic to drama, music, creative writing and sport.

We embolden our children to find their voice and public speaking is gently encouraged at every opportunity. As a non-selective school, we are living proof that every child, be they naturally shy or over-flowing with confidence, can summon the self-belief to take to the stage. All 210 children who sat Speech and Drama exams over the past three years have been awarded a distinction. Witnessing shy or timid children transform into confident orators through their Rydes Hill journey is one of our greatest source of pride.

Our ‘small but mighty’ spirit is evident on the sporting field where we frequently out-compete prestigious independent schools triple or quadruple our size. In 2020 we reached the IAPS National Championships in both Netball and Swimming spurred on by the collective roar from our supporters!

The undoubted heartbeat and driving force of Rydes Hill is our Headmistress, Mrs Norville, who can be best summed up in the words of a current parent:

”By far and away the real understated (but somewhat self-effacing) gem at Rydes Hill is Mrs Norville. She is wonderfully passionate about what she does, she seems to emanate contagious energy, she is kind, she has good humour, and she has a profoundly holistic approach to the development of every single child at Rydes Hill…. The school, under the leadership of Mrs Norville, is nothing short of magnificent.”

Mrs Norville’s infectious ‘can-do’ attitude and zeal means that Rydes Hill was one of a small handful of UK schools that opened to all year groups towards the end of the 2020 summer term when most schools were still reeling from the impact of COVID-19. The driving motivation of Mrs Norville and her dedicated staff was to create a safe haven of normality for our children, whilst the world around us kept spinning.

Rydes Hill was recently ranked 22nd in the Top Independent Preparatory Schools in the Sunday Times Parent Power 2021, placing us amongst the academically elite. Whilst we wear this accolade as a badge of pride, we know the real secret to our success is far from being elite. Our doors are open to all, we celebrate difference and we have both feet firmly planted on the ground. We are truly ‘small but mighty’.