First and foremost, the people! I remember driving through the Hatherop Castle gate and up the tree-lined drive for the first time, seeing the castle building amongst the luscious green trees and thinking ‘wow, what a hidden gem of a Prep School’.
As I walked into the front hall of the building, I was overwhelmed by the feeling of warmth, laughter and a genuine sense of community and care. I remember thinking that this is a school not only oozing character, but ambition and happiness and I could see it in the bucketloads in both the staff and the pupils. I arrived during the morning break and the sight of all the children playing outside on the lawn on a frosty winter’s day, running around, smiling and having fun – It looked like a sea of happy children in Hatherop red coats in an outdoor space that is, quite simply second to none.
My very first impression, which still is the case today is ‘this is a happy school, with happy children and happy staff’ – it is no wonder that happiness is the first school values listed on the website – it was so evident to see! The ‘adventure of childhood’ permeates every aspect of Hatherop Castle and is deeply embedded in a culture of happiness, adventure, teamwork, honesty, encouragement, respect, opportunity, perseverance – and no wonder it is a pneumonic of Hatherop – it couldn’t be truer! A year on and my children couldn’t be happier too – they love school, to the point that they are disappointed when term ends!
Our children are growing up in a challenging environment that is changing with every second that passes and Hatherop Castle ensures that children can develop in a safe and nurturing environment without having to worry about all those frightening and external influences. Our children have a long life ahead of them and preparing them now for a world where the jobs they might end up doing, haven’t even been invented yet is challenging. Ensuring the children At Hatherop Castle can genuinely enjoy the adventure of childhood up to their teenage years within a supportive and ambitious environment, could not be more important today.
In short, I am a very happy parent with very happy children and in my mind, this is the main ingredient to children learning and developing to maximise their potential, and all this feeds into a school where ambition can be accomplished for every child alongside a relentless focus on care, kindness, beauty, individuality, community, smiles and of course, not to forget the stunning Cotswold location!