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Happy Birthday, Sherborne House!

Today is a very special day!  It is the 85th birthday of Sherborne House School, and we have so much to celebrate and to be proud of.  I joined the school as a parent 30 years ago when, in 1988, my elder daughter joined the Nursery class, as it was called then.  At that time, it was based in a part of what is now 1J, together with the adjoining staff cloakroom, which was then a large Wendy House!  Nursery numbers were strictly limited to 20, and there was no choice of sessions or afternoon school, each child coming every day from 9 until 12.  In the main school, which was only one-form entry, the boys all left at the end of Year 2, so the curriculum for Years 3 to 6, being geared to a girls-only setting, was quite different from today.  By 1988, the school had been sold by its founders, the Wise family, to Mr and Mrs Warner, but Miss Wise, who became the Headmistress in 1952, following-on from her mother, was to remain a very influential figure!

Comparing Sherborne House then, with the school we have now, I cannot help but wonder what Miss Wise would think.  Having become the Head, I would be asked by Miss Wise, to go each term to have coffee with her.  Although approaching her 100th birthday, her mind and memory were still razor sharp, and receiving the Friday Note each week, she did not hesitate to question me about changes at the school, and freely give her opinion; she was still very much a Head Mistress!  However, those visits taught me much about her founding vision for the school, and her overwhelming commitment to the children and their families.  Miss Wise had wanted to create a school which was a ‘home-from-home’; academic standards would be high, and the children would be challenged to reach their potential and be well-prepared for life’s journey ahead. Underpinning academic ambition, Sherborne House would be inclusive, nurturing and supportive and, above all, a school where children would be happy and would thrive.

The world has changed much since 1933, and so too, in some ways, has Sherborne House.  The school has grown as buildings have been adapted and added-to, the curriculum has broadened and become more challenging and relevant to today’s technological age, and the school community has become more diverse, reflecting its participation in, and commitment to, today’s global stage.  As a former pupil who has now joined as a new parent said to me recently, “The feeling of the school is just the same as when I was here – but it’s a great deal more sophisticated!”

However, despite the passage of time, and the school’s undoubted evolution and progress, when I reflect upon our 2018 Vision, there are many aspects which I am sure would still resonate with Miss Wise; that Sherborne House is a school which will enable all our children to value and grow from their experiences, to reach their potential, to develop a life-long curiosity and a love of enquiry and learning, and to grow in confidence and resilience, so that our pupils will achieve their hopes and dreams.  Above all, that the children will always be at the heart of everything we do.

As Sherborne House commences its 86th year, we have a school to celebrate and to be very proud of. Would Miss Wise be proud, too, of what her school has become?  I know she would.      

 
Happy Birthday, Sherborne House School, and here’s to our 100th!
 

Heather Hopson-Hill, Head Teacher

Published on 19/01/2018