Basic Information & Location
The Elms School is a co-educational independent boarding preparatory school located in Colwall, Herefordshire. Founded in 1614, the Elms is one of the oldest preparatory schools in England. The campus is set in a 110-arce site at the foot of the Malvern Hills, overseeing beautiful countryside scenery. As for transport, the school is approximately 45 minutes from Gloucestershire Airport and an hour from Birmingham Airport by car. The new headmaster Chris Hattam received education and worked as a house master and safe guarding lead in Sedbergh School. Having come from a senior boarding school, he understands perfectly what children need in the next school, and it is the school’s aim to help students be ready for the education in senior schools. The Elms is well known as a feeder school to top schools such as Eton, Harrow, Shrewsbury, Rugby, CLC and MSJ. It is highly selective regarding admission, with children’s English level as a crucial element to ensure their ability to engage in lessons. The majority of students are local. Currently there are 167 students at the Elms, of which only 16 students are from overseas.
The Elms firmly believes that education is about the pursuit of knowledge, learning for life, giving children the desire to explore and enquire for themselves. It aims to encourage students to embrace life with enthusiasm, and seeks to discover students’ strength, identifying and preparing them for the most suitable senior schools. The Elms adopts small class teaching, with 12 students in each class on average, to ensure every student’s academic potential is fully realised. Teachers focus on value-adding in teaching and help students achieve more than the baseline. Besides the standard curriculum, Greek, Latin and Rural Studies are available at the Elms. Students are also well trained for various exams, pre-tests, and interviews.
Pastoral Care & Boarding
Boarding is at the heart of the Elms. It aims to provide a family environment, where students are given the space to be individuals, to explore interests and to risk new challenges, while learning to live in a close community that requires them to respect and celebrate the differences in others. Each dormitory has a Year 8 Dormitory Prefect, whose duty is to foster the sense of family atmosphere and monitor the well-being of other students. A ‘guide’ will also be assigned to new comers to provide support for them to settle in. Both the girls’ and boy’s boarding are led by a housemother and housemaster respectively, ably supported by assistant house staff and matrons. Boarders could enjoy facilities such as the common rooms, ICT suites, art room, library, sports hall, and etc.
Extracurricular & personal development
The school’s extracurricular programme aims to provide a varied range of activities each day that gives children the opportunity to try something new or to continue with an existing interest. Music and Art are strong points at the Elms. Various musical groups and lessons on instruments ranging from piano to bagpipes are available to students. Sports at the Elms include rugby, netball, cricket, hockey, football, tennis, lacrosse, and so on. Many pupils have achieved success at regional and national sports competitions over the years. Horse riding is another highlight at the Elms, and the school has good affiliations with different local equestrian groups. The Elms has excellent facilities. Besides its second-to-none musical theatre in the country, the school also has its own farm where pupils could learn to grow plants and take care of animals, which helps elicit a valuable understanding of people’s relationship with the environment. Other facilities include a sport hall, swimming pool and science laboratories.