We chat to the headmaster, Adrian Floyd, of the school based in Bletchingley, Surrey
Adrian, how long have you been at The Hawthorns?
I joined The Hawthorns in September 2015. I was previously the headmaster of Finton House, a non-selective co-ed day school for ages four to 11, in London.
Can you tell us a bit about the school’s history?
The Hawthorns was founded in 1926 by Dudley Bull and began as a boy’s preparatory school with both day pupils and boarders. In 1961 we moved to our current home at Pendell Court in Bletchingley. The school became a co-educational prep school in September 1992 and became an IAPS day school in 1994.
What do you see as the main strengths of the school?
A key strength is our success at developing the talents of each child. Dedicated teachers create high expectations and, as a result, the pupils achieve success in a variety of areas. A wonderful programme of sport and the extraordinary output of art, music, drama and design and technology means that every child has the opportunity to develop a talent. We are also lucky enough to be situated within 35 acres of grounds, which include playing fields, a woodland classroom, lake, orchards and vegetable gardens.
How do you ensure every pupil achieves his or her full potential?
The creative curriculum in the Early Years and Pre-Prep encourages investigation and is a lot of fun! We aim to give all the children the best opportunities to experience individual success, and prepare them as they move into the Prep school. Careful monitoring of each child ensures we can work knowledgeably with teachers to ensure the best development for each child. Our curriculum enables us to use the children’s own innate interests and ideas to encourage the best responses.
Do you offer extra-curricular programmes for little ones?
Extra-curricular life plays a vital part in the development of the rounded character here at The Hawthorns. Our programmes include sport, swimming, sailing, dance, drama, photography, cookery, survival camps and more! Pupils enjoy the activities and learn how to be gritty in their pursuit of excellence.
Are you in regular contact with the parents of pupils?
Constant interaction with parents is part and parcel of my day. My three children attend The Hawthorns and this has provided me with a close connection to our families. I enjoy welcoming each child to school in the morning with a handshake at drop off.
We aim to ensure our children are loved, feel secure and learn from both their mistakes and their endeavours. Our parents are confident their children will develop the skills to take ownership for their learning, alongside habits of mind which will help them to work through life’s challenges.
How do you see The Hawthorns progressing in the future?
With our arms around both tradition and modernity, we will strive to continue to educate our children for a dynamic future where the pursuit of excellence is embedded in all-roundedness, and the heart and mind are balanced.