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An architectural icon
From small acorns to mighty oaks

Elegant and attractive, the main school was described by the Good Schools Guide as a ‘delicious Gothic revival pile… in greenest Berkshire’. The main Victorian part of the school was built in 1885 as Buckhold House, a family home commissioned by the Watney family, designed by renowned Natural History Museum architect Alfred Waterhouse. Waterhouse was also responsible for other inspirational learning establishments, including Oxford University’s Balliol College (1867-69) and Pembroke College at Cambridge University (1891).

St Andrew’s Prep School was founded in 1934 with eight pupils and two staff, by joint Headmasters RW Robertson Glasgow and W Ward Clarke. The Pre-Prep department went co-ed in 1971 with the Prep school following shortly afterwards.  Its distinguished and diverse alumni include the Princess of Wales, author John Le Carré, Downton Abbey actor Andrew Alexander and theoretical physicist Sir Chris Llewellyn-Smith.

History of St Andrew's Prep, narrated by Mr Outram
The Second World War

During the Second World War, an errant bomb was dropped on the site of the school’s woodland and subsequently exploded. Fortunately, no one from the school was injured and traces of the filled-in bomb crater are still visible today.

New additions

History lives alongside the best in modern facilities at St Andrew’s. The 1980s and 1990s saw a period of great investment and expansion, including new Pre-Prep buildings, a new Nursery School and a music school. Flexi-boarding and no Saturday school were also introduced in this era. A full-sized Astro turf pitch was opened in 2012 by the Duchess of Cambridge. A subsequent £4 million sports centre (link) further boosted St Andrew’s impressive sporting facilities.

Plans for the future

Current development plans include the creation of a Performing Arts Centre and art and DT space, as well as revamping and updating our classrooms in the Prep school.

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