History & School Grounds
Travelling down our mile long driveway, surrounded by horses and woodland, you are truly struck by the beauty of St Andrew’s School. As you approach the Victorian building, the view will encompass our school pitches, our astro-turf, the School Chapel, music rooms and our brand new Sports Centre with indoor swimming pool. Tucked out of view is our South Lawn, with zip wire, climbing wall and adventure play area and our many copses (including Ghost Town and Monkey Base), loved by pupils for years and home to innumerable dens.
Pupils enjoy the great outdoors as red kites fly overhead, pheasants stroll along the paths and witness the occasional escape run onto the fields of the Headmaster’s dog, Lyla.
St Andrew's was founded in 1934 with just two staff and eight boys! RW Robertson Glasgow and W Ward Clarke were joint Headmasters when the School opened its doors for the first time on 11th May 1934. 'From small acorns do mighty oaks grow' and St Andrew's has steadily grown to its present size of just under 300 boys and girls. The original Victorian Gothic building was Buckhold, an 1885 house designed by Alfred Waterhouse, which still forms the core of the School today. Over the years it has been converted and significantly extended. Additions over the years include a modern Pre-Prep, Nursery, Music Centre, Art and Design Facilities, Drama Studio, teaching block including science laboratories. Alumni include The Duchess of Cambridge, David Cornwell (aka John Le Carré), Howard Hodgkin, Adam Hart-Davis, Sir Chris Llewellyn-Smith, Sir Michael Llewellyn-Smith, Andrew Alexander, Duff Hart-Davis, Admiral Benjamin Bathurst, JKH Brunner, Emily Bevan and Adrian Liddell Hart.
Children of all faiths and none are welcomed at St Andrew's, but our families know that the School has a Christian foundation and ethos, and Chapel services form an integral part of each week.
We have a large Chapel Choir and a Junior Choir to lead our services, and we are frequently addressed by visiting speakers who often comment on the warmth of our worship. Children take active roles in most services not only as singers but also as wardens, readers and sometimes actors.
Chapel is a place for quiet reflection and prayer; for thanksgiving, particularly at Harvest, when it is bedecked with our offerings; for celebration; for community and (especially in Bible Week) for fun and a little exuberance! OSAs usually want to visit Chapel when they come back in later life as it holds special memories of lessons learned and good seeds sown.
Our services are broadly Anglican in style and follow the traditional church calendar, with other notable highlights at Remembrance, around Easter and in July, at the Leavers' Service. The biggest of the year, the Advent Carol Service, takes place not in our Chapel but in that of Bradfield College, and it forms an atmospheric and often moving end of term. There is also a voluntary Christian-based group, known as J Team, which meets weekly, organises charitable events and takes some assemblies. In most years some children attend a Christian activity holiday in the summer at Forres in Dorset.
Year 8 pupil “I have loved this School so much ever since I joined.”
Good Schools Guide “The school occupies a rather delicious gothic revival pile designed by Alfred Waterhouse. Lawns roll down to meadows and woodland, in total 54 acres of greenest Berkshire”