Beeston Hall is a full boarding prep school with a reputation for sending children to leading senior schools across the UK; it attracts families to its Norfolk campus by the sea with its family feel, fun and relaxed approach to learning, and focus on the outdoors.
Open for 4-13 year-olds (Reception to Year 8), this pre-prep and prep school in Cromer has a community of just 150 students; around 40% are boarders from the local area and beyond. It’s popular with London families looking for a more rural education, as well as overseas families either wanting to continue a family tradition of attending Beeston Hall or looking for a prep with a full boarding experience.
Described by Headmaster Fred de Falbe as “a terrific springboard into the many senior schools they go onto”, Beeston Hall successfully sends children into more than 20 different leading senior schools across the country; these are as far afield (and as distinctly different) as Ampleforth to Eton, Gresham’s to Oundle, and Tudor Hall to Uppingham. 65% of its students have been awarded academic, music, sport and art scholarships – in the past two years – a good sign not only of its high academic standards, but also its broad curriculum and diverse community of students.
One of the advantages of sending your child to a standalone prep school is that it has no affiliations to any particular senior school – so the school has the ‘freedom’ to advise you on the right fit for your child (and the Head plays a key role in this). A downside, students do not benefit from the easy transition of moving within one school where many teachers and facilities will already be familiar.
Beeston Hall is small enough to have that family feel – and the school reassures parents that “children never get ‘lost’ in the crowd”. The caring and supportive side of this school shines through; it offers accompanied rail journeys at exeats and half terms, a ‘team’ of school dogs help with reading, there are worry boxes around campus, and students can use the red phone box in the courtyard to call home anytime.
Teaching in the pre-prep follows the Early Years Foundation Stage, and students benefit from small class sizes and weekly lessons in music, art, French, PE and games taught by specialist teachers. Beeston Hall is an FSA-Approved Forest School and Beach School, making the most of its beach and countryside setting – so expect plenty of outdoor learning opportunities here. And, to help you really understand what goes on in the classroom, parents can see daily updates in their child’s online learning journal.
In the prep school, students study a broad curriculum, including the core subjects, Latin, music, drama, art, computing, design and technology, and Forest School. Students move around the school, using facilities including a purpose-built Design Technology and Art centre and well-equipped IT and computing suite.
Class sizes are small, with an average of 13 students.
Beeston Hall has a ‘sport for all’ philosophy that you’d expect from a prep school; at this age it’s all about encouraging children to discover a passion for sport and learning skills such as teamwork. Sport is central to school life here. While small schools can often be held back in sport due to numbers, Beeston Hall really shines on the pitch (particularly the hockey pitch). It has up 16 teams to ensure that every child gets to play, its students represent several county and regional teams; and a handful of sports scholarships for senior school are awarded most years. Beeston has also recently introduced sporting academies for tennis and cricket – and its match teas are meant to be something quite special too!
Sporting facilities here are excellent, too. They include a full-size Astro-turf, 20 metre outdoor heated swimming pool, sports hall, shooting range, rugby pitches, netball courts, badminton courts, rounders pitches, tennis courts, cricket wickets, athletics field and putting lawn. With this much on offer, it’s easy to see why parents are drawn to the sporting opportunities at Beeston.
All students are encouraged to play a role in the school’s many productions (these vary from Beauty and the Beast to the nativity – whether on stage or behind the scenes; such is the size of the school, that a child who may never have dared to audition could find themselves playing a lead role – and really enjoying it.
In art, students have access to some amazing equipment in The MacNicol Art Centre, with its large open plan studio, a kiln and wheel, as well as facilities for silk screening, batik and enamelling. And there are opportunities to perform in any of 15 different musical ensembles ranging from ‘Fiddlesticks’ to the Chapel Choir.
Students at Beeston Hall can broaden their horizons by signing up to one of 40 different co-curricular hobbies and clubs per week for pupils – most of which are included in the termly fees. It’s the variety of these clubs that’s most impressive, everything from rock group to yoga, roller-skating to gardening, shooting to coding and surfing to film club. Every child should find something they like out of that list!
There’s a range of boarding options (full, weekly and transition boarding for the younger years) for Years 3-8.
Weekends are filled with activities such as Beeston’s Got Talent Weekend, Nerf Wars, stop-frame animation, jewellery-making and rock-pooling. Beeston goes the extra mile to create homely, fun and very child-friendly boarding houses. There are themed dorms – the Emoji and the Spaceship rooms are our favourite – and incredible disco themed toilets completes with flashing lights! Older boarders also like the freedom to be able to walk into the local town to spend their pocket money at weekends.
The location is a huge drawcard. The school’s 35-acre campus is close to the sweeping beaches of the North Norfolk coast, which is the school makes the most of – from rock pooling by the sea to running cross country to the sea, from sailing and kayaking to simply drinking in the benefits of the fresh sea air.
It’s close to Norwich Airport, and there are minibus routes from Norwich, Dereham and Fakenham for those living nearer to campus.
Beeston Hall is not academically selective; as part of the admissions process, children attend a taster day. Day fees range from £10,020 in Reception to Year 2 up to £20,070 for Years 4-8. Boarding fees range from £20,790 in Year 3 up to £26,970 in Years 4-8.
If you are the owner or the principal of the school and note any inaccuracies, or would like to update data, you can now open an account with us. You will also be able to add admissions availability per year group, and advertise current job vacancies. This is a free service. Please help us keep prospective parents up to date with your latest information.
Are you looking for a place for your child, and want help from our school consultants? If so, click on the link below, and we will forward your request for information to the school or schools of the same type that we are confident have availability. This is a free service for our readers. Request Information