Wartime letter discovered under Sompting Abbotts' floorboards links son to family’s past

Wartime letter discovered under Sompting Abbotts' floorboards links son to family’s past

The unearthing of a letter from 1939 at Sompting Abbotts' Preparatory School has connected an Australian man to his British family during WW2. The letter was found under the floorboards of an old dormitory. Now, the school, intrigued by the letter’s discovery, has succeeded in tracing the identity of ‘Jim’ across continents to his son, Craig, in Australia. Staff recruited the help of researchers from both the UK and Tasmania. “It was a wonderful surprise to learn of the letter’s existence," said Craig Macbride, 53, of Melbourne. The letter is a palpable connection to his family’s history that he knew little about.

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The true meaning of independence

The true meaning of independence

What's the difference between a feeder and non-feeder school in the independent schools sector? And how do you choose the right school for your child when not all children have the same needs, interests and abilities? Headmaster Stuart Douch explains Sompting Abbotts is a non-feeder school because he believes no single school will suit all children equally. Instead, his staff take a personal approach to each child, to determine in what senior school environment they'll flourish best.

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The short story based upon Sompting Abbotts by best-selling author Alex Preston

The short story based upon Sompting Abbotts by best-selling author Alex Preston

International best-selling author Alex Preston wrote this short story based on Sompting Abbotts. It was included in the nation's favourite annual guide to the short story: Best British Short Stories in 2016. "It was 100% Sompting Abbotts that I was imagining in the story," said Alex Preston, a former pupil of the West Sussex independent school. Set after World War 1, it is about a boy who buys his prep school. The story has been illustrated with archive photographs and drawings produced by Year 8 pupils from Sompting Abbotts Preparatory School.

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How the best preparatory schools are honing children's 'sharp skills' for the workplace ahead

How the best preparatory schools are honing children's 'sharp skills' for the workplace ahead

Many jobs our children will be applying for haven’t yet been invented. But certain skills will be key to help them succeed in the new professional landscape. It’s abilities such as leadership, collaboration, problem solving, creativity and analytical thinking that they'll need to cope with technological innovation such as artificial intelligence, robotics and more. We talked to Mark Brotherton, Director of Education with the IAPS, to ask how prep schools can best prepare pupils to thrive in the workplace ahead.

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Sompting Abbotts' pupil Veronica Painter makes CBeebies voiceover debut

Sompting Abbotts' pupil Veronica Painter makes CBeebies voiceover debut

CBeebies’ new popular programme, Olobob Top, features the voice of Veronica Painter, a pupil at West Sussex independent school Sompting Abbotts. It was the debut voiceover performance for the 10-year-old who plays the character of an endearing squirrel called Crunch. So was it fun? And what’s involved with bringing a script off the page for an audience who can’t see you?

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Nick Linfield, OBE, on why he owes Sompting Abbotts "an enormous debt of gratitude"

Nick Linfield, OBE, on why he owes Sompting Abbotts "an enormous debt of gratitude"

Old Abbottonian Nicholas (Nick) Linfield was awarded an OBE for his Services to Defence in the 2017 New Year’s Honours List. It’s 50 years since Nick began his education at West Sussex independent school Sompting Abbotts. We invited him to talk about his education and career – and to reveal why he’s proud to be the only former pupil on the school’s scholarship Honours’ Boards whose son and daughter feature there too …

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Remembering the Great Storm of 1987 at Sompting Abbotts Preparatory School

Remembering the Great Storm of 1987 at Sompting Abbotts Preparatory School

It's 30 years since the Great Storm of 1987 which tore through the South East of England, ripping great trees from their roots, damaging properties and causing loss of life. West Sussex independent school Sompting Abbotts Preparatory School, located high on its hilltop overlooking the south coast, would take the brunt, as the winds turned south-westerly and smashed straight into its path. 

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How much screen time is too much for your child?

How much screen time is too much for your child?

How much screen time is healthy for your child? Scientists have predicted that use of the Internet exposure may change the way children think. So are we in the middle of an unstoppable experiment with our children? So just what is the impact of screen-based technologies and social media on our children's well-being, attention spans, learning and creative abilities? And how do we balance the recognition that digital skills will be essential to our children’s futures in the workplace? 

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What exactly is a prep school? (And the answers to 10 more questions about preparatory schools)

What exactly is a prep school? (And the answers to 10 more questions about preparatory schools)

What is a preparatory school? Like every type of school, preparatory schools are all very different in their ethos and their goals. They’re also different from a mainstream school. Prep schools are independent so do not have to follow the National Curriculum although many use it as a starting point.

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The hauntingly beautiful hit song inspired by the walled secret garden at Sompting Abbotts

The hauntingly beautiful hit song inspired by the walled secret garden at Sompting Abbotts

Ned Mortimer, lead singer of the talented band August and After, has revealed that the lyrics to his successful track, The Orchard, from the album Embers, was inspired by his time as a child at West Sussex independent school Sompting Abbotts Preparatory School. Here he talks about his life today and just how he came to write that special song …

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Why learning music is important for STEM skills

Why learning music is important for STEM skills

I bet you never thought of music as a STEM skill? STEM is a buzzword you'll probably have heard a lot if you follow the education world as we do here. STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and maths –  needed to fill the jobs of today. Yet music is a subject that's being cut

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11 facts you need to know about the Common Entrance exam

11 facts you need to know about the Common Entrance exam

What is the Common Entrance exam? Stuart Douch, Headmaster of West Sussex private school Sompting Abbotts Preparatory School, has the answers to all your questions. Firstly, it’s unique and not that 'common'. It's a series of examinations taken by children in the Summer term of Year 8. These prepare children superbly for GCSE. Today, schools like Brighton College, Lancing College and Hurst require all children to sit these for entry.     

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What did an old letter, dated 1939 and found under the floorboards of a dorm at Sompting Abbotts, reveal?

What did an old letter, dated 1939 and found under the floorboards of a dorm at Sompting Abbotts, reveal?

There's a guilty thrill that comes with reading other people's letters, and doubly so, when that letter opens a window into the past. A well-thumbed hand-written letter, dated 1939, to a pupil at Sompting Abbotts Preparatory School, a private school near Worthing, was discovered under the floorboards of an old dorm. It's a fascinating glimpse into the past.

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Hoping your child might win a prized scholarship? Here's what you need to know

Hoping your child might win a prized scholarship? Here's what you need to know

Hoping your child might win a prized academic scholarship? Independent schools have a strong record of honouring talented and hardworking pupils with scholarships. Scholarships are not only awarded for academic potential, but also for success and potential in sports, music, drama and art. Scholarships usually mean prestige and financial help.

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Best-selling author Alex Preston on the "warmth and genial eccentricity" of Sompting Abbotts Prep School

Best-selling author Alex Preston on the "warmth and genial eccentricity" of Sompting Abbotts Prep School

Celebrated novelist Alex Preston recalls his memories of his Worthing independent school Sompting Abbotts: "I saw the school, fell in love with it, and begged to be sent there. It was all of my Jennings/Malory Towers fantasies rolled into one gothic dream of a building."

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