School History



Our School History

Canbury School was founded in 1982, by Mr John Wyatt who had previously taught in a variety of independent and mainstream day and boarding schools in England, as well as schools in the United States.

An article In the Guardian Newspaper on Thursday July 1st 1982 ran the headline: “The school where small is beautiful.” The article continued, “small is beautiful is soon to be put into practice on Kingston Hill where a private secondary school opens in September. Mr Wyatt said: “I have great faith in small schools which are able to satisfy the needs of individual pupils. It is important that pupils feel that they belong and are useful. I strongly believe in the right of parents to choose what is right for their child.”

Mr Wyatt identified a need in the education system that did not cater for students who found the large comprehensives of the time too large and anonymous. He purchased the original home of Sir Malcolm Campbell and his son Donald, and converted it into a school building. It opened in September 1982 with just five students. Canbury School has grown to a maximum of 75 students on roll, attaining charity status in 1990.

Ethos and Aims

We are small and deliberately aim to remain so, as we believe that our small and nurturing environment allows students - who might have disappeared in a larger environment - to flourish, hence our motto “Embracing Difference - Harnessing Talent”.

  • The benefits of being so small are numerous:
    • Every student can be observed and have his or her individual skills drawn out
    • Strengths and weaknesses in 'learning' can be identified and addressed early
    • Students develop self-confidence and make friends more easily
    • The work as well as the workload can be tailored to each student
    • Higher levels of participation are achieved in and out of class; Each student has a greater chance of experiencing a position of responsibility, such as being a prefect, house captain or member of the School Council
    • Teachers will have a deeper understanding of every student
    • Different teaching styles can be selected to suit the needs of each student
  • Our aim is to create a genuine community in which no child is anonymous and they are enabled to acquire the self-confidence that comes from being recognised for their achievements. We create such a community by:
    • Delivering outstanding pastoral care so that every student feels fully supported, happy and confident in themselves and their relationships
    • Continually evolving the curriculum to encourage and challenge each student to realise their full academic potential
    • Creating an ethos and atmosphere in the school that promotes high standards of mutual respect and tolerance both within the school community and in the wider world
    • Developing strong and constructive relationships between students, staff and parents
    • Supporting and developing a committed and enthusiastic staff, and offering the breadth of opportunities and experiences that helps each student to develop their personal qualities and talents

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