Who We Are
The School was founded in Ewell in 1879 by a scholar from Oxford, originally with four pupils.
From humble beginnings, the School grew and flourished. So much so, that on reaching its centenary year, it acquired the superb Manor House and 45 acres of grounds at Stoke D’Abernon. The Manor, which sits on an idyllic terrace of the north bank of the River Mole, and only 18 miles from Westminster, has a rich history.
Robert Bloomfield wrote:
‘Where the Mole still glides, dwells peace, and peace is wealth to me’
The site, which has been inhabited since Roman times has Surrey’s oldest church within its grounds. The 7th Century Church of St. Mary’s along with the Manor, are both referred to in the Domesday Book. Queen Elizabeth I visited here in 1590 and again in 1601, when on 25th September, she knighted the owner, Thomas Vincent, in the oak parlour, where the oak panelling and ceiling decorated with doves remain much as it was on that day. It now serves as the School Office.
The current Georgian appearance of the Manor House was completed by 1745 and included the creation of the magnificent two-storey Palladian Salon (which is now the assembly and dining hall). Sir Aston Webb, architect of Buckingham Palace, designed and built the Italianesque ‘Loggia’, outside the Salon, and completed the Baroque front porch by 1911.
In 1933, the Estate was bought by the 16th Baronet Edgar Vincent, the first Viscount d’Abernon, who, therefore, returned to his ancestral home. They extended and enhanced the magnificent grounds, which are now also used for weddings, bringing two gigantic stone urns from Esher Place. He died without issue, so his niece eventually sold the Estate in 1956 when it became a training college for graduate engineers before becoming a teacher training college in the 1970s.
From 1979, Parkside School has built and developed the Estate into an inspirational learning environment providing top class facilities for our forward-thinking preparatory school. Now a School of 300 pupils, many improvements have been made. A Sports Hall and swimming pool were built in 1981, with the Science and Music Block and Pre Prep extension following in 1985. In 1995, the pool was enclosed and in 2002, the Crescent Block opened sporting twelve new classrooms. The Nursery was launched on the ground floor of the Stable Block in the 1990s with a D&T workshop and in 2018, the STEM-IT room was developed on the top floor. The main Library was opened in 2011, and in 2019, the 4 seasonal Outdoor Learning Areas were created, along with a Food Tech Room in the Science Block. An additional Science Lab was launched in 2021 along with our new Outdoor Classroom.
Yet with all this development and modernisation, the School has been mindful of its heritage and has sympathetically retained the very essence of both buildings and grounds alike. The pupils are given the opportunity to embrace a wide range of experiences which utilise the site to the full whilst also promoting the values of the School; not least in respecting our beautiful surroundings. Alongside academic lessons and traditional sports, there are also activities such as cooking, forest school, fishing, camping, kayaking and even river walks.
Parkside’s extensive facilities are what sets us apart from the rest and provides such a diverse environment for pupils to learn and develop during their journey here.
Set in 45 acres of beautiful Surrey countryside, on the banks of the River Mole, our School offers unlimited possibilities for teaching to be delivered in a variety of ways both inside and outside of the classroom.
Outside, there are 3 forest school areas within the grounds which are seasonal and are used in accordance with the weather and what is growing or living during certain times of the year. An outdoor classroom was developed in 2021 to allow for learning outside of the walls of a classroom. It was a concept developed during lockdown to ease those feelings of confinement caused by the pandemic.
“Boys are given lots of oxygen and opportunities to flourish, so the quiet pressure on academic improvement is not as noticeable as it might be.”
The Good Schools Guide 2021
The grounds offer space for boys to be boys, and to have the freedom to express themselves. It creates a balance of wellbeing and academic rigour, and it is often used to enhance the learning experience. For example, our extensive orchards and vegetable patches are not only an exciting place to explore and learn, but they are also used to collect apples and produce for food tech lessons where they are transformed into delicious apple crumble, fruit salads and pasta sauces.
The River Mole provides not only a calming influence, but also science and forest school classrooms. The boys enjoy river walks in the summer along with kayaking and fishing. They are encouraged to take calculated risks and push their personal boundaries in order to boost their confidence and perseverance.
“The nearest thing to Swallows and Amazons within throwing distance of the M25, Parkside has a generosity of spirit and an enjoyment of all that can be done which is uplifting.”
The Good Schools Guide 2021
The grounds also house four sports pitches which are primarily used for football, rugby and cricket, alongside our cricket nets and tennis courts. There are outdoor climbing and play areas, with separate and dedicated areas for Nursery, Pre Prep and Prep to enjoy. The gym also provides equipment for gymnastics, softball and indoor basketball courts, as well as a stage where some performances are held.
Our 22m indoor swimming pool offers swimming lessons to all pupils from Nursery to Year 8 with specialist swim teachers who instruct pupils on perfecting this key life skill. Waterpolo is extremely popular with the boys and is taught as part of the sport curriculum. Swimming galas and competitions are also hosted in our pool, allowing healthy competition against other local schools.
Indoors, the Manor is home to the newly refurbished Pre Prep classrooms, Pre Prep Library, Office and Support Staff, as well as the magnificent Salon, where assemblies take place and achievements are celebrated. A new addition to the Manor in 2022 was the new CHQ (Computing Headquarters), where the displays of old vs new is there for all to see in a high tech environment perfect for computing. All pupils are served their lunch in the Servery, and they enjoy eating this whilst chatting amongst their friends and teachers. When the weather is fine, Parkside pupils love nothing more than grabbing a BBQ and sitting on the grass and walled area outside the Italianesque Loggia, overlooking the River Mole.
The Crescent Building is sympathetically designed to provide all Prep School classrooms and a courtyard which provides access to the extensive Prep Library. Separate to the Crescent Building, is the Performance Hall and Music Rooms, where classical instruments are practised alongside musical creations using state of the art music technology. The Performance Hall is where Pre Prep and Nursery assemblies take place and is a smaller space for presentations. Drama is also taught in the Performance Hall, where productions such as Aladdin Jr were performed and productions such as Les Misérables were rehearsed. Upstairs, are the impressive food tech kitchens (kindly donated by the Parents of Parkside), where culinary delights can often be smelt before they are tasted! Alongside the kitchens are the impressive and newly enhanced separate Science Labs where dissections, metal conductions and explosions are discovered during chemistry, physics and biology lessons.
Nursery children revel in their own space within the ground floor of the ‘Barn’. This contains 4 separate classrooms, digital learning area, kitchens and offices. Nursery children also enjoy their own dedicated library as well as a fantastic Music Room fully equipped with tambourines and drums, triangles, xylophones and bells. Outside, there are 2 larger secure outdoor playgrounds for our Nursery children to enjoy play equipment. The Parent Toddler Group also have their own dedicated space in a separate building with 2 classrooms on the other side of the outdoor play area.
Upstairs in the Barn, the sounds of drills and hammers can be heard in the D&T Workshop. This has four fully functioning work benches where boys are encouraged to independently utilise electrical tools in order to build and create their own designs. The state-of-the-art STEM-IT room hosts a suite of technology including three 3D print machines where coding and technology is taught alongside the basics.
Please note that we are a dog free site, so please do not bring your dogs into School.
Parkside School has many policies which are regularly reviewed and updated by the Executive & Senior Leadership Team and Staff, in partnership with the Board of Governors. These are arranged alphabetically for ease.
Please let us know if you are unable to find what you are looking for or if you would like a hard copy of any of these polices by e-mailing email@example.com.
visit us in order to get a true feel of our School. There is nothing better than being able to ask your questions directly to staff and to meet the Parkside boys in person.At Parkside, we understand the importance of choosing the right school for your child. Therefore, we recommend that you come and