About us

Old Buckenham Hall is recognised as one the leading preparatory schools in the UK. We have tremendous academic results with entry to many of the top public schools in the country. Our pastoral provision is outstanding, our boarding houses are beautiful and our facilities incredible. BUT… what really makes us special is the happiness of our children who bound around our magical setting.

With each child having a 1/3 of an acre to play in they can climb the trees, feed the chickens or walk the headmaster’s dog. If preferred, they can take on the challenge of the rope swings, have a round of golf or explore the big woods. The staff to pupil ratio is approximately 1:8 giving an average class size of 14.

All members of staff, including part-time staff, contribute to a wide range of afternoon, evening and weekend extra-curricular activities – where every child has the opportunity to participate. Activities on offer include arts and crafts, tennis, dance, drama, golf, music, climbing, cookery, gymnastics, clay pigeon shooting, fly-fishing and horse riding. Winter sports include hockey, netball, tag rugby & lacrosse for the girls, and hockey, football, lacrosse and rugby for the boys. In the summer girls and boys play cricket and take part in athletics. The school offers excellent tennis facilities with pupils receiving specialist tennis coaching on six tennis courts and a purpose-built, state-of-the-art Astroturf. The school also has a squash court and a 9-hole golf course.

The boarding model is flexible, offering children the opportunity to board anything from one night a week to full boarding on an eleven-day cycle. Children boarding at the weekend enjoy a varied programme of exciting activities such as campfires and wide games by torch light, the ‘Great OBH Bake Off’, ‘Bush Tucker Trials’, a Masquerade Ball and trips out to the coast and other local attractions. The junior boarding house, Spero, gives the youngest boarders at OBH a warm, nurturing boarding environment, whilst being in the care of very experienced and caring staff. 

Children develop a wide range of life skills through the outdoor education programme – the OBEs (Old Buckenham Explorers) for pupils in Years 3–8 and the MBEs (Mini Buckenham Explorers) for pupils in the pre-prep. The construction of two outdoor classrooms has proved to be very innovative and exciting – where children learn to camp, shelter, cook and learn vital survival skills in preparation for Bronze, Silver and Gold expeditions.

OBH was founded in Lowestoft in 1862 and moved in 1937 to Old Buckenham in Norfolk. In 1956, the school moved to its present site in Brettenham Park, Suffolk, which is 4 miles from Lavenham, 11 miles from Bury St Edmunds, 18 miles from Ipswich and an hour and a half by direct train from London. The school became an Educational Trust in 1967. The school prospectus can be obtained on application to the Registrar.

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