Orley Farm School

Orley Farm School is one of the largest coeducational preparatory day school in the London borough of Harrow, at the foot of Harrow Hill on South Hill Avenue. It was founded as the preparatory school for the nearby Harrow School in 1850 but is now a fully independent school in its own right and leavers continue to other independent schools. The school grounds cover over 39 acres (160,000 m2).

Orley Farm School
South Hill Avenue


Coordinates51°33′45″N 0°20′37″W / 51.56255°N 0.34368°W / 51.56255; -0.34368Coordinates: 51°33′45″N 0°20′37″W / 51.56255°N 0.34368°W / 51.56255; -0.34368
TypePreparatory school
MottoHaec Cogitate
(Think on these things)
FounderEdward R Hastings
Local authorityHarrow
Department for Education URN102248 Tables
Chairman of the GovernorsMr C Hayfield
HeadmasterMr Tim Calvey
Age4 to 13


Orley Farm has evolved since September 1850 from a boarding school for boys preparing for Harrow, to a co-educational, day school.

In 1984 the Official Grant of Arms was awarded. The arms and crest have three historical sources: (1) the stag holding an oak leaf is the Trollope family crest; (due to the renaming of the school in 1862 to that of the book of the same name written by Anthony Trollope describing the buildings owned by the family and occupied by the school) (2) crossed arrows and a silver laurel wreath are included on the Harrow arms, and (3) the “Hurst” of oak trees on the shield and sprig of oak in the badge refer to the Gardner family. The motto, Haec cogitate., “think on these things”, comes from St Paul’s letter to the Philippians.

Orley Farm was originally a traditional boarding prep school similar to the likes of Ludgrove and Heatherdown Preparatory Schools. During the 1980s by about 1983, boarding was phased out after over 130 years and the dormitories were converted into classrooms. In 1994, the school administration made the landmark decision of admitting girls for the first time. The pre-prep department had opened by 1992 when boys aged rising 5 were admitted.[1]


Orley farm has a program called the edge program and consists of extracurricular activities such as cooking house skills and looking after the wildlife. This starts from Year 5


Each pupil and staff is randomly assigned to one of the four houses upon entry. The houses are named after former headmasters and activities are overseen by house teachers.[2]

  • Hastings - Housemaster: Mr S Bloom
  • Hopkins - Housemaster: Mr Z McAllister
  • Broadrick - Housemaster: Mrs R Gascoigne
  • Julians - Housemaster: Mr P Ryan

New BuildingsEdit

Butler HallEdit

In July 2015, the first of 4 major building projects came on line after the school invested just under £10 million to upgrade the facilities. The new dining hall overlooking the pool was named after Lord Butler, a former pupil, who joined the school to open the building. It is a multi function space that helps serve over 600 meals but also doubles as a lovely light atrium for reception drinks before school events.

Elliot BlockEdit

In September 2015, the original music school was turned into a building called the Elliot Block. It consists of new facilities supporting Drama and Music and was named after Ian Elliott, a former Headmaster, who valued the wider curriculum, something that has always marked Orley Farm out as an exceptional school that prepares pupils for life rather than simply exams.

Davies LibraryEdit

In September 2015, the Davies Library was reopened having moved it from the old Gardner building and tripling the size. It was opened by Justin Davies, a former Headmaster, who valued the pursuit of academic excellence. Whilst many schools are closing their libraries, Orley Farm has consciously decided to invest in books as well as technology in this stunning new facility.

Gardener BuildingEdit

In February 2016, the new Gardener Building opened with 12 completely refurbished classrooms that join to the Elliott Building via an enclosed bridge. The Mathematics, English, computer science & Science departments are now all housed in this purpose build facility that caters for education in the 21st century.

Former PupilsEdit


  1. ^ About Us - School History
  2. ^ House System
  3. ^ "Me and my school photo: Anthony Horowitz remembers the brutal experiences that sparked his passion for escapism". Daily Mail. 2 December 2011.
  4. ^ Winton, Dale (2003). Dale Winton: My Story. Random House. p. 37. ISBN 9780099443155.

External linksEdit