Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Rokeby Preparatory School

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Jason Peck

+44 20 8942 2247

Charles D. Olive, M.A.

Preparatory school

DfE number


Rokeby Preparatory School

Smart, Skilful and Kind (until 2008 "Aemulus studiorum et laborum")

George Road Kingston upon Thames Greater London KT2 7PB England

Kingston upon Thames KT2 7PB, UK

Surbiton High School, Wimbledon High School, King's College School, Kingston Grammar School, Shrewsb House School

Rokeby School is an independent all male preparatory day school in Kingston upon Thames, London. Its headmaster is Jason Peck. The school offers an education from 4 to 13 years through the integration of a pre-preparatory school and a preparatory school. The pre-prep school was known as Junior Rokeby until 2008 when headmaster Jason Peck unified the schools under one name and uniform, at the same time abolishing the senior school's traditional Latin motto ("Aemulus studiorum et laborum", from Cicero meaning "the rival of pursuits and labours") in favour of a three word English one.


Wimbledon (1877–1966)

The school was founded in Wimbledon on 18 September 1877 originally at "Helmsley" (no. 47, Woodhayes Road) by Charles Olive, an Oxford graduate. The Helmsley site is just across the road from the current location of KCS, Wimbledon, which at the time of Rokeby's founding had yet to move from its central London campus. In the first term, however, not a single pupil appeared. In the second term the first boy enrolled (Charles J. Saunders), who later won a scholarship to Merchant Taylors' and continued onto St John's, Oxford. By the end of the first year there were 15 boys attending the school. A year later numbers had increased sufficiently to warrant a larger premises, so the school was moved to another house known as "Rokeby" (at no. 17, The Downs) in 1879 – a site now occupied by Hall School Wimbledon.

When the Association of Preparatory Schools was founded in 1892 (a precursor to the current IAPS), Rokeby was one of the first members.

Kingston (1966–present)

In 1965 the then owner of the school stated his intent to close it, and a group of parents decided that it should be rescued. Rokeby Educational Trust Limited, a charity, was set up in 1966 to establish a successor school on its current site in George Road Kingston. The George Road building (formerly known as "Coombe Croft") was one of a number of houses on George Road that had been owned by the Galsworthy family (whose members included John Galsworthy, author of The Forsyte Saga). Although by this date it was no longer residential, the buildings were still largely laid out as a country house. Over the years, significant investments have been made. First, there was major conversion work in the main house, then the building of the hall and science block, and a kitchen. The 1990s saw the rebuilding of the pre-prep accommodation, followed by the art wing and improved music facilities at the beginning of this decade. There has also been a significant refurbishment of the library, dining room and office accommodation, and a major investment in enhancing IT capabilities in recent years. The new Lower School Building comprising 6 classrooms, a performing arts hall and outdoor play space for the junior boys was officially opened by HRH Princess Alexandra on 16 October 2013.

For many years, the school made use of external sports facilities that were hired from year to year. After nearly 10 years of searching, the school bought its own sports fields in Worcester Park in 2003, some 10 minutes from the school, where a new pavilion was built. The motto of the school is "Smart, Skilful and Kind", which was coined by headmaster Jason Peck when he took over in 2007. Peck had been deputy headmaster to Michael Siegel, who authored a textbook, Latin: A Fresh Approach. There are four houses to which students belong: Bazelgette, Galsworthy, Moody and Olive.

A book by Peter Wicker, headmaster 1968–85, charting the history of the school's first 125 years (1877–2002), was published in late 2009: Rokeby: the first 125 years.


The uniform of Junior Rokeby (itself started in 1970), until the unification of the junior and senior schools, was a grey pair of shorts above the knees, a grey woollen blazer with the Junior Rokeby wheel crest and a red and black schoolboy cap. A white, short-sleeved shirt with a red and black striped tie was worn. The senior school wore grey trousers with a grey woollen blazer, distinguishable from the Junior Rokeby blazer by its red and black piping on the lapels. The tie carries grey, black and red stripes. In 2009, Headmaster Jason Peck revamped the uniform by replacing the black in the official school colours with blue in an attempt to bring the school more in line with his views on progressive education. He also scrapped the separate junior school uniform.

School song

To mark the occasion of the Rokeby Centenary, in 1977, Ian Gregory (who taught Latin at the time) composed a Rokeby School song, based loosely on the Carmen Saeculare of Horace, and put to music by Paul Sherrell, then Head of Music. A version of the song follows first in Latin and then in English:

Recent leavers' destinations

Year 8 Boys' destination schools between 2004-2014:

  • KCS, Wimbledon, 105
  • St Paul's, 84
  • Epsom College, 58
  • Charterhouse, 40
  • Hampton, 20
  • Eton, 17
  • Wellington College, 14
  • Harrow, 12
  • St John's, Leatherhead, 11
  • Marlborough, 9
  • Reed's, 9
  • Tonbridge, 6
  • Stowe, 5
  • Westminster, 4
  • Fees

    School fees per term for the 2016/2017 Academic Year are as follows:

  • Reception - Year 2: £4,298 (£12,894 per annum)
  • Years 3 and 4: £5,032 (£15,096 per annum)
  • Years 5-8: £5,352 (£16,056 per annum)
  • Headmasters of Rokeby

  • Charles Daniel Olive, M.A. (Oxon.), founder and first headmaster (1877–1909)
  • Gabriel F. Olive, M.A. & Geoffrey R. Batterbury, M.A. (1909–39)
  • John Aldrich Olive, M.A. (1939–1941, 1945–1953) & H.V. Fisher (1943–66)
  • C.P. Kingdon (1966–68)
  • Peter F. S. Wicker (1968–85)
  • Roy M. Moody, Cantab. (1985–99) – former housemaster of Holman House, Epsom College
  • Michael K. Seigel, Oxon. (1999–2007) – former head of classics, Colet Court (1976–1987) and author of Latin: A fresh approach
  • Jason R. Peck (2007–present)
  • Governors of Rokeby

  • Prof. Kenneth V. Jones, British composer and a former governor of the school
  • Parents of Rokeby boys

  • Victor Zorza's son, Richard, attended Rokeby from where gained a scholarship to St Paul's School, London in 1963.
  • Jimmy Tarbuck's son, James, attended Rokeby.
  • Dr. Axel Munthe
  • George Coulouris
  • Sir Charles Alfred Elliott
  • Alfred Perceval Graves
  • Frederick Treves (actor)
  • Suzanne Cox
  • Baron True
  • Military

  • Ian Willoughby Bazalgette, posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery in World War II; great-grandson of Sir Joseph Bazalgette
  • Malcolm Munthe, British soldier, writer and curator; son of Dr Axel Munthe
  • Colonel George Digby Thompson, MC, TD, CBE
  • Mark Urban, military historian and BBC military correspondent
  • Science and Academia

  • Prof. George Coulouris, computer scientist; son of actor George Coulouris
  • Prof. Ben Pimlott, British historian and political biographer
  • Law

  • Sir Nigel George Davidson, CBE (1873–1961), Judge of the High Court, Sudan; also Deputy Chairman of Governing Body of Charterhouse School
  • Politics/Government

  • George Bridges, Baron Bridges of Headley, MBE, former head of Quiller Consultants (an influential Conservative Party lobbying firm); grandson of Edward Ettingdene Bridges, 1st Baron Bridges, and great-grandson of Robert Bridges
  • Sir Victor Goodhew, British politician
  • Sir Henry Monck-Mason Moore, GCMG Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief, Ceylon (1948–49)
  • Madron Seligman, Member of the European Parliament (Conservative)
  • Education

  • Sir Claude Aurelius Elliott, Headmaster of Eton College, 1933–1949; only child of Sir Charles Alfred Elliott, Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal
  • Herbert Lionel Rogers, (1871-1950), Headmaster of King's College School, Wimbledon, 1910–1934 and author of Roman home life and religion; a reader (Oxford, The Clarendon Press, 1923) amongst other books.
  • Tim Gardam, Principal of St Anne's College, Oxford, 2004–2016
  • Literature

  • Robert Graves, novelist and poet; son of Alfred Perceval Graves, Anglo-Irish poet, songwriter and school inspector (HMI); grandson of Bishop Charles Graves
  • Nick Taussig, novelist and film producer
  • Peter Khoroche, author
  • Theology

  • Dr. Richard S. Kirby, British theologian, chaplain, author and philosopher of science
  • The Reverend Canon Dr Gavin Ashenden, theologian, author, broadcaster and columnist. Former Chaplain to HM The Queen
  • Performing arts/media

  • Richard Briers, English television actor
  • Patrick Marber, English comedian, playwright,director, puppeteer, actor and screenwriter
  • James Marriott (author), film critic and writer
  • Oliver Reed (né Robert Oliver Reed), actor; grandson of actor and stage manager Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree
  • Simon Treves, English actor, director and writer; son of Frederick Treves (actor) and great-great nephew of Sir Frederick Treves, surgeon to King Edward VII
  • Stuart Urban, film/television director
  • Alex Bilmes, journalist
  • Art

  • Robert Hugh Buxton, English painter and illustrator
  • Music

  • Inglis Gundry, English composer, novelist, musicologist, music pedagogue and writer
  • Sport

  • Shiggy Konno, OBE, Chairman of the Japan Rugby Football Union (1972–94)
  • Dominic Shabbo, London Welsh rugby union player
  • Harry Glover, England sevens rugby player
  • Medicine

  • Prof. Digby Tantam, British psychiatrist and professor of psychotherapy
  • Archaeology

  • Sir Max Mallowan (1904–78), archaeologist and husband of Dame Agatha Christie. He said of Rokeby in his memoirs, "I do not think that I received a better education anywhere and spent at least two years marking time at my public school thereafter."
  • City of London

  • Geoffrey Mark Powell, Master of Haberdashers' Company
  • Sir Harry Twyford, Lord Mayor of London (1937–38)
  • References

    Rokeby Preparatory School Wikipedia

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