The history of Beechwood Park is a long one; the buildings are part of a rich and varied history that involves Henry VIII, Edward VI,, and King Charles I and II (Sir Edward Sebright was a standard-bearer for Charles I in the English Civil War). Archaeologists digging at the site of the new Woodlands Nursery discovered what is believed to be the entrance to an Iron Age enclosure, further extending the history of Beechwood Park.
Beechwood Park School opened on October 8th 1964. The school was formed from the combination of Shirley House in Watford and Heath Brow School in Hemel Hempstead. Originally an all-boys boarding school, Beechwood Park first admitted girls in September 1993. Over the years the Junior and Middle Departments have been added and in 2005 Beechwood extended its provision to include children of nursery age by acquiring the Nursery at Little Cheverells, before moving the Nursery onsite in 2015 with the opening of Woodlands
We provide an educational space for children to excel, and our child-centred academic focus encourages children to be ambitious, reflective and self-driven. This approach instils pupil confidence and independence from a very young age. Pupils engage with teachers using increasingly sophisticated dialogue, working independently and collaboratively to progress their own learning and that of others Across a wide breadth of subjects, pupils learn to take ownership of their learning in preparation for a future life of learning at senior schools and beyond. In this environment, pupils achieve highly because we trust them, empower them and give them autonomy; they engage inspiringly because they want to. The introduction of subject specialists as early as possible inspires a genuine love of learning, and our move to senior school style teaching through Years 4, 5 and 6 provides opportunities for academic and pastoral progress significantly ahead of the national average.
The provision of excellent pastoral care is at the heart of Beechwood life and there is a genuine commitment to care for the whole community; the happiness of each child is central to this. Just as you do, we want your child to achieve their very best at Beechwood, but – more importantly – we want every pupil in our care to be happy. To this end, the School has an exceptionally strong pastoral vision and a whole-school ethos geared towards wellbeing, promoting a positive and holistic approach to robust mental health.
Clubs are introduced gradually in the Junior Department, and when pupils reach the Middle and Senior Department they are able to sign up for both lunchtime and after school clubs. It is our aim to introduce children to a wide range of possibilities – both indoors and outdoors – making the best use of our extensive facilities to enable children to develop key skills and abilities that reach far beyond the National Curriculum. From swim training in the pool to Lego Engineering in the DT Suite, Cheerleading in the Sports Hall to Music Tech in Mac Suite, we are pretty sure we have most bases covered! Passionate staff members enjoy sharing their own interests with pupils, and we also use specialist instructors for certain sports, like Fencing, as well as our ever popular LAMDA Speech and Drama option.
The Department provides the very best sporting provision for a wide range of abilities and enthusiasms. We coach and mentor our top athletes, helping them to achieve sports scholarships and district, county and national accolades, whilst providing the opportunity for sporting enthusiasts to find and develop their sporting talents. We teach swimming throughout the year in our indoor pool complex. Core sports include football, rugby, hockey, netball, swimming, athletics and cricket.
The School also offers an extensive range of activities in addition to our standard sports through our Sport for All programme and After-School Activities. This programme currently includes martial arts, orienteering, tennis, sailing, badminton, fencing, swimming and table tennis,
Beechwood is not a “full” boarding school, but instead boarding at Beechwood offers flexible boarding up to four nights a week, with most boarders staying with us three nights each week By the time our Top Formers leave us, most will have had some boarding experience. We usually have around 60 boarders with us on any given night during the term, from Year 5 to Top Form The boarding house is a “home from home” and most of our boarders live nearby but choose to board for the transformative experience it offers them as they mature. It doesn’t matter how many nights a boarder chooses to spend with us during the week – their bed is their own, and is “booked” by the term All staff involved, help to create this homely environment, by leading and participating in after school life, including but not restricted to helping pupils with prep, supervising their music practice and sitting with them during reading time before bed.