What social media platforms is Pennthorpe active on?

Pennthorpe is active on a number of platforms, including:

  • Facebook – our official Facebook page (@PennthorpeSchool) gives updates of upcoming events and provides the headlines of what we have going on in school.
  • Instagram – our official Instagram page (@PennthorpeSchool) captures images of daily life at Pennthorpe.
  • X (formerly Twitter) – our X feed (@PennthorpeSch) keeps people up-to-date with highlights of what’s going on.
  • YouTube – our YouTube channel (Pennthorpe) contains a bank of videos from the school, organised into topic based playlists.
  • LinkedIn – the Pennthorpe profile on LinkedIn is where we share updates, job opportunities and thought pieces.

How can I ensure I don’t miss out on updates to ‘What’s On’ at Pennthorpe?

As well as following us on social media, you can subscribe to our update service for a weekly roundup of what’s going on.

Current families, and those who have registered an interest in Pennthorpe for the future, will be added to this update service, which means you will receive a weekly email during term time, sent directly to your inbox.

Please submit the form on our contact page to register your interest in Pennthorpe and be added to this update service. Please note, you can unsubscribe from the updates service at any point.

Do all children have to appear in photographs that are made public?

At Pennthorpe we love to take photographs! Society has embraced the culture change of photographing everyday life; we don’t have to travel to exotic places to take great photos. Parents love to take photos of milestones, to capture the most important chapters of family life to ensure they are not forgotten. Whilst you might take a ‘few first day of school’ images, usually parents don’t get to see first-hand the daily routine of life at school. However, school days are just as important as any milestone. We want our parents to be a part of this, and we want our children to be able to look back one day and remember these days. There is always something in each day that is worthy of being captured forever.

Each day we see tons of little things that make our children who they are. We see their Eureka moments, we see their joy at spending time with friends, we see them concentrating hard to master new skills, we see them discovering a love for something they are doing for the first time. Photographs also promote positive learning experiences for our pupils when they are used for reflection; they can absorb how far they’ve come and what they’ve learned along the way. We also note a child’s sense of pride when they see themselves representing the school on our website or in our school prospectus. Often this is a self-fulfilling prophecy; when a child’s photograph is used to represent the school it translates into their everyday behaviours – they become ambassadors of our motto and purpose.

Of course, there are good reasons for some pupils’ images not to be captured and made available to others. We accept the wishes of all our families in this regard, and where parents choose for their child’s image to remain private we honour this.

Can I add Pennthorpe events to my calendar automatically?

Yes! You can do this via our calendar on the website, which will download all items in the school calendar. Alternatively, if you’d like to download just the events that are pertinent to your child’s year group, you can do so via the Parent Portal.

Do children go on residential trips every year?

From the age of 7, our children go on at least one residential trip per academic year. As well as being great fun, these trips foster independence, team work, initiative and leadership skills.

Often a big leap in a child’s development, residential trips away from home are crucial in raising children who are ready to face the world without their parents. When away from home children learn that they are able to get over their fears, that they can take risks and are able to take on more responsibility. They learn what makes them miserable and what makes them happy. They get to know themselves a lot better, which in turn helps them to love and trust themselves.

We start slowly in Year 3, with a single night away from home on the school site. Typically, this is a couple of days of woodland activities, including an evening around a child-built camp fire and a night camping in the classrooms!

In Years 4 and 5 the challenge is extended gradually to 1 or 2 nights away a little further afield but still close to home. Residentials in these years tend to be to locally based outdoor pursuit centres, where the activities themselves push the boundaries of our children’s self-confidence and the accommodation has the comfort blanket of being for exclusive use for Pennthorpe.

In Year 6 the children spend 3 or 4 nights away and we cross the channel to France and Belgium! Our accommodation remains exclusively ours, but being overseas, in a different cultural environment, is a huge step up for the children’s independence and confidence, as well as broadening our children’s horizons and providing exciting new learning opportunities.

In Years 7 and 8 the children spend 4 or 5 nights away from home in accommodation that is shared with other school groups. Sometimes this is overseas, and sometimes further flung parts of the UK, however it is the more challenging activities, and the integration with other children and adults, that really helps the children to grow.

Each year, there are other residential opportunities on offer. We have an annual European ski trip, which is open to all our families and their younger children, or for older children to join independently. We have a biannual trip to Iceland for children in Years 5 – 8 to explore it’s fascinating geology and stunning natural beauty. We are also in the process of launching a schedule of Sports Tours for our children to experience in the senior years.

Is there an annual schedule of Performing Arts events, to help me to know when to expect my child will be involved?

Each term we have various musical extravaganzas that involve pupils who are learning musical instruments, take singing lessons or are in one of our choirs. We also have an annual House Music event, usually in the Spring Term.

In the Autumn Term all of our Pre-Prep children are involved in a Christmas production, which is always a blast for performers and the audience alike! Also in the Autumn Term we will have a theatre production from either our Year 3 and 4 children, or our Year 5 and 6 children, on a rotating basis. The following Spring Term will feature a production from the group which didn’t perform the term before.

In the Summer Term we have two theatre productions; one from Year 7 and one from Year 8. These are both milestone events for the school as we come to the end of another school year, and celebrate the performing arts talents of our eldest pupils in style.

Does the school offer talks to parents on topics of interest?


Every half term we invite parents in for an informal coffee morning with Mrs Bolton and a member of the leadership team to talk about anything and everything. Topics are led by parents and cover all sorts, from parking to parental communications. You name it, we’re happy to chat about it!

We also run more formal talks, when our specialist staff members will offer advice and tips, lead discussion and answer questions, on their area of expertise. For example, our Head of Pre-Prep will take parents through our Read Write Inc approach for learning to read and write, Head of Digital Learning will give insight into digital safety for our young people on-line and our Wellbeing Guardian will hold sessions on wellbeing in our children,

If there are topics of interest that you’d like the staff team to cover, please do let us know at enquiries@pennthorpe.com.

Does the school host visiting speakers?


We frequently invite visiting speakers to talk to our pupils and our parents, depending upon the topic.

In recent months we have had a whole host of visitors, which include regular visits from Senior School Heads including Hurstpierpoint, Brighton, Seaford, Lancing, Shoreham, Bede’s and more!

We welcome experts in fields of interest, who have recently included:

  • Speech and Language expert Lorna Meech
  • Holroyd Howe’s nutritional specialists
  • Leon McCarron – adventurer and motivational speaker
  • Slam poet Harry Baker
  • Netballer Sam Houghton
  • Hysterical Historian Dr Digby Rocks
  • Author Sophy Henn
  • The team from Wonderdome with their mobile planetarium
  • James Shone – motivational speaker
  • Pennthorpe alumni Annabelle Esslemont-Edwards
  • Guy Claxton – cognitive scientist
  • Integrative psychotherapist Caroline Southerden.

If there are speakers that you’d like to see, or if you yourself would like to offer your services, please get in touch at enquiries@pennthorpe.com.

Are there social events for families to get involved in?

Our Friends of Pennthorpe (FoP) is a social and fundraising organisation run by our parents. The team plan loads of fun activities for our school community, which parents, children and staff get involved with.

Events range from summer parties to Christmas Fayres, a Mothers’ Day shop to a family circus, Black-tie balls to barn dances, and our hugely popular annual quiz night – when parents get to take on the teachers!

Does Pennthorpe raise money for charity?

Pennthorpe supports a wide range of local, national and international charities. The organisation of our charity days and events is run by an enthusiastic and committed Charity Committee, made up of children in Years 6, 7 and 8. Each academic year the Committee chooses a whole school charity to support, which have included Our Maxwell, Cardiac Risk in the Young, the Meningitis Research Foundation and Baynards Zambia Trust.

We also enjoy taking part in countrywide events such as the Captain Tom 100 Challenge, the Royal British Legion’s Remembrance, Age UK’s Postcards of Kindness, Comic Relief and Children in Need.

At least twice a term we host a Bags of Support collection, organised by a local charity who recycle unwanted clothes, shoes and handbags by donating them to communities around the world.

Find out more here and if you’re keen for Pennthorpe to support your chosen charity, please get in touch at enquiries@pennthorpe.com.