Orchard House School in Chiswick, part of Dukes Education, is celebrating after winning a top spot in the prestigious Times Educational Supplement Independent School Awards.
Awarding the school the Sport Award, judges praised the “sense of enjoyment” and “participation” in Orchard House’s sports programme – which includes judo, fencing, ultimate frisbee, boot camps, cross-country, modern educational dance, hip-hop, ballroom and Latin dance, yoga, table tennis and table football, alongside all the major sports.
The panel also applauded Orchard House’s success in supporting pupils’ well-being and mental health by integrating sport into their remote learning during this year’s school closures.
While the school has an excellent track record in helping pupils secure sports scholarships at leading senior schools, and the school’s netball team recently finished in the top four at an Independent Association of Prep Schools national tournament, emphasis is on good sportsmanship with qualities such as honesty, respect and achievement prized just as highly as results. Meanwhile, mixed rugby, cricket and rounders teams, along with house and staff competitions, help to ensure sport is inclusive at Orchard House.
Lead judge Richard Walden said: “There is a wonderful sense of enjoyment and participation in sport at Orchard House, with great commitment from all staff, including the head. The PE teachers continued to offer a strong programme during lockdown, which maintained the great contribution to pupils’ good health and wellbeing that the school’s sport always makes.”
Maria Edwards, Headteacher Orchard House School, said: “Sport is an integral part of life at Orchard House. From major competitions, to house tournaments, everyone is encouraged to take part, learn new skills and enjoy the physical, mental and social benefits of sport. I am thrilled that we have been recognised by TES and awarded this top prize.”
See Orchard House’s listing here.