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School History

Through all it's changes, the old school’s ethos still remains – Non Sibi (Not for Ourselves) still holds true.

Unlike its parent school which has had just two locations in more than 400 years, Blundell’s Preparatory School, despite being less than 100 years old, has existed on three different sites. It began its life on Canal Hill at no. 6 St Aubyn’s Villas, hence its original and long-enduring name of St Aubyn’s School. Harold Stephen-Evans and his wife, opened the School on the 6th May 1929 to 15 boys.

Harold Stephen-Evans remained as Headmaster through the 1930s until 1943, having sent more than 50 boys on to Blundell’s, among them Commander Joe Blake (a son of the original owner of the St Aubyn’s houses), the man who was given the responsibility of restoring the S.S. Great Britain, and John Nelder, the internationally-renowned statistician. The new Headmaster was Percy Tatton-Tatton, a man more at home in the Royal Fusiliers. His stay was not long: by 1947 Desmond Harmar-Smith was listed as the Headmaster, and in that year the school moved to Howden Court, just off the Tiverton-to-Exeter road.

Life was idyllic for the dayboys and 20 boarders in the spacious surroundings of Howden Court. Sports Days saw keen competition between the three houses of Howden, School, and Ashley, and an innovation was introduced in 1952 when the main sport in the Autumn and Spring terms changed from football to rugby. Also at about this time, the music master, Mr. Read, composed the School Hymn ‘Life Is Before Me.’

In 1980 girls were admitted, initially only as day pupils. Just three years later the Hernimans purchased the Redvers House Pre-Prep School, which catered for children from 4 to 8 years of age, and re-opened it at Howden. Girls were taken as boarders from 1987.

In 2000 St Aubyn’s was moved to the Blundell’s campus. Its new home was centred on Milestones, formerly the Blundell’s Hospital and a Day-Boys house, which was enlarged and new buildings erected on Mayfield. In the following year, Brian McDowell was succeeded as Headmaster by Nick Folland, who had taught P.E. and Geography at Blundell’s since 1989.

In 2006, after 77 years, St Aubyn’s Preparatory School was renamed Blundell’s Preparatory School. This year also saw the construction of a Wildlife Area and Pond which added immensely to Science and other lessons as well as Conservation Club. In Autumn 2006 the new refurbished Pre-Prep was opened providing increased space and purpose built classrooms for our three to seven year olds.

Autumn 2008 saw an extension to the Prep Building increasing the building by a third. Dedicated Food Technology, Design Technology, Art and a larger Hall were among some of the major changes.

A change in Head Master came in Autumn 2011 with the arrival of Andy Southgate who moved with his family from South Oxfordshire. Among many new innovations came the emphasis on Outdoor Learning. ‘The Hub’ was constructed in 2013 creating a focal point for lessons outside and a state of the art Dance Studio.

Latest News

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Pupil Profile

Blundell’s pupil awarded scholarship to top American University.

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Why is music important?

Music ignites all areas of child development and skills, including intellectual, social, emotional and motor language. It enhances good concentration and develops listening skills so that the child can achieve academically in all areas of the curriculum.

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When Nature Meets Nurture: Outdoor Learning at Blundell’s Prep

The children cannot wait to put on their Wellington boots to get outside to ‘play’ each week, but what are the benefits of this ‘Forest School fad’?! Is there really any value in climbing trees, lighting fires and creating mud pies?! Where is the learning?!

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Food Technology – the most cross-curricular of all the subjects!

Ask any child at Blundell’s Prep what their favourite lesson is and invariably Food Technology is at the top of the rankings.

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Blundell’s Adventure, Leadership and Service Award (BALSA)

BALSA – is a programme that has been developed here over the years, and is one that continues to evolve, which really challenges our older children to them learn about themselves and discover the beauty in helping others.

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Why is Engineering an important part of the curriculum?

Engineering and understanding new technologies are key parts of modern life and so it follows that they should feature within the curriculum.

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One Day Event

Congratulations to all the equestrian riders that took part in the Blundell’s One Day Event (ODE) this year. The ODE is aimed at South West Schools teams and individuals.

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Tatler Schools Guide

‘Blundell’s is the archetypal all-rounder, and it certainly isn’t lacking in spirit.’ ‘Pupils feel supported and stimulated’

Prep School News