2012 was not only the year that Weymouth hosted the Sailing Olympics and
Paralympics; it was also the year that Thornlow Preparatory School
celebrated it’s CENTENARY year.
The school remains to this day an “efficient school” and is recognised by the Independent
Schools Inspectorate as a school where “teaching
is excellent and pupils are actively engaged and intellectually challenged”
For the past 100 years Thornlow School has been educating the daughters and sons of the
local business community from age 3 to 13; the majority of its pupils go on to
study at The Thomas Hardye School, Dorchester.
The school’s curriculum is vast and stretches pupils to reach their full
academic potential. The school also has sailing on their curriculum providing an opportunity to progress pupil’s
teamwork and leadership capabilities.
Thornlow’s Nursery classes are packed with fun activities and creativity for 3-5
year olds and FREE “Discovery Mornings” allow you to come along and experience
what’s on offer! Should you decide to enrol, Thornlow’s “Early Years” Nursery classes are only £7 per session for
funded children and children are now eligible for a maximum of 15 hours free
entitlement from the term after which they are 3, including the term in which
they have their fifth birthday.
Year 7 and 8 are, in many ways, the most critical in a young person’s life and
we would like to invite anyone who may be interested in joining Thornlow for
their Year 7 and 8 to come and spend some time with us, at a time that suits them.
Thornlow welcomes pupils to join them at any stage during their primary education
(Nursery to Year 8) and it is for this reason that Thornlow also offers a week
FREE OF CHARGE to any pupil wishing to experience the uniqueness of the school.
Believed to be the oldest school in Weymouth, still on its original site, the history of
the school is fascinating. The precise year in which the building on Connaught Road in Weymouth, currently known as
Thornlow Preparatory School, was built has not been definitely ascertained. However, In 1885 John Morgan founded Connaught House School,
a private boarding school for boys. Coincidentally in 1885, 14 miles away in
Bridport, a new school – “Bridport High School for Girls” opened in a building
that in 1889 changed its name to “Thorneloe House”. Records show that in 1912, under the
leadership of Miss Bussell, the entire establishment upped sticks and moved to
Connaught Road in Weymouth. Miss Bussell remained headmistress until 1925 when Miss Annie James became her successor and
continued to build the reputation of this successful and prestigious school.
Sadly, on the outbreak of war in 1940, Thorneloe School closed and the building
in Connaught Road was requisitioned by the army. Thornlow School was reopened in 1947 as a
boys boarding school by Major Bartlett.
William and Alice Crocker took over the reins in 1951, and it was under their leadership
that the school became co-educational.
The Crocker family were to own Weymouth’s only independent school for a
total of 48 years.
In 1955, Sandsfoot House was purchased and Thornlow Senior School was opened. The Junior School in Connaught Road continued
with the appointment of Mr Berry as headmaster.
Following the sudden death of his father in 1969 Donald Crocker took on
the headship of Thornlow Senior School.
His wife Jocelyn became the headmistress of Thornlow Junior School in
Connaught Road, following the retirement of Mr Berry in 1972.
On December 17th 1997 Rupert Fowke became the proprietor and Head teacher of the school
which 100 years before had been named Thorneloe High School. He renamed the school, Thornlow Preparatory
Thornlow Preparatory School would like to take this opportunity to invite anyone who has
had association with the school - as a pupil, parent, grandparent or member of
staff, to get in touch, allowing them to keep you in touch with their centenary
celebrations, including information on their Former Pupils BBQ on 5th
October 2012 and their Centenary Ball to be held on October 6th
The school delivers a unique and colourful curriculum preparing children for
life’s horizons and Thornlow would love to welcome you to become part of its
Should you require any further information, including on Thornlow’s Centenary, then
please call 01305 785703, visit our website on www.thornlow.co.uk or e-mail
, we would love to
hear from you!
Acknowledgments: Our thanks to John Crocker, for his
permission in using research material taken from his book ‘Oh to be at
Uploaded by Mrs L Clarke, September 2011 & Updated March 2013