History of the School

The School was founded in 1887 by Rev. William Henry Webb and was originally known as Wykeham Hall, based in Hampshire. In 1918 Wykeham Hall itself was bought by the Fleet Air Arm who used it as part of their Officers’ Mess, and the School moved to the opposite side of the airfield into Seafield Park.

At the end of the war the Admiralty retained Seafield Park for naval use, so when Captain Hope-Lang took over the School in 1946 he moved it up to Lower Beeding in Sussex, changing its name once again to Newells School. In 1968, following a major fire, the School relocated to Handcross Park and merged with Desmoor School. In 1974 the school changed its name once again to its current form and became a charitable trust.

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Despite several moves and name changes, the School has retained its four Houses (Britons, Normans, Saxons and Vikings), the crest and the motto – ‘Be Trewe’ – which continues to be at the heart of the School’s ethos.

Initially the School was a boys’ boarding school but in the early 1970s became a co-educational day school offering weekly and casual boarding. Lord Snowdon celebrated the opening of the magnificent building that bears his name and houses the Science Laboratories, the ICT suite, Sports Hall, Library and classrooms. In 2001 Duncan Goodhew opened the swimming pool with its Scandinavian log chalet exterior, and our sports pavilion was completed in 2011.

The culture is to do with the magic of childhood

The Good Schools Guide

In recent History

  • 2011 was a historic moment for the School, when we became part of the Brighton College Family of Schools. The connection with this wonderful group of schools has seen huge benefits for both the pupils and staff at Handcross Park
  • In 2012 Handcross Park celebrated its 125th anniversary.  The whole school marked the occasion by holding a Victorian Day and street party.  All the children and staff came to school dressed in Victorian outfits and learnt all about the School and education over 100 years ago
  • In 2016, the School proudly opened a brand new all-weather pitch. Team GB Hockey player, Dan Fox, officially opened the fantastic new facility, which is now enjoyed by all children from Nursery to Year 8
  • 2017 saw the opening of the Tomlinson Art & Design Centre. Named after our outgoing Chair of Governors, Mr Lindsay Tomlinson, the Centre features a magnificent gallery to display the children's work, a kiln and wheel for Pottery classes and a fully operational DT Studio, complete with circular saw
  • Our latest project has seen a brand new Dining Hall built. This expansive new space has wonderful views over the School’s extensive grounds and provides a beautiful environment for the children to enjoy their meals

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