Cottesmore School


Tatler Schools Guide - Cottesmore Recent Reviews

Tatler Schools Guide  - Cottesmore RECENT ReviewS

According to parents, ‘Cottesmore is a magical little corner of the world’, where ‘children are allowed to scamper around and have fun’. Head Tom Rogerson is ‘friendly and high-spirited’, and his musical influence is ubiquitous (more than 90 per cent of students learn an instrument). Four new classrooms have been unveiled, and £200,000 invested in a girls’ cricket pitch. The Croft – where pupils enjoy agriculture sessions – is thriving (as are its Japanese quails, chickens, pigs and rescue ducks). Cottesmore recently hosts a Quidditch tournament for local schools; ski trips are back on; and the archaeology club is popular. Last year’s leavers won scholarships to Charterhouse, Benenden and Harrow.



'Charismatic Head Tom Rogerson used to be in a band with Lewis Capaldi’s songwriting partner, and so, it’s no surprise that he’s now in several rock bands with pupils, more than 90 per cent of whom take music lessons. Students with other interests needn’t fear: they can get stuck into animal care (which involves tending to atlas moths and corn snakes) and game-making code club, or can frolic in the newly built Cottesmore Croft. The student-led Kindness Council has a ‘lone diner’ policy, where any child sitting alone to eat is joined. This focus on friendship and camaraderie sets students in good stead when they head off to senior schools, including Eton, Harrow and Oundle.



'Cottesmore is a magical school. There is a remarkable alchemy of tradition, support, freedom, energy and challenge' says one parent. Pupils are bright and 'adept at throwing themselves into their passions, giving everything a go and helping others on the way'. Animals rule the roost with dogs in almost every classroom and a corn snake, bearded dragon, Atlas months and the obligatory guinea pigs taking centre stage at Animal Care club. 'Hands-on' Head Tom Rogerson can be seen rocking out with pupils who've joined his band - the question on everyone's lips is, 'Will they be performing at the 125th Anniversary Ball?'



“Parents feel incredibly lucky to watch their children flourish at Cottesmore, which, with five applicants per place, is booming and has just won a rather dizzying array of awards. Despite being academically selective, with most boys heading to Winchester, Eton and Harrow and girls to the likes of Marlborough and Wellington, there is an undeniably cosy family feel to the school, whose main building is a magical, sprawling, 19th-century house with roaring fires, dogs, landscaped grounds and even a rowing lake. Every Cottesmorian boards full-time and the atmosphere is brilliant – pupils genuinely love their Head Tom Rogerson: ‘He makes sure you are happy on a day-to-day basis’. The facilities are outstanding, well-being is taken extremely seriously and the extra-curriculars on offer are dazzling.”

                                                                                 TATLER SCHOOLS GUIDE 2020


The ethos at Cottesmore, a charming Edwardian jumble of chimneys and red brick designed by architect and Royal Academician Sir Ernest George, is small and family-oriented. Around 80 per cent full board with exeats every two or two-and-a-half weeks; others stay up to three nights a week. Our reporter was particularly impressed by the creativity on show in the art and DT classrooms, but pupils’ achievements are spread across a vast range of activities. This is reflected in the facilities on offer: alongside the requisite playing fields, woods and boating lake, pupils have access to a bowling alley, shooting range and 36 holes of golf. Last time we visited, the football 1st XI, U11 netball team and U9 rugby boys had all celebrated unbeaten seasons. Is there anything they can’t do?



“Cottesmore is first and foremost a family school, so Tom and Lottie Rogerson’s new baby, Bear, will have 150 keen babysitters – big brother Wilf is already in the school’s nursery, and spaniels Buchan and Lolly oversee proceedings. This is a proper full-boarding prep (no day, flexi or weekly), small enough to give children abe spoke education and the academic wings to fly on to Benenden, Downe House, Marlborough et al. Our mole was wowed by the ‘wonderfully imaginative creations’ in the art and DT classrooms. Mr R is IT-savvy and has invested in iPads and Chromebooks, but the clear message is ‘we’d rather go fishing’. On the pitches, the first football XI, U11 netball and hockey girls and U9 rugby boys all celebrated unbeaten seasons. A mother praises the collective sense of humour – anyone for a whole-school water-pistol fight?”



We challenge you to find a more fabulously old-fashioned country prep. Generations of Cottesmorians have pelted along these panelled halls en route to Eton, Harrow and Winchester. Tom Rogerson, a charming Old Etonian, is a third generation head who cherishes his lovely small co-ed like an extended family, along with his wife Lottie and their ever-present spaniel, Buchan. And the full boarding is 'so thoughtfully and carefully done that children settle in easily', a London mother tells us. Personal devices are strictly verboten, even if iPads, Chromebooks and Raspberry Pi now proliferate in classrooms. Real-life fun abounds, the latest frolics being human table football, trampolining and treasure-hunts. A good fit for a sociable, vigorous sort with what the school winningly calls 'a skip to their step and a twinkle in their eye'.