Prep School

The Prep School is housed in the main mansion where the former reception rooms and bedrooms of the ‘old house’ have been converted to classrooms or dormitories.

Children join the Prep School in Year 3 and progress through the school in year groups. Teaching in Year 3 is largely form-based, with setting first being introduced in Year 4. The scope of the setting is increased in the later years.

The majority of the children leave at 13+ and the school has a very good record in preparing children for their Common Entrance and Scholarship exams, as well as the Cranbrook assessment.

The curriculum is broad, balanced and demanding. As an independent school, we are not bound slavishly to the National Curriculum but aim for the high standards set out in the syllabi published by the Independent Schools Examination Board. An overview of the curriculum is provided in the annual Courses Guide.We look forward to welcoming you to our school.

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Prep School Information

The School Day

The day begins at 8:30am, with a Form Tutor period. Children have the opportunity to prepare for the day ahead, while Tutors can give out notices and lend helping hands. On Mondays and Fridays, an extended tutor period continues until the first lesson begins at 8:50 am. On Tuesdays there are assemblies and on Wednesdays and Thursdays, Chapel services.

Morning lessons run from 8:50am until 1:05 pm, with a break and an opportunity for a snack, drink, and some fresh air between 10:45 and 11:05 am. ‘Big Break’ encompasses lunch and extra-curricular activities.. Academic, sports, drama and music activities rotate, depending on the day of the week.

Afternoon lessons on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays run from 4pm to 5:15 pm while, on Wednesday afternoons, the Senior teams’ sports matches take place and the Junior years take part in their clubs. The day finishes at 5:15 pm, unless children choose to stay for Prep, in which case they stay until 6pm. Year 3 may leave at either 4.45pm or at 5.15pm after additional form time for quiet reading.

School Times
 – Children arrive
 – Pick up
 – Pick up for those in Years 5-8 who have stayed for Prep


A boarding evening. What happens?

The evening starts at 6.15pm with Boarders’ Supper, when the pupils are provided with a hearty meal after an exhausting school day. The boarders have helped design the menus so there is not much food left at the end!

After this, the pupils have free time, with lots of different activities on offer, depending on the time of year. Whenever possible, the children are sent out to play (this has been known to happen in the dark and snow as well!). They can play their own games or use the tennis courts or swimming pool. In the winter, we have the use of the Sports Hall, main house or the Great Space, depending on whether we are playing Wave, Dodge Ball, Spotlight, flipping pancakes or playing Sardines! We have a kitchen in The Snug, where the children can make and bake delicious treats for everyone. The boarding staff are on hand to supervise the activities and often join in themselves. On occasions, we take the boarders out to watch local pantomimes and plays.

At 8pm, all pupils go upstairs. After registration, they shower, change into their PJs, put their underwear in the laundry bag for washing and come into The Snug. The snack is served when everyone is ready. Sometimes a quick game of Bingo or National Lottery is played at this time. The children then relax and enjoy watching TV or using the games room. The bedtime routine starts at 8:30pm for Year 4 and Year 5, with lights out at 8:45pm. Year 6 and Year 7 go in at 8:50pm and Year 8 at 9pm. There is a boarding assistant outside all the dorms after lights out.

The morning routine starts with a wake-up call at 7:15am. Children rise and tidy their bed and the dorm area, clean their teeth and get ready for the day. Once downstairs, there is a delicious full English breakfast to be enjoyed, including croissants, cereals, juices and tea. The children leave for their Form rooms at 8:25am.

Where do we sleep?

All the dormitories are located at the top of the school. Each has its own unique name and character - Crystal Palace, Buckingham Palace, The Mall, Rookery, Ally Pally, Tower and the Savoy. Pupils are placed in a dormitory with children of a similar age where possible.

Each pupil is given a box in which they keep their personal belongings and a hook for their dressing gown. In addition to this, each bed has a small shelf for items such as reading books and watches. They are also allowed to personalise their dormitory space with posters and photographs.

In addition to the dormitories we have The Snug which is where the pupils are able to relax, have some snacks, watch television or play board games before heading off to bed. We also have a games room with a computer, Nintendo Switch, Foosball and a pool table.

What do the boarders need to bring?

Please bring the following named items:

Duvet cover and pillow case
1 Dressing gown
1 Pair of slippers
1 Pyjamas / nightdress
1 Flannel
1 Toothbrush and toothpaste
1 Hairbrush and hairbands to tie hair back
1 Pair of underwear and socks/tights
Cuddly toys, comforters , pictures from home etc

Your questions answered by our boarders

Can I contact home?
“Yes we just ask Mr Yeabsley or M’Julie and they lend us the school phone. Our parents can also call us on the boarding telephone” Wilf W - Year 8

What happens if I feel ill during the night or have medicine to take?
“When we feel ill we just go and see M’Julie and she looks after us. If it is in the middle of the night we can just knock on her door. M’Julie also hands out medicine to the boarders “if they need them”.“ Evie S - Year 6

Will there be a fire practice?
“Yes each term we have a practice,Mr Yeabsley does it as a surprise, normally in the morning when we are still asleep!” Allegra W - Year 7

What if I am worried or have a problem?
“I just go and see Mr Yeabsley or M’Julie and they help me out. There are lots of other staff as well and the older children are helpful too” Jaxson M - Year 4

Is there lots of food?
Yes—we have great food in the evening and we get to choose what we eat. M’Julie always has a snack for us before we go to bed as well” Amelie G - Year 6

Boarding Inspection

The boarding provision is regularly inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate. The most recent inspection took place in October 2013, where the quality of boarding was judged to be ‘excellent’.


We love our Chapel and take joy in our services, which are held on Wednesday and Thursday mornings every week. We also meet for two or three Friday Evensongs.

The Chapel is one of the only vestiges left of the original building in Worthing. It was dismantled there and reassembled – brick by brick – where it stands today. In 2014, Old Ronians paid for the Chapel Corridor to be redesigned and created a memorial garden to Old Ronians who were killed in the two World Wars.

With the exception of the Carol Service, which takes place at Benenden Church, virtually all our other services are held in the school’s Chapel.

Music plays a prominent part in the life of the Chapel. We love to sing together, have an exceptional Chapel Choir and enjoy the beauty of hearing the children singing solos or playing instrumental pieces. The children in Year 8 all read in Chapel at least once during the academic year.

Chapel is, and will remain, a much-loved and a very special place in the school. It embodies all that is best about our pastoral approach and what really matters in life.

Tongswood House

Saint Ronan’s is set in the 249 acre Tongswood estate. This estate proudly boasts some of the most picturesque Wealden countryside and is, without doubt, a very adventurous place to be young. The centre-piece of the estate is the imposing and impressive Tongswood House, a rambling Victorian mansion which is listed because of its architectural and local historical significance. The Prep School is based in the main mansion, where the former reception rooms and bedrooms of the ‘old house’ have been converted into classrooms or dormitories.

The Pre-Prep and Music departments are housed in the purpose-built Harris Building. Our sports centre, The Founder’s Hall, was opened in 2010 and an Astro added in 2015. The Nursery and Science laboratories are in the elegant Coach House and the former ‘Power House’, historically used for generating electricity, has been converted to provide an extensive centre for Engineering & Design and Art. The 'Power House' was significantly extended in 2020 and the Science Laboratories completely re-vamped in 2021.
The Children’s Farm, sited in the Old Orchard, is much enjoyed, as is the Forest School in Tongswood itself.


There are too many clubs to list here, so we have put them on their own page which can be found here:


Our Prep School curriculum can be found here:

Prep School Staff

All Staff