A leading day and boarding school for boys and girls aged 4 - 13 yrs set on the idyllic North Norfolk Coast

School Day

Beeston life is very busy and the day relatively long, but it is conducted at a pace suited to the children, with the prevailing mood of energy and effort, not pressure.


The day begins with breakfast at 7.30am for the boarders after which many of them will disappear to complete their morning music practice.


Day children arrive from 8.00am with registration, and this first part of the day is devoted to reading, or catching up on some independent work, or perhaps simply self-organising. There is often time to catch up with a tutor or mentor before lessons start at 8.50am.

The children’s lessons are predominately 55-minute long, with 5 minutes built in as a chance to stretch and get to the next lesson. With regular breaks the children also have plenty of time to play and relax. The children are busy, work hard and play hard, so regular opportunities to meet mentors individually to seek support and reflect on their progress and learning is important.


At 4.30pm day children in Years 3 to 5 may go home, or choose to stay at school to join the boarders for junior activities which finish at 5.45pm. Years 6 to 8 have supervised prep at this time. Supper is provided at 5.45pm for day pupils staying for activities* and for boarders, though some day children head home at this point.


Games take place every day, not necessarily in the afternoon, so that all children have access to the specialist sports coaching. On Wednesdays and Saturdays lessons finish at lunchtime to make way for a full afternoon of games, often fixtures in which as many children as possible participate. Even though a small school we put out as many teams as we can across the age groups.

Also there are nine musical groups which find practice times in this weekly schedule. All year groups receive class music lessons but individual lessons, with specialist peripatetic teachers, are available at an additional cost and are timetabled within the school day.


After supper, both juniors and seniors can take part in one of a myriad of evening activities, which finish in time for parents to collect day children at 7.15pm. This is when Beeston ‘day time’ stops and the school becomes ‘home from home’, with boarders using their own time as they choose. Depending on the time of year, this might be a late swim, or playing Spotlight in our woods, late prep, extra hockey, table football or simply relaxing in one of the four boarders’ common rooms. Children’s bedtimes are staggered depending on age.

The Boarders’ Handbook gives more information about timings.

Our Beeston Weekends are themed and Sundays are designed to offer children a wonderful range of activities, as well as opportunities to have a rest and spend some time relaxing with friends. Year 8 children are allowed to walk into Sheringham to spend their pocket money – they love this privilege!

There are two sittings of lunch: 12 noon for juniors and 1pm for seniors, a family service with teachers or prefects heading up each table, keeping an eye on manners and stimulating conversation. The children also have what is known as Little Tea at 10.30 am, then again 2.30pm (for juniors) and again at 4.30pm. With supper at 5.45pm, and fruit available all day, the children are kept fuelled by our three wonderful cooks!

The all-important ‘birthday table’ is a regular feature of boarders’ supper, with children able to choose guests and menus!

The school day is a busy one and therefore no formal homework is set up until Year 6. Supervised prep for Years 6 to 8 takes place at school between 4.45pm and 5.45pm which allows time for individual study.  We place a lot of emphasis and importance on developing a love of reading and all children are encouraged to read at home.

There are many communal activities which form the fabric of Beeston life.

There is a regular Headmaster assembly as well, as the School Chaplain’s in-school assembly and the weekly church service on Saturday. There are weekly leavers’ lectures* and periodically class assemblies too, so plenty of time set aside for celebrating children’s achievements.

House meets and competitions are a key part of Beeston life, and we also welcome visiting speakers or members of the wider school community to speak about a variety of topics.

*Leavers’ lectures are a key part of the week, when a Year 8 child will give a lecture of his/her choice to the children and staff of the prep school, with their parents (and often grandparents too) looking on.

I love the fact that I can collect all my children at the same time on my way home from work. It makes life so much easier knowing that all their homework is finished; they’re fed and watered and I don’t have to bundle them up and charge them to swimming lessons because they’ve already done it at school.


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