Together we progress
Highfield School was founded in Southampton in 1892 by Mr EA Wells, the owner and first Headmaster. The school first opened as a boys’ prep with 18 pupils. In 1904, Mr William Mills became the owner and Headmaster and moved Highfield to its present 175-acre site in Liphook, on the Hampshire, West Sussex and Surrey border.
The new purpose-built school opened in September 1907 with 32 boys, all boarders. The school grew steadily; a beautiful Chapel was added in 1910, with other buildings quickly following suit. Mr Mills, who was ordained in 1912 and later became an Honorary Canon of Portsmouth Cathedral, remained Headmaster until 1953. Under Canon Mills, the school grew to accommodate 120 boys and established an enviable reputation for academic and sporting excellence. Highfield pupils won many scholarships to the leading English public schools, including Eton, Winchester, Shrewsbury, Charterhouse, Rugby and Sherborne.
Canon Mills died in 1953 and was succeeded by his son, Peter. The school became co-educational in 1978 and also began to take day children into the junior part of the school. Peter Mills retired in 1979 to be succeeded by Old Highfieldian Robin Orr, who remained Headmaster until 1993. During his tenure, school numbers rose from around 120 to almost 170. Under Nigel Ramage, Mr Orr’s successor, the school began a considerable programme of refurbishment and building work. Mr Ramage was succeeded in 1999 by Phillip Evitt when the compulsory boarding requirement ended, although many children still choose to board to this day, with almost all boarding for at least part of their final two years.
Today, all departments have designated teaching rooms; new Science, Maths and Computing facilities were opened in September 2000. A new indoor swimming pool was opened at Easter 2005, and a new Music School in 2006. Highfield is genuinely co-educational with equal numbers of girls and boys. In 1992, Brookham Pre-Prep School was built within the grounds of Highfield and many of its top year come to Highfield aged 8+.
Highfield and Brookham are owned by Mr William Mills, the grandson of the founder. He is also Chairman of the Board of Directors of both schools. Today, Highfield continues to enjoy an outstanding reputation as a top preparatory school for children aged 8-13 that offers an excellent all-round education, and its long tradition of scholarship success continues.
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