Welcome from the Headmaster
I am delighted that you are interested in Repton and trust that in exploring this website you will begin to get a sense of the range and quality of opportunity that is on offer here. But words and pictures can only do so much. My hope is that you will be persuaded to build on your initial curiosity by visiting us personally to experience at first hand what sets Repton apart. It is my pleasure to explain in this welcome why Repton is, indeed, no ordinary place.
It is a constant source of inspiration to me that one of the very finest co educational boarding and day schools in the country stands on the site of a 12th Century Augustinian Priory, whose beautiful Cloister Garth still forms the heart of this unique community. The Old Priory, seat of the early Repton monastic family, was not only a place of education, but also home to a courageous and pioneering group of people who understood the need to put their theories to the test, often in hostile conditions, whilst drawing strength from the companionship of those around them. Over the centuries, and following the foundation of the School in 1557, this tradition has been nurtured and developed so that the twin goals of education and community have become central to all that we are trying to achieve in the Repton of today.
In becoming the School’s 34th Headmaster in 2003 I was delighted to have the opportunity to return closer to my roots. Born and bred on the Wirral, I attended Birkenhead School before reading Modern Languages at Christ Church, Oxford, where I was Captain of Cricket and Soccer and also a keen actor and choral singer. Spells then followed at Oakham School and the International School in Bogota, Colombia, before a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education led to my third teaching post at Radley College, Oxfordshire. There I was Head of Department and then Housemaster for 10 years before moving to Repton together with my wife, Penny, and two daughters, Eleanor and Joanna, who both attended Repton. In my first Assembly at Repton, I set out my aims for all who live and work here by asking the question: "What makes a good school?" I hope these aims will give you a flavour of what we are trying to achieve here.
Wholeness is the key. A good school is one that looks after the most vulnerable so everyone has his or her own dignity. A good school is one that expects its pupils to show wide ambition and mental toughness in their spiritual life, their intellect, their extra-curricular activities and their games. A good school encourages its pupils to look outwards so that they learn through their experience of how people live and work in their own country and the European and global markets. Such an outlook takes away arrogance and replaces it with true confidence - the confidence that sees change as an opportunity rather than a threat and thus prepares pupils for the rapidly evolving world that awaits them once they leave. I hope that Repton will offer all its pupils this wholeness, a wholeness in which their individuality prospers, but always to the benefit of the community.
What do I hope to do for your sons and daughters as Headmaster? I aim to guide them to the discovery that real self-knowledge comes through a sense of duty rather than self-indulgence, and that lasting maturity means the acceptance of responsibility rather than the seeking of privileges. To this end, I constantly encourage all pupils to ask themselves the question: 'What can I do for Repton?', because therein lies the route to true personal and professional fulfilment as an adult.
I hope to make all Reptonians realise that their motivation is every bit as important as their ability, so that after five years here, Reptonians will say, along with Thoreau, that 'not failure, but low aim is crime.' Finally, I hope to make your sons and daughters dream the dreams that will shape their lives as adults.
Please do arrange an appointment to meet me and discuss your son or daughter personally. We would all be delighted to see you here and offer you a very warm welcome.
Robert Holroyd, Headmaster