Spring Grove boasts a long and fascinating history before it became the happy, family school of today. The school is set in 14 acres of beautiful Kent countryside and is based in a magnificent Stuart house, completed in the late 17th century.
The house was built in 1674 by Dr Thomas Brett and lived in subsequently by generations of the same Brett family. In the mid-19th century Spring Grove was home to Charles Jenyns, a businessman who moved from London to Wye to take advantage of the new, fast train service from rural Kent into the City: perhaps an early example of regular commuting into town. Jenyns was also an amateur painter and his watercolour of Wye, which includes a passing train, hangs in Wye Church.
Writers at Spring Grove
During the 20th century Spring Grove was home to the writer Joseph Conrad for 6 months in 1919, and a little over a 100 years before that, Jane Austen may well have been a visitor when she was staying at nearby Godmersham House, owned by her brother Edward.
Spring Grove School owes its origins to Cynthia Christopherson who decided to create a school for her son and a few friends. The school opened its doors on 15 September 1967 with 12 pupils, led by Mrs June Cobb, who was the Headmistress for the first ten years of the school’s life. In the 1980s Niall Washington-Jones guided the school and established its reputation as a family school with a homely atmosphere and emphasis on good manners. In 2003 a group of parents bought the school and set it up as a charitable trust administered by a Board of Governors. Craig Gibbs served as Headmaster from 2004 to 2007.
From 2008 to 2020 Bill Jones was Headmaster and, together with his wife Hilary, strengthened Spring Grove’s reputation as a school that provides a first-class education for primary-age pupils, preparing them for their next schools. Bill was succeeded as Head in Autumn 2020 by Therésa Jaggard, who led the school through the difficult times of the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2023, Spring Grove was awarded ‘Excellent’ in all aspects by the Independent Schools Inspectorate, a well-deserved accolade to both pupils and staff at the school.
SG50 was launched in 2017 to celebrate 50 years of Spring Grove School. In September 2017, two of the school’s first pupils, David Christopherson and Roger Pitt, visited and spoke to the children about how the school helped them to forge their life-long friendship, in a wonderful illustration of the powerful part the school can play in the lives of its pupils. In May 2018, a whole-school photograph included Springgrovians and Huw Jones, son of Bill and Hilary Jones and Scotland Rugby International, who also opened the school’s new Sports Pavilion.