Hurstpierpoint College - where pupils strive to be their very best

CHALLENGING pupils to “achieve their personal bests” whilst preparing them for life beyond education is the aim of Hurst College.

“At Hurst it is not all about the trophies – it is about preparing pupils for their future,” explained Headmaster Tim Manly. “Developing confidence, success in working with others and community problem solving – all these things will help them to become successful and happy adults.

“Hurst pupils have a real sense of ‘I’m up for it’, make the most of what they have and what is around them, and encourage and support others to do the same.”

Hurst marries the traditional with the innovative. It is forward looking and progressive. “We understand it is about a balance between home, school and family,” said Mr Manly. “Our children are not the stereotypical public school product – they have a great sense of self and their place in the world, and we have pupils who will enter all walks of life.”

More than 1,000 pupils aged 4-18 attend Hurst. Some start in Pre-Prep or Prep, but many join the senior school, which is home to more than 780 pupils, from elsewhere for GCSEs and A levels. Founded in 1859, Hurst was originally a boys’ school but 20 years ago girls were welcomed and now make up 47 per cent of the pupils. Flexi and weekly boarding is offered until Sixth Form when pupils can board full time.

Set in the heart of rural Sussex, Hurstpierpoint College is truly stunning, adding to the wonderful feel you get as you walk the corridors. The school’s breathtaking chapel is a focal point and used for services at the beginning and end of every week. Beautiful flint buildings surround the central quad which forms the heart of the campus.

Eleven school houses provide day and boarding pupils with space to study, socialise and relax while the house system brings different year groups together, forming supportive friendships and a wonderful inter-house rivalry. All pupils in the Upper Sixth, boys and girls, are accommodated in a superb hall of residence style building.

New extensions have created modern teaching spaces for the wide variety of subjects available at GCSE and A-Level, whilst the art rooms and photography studio showcase the stunning array of work created by the pupils.

Mr Manly explained: “There is a wonderful feel here at Hurst and that is down to the fact it is about the children and not the school. It is also about making sure we continue to improve. We have doubled in size in the last ten years and we are taking that momentum to ensure we keep growing and developing.

“We believe very much in a broad and fully engaging curriculum with genuine access to sport, music and drama for all. It’s often through these areas and being part of the great community vibe that is Hurst that pupils grow and develop in positive ways.”

A dynamic, energetic learning environment encourages pupils to push themselves. The Challenge Grade system reinforces this – following bench mark tests pupils are challenged to achieve grades beyond those which they are predicted. Every four weeks they are measured against that grade and given extensive personal comments to help them achieve more.

One Upper Sixth pupil said students are always encouraged to take their love of a subject further and develop their independent study skills, in preparation for university. “Hurst also made me step out of my comfort zone and try things I would not normally do. I knew no one would judge me for not being very good and I found things I loved doing, like street dance, even if I wasn’t the best.”

Drama is a big feature at Hurst and brings pupils together from across the school. Twenty-plus productions a year are staged in the school’s own 250 seat theatre, stunning outside areas such as the Inner Quad as well as the more intimate drama or dance studios. One Lower Sixth pupil explained: “It is fun to be involved as you get to meet lots of different people from around the school that you would not normally know.”

Whilst Hurst may have the oldest Shakespeare Society in existence, productions are always innovative. “The way we stage Shakespeare in inspiring, combining the latest technology with the historic plays. It is so exciting to be involved in,” explained a passionate Upper Sixth student who has been able to combine his love of theatre with his academic passion for Biology.

Sport is available to all. Hurst operates an all inclusive “no-one on the bench” policy – whatever your ability you will be included in a team and get the opportunity to compete. Facilities are first class – there are two astro pitches, a large multi-sports hall with gym and an indoor swimming pool. The surrounding  140 acres of stunning Sussex countryside include the school’s own farm and playing fields used for seasonal sports such as rugby, cricket and athletics.

Music is strong – 160 pupils are members of the choir, every pupil has the opportunity to learn a musical instrument and the Music School plays host to a number of concerts each term from the wide variety of bands, ensembles and choirs. One Upper Sixth pupil said: “You are encouraged to start up new groups so we formed our own baroque ensemble. There are always opportunities to take the initiative.”

The challenging, yet supportive, environment clearly works – exam results are excellent (with 11 pupils currently under offer for Oxbridge, five for Medicine/Veterinary Science and the vast majority for Russell Group universities), but more importantly the pupils are delightful, confident individuals, ready to make their mark on the world.

Note from the Head

“… now the first choice for many parents who would traditionally have sent their children further afield.” “… each child is tracked and challenged to reach their full potential in all areas of their lives, … they are encouraged to push themselves beyond their comfort zone.”

Extracts from The Good Schools Guide’s current report on Hurst

Hurst constantly strives to be outstanding. Not just in everything we do but also in the manner in which we do it. The school is driven by a determination to enable each child to achieve, and then continue to build upon, their personal bests throughout their school career in all aspects of school life.

Hurst provides teaching, mentoring and coaching of the highest order, a phenomenal range of facilities (that continue to improve year-on-year) and access to opportunities of every sort within its welcoming, warm and dynamic community. We make no secret of the fact that at Hurst we encourage, indeed expect, our pupils to fully engage whilst they are with us.

Genuine, sustained engagement opens the door to new worlds of opportunity. A real love of learning develops. Nurtured in a community stimulated by intelligent conversation and intellectual challenge, information grows into knowledge and matures into understanding, wisdom and self-knowledge.

When we reflect upon the life of the College, we don’t just focus upon on the great headline triumphs but on the degree to which our children, all our children, are truly engaged with Hurst life. I know that enabling our children to pursue and achieve their personal bests is how they develop into successful, independent and confident individuals which is the only outcome that does justice to both their abilities and talents and the faith placed in us by their parents.

Tim Manly


"My time at Hurst has been characterised by the sunny days of summer, those moments of success you’ll never forget, and the friendships that’ll last long after our school days are over. I have so many fantastic memories here. I’m proud to call myself a Hurst pupil, because this school has taught me so much about life."
2012 Upper Sixth leaver, currently studying Philosophy at Oxford University

"We remain thrilled with how well our daughter is thriving at Hurst.  She has been given so many opportunities to both learn and develop her extra-curricular interests.  The College helps pupils blossom into self-assured, competent and caring individuals."
Current parent of a girl in Year 10

"Hurstpierpoint has a holistic attitude to learning.  Consequently, the students are beautifully well-rounded.  The pastoral care system is superb and has been a fantastic support for my son."
Current parent of a boy in the Upper Sixth

School news

10th May 2018
Hurst College’s U18 boys’ hockey team finished the season off in style by winning the county title against Bede’s and narrowly losing out in the final of the national Independent Schools Hockey Cup against Kingston Grammar. In the Independent Schools Hockey Cup, the Hurst team took on ... more
13th Apr 2018
Hurst College’s netballers have had an amazing season, as five teams qualified for the recent national finals. The U13s won the Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS) National Netball Finals, and the U12s and U11s both finished in the top half of their groups. In the National Senior ... more
21st Feb 2018
Lower sixth student in two week pre-season cricket tour of Cape Town Hurst College Lower Sixth student and member of the Sussex Cricket Boys’ Academy, Jack Carson will join the Sussex professional squad on their two-week pre-season tour to Cape Town, South Africa next month. An ... more
8th Feb 2018
The Hurst College team emerged victorious in the Schools' Challenge South Central Regional Championships for the first time in the school's history. The Hurst team took a while to get going as they lost their first match against Hampton School. They bounced back to convincingly beat Lady ... more
8th Feb 2018
The Hurst ski team finished second overall at the Independent Schools Ski and Snowboard Championships at Les Deux Alpes in December and brought back a gold medal, two silvers and a bronze from two of the three slalom disciplines. With exceptional conditions on arrival, the Hurst team of 33 ... more
8th Feb 2018
Hurst College’s Prep School choir PopRock performed at the charity concert Indigofest, held at the Capital Theatre, Horsham on 19 January, in aid of The Nkuringo Foundation Music School in Uganda and Manor Green College in Crawley.  PopRock performed alongside a live streamed video featuring ... more
8th Feb 2018
Last weekend, the first VII and U16A netball teams from Hurst College came through the Regional Schools competition, as runners-up and champions respectively, to win through to the National Schools finals as they did last year. First up for Hurst’s first team was Wellington College from ... more
8th Feb 2018
Hurst College’s golf team captain George Mills has been selected, as one of just eight elite UK schoolboy golfers, to take part on the prestigious Swifts Tour of the US during the Easter holiday. The Swifts Golf Tour is an exchange programme between the UK and the Eastern States of the USA. ... more
5th Apr 2017
A Prep School teacher at Hurst College has secured a publishing deal for her debut teen novel ‘The Breathing Sea’. After four years writing and editing her novel Lindsay Galvin (known as Mrs Moakes at Hurst) met with Barry Cunningham of Chicken House books, the publisher who discovered Harry ... more
30th Mar 2017
Hot on the heels of their SISNA triple win last week, Hurst College’s netball teams completed another triple win this week in the Sussex Cup. The U18s cruised through the qualifying stages and were looking forward to a good final against Collyer’s, in preparation for their forthcoming ... more
23rd Mar 2017
Three netball teams from Hurst College won titles at the Sussex Independent Schools Netball Association (SISNA) tournament, which took place at the College over two days in March. The U18, U15 and U13 teams were all named as champions, whilst the U16 and U12 teams were ... more
22nd Feb 2017
The U15 girls' cricket team at Hurst College has recently won two indoor cricket tournaments in two days, and are through to the final of the Lady Taverners competition. In the Bede’s Bash Indoor Cricket Tournament, Hurst played Brighton College and Bede’s and won both games, with excellent ... more
17th Feb 2017
Six students from the Lower Sixth at Hurst College attended a talk by BBC TV presenter and Zoologist Ben Garrod, whose TV series Secrets of Bones has just finished airing on BBC Four. The talk was held at James Allen's Girls’ School, Dulwich and was part of the ‘Roots n Shoots’ education ... more
10th Feb 2017
Two senior netball teams from Hurst College successfully negotiated the Sussex round of the National Schools Competition in September and the regional finals this weekend, to reach the national finals in March. 1st team The first team had a tough draw with Wellington, Beaconsfield High, ... more
10th Feb 2017
Milo Nicholson, an A-level student at Hurstpierpoint College last year, has won an award for excellence from the Royal Geographical Society. As the top performer in the 2016 WJEC A-level Geography examination, Milo received a certificate and a £50 monetary award. Steve Brace, Head of ... more
16th Dec 2016
Hurstpierpoint College’s U15 and U16 rugby teams have had a great season so far to reach the later stages of the national and county cup competitions. The U15A team, which has won 13 of the 14 school fixtures this season, has reached the last 16 of the NatWest Rugby Cup Competition after ... more
18th Nov 2016
The U12 girls Hockey team from Hurstpierpoint College were crowned National IAPS Hockey Champions 2016 on Monday 14th November. The Championships took place at Clifton College and Hurst started the day with a 1-0 win against Dumpton School, Wimborne. Some beautifully executed Hockey ... more
18th Nov 2016
GB Hockey player and Rio Olympic gold medallist, Giselle Ansley, visited Hurstpierpoint College recently. Giselle visited pupils in the Prep and Senior Schools, and gave a motivational talk to the Hurst Sports Scholars. The youngest Hockey players listened to Giselle speak about her ... more
12th Oct 2016
England and Harlequins full-back Mike Brown, visited Hurst College to train and share his knowledge and experiences with pupils on Thursday 29th September. Mike spent the afternoon with each of the school’s Rugby squads, from Prep school through to the 1st XV team. Many of the teams had the ... more
5th Oct 2016
Hurst sports teams have started the season well with more success this week. Hurst's girls' Cricket team are County Champions, the girls' Hockey team were runners-up in the Sussex round of the National Cup and the U15A Rugby team began the first round of the Natwest Cup with a major ... more
26th Aug 2016
Hurst College is once again celebrating its best ever A-level results and the highest A*-B percentage for the fifth year in succession. Tim Manly, Headmaster commented, “The Upper Sixth were a great group of pupils and a real pleasure to have at the College. They contributed hugely in every ... more
26th Aug 2016
Hurst College is celebrating another year of best ever GCSE results and the highest ever number of A* grades. Hurst’s Fifth Form pupils exceeded the results of all previous year groups to also achieve the highest ever A*-A percentage and A*-B percentage, with 90 of the cohort gaining 7 or ... more
19th May 2016
Girls in all age groups at Hurst College are enjoying successful starts to the cricket season. With more girls than ever trying cricket, interest in the sport has increased rapidly. Hurst often fields two teams for each age group and are taking on top quality opposition each week. Head ... more

School details

Address: Hurstpierpoint, West Sussex BN6 9JS
Phone: 01273 833636
Head: Tim Manly
Founded: 1848
Pupils: Pre-Prep: 54, Prep: 291, Senior: 433, Sixth Form: 306
Ages: 4 - 18
Prospectus: Request a Prospectus