Behind the imposing solid black door you will find the Main Entrance Hall which leads to Reception, the Admissions Department and then into Square Hall and the Principal’s Office.
In the Senior School our aim is to develop knowledge, skills, attitudes and values to ensure our pupils achieve their very best and carry forward their talents into successful, enriching adult lives. English, Mathematics, History, Geography, Classics, Art and RPE are taught in the inspirational setting of Sandleford Priory, a Grade 1 listed building.
The Oval Room's Regency charm coupled with its oval shape provide a perfect setting for small informal concerts. Built almost 250 years ago this historic setting was restored to its victorian glory in 2019.
Pupils are assured a warm welcome from our friendly librarian Mrs Ann Borzoni, who is delighted to help them discover new authors, research academic projects or learn the skills needed to volunteer as a pupil librarian. It was modernised in summer 2019 but maintains its original features. A trawl through the history of Sandleford Priory will reveal a range of previous uses for this building including being a chapel.
A separate library is housed within the Junior School providing age appropriate books to help foster a love of reading.
The Garland Science Building houses specialist laboratories and classrooms for Biology, Chemistry and Physics, which are taught as separate subjects in the Senior School. The laboratories were refurbished in 2018 and named by the pupils Goodall, Curie and Newton.
Our theatre was refurbished in 2018 with pullout tiered seating provides a comfortable performance space for drama and the creative arts. Junior School assemblies and other events such as external talks and visiting speakers for PSHE are held in the theatre. A host of Drama Performances entertain captive audiences throughout the school year.
Our studio with its sprung floor and mirrors provides a dedicated dance space for pupils throughout the school. Ballet and other extra curricular dance activities are available as part of our enrichment programme.
Sandleford Nursery has three separate rooms which are appropriate for each age and stage of development. All rooms come together on a regular basis for story times and singing sessions. The nursery is open 50 weeks a year between 7.30am - 6.30pm, offering boys and girls aged 6 months to 5 years a kind, caring and welcoming environment in which they can learn and grow. It is very much part of the school community and has been designed to provide a vibrant, stimulating, yet safe, environment for the youngest members of our school. The children frequently use the wider facilities of St Gabriel’s and enjoy activities in our beautiful grounds.
Our food technology kitchen, design technology workshop and textiles room all have specialist teachers ensuring pupils are taught by staff with a passion for their subject as well as a wealth of skills and knowledge.
Lunch for all Junior and Senior School pupils, as well as staff, is served in the Dining Room. With staggered lunchtimes starting with the Junior School pupils and a rota for Senior School, our simple cafeteria system, aims to ensure minimum queuing and maximise time for other activities. Offering healthy choices is the order of the day, and our pupils can select from a range of hot and cold dishes. Menus are published on our website.
Gabbies Cafe adjoins the Dining Room and is open to pupils for breakfast before school and after school for refuelling before activities. There are additional opening times for parents and our oldest Senior School pupils to enjoy a leisurely latte or hot chocolate boost!
The Junior School offers small class sizes and dedicated class teachers supported by specialists for subjects such as music, physical education, dance and drama. Our children learn as much outside their classroom as they do in it.
Our youngest pupils in the Reception class benefit from their own building with a dedicated play area and separate woodland learning space. Our Reception staff team are very experienced, caring, enthusiastic and committed professionals who encourage the children at this key stage in their development and actively support communication with parents. Through our small class sizes they quickly develop an awareness of pupils' individual abilities which combined with differentiated activities will help ensure pupils make excellent progress.
The conversion of Sandleford Farmhouse into a centre for our Sixth Form students was completed in 2017. This Grade 2 listed building has been sympathetically transformed into small seminar style classrooms and teaching spaces ideal for many sixth form subjects. The farmhouse kitchen is a popular spot for socialising at break and lunchtimes.
Sixth formers also enjoy the Regency splendour of a common room with tea and coffee making facilities as well as a large quiet study room in the main building.
Our purpose built sports hall provides multi-sport marked courts as well as a climbing wall. Trampolining and gymnastics clubs are amongst the many clubs held here. Senior School assemblies and other events utilise the raked seating.
A dance studio, outdoor swimming pool, outdoor floodlit netball/tennis courts and pitches provide plenty of opportunities for sport. Cross country running sessions utilise our 33 acres of parkland adjoining Greenham Common.
Bonjour! Hola! Ciao! nǐ hǎo! Find out more about the Modern Foreign Languages on offer in our specialist rooms on the top floor in North Block.
In the computer suites on the ground floor the pupils speak a different kind of language - programming! Python and Visual Basic are used to program applications, including Scratch, Lego Mindstorms and AppInventor.
With 33 acres including woodland to explore our outdoor education programme is much admired. Our KS1 pupils enjoy an hour per week of outdoor education in addition to time spent outdoors for a variety of subjects such as science, PE and art. KS2 and Senior School teachers also utilise our grounds where appropriate to support teaching and learning.
Lady Elizabeth Montagu, who was known as ‘Queen of the Blue Stockings’ because of her circle of friends, which included writer Samuel Johnson and painter Sir Joshua Reynolds, employed Capability Brown in 1781, to landscape the grounds. He unfortunately died in 1783, before completing his design, but his plans were implemented and included our lake which is called ‘Brown’s Pond.’