Why Durston? - Durston House

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Why Durston House?

Durston House is a vibrant, innovative, and exceptional school. We have a rich and distinguished heritage of outstanding education and a fine record of achievement. We are forward thinking yet grounded in tradition. Established in 1886, we have been preparing pupils for some of the most prestigious senior schools in the country ever since. 

Durston House has an enviable academic reputation, and we are unashamedly ambitious for every single pupil. However, while we do offer a rigorous and broad academic curriculum, our pastoral care is of equal importance. We believe that pupils will fly further and higher if they are happy.  Durston is a fun and interesting place to be, we are a warm and friendly school that creates a stimulating learning environment. Read our review in the Good Schools Guide here. 

Why we’re different

We are non-selective in our Pre-School and in Reception, which are our main points of entry. We believe that academic success is achieved through excellent teaching and creating an environment where outstanding pastoral care, respect, and values matter. Durston House has a long and distinguished academic reputation, of which we are immensely proud; we know that the key to success is through hard work and a desire to continually improve. Placing our pupils at the centre of everything we do and making sure every opportunity is taken so that each pupil can flourish. We are excited to continue our success as a co-educational school.

Our five school buildings allow for each section of the school to operate with some autonomy. Children can join our Pre-School in the term following their third birthday. Our Pre-School is located along with our Pre-Prep and Year Groups up to and including year 4 in 20-26 Castlebar Road. The journey continues as pupils move into Year 5, located at 12-14 Castlebar Road in Middle and Upper school, which accommodates pupils until the end of Year 8. Pupils across the school benefit from three welcoming and well-resourced libraries, excellent pastoral care and increasing responsibility and opportunities to take risks, where they can take time to reflect as they develop into confident and capable pupils ready for the move to their chosen Senior School.

32 Different Languages Spoken

One School, United

Although we may be housed in separate buildings on the one street, we are very much one school and make sure that there are plenty of opportunities for pupils to mix and for us all to be together. 

Being an urban school, we are incredibly lucky to have two huge sports fields. Castlebar Playing Field is a five-minute walk from our teaching buildings and is tucked away behind houses, people often don’t realise it is even there. An unassuming gate masks the expanse of grass, tennis and netball courts, pavilion, play equipment and a woodland area. Our other field is on Swyncombe Avenue, which is a ten-minute drive away. There we have a cricket square, AstroTurf/Multi Use Games Area and grass pitches for football and rugby, along with a pavilion. 

Our class sizes are small, even by independent school standards. An average of 15 in a class means teachers can give even more individual attention to each pupil and tailor the activities accordingly. 


Durston is a place where you will find a passion for learning, both in and out of the classroom. It is an innovative and ambitious school with kindness at its heart. We would love to welcome you and let you see first-hand what an engaging and magical place it is.