I happened upon the remarkable school that is Bramdean whilst looking around for a "nice" nursery to send Jacob to all those years ago when, as a busy marketing executive and single mum I was rushing around the country, often working late and desperate to find a good quality, caring environment for my son. As soon as I walked into the school I loved the feel of the place. I was not to be disappointed.
The school is owned by two remarkable people. Not for them the 9 - 5 day job. Bramdean is their life, their vocation. Miss Stoneman came to the school many years ago in her first teaching post and through her hard work, dedication and love of the school was soon able to take over as Headmistress. Along with Mr Connett they have successfully co-owned and run the school for over 40 years. Many of their teaching staff have been at the school for the whole time no 1 son has been educated there. Mrs Fouracre, a kind, homely caring kindergarten and first grade teacher. Mrs Prior a whizz maths and first grade teacher. Mr Brown the games master and ex Middlesex wicket keeper. Mrs Taylor RE and History teacher and also mum to twins! One of the greatest testament's to how well run the school is I am sure, is the low staff turnover. This doesn't make the school stale either. The examination results speak for themselves.
Many people think that independent education is for the privileged few. Not so at Bramdean. Most of the parents I have known there over my thirteen year relationship with the school are down to earth hard working people who would rather give up big cars and summer holidays to enable their children to have the kind of education Bramdean has to offer. Often disillusioned with the state system, I seen many parents watch their children grow and blossom into wonderful people thanks to the unique environment the school has to offer. I was lucky enough to be offered a job as school secretary to Miss Stoneman and Mr Connett which enabled Jacob to continue his education at Bramdean and when I left to set up my own small business thanks to their amazing generosity, he was able to continue on there with a sporting scholarship.
So today, its not just the last day at school for Jacob, its a trip down memory lane for me too. Over 13 years of fond memories, of ups and downs in school life, school days, work days, laughter, tears but most of all many, many thanks that I was lucky enough to have been able to call friends two of the most remarkable, selfless people I have ever met.
Thank you Miss Stoneman and Mr Connett for all that you have done for Jacob, for your part in making him the bright, confident young man that he is today. I hope he has done you proud.
Jacob ( centre ) - Bramdean Outdoor Persuits