From the Heads

It has been a delight to welcome all children back this term and after a long but very busy summer holiday, the grounds, corridors, form rooms, library, dormitories, common rooms, playing fields and staff room (!) are buzzing with energy, enthusiasm and a real sense of purpose.  Our congratulations go to all children (and parents!) for settling so quickly into the usual routines.

Since our return, other than a full timetable of academic lessons, pupils have already been seen in the swimming pool, forest school, on stage, on the hockey and football pitches, in the music pods, in the art school, at the squash courts, in the cricket nets and on the playground!  We have been blessed with some rain to soften our football and hockey pitches and this has been matched by positive energy and high spirits from children and staff alike.  It has also been wonderful to see a number of parents at drop off, and we very much look forward to seeing more at our re-arranged coffee morning and at upcoming sporting fixtures, which parents are, of course, very welcome to attend.

Our staff and we could not be more excited about the year ahead and we look forward to supporting, encouraging, stretching and challenging our children in pursuit of their goals.

Mr Gavin Franklin and Mrs Jo Parpworth

JDRM Gavin Portraits-2

Our Vision for Wellesley Haddon Dene

September 2022 marks a significant moment in the history of both Wellesley Haddon Dene and Haddon Dene, as the two schools amalgamate to create a thriving and flourishing independent co-educational day and boarding prep school for children aged 2 to 13, set in our stunning surrounds in Broadstairs.  The illustrious paths and successes of both schools are combined to create a modern, dynamic education offering and a wonderfully warm and welcoming atmosphere.

We firmly believe that children who are happy and inspired succeed. Our broad curriculum, exceptional pastoral care and nurturing environment at Wellesley Haddon Dene helps to foster the individual strengths of every pupil.

Academic success is a priority, and our children benefit from small classes, superb facilities and dedicated, talented teachers. We are proud of the excellent results that our pupils achieve in their entrance exams at 11+ to grammar schools and at 13+ to a wide range of Kent and the UK’s top public schools. However, at Wellesley Haddon Dene education is so much more than just what is learned in the classroom. Our aim is to lay strong foundations, and teach our pupils vital life skills that will help them to succeed throughout their life.

All the children are encouraged to take part in a wide array of activities, and they each get the opportunity to participate in a variety of sports, helping them to learn the importance of teamwork, resilience, and how to win and lose graciously. Pupils are encouraged to try new experiences and take a few risks, which helps them to build their self-confidence, ignite passions and make lifelong friends.

We instil strong values in every child, and encourage them to be well-mannered, considerate and kind. By the time our children move on to their senior school they are confident, motivated young adults, well prepared to thrive and deal with the excitements and challenges that lie ahead.

Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact either Head.

The Queen’s Funeral – National Bank Holiday – School Closed

Following the announcement, our School will close for the Bank Holiday, Monday the 19th September, so that we may pay our respects to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.  The school will re-open on Monday evening for boarders and Tuesday morning for day pupils.

Services to mark the death of Queen Elizabeth II

Statement from Wellesley Haddon Dene:

“It is with a sense of profound loss that we learn of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Her life of steadfast service has been an inspiration to countless Welleslians and Haddon Dene pupils.

In light of this news, we are postponing tomorrow’s coffee morning and will inform you of the revised date in due course.  Our school community will pay our respects over the coming days to Her Majesty – indeed, the flag is currently flying at half mast over our swimming pool.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Queen’s family at this time.”

On Friday morning, the Headmistress led the pre-prep children through a special Assembly to honour the extraordinary life and achievements of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and at noon, the Headmaster presided over a brief but poignant service in the Ridgeway Chapel for pupils in Year 4 to 8, including readings from the Year 8 Head Boy and Head Girl – a copy of the order of service can be viewed here.

All classes are compiling a book of condolences that will be sent to the Palace at the end of this week.

Our Links to The Royal Family

We are, of course, honoured to have strong links to the Royal family at our school and the pupils were reminded and informed of one of our old boys, Gavin P Bowes-Lyon, a cousin of the late Queen mother, who following his time as a pupil at Wellesley Haddon Dene, attended Eton (playing cricket for their 1st XI) and sadly died serving our country in the Great War.  His name, along with many others, sits proudly on one of our war memorials in the Old Hall.

Furthermore, the Duke of Gloucester (do click here for further info), Queen Elizabeth’s cousin, attended Wellesley Haddon Dene as a pupil and returned to open the “Centenary Building”, which our pupils know as the Science, ICT and DT block near the squareabout.


We are aware of some frustrations with regards to the various channels of communication and means to contact the school.  We are in the process of creating our new Wellesley Haddon Dene website.  We are aware that you may well be receiving duplicate information through different channels, such as Dojo, engage, email and face to face, however, at this time, we feel that a belt and braces approach is the safest way to ensure that all receive the relevant communications.  Thank you for your understanding and patience with this.

Social Media

If you would like to follow us on social media, please see the pages below, where you can keep up to date with day to day events at Wellesley Haddon Dene.

School Last Week

General Knowledge

On Tuesday morning, all children in from Year 4 to Year 8 sat Mr Hallam’s testing general knowledge paper.  Congratulations to the winners of each year group, which are highlighted below:

Year 8 – Max Miller and Raf Cable 84/100

Year 7 – Felix Butterfill 85/100

Year 6 – Ralph Wainman 67/100

Year 5 – Theo Alifrangis 63/100

Year 4 – Teddy Miller 47/100

Kent Test 11+

Congratulations to the Year 6 children who sat the Kent Test on Thursday in the Old Hall and for the calm and mature way in which they approached these examinations.  We are proud of them all.


Coffee Morning

We are sorry for the short notice postponement of our coffee morning last Friday, upon hearing the news of the Queen’s death.  We have a Macmillan coffee morning planned for Friday 30th September, where we look forward to welcoming many parents.  Further details will follow in due course.

Values Awards

Each week, there are “values” awards in Monday Assembly for Year 4 – Year 8 children based on attitude, effort, conduct and contributions throughout the previous week.  Congratulations to the following pupils who received applause and recognition in this morning’s Assembly in the Old Hall:

Year 4 – Fraser and Hughie for always giving extra effort to to their best

Year 5 – Theo for being kind, happy and safe throughout the first week of school and Nicholas for showing great resilience and determination in all lessons

Year 6 – Rufus for demonstrating such courage throughout the week and Henley for his kindness in helping other pupils

Year 7 – Ines for the courage and resilience she has demonstrated in starting a new school, in a new country and Kaspar for the kindness he has shown in helping Sadiq to settle in so quickly into his new form group

Year 8 – Barnaby for being helpful to others and kind and respectful to staff and Grace for hitting the ground running, being respectful and diligent in her work

Lamda Success

Congratulations to the following children, who were awarded their LAMDA certificates in this morning’s Assembly: Pearl, Emilia, Juelle, Arabella (Year 4), Nicholas, Gian, Magnus (Year 5), Zachery, Raksiga, Ava, Mabel, Olivia and Francesca (Year 6).  Very well done to all these pupils.  Mrs Bourne was delighted with both the effort and outcome of these examinations ranging from acting to Public Speaking.

Each Saturday, ‘Bourne to Perform’ holds LAMDA classes for children of all ages at WHD.  For further information please click here or contact Kim Bourne (07867 548531 / email

Sunday Activities

After a much needed lie in, the boarders enjoyed a trip down town into Broadstairs (mainly to stock up on tuck!) in glorious sunshine and an afternoon trip to the cinema, where they enjoyed The Railway Children (and the reclining seats).

School This Week

Curriculum Meetings

As per information shared via Dojo, curriculum meetings are taking place for parents of children in Years 1, 2 and 3 on the afternoons of Tuesday and Wednesday this week.  We look forward to welcoming parents to those.

Team of the Week

Each week, a group of pupils is invited to meet with Mr and Mrs Franklin in the library at break time to enjoy some squash and snacks prepared by the catering team.  This week, for their phenomenally positive start to the new school year and for their ability to cope with changing structures and routines so impressively and quickly, Team of the Week is Mrs Satish’s Year 4 class.  Well done.

Extra Clubs and Activities

Paid after school clubs and activities begin this week and parents should have received notification of the details of these if your child is booked in.  These are available for all pupils from Reception to Year 8 and the (not exhaustive) list includes swimming, miss-hits, dance, stagecoach, code kids, football, cricket, LAMDA and much, much more.  Please contact the office if you require further information on any of these.

Birthday Ice Creams

If your child is celebrating a birthday and you would like to order a class set of Magnums or mini-Magnums for them to enjoy with their friends during morning break, please complete this form. 

Exeat Weekends

Please note that we have two Exeat weekends this term.  During these weekends, the school will close and all pupils will go to parents or guardians.  There will be no Saturday school on these weekends.  The two weekends are detailed in our electronic calendar and begin on Friday 23 September and Friday 18th November.  School will close on the aforementioned Fridays at 3.30pm for all.  There will be no after school clubs or activities on those days.

Fitness Opportunity for Parents

We are delighted to announce an opportunity for parents to attend a drop in fitness class at Wellesley HD (not that you need this!)  These will take place every Thursday morning from 9am on the playing fields of WHD.  The first session is free.  If you think you might like to join Flavia this Thursday, please message her directly.  Please bring a mat, water and energy!  More details are available here.

School Calendar

Please click here and scroll through for the most up to date calendar of events for the term.


This week the kitchen will be serving menu week 2.

MenuWeek 1Week 2Week 3

Matches This Week

Saturday 17th September

Football v Junior King’s: U13 A & B Boys (a) 2.15pm start.

Please always refer to the website calendar as it is the most up-to-date place to check for fixture changes and locations.

If your child has been selected for a fixture, we will communicate with you prior to the fixture with information regarding the recommended pick up time from Wellesley HD.


Matches Last Week

There were no matches last week.

On Social Media