Longridge Towers School
Set in the stunning Northumberland countryside just outside Berwick upon Tweed, close to the Scottish Borders, Longridge Towers School is an independent school with a very special atmosphere. It is a place where pupils aspire and achieve academically, growing and finding fulfilment as individuals. The school is the only independent co-educational day and boarding school in Northumberland offering education for children from the age of 3 through to 18 in small class sizes.
Longridge is an independent school small enough to really care about each individual pupil but large enough to ensure all who come here - whether a boarder, a day pupil, a member of the Junior Department, or a sixth former - are offered the best possible start in life both educationally and socially. An education at Longridge Towers School endows individuals with the character, strength, knowledge and abilities to go out into the world with confidence and purpose.
Situated in north Northumberland on the outskirts of Berwick upon Tweed, the school is almost equal in distance between the historic cities of Edinburgh and Newcastle upon Tyne. Day pupils come to Longridge from all over the north of Northumberland and the Scottish Borders. A comprehensive daily bus network extends to Reston, Cockburnspath and Dunbar in the north, Chirnside, Duns and Greenlaw in the North West, Cornhill and Kelso to the west, and Belford, Beadnell, Seahouses, Bamburgh, Alnwick Wooler and Powburn in the south. Nearly half of the pupils at the school travel to school each day on the dedicated Longridge buses.
Surroundings contribute significantly to pupils’ education. The beautiful grounds at Longridge Towers School extend to over eighty acres and contain the main school building, a magnificent Grade 2 listed Victorian mansion, and consist of woodland, lawns and playing fields. Facilities include a library, science laboratories, assembly hall, a specialist music room, a separate art block, a design centre, a sports hall, rugby, hockey, cricket pitches, an athletics facility and all weather tennis courts. The recently upgraded computer network extends to all parts of the school. The Junior Department, with its own fully equipped playground, is housed in two separate buildings near to the main school, the latest of which was only completed in 2004 and incorporates a science laboratory as well as four classrooms, changing facilities and a large atrium.
The main building was built in the 1880s by Lord Jerningham, the MP for Berwick upon Tweed, at great cost and incorporated the very latest gadgets including a hydraulic lift and gas lighting to all parts of the main building. The portico to the building is said to have been built for a visit of the Prince of Wales just to make sure he did not get wet when alighting from his coach. When it was completed it was one of the largest private houses in the north of Northumberland and Lord Jerningham lived there until his death in the early 1920s. Lady Jerningham died in 1902 and her statue sits on the Elizabethan town walls in Berwick upon Tweed looking towards the school. The building was, for a while a hotel until it became a convent school in 1949 and it remained so until 1983 when Longridge Towers School came into existence.
Pupils who join the school as boarders are cared for by non-teaching Houseparents. All of the boarding accommodation has recently been refurbished and the centre of Boarding House life is a large family room, which has its own very distinctive family atmosphere equipped with sofas and a wide screen television. Longridge Towers School is the only independent school in the north of Northumberland which caters for boarders. The school currently has both termly and weekly boarders and also offers flexi boarding for those that need the facility for the occasional night or weekend. The boarders have a full calendar at weekends with regular trips out and about in the north of Northumberland and further afield to Edinburgh, Newcastle upon Tyne and the county towns of Alnwick, Morpeth and Hexham.
At all levels there is a broad curriculum to cater for the needs of pupils with a wide range of abilities. Alongside the academic curriculum there are many opportunities in Sport, Music, and Drama. Extra-curricular activities include the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Young Enterprise and there is an ambitious programme of external trips and visits.
The Sixth Form recently scooped the trophy for the most innovative product at the regional Young Enterprise competition with a range of branded leisure wear. Further afield a group of pupils recently spent a week near Hannover as part of a German exchange. Back in Berwick upon Tweed, Longridge’s GCSE Drama students took their production of Godspell to the Maltings theatre in February and played to two packed houses.
Pupils at Longridge Towers School take part in regular sporting fixtures on both sides of the border and the School recently hosted the North Northumberland Cross Country Championships at Paxton House in Berwickshire. During the winter the sporting calendar sees pupils competing very successfully in hockey and rugby matches on a regular basis, both against local schools and the larger independent schools in Edinburgh and Newcastle. A wide range of summer and winter sporting activities play an important role across all age groups and Longridge has an excellent track record of success at all levels.
A full programme of Careers education takes place at Longridge Towers School and all pupils benefit from the services provided by the Independent Schools Careers Organisation, which include Morrisby profiling and advice on university applications. The vast majority of Longridge Sixth Formers proceed to degree courses.
The distinctive atmosphere of Longridge Towers School is best appreciated by a visit to the School. You are warmly encouraged to contact the Admissions Secretary to make an appointment to meet the Headmaster, Mr Tim Manning, who will be delighted to personally show you around the School.