About Us

Overview, Aims & Ethos

‘Throughout the school pupils benefit from the strong emphasis on valuing the individual child within the context of a school that has a strong family and community ethos.’

- SIS Inspection Report, 2018

Pembroke House is a unique British boarding school in the heart of Kenya. We are a small, multicultural school of around 200 students, and cater for boys and girls aged 2 - 13 years. We have a 90 year history of private education in East Africa, and our focus is on developing well-rounded, happy, independent, polite and confident pupils. Our Head is a member of the Independent Association of Preparatory Schools (IAPS) and we follow the British Common Entrance curriculum. Our pupils go on to top international schools in the UK, Kenya and elsewhere around the world, with a high percentage achieving scholarships and awards to their next schools. We also have a large Learning Support department, which ensures we recognise specific learning needs early on, and then have the time and expertise to help children develop key skills.

At Pembroke, the welfare, safety, happiness and security of all our children is paramount. The vision is to bring out the best in every child, both in and out of the classroom. Our motivation is to provide a small, family atmosphere and instil our school values of dignity, duty and constancy. We strongly believe that the ‘Pembroke Spirit’ is something to be valued and nurtured.

However, many of these things are intangible and very difficult to capture on a website or in a prospectus. So please don’t take our word for it – come and visit to see for yourself.

Meet the Head

I am very excited to be joining the team at Pembroke in September as Headmistress. I will be beginning my 15th year at the school and during this time I have worked in a number of different roles.  I spent many years teaching Geography and being a class teacher in the Junior School, as well as being Housemistress of both Scholes and Mackie Houses along the way. I was then Headmistress for seven years between 2009 and 2016 and during this time it was rewarding to watch the school develop, confidence grow, and the numbers swell from 134 when I began, to 227 as I left.

I have really enjoyed having some time out and the chance to be at home with Robin and offer somewhat more support to Jemma, James and Georgina. In hindsight these years could be seen as a sabbatical, and the opportunity to have some ‘time’ and learn in other ways has been a wonderful gift. Being a little older has perhaps added a touch more perspective and hopefully what I might lack in youthfulness will be offset by the benefit of extra experience. I very much feel ready for a new tour of duty at school and look forward to all I can add in the coming months and years. The values fundamental to the ethos of Pembroke will always remain the same: courage, good manners, kindness and always trying to do your best. However, the world marches on and there are many challenges to face in our modern-day life, as well as much to embrace in the educational environment of today.

As I take the reins in the long holidays ready for the new academic year, my priority will be to build on the sense of trust between the whole school community: parents, staff, children and Council.

Throughout my coming term as Headmistress I promise I will do everything I can to ensure that Pembroke House remains true to its values and stays at the forefront of the Prep School scene, offering our children the very best possible education and upbringing in today’s world.

 Mrs Deborah Boyd-Moss

Pembroke History
Pembroke House has a long tradition of quality schooling in East Africa, and is now more than 90 years old. It was named after the Cambridge College attended by its founder Headmaster, Harold Turner, who established the school in 1927 and conducted it from the outset on the lines of a traditional British preparatory school. This tradition has continued ever since.

Mr Turner purchased the unfinished farmhouse and 100 acres just outside of Gilgil from Captain Alan Gibson, after Gibson’s plan to farm flax failed. The original building now sits at the heart of the school buildings, and the school has understandably undergone a huge number of changes since its inception. Some of the most significant of these have been the improvement of roads, which helped to increase the number of sporting fixtures and develop the sporting prowess for which Pembroke has become renowned; the building of the Christina Chapel by the students in the 1950s, with its size determined by all the boys sitting in the proposed space and measuring around them; the introduction of girls to the school in 1988, after it was recognised that this was necessary for its long-term viability; constant additions and improvements to buildings, including the development of a dedicated Science Laboratory, Music School, Theatre and Cafe, all of which are valuable resources; and the development of the Pre-Prep in recent years, which has proved hugely popular with local parents and contributed significantly to EYFS learning and students’ integration into the school from an early age.

The school has been owned by Kenya Educational Trust Limited since 1959. This body, accepted by guarantee without having a share capital, is an independent institution with all income received devoted to the management and improvement of the school. The British Common Entrance requirements are central to the school’s academic aims, standards and expectations.

The school’s motto is ‘Fortuna Favet Fortibus’ which means Fortune Favours the Brave. The emblem is the martlet bird, which is a mythical, legless creature that represents the ceaseless pursuit of learning. The martlet’s inability to land is considered symbolic of the constant quest for knowledge, and has led to the little bird being used in the arms of several schools and universities around the world.


‘Teachers provide good models in the courteous manner in which they interact with pupils and in their insistence on good behaviour at all times. The staff show great understanding and care, and these factors help pupils to develop a strong sense of self-esteem and self-confidence.’

- SIS Inspection Report, 2018

Pembroke has a large team of dedicated professionals who are committed to the quality education and welfare of all our children. We have an excellent pupil to staff ratio of 6:1, which ensures that children receive the support and encouragement they need, across all areas of school life. Staff are drawn from international and local backgrounds, and we always look for staff who can prove their commitment and passion in our very busy boarding school environment. They must also have relevant qualifications and experience, to ensure that we are offering the best to all pupils. Staff undertake ongoing Safeguarding training and professional development throughout the year. Prospective staff must pass rigorous safer recruitment procedures to ensure the safety of our pupils.

In addition to teaching and administrative staff, we also have a large team of dedicated and hard-working support staff. Many of these people have a long history of working at Pembroke, and their value and importance cannot be underestimated.

Meet the Team


Mrs Deborah Boyd-Moss

Senior Leadership Team (Head plus the following)

  • Mr Edmund Lovatt – Deputy Headmaster Pastoral / Head of Boarding / Head of Religious Science
  • Mr Mike Aung – Deputy Headmaster Operations / Maths Teacher / Sports
  • Ms Ali Omell – Director of Studies / Head of Geography / Sports
  • Mrs Chantal Cillie Trevor - Bursar

Senior Management Team (SLT plus the following)

  • Mrs Evonne Wheeler – Head of Scholes House / Designated Safeguard Lead
  • Mrs Laelia Surtees - Head of Senior School / Head of Maths / Head of Opies
  • Ms Jess Horner - Head of Middle School / Scholes House Assistant Housemistress / English Teacher / LAMDA
  • Mr Ben Hudson - Director of Sport / Head of Physical Education / Art Teacher

Heads of Departments (SLT plus the following)

  • Ms Hannah Shoukry - Director of Music & Performing Arts / Head of Turners
  • Mr Neil Davidson – Head of English / Sport
  • Mrs Sarah Percival – Head of Science
  • Mrs Joe Percival - Head of History / Head of Scholars / Head of Weekends
  • Mr Charlie Maidment – Head of French / Sport
  • Mr Dennis Njogu - Head of Information and Communications Technology
  • Mrs Cat Jensen – Head of Art
  • Mrs Alison Letcher – Head of Learning Support

Teaching and Pastoral Staff

  • Mrs Celina Ritchie – Pre-prep Teacher/ Sport
  • Ms Emily Rowe – Nursery Teacher / House Tutor
  • Mrs Paula Onyango – Reception Teacher / Mackie House Assistant Housemistress
  • Ms Diana Johnson – Year 1 Teacher / Sport
  • Mrs Judy Wairimu – Year 2 Teacher / Mackie House Assistant Housemistress
  • Mrs Louise Foxton - Year 3 Teacher / Sport
  • Mrs Katie Aung- Year 4 Teacher / Sport
  • Mr Alastair Littleton – Year 4 Teacher / Deputy Designated Safeguard Lead / Assistant Housemaster / Sport
  • Mr Jack Mynott – Geography and PE Teacher / House Tutor / Sport
  • Ms Becca Rayner – Drama Teacher
  • Mr Henry Snow – Middle School Teacher / Assistant Director of Sport

Staff Vacancies

At Pembroke, we are always on the lookout for exceptional staff members. In our staff, we look for people who are prepared to go above and beyond the basic expectations, and become dedicated, passionate and inspirational team members. Staff need to be prepared to commit to a busy boarding school environment, and give their all, devoting themselves to the good of the children. They must also become a part of the Pembroke family, be flexible and informally professional, meaning they balance regulations with the need for ideas and space to learn.

While specific positions do become available throughout the year, we tend to have a primary intake of new teaching staff at the beginning of the school year in September. We are happy to receive CVs and covering letters at any time to keep on file, as well as formal applications for advertised positions, using the form here. All potential staff members will be required to undergo rigorous safer recruitment procedures before being employed at Pembroke.

Apart from teaching staff, we also have vacancies for school support staff, in a range of areas. Please contact our HR Manager by emailing hr@pembrokehouse.sc.ke for more information about specific availability in these positions.

Gap Student Opportunities

We use volunteer gap year pupils each term to assist around school, and they are a very important part of Pembroke life. Being a ‘gap’ is a brilliant experience of working in a school, and getting a little taste of Africa, although there are high expectations. Gaps are important as general classroom assistants, supporting lower ability students, listening to pupils’ daily reading, helping with games sessions, assisting in the boarding houses and in weekend clubs and activities, amongst other duties. We often have a ‘super gap’; this is someone who is a new graduate or taking a year out from their studies, and their responsibilities may extend further than those of a regular gap. Gaps may have the opportunity to travel to safari destinations for form trips, as well as independently further afield during half-term or after finishing their time at Pembroke.

Although the positions are unpaid, we provide accommodation and all meals for our gaps, as well as a year-long internship pass, allowing for future travel. One of the best parts of being a gap is to work in a team and create close friendships with fellow gaps. Gaps need to provide relevant police clearance certificates and they must undergo Safeguarding training upon arrival. Please find more information here. If you would like to apply to be a gap pupil at Pembroke, use the form here.

Term Dates

Please click on the link to see the term dates for this and subsequent school years. As a general guide, the Michaelmas term runs from the beginning of September until early December; the Lent term is from early January until late March/before Easter; the Trinity term is from late April until early July. These are usually in line with other Kenyan IAPS schools to allow for match fixtures and other inter-school events.

The complete calendar for each term is available in soft and hard copy for current parents.

Please find Pembroke Term Dates here.


We have policies for all areas of school life. These provide important guidelines to help govern the consistent and professional running of the school in a broad context. Links to our key policies are provided below, but all school policies are available upon request.

Admissions Policy
Boarding Policy
Learning Support Policy
Parent's Complaint Procedure Policy
Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy

Inspection Report

In 2018, the school underwent a full inspection by the School Inspection Service. We were judged Outstanding in the areas of Pupils’ Personal Development and Effectiveness of Boarding Provision.

Read the full British Schools Overseas (BSO) Inspection Report for Pembroke House School here.

Contact Us

Postal Address
Pembroke House School
PO Box 31
Gilgil 20116

Physical Address
Pembroke House School
Nyahururu Road

School Office
+254 (0)20 231 2324
+254 (0)727 108 567

School Contacts
HEAD: Mrs Deborah Boyd-Moss
Email - headmistress@pembrokehouse.sc.keDEPUTY

Email - mikeaung@pembrokehouse.sc.ke

Email - edmundlovatt@pembrokehouse.sc.ke

Email - aliomell@pembrokehouse.sc.ke

BURSAR: Mrs Chantal Trevor
Email - bursar@pembrokehouse.sc.ke

REGISTRAR: Mrs Katrina Dingley
Email - registrar@pembrokehouse.sc.ke

Email - admin@pembrokehouse.sc.ke

HEAD OF MACKIE HOUSE: Mr Alastair Littleton
Email - mackiehouse@pembrokehouse.sc.ke

Email - scholeshouse@pembrokehouse.sc.ke

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