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About Us

Our 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 pupils, and cater for boys and girls aged 6 months - 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.

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 pupils 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, STEAM centre, 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 pupils’ 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.

Meet the Head
Contact me at any time

I am very excited to be the Headmistress of Pembroke. My career at Pembroke has spanned over 15th years, during which 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 my children 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 is offset by the benefit of extra experience. I am very much enjoying my 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.

 Mrs Deborah Boyd-Moss

Meet the Council

RICHARD VIGNE
Chairman of Council
I am currently the Managing Director of the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. As well as chairing the Pembroke House Council, I also sit on the Executive Committee of the Laikipia Conservancies Association as well as the Board of the Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Foundation. I am passionate about education and the role education can play in the development of the young people who will need to solve the great challenges of our times, in particular those related to the environment and our stewardship of this planet.
Richard.council@pembrokehouse.sc.ke

BRYN LLEWELYN
Pembroke House Foundation Chairman
My role on Pembroke House Council is to represent the interests of the Pembroke House Foundation, of which I have been the Chairman since 2018. I am an ex Pembrokian and a current parent of two daughters at Pembroke House School. The Llewelyn family, now as third generation Pembrokians are, passionate about the school, its ethos, and dedicated towards its future. I am a farmer from Mt Kenya and enjoy the outdoors after work is done………. horses, motorbikes, kite surfing, camping and exploring new places.
Bryn.council@pembrokehouse.sc.ke

HENRY KNIGHT
Educationalist
Following a career in the wine trade, in 2003 I applied for a job at Woodcote House – a proprietorial, boys’ boarding and day prep. school – as an English teacher and, having completed my PGCE during my third year, became the Head of Department. I joined the Senior Management Team in 2006 and took over the running of the Year 8 boarding house in 2007 with my wife, Susannah. In September 2009 I was appointed Headmaster – the first person from outside the proprietorial family to hold this post since the school’s foundation in 1931. I ran the school for 7 years, completing my MEd in Educational Leadership in 2010. In 2016 I was appointed Headmaster of Belhaven Hill School, a co-educational boarding and day prep school in East Lothian. I left in September 2020 to take up the post of Head of English at Sandroyd.
Henry.council@pembrokehouse.sc.ke

ANTHONY LEFEBVRE
Finance committee and Ex Com member
I am currently the MD of Xpatlink, TheBoX and BushPrincess, and have lived in Kenya since 2007. I originate from France and have a MBA ESG (Ecole Superieure de Gestion) from Paris France. I am an ex parent of Pembroke House School and have been on council since 2013.
Anthony.council@pembrokehouse.sc.ke

Staff

‘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

Head

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Mrs Deborah Boyd-Moss

Headmistress / Next Schools / Geography Teacher

Deputy Headmasters

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Mr Mike Aung

Deputy Headmaster Operations / Maths Teacher / Sport / Head of Extra Curricular
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Mr Paul Odera

Deputy Head Pastoral/Head of TPR/Maths/Sport

Teachers

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MRS LAELIA SURTEES

Head of Senior School/Head of Maths/Head of Scholars/Head of Opies/Off Games/Hog Charge
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MS ALI OMELL

Director of Studies/Head of Geography/Sport
Copy of Sarah Percival

MRS SARAH PERCIVAL

Head of Science
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MS REBECCA RAYNER

Drama & Dance Teacher/English teacher/Head of LAMDA/ Sport/ Head of Hazards
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Mrs Judy Wairimu

Year 2 Teacher / Assistant Housemistress
Copy of Katie Aung

Mrs Katie Aung

Year 4 Teacher/Productions/Sport/PHF
Copy of Hilary Davidson

Ms Hilary Davidson

French, RS, History & Library Teacher/Exeat Weekends/Tuck Shop/ House Tutor
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Mr Neil Davidson

Head of English & Adventure Learning/Sport/House Tutor/Wkd Trips
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Mrs Barbara Terry

Learning Support Teacher
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Mrs Alison Letcher

Head of Learning Support
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Mrs Louise Foxton

Year 3 Teacher / Sport
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Ms Jess Horner

Head of Middles/Assistant Housemistress/ English Teacher/LAMDA/Productions/i/c Social Media
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Mr Ben Hudson

Director of Sport / Head of Physical Education / Art Teacher
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MR COSMAS MUTAI

Learning Support / Sport
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Mr Victor Juma

Teaching Assistant
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MS RAHAB KAMAU

Teaching Assistant
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MS EMILY KILONZO

Pre Prep Cover Teacher
Esther

MS ESTHER MWANGI

Learning Support Teacher/Sport (Athletics & Cross-Country)/House Tutor
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Mr Sammy Likoko

Teaching Assistant / Sport
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Mr JOHN MICHUKI

Woodwork & Art Assistant
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MR ISAAC NDEGWA

Teaching Assistant / Sport / Mackie House Assistant
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Mr Peter Maina

Teaching Assistant - Librarian/ Tech Team Coordinator / Sport
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Mr Ed Hawkins

French Teacher/Sport/Sport Assistant CPD
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MS HANNAH SHOUKRY

Director of Music & Performing Arts/i/c Peri / Head of Turners
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Mrs CELINA RITCHIE

Pre-Prep Teacher/Sport/House Tutor
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MS EMILY ROWE

Head of Pre-Prep/House Tutor/Sport/Deputy Safeguarding Lead
Catherine Gatheru

MRS CATHERINE GATHERU

Head of Juniors / Year 3 Teacher
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MRS DANI GOODCHILD

Year 1 teacher / Assistant Housemistress
Harrold

Ms Ash Harrold

Year 4 teacher/Sport
Miller

Ms Kaila Miller

Head of Girls' Games
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MR CHRIS HAYNES

Head of Digital Learning & Graphics
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MS NTHENYA MUUMBI

Science Teacher/Learning Support
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MR HENRY SNOW

Head of Mackie House/Assistant Director of Sport/ Middle School Teacher
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Mrs Evonne Wheeler

Designated Safeguarding Lead/Head of Scholes House/ PSHEE teacher
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Mrs Cathrine Jensen

Head of Art and Design Technology/LAMDA/Productions General Primary & Art QTS
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Mrs Anne Daykin

SEN Specialist (Hornsby Dip in SPLD) (Part Time)
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Ms Fran Pim-Kaime

Kiswahili & Citizenship Teacher/PSHEE & Library Teacher
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MR JOHN WRIGHT

Head of French & Latin/Martlet Award & Clubs Coordinator/ Head of Paid Extras/Sport /Head of Turners
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MR SETH GUMBO

Swimming & PE

Administration and Pastoral Staff

Chantal Cillie Trevor

Mrs Chantal Cillie Trevor

Bursar/PHF
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Mr Michael Amaru

Human Resource Manager / Health & Safety Administrator
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Mrs Lydia Njuguna

Accountant
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Mrs Terry Mwangi

School Secretary
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Mr Evanson Ndungu

Assistant Accountant
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Mr Andrew Nyansikera

ICT Administrator
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Mr Obadiah Nyabaro

Catering / Procurement and Stores
Richard

Mr Richard Echakan

ICT Assistant
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Mrs Ann Wanjiru Mutegi

Reprographics & Stationery
Purity Wambui

Sister Purity Nyambura

Head Nurse
Josephine Muriira

Sister Josephine Gakii Muriira

Nurse
Leah Wangeci

Sister Leah Wangechi Thimba

Nurse

Sister Mildred Chabwanga

San Assistant

Interns

shivani

Mrs Shivani Shah

Pre-Prep
Schola

Miss Scolastica Nyambura

Learning Support
Colleta

Miss Colleta Njure

Middle School

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:
SIS Inspection Full Report 2018.

In February 2020, the school also underwent a compliance inspection by the Independent Schools Inspectorate. The Standards for British Schools Oversees have all been met for accreditation.

Read the full British Schools Overseas (BSO) Inspection Report for Pembroke House School here:
ISI Inspection Full Report 2020.

Policies

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.

Term Dates

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 below.

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