PEMBROKE_EVENING_02

School Information

About Pembroke House School

On this page we have addressed some frequently asked questions and outlined our admissions process but please do get in touch if you have any further questions or would like to discuss any aspect Pembroke life in greater detail.

Admissions

Bursaries & Scholarships

Fees

Term Dates

Glossary

Uniform

Visitor Accommodation

Transport

Pembroke Houses

Location

Welcome to Pembroke House

We are delighted that you are considering Pembroke for your child or children and understand that choosing a school is a huge decision. With that in mind, we will do our best to answer any questions you may have, give a thorough insight into life at Pembroke and guide you through the admissions process.

We are really proud of our school community, facilities and the little corner of Kenya that we occupy, and love nothing more than talking about it, so do get in touch and we’ll do our best to explain what we believe it is that makes Pembroke so special.

Following an initial chat, we strongly encourage families to visit Pembroke House with their child or children before enrolling, as it is the best way to get a taste of school life and determine whether it feels like a good fit.

The academic year starts in September and this is when most children join us, although it is possible for children to join at any point through the school year into any Year group. We have a provision for babies from 6 months through to Year 8 (age 13).

We are proud to welcome children from a diverse range of social, cultural and religious backgrounds and are able to offer support to children with special educational needs, providing that our Learning Support Department can accommodate their needs to enable them to thrive. This includes pupils with physical disabilities, as long as our campus can meet their needs. We recommend parents of pupils with special educational needs or physical disabilities to discuss their child’s requirements with us so that we can make adequate provision for them.

In order to keep families together we have a policy of prioritising the siblings of children who already attend Pembroke in the event that places are restricted.

You can read our full Admissions Policy here:

Admissions process

Our aim is to make the admissions process as straightforward as possible. Although the majority of pupils join us in September, we welcome applications for children to join us at any point during the academic year.

We are a non-selective school, which means that children do not have sit entry exams. We require two recent school reports from your child’s current or previous school and The Head may contact the school for further information. Our designated Safeguarding Lead may also seek Safeguarding or Child Protection information and will follow up directly with the school, if appropriate. To secure a place at Pembroke House, parents/guardians are required to pay a one-off joining fee of Ksh. 300,000, Ksh. 225,000 of which is refunded after the pupil’s final term.

Admissions steps

  • Enquiry: Get in touch by telephone or email as soon as possible. Talk to us about our school and your child’s needs. We will do our best to answer all your questions.
  • Visit & taster: Come and visit us with your child to see what Pembroke is all about. This will give you a real sense of our ethos and all that we have to offer. Families can visit us at any time during the school term. During your visit, we will immerse your child in the school day. They will have the opportunity to wear our uniform, attend lessons, games and other activities with their peers. They can even spend a night or two boarding. Visits include school tours conducted by pupils and the opportunity to meet the Head and any other particularly relevant staff members. We find that it is the experience of the visit that helps families make the decision to join our special school.
  • Register: Registration does not commit you to take up a place but it gives your child priority over children who aren’t registered. There is no registration fee. You just need to register your child. Please also send your child’s two most recent school reports. In the registration form you can also indicate whether you intend to apply for a scholarship or bursary for your child. There is a separate form for bursary applications.
  • Joining fee: Once you have registered your child and would like them to become a pupil at Pembroke, a joining fee of Ksh. 300,000 is payable. This secures your child a place at the school for the given year of entry. The joining fee is not refunded if the place is not taken up. Ksh. 225,000 of it will be refunded after your child’s last term with us, provided all obligations are met.

Financial support for Pembroke families

Scholarships
Scholarships are available at entry for those demonstrating exceptional talent in any field. A scholarship award grants the recipient a small reduction in fees.

Parents of children who would like to apply for scholarships are asked to indicate their intention in the registration form. Potential scholars are assessed by the relevant staff members during their visit to the school.

Bursaries
Parents who anticipate difficulty in meeting the balance of the tuition fees are advised to apply for a means-tested bursary at the time of registration.

Means-tested bursaries are provided for families who are unable to meet the school’s full fees. As part of the means-testing process, both parents are required to provide proof of income and assets. The level of support given varies according to need. Bursaries are awarded for twelve months. Parents are required to provide fresh information on financial circumstances for every year that their child attends Pembroke House.

Pembroke House is a registered charity so the amount of support we are able to offer can vary due to fluctuations in school income and bursary funds. Our policy is always to share our bursary pot with as many families as possible, which means that 100% bursaries are not available.

2024 school fees

Our 2025 fees are still to be published.

2024 fees in Ksh. per term. (There are three terms annually).

Mini Martlets
Age under 2 years
Ksh. 103,500

Pre Nursery
2 – 3 years
Ksh. 129,500

Nursery
3 – 4 years
Ksh. 135,000

Reception
4 – 5 years
Ksh. 252,000

Year 1
5 years
Ksh. 665,000

Year 2
6 years
Ksh. 997,000

Year 3 – 8
7 years plus
Ksh. 1,107,700

  • 1st sibling: 5% reduction on younger sibling’s fees.
  • 2nd & further siblings: 10% reduction on the youngest relevant siblings. All sibling discounts are calculated on current pupils only.
  • Fees are due three times per year before the start of each term; beginning of September, beginning of January & the end of April for Year 1-7.
  • Fees are due two times per year at the start of 1st & second term; beginning of September & beginning of January for Year 8.
  • There is a 5% discount for paying all three terms at the start of September.
  • A monthly ‘standing order’ payment option is available with 2.5% one off surcharge on total fees.
  • Surcharge of 2.5% on balance 14 days after 1st day of term plus a 1.5% interest every month are applied for late payment.

Registration
This is not a binding commitment to join the school, but ensures you are kept up to date, for example on availability of places. It also secures priority over those not yet registered. There is no fee for registration of a child.

Joining fee
Paying the joining fee secures a place at the school for the given year of entry. Should the place not be taken up, the entire joining fee is forfeited.

The joining fee is a one-off fee of Ksh. 300,000, with Ksh. 225,000 refunded after the final term if all obligations are met.

Should a parent wish for a child to defer from the year requested, we will try as far as possible to accommodate requests but may not be able to guarantee the changed joining date.

Extras

  • Allow approximately Ksh. 45,000 per child per term.
  • Incidental extras (e.g. postage, matron’s bills, or trips) are billed after they are incurred in the invoice for the next term.
  • Subject extras (eg. music, riding) are both billed beforehand at the start of the term in which they are taken, and can be signed up for on arrival.

Ridingtermly – Ksh. 28,520
Musictermly – Ksh. 25,320
LAMDAtermly – Ksh. 13,310
Danceper session – Ksh. 1,170
Footballper session – Ksh. 1,170
Golfper session – Ksh. 1,170
Squashper session – Ksh. 1,170
Swimmingper session – Ksh. 1,170
Tae Kwon Doper session – Ksh. 1,170
Tennisper session – Ksh. 1,170
Woodworkper session – Ksh. 1,170
Pembroke – Naivasha Busper return trip – Ksh. 2,330
Pembroke – Nairobi Busper return trip – Ksh. 5,780
Learning Support per lesson – Ksh. 2330 * 1st 10 lessons are included in standard fees.

Learning Support
If required, we offer each child 10 learning support sessions per academic term included in the fees, any additional lessons are charged at Ksh. 2,330 per session.

Day rate
Please get in touch with the school should you be interested in a day rate for your child.

Please note that Pembroke House is a not-for-profit charitable trust.

 

Term Dates

MICHAELMAS TERM 2024

Start of Term: Tuesday 3rd September

Exeat: Thursday 19th September – Monday 23rd September

Half Term: Saturday 12th October – Wednesday 23rd October

Exeat: Friday 15th – Monday 18th November

End of Term: Saturday 7th December

 

LENT TERM 2025

Start of Term: Tuesday 7th January

Exeat: Friday 24th – Monday 27th January

Half Term: Saturday 15th – 24th February

Exeat: Friday 14th – Monday 17th March

End of Term: Saturday 29th March

 

TRINITY TERM 2025

Start of Term: Tuesday 22nd April

Exeat: Friday 9th – Monday 12th May

Half-Term: Saturday 24th May – Monday 2nd June

Exeat: Friday 27th June – Monday 30th June

End of Term: Friday 11th July

Pembroke words

For such a unique school, it’s not surprising that we have our own quirky terminology for the wide array of locations or activities found around our campus:

  • Boats – a high energy, half termly in-house swimming competition with classes grouped in teams of four (Boats), whose aim is to progress up the league table. None of us are quite sure of the rules!
  • The Boatie – a small pond overlooked by the staff room where children love to sail homemade boats or dip their toes.
  • Dam Land – just beyond the Boatie and next to Mackie House, this is where the children love to make muddy dams before showers in the evening.
  • Dinky Safari Rally – an annual race, where children build their own safari dinky cars with outlandish names and carefully guide them (both day and night!) along a course that includes crossing the swimming pool and golf course.
  • The Forestry – alongside the sports pitches, this woodland is used for mountain biking, cross country trail running and exercising the ponies. Adventure Learning takes place in this area, along with any excuse for a night spent under canvas in the camp. Parents are also welcome to bring a tent and camp out during key school events.
  • Scholes Folly – The girls’ common room, and the perfect spot for chatting and hot cocoa before bed.
  • Head’s Hub – originally the Head Teacher’s House, the Hub offers nightly accommodation for visiting parents, is home to our uniform shop and the garden is often used as a delightful entertaining space.
  • The Martlet Café – found at the school’s entrance, our own café offers a meeting point for staff, parents and the local community. With relaxing sofas, a covered terrace and a delicious menu, the café is a welcoming space to work or catch up with friends – particularly the four legged variety, as dogs are known to outnumber other café visitors. The resident guinea fowl can often be found grazing here too.
  • Mackie House – the boys’ boarding house, fondly named after Leo Mackie, a former teacher.
  • Mackie Shack – adjacent to Mackie House is the Mackie Shack. This building is used as a communal space for the boys to relax, complete with table football and a mezzanine, ideally suited to movie watching.
  • Opie’s Pavilion – named after David Opie, a former Head from 1970, this is the sports pavilion in the middle of the pitches, which provides respite from the sun and from where a delicious match tea is served.
  • Pre’s Lawn – an immaculate oval shaped lawn located in front of the main library, where Prefects and Year 8’s can relax on benches and watch the buzz of school life, particularly the children racing by on the skateboard, scooter and wobble board track.
  • Scholes House – the girls boarding house named after Sue Scholes and nestled next to the school chapel, where bi-weekly assemblies kick-start the day with a hymn, address from the Head emphasising the importance of manners and match reports are read out.
  • Shack Land – close to the railway bridge, on an elevated bank, children can be found building dens from the natural materials around them. Competition is fierce and the designs can get elaborate.
  • Sorting Hat – A familiar term for all Harry Potter fans, each child is ‘sorted’ during their first chapel service by Mrs Boyd-Moss and the ‘hat’ which offers her a magical insight to the children’s minds and determines which House they should be placed in!
  • The Trickle – a small stream adjacent to the playing fields where children gather during free time.

 

The Clothing Company East Africa

Our uniform shop is located onsite at the Head’s Hub and provides us with well-designed and high quality Pembroke House branded uniform.

They also sell locally beaded weekend bags, baseball caps, bespoke t-shirts and other unique clothing designs that help raise funds for the school’s Foundation.

sales@pembrokehouseuniform.com

 

Head's Hub

The Head’s Hub is a comfortable detached two bed house and separate two bed cottage set within a landscaped garden, adjoining the sports pitches.

All rooms are available for nightly rental for Pembroke parents on a B&B basis to enable parents an ideal base while collecting their children for exeat or coming to watch them perform in our theatre.

Bookings can be made via: mjnuijtencoulson@pembrokehouse.sc.ke

 

Bus Services

For families living some distance away and that are unable to easily travel to school we offer a number a transport services. We run frequent bus services between Pembroke, Nairobi (Friday-Sunday), Naivasha (most days) and Nanyuki.

At the beginning and end of exeats, half-terms and at the end of every term, we arrange transport to Naivasha, Nairobi, Wilson and JKIA airports.

Parents need to liaise with the school office to arrange transport for their child. Bus trips are always accompanied and information about drivers and itineraries are shared with parents.

To arrange transport, please email: admin@pembrokehouse.co.ke

 

Fosters, Hazards, Opies & Turners

Every child is assigned to one of four houses, all named after former headmasters; Fosters (blue), Hazards (yellow), Opies (green) and Turners (red).

Each child is ‘sorted’ in their first assembly by the Sorting Hat (to the great delight of Harry Potter fans!).

Children compete all year in the Cock House competition, earning points as part of a House team and individually. Points are awarded for good deeds in all aspects of school life, from academic effort to a kind act. House points double as credits for the school tuck shop and can be traded for treats at scheduled times during the week.

Each House meets weekly, work points and conducts are gathered, house related issues are discussed and House chants are sung.

 

Nestled in the Rift Valley

Pembroke House sits on a 140 acre countryside campus in the heart of the Great Rift Valley. Located just outside the town of Gilgil, on the Nyahururu Road, Pembroke House is around two and a half hours drive north of Nairobi.

With distant views of the Eburru Hills and Abadares, the school is nestled north of Lake Naivasha and to the south of Soysambu conservancy, Lake Elementaita and Lake Nakuru giving it a unique setting, surrounded by the rich and varied Kenyan landscape.

Gilgil itself has a strong sense of community, much of which revolves around Pembroke School, most school families that live in Gilgil are within quite a small geographical area around Ridge Mount. Sitting at around 1,900 meters above sea level the climate is cooler than many other parts of Kenya and the rain fall a little higher, resulting in a greener landscape with far fewer mosquitos.

Gilgil is well placed for excursions to Laikipia and the Massai Mara, and closer to home, Nakuru, Longonot and Hell’s Gate. Nairobi is within striking distance which enables our children to visit for school trips and away matches against Nairobi schools.

Although Gilgil is small, it has a growing offering of shops as well as a gym and yoga studio, the Manyatta Polo Club, Gilgil Club and Bus Stop café. There are several organic farms selling their produce as well as a small farm shop and a couple of local supermarkets.

The school itself has the Martlet café, a cosy hub where parents congregate for a coffee or to work durning the day. The Martlet is also open in the evenings when there are productions or other events.

 

Frequently asked questions

How many children attend Pembroke House?

There are approximately 200 children in our prep school and 45 in pre-prep.

What is the girl / boy ratio?

The children are an almost perfect 50/50 split of girls and boys, with just a few more boys than girls across the whole school.

What is the boarding vs day ratio?

At Pembroke 70% of children board during the week, that number is higher for the Senior School (Year 7 & 8), and slightly lower for the younger children. At weekends around 40% of children board.

How many nationalities are represented across the Pembroke student body?

We are very proud to represent 29 different nationalities in our student body.

(Ghanaian, Kenyan, British, Israeli, Ugandan, American, Mauritian, Irish, Greek, Spanish, Italian, Belgium, French, New Zealand, South African, Dutch, German, Zimbabwean, Malawian, Swedish, Lebanese, Tanzanian, Pakistani, Indian, Australian, Swazi (Eswatini), Seychellois, Colombian and Ethiopian).

Where do Pembroke children go for secondary school?

80% of Pembroke House children go on to either the UK or South Africa, the remaining 20% stay in Kenya or go elsewhere across the globe.

Pembroke has a close relationship with a huge number of excellent schools and excels at successfully pairing each child with the best secondary school for them.

Some schools that Pembroke students have recently joined include:

UK;
Bedford
Blundells
Bryanston
Canford
Cheltenham
Glenalmond
Gordonstoun
Kings Taunton
Malvern College
Marlborough College
Sedbergh
Sherborne Girls
Sherborne School
Shrewsbury School
Uppingham

Kenya;
Braeburn
Peponi
St. Andrew’s Turi

South Africa;
Bishops
Kingswood
St. Andrew’s College

What sports facilities do you have?

A large sports field that can accommodate:
7 x rugby pitches
8 x hockey fields
10 x netball courts
6 x cricket pitches (including 4 all-weather astro wickets)
2 x football pitches
2 x hardcourt tennis courts
5 x cricket nets (including 3 all-weather astro nets)
1 x 4 lane swimming pool
2 x squash courts
1 x sports hall with astro turf
1 x climbing wall
1 x wobble board / skateboard track
1 x motorcross course
1 x horse cross country course
2 x horse riding arenas
Next door to Pembroke is the Gilgil Club golf course, club tennis courts & Manyatta polo pitches that we also make use of.

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