- Sixth Form
Building work is now completed on Millfield's state of the art indoor Golf and Cricket Centres on campus.
Opportunities for every pupil to get involved
Every child in the school participates in Athletics during the Summer Term. During the winter we operate track club sessions at Millfield and indoor training sessions for the field events. Teams from all age groups compete in Inter-House and Inter-School fixtures against local state and preparatory schools, giving all children the opportunity to compete. For older children, athletics competitions extend to county, regional and national events, in which Millfield Prep pupils are highly successful.
On average, each year 25 athletes are selected as individuals to represent the South-West in the National Preparatory Schools' Championships. Our teams regularly reach the final of the English Schools Cup which is open to both state and independent schools. We have a large number of qualified athletics staff who help on the coaching side.
The facilities on-site at Millfield Prep include a grass running track, 3 lane tartan hurdle track, long jump pit and throws, whilst at Millfield School there is an all-weather 400-metre track with full facilitation for all events, to which we have access.
Girls’ Cricket is becoming hugely popular at Millfield Prep.
Indoor club sessions operate throughout the year, led by our Director of Cricket. During the summer, Girls’ Cricket is a curriculum sport for all year groups, with regular match play opportunities. We play pairs cricket matches against local schools and our Senior Development Team play 30 over hard ball matches against county teams from Somerset, Gloucester, Cornwall, Devon and Dorset.
The girls’ team have twice won the National Indoor title at Lord’s. Individual private lessons are also available.
A wide range of opportunities for all levels and all ages
Cricket is the major summer game at Millfield Prep. A full fixture list allows every child the opportunity to participate. Matches start for the U8 teams and we currently run a total of 14 sides in six age-groups, also playing ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ matches at U13, U12 and U11 levels. The 1st XI, U12s and Development Squads have regular fixtures against county age-group teams such as Somerset, Devon, Gloucester and Cornwall, as well as those from South Wales. It is possible to play up to 11 home games on a Wednesday or Saturday on the beautifully prepared pitches and grounds.
A proud history of great successes
In recent years our boys' 1st team have regularly won the David Bunbury and National Prep Schools titles. Over the years, large numbers of Millfield Prep cricketers have represented county sides (mainly Somerset) at U13, U12, U11 and U10 level. Very significant numbers of our old boys have graduated to play first class cricket for various counties. There are at least ten Millfield Prep Old Boys currently playing first class cricket.
An extensive and well-structured winter programme of training and coaching has been arranged by Level 3 Coach, David Beal, Millfield Prep’s Director of Cricket. A former Somerset professional and the county’s longest-serving youth coach, Dave has a coaching input for every child in the school. Pupils are also given the opportunity to participate in ‘club’ sessions during the winter months, while individual coaching lessons can also be made available. Two bowling machines are much used to assist coaching and player development.
Opportunities for all boys and girls
Our training programme runs throughout the year. Sessions are optional and available to all pupils. We compete in the Autumn and Spring Terms with pupils from Years 3–8 participating regularly. Competitions range from the whole school Inter-House race to County and National events. In the Autumn Term, our main competition is the English Schools Cup and we regularly reach the final. We also enter the Gwent and Mendip League. In the Spring Term, the main competitions are the National Preparatory Schools Championships, Somerset Schools Championships and our own Edgarley Relays. We have regular individual winners in the English School Cup and the team is commonly National Preparatory Schools Champions in both boys and girls. Many pupils represent Somerset in the South West Championships. For Years 6 and below, Millfield Prep competes in the local Mendip League.
Training and facilities
Outstanding training is provided five times per week by a qualified and experienced athletics coach. The training facilities on-site include extensive playing fields within beautiful countryside, alongside giving a variety of training and racing options. We also have a small indoor gym with a treadmill for injury prevention work with our school physiotherapist.
As the Director of Equestrian at Millfield Prep School, I am responsible for the beautiful on-campus Equestrian Centre, the 25 superb ponies stabled here and the coaching of our brilliant riders.
We currently have 60 pupils riding, from beginners learning the basics, up to experienced competitors taking on challenging Eventing competitions – we have the reigning champions of NSEA and Hickstead amongst our pupils. Our riders take part in a mixture of group and individual sessions, as well as Cross Country on our specially designed course, fun sessions at the beach and hacking through the stunning Somerset countryside that surrounds the school.
Our pupils enjoy using the arenas here at the Prep School, 120 acres of hacking trails and canter track, as well as the indoor school over at Millfield Senior School. As the only British school with our own Polo facilities, our pupils can learn to play and take part in competitions up at our countryside Kingweston Estate, where our annual Millfield Polo event takes place in the summer. Pupils also love our annual Millfield BE competition, which sees riders from all over the world come to take part.
Equestrian at Millfield Prep is about more than riding, as we also teach our pupils how to properly care for their ponies. On Wednesday and Saturday afternoons, riders can come and take part in Stable Management lessons, where we teach them how to maintain their pony’s wellbeing, including how to do studs and plait manes ready for competition.
I wanted to speak to two of our Millfield Prep riders, to find out more about their lives at Millfield Prep and what they really love about riding here.
Read the full blog post here.
Riding has been established at Millfield Prep since 2003 and, as a BHS Approved livery yard and riding school, offers a fully comprehensive riding experience for riders of all abilities, aged 5 to 13 years. Six full-time members of staff live in the farmhouse on-site, and the whole riding centre is on campus within easy walking distance of the school and boarding houses.
We currently have stabling for 30 ponies, located in a picturesque converted farmyard with a modern barn stabling system as well as conventional stables.
Our first-class facilities include:
Warm and spacious male and female changing rooms and a secure and organised rug and trunk room ensure that pupils can transfer between riding and their school studies with ease.
Opportunities for pupils with or without ponies
Pupils can keep their pony on full livery at the yard and for pupils who are considering buying a pony in the future, a selection of our school horses are available on loan. We also provide a number of school horses to cater for those who wish to ride as a hobby once a week.
Lessons are scheduled before school, at lunchtimes and after school. Some pupils are extracted from PE or Games sessions to ride. Pupils of all standards are catered for.
Competitions and opportunities to learn
Pupils who have their own ponies at school and have attained the required standard of competence, attend competitions regularly throughout the term, including inter-school competitions.
We offer BHS Junior Progressive Riding tests and hold stable management sessions at the weekend for those who wish to learn more about caring for horses.
Millfield Prep is one of the only schools in the country to offer high level coaching and competition in all three weapons to both genders. Fencing is available to all pupils at Millfield Prep via the club programme. As well as this, all of Year 6 will experience fencing as part of their PE lessons.
Club and Squad sessions are led by Tristan Parris, Director of Fencing, and our six specialist coaches are available to all pupils for individual sessions and all-round support, as we aim to help each pupil reach their potential. All equipment is provided and pupils will regularly train at the purpose-built fencing salle at Millfield Senior School.
Whilst pupils can fence at Millfield Prep for their pleasure, we also aim to provide coaching support for them at a number of local, regional and national competitions, should they wish to pursue the sport at a more competitive level. Through this system Millfield Prep fencers have gone on to achieve international honours whilst at the school and further into their Senior School career.
Millfield Prep regularly qualifies a large number of pupils for the British Youth Championships and both hosts and excels at the annual IAPS Fencing Tournament.
Football is taught as part of the games curriculum in Years 3-6 and is run via club sessions in Years 7 and 8. Both girls' and boys' teams play an extensive range of fixtures, both locally and nationally, as friendlies and cup matches. Pupils have one lesson a week during the Autumn Term and the senior boys also have a weekly club activity throughout the Autumn and Spring Terms.
In the Autumn Term, U13 boys play in the National Independent Schools 6-A-Side Tournament and the ISFA National 11-A-Side Cup. U13 and U12 boys, plus the U13 girls, all play in the ESFA National Knockout Tournaments and U11 boys and girls enter 6-a-side regional tournaments leading to national finals.
In the spring term U13, U12 and U11 boys play local teams after school in leagues and regular fixtures. We also host tournaments at U10 A and B, and U9 A and B team level.
We often have pupils playing for Football League Academy teams and the school works closely with parents and clubs to manage this commitment.
Access to fantastic golfing facilities
Millfield Prep offers an outstanding provision for golf. We have our own 9 hole course, a putting green on campus, an indoor coaching area and have use of the Millfield Senior School driving range at Butleigh and the course at Kingweston.
Millfield Prep School Programme
In addition to individual coaching, we run various beginner, development and elite squad sessions. We have access to various local courses and pupils of an appropriate standard have the opportunity to follow a full time program. The expert tuition includes video swing analysis, long and short game and help with course management.
Professional golf coaches
Our Director of Golf, PGA professional Ian Vibert, is a graduate from Loughborough University with a further Foundation Degree in Golf from Birmingham University. Ian co-ordinates the Prep School programme and we also have considerable support from the Senior School PGA golf professionals, Karen Nicholls and Stuart Wells.
Opportunities to compete
We compete successfully in various Prep School and U18 golf competitions, including our own Open Tournament held annually in June at Kingweston. The Squad golfers have the opportunity to play every Wednesday whilst at school at a local golf course, sometimes joining the Millfield Senior School pupils. Other events we regularly attend are the IAPS National Championships, the ISGA Junior Open and Junior Schools Cup, both held at Sunningdale Ladies Golf Club, the ISGA National League, Somerset Schools Championships and the prestigious Stowe Putter. We also play matches against other local schools, giving a lot of opportunity to compete at the highest levels locally and internationally. As a result of successes in some of these events, pupils have qualified to play in Scotland, Spain and America.
Building work is now completed on Millfield's state of the art indoor Golf and Cricket Centres on campus.
Opportunities for all pupils to get involved
Hockey continues to flourish at the Millfield Prep for both boys and girls. Each year we run at least 16 teams for both the girls and boys. We aim to offer everybody the chance to participate in school matches, whilst maintaining our status as one of the country’s leading hockey schools. We host huge numbers of tournaments and to encourage player development for all pupils. We regularly enter teams into separate B team competitions.
Access to great facilities and coaching
All coaching sessions and fixtures are played on AstroTurf. We have our own new sand dressed pitch on site and gain regular access to the three water-based pitches at the Senior School. The sports hall is also set up for indoor hockey. Our coaching staff are very strong and include a former Olympic player and Premier National League coach.
Chances to compete at the highest levels
We have strong links with England Hockey and encourage pupils to access the player pathway. In addition to an extensive fixture list, we compete very successfully in the National Schools and IAPS competitions. Many of our previous pupils have graduated to international and Olympic teams.
Our main focus for competitions is with modern pentathlon-based events, in particular the Schools Biathlon (with separate run and swim). Some children are also keen to develop their shooting and participate in modern triathlon (run, swim and shoot). The current pentathlon programme has well-established links with the athletics and swimming squads, enabling pupils to train regularly throughout the week. Pupils also get the chance to learn to shoot, fence and ride ponies.
Staff ensure a balanced approach, which ties in with existing training for the individual disciplines, making full use of the superb facilities and unrivalled coaching.
In PE lessons, we also have taster sessions in laser shooting and running. As well as nurturing existing talent, we are keen to introduce all pupils to modern pentathlon sports, as it develops fundamental life skills and there is always a great team spirit in training and at competitions.
Developing skills and understanding of the game
Millfield Prep hosts numerous local, county and regional tournaments. In the Autumn Term the girls have the opportunity to participate in weekly training sessions. This helps to develop their basic skills and understanding of the game and provides a good grounding for the netball season in the Spring Term. In the netball season, the girls have two sessions a week in addition to matches on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Every age group can attend the weekly practices.
Millfield Prep has seven netball courts and one indoor court. We run at least two teams in each year group (including U8s), with up to five teams when numbers permit.
Opportunities to compete at all levels
Our 13 year olds regularly attend the U14 county trials and are very successful. We currently have six Somerset satellite players (U14) as well as two U16 County players. The U11A, U12A and U13A teams enter the regional IAPS netball tournaments and are commonly successful at National level.
Producing rugby players
Millfield Prep is considered to regularly produce one of the strongest 1st XV rugby teams in the country. We field three teams at U13 and U12 level and two at U11.
The new rules introduced by the RFU have been embraced at the school and Millfield Prep has strongly supported the ethos of helping each player to progress no matter what their ability. The school has been recognised as the first 'Champion School' for introducing and upholding the new rules of play; a testiment to the coaching that the boys receive. The boys’ progress is carefully monitored in order to ensure that they are playing at a level that is right, beneficial and safe for them. Helping each individual to enjoy their rugby and still be playing in 20 years’ time at the appropriate level is the key aim for staff.
The boys train at least twice a week during the Autumn Term and have fixtures most Wednesday and Saturday afternoons.
Nurturing and developing talent in a safe and controlled environment
At Millfield Prep we put the pupils at the heart of everything we do and all decisions we make. Fun on the pitch, through equal opportunity and realistic expectations of each individual is key. Developing pupils’ confidence and character as players and challenging any behaviour that conflicts with this is a factor that each member of staff will put across to pupils in their rugby sessions.
We will champion rugby’s core values; teamwork, respect, enjoyment, disciple and sportsmanship. The school has made the pledge and is part of a group of schools who are committed to implanting these values into the rugby sessions and matches.
With our Year 3 pupils, rugby is taught in a sensible and controlled way, with six-a-side tag rugby. In Year 4 we introduce transitional contact, where we play a maximum of seven players per team. The development of the game continues through into Year 5 by playing eight-a-side and, in Year 6, nine-a-side rugby.
Inspiring a lifelong bond to rugby
Millfield Prep has regularly produced rugby talent of the highest quality. Famous Old Boys include Matt Perry, who played for England as well as the British Lions, and Chris Robshaw, former England Captain. We have also produced boys who have gone on to play for top teams such as Bath, Leicester and Wasps.
We are proud that all the boys that leave Millfield Prep have a love for rugby and are keen to progress the skills that they have learnt both on and off the pitch.
During the spring term we play seven-a-side rugby at U11, U12 and U13 age levels. We have achieved great success by winning tournaments on a regular basis including the highly prestigious national seven-a-side tournament at Rosslyn Park.
We concentrate on training for regattas throughout the year, but encourage those who are new to the sport to try sailing as well. For newcomers, we follow the RYA syllabus to ensure they are at least competent to a Stage 2 standard. Some of our young sailors have progressed to the stage where they have been selected to race in national prep schools’ regattas. Pupils in Years 6 to 8 can opt to sail on Wednesday afternoon instead of playing team sports. We currently sail from the National Centre in Weymouth.
Our sailors are challenged in the great outdoors in many different ways. Knot tying, problem solving, dealing with hot or cold, windy or windless weather conditions, working independently and as a team to achieve the same goal, constant vigilance and concentration, and risk management. Despite all of these challenges, they still seem to have a lot of fun!
Millfield Prep has a comprehensive squash programme, that encompasses PE lessons, fun lunchtime and after-school sessions. We also offer sessions at the Senior School overseen by Director of Squash, Ian Thomas. Aspiring performance-level players can access the Senior School programme.
There are four squash courts attached to the Sports Hall on the Millfield Prep campus. Individual private coaching is available on a daily basis.
We offer domestic and international competitive opportunities to all team players. With school fixtures and one day mini festivals which feature club and county teams. It is a holistic programme that aims to develop the pupil in enjoyment, sportsmanship and technical abilities.
Swimming at Millfield Prep School is completely unique. Lead by ex-Olympic Swimmer and former Millfield pupil, Helen Gouldby, the programme focuses on the individual development of each child. With world-class facilities at their fingertips, including a 25m pool on site and Olympic-sized 50m pool at Millfield School, daily swim training available, flexi-boarding to suit early morning training sessions and timetables tailored to each individual child, there could be no better place prepared to discover and nurture the brilliance in future swimmers.
Read the blog post here.
Top Swimming Squad
The swimming squad has a tremendous record, competing regularly against club swimmers throughout the country. We are recognised as one of the top clubs in Britain and have had considerable success in the Arena League and securing places on the England Talent Identification Programme. Several of our pupils swim internationally and have competed at recent Olympic Games.
Competing at all levels
Millfield Prep regularly turns out winners of national age group titles, regional and county level and has consistently won Top Club at both Somerset and regional level.
The swimming programme starts as young as Pre-Prep and continues through to Year 8. The swimmers compete at all levels of competition from development meets all the way through to the British National Age Groups. The squad is a formidable force at the IAPS in both the girls’ and boys’ tournament.
The ethos at Millfield Prep is very much geared towards key foundations with emphasis on skills and techniques to establish a strong technical background which provides the corner stone to a successful senior swimming career. This method prolongs children’s involvement in the sport and enables children more opportunity to realise their swimming potential. The swimming program prides itself on giving the young swimmers a foundation of great skills and techniques with a good aerobic base ready for their long swimming journey.
Outstanding facilities and coaching staff
The advantage of swimming at Millfield has to be the wonderful facilities coupled with the amount of water time available, allowing the children to finish at a reasonable time.
The Director of Millfield Prep Swimming is Helen Gouldby (nee Bewley) who is a past Olympian, having competed at the 1988 Olympics in the 200m Butterfly, and has successfully coached at Millfield since 1992. Links with the Senior School are strong and Helen has two superb assistant coaches.
At Millfield Prep our aim is to produce healthy, capable and resilient young athletes with a robust set of technical skills for tennis, whilst providing opportunities for all levels of tennis participation and success. We currently have three players competing at national level, but at the same time our inclusive programme allows us to offer players of all levels and abilities the opportunity to play and enjoy the sport.
Over 150 pupils are involved in the tennis programme and have the opportunity to access at least three squads per week (free of charge) irrespective of their ability. Anyone can book private lessons with one of our eight highly qualified coaches, in order to develop their technical skills and we provide lots of competitive opportunities, running both internal and external tournaments and match play in the winter terms alongside a very busy fixture list in the summer term.
The coaching team is led by the Director of Tennis, Sarah Thomas (M.Ed) a former international, Level 5 Master Performance Coach and LTA Tutor. Our past pupils include Richard Gabb, Luke Hammond and Finn Bass who have all achieved International honours. Our facilities include seven hard courts (four with floodlights) and one indoor bubble. We have nine Astroturf courts for use during during the summer months and our top squads access the three Senior School indoor courts for their training.
Trampolining is taught in PE lessons and via the club programme at recreational and competition levels.
We have regular success at county, regional and national levels and our girls’ and boys’ teams are commonly IAPS Champions.
We have four Grand Master trampolines with 6mm beds and also an overhead rig. Training takes place three days a week throughout the school year and pupils compete on average at six competitions annually.
Coaching at the school is undertaken by Bob Dutton, a British Gymnastics Senior Club Coach, who also holds an Area Judge qualification. Alongside Bob, there are coaches Polly Evans, a former international, and Menna Close, a former Welsh Gymnastics team member with experience as an international competitor and is chosen to judge at most events the school attends.