We are very excited that today 12th January 2021 marks our 8 year anniversary! Woop woop!!
It was a snowy day in 2013 when we opened our doors to our “First Five” eager, yet anxious pupils – Dom, Max, Tom, Chelsea and Phoebe. Mrs Barnes, Mr Rider (then a fresh-faced graduate who came to us as a Teaching Assistant), Mrs Cassidy and I shovelled snow in readiness for our Grand Opening at our tiny converted barn on Honey Lane in Hurley. We had a tractor at the ready to ferry our children up the hill to the school as the snow came down in bucketloads! It was exciting but terrifying all at the same time. Five families (including mine) had put their faith in us to educate their precious children in our unique, unproven and untried approach that we believed so much in – could we do it? Could it work? Of course it could!
We had no idea then what the future could possibly hold for Beech Lodge. We could only dream that the school would flourish into the wonderful community it has become today. What started as a slightly mad idea in my living room with my dearest friend Emma Barklem had become an urgent mission as Lucy, Emma and I spent the previous 18 months in meetings with the local authority, with builders, planners, prospective parents and staff members not wishing to waste a minute in case it was too late for our children Dom and Max. We were mavericks, disrupters and if I’m honest we didn’t have a clue if this dream of ours would really work. We had certainly put in the pre-requisite 10,000 hours of toil to make the darn thing work and my goodness, hasn’t it just!
8 years on and our dream has exceeded all our expectations. We are so super proud of our wonderful school, the children and staff within it. Out of the First Five, Dom is still with us in his last year at Beech Lodge while the others have all successfully gone on to college, work and other ventures – and we are proud of them all!
There are so many people to thank who have made this journey possible and sadly we can’t throw a party or celebrate in our inimitable Beech Lodge style, so I shall quietly raise a glass to our beloved school, thank you all for getting us here and start making plans for our 10 year anniversary which will have to be big, brash and very very bold!