Pembroke House School – Bringing Out The Best in Every Child

Location – P.O. Box 31, Gilgil 20116, Nyahururu Road, Gilgil, Kenya      


Contact – +254 (0) 708 143 600

Brief History of The College

Pembroke House is a unique British boarding school in the heart of Kenya. We are a small, multicultural school of around 230 pupils, catering for boys and girls aged 6 months – 13 years. We were founded in 1927,and have had a 94 year history of private education in East Africa, 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 ISEB Common Entrance curriculum. Our pupils go on to top international schools in the UK, SA, Kenya and elsewhere around the world, with a high percentage achieving scholarships and awards to their next schools.

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.

The Guiding Mission

Mission: to provide a small, friendly atmosphere where each child is nurtured to be the very best version of themselves. Some thrive as team members others enjoy the challenges of leadership. No matter what, Pembroke House expects the children to be totally engaged and committed to doing their best across the board.

Vision: To bring out the best in every child. 

Values: Dignity, duty and constancy. Pembroke children encompass a spirit to show courage, enthusiasm and kindness at all times no matter what the challenge.

The Pembroke Spirit

  • We believe that education should go beyond academic results – Over 60% of our pupils’ gained scholarships and awards to their secondary schools in 2019.  We excel in building character and confidence, creating children that have initiative and are capable.
  • We believe that every child counts and every moment matters – With 230 Children at Pembroke, including Pre-Prep and Mini Martlets playgroup, and class sizes averaging just 15 children.
  • We believe in the importance of quality time at school and at home.  Juggling parenting, careers, school-runs and homework can beat the best of us and time together is not always quality time.  Our responsive boarding aims to address this modern-day challenge. We provide boarding that is like a ‘home away from home’ with a family feel and the very best pastoral care. 

The Inspiring Leader

Deborah Boys-Moss’ career at Pembroke House has spanned over 16 years, during which time she has worked in a number of different roles.  She spent many years teaching Geography in the Senior School and being a class teacher in the Junior School, as well as being Housemistress of both Scholes House, (the girls’ house) and Mackie House, (the boys’ house) along the way. She was then Headmistress for seven years between 2009 and 2016 and during this time it was rewarding for her to watch the school develop, confidence grow, and the numbers to swell from 134 when she began, to 227 when she left.

Debs re-joined in 2019 and is very much enjoying her new tour of duty at school and she is excited at the prospect of all she can add in the coming years. She strongly believes the values fundamental to the ethos of Pembroke will always remain the same: courage, good manners, kindness and always trying to do your best. She is well aware that the world marches on and there are many new challenges to face from modern-day life, as well as much to embrace in the ever-changing world of education.

Our Commitments, Everyday Education Excellience  

Pupils: Boys and Girls aged 6 Month – 2 Years Mini Martlets, 2 Years – 5 Years Pre-prep, 6 Years -13 Years Prep, of all nationalities, creeds and ethnicities.

Curriculum: Common Entrance: A British syllabus leading to examinations at age 13, ideal for entry to British Independent Schools and as a foundation to IGCSE

Boarding: Full, responsive boarding: A full boarding school that also responds to the needs of its families. 

Religion: Christian values but tolerant of all religious beliefs. The school aims to be a source of ethical and moral education and discipline.

Instruction: Individual attention, an emphasis on understanding each child and tailoring learning to individual needs. The school commits to average class sizes of 15 children with a maximum of 18 children per class and a pupil teacher ratio of approximately 6:1.   Tutor groups are small and there is one-to-one tuition from the Coach House for those children who need individual learning support.

Pastoral Care: The pastoral care at Pembroke House is second to none. The school provides a home from home environment for each child. Family values combined with the structure and rhythm of each day, engenders confidence and discipline.

Educators Who Care

The team of teachers and assistants at Pembroke House is talented and experienced with a broad range of cultural backgrounds.  This means we can always find a member of staff who will relate to each one of our children and this gives them the necessary helping hand in relating to the traditions and learning practices of Pembroke House.

We have recently expanded our Library to allow children a larger space to be able to read in their free time and provide a space of calm and reflection. We encourage the children to voice their concerns through Pembroke Voices as well as Prefect meetings, a problem box and regular boarding house meetings. Every Friday evening, we have ‘Pembroke Presents’ where children in Years 6-8 present a topic of their choice and answer questions from the audience.

Beyond Traditional Curriculum

Adventure Learning sessions attempt to support the mainstream curriculum by bridging the gap between theory and practice, whether that be through artefacts, specimens or purely the experience of how what we do in a classroom links to the real world. The holistic nature of each session attempts to remove the compartmentalised attitude some students have to subjects, focusing on skills and experiences rather than content.

The Martlet Award is designed to enable every child to reflect upon their personal development, bringing together achievements from across the breadth of their learning and experiences at school.

Motivation for students

We have recently expanded our Library to allow children a larger space to be able to read in their free time and provide a space of calm and reflection. We encourage the children to voice their concerns through Pembroke Voices as well as Prefect meetings, a problem box and regular boarding house meetings. Every Friday evening, we have ‘Pembroke Presents’ where children in Years 6-8 present a topic of their choice and answer questions from the audience.

We believe that parents also deserve support.  It’s not always easy raising a child and we try to be of help where we can. Sometimes this is in the form of financial support for fees.  Pembroke House has been a ‘Trust’ school since 1959, meaning that we are “not-for-profit”. Therefore all income goes back into the school and it’s pupils.  We look to assist parents with bursaries, and scholarships where we can.  Bursaries are all means tested for fairness and we work hand-in-hand with families to identify what will work best for them and their children.

We are a prep school that prepares our children for Senior School in the UK, SA, Kenya and the Wider World.

Pembroke during Covid-19

When schools had to close due to COVID-19, Pembroke put together a comprehensive online learning programme to ensure there was no interruption to our children’s education. We supported our children academically by making sure that all lessons were ‘live’ with a teacher teaching full lessons through Google Meet.  Having Teachers teach proper lessons helped to inspire the children, instil discipline, create camaraderie, and provide continual support in the learning process. The school was mindful of the children and the teacher’s well-being and much thought was given to providing a balanced timetable with the inclusion of non-academic lessons and time specifically for well-being, exercise, and creativity away from a screen.

Our teachers stepped up to the plate and gave everything to ensure that our children were cared for as much as possible with ever more creative ways to encourage learning. On our return to school, new risk assessments were put in place and Covid protocols developed following Government guidelines to instil confidence and keep the whole school community as safe as possible. This meant changes to our daily routine but always at the forefront of our minds was the need to ensure the children and our staff had a safe and nurturing environment in which to live.

Awards, Accreditations and Collaborations

  • IAPS – Member of Independent Association of Prep Schools School Inspection Company
  • “Rated ‘outstanding’ by SIS for pupils’ personal development and the effectiveness of boarding provision.”
  • “Throughout the school pupils’ personal development is outstanding and their behavior is excellent. They develop a strong moral compass, based on Christian values, and are respectful and caring towards one another.”
  • “The quality of the boarding experience at Pembroke House is outstanding. The high level of care and excellent relationships in the boarding community enable the children to feel safe, happy and able to succeed.”

Spear’s and Carfax Education School Index Report –

“Pembroke House School, Kenya, voted a Top 10 Preparatory School Worldwide.” – Spears List 2020 “Pembroke House School, Kenya, voted as one of the top 100 schools in the world this year.” – Spears List 2021

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