Woodleigh School, North Yorkshire

Woodleigh School was a preparatory school for boys and girls aged 3 to 13, located in the village of Langton, North Yorkshire, England. It was established in 1929 and closed in August 2012.[2] In its final year, it had 61 pupils, a mixture of day children and boarders.[4]

Woodleigh School

, ,
YO17 9QN

Coordinates54.094530°N 0.777420°W / 54.094530; -0.777420
TypePreparatory Day and Boarding
Religious affiliation(s)Church of England[1]
FounderArthur England
Local authorityNorth Yorkshire
SpecialistChild centred education[3]
Department for Education URN121756 Tables
Age3 to 13
HousesNorth, South, East, West
Colour(s)Royal blue and white
PublicationThe Woodleighan, and Woodleigh Weekly

The school was situated at Langton Hall between 1946 and 2012, historically the seat of the Norcliffe family.[5] The Hall that was leased to Woodleigh School, owned at the time by their descendants, the Howard-Vyse family, is a Grade II* listed building.[6]


The school was founded in 1929 in Hessle, near Hull,[7] by the late Arthur England, grandfather of the last headmaster.[8][9] There were no other boys’ preparatory schools in the area at the time. By 1930, two years after the school had launched, there were 25 pupils. During the war Woodleigh moved to Firby Hall near Westow village in 1939.[10]

In 1946 the school moved to Langton Hall, south of Malton, in the Yorkshire Wolds. The hall was previously owned by the Howard-Vyse family,[11] descendants of the Norcliffe family.[12] The oldest part of the house, formerly the old manor house, was by then in a bad state of repair. During the Second World War Langton Hall had been used as a base for the Guards Armoured Division[9] while they had been preparing for D-Day. The Guards were reputedly visited by the Royal Family and Winston Churchill while they were based at the house.[13] The hall itself dates back to the 18th century. The north wing was built in 1738 and the south wing was added in 1840.[6]

The hall was registered as a Grade II listed building with English Heritage in 1951.[6] The entrance gates on the east side of Langton Hall and the flanking wall, dating from the middle of the 19th century, were added to the listed buildings register in 1966.[14]


Woodleigh School was part of the York Boarding Schools Group.[15] It was owned by Woodleigh School Langton Limited,[16] which also operated Langton Hall Language School on the same site.[17]


Woodleigh School had a Learning Support Department with a specialist teacher for pupils with dyslexia[18] and dyscalculia.[19] In March 2012 Woodleigh was recommended by First Eleven magazine for the "Teaching of special educational needs within a mainstream setting."[20]

Music was augmented by a band and choir.[8][9] Pupils were prepared for academic and music scholarships.[21]

Emphasis was placed on the creative arts, in the form of drama, literature, writing,[22] both in the classroom and by organising[23] and taking part in regional and national events such as Youth Speaks[24] and the Kids Lit Quiz.[25]


Sports classes were run every day,[26] and pupils, including Tom Hoggard and Jack Garrity, competed at county and national level in football and cricket.[27][28]

Pupil Matthew Procter, then aged 12, joined the Lord's Taverners 'Centurions Award Hall of Fame'. He made an unbeaten 106 in an 88-run victory over Aysgarth School in a cricket match in July 2010.[29][30]

'Edstat' nutrition education project

In 2008 the school developed an educational card game to aid the teaching of nutrition. Pupils created cards to help them learn about the properties of food,[31] and with the help of the Headteacher, they developed this into a Top Trumps style game. The Grocer magazine ran an article about the initiative which aimed to raise funding from public and private sources in order to distribute the game free to every school in the country as part of the national "Year of Food and Farming."[32]

Notable alumni


  1. "Woodleigh School". Good Schools Guide. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
  2. "Woodleigh School Trust Limited". Ofsted. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  3. "Ethos". Woodleigh School. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
  4. Edubase statistics
  5. "Langton". GENUKI. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  6. Historic England. "Langton Hall (1175070)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  7. Barden, A R (11 July 1929). "Woodleigh School's First Public Event". Hull Daily Mail. p. 4.
  8. Darley, Karen (26 May 2010). "A Visit to Woodleigh School in Langton". Gazette and Herald. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  9. Claire, Metcalfe (23 November 2006). "Langton". Gazette and Herald. Archived from the original on 1 October 2011. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  10. Passmore, Joanna (12 January 2006). "WW2 People's War". BBC History, WW2 People's War project – An archive of World War Two memories. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  11. "Richard Howard-Vyse". Yorkshire Post. 20 November 2009. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  12. "NORCLIFFES OF LANGTON, FAMILY PAPERS, AND PARISH REGISTER TRANSCRIPTS FOR WALKINGTON AND BARMSTON". East Riding of Yorkshire Archives and Records Service. National Archives. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  13. Passmore, Joanna; Robertson, Mary (1987). Memories of Woodleigh School. Foursquare Press. p. 11. (see also excerpt from the first edition on the website of Woodleigh School)
  14. Historic England. "Entrance gates to Langton Hall and flanking wall (1149094)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  15. "List of Schools". York Boarding Schools Group (YBSG). Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  16. "Company Details". Companies House. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  17. "Langton Hall Language School". Companies House. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  18. Darley, Karen (26 May 2010). "Visit to Woodleigh School". Gazette and Herald. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  19. "Learning support". Woodleigh School. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  20. Milner, Natalie (20 March 2012). "Special Educational Needs: our recommended schools". First Eleven Magazine. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  21. "Young Ryedale musician hits high note to win scholarship". Malton and Pickering Mercury. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  22. "Winners announced in Malton Literature Festival's young writers competition". Gazette and Herald. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  23. "Authors tell their tales in the classroom". Gazette and Herald. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  24. "Speaking highly of pupils". Scarborough Evening News. 8 August 2008. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  25. "Youngsters win literature prize in regional final". Malton and Pickering Mercury. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  26. "Sport". Woodleigh School. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
  27. "Pupils joining the county set". Gazette and Herald. 23 May 2009. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
  28. "National call-up for Tom". Malton and Pickering Mercury. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  29. "Matthew Proctor joins Lord's Taverners 100 Club". The Press. 24 July 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  30. "The Centurions Award Hall of Fame". Lord's Taverners. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  31. Chomka, Stefan (4 June 2007). "Trump That!". The Grocer. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  32. Chomka, Stefan (15 September 2007). "Momentum building to get card game into every school". The Grocer. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  33. "Notable Alumni". Woodleigh School. 2011. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  34. "University to honour director". Scarborough Evening News. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
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