Mark Fellows - St Andrew's Prep
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Mark Fellows

What is your earliest memory of life at St Andrew’s Prep?

I started my time at St Andrew's in the old Pre-Prep – the entrance was reached by venturing up the path where the Memory Garden is now. I remember being greeted each day by Mrs Jefford who took the daily register. When it rained there was always a stream of water running down the gravel path and that was just perfect for floating paper boats down ‘the river’.

The Pre-Prep play area was situated in what is now the car park at the front of the school. There was a lawned area, climbing frames and a gravel path where the minibusses parked and, of course, the big wooden gates that were  'Home' in our daily games of 'IT'.   Each day, at break time, everyone was offered a small bottle of milk for refreshment and sustenance though it was never my favourite!
I remember the new Pre-Prep being built and a time capsule being placed somewhere inside it which will make an interesting discovering for someone one day.

What stands out most from your time at St Andrew’s Prep?

When I think of my lessons, the teachers who taught me and the opportunities offered, my St Andrew's days were very happy ones. On top of the academic lessons, there were a whole host of extra-curricular activities that were packed full of fun and excitement. Camping with the cubs, canoeing on the sea and the River Cuckmere, school ski trips, participation in music and drama productions, access to the outdoor climbing wall and opportunity to represent the school in various sporting fixtures. It really was an all-round education.

Was there a teacher who was inspirational?

So many were inspirational. The Art and CDT departments inspired me to try things I had never done before. My first school ski trip with Andrew Price was so enjoyable that I continue skiing now and several sailing trips to North Wales with Peter Birch (Head of Art) and Colin Venner (Head of DT) taught me sailing skills that I still use with my family to this day. I remember the Head of Drama organised a holiday road show to nursing homes and a class production of Cinderella sticks firmly in my  mind! It might have been at that time that I realised that the technical side of things was perhaps more my scene! And the Head of Music, Mr Storms, was most certainly inspirational. There never seemed to be a dull moment in our music lessons and one year he put on an amazing piano concert.

Do you still keep in touch with fellow Androvians?

Yes, there is a bunch of us who keep in touch. A number of Androvians studied alongside me at Eastbourne College, so we have many tales to share at reunions and parties!

How did St Andrew’s Prep shape your future life?

I left St Andrew's Prep with skills and a well-rounded education that provided me with an excellent footing for the next step in my education which I was able to refine in my College years.

Is the school different or the same as it was in your day?

There are many aspects of the school that have remained the same. While some of the gym equipment has been removed, the Durlachar gym is as it used to be with the back drop of the stage for school drama productions and speech day (the trophy table still sparkles as it did back in my day – and one of them might even have my name on it). The dining room has kept the portraits of previous headmasters hanging on the walls and the playroom is still bursting with table tennis tables and is filled with the wonderful smells of Piglets’ Pantry creations. In fact, there are many smells that take me back to my own school days - the corridors and classrooms, the Ascham block and the Chapel.  
All so familiar.
But the school has undergone some major refurbishment too. What used to be the Boarders’ Common Room is now the ICT suite. The Lodge Nursery is housed in what used to be the girls’ boarding house and the swimming pool has been extended to allow for an excellent seating area for spectators. The Pre-Prep has been extended to incorporate a large room for assemblies and gymnastics and the science labs have also received a full overhaul… the smell is still the same though!    
The most recent and significant addition though is the Goodwin Sports Hall. This impressive facility has totally transformed games and PE lessons for the children and is, quite simply, a wonderful indoor sporting arena for the school.
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