New look for Royal Hospital School

New look for Royal Hospital School

The Royal Hospital School has experienced a period of growing popularity over the last few years. We have become more focused and self-aware of what we are good at and the areas we want to improve; we are evolving and our reputation is changing.

The School’s Mission is ‘to understand each young person’s strengths, to help them to make the right choices at the right time, navigating through their critical, formative years and ensuring their education becomes the foundation for their happiness and success’.

Our Vision is ‘to achieve national and international recognition as the school of choice for parents seeking an outstanding all-round and full education for their children, enriched by a unique naval heritage’.

Our challenge is, therefore, to ensure that our communications are aligned with these objectives.

Most independent schools are built on very similar foundations – their history, ethos, academic credentials, wonderful buildings and excellent pastoral care. We know that the Royal Hospital School is distinctive and its ethos unique; but our messages need to resonate with all of our key audiences – prospective and current parents, pupils, teachers, alumni and the wider community.

In Spring 2016, the School undertook some research involving interviews, surveys and focus groups with pupils, teachers, support staff, alumni and parents, which informed us of what was true about RHS and, most importantly, how we are perceived. The key words and themes that came out of this research helped us to establish a positioning statement or ‘the RHS story’ – in other words who we are, why we are who we are, what we do and why we do it.

Our Positioning Statement

The Royal Hospital School was founded in 1712 in Greenwich, London, to ’improve navigation’ through education and, as it prepared boys for a life at sea, many went on to become explorers and pioneers of their time.

We are immensely proud of these historic links and discovery, exploration and challenge continue to shape our ethos. The traditional values of loyalty, commitment, courage, respect, service and integrity have underpinned the School’s core aims and philosophy from the very beginning. Three hundred years later, they are as relevant to the education we provide now, as they were then.

Today the Royal Hospital School is set in two hundred acres of Suffolk countryside overlooking the Stour Estuary and within an hour of London. We are a leading independent, co-educational boarding and day school providing a full and broad education, fit for the modern world.

We inspire our pupils to have the courage to be ambitious for their futures and the commitment to pursue whichever path they choose. We challenge pupils of all academic abilities, steering them to look beyond the moment and beyond the confines of the classroom, and to approach life with an open and receptive mind. It is through thinking creatively and taking initiative that they discover their influence, strengths and ambitions and establish the skills they need to pursue purposeful and fulfilling lives.

Everyone can achieve the most exceptional things but we are all different. That is why we focus on the individual, getting to know every one of our pupils and finding out what motivates them. By understanding a young person’s strengths, and what he or she might find more difficult, we can help them to make the right choices at the right time, navigating them through their critical, formative years and ensuring their education becomes the foundation for happiness and success.

It is this focus on personal challenge and individual guidance that enables our pupils to develop into self-reliant, socially responsible adults with enviable open-mindedness and resilience, so sought-after by employers and important in life.

The Royal Hospital School – Navigating Success

This positioning statement has informed our brand strategy and the creation of a fresh new identity designed to support us in communicating our strengths. The brand identity kit includes a logo, colour palate, fonts and imagery which present RHS as a modern school, proud of its heritage and relevant to today.

We wanted to create a logo that is easy to use and that, in time, will be instantly recognisable. It has two distinct features; the building and the clock tower, which is such a presence within this area. If you look carefully, you will see that the clock is set to 17:12; the date the School was founded in Greenwich, London. It also features sails that link us with the Royal Navy, our sense of naval heritage and the influence the School has had in maritime exploration. It is deliberately made to look like a crown because we are the RoyalHospital School and we have an important association with the Royal family.


Interestingly, one of the first publications that was produced for the School in 1933 (see below) has on it what could be described as the School’s first logo; it shows a crown and the sails. When compared with the School’s new prospectus, there are real similarities. Perhaps, therefore, our new logo is not so new after all.

Our School crest, which is the coat of arms of Greenwich Hospital, will continue to be used on uniform (albeit in its simplified form), embossing, drums, hymn books, official documents etc. The logo and coat of arms can, and will, co-exist. One is easy to use and recognisable while the other is the official sign of our heritage.

Implementation of the new brand identity across our publications, stationery, website, signage and vehicle livery will be a gradual process but we look forward to unveiling our new look throughout the year ahead.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Sophie Braybrooke, Director of Communications on 01473 326294 or