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Dedicated teachers set up independent school

VISIONARIES: Teachers Robert and Lorraine Timmerman in their new school

FOR DECADES, Robert Timmerman and his wife Lorraine have taught children the art of learning.

The dedicated couple have focused over the combined 50 years of their teaching careers on helping children and young people in primary and secondary schools extract the most from their learning environment.

The respected teachers and devout Christians also helped their own four children overcome the obstacles which affected their learning. They did this after seeing how they struggled at state-run schools, having been weighed down by issues such as low teacher expectations.


“They were not doing very well and they were not treated with a lot of respect,” said Robert Timmerman, who started teaching in 1982. “We knew our children were bright, but they told us otherwise so as a result of that we decided to educate our own children.”

The Timmermans watched their children bloom under home schooling and later extended their teaching talents to helping scores of other youngsters by opening a small independent school.

That institution ran successfully for eight years until flooding in their venue forced the school to close.

However the London based couple continued to teach and realised that children were still facing the same struggles that their own children had encountered in state and other schools.

“We have seen how the deal is not equal for the black child because we have seen it first hand,” said Timmerman, who has also trained teachers and held senior positions in various schools.


Determined to make a difference, the Timmermans have now opened a second school, the Rann Horizon School.

The independent school is for children aged 5 to 11 years old and is located in the Clapham Methodist Church, Nelsons Row off Clapham High Street in south London.

“We were determined to open the school,” said Timmerman. “We believe in education. We are Christians and my core is that all children matter not the colour of their skin; they are children, human beings.”

He continued: “We are determined to give every child a fair hearing because we know what we have been through and what our children went through. Our children are now qualified through university but if we didn’t take the steps, they wouldn’t be. It is not that our children are not able, it is that often they are not given equal opportunities.”

The Rann Horizon School, which can hold between 25 and 120 pupils, is open to children from all faiths and backgrounds and covers the English school curriculum.

At the Rann Horizon School, Timmerman said the aim is to help children build confidence, understand respect, learn right and wrong and the importance of discipline while having fun and learning their subjects.

“Rann Horizon School gives hope to every child,” he said. “This is a great school for Christian families and all who are serious about education. The children will get the absolute very best because Christ is at the centre of the school; Christ is at the centre of our lives and when we put Christ in the centre, children will have a true value of self and they have self respect and they respect others.”

He also pointed out that another key feature of the school was the fact that “(children) don’t feel they are lesser than. That is what is special about this school. We don’t discriminate. All children are equal, all should be loved; all should be treated kindly and all will be inspired to reach their highest potential. We have the good of the child at heart.”

Key to the existence of his school is the competitive cost that pupils are charged to attend.

He stressed that monthly fees are kept at a reasonable rate so as make it affordable for parents to keep their children in school.

“We value people because that’s what Christ says we should do,” said Timmerman, who is also a qualified therapist. “The fees are deliberately kept affordable and competitive with other such fees. We are aware that this may still be a mountain to climb for some parents, but we feel any sacrifice will be well worth it.  For what every child would come away with will be of value for a life time and a richness of character that is second to none.”

He added: “Give children the best education possible because this is their opening to success... It’s worth the sacrifice”.

For more information, please call Robert or Lorraine Timmerman on 0208 769 3029 or 07947 210609.

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