Orwell did not really like teaching. But was conscientious and did his best to get his pupils interested in their work. He took them on expeditions around the locality to collect specimens of flora and fauna for use in biology lessons, and also taught less usual subjects such as gliding and oil painting. He also went to great trouble, and spent a lot of his own time, in writing and producing a school play. This was put on at Christmas 1932, and the plot took advantage of the fact that twin brothers were in the school. King Charles II, escaping from the Roundheads after the Battle of Worcester, managed to evade his pursuers by changing clothes with a village lad who bore a remarkable resemblance to him.
George Orwell lived in at the school with the proprietor and his family. One of his spare time activities, apart from writing, swimming at Southall Baths and fishing, was maintaining a small vegetable plot - presumably at the back of the house. He grew pumpkins, peas and a marrow which he donated to St. Mary's Church Harvest Festival. He made a friend of the curate, the Rev E.H.T. Parker, but apparently had no others, and (although not all Orwell's statements can be taken at face value) seemingly grew to dislike Hayes, writing to a friend "…Hayes…is one of the most God-forsaken places I have ever struck".
It is believed that a change in ownership of the school took place in 1933, and this may have been the final reason why Orwell decided to leave The Hawthorns at the end of the Summer term in that year. He went on to a teaching post at Frays College, Uxbridge, but was a term there before falling seriously ill with pneumonia, and didn't return when he recovered.
The Fountain House, as it is now called, was built about 1905 by a well known local builder. Seth Hunt, as a pair of semi-detached houses, named The Hawthorns (to the left) and the Briars (to the right). They were converted into one house from about 1910 to 1916 for use as The Rectory, after which they reverted to two dwellings again, one of which became the private school. The building today from the front looks very much as it did in Orwell's time, although changes have been made for it's present function.