Chloe and I have been busy visiting a variety of junior and senior schools.
The Hall Wimbledon
We shared a visit to The Hall in Wimbledon which now takes boys and girls from 7-16 years old but will be expanding soon to include a sixth form as well. The school has recently moved into one location (17 The Downs, SW20) having previously been split into a junior and a senior school. Despite a relatively small facade The Hall boasts good facilities with an amazing amount of hidden space including a indoor basket ball court, art room, ICT suite, drama space, library and fantastic 9 acre playing fields and pavilion. The new head, Andrew Hammond, is extremely experienced and genuinely passionate about education beyond results. Behaviour is excellent and the school’s focus on each child feeling known and valued seems to have resulted in a very calm and happy environment.
Thames Christian School
We visited Thames Christian School as an interesting comparison to The Hall. This is a similarly small, co-educational school for 11-16 year olds in Wandsworth (it is offering A levels from September 2023). It is a mainstream school with excellent provision for pupils with SpLD (around 30 percent). There are personalised learning targets for every child in each subject, the school has multiple learning support assistants and one-to-one lessons are on offer. In addition to this, all staff have received in-house training on dyslexia-friendly practices, and many have specialist SpLD qualifications, meaning that the classroom is differentiated to allow every child to succeed. Innovative new building near Clapham Junction with science labs, art design and technology and textiles studios, computer science room, drama studio, library etc.
Charterhouse Square School and Luceum School
With a growing number of parents looking for schools located near their city jobs, we visited Charterhouse Square School (located in Barbican) and The Lyceum School (located in Shoreditch). These were both co-educational, non-selective schools taking children from 4-11 years of age and catering for busy London parents with extended days and inclusive initiatives to keep parents part of school life. Charterhouse Square includes a bright and well set-up nursery space and is currently in the midst of building works which will ultimately result in more classes and a fabulous roof top play space. The Lyceum school is also surprisingly spacious with tidy and colourful classrooms, three school dogs (!) and a small but neat, Astro-turfed playground space. Both schools came across as nurturing, warm and supportive with an understanding that confident and settled children will excel. We were particularly impressed with the charming and chatty children who gave us our school tour at Charterhouse Square School.