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What says..

Sport serious and joyous. One afternoon’s PE a week, and another of indoor sports in the hall. All onsite until year 3 after which the school uses Hurlingham Park. Abundant number of before and after-school clubs, from baking, with school’s own chef, to ballet, skiing and chess to coding. Pastoral approach based on accountability. Head’s description of mistakes as ‘marvellous’ sets tone and children spoke of happy, positive atmosphere. ‘Everybody supports everybody,’ announced one. Serious trouble extremely unusual - ‘We rarely go beyond the niggle level,’ says head...

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What the school says...

We believe that how a child learns is as important as what a child learns. Parsons Green Prep is an independent day school in London offering a contemporary education for 200 boys and girls from 4 to 11 years of age. The beautiful buildings and playgrounds have been carefully designed, over time, to facilitate successful learning, friendships and a strong sense of school community. Our inspiring team of staff delivers positive, well-planned lessons and encourages children to learn, stretch and achieve both academically and pastorally. At PGP, we begin from our youngest classes to systematically and gradually equip our children as they progress through the school with the tools they will need to gain entry into competitive senior schools. ...Read more

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What The Good Schools Guide says


Since September 2022, Dr Pamela Edmonds, who arrived with a bagful of eclectic experience. Started teaching maths and PE in a state secondary school for girls in Essex and as head of maths in a London independent school before moving to Asia for 15 years. Returned to the UK as head of academic at Holmwood House before becoming head of St Cedd’s in Chelmsford, and subsequently of The Hampshire School in Chelsea. ‘I think I’ve seen it all,’ she says, with justification. Also an inspector for the ISI which, as she puts it, ‘helps a lot.’

Her office, just off the entrance hall, is pristine, uncluttered and bright - a vast engine room decorated with large, framed photos of school in action. Here, she greeted us dressed in a colourful tailored suit, exuding brisk, professional, friendly efficiency. Talks with open conviction. ‘We’re selective. I don’t hide it.’ Proud of recent admission to NACE. She likes that the school is not part of larger group, but privately owned by Lucinda Waring, who remains the MD, sole shareholder and guiding light, overseeing her vision of an environment where children can thrive without undue pressure. ‘She really cares – about the children, about the families, about the community and about the building.’ The latter is indeed immaculate.

Parents find her ‘fabulous - she’s really got a grip.’ Welcoming but not cuddly, she is liked and revered by both staff and children. One pupil told us she loved assemblies on Mondays because ‘Dr Edmonds sets the challenge for the week.’ Doesn’t teach timetabled lessons ‘as I would constantly let them down, but I do pop in frequently,’ head told us - the morning we visited, she arrived hot foot from year 4 maths lesson. School is small enough for her to know every child by name, and she is very protective of her staff and keen on their professional development. Talent and devotion rewarded, succession borne in mind.

Apart from keeping fit running around the school, she finds time to run 5k every week, play bridge and go to the cinema, theatre and ballet, one of her two daughters being a choreographer.


No nursery. Thirty-two places up for grabs in reception since September 2023, which children join in September following 4th birthday. Those registered are invited in a year prior to entry for a taster session where staff observe personal, social and emotional development. No preparation needed, insists school, which says it is ‘keen to identify those who will benefit from what we have to offer.’ Report from nursery also requested. Sibling priority. Early registration encouraged but demand for places ‘no cause for concern,’ we were assured – only 22 places taken in reception when we visited.


Mainly on to a diverse assortment of 40+ reasonably local schools, both back towards central London and out towards Surrey. Emanuel, Alleyn’s, Francis Holland (Sloane Square), Harrodian, Putney High and Ibstock Place consistently popular. Head personally helps parents find right school and tells them to ‘be sensible’ by not applying to more than four in total - ‘they listen,’ she confirms. Parents full of praise for this process, which begins in year 4, one commenting that her child ‘hadn’t felt stressed at all.’ Three scholarships in 2023.

Our view

Located in extensive walled private grounds between the King’s and Fulham Roads, the school is housed in a generously proportioned Victorian villa. Rooms are substantial, reception and year 1 enjoying particularly large, airy areas, each with their own playground (with an emphasis on free flow). Shrewd additions, following purchase of the house for use as a school in 2001, include additional classrooms and computer suite, together with school hall and a versatile gym/theatre/dining room, where excellent food is served (blanket ban on food being brought in due to strong no nut policy). Plentiful outdoor space, neatly divided into playgrounds and marked courts, is in constant use and littered with climbing frames. Good use made of nearby open spaces too, with years 3-6 walking to Hurlingham Park for weekly sports sessions. Recent trip to the Thames found year 5 measuring the river’s pH level, happily to discover that ‘it’s biologically healthy.’

Clever use of space lends itself to clear differentiation between play and learning time. Even the slide in reception playground is removed so as not to confuse the two. Fear not, children enjoy oodles of former. As for the latter, we watched tinies carefully measuring out sand, under watchful eyes of two teachers and two TAs. There is a spirit of independence, with teachers challenging them to finish jobs (that’s what activities are called here) unaided. Children are taught to self-regulate, including gauging when it might be wiser to come in from the rain. We sensed a purposeful, happy, collaborative setting from which children move seamlessly into year 1, where specialist teaching of French, PE, and music is joined by art. Every year from reception has dedicated choir and an hour a week of IT.

Prep starts in year 3, currently divided into two classes, with pleasing balance between girls and boys. School admits it ‘cannot control this’ but ‘it seems to work out.’ Any pressure as 11+ approaches is firmly held in check. ‘We just want the children to be bursting with enthusiasm and things to chat about.’ We found them doing precisely that. Success measured by whether former charges are happy at the end of year 7, with ex-pupils asked to come back and tell them ‘what we did well – and what we could improve on.’ Parents say all assessment data is well communicated ‘so nothing comes a shock.’

Topic-based learning the norm. In art, one picture is chosen every term and a variety of themes drawn from it. A masterpiece of Rembrandt’s thus yields the study of musical instruments, history and geography, and encompasses reception to year 6. Humanities topic on rivers resulted not only in visit to the Thames but a beautiful series of pictures, based on aerial photos of rivers. Displays in brimming library reflect topics. STEAM projects gradually grow in length and complexity, with excellent use made of its vast dedicated space where modern, adaptable whiteboard tables adjoin pianos and microscopes.

Ingenious timetabling, buttressed by two dynamic native French teachers, allows school to offer Le French Programme from year 1, a home-grown curriculum allowing fluent French speakers to enjoy tailored lessons while non-French speaking classmates relish the joys of ‘il fait beau.’ We sat in on a lively lesson with uninhibited children plainly enjoying ‘le temps.’ Le French Programme is an exploration of all things French and, conveniently, is also run after school, at weekends and over the holidays. We were impressed by this imaginative initiative which constructively caters for possible reintegration into French system.

Of the numerous bilingual children, very few require EAL support. Just over 10 per cent on SEND register, six with educational psychologist reports. Dyslexia, ADHD, autism and hard of hearing supported by part-time SENDCo, who comes in three days a week. General booster sessions in maths, English and phonics. Parents praise low-key help: ‘It’s just another lesson.’ One-to-one available at extra cost. Two children were having them when we visited, but school wary of accepting any child whose behaviour or needs will have negative impact on learning of others: ‘Parents must understand our values.’

Music housed in a compact room, with access to smaller practice rooms hiding in corners. Individual instrument tuition available from year 1 (over half children play one), opera singer teaches choir and singing, and actor teaches drama. LAMDA prominent. Years 5 and 6 put on end-of-year production, with support from years 3 and 4. Annual programme of carol concert, summer concert, recitals and performances. Poetry competition for all extremely popular. Specialist art from year 1. Fruits of children’s labours proudly displayed, neatly adorning walls. Large, bright art room stacked with resources. Of particular note were impressive images of London’s skyline. Recent art scholarship testimony to success of department.

Sport serious and joyous. One afternoon’s PE a week, and another of indoor sports in the hall. All onsite until year 3 after which the school uses Hurlingham Park. Annual sports day at Barn Elms. Pre-prep starts with invasion games, learning arts of throwing, catching and dribbling before seasonally enjoying more traditional options of football, hockey, netball, tag rugby, athletics and cricket, all mixed. Small size of school brings its own constraints but does not preclude good record of matches against other schools. Interhouse matches too. ‘I just love the matches,’ beamed an eager year 4. Participation also in ISA West athletics competition. Swimming at Fulham Virgin Active Club in autumn term for years 3 and 4, and summer term for 5 and 6.

Abundant number of before and after-school clubs, from baking, with school’s own chef, to ballet, skiing and chess to coding. No clubs start before 8am or finish later than 5pm. Termly day trips extend into residential trips from year 3, culminating in leavers’ trip to Isle of Wight, shortly before their ‘graduation’ when they don unusually vivid, school colour, blue gowns.

Pastoral approach based on accountability. Head’s description of mistakes as ‘marvellous’ sets tone and children spoke of happy, positive atmosphere. ‘Everybody supports everybody,’ announced one. Two mental health first aiders on SLT and Thursday’s assembly devoted to mindfulness. Children stood aside for us as matter of course and responded immediately to gentle demand to calm down in the corridors. Buddy system sees year 6 guiding reception pupils, and we witnessed wonderfully warming teamwork in year 4, as well as constructive co-operation between two small people matching plastic fruit.

Serious trouble extremely unusual - ‘We rarely go beyond the niggle level,’ says head (and we felt sure she would give anything more severe short, fair shrift). Mobile phones strictly limited to year 6 - handed in on arrival and used solely to text school of safe arrival home, when unaccompanied by parent or nanny.

School’s ethnicity reflective of London diversity, with daily assemblies celebrating all faiths. Community life actively fostered, though head wants ‘to go out in the community more.’ Sustainability valued – school is currently considering eco-friendly ways of refurbishing exterior of school, supported by recently-formed eco-committee of pupils. Strong encouragement to walk, bike or scoot to school with capacious scooter/bike park, alongside outdoor ping pong and chess tables.

Active PTA, with class reps (and others, if they wish) addressing assemblies and organising annual fair, music evenings, movie nights, quiz nights and more. They also run the immensely popular second-hand uniform sale - proceeds go towards ice-cream van visits. School values its partnership with parents – every Friday morning, they are welcomed in for 20 minutes – ‘they all come’ – to savour atmosphere, look at exercise books, and admire artwork. Additional frequent invitations to phonics workshops and the like. Parents also praise the clear, practical suggestions from school on how to help their children.

Admirably, office ensures that all new parents have met a protocol, furnishing them with every detail of information they need (a common criticism in other schools). Parents describe themselves as ‘local types, who want to be involved in their children’s lives.’ ‘It’s a very neighbourly school, most of us walk here with our children.’ Maintains that London edge, though.

Money matters

Fees fractionally higher than similar local schools. Private ownership dictates no bursaries.

The last word

School has quietly established itself as a solid, reliable, local option. Relatively new, it only changed its name to Parson’s Green Prep in 2014, having been founded as Eridge House in 2001. Gives the impression of being far longer-standing. Shuns desire to become another academic London hothouse but seeks to entrench values of kindness, tolerance and respect in a sustainable setting.

Special Education Needs

Parsons Green Prep aims to be an inclusive school. At the core of our ethos, we respect and value each child as an individual, with their own unique needs. We have staff experienced in identifying a range of barriers to learning, and skilled in differentiating the curriculum and adapting teaching strategies to meet children's diverse learning needs and styles. We strive to meet all children's needs and use the SEN Code of Practice to shape our policy and practice. We adhere to the SEN and Disability Act 2001 and its amendments to the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder Y
Aspergers Y
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders Y
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
Dyscalculia Y
Dysgraphia Y
Dyslexia Y
Dyspraxia Y
English as an additional language (EAL) Y
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory
Has SEN unit or class
HI - Hearing Impairment Y
Hospital School
Mental health
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment
Natspec Specialist Colleges
OTH - Other Difficulty/Disability
Other SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty Y
PD - Physical Disability
PMLD - Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty
SEMH - Social, Emotional and Mental Health
SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
VI - Visual Impairment

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