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Sheltering beneath the architectural grandeur is some pretty impressive modern technology. None of this has come at the expense of tradition, however, and bookworms would adore the fabulous school library: cavernous, marble-columned, galleried, and home to thousands of books. We liked the pupil work that we saw on display, particularly the French, and this struck us as a school where children are free to flourish at their own pace. Kindness really does seem to be the way here, and everyone we spoke to agreed. 'The teachers never, ever shout,' was one comment...

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What the school says...

The Hampshire School places traditional values at the core of our school's philosophy, whilst preparing our children for a rapidly changing world. Our school focuses upon exceptionally high expectations, key skills, knowledge and understanding of the British Curriculum as well as encouraging excellent attitudes to learning and metacognition. We place great value in our working partnership with parents.

At The Hampshire School we recognise the uniqueness of each child and we continually aim to provide an inclusive, enabling environment which empowers all children to achieve. The schools personalised approach to learning embraces and responds to diversity in individual learning styles and provides children with the skills, competence and attitudes for their future. Our extra-curricular provision is outstanding. We provide a comprehensive sport, cultural and performing arts programme beyond the school day as well as access to holiday camps, residential trips and participate in local events.

We are situated in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, with easy access from most areas of the London region. The schools generous facilities provide a vibrant, supportive and creative learning environment that encourages challenge, curiosity and choice for all. We look forward to sharing that experience with you and your family. If you have not been to our school please feel free to visit.
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What the parents say...

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Sports

Fencing

What The Good Schools Guide says

Headmistress

Since September 2018, Dr Pamela Edmonds BEd MEd EdD, previously head of St Cedd’s School in Chelmsford. Over two decades in senior leadership roles in prep and all-through schools, in the UK, Singapore, Thailand, Japan and Spain, including teaching the IB in south east Asia. An ISI inspector, she has climbed Mount Fuji, enjoys sailing, squash, theatre and ballet.

Entrance

Entry points at age 3 into the nursery, age 4 into reception, age 5 into year 1 and age 8 into year 4 - informal interview and assessment, designed to put children and their families at ease. Small entry point into year 7, 'but we're quite selective at that age, because of needing to guide them to the right schools.' Occasional places in other year groups do sometimes come up - always worth enquiring.

Exit

To a wide range of destinations, mostly London day schools. Girls move on to places such as Francis Holland, More House, Queen's Gate, Emanuel, Latymer Upper, with occasional St Paul's Girls' and CLSG successes. Most leave at 11, but no pressure to do so and some opt to stay on until 13 because they like it here. (The school has forged sporting links to other schools with 'small clusters of girls' at this age, which we thought eminently sensible.) Boys leave mostly at 13, to the likes of Latymer Upper, City of London, Emanuel, Dulwich, Wetherby sometimes St Paul's, King's Wimbledon and Westminster. School is proud of its track record: 'No child here leaves without the school that's right for them.'

Our view

Founded in Surrey as a dance school in 1928 by June Hampshire, mother of actress Susan. On moving to London in the 1930s the school became mainstream and for many years was seen as a very traditional prep. Since becoming part of the GEMS group in 2007, however, it has modernised considerably and now has a reputation for delivering sound up-to-date academics in an atmosphere of kindness and friendliness. Years 1 to 8 are accommodated in the main premises on Manresa Road, a wonderfully spacious grade II listed building; it used to be the Chelsea library and still has the same air of calm tranquility.

Sheltering beneath the architectural grandeur is some pretty impressive modern technology: a splendid science laboratory, one of the best we've seen in a central London prep; height-adjustable interactive whiteboards; individual computer desks in the classrooms; and an excellent ICT suite where we saw children hard at work designing a restaurant. None of this has come at the expense of tradition, however, and bookworms would adore the fabulous school library: cavernous, marble-columned, galleried, and home to thousands of books. We thought it looked a tad underused, but the forthcoming appointment of a librarian is set to change that.

The school hall is a great space for PE, concerts, plays, assemblies and dance - the Chelsea Ballet School visits every week. Lovely spacious classrooms, and a well-sized and equipped garden for the children to let off steam. Team games such as rugby are played off-site in Battersea Park, and the children go swimming at Chelsea and Fulham baths. Lifts throughout mean that children with physical disabilities can be accommodated.

Broad extracurricular provision ranges from judo, fencing, archery and rugby to cooking, computing, debating, ukulele - 'We're constantly seeking to add to our clubs,' affirmed head. Music provision is good and there are plans to get it better. Children can learn piano, cello, violin, etc, and take part in choir, and there are regular concerts plus the annual Summer Arts Festival. No orchestra yet, and drama is currently confined to class rather than whole school productions, although the imminent arrival of a second drama teacher will bring more opportunities in this area. Lots of trips, including annual week-long jolly for the older children to places at home and abroad. Parent body is dedicated and 'very proactive, very influential in supporting the family feeling of the school,' according to staff. Recent events organised by the PA include a Fathers' Day breakfast and a United Nations day where parents drew on their own variety of backgrounds to run stalls showcasing food from countries around the world.

We liked the pupil work that we saw on display, particularly the French, and this struck us as a school where children are free to flourish at their own pace. Teacher pupil ratio is 1:9, ensuring all students get the attention they need, and there's particularly strong SEN provision, both for those with diagnosed difficulties such as dyslexia and those assessed as gifted and talented. Full time SENCo is called head of enrichment, and is integral to the school. Speech and language therapist visits. EAL is well catered for in-house: much demand for this, since this is a school with an international intake, reflecting the locality. Both parents and children very contented with their choice: ‘The school gives an excellent balance between holding the kids accountable for high academic standards and a well rounded extracurricular activity programme,’ was one parent’s verdict, and a pupil told us, ‘I like everything I do here!’

Early years are housed a few streets away in Wetherby Place, in premises which felt rather small compared to the main school. However, teaching rooms are bright and airy, and classes are small: 13 max for nursery, 14 max for reception. We saw child-friendly, child-centred learning and positive reinforcement everywhere, and the standard of work on the walls was high. The little ones go over to the main school for lessons such as art and PE and to use the library and play areas, thus ensuring that they remain part of the wider school, and a shuttle bus means that parents can drop their children off at either site.

In both locations, we were impressed by the peaceful, happy atmosphere. The bottle green and grey uniform is smartly worn, and children move about with a sense of calm purpose. Kindness really does seem to be the way here, and everyone we spoke to agreed. 'The teachers never, ever shout,' was one comment; 'they're really sensitive to the needs of the children.' As a charming and articulate young leaver put it, 'I've loved this school. I would have stayed here until I was 18 if I could.' 'My daughter's been made really welcome here, and we couldn't be happier,' confirmed a father.

Perhaps not the go-to choice for those seeking non-stop high-octane buzz from dawn till dusk, but a successful and busy school for all that, offering a supportive and relaxed environment in which children can be themselves and achieve their potential without having to compromise their nicer nature.

Special Education Needs

All children at The Hampshire School have an entitlement to classroom based support as set out in the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice (2002) and access to the whole range of school activities. Children requiring School Action Plus/ Early Years Action Plus can be accommodated by the school with the parents/carers funding specialist provision either in school or externally. It is integral to the school’s ethos that all children experiencing special educational needs are respected, encouraged and viewed in a positive way. At The Hampshire School children on the SEN register have Individual Education Plans (IEPs)which set out a number of targets to support children on their identified needs. Children on the SEN register receive at least one hour per week of individual support on their identified targets. Progress is closely monitored and the IEPs are reviewed regularly. Parents are given regular feedback and are consulted on the target setting for the IEPs. Provision for EAL is tailored to the child's needs. Children receive in class support, group and individual tuition, aimed at achieving full access to the whole school curriculum, as their language skills develop.

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder Y
Aspergers Y
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders Y
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
Dyscalculia
Dysgraphia
Dyslexia
Dyspraxia
English as an additional language (EAL)
Genetic
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory
Has SEN unit or class Y
HI - Hearing Impairment
Hospital School
Mental health
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment
Natspec Specialist Colleges
OTH - Other Difficulty/Disability
Other SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
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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