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A well-established forest school is clearly popular — even year 8s remember setting cardboard Tudor houses ablaze there in the annual recreation of the great fire of London — and there was no danger of the drizzle damping a good fire and re-enactment of The Scarecrow’s Wedding on our visit. One of Heath Mount’s best attributes is its art department, housed in a network of bright basement rooms. Another stand out feature is a commitment to the…

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What the school says...

Heath Mount is one of the oldest Prep Schools in the country located in the Grade I listed mansion of the Woodhall Park Estate.

This unique 40 acre setting is the perfect environment for children to explore, imagine, grow, create and be happy. Our outstanding teachers are dedicated to keeping children joyful whilst fostering a love of learning.

Children flourish in the beautiful woodland environment, with academic excellence being only a part of what an education at Heath Mount provides. Our expansive curriculum is designed to allow children to explore and create. It is underpinned by outstanding pastoral care that encourages them to take risks and challenge themselves by engaging with new pursuits, people and experiences.

We were delighted when our outstanding pastoral provision was recognised at the annual Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA) Conference where we were judged winners of the BSA Mental Health and Wellbeing Award 2018.

Our pupils leave Heath Mount happy, confident and ready to realise their full potential. Our tailored scholar program for Years 7 and 8 pupils offers them the opportunity to explore and develop their talents. In the 2019/20 academic year, 63% of our Year 8 pupils gained at least one scholarship to their Senior School.
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What The Good Schools Guide says


Since 2014, Chris Gillam (40s). With his spiky hair style and ready grin, it’s easier to picture Mr Gillam playing bass in a band than behind the headmaster’s desk. Nonetheless, he is in top gear at Heath Mount, rolling out numerous fascinating innovations and reaping the rewards in pupil numbers: the school is full, with a waiting list.

The son of two teachers (so far, so familiar), his father was headmaster of a state school in South Yorkshire. Mr Gillam studied a BEd at Plymouth University, supplementing his income with tennis coaching on the side (a game he still loves). His affinity with his pupils caught the eye of a young player’s dad (himself a deputy head) who swiftly headhunted him upon graduating.

He rose to deputy head...

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Special Education Needs

The needs of the majority of pupils at Heath Mount are met through quality teaching in the classroom, which responds to children’s diverse learning needs and encourages high aspirations. Within the classroom, teachers make the relevant provision to support individuals or groups of children to enable all pupils to participate effectively in curriculum and assessment activities. Children are screened in the early years to help identify any speech and language difficulties and later, any key literacy deficits. Alongside this, teachers regularly monitor progress and attainment of all pupils and in cases where children do not make the expected progress, the learning support department works with colleagues to tailor additional support to best meet the needs of individuals within the classroom. The learning support department has a base in both parts of the school, and plays a key role in supporting pupils with SEND. Children with identified needs have a pupil passport which ensures that all staff, children and families are aware of how best to support the child’s learning in the classroom and at home. Small group interventions are put in place in the early years to provide additional support and facilitate the development of key skills. These carefully structured sessions take place several times a week and are highly effective in helping children bridge any attainment gap. We do not remove children from the core curriculum for learning support sessions. In the middle and upper school, groups of children requiring support have a modified curriculum in which core skills lessons reinforce key concepts for maths, English, science and humanities. A few children are withdrawn for more specific interventions, such as for speech and language therapy, social skills or literacy interventions. Within the learning support department we have three specialist teachers, and a specialist learning support assistant, who are qualified to assess and support children with specific learning difficulties and more complex needs. We also have Doodle, our nurture dog, who has a variety of roles in school including supporting the emotional needs of children and staff, both individually and in the classroom. The learning support department also works in close conjunction with outside agencies and is able to draw on the expertise of other professionals where appropriate. The views, wishes, aspirations and feelings of pupils and their parents are central in all that we do and we recognise that the knowledge and experience of parents and pupils are vital in helping us to tailor the best possible provision. Our most important role is to foster a high level of self-esteem in our pupils. We aim to ensure that children know that their strengths are recognised, drawn upon and celebrated. We strive to help develop resilient children who are confident, optimistic, aspirational and well equipped to achieve the best possible outcomes in their future.

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