Skip to main content
Kent College Preparatory School

What says..

Set at the foot of the leafy college campus in a modern purpose build, the prep feels part of, but not joined at the hip to, the senior school. Visitors can’t help but be struck by the feeling of light and space. A new computing curriculum includes the introduction of iPads and White Rose Maths as part of a drive to raise the academic profile - met with approval from parents. Learning across the board is ‘practical’ and ‘interactive,’ they told us – we saw it for ourselves in a history debate on...


Read review »

What the school says...

Kent College Prep School offers a co-ed Nursery 3-5 and girls Prep School 5-11. It is situated in beautiful safe, 80 acre rural estate and shares many state of the art facilities with the Senior School. It is a special place for our pupils to learn, grow and prepare for the future.

At Kent College Nursery and Preparatory School every child is different and we offer an all-round education that will cater for each pupils' individual requirements. Whatever their personality and talents, we aim to ensure that they are happy, confident and successful in all areas of school life.

Academic work, of course, is at the heart of what we do, but we never forget that there is more to childhood and learning than exams. We successfully prepare pupils for a wide range of senior schools at age 11, although the majority of girls will move up to Kent College Senior School. Our aim is to provide every pupil with the encouragement, support and resources to prepare for and achieve an excellent education.
...Read more

Do you know this school?

The schools we choose, and what we say about them, are founded on parents’ views. If you know this school, please share your views with us.

Please login to post a comment.

Other features

All-through school (for example 3-18 years). - An all-through school covers junior and senior education. It may start at 3 or 4, or later, and continue through to 16 or 18. Some all-through schools set exams at 11 or 13 that pupils must pass to move on.

What The Good Schools Guide says


Since January 2021, Salli Hall, previously deputy head for three years, having first joined the school in 2008. After her geography degree from University of Wales, she worked for the London Futures and Options Exchange for 10 years before switching to teaching. Described by parents as a ‘beautiful person’ who ‘everyone smiles and waves at.’ ‘A role model to other staff,’ we also heard. An excellent fit for this positive, unstuffy school, she is calm and relaxed, with a modest aura. Pupils told us, ‘You only want to please her’ and that everyone aspires to ‘be more Mrs Hall!’ They even labelled her ‘World’s Best Teacher’ as part of a year 6 World Book Day event focusing on David Walliams’ The World’s Worst Teachers. Either these pupils know which side their bread is buttered, or they genuinely mean it - we’d put our money on the latter.

She says her anchor is the Wesley Principle (signposted throughout the school), inspired by the Methodist founder’s beliefs: ‘Do all the good you can’. Young Entrepreneurs are awarded the much coveted Wesley Badge for their efforts – the most recent endeavour raising £300 for the local homeless charity Porchlight through an upscaled item sale.

An advocate for wellbeing, she is also a fan of ‘child-led’ and ‘not too prescriptive’ outdoor learning. Recent development of the forest school, including challenge course, is evidence of her commitment to this. With a love of walking and ‘simply being outside’, she wants to pass on all the benefits of this to the pupils. When a new pupil starts, a fruit tree is planted - a fitting symbol of the prep ethos. Her jolly patterned wellies in her study, between her desk and the door, are no accessory but ready for action at a moment’s notice.


From 3+ into nursery, with reception and year 6 the other main entry points. ‘Gently selective,’ says school, which looks for average or above ability. Entrance via taster days for early years, then from year 3 there are NVR and VR tests. School is slowly transitioning to co-ed by 2027, starting with admitting boys in the younger years – generally approved of by parents.


Around 65 per cent move up to the senior school (no exam), the rest mainly heading off to local grammars and a few to non-selective secondaries. Walthamstow Hall, Hillview School, Benenden, The Weald Grammar School, Tunbridge Wells Girl’s Grammar, Tonbridge Girls’ Grammar, Rose Hill School and Benett Memorial Diocesan School all popular. Pupils have good success at 11+ and in entrance exams to other independent schools. Year 5 CATS tests used to inform choices, with candid conversations where necessary – progress to the senior school isn’t a given.

Our view

Parents talk of the ‘calm’ and ‘friendly’ staff making their decision a ‘done deal’ on their first visit. ‘Tell me everything about your child,’ new parents are asked, and they clearly feel listened to. Nobody is disappointed - when the pandemic struck, one parent recalls ‘crying with a member of staff’ because she just couldn’t imagine life without this closeknit school community (which, fortunately for her, continued despite no in-person contact).

Set at the foot of the leafy school campus in a modern purpose build, the prep feels part of, but not joined at the hip to, the senior school. Visitors can’t help but be struck by the feeling of light and space, helped by the atrium, wide hallways and stairs from which classrooms branch off. There is a keen sense that every class gets equal status - nursery as much as year 6 - all with a warm, intimate cosy vibe.

Class sizes max (with a few exceptions) at 18, with setting in maths and English from year 5. A new computing curriculum includes the introduction of iPads and White Rose Maths as part of a drive to raise the academic profile - met with approval from parents. Learning across the board is ‘practical’ and ‘interactive,’ they told us – we saw it for ourselves in a history debate on ‘Should Metics be given the vote?’ ‘What happens if our vote on the answer is a draw?’ asked a pupil earnestly. ‘Great question, put it on the question wall,’ came the teacher’s answer. With pupils assigned various roles, the finale involved smashing the clay urn outside to then count the stones.

SENCo team (shared with senior school with one member predominantly working in the prep) provides everything from individual programmes for pupils to upskilling staff for classroom provision. Currently 16 per cent on the SEN register (slightly above national average), one ECHP. Provision for dyslexia, ADHD, autism and social, emotional and mental health. Parents say any special needs are ‘normalised’ and ‘inclusion’ is the main feel. Lots of reports of previously anxious children flourishing once at the prep.

Sport is led with vigour from an experienced team of staff. We saw a group of year 3 pupils in the sports hall preparing to design and try out their own circuit training. Some of the gymnasts were competing at a dizzying high level (national winners) - there’s the opportunity to train every day ‘except Thursday,’ they told us. We were impressed by the eagerness of sports captains to bring value to their role by suggesting more clubs, including basketball, to engage more pupils. Lots of keen swimmers and the new six-lane 25m indoor swimming pool, seen through child-level porthole windows between senior and prep, is opening soon. Netball, cricket and football teams are fielded. A few parents say the school lacks a ‘competitive edge’ in team sports but equally appreciate school’s sport-for-all ethos.

The well-organised outside space surrounding the school overlooks fields and woodlands. On our visit, the ‘Teletubby hill’ was being re-sculpted - the digger action drew an excited crowd. The outside area is shared between all year groups, with a rota ensuring no year group lurks too long on any piece of equipment, especially on the assault course. Large forest school although, on the day of our visit, the mud had everyone slipping and sliding. Its story circle, with its ‘Once Upon a Time’ engraved wooden throne, prompted delightful conversation with our guides – ‘in the forest school any adventure is possible,’ said one.

Drama taught by specialist teacher from reception – includes the popular nativity play. Older children are taught in the main theatre, with speech and language available from year 3. Years 5 and 6 can get involved in productions with the senior school. Many pupils learn an instrument – recorder, flute and piano are the most popular, and there’s a school orchestra plus ensembles. All prep children perform twice a term. Cross-curricular approach common - dipping into a science lesson, we saw pupil’s testing their handmade ukuleles for sound quality. In art, pupils showed us rather natty headphones made as part of a science, DT and art project. Beats have competition, watch out! Many pupils say art is their favourite subject, ‘especially when we do it in other subjects’.

Pupils talk fondly of seeing their veteran older buddies over at the senior school and how there’s a connection formed beyond the ‘duty’ aspect. Year 6 step up to become prefects or captains and there is an active school council where the ‘Wesley Principle’ is encouraged - pupils talk of feeling empowered, assertive and mature.

Top tip: give yourself a lot of time if you decide to ask the pupils about food. We heard all about ‘Chalkboard Friday’, ‘Taco Tuesday’ and even ‘Meatball Monday’ - the last one a fictional alliterated option which then prompted others that we all chuckled would be pretty awful to endure every week. New catering company eager to please – food can wind up ‘too fancy’ as a result, say parents, who would like more jacket potatoes and other ‘simple foods’ available. We enjoyed sweet and sour chicken. The pastoral care team value good relationships with catering staff who confide if they notice any concerning eating habits. Enormous Sundaes were laid out on a few tables with tablecloths – turns out they were for the Privilege Lunch by invitation only, with home clothes as dress code: a reward for good work or behaviour.

The classroom ‘Check-In’ boards enable children to self-assign their mood every morning. Emotional intelligence is nurtured and acted upon: ‘If someone has put their name on the angry section, I give them space to avoid shouting because that’s how someone can react if they’re feeling angry,’ a pupil shared. School counsellors available, and pupils’ faith in the office staff to ‘sort out any problem’ is warming. Incidents or issues dealt with immediately ‘because the school knows the individuals so well’, said a parent.

Wraparound care (7.30am-7.30pm free until 5.30pm) can be dipped into at a moment’s notice: ‘If a parent is stuck in London, they can just call and it’s never a problem,’ we heard. With the majority of pupils from ‘aspirational two parent working families’, this is a necessity for many. Clubs and activities are plentiful (35 at last count) and span the breadth of an extended school day - 7.45am for netball shooting practice, lunchtime clubs and after-school until 5.10pm. Includes all the usual suspects through to more niche offerings such as mindful art, bears and books, decopatch (prep’s take on decoupage), spy club, pop dance and even forest explorers’ ballet. One pupil said she’d like ‘horse club’ extended to prep. Trips aplenty, with a palpable buzz around the year 6 residential to Dorset.

The work of ‘KCPPA’ (the school’s PTA) is appreciated even by pupils, especially the bake sales. But with most parents working, not everyone has the time to commit. Communication through group WhatsApp effective and a ‘godsend’, say parents.

The transition to co-ed by 2027 is so gentle and quiet that some parents say they are ‘blissfully unaware’. One parent reckoned it might ‘address the slightly artificial environment’ of girls only, but wasn’t convinced it necessary. Most parents see the positives for children this age.


Under 10 flexi-boarders from years 5 and 6 but pupils can board from year 4 (currently only one). ‘Hawkwell and Hargreaves’, the junior boarding house set in the main school manor house, has spacious, well-appointed (mostly lilac) shared rooms under the care of experienced staff. Sanitorium also housed here. Parents feel prep is more a day school with boarding attached – a nice to have but not in the fabric.

Money matters

No bursaries.

The last word

A school that gives pupils time and space to develop to their best ability within a tight knit community. Bubbling with compassion.

Special Education Needs

At Kent College Prep school, we work closely with class teachers to identify girls who may benefit from additional support, either in the classroom or in a 1:1 setting. Our SENCo can offer educational abilities and achievements assessments in-house, and also advises class teachers on strategies and interventions where necessary. We also work closely with parents to ensure that our girls realise their potential. We have specialist teachers for dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia support, together with specialist EAL staff. Our dedicated staff work closely with girls who find social communication difficult, nurturing their self-confidence and guiding them towards success.

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder Y
Aspergers Y
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders Y
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
Dyscalculia 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
Hospital School
Mental health
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment
Natspec Specialist Colleges
OTH - Other Difficulty/Disability Y
Other SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty Y
PD - Physical Disability
PMLD - Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty
SEMH - Social, Emotional and Mental Health Y
SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty Y
VI - Visual Impairment

Leavers' destinations

Subscribe for instant access to in-depth reviews:

☑ 30,000 Independent, state and special schools in our parent-friendly interactive directory
☑ Instant access to in-depth UK school reviews
☑ Honest, opinionated and fearless independent reviews of over 1,000 schools
☑ Independent tutor company reviews

Try before you buy - The Charter School Southwark

Buy Now

GSG Blog >

The Good Schools Guide newsletter

Educational insight in your inbox. Sign up for our popular newsletters.