Skip to main content

What says..

Well mannered, cheerful girls drift around the building in their navy uniform with pink stripes. Smart, but not overly starchy, and with a few designer brands dotted here and there. Our year 12 tour guide was full of beans, bright and confident. ‘Best thing I ever did was leaving my other school for this lovely, much smaller school.’ Just don’t call this school a ‘hidden gem’- it really gets the head’s back up, warned one parent. ‘Ms Hagerty wants this to be a school that people know about, not just…

Read review »

What the school says...

More House School is a Catholic school that welcomes girls of all faiths. With the benefit of small classes, the particular talents of every girl are nurtured and developed by dedicated teachers. We are proud of the consistent successes of our pupils in GCSE and A-level examinations. A full programme of physical education is part of every girl's curriculum. Good athletes have been chosen to represent the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in the London mini-marathon and there is a sports day each year. The extracurricular programme is extremely rich - clubs include: art, choir, orchestra, photography, fencing, drama, and many more. Girls also become involved in the Duke of Edinburgh Award, World Challenge, choir tour, drama production, operas, and more. ...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.

What The Good Schools Guide says

Head

Since 2021, Faith Hagerty. She came from St Augustine’s Priory, Ealing, where she worked for 14 years as drama teacher, head of department, head of sixth form and finally deputy head. Brought up in West London, she attended a Catholic convent then The Arts Educational School, followed by sixth form at Notting Hill and Ealing High School. Worked as a professional actor after her drama degree (Bristol) and post-graduate acting diploma (LAMDA) - ‘My father was a theatre critic, so he took me to a lot of productions when I was young.’

Realised her calling was to work with young people while directing a musical production with disadvantaged children: ‘These young people had never been on stage before. I found it much more fulfilling watching them then doing it myself. Acting is so much about yourself. It can be quite tiring. This was inspiring.’ An ardent supporter of single sex education for girls, she told us, ‘Our role as educators is to prepare them for lifelong success as ethical leaders.’

Ushered into the cosy office of this down-to-earth and friendly head, we sat ourselves near a table laden with delicate pastries (a welcome reminder that we were in Knightsbridge). Undaunted by having giant shoes to fill (the much-loved previous head was here 22 years), she is certainly making good impressions so far. ‘Really listens to us and gets involved,’ said one parent. Seems they are particularly grateful she didn’t come in all guns-a-blazin’ but instead ‘has been wise to not try and change too much too quickly. Don’t fix what is not broken.’ Popular among pupils too.

With three children of her own, we’re in awe that she still finds time to watch Strictly Come Dancing and lead a consortium of 16 other London headteachers who are coming together for a Strictly Heads event in June. ‘The aim is to raise at least £20k for the icandance charity, for young people with disabilities.’ This one, the head says, ‘comes from my heart.’

Entrance

Open mornings throughout autumn and summer terms and private tours for girls looking to take occasional places in year groups. Part of London 11+ Consortium. The entrance process consists of a test (this year the ISEB test was used), a head’s reference and there is great emphasis on activities morning that all applicants are invited to which includes STEM challenge, creative task and an individual interview. For the next round of admissions, the London 11+ Consortium will be changing the exam board they are using but for More House the assessment process ‘will always look beyond the exams.’ The head says: ‘Every child has a gift and at More House we celebrate these gifts and let pupils carve out their own unique path.’

Increasing numbers of applicants every year. Normally 32 places available (two forms of 16) - girls are either offered a definite place or put on the wait-list.

Exit

About 70 per cent stay on for sixth form. The rest mainly to co-ed establishments or local sixth form colleges. Post A level, girls head to universities all over the UK - Durham, Birmingham, UCL, Cardiff, Newcastle and Nottingham popular. Subjects include maths, criminology, law, music, psychology and classics. Others go to art college or join apprenticeship schemes. 'The school isn't striving to get everyone into university. That’s not what they are about. They try to support the girl in finding out what is best for them,' said one parent, approvingly. Even if a girl is deemed to be Oxbridge material, there is no pressure on her to apply if it’s not the right course for her (usually one girl does go off to Oxbridge every couple of years though none recently).

Latest results

In 2021, 48 per cent 9-7 at GCSE; 51 per cent A*/A (82 per cent A*-B) at A level. In 2019 (the last year when exams took place), 30 per cent 9-7 at GCSE; 19 per cent A*/A (41 per cent A*-B) at A level.

Teaching and learning

‘A fantastic cohort of creative thinkers’, says the head about her staff team, adding that she only recruits teachers who are ‘dynamic,’ ‘kind’ and who have a ‘vision.’ ‘We recognise that every child’s learning is different. We want to build confidence in pupils that might think in a different way.’ ‘Really genuine and always willing to help,’ say pupils. Small class sizes help to foster this bond.

Wide range of academic ability. As one parent put it, ‘There are less intellectually confident girls here who are nurtured and there are also some very clever girls whose parents have chosen the school because it is Catholic.’ Another told us the school ‘suits both my daughters – a very academic one and a less academic, more arty one.’

All girls take two languages with Spanish, German, French and Italian options available; pupils who are bilingual can take a GCSE in their mother tongue early. Maths, science and languages are taught in ability sets. RS compulsory at GCSE and many continue with it at A level. School favours the philosophy and ethics course as it ‘encourages girls to question their spirituality’. Pupils take between eight and 11 GCSEs.

Psychology currently popular at A level, though subjects wax and wane depending upon the cohort. School happy to have only one or two pupils taking a subject at A level and class sizes are seldom above six. Timetable built around what girls want to do and school tries to be flexible. Eighteen subjects currently taught at A level, plus EPQ.

School has tightened up on academic rigour, making some significant changes in recent years. Feedback from teachers is detailed and there is constant dialogue between staff and pupils. Academic monitoring is excellent, with assessment points four times a year to ensure those not making enough progress are quickly identified. Staff appraisals take place more regularly and twilight sessions help ensure staff are on board with changes being implemented. ‘As a small school, pupils are known, noticed and nurtured in both academic and co-curricular endeavours’, claims head.

Be More, the school’s innovative gifted and talented programme, is newly launched and run by two teachers. Anyone from top performers in public exams to brilliant debaters to arts and music based scholars can be nominated for this programme by teachers or from outside the school. ‘It is a way of making sure individual students are stretched and challenged with trips and podcasts aimed at them. However, we are very careful to tread the line so that other girls don’t feel excluded.’

Blended learning approach has become the norm post-Covid, with all pupils having a personal Chromebook or laptop that they use for some of each lesson.

Learning support and SEN

‘They nailed my daughter in understanding her very particular needs and she has really thrived in their nurturing environment’, one parent enthused. The department comprises a full-time (and very hands-on) SENCo who has ‘loads of contact with parents,’ plus two learning support teachers, a part-time speech and language therapist, art therapists, a school counsellor (who visits four times a week) and an educational psychiatrist. CBT also offered. Mild dyslexia accounts for half of those on the SEN register, but the school can also support girls with dyscalculia and dyspraxia, and EAL girls have extra English support until it is up to scratch. About 25-30 girls receive one-to-one support, with others having help with maths and English in small booster groups. Everyone is dealt with as complete individuals. ‘We don’t do generic,’ says SENCo, who adds that 'it's about supporting the girls’ emotional needs as well as getting them the very best grades they can.’

The arts and extracurricular

Creative arts have always been at the heart of this school, which well deserves its strong artistic reputation and currently boasts a textiles specialist, a painter and a mixed media artist. Numerous visits arranged to London galleries.

‘Exceptional and inclusive,’ said a parent about music. All year 7s play an instrument (brass, string or woodwind) and three-quarters of girls have individual music lessons. Strong choral tradition, with girls encouraged to belong to either choir or chamber choir. All musical tastes catered for. Impressive ex-alumnae to music colleges. One recently to Julliard in New York.

With a former thespian at its helm, it’s no surprise that drama is a strength. Biennial musicals staged in a professional theatre – next up is The Addams Family, which will take place in a theatre in Kensington. School says it tries to give everyone a chance and that it’s not just about those with more obvious talent.

‘Amazing selection of clubs and extra-curricular’, enthused one parent. ‘Definitely something for everyone,’ said another. Takes place before and after school, and during lunchtimes too. Thriving debating club (which parents are welcome to listen to), plus clubs in eg handwriting and calligraphy, photography, dance, running circuits and aerobics. Enviable overseas trips to Tuscany for choir, Germany and Spain for exchange students and Vermont for skiing (to name but a few). Some trips are subsidised for those who can’t afford the costs, and alternative trips are also organised in London.

Big on environment and sustainability. More Green, the whole school sustainability group, recently launched an award at prizegiving - pupils were invited to come up with a green initiative with a £50 budget and ideas were assessed on impact and longevity. The winning idea was a pupil-led weekly gardening club which is now growing fruit and vegetables in the school courtyard.

Sport

‘PE is being taken a lot more seriously than in the past,’ delighted one parent. For the first three years all girls participate in netball, rounders, hockey, athletics and tennis as well as a healthy active lifestyle programme. Years 10-11 can also do circuit training, fitness classes, spinning and climbing and sixth formers do boot camp. School is aware of the onsite space limitations, so takes the girls to Hyde Park or Battersea Park. Parents say current head has ‘broadened the range of extracurricular sport too’ – eg fencing, rowing and yoga now offered. A keen athlete herself, the head has also started a weekly early morning running club for super motivated early birds around the Serpentine in Hyde Park. Mixed results for sporting fixtures with some of the other local and bigger schools. ‘If your daughter wants to do sports on a competitive level this might not be the right school for her, but it is highly inclusive and every girl gets the chance to have a go,’ felt a parent.

Ethos and heritage

Named after Sir Thomas Moore, the Tudor theologian, the school was founded in 1953 by canonesses of St Augustine. Since 1971, it has been under lay management. Based in the heart of Knightsbridge, it is just a stone’s throw from Harvey Nichols on a quiet road known for its stunning Dutch architecture. Taking up two tall narrow houses, it is something of a Tardis inside with seemingly infinite space especially going upwards. The tall and narrow staircases are definitely not for the unfit, but the classrooms (some with only four students in) are big and airy. Downstairs in the reception area are elegant dark wooden features from a bygone era. We’d like to have seen more student arts on the walls but were not disappointed by any lack of music – in fact, we arrived to the most melodic soprano from a student; definitely features among the nicest first impressions we have had.

Well mannered, cheerful girls drift around the building in their navy uniform with pink stripes. Smart, but not overly starchy, and with a few designer brands dotted here and there. Our year 12 tour guide was full of beans, bright and confident. ‘Best thing I ever did was leaving my other school for this lovely, much smaller school. I am the only person in one of my A Level classes. It’s like having personal tuition,’ she told us (with no script).

Just don’t call this school a ‘hidden gem’- it really gets the head’s back up, warned one parent. ‘Ms Hagerty wants this to be a school that people know about, not just tucked away behind the posh shops.’ It is certainly starting to make its mark and is no longer considered the contingency school because their daughter didn’t get into Francis Holland.

Pastoral care, inclusivity and discipline

Pastorally among the best we have seen and the reason many parents choose this school over others. ‘Absolutely phenomenal,’ said one parent, another that ‘my daughter has been encouraged every step of the way. She literally comes home bouncing off the walls. Fully inspired.’ The school motto of ‘a greenhouse not a hothouse’ is evident in the way they nurture their young people and because of the size of the school, issues big and small are picked up straight away and ‘nipped in the bud’. Lots of support in place - two form tutors for every class of 16. Students we spoke to said it was a lovely close-knit community with emphasis on kindness and respect: ‘I’m able to shine a lot more than in my last school,’ said one. We loved the idea of the sixth formers’ ‘friendship hour’ which takes place every Tuesday in the common room.

Strong Catholic ethos. The school has its own chapel and mass once a week. Girls are prepared for confirmation. Currently 30 per cent Catholic although there are girls of all faiths and none. Charity is seen as an important part of the girls’ education and decent sums of money are raised for various causes. School is also big on good deeds eg girls wrote letters to residents in care homes during the pandemic.

‘Quite strict’, some parents felt, but nobody seemed negative about it. ‘It helps with the positive vibe and the great behaviour of the girls, which is often commented on by members of the public,’ commented one. School says it doesn’t like to punish, rather to view students as ‘whole people’ - foibles and all. Exclusions rare, with head feeling it’s not the best way to deal with girls especially during Covid when ‘much of the time was spent behind their computers in their bedroom.’

Pupils and parents

Roughly 70 per cent British with a large international contingent from Spain, France, China, Russia, America and the Middle East. Girls travel from all over London for the school – can be a bit frustrating, said a parent: ‘My daughter lives in Fulham but her best friend lives in Putney. But many of the girls just meet near school, at Harvey Nics, and go downstairs for their bubble tea!’ Most girls come from professional families, some with ‘seriously wealthy parents’ and others with dual income parents who make considerable sacrifices to send their girls here. Parents told us ‘nobody is showy’ and that ‘everyone is friendly.’ ‘The really snobby ones probably wouldn’t choose this school anyway,’ reckoned one. Small but active PTA recently helped to fund specialist talks on nutrition and social media, among other things.

Money matters

Part scholarships in academic, sport, creative and performing arts available at years 7 and 12. Entry bursaries for year 7s. Special governors’ bursaries offered in response to a particular set of circumstances but normally only awarded to girls who are already at the school and in examination years.

The last word

A small, supportive and nurturing city school that achieves good results. Parents describe it as ‘working its socks off to get the girls the best education.’ Strong Catholic values lie at the core.

Please note: Independent schools frequently offer IGCSEs or other qualifications alongside or as an alternative to GCSE. The DfE does not record performance data for these exams so independent school GCSE data is frequently misleading; parents should check the results with the schools.

Who came from where

Who goes where

Special Education Needs

The majority of learning needs are accommodated within the classroom by the subject teacher. As classes are smaller than in many independent schools, a high level of individual support can be provided. Where necessary, based on evidenced need, learning support may be provided outside classes, on an individual or small group basis. Such support will have a specific focus, for example, reading fluency, reading comprehension, spelling, writing. We always view girls holistically taking into account their interests, aspirations and emotions in supporting them. Girls with a range of special educational needs and difficulties have progressed to university and we encourage all pupils to aim high and achieve their best. We have an excellent support network based around the Form Tutor and our PSHE programme.

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
Genetic
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory
Has SEN unit or class
HI - Hearing Impairment Y
Hospital School
Mental health Y
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 Y
SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication Y
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty Y
VI - Visual Impairment

Who came from where


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.