Skip to main content

What says..

Most subjects are taught by class teachers but science is led by a dynamic former research scientist from King’s College London. She teaches girls from year 1 and enthuses them about the subject from the start – everything from snail races to learning how to purify water. ‘We need to get girls passionate about science from a young age,’ she says...

Read review »

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

Head

Since September 2021, Kate Bevan, previously head of the junior school at Ibstock Place. She kicked off her teaching career in St Margaret’s before spending 13 years at Danes Hill School - including as head of year, head of history and director of studies - before moving to Ibstock Place. She is also an alumna and serving governor at The Tiffin Girls' School.

Entrance

The two main entry points are 4+ and 7+. At 4+, 100 applicants try for 40 places – two reception classes of 20 each. The girls are observed in groups of three or four doing ‘nursery style activities’ (playing, interacting and talking to junior school teachers). No formal reading or writing required. At 7+, 30 to 40 apply for an additional eight year 3 places. Girls are tested in maths, writing and verbal reasoning. Girls who do well in the test are invited back for a short, informal interview and a tour. The school is full but places occasionally come up in other years (mainly due to families relocating).

Exit

Virtually all progress to the senior school at the end of year 6. Confirmed, unconditional offers of places for the senior school are made in the spring term of year 5. The juniors still take the senior school entrance test with outside applicants though – so they can be considered for scholarships on an even footing. A few leave at 11 for other senior schools (such at St Paul’s Girls’, Godolphin & Latymer and Lady Eleanor Holles) but the assumption is that once they join the junior school they’re here for the duration.

Our view

The national curriculum is watched but certainly not slavishly followed. Girls do key stage 2 Sats – the school says teachers find them useful to track the girls’ progress. ‘It’s all very low key - there is a bit of preparation but no angst about them. It’s just part and parcel of what we do.’ Teachers focus on developing literacy and numeracy, with daily lessons in each subject. The school is rightfully proud of its integrated curriculum, introduced eight years ago. Designed ‘to give meaning to humanities subjects’, each year group from year 1 to year 6 is given a theme (anything from pirates to the First World War). When we visited year 6 pupils were studying the geography of the First World War battlefields and having philosophical discussions about what is worth fighting for.

Most subjects are taught by class teachers but science is led by a dynamic former research scientist from King’s College London. She teaches girls from year 1 and enthuses them about the subject from the start – everything from snail races to learning how to purify water. ‘We need to get girls passionate about science from a young age,’ she says. Computing (lots of coding) and Mandarin are taught from year 1 onwards. French and German are offered as after-school clubs. Other clubs run at lunchtime and after school include computing, sewing, animation, art, touch typing and yoga.

Sensible levels of homework. Reception pupils get reading every evening, year 1s take spellings home and year 2s and up have homework – once a week in year 2, four nights a week in year 5 and every night in year 6 (but only for 30 minutes). Every so often homework is suspended and girls take part in an ‘open homework’ project – subjects range from hopes and dreams to heroines (choices included Mother Teresa, Rosa Parks and Malala Yousafzai; one girl nominated her granny). Girls have two PE lessons a week (gym, dance, netball, cricket), with weekly swimming from reception through to year 4.

The school is academically selective so while some have learning support for dyslexia and dyscalculia they must be able to cope with the pace of the curriculum. Support given one-to-one or in small groups. Strong links with the senior school. Girls from years 7 and 10 come and read to their junior counterparts, year 12s run a Minimus Club for year 4 girls and many pop in to say hello to their former teachers. Music, led by a former professional opera singer, is a tour de force. Girls take instrumental lessons from year 3 and there’s an 80-piece orchestra. Plenty of opportunities to perform in concerts, bands and choirs too.

The junior school is located in a well-kept Victorian villa on a quiet residential road. It’s on the same site as the senior school, with a green Astroturf, playground and south-facing garden at the back. Whole school assemblies are held twice a week in the junior hall but the junior girls also use the senior school’s impressive hall and indoor swimming pool. The girls, in jaunty navy and red uniforms, walk across to the senior dining room for lunch. They all belong to one of four teams which compete for an annual team cup. Great emphasis placed on self-esteem, confidence and being happy at school and as girls progress through the school they take on responsibilities such as acting as ‘playground pals’ to younger pupils and elected reps on the school council.

Most pupils live relatively nearby. The majority have two working parents (lots of doctors, lawyers and media types) and the school runs a breakfast club from 7.30am and an after-school club till 6pm, both run by staff rather than an outside agency.

The last word

An academically excellent school that nurtures its pupils and helps them to develop into happy, confident girls.

Special Education Needs

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

The Good Schools Guide Newsletter

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

The Good Schools Guide manifesto for parents