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All feel that their daughters are nurtured from day one and are not overly pressurised. 'Huge strength is all are treated as individuals and their differences celebrated'. All classrooms light and bright and busy. In year 1, we walked in just as a butterfly was emerging from a chrysalis – very exciting. Elsewhere, a show and tell session held everyone rapt. Music a great strength and leads to several scholarships to senior schools. Drama also huge. Props room known as Narnia; easy to see why. 'Latin club at 8am is great'...

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What the school says...

It is vital that your daughter's first step into full time education is a positive, happy experience. At The Study, girls from the age of 4 years gain in confidence and initiative, work hard and learn to think independently. Well prepared for a wide range of independent senior schools, girls leave us at 11+ with a zest for learning, gained in a stimulating, challenging and secure environment. ...Read more

What the parents say...

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What The Good Schools Guide says

Headmistress

Since 2011, Mrs Susan Pepper MA PGCE NPQH (50s). Educated at Godolphin & Latymer School, read history at Somerville College, Oxford. Previously head of history and deputy head at Francis Holland. An interesting move/appointment for someone with previous experience only in girls' secondary schools, but it is generally felt she has found her niche. 'She is focused and dynamic but a softy at heart'. Determined to develop and expand the school while maintaining its 'excellent ethos'. Has delighted parents by bringing in school lunches, with all food cooked on site. Has invested in ICT software and hardware and in-class staff training, and improved and streamlined communications. Parents say, 'very approachable, not at all forbidding', 'never hurries us in conversations', 'our children are in good hands', 'manages expectations well and gives good advice'.

They feel that her knowledge of the senior school system has distinct advantages. She displays a commitment that should move the school from strength to strength. She will listen to others' points of view, but will always drive through what she sees as necessary change. Her mantra is 'do the best by every child'. One mother said, 'gives the girls lots of respect and makes it easy for them to talk to her'. Teaches RE to years 5 and 6; runs the debating club for the older girls and pony club for the younger ones. Definitely feels that the move was the right decision. We think she could be right. Married with one grown up son. Enjoys riding, keeping ex-battery hens, gardening, reading and cryptic crosswords in her spare time. When, we wonder, is that.

Entrance

Non-selective at 4+ by ballot and thereafter by assessment. Registration any time up to 18 months before entry. No point in rushing in at birth, it won’t make any difference. Sibling priority. Mostly from local Wimbledon area but some from Kingston, Wandsworth and other surrounding areas. The usual cosmopolitan mix of nationalities and backgrounds found in London schools.

Exit

Mainly to local day schools, often with scholarships (record 35 in 2017), including academic, music, sport, art and drama. Wimbledon High is at the top, with, amongst others, Lady Eleanor Holles, St Paul’s Girls, Putney High, Surbiton and Sutton High Schools and Kingston Grammar. A few to boarding schools such as St Mary's Ascot, Benenden and Wycombe Abbey. Mrs Pepper really does try to make sure that the schools girls try for are the most appropriate. At the beginning of year 5 there is a general talk for all parents, after which she schedules individual sessions to talk them through their daughters’ futures. ‘She never hurries us and is so reassuring’.

Our view

A happy school full of lively, enthusiastic girls. Parents love it and have nothing but praise. Couldn't find anyone with a serious criticism, but working parents would love a homework club. All feel that their daughters are nurtured from day one and are not overly pressurised. 'Huge strength is all are treated as individuals and their differences celebrated'.

Over 120 years old. The Study was originally just that, one room, three pupils, one governess. It soon grew and moved to 4, Peek Crescent, purpose built in 1905, now Spencer House, accommodating the prep school girls. About 20 years ago another purpose-built school was bought and the pre-prep department moved to Wilberforce House, approximately 10 minutes walk away across Wimbledon Common. The result? One school, two buildings, great teaching and tip top facilities.

Two year 2 girls took us round Wilberforce House. Articulate and enthusiastic, they were keen to show us every nook and cranny. Remembering with joy. Colour coded classes for all levels. Reception now fully high tech: 'we never had computers like these!' But 'we've always had interactive whiteboards'. All classrooms light and bright and busy. In year 1, we walked in just as a butterfly was emerging from a chrysalis – very exciting. Elsewhere, a show and tell session held everyone rapt. Everything is done to provide a happy, relaxed learning environment. Plenty of art on display. Low level loos for the youngest and basins with bear shaped taps. Excellent library with ICT area. Fascinating DT projects. To help with transition, year 3 girls go to Spencer House for drama and art each week.

We were taken round Spencer House by two bright year 6 girls, eager to tell us what they liked best about their school. Seemed to be pretty well everything. Good-sized hall which doubles up as stage for plays and concerts and, on the day we visited, space for a charity fair. Very keen on their charity work: 'Year 6 choose the special ones for the summer term'. The whole school gathers there at least once a term and on special occasions as, for instance, harvest festival. One parent said, 'Spencer House seems a bit small', then went on to say 'facilities fabulous'.

Well-equipped library; excellent science room: 'we can use proper equipment'. High tech ICT room where all have a lesson once a week; as in the lower school, interactive whiteboards everywhere and computers abound. Art room under the eaves, with displays continuing on the walls along the corridor. Individual music rooms named after famous musicians, a wide range of instruments taught. Several choirs and a variety orchestras and groups. Raved about 'our amazing music teacher; really teaches in a fun way'. Music a great strength and leads to several scholarships to senior schools. Drama also huge. Props room known as Narnia; easy to see why. Our guides said, 'everyone does cooking' but we did not see where. A blip, we are assured: both sites have excellent kitchen facilities. (Certainly the 'snack lunch' we were given at the end of the tour was most impressive.) An exceptionally wide range of clubs before, after and during school. 'Latin club at 8am is great'. A parent said, 'something there for every girl, bright or not, will always find a way to shine'.

Teaching appears excellent. Relaxed for the younger children, form teachers covering most subjects; more specialists in the upper school. Those we met were friendly, welcoming and keen to inform. Girls like them all. Average age mid-40s, over a quarter having been there for more than 10 years. Sad lack of males, but head said good ones are hard to find. Average class size 22, never more than 24.

Weekly staff meeting for whole school when specific problems can be discussed. Up-to-date, well-informed learning support co-ordinator. Continuous assessment and plenty of help for those who need it, including the very able. One-to-one when necessary, charged as an extra. EAL lessons also provided, when needed, at extra cost. Comprehensive anti-bullying policy. Believe it is important to provide equal opportunity for all children and 'encourage them to think beyond the school gate'. Head feels they are particularly good at building up confidence. Apparently, teachers go out of their way to make sure that each child 'has a moment of glory'.

Good play areas outside both houses, with separate sections for the younger pupils. Sport and PE very important. They say it is all about 'enjoyment, opportunity, success and celebration'. Good variety, taught by specialist teachers. Competitive matches from year 3. National prize winners in netball, cross-country and athletics. Now have their own sports field. 'Head of sport has amazing drive and enthusiasm'.

Special Education Needs

The Study is non-selective at age 4 and is able to cater for those girls with Specific Learning Difficulties such as mild to moderate dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD. There are flexible support groups in some years and one-to-one private tuition for those who need it. Support staffing consists of a Learning Support Coordinator, four private tutors, a part time support teacher and four teaching assistants. Nov 09

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder
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
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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