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The sweeping drive leads to an imposing listed building, the Beveree, accommodating children from year 3 upwards. We’re told senior teachers greet the pupils each morning with some light-hearted chitchat to ease them into school where, by their own admission, they feel like ‘big people.’ From year 4 up there’s a definite sense of independence; children don their backpacks and move from class to class for most subjects…

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What the school says...

'TPS seems to be blessed with an ambience second to none. I have been in most of the schools in the area at some time or another and I can assure you that none of them come close in terms of staff attitude and the general `feel` of the school' - ex Parent & local teacher. ...Read more

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What The Good Schools Guide says


Since 2020, Oliver Barrett BA previously deputy head academic at St George’s Juniors, Weybridge where he had been for 14 years. Prior experience includes Ashton House School in Isleworth where he started his teaching career as head of sport. A local himself, he was educated at nearby Hampton School before studying environmental studies (with QTS thrown in) at Roehampton. This is a hands-on head happy to throw himself into activities, and often seen donning outfits to mark an event or special day in school. ‘I don’t know when he stops to be honest,’ a parent told us. A keen triathlete and sportsman, he competes when time allows and is credited with upping the ante for sport at the school. ‘He’s blown in a breath of fresh air,’ another parent commented.

Married with two daughters, one at university and one at senior school, he is also a governor at Manby Lodge School.

Pre-prep is presided over by the vibrant Mrs Barnes who is lauded by parents and described as being ‘amazing’, ‘very relatable’ and ‘just like another parent’. A teacher at the school for over 20 years having joined from a maintained school in Teddington, she has a BA (QTS) in English with specialism in early years from St Mary’s University, Twickenham and keeps her hand in by teaching English support groups for KS1.


Main entry is via the pre-prep at reception. Twickenham Prep School (TPS) is non-selective, so there is no 4+ assessment and early registration is advised. Entry is largely at reception (two form entry) and further up the school on an occasional place basis. Assessment is required from year 1. Traditionally, the school saw children arriving from the state sector at age 8 but there is now a larger influx at year 1.


Girls do not stay beyond year 6 so take the 11+ for destinations such as Sir William Perkins, Surbiton High, Notre Dame School and St Catherine’s Twickenham or co-eds St George’s College, Kingston Grammar or Claremont Fan Court. Boys have the option of staying until year 8, which is a popular choice for many. Hampton School, Reeds and Halliford are among destinations for 13+ boys.

Head works closely with parents to suggest options for each child and to guide them through the process. He also runs an 11+ support group and leads reasoning lessons.

The school recently announced it will no longer do Common Entrance (owing to the fact it’s no longer a requirement of key destinations schools). This has given the teaching staff more freedom with the syllabus, plus allow for more cross-curricular learning and project work for the year 7 and 8s. The Head tells us that if the CE is required by a school it can be easily facilitated, given the syllabus is closely followed.

Our view

Founded in a church hall in the late 1960s, the school was originally located by Twickenham Green. When it outgrew the site, the school relocated to its current setting in Hampton in the early 1990s, making its connection to nearby Twickenham these days largely only in name. The school community sidesteps this by referring to the school as TPS.

Sweeping drive leads to an imposing listed building, the Beveree, accommodating children from year 3 upwards. We’re told senior teachers greet the pupils each morning with some light-hearted chitchat to ease them into school where, by their own admission, they feel like ‘big people.’ From year 4 up there’s a definite sense of independence; children don their backpacks and move from class to class for most subjects.

Annexed to the main Beveree building is the pre-prep domain. This noisy, bustling building offers a dedicated space cosseting the youngest children of the school from reception to year 2. All classrooms open onto colourful Astroturfed outdoor areas, creating versatile learning spaces. A narrow stretch of land accessed through a little gate abuts the school grounds and has been turned into a nature trail. Here, small groups of reception children kitted up in waterproof overalls and wellies spend afternoons tackling activities such as making pine cone bird feeders, soup in the mud kitchen or simply digging in leaves alongside attentive and very accommodating teaching assistants. ‘Watch me!’ trilled one enthusiastic forest schooler as she clambered on a makeshift rope swing.

Inside, the other half of the group were having an animated STEM lesson exploring forces with car ramps and Jenga-style towers made from sticks and cups. The no-nonsense French teacher had year 1s commanding a good grasp of introductions through a lively song. ‘I’m enjoying this,’ one child said, showing off the stickers she had acquired in the lesson.

Lessons are fun and creative: we observed an interactive English lesson where children were smelling cinnamon and tasting dates plus role playing an interview with Roald Dahl - one child filming on a tablet before reporting back to the class. ‘It’s exciting, nothing’s ever dull,’ the children told us. Science has a dedicated lab and science teacher who was formerly a secondary school teacher and remains a GCSE examiner. ‘The science blows my mind,’ one parent told us.

If a special need is identified, those children are given extra English or maths help instead of say, Latin. Locally, the school has gained a reputation for strong SEN support and has an excellent SENCo offering. However, head is keen to underline that while they are adept at identifying and assisting with such needs, the school is ‘academically aspirational’ so should not immediately be considered as an option for families where children have very specific or defined special needs.

School recently procured a nearby former nursery building which is now largely home to the year 7 and 8 boys. The hub, as it’s known, has a very modern feel and provides an inspiring learning environment for the boys of secondary school age. Top floor houses an innovative digital media suite with a digital recording desk from where assemblies and quiz shows have been broadcast and where pupils, under the watchful eye of staff, can record podcasts. A greenscreen completes the offering and an AV club is in the planning.

In spite of having access to the main playground and front lawn, the older boys seemed happy enough kicking a football on the driveway outside the head’s study during lunch break - also handy for keeping an eye on them.

Younger years avail themselves of the impressive art and DT room at the hub, where we saw a year 5 group busy making prototype moving posters to encourage recycling. Artwork was displayed round the room including year 4 motorised ‘brush monsters’ ready for a race in the hall and bridges created by year 7 for a structures study. Music is housed in a building off the playground where multicoloured ukuleles hang on the wall and percussion instruments are dotted around the room. When we visited nativity songs were in full flow in preparation for Christmas. Although interdenominational, the school has a Christian ethos, marking events such as harvest and holding an annual carol service at the nearby church; younger years also stage nativity plays. Opportunities to get involved in music abound, from choirs and tea time instrumental concerts to elaborate stage productions each year, some written by the history teacher whose playwright skills have become legendary within the school.

Families hail from Hampton, Twickenham, Teddington, Molesey, Sunbury and as far as Esher; there is a minibus service. Children are well-mannered and friendly; everyone claims to know each other’s names throughout the school and parents speak of the ‘nurturing and caring’ environment. The school’s motto: Calm, Courteous, Considerate and Courageous, clearly underpins life at TPS. Teachers are ‘strict but fair’ according to the children. Merits are given for good behaviour and warnings or demerits for the opposite. Once a teacher brought in a chocolate fountain as a merit treat for the class: ‘We had a feast that day!’ reminisced an older boy.

A weekly celebration assembly is given by the deputy head teacher who takes care to highlight the successes of all children however big or small - from litter picking to achievements outside school. The same applies for selecting children for roles in plays or assemblies with the aim of giving every child the chance to shine.

Sports are varied and training and fixtures for older children (non-netball) take place at nearby Kempton Cricket Club, a short drive away. The enthusiastic sports team work hard to timetable fixtures for all the teams; boys, girls and mixed, to ensure the playground court space is maximised and most importantly, that everyone gets to play. Sport has seen a bigger drive since the arrival of Mr Barrett, himself a keen sportsman, which has pleased some parents who felt it didn’t have enough focus in the past. Parent coaches help out with netball and hockey and the school has taken part in several new sports initiatives including competing in a schools triathlon, an aquathon and a recent football and netball trip to Manchester City FC. Once seen as an easy team to beat, TPS are fast becoming the ones to watch.

When we visited, most children were clad in games kit (so we didn’t get to see the school awash with its vivid purple blazers) and were fiercely proud of their sports tops in their individual house colours denoting the four houses: Apollo, Concorde, Firebird and Harrier.

The school has a strong mind-sports tradition (ie mental skills rather than physical) founded by the previous head. Children from reception up take part in sessions as part of the curriculum run by fully trained staff and compete regularly (and very successfully) in national competitions.

Several teachers have worked at the school for very long tenures - some veterans of over twenty years - but far from being dead wood, the inspiring and talented staff quite clearly love their jobs and genuinely care about the children that come through this delightful school. Moreover, many have chosen to educate their own children here.

The last word

We struggled to find anyone with a less than positive view of TPS - parent or pupil. One boy who joined in year 6 claimed, ‘My three years here have been better than seven years in my last school.’ This is a truly happy, nurturing school that challenges children at the right levels in a calm, safe environment. The community is grounded and sets children up well for their lives beyond the TPS school gates.

Special Education Needs

Twickenham Preparatory School caters for pupils with a specific learning difficulty within the average range of ability. As the School is academic and feeds many highly selective senior schools we do not take pupils with above average learning difficulties. Pupils are screened for literacy related problems from Year 2. Where a specific learning difficulty of a minor nature is identified the appropriate course of action is made in close consultation with parents.

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
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
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 Y
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty Y
VI - Visual Impairment

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