Cameron House school is located in The Vale, a beautiful green side street off King’s Road in Chelsea. You could almost mistake it for a residential building, were it not for the colourful scooters parked outside its entrance door. Upon arrival, I met an American father and another English couple who were going to do the school tour together with me. We waited for the headmistress, Lucie Moore, in the entrance hall.
She arrived promptly, full of energy and enthusiasm and explained that Cameron House was a small school with a family feel where she welcomed each pupil individually every morning. It certainly feels like a home, with soft carpets on the floors and old wooden stairs, and artwork made by the children displayed on the walls.
We visited each classroom from Reception to Year 1 all the way to Year 6, got to see the small outdoor playground, the IT lab and the assembly hall, which is used for some sports classes, music practice and recitals. Parent involvement is very much encouraged at the school, with weekly performances by the children for the parents held in the afternoons. Parent volunteers also come in to do reading with the children in the library, and meet up for coffee mornings and evening drinks. It certainly feels like a very community and family oriented place.
The building is quite small, so the Headmistress mentioned that she does think the school is slightly more suited to bookish or quiet children, or at least that it might not be the perfect place for extremly active, mobile children, but then it did sound like there is ample opportunity to do sports: the children do sports three times per week as part of the curriculum, and on top there are numerous afterschool clubs such as Karate, Ballet and Football, as well as optional Saturday morning sports in Battersea Park.
For a small school, the extracurricular offering is impressive. In addition to the sports mentioned above, children can learn a wide range of instruments where lessons are arranged individually during or after the school day, depending on what suits the child best, there is a club for gifted students to engage in mathematical and logical puzzles, a Chess club, a Latin club, drama performances, a new sewing club and many more.
Towards the end of the tour, we managed to discuss the hot topic of admissions to the school, and the headmistress confirmed that on average some 50% of the 20 Reception places can go to siblings, which only leaves 10 spots for the 100+ students who come in for the 4+ assessment. She did acknowledge that it is incredibly hard to make a decision in such a situation and shared that Cameron House looks for an overall mix in the class in terms of personalities, backgrounds and gender. The exit results are excellent, as mentioned in the school profile, and I think one of the reasons is that being such a small school, the headmistress manages to find the best individual solutions for each child and manages to work with each child and its parents to achieve their aspirations.
After visiting Glendower, Knightsbridge School and Hill House, it seems I have to add another school to the list of fantastic prep schools in central London. The good news is that no matter which one my daughter will end up in, they all seem to be wonderful places!
If you want to find out more about Cameron House School, check the Cameron House school profile!