28 Abercorn Place, London NW8 9XP
Profile: Established in St John’s Wood in 1987, Abercorn School is a co-educational nursery, pre-prep and preparatory school for boys and girls aged 2 – 13. It places great emphasis on pastoral care and a happy learning environment, combining maths and language learning with arts and music. It is also very successful in sports, with its pupils winning the North London Swimming Championships several years in a row. The school caters well to working parents with school gates opening at 8am already and a wide offer of afterschool clubs that include Drama, Cookery, Tae Kwon Do, Football, Dance and Science.
It is not a small school, currently educating about 360 children, but it operates the Early Years Foundation, Middle and Upper Schools on separate sites across St John’s Wood and Marylebone. The prep school (Year 4 and above) recently moved into a brand new building on Portland Place. Most Abercorn pupils come from the area around St John’s Wood and reflect the neighbourhood’s diversity. The school has recently appointed Mr Ben Dunhill as new Head. Born in Marylebone, with a degree in French Literature from UCL, Mr Dunhill was previously Head of the co-educational boarding prep school Port Regis in Dorset.
The Independent Schools Inspectorate carried out its last inspection in 2012 and highlighted high quality of teaching and excellent pastoral care.
The quality of pupils’ academic achievement and progress throughout the school is excellent. Pupils are well educated and the school successfully fulfils its aim of giving pupils a strong awareness of living in a global community and preparing them for their next school. They leave as confident learners with an enthusiastic outlook on life.
The quality of pupils’ personal development is outstanding. They take excellent advantage of opportunities on offer both within and outside the classroom. In line with the school’s aim of providing a high level of pastoral care, pupils are confident, articulate, mutually supportive, respectful, caring and happy. They enjoy excellent relationships with peers and adults alike and their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is excellent. A warm atmosphere of mutual respect is evident.
(all from ISI Inspection Report May 2012)
Admissions: Admission to the school at the nursery and Reception stage is non-selective. It charges a registration fee of £225 and parents also need to provide a copy of the child’s birth certificate. For entry into Year 1 and above, children perform a short test in English and Maths to enter the school. The admissions page of the school websites has more details and a downloadable pdf Registration form.
Exit Results: Girls leave the school at the 11+ stage, while boys generally stay on until 13+ for Common Entrance. The school provides a list of schools its leavers go onto. You may want to ask for more details of senior school placements when visiting this school. Recent results suggests leavers successfully move on to London’s competitive senior schools, such as
- St. Paul’s School
- City of London
- Mill Hill
- University College School
- Cheltenham Ladies College
- Godolphin and Latymer
- North London Collegiate School
- South Hampstead High School
The school website also provides the list of senior school placement results from 2013 – 2015.