UCS Phoenix School

36 College Crescent, London NW3 5LF

Profile: The Phoenix School is a pre-prep school in Hampstead for boys and girls aged 3 – 7. It consists of a nursery and a pre-prep school which have been affiliated with UCS (the University College School, a leading London Day school) since 2002. There are some changes ahead though. The UCS Council has decided that the school should transition to an all boys Pre‐Prep school with children aged 4‐7, with the entry point being directly into Reception via a 4+ assessment. This means that the last in‐take of girls will be September 2016 and the school will no longer offer a Nursery class from September 2017. The first boys‐only Reception cohort will therefore be in September 2018. As part of this transition the school will change its name from The Phoenix School to UCS Pre‐Prep from September 2016.

A recent inspection report suggests the school combines high academic standands with excellent pastoral care:

pupils are very well educated and achieve high standards in both their learning and their personal development. They make good and, on occasion, rapid progress in relation to their abilities because of a broad curriculum, an excellent programme of activities both in and outside school, and most effective teaching, which in many lessons is outstanding.

The school successfully achieves its aim to provide a happy, supportive and stimulating environment where intellectual curiosity and independence of mind are developed and self-discovery and selfexpression are fostered

Admissions: The Phoenix School has a two-form entry into Reception and provides very detailed information on its website, which unfortunately suggests that the Phoenix School has become so oversubscribed since being acquired by UCS that it is now very hard to get into without a direct connection to anyone already at the school:

Since the school was acquired by UCS in 2002, applications have risen steadily and most Nursery pupils proceed automatically to our 4+ Reception class. The Nursery has now become the main point of entry to the school.  Nursery places are offered to siblings and UCS/Phoenix connections in the first instance.  Currently there is no formal assessment for entry to the Nursery but because of the high level of interest for places this process is currently under review… Applicants should complete the Registration Form and register not more than one year before the proposed date of entry

From Sep 2017, there will be no nursery class and entry will be via 4+ assessment.

Exit Results: The school does not publish a detailed breakdown of destination schools on their website but can provide it to parents before they commit to a place. Boys at the Phoenix School pupils usually transfer to the UCS Junior School following a successful 7+ examination, although this transfer is not automatic and it’s not unheard of for some not to pass. As UCS is a boys’ school,  girls have to transfer to other London prep schools. I have heard from other parents that many girls transfer to South Hampstead High but have not seen any data by the school to support this. Highgate would likely be another popular destination. After its change to an all boys’ pre-prep, the school is planning to turn UCS Pre-Prep into a stronger feeder school for UCS.

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