Turks Row, London SW3 4TW
Profile: If you have ever been shopping along King’s Road and seen stylish girls in elegant turquoise school uniforms, you have had your first encounter with Garden House School. It consists of a nursery (for 3-4 year olds) just off Sloane Square, and a Girls’ School and Boys’ School near Burton Court. The Girls’ and Boys’ Schools are located in the same building, but girls and boys are taught separately, so if you like the single sex education model but would still like your child to establish friendships among both sexes, Garden House might be the right choice for you. Garden House is a relatively local school with most children coming from the Chelsea area, but it does draw some children from nearby neighbourhoods such as Parsons Green and South Kensington (conveniently, a school bus leaves Parsons Green at 8am every morning).
It is not an academic hothouse, but rather tries to develop happy well-rounded children with daily sports exercises and a wide range of afterschool clubs (fencing, Judo, Ancient Greek, Mandarin, Drama and more). The Girls’ school seems to send a larger share of girls to leading boarding schools than other preps in London, although this may also be changing (see Exit Results below for more on this).
The ISI inspection report highlights very good academic standards, particularly in English, Mathematics and the Sciences, and a high level of pastoral care:
The school has many strengths of which the following are most significant:
- Pupils attain good, and sometimes high standards, by the time they leave, largely as a result of effective teaching
- The very good ethos, pastoral care, behaviour and attitudes provide a very good learning environment
- The good programme of extra-curricular activities enriches pupils’ curriculum
- Very good relationships have been established with parents and the community
Garden House parents generally sound very satisfied with Garden House School and talk of the delight of picking up their happy and enthusiastic children after an action packed day at the school. It must be said that the school is not cheap, with termly fees of £7,300 in Reception it is certainly one of the most expensive and exclusive pre-preparatory schools in London.
Previous Head Wendy Challen stepped down from her post several years ago and is succeeded by Mrs Julia Adlard, previously Head of the Garden House Kindergarten.
Admissions: Garden House School carries out assessments a year prior to entry from all children on the waiting list for a Reception place. Preference is given to siblings of children already at the school. As it is a very popular school, early registration is recommended. Further details on the admissions policy can be found here.
Garden House girls leave at the 11+ stage, and many move on to leading boarding schools. Francis Holland Sloane Square is the most popular London Day School destination, with a wide variety of schools taking just a small number each for the rest of the girls. Common destinations are Francis Holland Sloane Square, Queen’s Gate School, Godolphin & Latymer, Harrodian School, Putney High School, Latymer Upper, Marymount Prep, Thomas’s Battersea, Wycombe Abbey, St Mary’s Ascot, Downe House.