596 Fulham Road, London SW6 5PA
Profile: Located towards the end of Fulham Road in Parsons Green, Kensington Prep School is one of the top prep schools in London. It has been rated excellent in all areas by the Independent Schools Inspectorate, and was even awarded the rare “Exceptional” rating for the achievements of its pupils in its May 2015 inspection. It is now recognised as one of the very finest prep schools in the country.
The school is serious about developing critical thinking and flexibility, teaching girls thinking skills and philosophy from Year 1. Extracurricular opportunities include French and Spanish, as well as a wide array of musical instruments, singing and plenty of sports. The outdoor space of the school is impressive for a London prep school, giving the girls ample space to run around, climb and play during break time. Design technology and entrepreneurial projects are also taken seriously at this school in line with the headmistress’s mission to prepare girls for life in the 21st century. Music is particular strong at this school, where almost every girl joins the Choir and the Orchestra and plays at least one instrument. Girls from Year 1 upwards perform at Cadogan Hall every year. Lucky girls from Year 5 and Year 6 may even get to go on a concert tour to Venice or Budapest. There is less emphasis on sports, if that is important to you, although a wide range of sports is offered. Netball is especially strong, but gymnastics, hockey, rounders, football, cross country running a wide range of other opportunities are available.
Admissions: 4+ admission to Kensington Prep School is via 4+ assessment. Girls can be registered at any moment up to one year prior to their entry to Reception class (i.e. at the latest September 2018 for Sep 2019 entry). Assessments take place at the beginning of the Spring Term in January of the year of entry and appointment times are sent out at the end of October. About 250 girls are assessed each year for the 44 available Reception places. in addition to that, there is a small 7+ intake and some occasional places, but the main intake takes place at 4+. During the assessment, a small group of girls spend time with a teacher and can choose from several activities. Afterwards, they will also spend some one-on-one time with another member of staff for further activities. The school does not require the children to come with any knowledge and is looking for curiosity and problem-solving skills (think simple jigsaws, pattern recognition, lego blocks and the like). They do ask not to send children who don’t speak English to the assessment, understandably! There is a small additional 7+ intake which is very competitive (about 10:1 ratio).
Exit Results: Kensington Prep girls are successful in gaining admission to the top London Senior schools, as generally 20-25% are offered places at St Paul’s Girls’ School and 50% are accepted to Godolphin and Latymer. About 25% of the class have traditionally moved on to boarding schools such as Wycombe Abbey, St Mary’s Ascot and Downe House, but this has been changing in recent years, with more parents choosing London day schools (click here for a full list of senior school places). Most popular destinations in 2018 were Godolphin & Latymer (8 accepted places), Putney High School (6 accepted places), Francis Holland Sloane Square (6 accepted places), Latymer Upper (5 accepted places), and St Paul’s (3 accepted places out of 4 offers).