Abercorn School

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 (from September 2022, Abercorn will launch Abercorn Senior, offering education up to age 18 – read more here). 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. New Headmaster, Mr Christopher Hammond, joined Abercorn School in September 2020. Mr Hammond read History at the University of York, before attaining a PGCE from the University of Bristol. He has worked in both the state and independent sectors during his career, and taught children from Pre-Prep to A-level. Mr Hammond held a variety of roles before moving to headship, including Head of IT, Head of Games, Director of Studies and Deputy Head and is also an experienced ISI inspector.

The Independent Schools Inspectorate carried out its last inspection in 2018 and highlighted high quality of teaching and excellent pastoral care as well as academics. Given the transient nature of Marylebone parents, there are more pupils in the nursery and key stage 1, with a smaller cohort of students in the Upper School.

Admissions: Admission to the school at the nursery and Reception stage is non-selective and based on date of registration. For entry into Year 2 and above, children perform a short test in Verbal/Non-Verbal Reasoning and Writing to enter the school. The admissions page of the school’s website 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+, although several North London senior schools have moved away from 13+ entrance, which has led to more candidates leaving at 11+ (which is a trend seen at most prep schools till 13). The school provides a list of schools its leavers go onto. Recent results suggests leavers successfully move on to London’s competitive senior schools, such as

  • St. Paul’s Girls’ School
  • City of London
  • Eton College
  • Dulwich College
  • Highgate
  • Winchester College
  • St Paul’s
  • South Hampstead High School
  • North London Collegiate School 
  • Latymer Upper School

The school website also provides the list of senior school placement results from 2016 – 2020.

12 thoughts on “Abercorn School”

  1. Patricia Klein-Hayter

    My son is in pre-reception, we love Abercorn, he loves it too. Swimming, gymnastics, French, pastoral and loving staff. And great for working parents too. They’ve thought of all the details that you would hope all schools would. We are absolutely delighted with the school. If you live in the St Johns Wood area it is far and away the best choice.

  2. We have our daugher in Reception and I must say that she is absolutely thriving in the school and loves it there. I agree with all the positive comments posted here and would not hesitate to recommend this school to aspiring parents and children and by the way I am not on the school board! It is more expensive than other private schools but is has swimming lessons once a week included and the choice of after school activities is great.

  3. I’m a Brit Mum with a 6yr old at Abercorn School… (Am on the Board…but not where I would normally find myself!!!…which is in itself testamount to the school!) My child has been at Abercorn since Nursery. As with any child, the educational process can have ups-and-downs…it is how those situations are dealt with that count. All I can say, as a very happy parent and a strong exponent of the school….Schooling is a marriage of School, Parents and The Child. Abercorn has a very international flavour, it is nurturing and encouraging, with an excellent staff. It also fosters a strong sense of community, mutlit cultures and religions…vital in this global village we live in. My child is gaining invaluable social skills, making new friends and learning to lose friends (this world is no longer a local community…how often to we stay in the same job?/live in the same place)…it’s ever changing! And our children need to know how to adapt to this. Also, schools suit certain children…and we pick our schools to match our criteria…and how best we feel our child will settle and thrive. Academically, Abercorn has proven itself year after year…and if I have to ask what I want of a school….it is to produce an ambitious, energetic and well-rounded child…one that learns to love learning….I am happy my child is in the right hands…..

  4. Don’t believe all you read. These above parents are all on the parents committee and have clearly been solicited to write favourable reviews – or else we are supposed to believe it’s a coincidence that they all reviewed the school within a couple of days. The school has a large amount of children who stay for 2 years and under and there is constant transition within the pupil body. This is clearly unsettling for all. Academic standards are generally low and the school is very careful about the information it provides regarding senior school places achieved by its pupils. The different sites mean that children spend a long time transitioning each day from one building to another. The headmaster has only been at the school for 1 year and the pre-prep head retires this year.

    1. thanks for sharing a different perspective, Anonymous! Could you add what your experience with the school is? are you a current or former parent? where did you hear the part about low academic standards and the turnover?

    2. Colleen Mueller

      I take great issue with the comment from “Anonymous.” If you feel so strongly and believe what you write – put your name down and don’t hide. Or remove your child(ren) from Abercorn and go elsewhere. No school needs such negativity.
      Yes, I am on the parents board – of course I am. My children are happy and learning and thriving. Why wouldn’t I volunteer my time to help foster the great sense of community that Abercorn offers?! Why wouldn’t I boast about the place that has helped to make my children the wonderful people they are. Is the school perfect? No, but it does so many things right and is working hard to make each child feel safe, confident and empowered.
      I am proud of being a part of Abercorn and if I have any issues with the school the door to the Head Master’s office is always open and he is always willing to listen. The Head Master has done so much for Abercorn in one year – I for one am excited for the future of Abercorn and the great things to come!
      The results from last year’s 11+ and 13+ exams speak for themselves. Abercorn has sent students to some of the finest schools in London.
      If you have something to say “Anonymous” put your name to your words.

  5. We currently have two children at Abercorn and a third who attended Abercorn for almost 4 years before successfully transitioning to South Hampstead. Our experience of the school has been one of consistently high quality teaching combined with a caring pastoral environment. The school offers a broad range of extra-curricular activities that have matched the interests of our children. Our children have been extremely happy and inspired to learn throughout the course of our experience with Abercorn. We thank the very talented staff for their hard work and dedication and would recommend the school to other families looking for a nurturing, early years, learning environment in London.

    1. Hi Kelly, thank you so much for the review! It is all about Abercorn today it seems :-). It’s great to hear from such a wide range of parents and to see how happy you are all with your choice. Lots of parents with three children at this school it seems! Just so you know, I have just transitioned this site to http://www.londonpreprep.com and am looking to close down the other blog in a couple of weeks once people know about the existence of this site.

  6. My husband and I also have three children at Abercorn ranging from Nursery through to Year Three. Our eldest is just starting her sixth year at Abercorn and we are huge fans of the school. It provides our children with a happy, nurturing environment for them to learn and grow. The academic standards are extremely high and the children achieve great results. The standard of teaching is very strong and the school itself has a wonderful community spirit. I would wholeheartedly recommend Abercorn to other parents looking for a co-ed school in central London.

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience, Vikki, that’s fantastic! It is very assuring to hear from such happy parents! I have a friend in St. John’s Wood just looking at nurseries and pre-preps for her son and I think I will definitely recommend her to check out Abercorn School!

  7. I have three children at Abercorn School who have been students there since 2008. We are Americans living abroad and chose to send our children to a British school for the experience. We have never been happier about a decision! Abercorn is a lovely school with caring teachers and a dedicated staff. Our kids love going to school and have absolutely thrived. Abercorn gives each child the attention needed to reach their maximum potential. Children all learn differently and are at varying levels. Abercorn recognises this and sets the work for children accordingly. We are very impressed with how our children have performed and know that they will continue to excel thanks to Abercorn.

    1. Hi Colleen,
      thank you so much for writing londonpreprep’s first parent review! This is fantastic! It is great to hear that your three children are doing so well and enjoying their time at Abercorn! I am sure your comment will help other parents checking this page get a better idea of Abercorn. Websites and inspection reports are one thing but there is nothing more helpful than hearing the opinion of parents with happy children at a school!

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