Girls Schools in London offer an excellent academic education. Living in London, or relocating here?
Many education experts believe that girls’ only education is best for girls. This will, of course, depend on your daughter and the best environment for her. To help with your choice, see five of our top picks below:
City of London School for Girls
A rising star, City of London School for Girls gets an of average 30% of its pupils into Oxbridge. Plus its location in the heart of the City, and opposite the Barbican centre, enables girls to access the lifeblood of the capital’s cultural and academic life.
For high-achieving girls, from all backgrounds and walks of life (23% receive some form of assistance with fees), this school also excels in Sport, Music and Drama. If your daughter is super academic, put this school on your list.
Queen’s College is on the up.
One of the school’s key attractions has been the focus on each individual girls and the encouragement of every pupil to tread her own path. But now, the academic results are rising with a record number of girls gaining Oxbridge places. The warm, friendly atmosphere, small classes and excellent pastoral care make this one of our top picks for London families.
South Hampstead High School
Part of the excellent Girls Days School Trust (GDST), which manages 24 all girls’ schools in London and the wider UK, including Kensington Prep. Fantastic academically, pupils thrive both intellectually and emotionally and excel in Music, Art and Drama. Teaching is first-class and results are outstanding with top 10 university destinations including Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, Bristol and UCL.
North London Collegiate
Regularly topping the league tables, North London feels less like a traditional British public school and more like an outstanding, but unpretentious state girls’ grammar school.
It is able to select from the cream of North London’s clever girls and to attract the very best teachers. In 2017, 45 girls were offered places at either Oxford or Cambridge, with 100% of students who applied receiving offers from Russell Group institutions. In addition, 17 pupils received offers to study at Ivy League US universities.
St Pauls’ Girls School
Parents hope for a place at Bute House Prep School, as a high percentage of Bute House girls gain places at St Pauls’. Renowned for its outstanding academic results and highly liberal ethos (there are few rules and no uniform, for example), 41 girls were offered places at Oxbridge in 2017. Moreoever, Music, Art and Sport are very strong with over 100 extra- curricular clubs and societies enabling girls to explore their individual interests. A top choice for very academic girls.
Do you need specialist advice on finding the best school for your daughter? Our experts can help.
Please contact us to book a consultation.
For more on girls’ schools, read our blog post Here on the merits of an all girls’ education
For families living in or relocating to London, there are a wealth of educational opportunities. As part of our London schools series, we have reviewed a selection of key schools in the Marylebone district:
This lively, residential area in central London has a friendly, village feel. It is home to several independent boutiques and quality restaurants. It also benefits from some of London’s best private schools:
A warm and welcoming school on Harley Street which admits girls from aged 4-18. Queens College does not have a hothouse atmosphere but is academically strong. Arts are outstanding and many girls go on to prestigious London Art Foundation courses, as well as to top universities. Music and drama thrive. And perhaps most importantly, because Queens College is a small school, every girl is known to staff and valued as an individual.
The schools admits girls at age 4 or age 11.
Wetherby Senior School
A young school, founded in 2015, Wetherby Senior is the latest of the Wetherby Group of schools. It offers a traditional British school boy’s education, married with an international outlook.
Still growing, the school will reach a maximum of 600, thus retaining an intimate atmosphere. Pastoral care is excellent and academically, the school offers a strong curriculum including Latin, German, French and Spanish.
The school is academically selective at 11, 13 and 16. For 13+ entrance all boys sit the Common ISEB pre-test in year 6 which is followed by an interview.
Wetherby’s global cohort reflects its central London nature. Boys comes from families of many nationalities including UK, Russian, USA and Chinese and all are full-time UK residents.
When the first set of A level results come out, boys are expected to gain places at top UK and US universities.
Sylvia Young Theatre School
With alumnae including Rita Ora, Amy Winehouse and Billie Piper, the co-educational Sylvia Young Theatre School is the destination of choice for many young London performers.
Sylvia Young started the school in 1981, and has ensured that is as strong academically as vocationally. The stage school runs on Thursday and Friday, leaving the rest of the week for the traditional academic curriculum. The school aims to find work for the children (there is an agency downstairs). Fees are from £4400 a term and the school offers several scholarships.
Admissions to Sylvia Young are made on the basis of a child’s performance in auditions, academic tests and school reports. Most children enter at aged 10 or 11.
Please contact us for expert support with applications to schools in Marylebone and throughout London.
To read more about education in different London districts, please read our blog on which
London schools and areas to consider when relocating to London.
Relocating from the US to the UK? Moving between education systems can be stressful for children. Despite the differences between the American and British education systems, students can move successfully from one to the other. Planning carefully is the key to a smooth transition.
- The Early Years
The difference between the two early years approaches can be a culture shock for younger children.
For children from aged 4 upwards, the mainstream UK system is focused on learning to read and write at a young age. Children start school aged four in the Reception class, although some schools now offer more flexibility with a starting age of five. Alternatively, you can opt for a Steiner or Montessori school in the early years, both of which offer a gentler approach and teach reading later: the Steiner system does not teach children to read until they are seven. These schools are mostly private.
In contrast, in the US system children are eased into academic studies, and there is a strong emphasis on socialisation in addition to fostering basic English and maths skills. From kindergarten to Grade 3, children the academic foundations which are further developed during Grade 4.
2. High School: Assessments and Testing
As the US and UK have a shared language, it is often assumed that the education systems in the two countries are broadly similar. Children moving from US to UK schools need to be prepared for the fact that the UK has more nationally-assessed exams to contend with. In the US, although children are assessed at the end of every school grade, the examinations are not national and for the most part, have little bearing on their progression from year to year. The standardized tests in the U.S. tend to be state mandated instead of federally mandated. In New York, many high school students take the “Regents” exams which test the core subjects- but the exam system will vary from state to state. Therefore, GCSE and A level exams are a culturally different experience for US children.
3. Generalist versus Specialist
In addition, the US system is more generalist whereas the UK is more specialist. In US schools, as in the French Baccalauréat, students have more opportunity to study a wider range of subjects for their High School Diploma. There is more focus on sport, music, drama and art and as a result, a move to the UK can seem restrictive at first to US students. Mathematics in both countries is also taught very differently and this must be taken into consideration when settling a US family into a UK school.
Culturally, children in US schools tend to be praised more- which is a positive attribute. Children who have previously studied in the US system should be prepared for the fact that recognition of achievement in UK schools can be less effusive.
Finding a school that is willing to support the student’s adjustment, academically, emotionally and socially, is vital. Please contact us for expert support with applications to schools in London and throughout the UK.
Read more about American schools in London.
See our key points to consider when choosing a London school.
Moving to London or already resident here? Many London and international families are opting for one of the excellent bilingual schools in our capital. This blog will focus on English/Arabic bi-lingual schools in London. Our thriving Arabic community take advantage of the excellent education available. However, many nationalities, who wish their children to have the advantage of a bi-lingual education, are seeking places for their offspring.
The King Fahad Academy
Located in Acton, the King Fahad Academy is an independent International Baccalaureate (IB) World School and the only Islamic school in the UK authorised to offer the IBO programmes.
With 35 different nationalities represented at the school, there is a unique opportunity to develop intercultural awareness and appreciation for the philosophies and way of life of people from different cultures.
The school is popular with both bi-lingual Arabic/English families relocating to London and also with Arabic families already living in the capital. Since 1985, it has educated the children of Arab diplomats, relocating Arabic- speaking families and the local Arab community in London. The Academy provides a bilingual international education with an Islamic ethos to students aged 3-19 years. There is a Girls’ School and a Boys’ Schools, combining to make a overall student body of 500 pupils.
The school’s unique approach to faith-based education combines the rigour and innovation of the IBO programmes with the ethos and values of the Islamic faith. They help cultivate in their students an open-minded attitude towards other cultures and beliefs – equipping them with the necessary knowledge and skills to appreciate and thrive in today’s increasingly globalised and multicultural world.
A new Arabic/English School to open in London
Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al-Thani, the daughter of the former Emir of Qatar, intends to set up another school for London residents who want their children educated in Arabic and English.
It will be run by the Qatar Foundation, a non-profit-making organisation set up in 1995 to promote innovative education and learning. It is intended to provide places for 1,800 children from pre-school to sixth-form and will also be an International Baccalaureate (IB) school.
Watch this space!
For more information on bilingual schools in London, read our Blog on French schools. Please contact us for expert support with applications to both Bi-lingual and IB schools in London and throughout the UK.
For many relocating families, children start new schools, not just in September, but in the middle of the school year. Starting a new school can be scary- a bit like the first day in a new job for adults: the unfamiliar building, the new routine and lots of people who all seem super confident and in the know. But it is even more scary starting a new school in an unfamiliar country. You can help your child make the new start as smooth as possible with these easy tips:
- Visit the school with your child before he/she starts there. This can help take away the first day nerves
- Find out what compulsory items you need to buy before school starts- there may be a compulsory school uniform. If uniform is not compulsory, then your child will definitely need a PE kit. Some schools provide all stationary- others will require you to buy your own.
- Notice what the current pupils are wearing and carrying: Most kids don’t want to stand out from the crowd. For your older kids, especially, fitting in is vital. I speak from experience, having bought a small PE bag for my eldest daughter when all her peers were carrying huge tennis style PE bags.
- Ask what will be needed on their first day of school. It’s important to be prepared
- Make the journey to school a few times so you and your child know the route to and from school.
On that important first day
- Get the school bag ready the previous evening– this avoids a stressful scramble to get out of the door on time in the morning.
- Try to avoid being late. Your child will feel self- conscious being the new kid at school- being late will make them feel worse.
- Keep calm and provide as much support as you can- If your child is anxious, it’s hard for them to manage your anxiety as well. Tell them that you understand starting a new school is challenging- especially if they are starting in the middle of the school term.
- Don’t linger at the school gate With older children,- this is a definite ‘no’!
- Try to hook up with other parents Forming friendships with other parents yourself can really help both you and your child get to know the school culture and feel part of the local community.
The first few weeks of a new school will be emotional for both your child and yourself. There will be a lot of settling in, exploring new friendships, getting used to a new routine and if you have relocated, getting used to a new country as well. It’s important to ‘be there’ for your child and try not to intervene too much