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The Village Prep School
The Village Prep School
The Village Prep School
The Village Prep School
The Village Prep School Belsize Park, London Visit
school
The Village Prep School
Belsize Park
91 pupils, ages 2.5-11
Girls only
Day

The Village Prep School

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Our view

A stone’s throw from Hampstead Heath, this small, all-girls prep school embraces a ‘we, not me’ community spirit and a progressive teaching mentality that results in impressive academic achievement. Life skills – cooking, health and safety, leadership skills – are woven into the curriculum, as is ‘homework’, which is done and dusted during the school day to free up time for extracurricular clubs and positions of responsibility on the school council and in the library.

Where?

The school is housed in a beautiful Georgian building on a leafy residential street very near Belsize Park Tube station and several bus routes. Many pupils live within a 15-minute radius, and walk or scoot from home. Despite its small size, the school boasts a purpose-built theatre, all-weather pitch, an adventure playground and gardening plots. They use the nearby heath for sports such as rounders, cricket and rugby.

Head

A Durham psychology graduate with a master’s in transformational leadership and seven years under her belt at Garden House, where she was deputy head for academics, head Morven MacDonald is young, enthusiastic and passionate about education. We were struck by how friendly and open her relationship with pupils was as we toured the school and playground. She loves the idea of ‘magical moments’ in education – happy childhood memories that stay with you for life – and seeks to create a space at the school for them to happen. She’s also a proponent of Chatsworth Schools group founder Anita Gleave’s ethos that schools should be run to develop future leaders for a global setting who are instilled with integrity, confidence and passion.

Admissions

Assessment is a light-touch affair: the girls and their families have an interview to establish whether they will fit in and the children pop in for observation in the Early Years and a taster day in Key Stages 1 and 2. The school also asks for any reports regarding additional learning support, which is well catered for here. There are lots of international families, and pupils can join throughout the school if there is a space and they are suited to The Village Prep.

Academics and senior school destinations

The small number of pupils – around 90 – means the school obtains strong academic results without the need for hothousing. Rather than being made to jump through exam hoops, girls are encouraged to enjoy learning, and the Village Prep’s gentle and bespoke approach delivers impressive achievements. Getting homework done at school frees up time for play and curiosity-led learning at home.

Languages are strong, with French, Spanish and Latin all on the curriculum, and girls use iPads and Chromebooks from the Early Years through to the Upper School. Underpinning the learning are five values: perseverance and resilience, curiosity, reflection, collaboration and independence. The girls are encouraged to learn from their mistakes and, recognising that learning isn’t always linear, the school integrates some lessons across age groups. Science, history and geography are taught by specialist subject teachers in Key Stage 2. Weekly culture lessons in Upper Key Stage 2 create an opportunity to study an idea expansively, through its art, politics, literature and history.  

The school runs a bespoke 11+ programme to ensure that pupils end up at the right secondary schools. Most go on to South Hampstead High School for Girls, City of London School for Girls as well as Channing, North London Collegiate and Francis Holland.

Co-curricular

The girls take part in sport pretty much every day and it’s timetabled two to three times a week. They play netball, football, cricket, rounders and tag rugby, as well as doing swimming, orienteering, gymnastics and athletics. The emphasis is on fun and learning how to win – and lose – well. The school has ties with Saracens Rugby and Saracens Mavericks Netball, which helps hone pupils’ skills. 

The playground is zoned. For free play and forest school-type activities, as well as sport, a decked terrace is accessible from the pre-prep. The theatre has great lighting and acoustics (last year, girls staged a contemporary adaptation of Taming of the Shrew) and also acts as a multi-purpose hall and dining room for lunch. A creative lab the length of the ground floor is a great space for engineering and science activities. Nearly 80 per cent of pupils learn an instrument, with everyone from Year 3 to 5 taking ukulele lessons.  Every class takes part in a musical production for their Key Stage, and there's an annual May Day celebration for Grandparents and families.

There are over 25 clubs: fencing, art, karate, debating, drama, chess – the list goes on. One we’ve never heard of is ‘plogging’ – picking up litter while jogging. Social outreach is a strong part of the ethos; the school works with a local charity supported by the Duchess of Cambridge called Little Village that recycles items for children under five.  


School community

The school’s tight community makes it very well placed to deliver excellent pastoral care from teachers, form tutors and specialist teachers. The approach is proactive, with every child discussed individually twice a week, meaning any potential problems are caught early. The older girls get a lot of opportunities to acquire leadership skills, and the very active school council has introduced features like a friendship bench and vegetable trays to grow produce for school dinners.

Parents are very much part of the school family, with many giving talks or presentations about their professions. Recently, one parent who works in high fashion led a workshop on sustainability in their industry. This led to an eco fashion show, as well as pupils developing new school uniform accessories which supported the social enterprise Knit Up (run by a Village parent).

The Village Prep is a very international community – some 60 per cent of pupils speak a different language at home – and the school promotes links with the local community to foster an outward perspective.

And finally....

Small and perfectly formed, The Village Prep delivers a holistic, 360-degree education without ever feeling like a bubble of privilege. The girls look outwards, not inwards, and the single-sex setting frees them from gender pressures, with football as popular as dance. And the presence of many international pupils gives them a healthy global perspective too.

Gallery See All

Blonde girl in blue shirt playing a blue guitar
Girls in blue leotards dancing
Girls in high vis vests and blue hats holding maps
Head sitting with two girls on a bench under a tree
Girls playing netball on blue court with blue sky and green trees
Girls in grey cardigans and striped ties looking into a microscope
Girl with blonde hair wearing a red bib playing netball
Teacher helping pupil sitting in front of silver laptop
Girls in grey sweatshirts on football pitch
  • Senior school destinations

    Senior school destinations

    Aldenham School - 2 offers (declined) Belmont School - 3 offers: 1 accepted Channing School - 11 offers: 4 accepted City of London School for Girls - 3 offers (1 accepted) Ecole Jeannine Manual - 1 offer (declined) Francis Holland School - 10 offers: all declined Haberdashers’ Aske’s - declined Highgate School - 2 offers (1 accepted) Latymer Upper - 1 offer (accepted) Maida Vale School - 2 offers (declined) More House School - 2 offers (declined) Northbridge House, Hampstead - 3 offers (declined) North London Collegiate - 1 offer (declined) Queen’s College - 5 offers (declined) Queenswood - 3 offers, 1 accepted Southbank International - 1 offer (declined) South Hampstead High School - 6 offers: 4 accepted St Margaret's Bushey - 1 offer (declined) St Margaret's Hampstead - 2 offers (declined) St Paul's Girl School - 1 offer (accepted)

  • Scholarships for senior schools

    Scholarships

    Academic13Channing; Francis Holland Regents Park; Haberdashers' Aske's School for Girls; Queen's College; South Hampstead High School
    Drama1 City of London School for Girls
    Art2 Queenswood and Francis Holland
    OtherSection Francaise; English Prize Francis Holland; Channing


  • Fees and bursaries

    Day fees per term

    Nursery£4,815
    Reception£5,895
    Year 1£5,895
    Year 2£5,895
    Year 3£5,895
    Year 4£5,895
    Year 5£5,895
    Year 6£5,895




    Bursary contact:
    Office Manager & Registrar Carina Muschett
    admin@thevillageprepschool.com
  • SEND

    This school currently supports the following kinds of learning needs, health needs and physical disabilities:
    The school supports a wide range of learning needs such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, ADHD and dyspraxia in addition to supporting children with physical disabilities. They assess the students' physical needs and adapt the school environment appropriately to enable successful learning and a happy school life.

    This school currently delivers the following interventions to pupils in class and outside class to support their learning, health and/or physical needs:
    The school delivers bespoke teaching to all girls and ensure in class support is just that - guidance towards independent success. Their teachers work closely with a variety of in-house services, including speech and language therapists, occupational therapy, and EAL support. Most importantly, they work with the child first, and their parents are always part of the conversation. Girls openly and comfortably discuss their 'best environment' for learning, be that with fidget toys, seat adjustments or personal devices. The school provides in-school homework sessions and home interventions so that every child goes home feeling supported.



    For more information on this school's SEND provision, please contact us Co-ordinator: Rachael Evans admin@thevillageprepschool.com
  • Transport links


    Public Transport
    Nearest London tube station: Chalk Farm, Belsize Park
    Nearest London Overground station: Hampstead Heath, Kentish Town West


School Updates

  • WATCH: 10 Questions with pupils from The Village Prep School

    WATCH: 10 Questions with pupils from The Village Prep School
  • WATCH: 10 Questions with Morven MacDonald, head of The Village Prep School

    WATCH: 10 Questions with Morven MacDonald, head of The Village Prep School
  • WATCH: Remembrance Day 2022 from Chatsworth Schools

    WATCH: Remembrance Day 2022 from Chatsworth Schools
  • Chatsworth Schools wins Education Provider of the year

    Chatsworth Schools has won Education Provider of the year at the 2022 Education Investor Awards for the second year running. The awards event was held on the evening of 8th November at the Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge Hotel.
    Chatsworth Schools wins Education Provider of the year
  • It takes a Village - The Village Prep School podcast

    It takes a Village - The Village Prep School podcast

The Village Prep School is
linked with:

Essentials

Address
2 Parkhill Road, Belsize Park, London NW3 2YN

Contact
admin@thevillageprepschool.com
020 7485 4673

Website
thevillageprepschool.com

ISI Report

Fees

Term Dates


Open Days

Open days and how to visit View Open Days Register for open Day

9.30am
30 November 2022


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