Located in north London, this small non-selective day school for boys and girls aged from two to 13 years is a good all-rounder that offers flexible hours for working parents.
Abercorn School is a small Prep School for around 400 girls and boys aged two to 13 years; it opened Year 9 in September 2022 as it plans to expand into an all-through school. Located in central London, the school is divided between three different locations sites in St. John’s Wood, Marylebone and Regent’s Park.
Nursery through to Year 1 is in St. John’s Wood in the original school building which opened in 1987; Years 2 to 4 are on Marylebone Road; and Years 5 to 8 are on Portland Place. The new Senior school building is located in Marylebone and has the capacity for Year 11 and beyond; it has some impressive specialist facilities that are missing from other parts of the school; a purpose-built theatre and sports hall, art studio, D&T workshop, and additional science lab.
The school was founded by New Yorker Andrea Greystoke, who was educated in the US and UK; she has also opened a British international school in New York. Prior to opening Abercorn, Mrs Greystoke taught at St Paul’s Boys’ School and King’s College School, worked as investment analyst, and had six children. In 1987, she founded Abercorn to “offer a quality well rounded and individualised education, rather than just an examination factory.”
Christopher Hammond joined the school as Head in September 2020; he was previously Headmaster of Lyonsdown Prep School.
Teaching follows the National Curriculum for England, and there’s specialist teaching for computing, French, music, yoga, drama, swimming, PE and games. In the Upper School, there are specialist teaching facilities including a science lab, design technology room and music room.
The curriculum is well-rounded. There are annual STEM and Art Weeks, students learn the recorder and the clarinet, and art lessons cover a variety of art forms including ceramics, print making and 3D sculpture. Languages taught are French and Latin, and yoga, swimming and team sports all take place in sports facilities across Central London. Abercorn also uses its broad extra-curricular programme and regular trips to the many wonderful museums, galleries and landmarks of London to bring the curriculum to life.
The curriculum has historically been focused on preparing students for taking the 11+ and 13+ for senior schools elsewhere; from September 2022, the school is offering students the option to continue Year 9 at a new school building in Marylebone. From Year 5, there are timetabled lessons in reasoning and from Year 6, critical thinking and interview practice.
As well as being a family-run school, Abercorn encourage parental involvement in their child’s education; it helps to build a close-knit community by giving parents access to an online learning journal for their child, updated daily with photographs, written observations and videos of their child in the classroom.
Abercorn is non-selective and it has a rolling admissions policy; the school is popular with international students, and it offers specialist EAL support for those who require it.
There’s an all-inclusive annual fee covering all books, equipment, day trips, daily snack, and provision of individual laptops and musical instruments. Annual fees range from £18,780 in pre-reception to £22,740 in Years 1-9.
Scholarships of up to 10% are offered for the arts, STEM, sports, and Kindness & Community.
Good for: Abercorn will really appeal to both British and international families for several reasons - its small size, international community of students, co-ed education and non-selective admissions criteria. It's a school that focuses on pastoral care and creating a happy, relaxed learning environment that can really help to settle your child and support them through the broad and varied curriculum taught here. It's also a school that is going from strength to strength with its plans to roll out senior years, starting with Year 9 this year.
Not for: If you are searching for a very academically-focused school, there are several other options across north London; however, the school does still have a strong track record of sending its students to schools including Francis Holland, St Paul’s, Westminster, Eton and Harrow. It is yet to open fully as an all-through school, so if you looking for a place in Year 10 and above you will still need to wait a few years.
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