Located in the heart of London, Eaton Square is a high-achieving senior day school that is building on its success to open a new Sixth Form in September 2022.
Owned by the Dukes Education group, this central London group of schools includes four nurseries (Belgravia, Knightsbridge, Pimlico, Eccleston Square), Eaton Square Prep school for 320 students; the Senior school for more than 300 students aged between 11-16 years in Picadilly; and new Sixth Form opening in September 2022 based on its own site in Belgravia.
The school has a reputation for academic excellence, and leavers’ destinations include many academic, music and drama scholarship offers. 50% of students gain scholarships to leading independent schools across London and beyond, and students here are securing places at schools including Eton, Harrow, Westminster, St Paul’s, Francis Holland, Godolphin and Latymer, Dulwich College, Alleyn’s, JAGs, Latymer Upper and Cheltenham Ladies College. This is even more impressive due to Eaton’s non-selective admissions process.
There’s more to this Prep and Senior school than academic success, though. It’s a nurturing school with a strong focus on wellbeing. Its Listening Space programme includes confidence workshops, mindfulness, and a ‘worry postbox’ where students can post worries and concerns in confidence. The school’s size also means it can offer the individual care and attention that larger schools may be lacking, and maintain small class sizes (18 students in Prep and 15 in Senior).
Eaton Square has also proved itself to be a forward-thinking school in the short five years it has been open for. From its very own TEDx-licenced public speaking programme to its Preparation for Life lessons, Eaton Square is focused on developing life skills for future-ready students. The school says its students are “poised” for greatness, and the focus here is on building five key strengths: Perseverance, Ownership, Integrity, Service, and Empathy (POISE).
And, all the more impressive for central London school, Eaton Square has official ‘Eco-School’ status. It’s a well-earned badge for its ongoing environmental campaigns and events including upcycling competitions, building bug hotels – as well as its very active student-driven Eco Committee which most recently dressed as bees to support World Bee Day.
There’s something quite exclusive about this school - and with annual fees ranging from £18,705 in Prep to £24,675 in Senior. This is a school whose playing fields include a royal park and whose classrooms are in a Grade I-listed building. Eaton Square takes full advantage of its city centre location using some of the capital’s attractions, from parks to museums, as an extension of the classroom.
In the Prep and Senior school, teaching follows an enriched version of the National Curriculum for England, one that is specifically tailored to prepare students for the Common Entrance exams at 11+. While some students will take the Common Entrance and leave, others stay to go on and study GCSEs (followed by A Levels from September 2022).
Alongside the core subjects (with streaming for English and maths from Year 1), the curriculum embraces the “linguistic, mathematical, scientific, technological, human and social, physical, aesthetic and creative education.” Languages offered include French and Spanish, and there are individual specialist lessons for art, music, drama, computing and IT.
Humanities is excellent here, with lessons focused on analysing global events from the introduction of the potato to the modern Black Lives Matter movement. There’s also a focus on STEAM – the sciences are promoted in the popular STEM Club and engineering is taught in Years 5 and 6.
Students are encouraged to stretch and challenge themselves well beyond the curriculum. There’s a huge presentation and public speaking programme; the school is a TEDX accredited School and students write, film and perform their own TEDx Talks. Last year’s Eaton Square TEDx Talks has over four million views, which is testament to the level of student talent here. There’s also the Dukes Debating Festival, an annual get-together of 10 prep schools in the Dukes Education family.
In Prep, an in-house programme teaches Leadership, Synergy and Wellbeing with fun activities including Dragon’s Den pitches, code-breaking, creating a children’s book, and running a colony on Mars. In the Senior school, Preparation for Life lessons are part of the core curriculum, exploring areas such as careers education, financial planning, leadership in practice, mindfulness and mental health.
The school offers a broad choice of 17 GCSE subjects, in addition to the core subjects. In the new Sixth Form students will be able to choose between an academic pathway (three A Levels and the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) or a vocational pathway (T Levels in Digital Production, Design and Development Engineering, or Accounting and Finance).
Music is given plenty of time and attention, both within the curriculum and at an extra -curricular level. Over one-third of the school are taking lessons offered in singing, piano, guitar (acoustic, electric and bass), brass (trumpet, French horn), saxophone, clarinet and drums. There’s LAMDA tuition, regular opportunities to perform (in musical concerts, choirs, plays and house events), and clubs for the songwriters, singers and performers in the school.
The school nurtures the artistic talent here, and several students win places at leading arts schools including Tring School for the Performing Arts, Elmhurst Ballet School and the Sylvia Young Theatre School.
Students take part in athletics, badminton, basketball, fitness, futsal, indoor hockey, squash, table tennis, tennis and volleyball, as well as seasonal sports including rugby, football, hockey, netball, athletics and cricket. Swimming is big here. There are lessons from Reception, an annual swim tour to Tenerife, and success in regional and national events.
The Prep and Senior schools both have their own indoor sports hall, and students use facilities at the nearby Queen Mother Sports Centre and Battersea Park Millennium Arena – as well as making full use of Green Park or Hyde Park.
The school takes full advantage of its central London location by running regular day trips to museums, galleries, theatres and concert halls in the city.
In the Senior school, there are four dedicated co-curricular sessions within the timetabled week, with over 35 different activities and societies on offer as varied as mindfulness, politics and current affairs, maths, drama, and lawn games. Prep students also have a wide choice of after-school clubs including swimming, football, fencing, street dance and drama.
The school’ first cohort completed their GCSEs in 2020, when 47.1% of grades were 7-9 and the pass rate was 97.5%.
In 2021, 99% of all GCSE grades were 9-4, 55% were 9-7 – both an improvement on last year’s grades and higher than the national average. 100% of students achieved grades 9-4 in the core subjects of maths, English (Literature and Language) and science (double and separate sciences).
Given the school’s academically non-selective entry process, these results are strong indicator of the value add here and how the school is helping its students to achieve their potential.
Centrally located in Piccadilly, the senior school has a lovely location overlooking Green Park (used for PE and sports clubs). It has lecture style classrooms and multiple science labs, as well as art and drama studios and a canteen.
The Prep school has a huge art studio ‘with a view’, large canteen and breakout areas for one-on-one teaching
Eaton Square is a non-selective school and has “an holistically-minded admission process that focuses on face-to-face interviews and school references”.
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