Kensington, known for elegance and affluence in West London, not only boasts regal residences and cultural landmarks but is also home to some of the most prestigious schools. Here, we delve into five distinguished educational institutions. These have played host to both royalty and the scions of influential figures. From early years nurturing to primary and preparatory excellence, these schools in Kensington stand as pillars of academic distinction.
Willcocks Nursery School, founded in 1964 by Diana Willcocks, has emerged as a beacon of early childhood education. Under the adept guidance of Headmistress Lavinia Taylor, the nursery, with a modest class size of 32, has earned an ‘outstanding’ rating from Ofsted in 2020. Notably, it has been the nurturing ground for royal offspring, including Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. Beyond conventional early education, the curriculum embraces diverse subjects like French, drama, cooking and poetry, fostering a holistic learning environment. This commitment to excellence, coupled with the founder’s enduring vision, establishes Willcocks Nursery School as an esteemed institution. Each child not only learns but also feels ‘safe, unique, and special,’ shaping the foundations of their educational journey. The annual tuition fee for parents seeking to enroll their child in this esteemed establishment is £14,550.
Situated on the cusp of South Kensington, Queen’s Gate School has been a cornerstone of academic excellence since its founding in 1891 by Eleanor Beatrice Wyatt. This day school, welcoming girls aged 4-18, resides on the periphery of London’s educational and cultural heartland, offering an environment that inspires and indulges young hearts and minds.
With a close-knit community of approximately 500 pupils, Queen’s Gate School stands out for its commitment to fostering individuality. The absence of a uniform policy reflects the institution’s desire to create an ‘unschooly’ atmosphere, allowing each girl to express herself freely. The central London location not only provides a diverse, multinational intake but also ensures an intimate understanding of every student as a unique individual.
The school’s rich history includes a move to 132 Queen’s Gate in 1892, expanding over the years to adjacent houses, with the acquisition and refurbishment of 125/126 Queen’s Gate in 2005. The celebration of its 120th anniversary in 2011 attests to its enduring commitment to education.
Notable alumni from Queen’s Gate School exemplify the institution’s legacy of empowering women in various fields. From Queen Camilla to acclaimed figures like Nigella Lawson, Tilda Swinton and Anya Taylor-Joy, the school has played a pivotal role in shaping the paths of journalists, designers, actresses and activists. Queen’s Gate School continues to stand as a beacon of intellectual and creative empowerment, instilling a passion for lifelong learning in each of its students.
The termly fees for the Senior School & Sixth Form are £8,442.00, while those for the Junior School, which include School Lunch for years Reception through Year 3, are £7,620.00, amounting to £25,326.00 annually for the Senior School & Sixth Form and £22,860.00 annually for the Junior School.
St Mary Abbots Church of England Primary School caters to students aged 5 to 11 in a mixed-gender setting. With a commitment to providing a solid foundation for young minds, the school boasts a modest class size of 25 pupils, fostering an environment conducive to individualized attention.
Renowned as one of the best state primary schools in Kensington and ranking among the top four within a 0.5-mile radius, St Mary Abbots has consistently excelled in academic performance. The average Year 6 SATS results from 2016-19 and 2022 place the school in the top 10% of institutions nationwide, showcasing a dedication to academic attainment.
The school’s remarkable progress score further solidifies its standing, ranking in the top 12% of schools across the country. As a launchpad for the academic journey of its pupils, St Mary Abbots feeds into 20 secondary schools, with Holland Park School accounting for 40% of leavers. Impressively, 40% of students choose academically selective private and state schools, demonstrating the diverse and enriching educational pathways available to graduates of St Mary Abbots Primary School. This institution not only imparts knowledge but instills a passion for learning, laying the groundwork for success in both secondary education and beyond which is likely why David Cameron chose to have his daughter enrolled here.
Welcoming boys and girls aged 4 to 11, this state primary school maintains a balanced gender ratio and is esteemed as one of the best in Kensington, ranking among the top three within a 0.5-mile radius.
At the core of Fox Primary‘s success is its commitment to excellence, evident in its ‘Outstanding’ rating by Ofsted in its latest inspection in 2023. With reception places oversubscribed every year, the school’s popularity is a testament to its reputation for academic excellence and nurturing environment.
With an average class size of 30 pupils and two classes per year, Fox Primary School ensures personalized attention for each student. The school’s remarkable academic record places it in the top 0% of schools in the country by attainment, with a progress score ranking in the top 18%.
The curriculum at Fox Primary is comprehensive and diverse, encompassing core subjects as well as PSHE and Spanish. With a focus on thematic teaching and extracurricular activities, the school provides a well-rounded education. Educational trips, visiting speakers, and residential trips enhance the learning experience, while specialist teaching and a robust sports program, including competitive teams and national success in table tennis, contribute to holistic development.
The arts thrive at Fox Primary, with dedicated instruction in art, music, drama, and dance. With 50% of children learning instruments outside of class, as well as opportunities for choir and orchestra participation, creativity is celebrated and nurtured.
Steeped in history, Fox Primary School’s origins date back to 1842 when it was founded as a charity school by Hon. Caroline Fox. The school’s growth and evolution, including its expansion in 2017, reflect its enduring commitment to educational excellence.
Situated in the picturesque surroundings of Wetherby Gardens, Wetherby School Kensington has established itself as a bastion of academic excellence and tradition since its inception in 1951. From its distinguished alumni, including Prince George, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Julian Fellowes, to its commitment to fostering a forward-thinking, holistic curriculum, the school stands as a beacon of educational prowess.
From Reception to Year 3, it offers not only high levels of academic education but also dedicated pastoral care. They ensure that every boy embarks on a journey of self-discovery and personal growth. With the opening of its preparatory department, Wetherby Prep, in 2004, boys have the opportunity to continue their educational journey up to the age of 13. This prepares them for the challenges of secondary education.
Housed in a stunning Victorian building in Pembridge Square, the school provides a vibrant and dynamic learning environment while retaining the charm of its historic surroundings. The motto “Care, share, and be fair” underpins the ethos of Wetherby Kensington, emphasizing the importance of nurturing each individual’s talents and abilities.
Admissions to Wetherby School Kensington are based on a first-come, first-served basis, reflecting the school’s commitment to inclusivity. Despite its prestigious reputation, the school ensures diversity among its student body, welcoming boys from various backgrounds and talents.
While fees for the 2019-2020 academic year stand at £7,710 per term, Wetherby Kensington remains dedicated to providing exceptional education. They pride themselves on preparing boys for success in an ever-changing world. Through its unwavering dedication to excellence and tradition, Wetherby School Kensington continues to shape the minds of future leaders. They instill in each boy a passion for lifelong learning and achievement.
In Kensington, five prestigious schools have educated both royalty and influential figures’ offspring. Willcocks Nursery, founded in 1964, nurtures early childhood with a holistic curriculum. Queen’s Gate School, since 1891, fosters girls’ individuality, with notable alumni including Nigella Lawson and Tilda Swinton. St Mary Abbots Primary excels academically, notably attended by David Cameron’s daughter. Fox Primary offers outstanding education and diverse extracurriculars, with famous alumni like Darcey Bussell. Wetherby School Kensington, founded in 1951, blends academic rigor with pastoral care. These institutions collectively uphold Kensington’s tradition of educational excellence, shaping future leaders and influencers.
Have you found yourself drawn to the exceptional schools that have shaped the lives of both royalty and influential figures?
If you’re considering a move to ensure proximity to these esteemed institutions, our property experts are here to assist you. Whether it’s finding the perfect family home within a desirable catchment area or relocating to a neighborhood renowned for its educational opportunities, our team is dedicated to helping you navigate the real estate market with ease.