The pressure is on when it comes to choosing the right school for your child’s education – and this crucial task can be stressful, with the next big decision always on your mind: Which primary/prep school should they attend after nursery? Which secondary school will give them the best chance of getting the grades they need to secure a place at university?
All-through schools: education from kids to adults
There’s another option that condenses these decisions into one, making it less complicated: all-through schools – where children are educated from the age of three all the way to 18. This makes them the perfect option for parents searching for consistent, high-quality education for their child.
Benefits of all-through schools
- Students remain settled: The continuity provided by an all-through school allows your child to settle quickly. By eliminating the upheaval of moving from a prep/primary school to a senior school, your child’s routine and friendships remain intact. Teachers at all-through schools can prepare students for moving on to the next level of their education, rather than sending them off into the unknown.
- Seamless curriculum and leadership vision: Cohesive planning across school phases engenders a holistic curriculum that adds value throughout each age group. The all-through model also offers a diverse senior leadership team, with specialist heads of the primary/prep and senior departments combining their skills and experience to support the entire age range within a single vision.
- Shared philosophy and ethos: Venessa Willms, director of primary for Ark Schools – an international children’s educational charity based in London – extolled the all-through model: “I think the biggest advantage is about having a shared philosophy and ethos which ensures that there is greater consistency around expectations, pedagogy and the cultural ethos of the school,”
- Shared facilities: The advantages of your child being educated on the same site throughout their school journey are compelling – from younger pupils benefitting from access to specialist senior facilities – such as sports, science, and the arts – to specialist teachers having an input in lower year lessons and after school activities.
Independent all-through schools in London
London is home to a wide selection of excellent independent all-through schools, including:
- King’s College School (Wimbledon): This southwest London day school for boys aged seven to 18 and girls aged 16 to 18 accommodates over 1,400 pupils.
- North London Collegiate School (Edgware): An independent day school for girls aged four to 18 in northwest London.
- Highgate School: This north London co-ed school educates over 1,400 pupils aged three to 18, forming the Highgate Foundation.
State all-through schools in London
All-through schools are less common in the state school system, but London is the place to be if you would like your child to benefit from this model – these include:
- St Richard Reynolds Catholic College (Twickenham): A co-ed Roman Catholic voluntary aided school for pupils aged four to 18 in southwest London.
- Ark King Solomon Academy (Marylebone): A non-selective, non-denominational, mixed all-through school within the English academy programme, located in west London.
- Ark Isaac Newton Academy (Ilford): A brand new, purpose-built, co-ed all-through school for students aged four to 18 in northeast London.