This school is a dynamo!
says one particularly impressed individual. Far from being the pressurised hot-house one expects of a school of this calibre (it’s rated within the leading schools in the country, according to league tables), it has an atmosphere that echoes its motto: ‘More Light’ or ‘Mehr Licht’ (the poet Goethe’s dying words). This also happens to be the name of the school’s very enlightened enrichment programme, which spans mindfulness, British sign language, textiles and ceramics, Japanese, electronic music production, philosophy for life and song writing, to name just a few of the elements.
In 2015, alumna Helena Bonham Carter unveiled revamped facilities, and students have broken in the huge underground sports hall and stunning art studios (with a darkroom, digital suite, a ceramics studio with wheel and kiln). Not to mention the immense four-acre sports ground and a premier league cricket pitch only a 10-minute walk away (a rare commodity for an inner-city London school). But that’s not all: there’s going to be a new state-of-the-art concert hall and performance space, Waterlow Hall, with plans to open the doors in 2020.
Food is fantastic, masterminded by ex-Ritz chef Alex Bogatov, and there’s a ‘grab and dash’ takeaway lunch if you have a club to get to. There’s been a big push on participation, especially co-curricular activities and sports. Debating at this school is a big deal, which is no surprise as these are articulate girls with progressive ideas. ‘We are proud to be a feminist school and girls here enjoy sharing their ideas, speaking up and speaking out,’ they say.
The article first appeared in the ‘Tatler Schools Guide 2020: the top prep and public schools in the UK’ (published in conjunction with the October 2019 edition of Tatler) and is now available online.