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Dolphin School: The hidden jewel of the Northcote Road

Last Updated on : 24th September 2021

Dolphin School & Noah’s Ark Nurseries, Northcote Road. An independent co-educational nursery and prep school for ages 2-11, right in the heart of Clapham Junction.

www.dolphinschool.co.uk

If you amble along the Northcote Road on a school morning, you’ll pass the cafes with the aroma of fresh coffee and pastries, the street stall owners are kneading dough for their daily fresh Pizzas and shop keepers are busy readying their displays for the day ahead. The road could be mistaken, just for a moment, for a fresh take of the scene in Notting Hill where Hugh Grant walks down the Portabello road and the seasons fluidly change, but the community and the vibe of the road remains constant. This is a community in full swing.

Half way down the road, the number of shops decrease and you stumble on a church. It’s quite an imposing structure on the road and therefore quite easy to miss that there is a school and nursery inside – a hidden jewel amongst the clamour of London life. Each morning boys and girls, immaculately dressed in their uniform are greeted by the school’s Senior Team – they currently sign (Covid-friendly) good morning in Makaton, look them in the eye and greet them with confidence. Today is an exciting new day for learning.

As the new Headteacher at Dolphin School, I’m very much the new kid on the block. Whilst standing out on the road greeting children and parents, I’ve been struck by the community feel of the area and what it has to provide people – a wealth and variety of food, social gatherings and parties, health and beauty, pet supplies, home furnishing, it’s all on offer. However, amongst the community is a school. A truly independent education is on offer inside this very unique building – yes, an independent school, but also the opportunity to have a real sense of independence in ourselves, our minds and our work.

At heart, this school is a Christian School. The ethos centres around children discovering a living understanding of the Christian faith. They learn through the lens of a yearly theme – this year’s, post lockdown, is ‘Celebration and Joy!’ But, we’re not weird, we don’t force beliefs on anyone or consider ourselves different than any other person. Not all families at the school are Christian, but our values and the ‘way we do life’ has humanity and an approach that speaks to all of our community in this modern world. We like to be grateful for what we do have and persevere to celebrate the uniqueness of all.

You might be wondering what happens inside this school? We have classrooms, pencils, desks, technology, sports, and a walled garden – we hold assemblies, children paint, they sing, compose music or take piano lessons, they code and construct projects, perform experiments, and they read and they write beautifully. Our approach is around the individual and supporting each child to foster a love for learning. Dolphin children not only prepare for some of the top schools in London, they also prepare for the school that is right for each of them. A green house, not a hothouse. Our outcomes are no different than any other prep school in the area, but what I feel is unique about our school is the community, the togetherness and the genuine willingness to go the extra mile by all. Pupils who have been at the Dolphin School have that sparkle and glint in their eye and it’s recently been said to me that ‘senior schools know a Dolphin pupil when they see one’. This school packs a punch.

We’re just not very good at shouting it out. Yet. So, when you are walking down the Northcote Road, why not stop to introduce yourself and book a time to look around our fabulous little school. And the mystery will unfold…

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