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London is to get a new independent co-educational senior school, extending choice for local parents, as Northwood Schools, which owns Broomwood Hall and Northcote Lodge pre-prep and preparatory schools, announces the most significant expansion plans in its history.
After years of discussion and increasing demand from existing parents who wanted the option to continue their children’s education beyond 13, the group, which has a number of successful pre-prep and preparatory schools, has finalised plans to open a senior school from September 2020.
The new school, initially for pupils aged 13 to 16, will operate at a site on Tooting Common, which is currently one of Broomwood Hall’s pre-prep departments.
Northwood Schools Principal Katharine Colquhoun said: ‘This is a landmark moment for us. It represents the fulfilment of the founding educational vision of Broomwood Hall 35 years ago, which was to create a local school that offered the highest standards whilst preparing children for life beyond education.
‘That ethos and philosophy on which the school was built still holds true today: a belief in the value of hard work; the importance of self-discipline and responsibility; in tolerance and a sense of duty; in firmness, fairness and empathy with others; in behaviour and good manners; and above all, in a child’s right to be a child.
‘We know that choosing the right school for your child is perhaps the most important decision you will ever make on their behalf, so we are enormously excited to be sharing news of this next stage of development.’
Katharine Colquhoun founded Broomwood Hall in 1984, teaching a first class of 12 over the hall at Broomwood Road Methodist Church. Since then, Broomwood Hall and Northcote Lodge have expanded to accommodate almost 1,000 children and are regarded as some of London’s foremost independent preparatory schools.
The schools have achieved excellence in all areas, with pupils regularly winning scholarships to the likes of Marlborough, Dulwich College, Emanuel School, Benenden, Whitgift School, James Allen’s Girls’ School, Wellington College, St Mary’s Ascot and Bradfield. The group prides itself on combining traditional values with a thoroughly modern outlook, focusing on preparing children for life and the workplace as much as on educational success.
The requirement for a stand-alone local site for a senior school, with access to excellent community facilities and the space to flourish with its own sense of community and identity, led the group to a decision to establish the new school at Garrads Road, on Tooting Common.
A new all-purpose hall and a full-size astro playing field are among the plans to enhance the site when the new school opens in September 2020.
It will bring to life the group’s vision of what a modern senior school should be and will meet the demand expressed by many parents for a local day school that addresses the chronic shortage of secondary places in south London, whilst staying true to their ethos and principles.
The new senior school will offer a wide range of subjects, sports and activities allowing the students to take a varied range of GCSEs and iGCSEs across the arts, languages, STEM subjects, humanities, music and sport. The strong focus on pastoral care that the group is known for at the preparatory level will continue, and there will be an equally strong focus on life skills as preparation for the changing demands of the 21st century workplace and the challenges of modern life.
The group will absorb pre-prep children currently at Garrads Road into its pre-prep departments in Ramsden Road. While it has been a difficult decision to move children from this site, the group is determined to minimise any disruption and to ensure that opportunities are enhanced for all children being educated at its schools.
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