First impressions of Eaton Square Prep and Nursery Schools in Eccleston Square, Belgravia are of a stunning building made up of three Georgian townhouses converted laterally to create a five-storey building with an incredible sense of space. It forms a co-educational hub for children from two-years-old up to 11, when they move on to a raft of impressive senior day and boarding schools.
Originally, their Nursery Schools were located at separate satellite sites, but following an exceptional refurbishment, the three nurseries are now set within the main school, filled with creative and inspiring interiors to help the children thrive. Opened by Anya Hindmarch and already with a waiting list for those aged two-to-three, the intention is that pre-school children learn through Montessori-led play.
The Greenhouse Nursery Room is for those aged from two to three. Next, they move into either the Treetop or Beehive Nursery Rooms – the final stepping stone before starting Reception. Complete with a three-storey, immersive and educational beehive and treehouse, children can climb in and be surrounded by elements designed to improve phonics, numeracy, motor skills – such as laces, zips and buttons – and social skills. The design is truly pioneering and the benefits are evident.
The children’s transition from Nursery into Reception is seamless; they are already familiar with the building and, as part of their preparation for Reception, they are gradually introduced to mealtimes and other activities to familiarise themselves with Prep school life. Of course, many children join from other nurseries, with about half the Reception cohort of 50-60 children coming from outside.
With the school overlooking the leafy Eccleston Square and enjoying world-class facilities close by, children enjoy the best of both worlds. They have use of a private and secure playground just around the corner, and the school is committed to ensuring every pupil gets outdoor time daily, seeing it as vital to their development and wellbeing.
Sport is chiefly played in Battersea Park, just a short drive away on the school bus, offering fantastic athletics facilities at the Millenium Stadium, plus cricket, football, tennis and hockey. Most notable is the swim team who use the pool at the Queen Mother Sports Centre, just a five-minute walk from school. The school’s swimming strength is unprecedented. Spearheaded by the Head of Swimming (a respected and much loved pillar of the school community for over 20 years), the team remains IAPS champions and even won ‘Best Overall School’ at this year’s English Schools Swimming Association.
Eaton Square is rightly proud of its academic results and success, achieved without being a hothouse environment. Headmistress, Trish Watt, explains, “Academics are certainly important to tackle the 11+ successfully, but not at the expense of being a happy, healthy child. So much else is on offer: we are an official Eco School, proudly supporting our local community and environment (for which we have just been awarded Green Flag status); children passionately engage in public speaking and performance activities (our Year 6 Debating Team is notably decorated), and the school is an accredited TEDx centre enabling Year 5 and 6 pupils to audition, rehearse and perform their own Ted Talks on a global platform. All these elements, and more, generate the best results for the whole, well-rounded child.”
Pupils go on to a broad range of London day schools, such as Putney High, Queen’s College, Emanuel and Dulwich College. Many go on to board at schools like Radley, Eton, St Mary’s Calne and Cheltenham Ladies College, where they arrive well-prepared for the next stage of their educational journey.