A Fresh Start – School Profile

There is a buzz in the air as the news of a new senior school opening in September 2023 south of the river spreads. London Park School (LPS) is opening at the old Oliver House prep school site opposite Clapham Common. The site will spend the next year undergoing an extensive redevelopment, so when the doors open the setting will be a perfect fit for senior-aged pupils. It will have a two-form entry from Year 7, ultimately resulting in a community of approximately 240 pupils.
Northwood Senior pupils and staff will be moving onto the new site in September 2023, where there is significantly more space and improved facilities. The intention behind LPS is to create a new kind of senior school which combines the scale and opportunities of a bigger school with the warmth, camaraderie, and bespoke attention of a smaller school. In other words, to combine the best qualities of Northwood Senior with the experience within, and investment from, Dukes Education to create a high-quality senior school with direct access to a specialised Sixth Form at 16+.
LPS Clapham, educating Years 7 to 11, will develop its own local character and identity within this broad ethos. It will have its own staff, its own Head, and its own individual clubs, events, and co-curricular programme. It will, however, be able to combine with pupils and staff on the other LPS sites occasionally to participate in certain activities, such as competitive sport and overseas trips and tours.

Exemplary, proven leadership
Suzie Longstaff, currently Head of Putney High School GDST, is joining Dukes Education as the founding Principal of the new London Park School. “I am thrilled and excited to be the new Principal of London Park School. It’s not often that you get the chance to rethink and design a school in this way. LPS has the scale, scope and ambition to deliver a truly innovative secondary education for London students. As well as providing a rounded education with strong, academic underpinning, LPS will look ahead to the future with a focus on the creative application of digital technology, design thinking and entrepreneurship,” says Suzie.
Leading LPS Clapham as Head is Paul Vanni, who has 25 years’ experience working in independent schools in London. Starting his secondary teaching career at St Paul’s School, Paul moved to St Paul’s Girls’ School as Director of School. Prior to being appointed as Head at LPS Clapham, Paul served as the founding Head at Kensington Park School, a split-site, co-educational day and boarding school in central London.

Future-proofed education
Aatif Hassan, Chairman and Founder of Dukes Education, said, “We are radically rethinking what a good secondary education can be at Dukes; London Park School aims to provide an outstanding learning experience to prepare pupils for tomorrow’s world.”Pupil wellbeing, character education, sustainability, financial literacy and other life skills will be central to the LPS ethos, plus extraordinary experiences aimed at bringing learning alive will be on offer to students, such as immersive programmes in marine conservation at sea and global climate science in the Alps.

Emphasis on sustainability
The renovation plans include a science suite, art/DT lab, collaborative learning space, dining facilities and a rooftop garden: a green eco-haven for those pupils who wish to spend their breaks and lunchtimes there. There will be a strong emphasis on sustainability, so the refurbishment process will explore ways to increase the biodiversity and urban greening across the site, such as alternatives to gas energy, renewable energy sources, and raised beds for food production.

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