Child’s Play

14 July 2017

Headmistress Hilary Wyatt explains a day in the life of a pupil at her central London school

The day begins with the arrival of the school bunny rabbits – they have a home on the flat roof outside the library in the Prep school. The pampered pets are then ferried across the park in a minibus to nibble the grass and visit the Pre-Prep pupils.

The rabbits love to hop around and play with their young friends; before being hand-fed broccoli, carrots and having an early morning stretch and doze. Assembly begins at 9.15am sharp, and once a week, the children who have been good at sharing toys – inviting others to play with them and other good deeds (including being helpful to the teacher) are rewarded with “kindness apples” by the headmistress. At the end of the assembly these are then hung on the apple tree by the front gate for everyone to see.

It is then time to explore the beautiful gardens and the huge playground. The vegetables will then be watered – or there will be a search for the butterflies released in the garden the week before.

The children may be encouraged to feed the goldfish in the pond, or whizz around on a bike or scooter. Alternatively they may play on the school train – or make sand castles in the massive sand pit.

When playtime is over, the children line up to wash their hands and have a healthy snack of fruit and a glass of milk. Lessons then begin with a focus on maths and phonics. This may involve the counting of the recently harvested potatoes.

In their topic lesson, children learn about the countries of the world so they might visit a ‘travel agent’ and set of in a hot air balloon to a distant land.

A fresh lunch is cooked for the young pupil’s everyday by the in house chef. The children are ushered into the “Long Garden Diner” to see what delicious treats have been prepared today. The healthy spread is shared between pupils – the teachers always on hand to give advice on table manners and cutlery use.

There is a plentiful supply of vegetables and salad dished up, complemented by a hot meal. This is then followed by a delicious selection of fruit.

The afternoon is then packed with an array of educational activities, all wrapped up in a good dose of active stimulation and fun.

As well as a weekly swimming lesson, there is Music, French and PE – all taught by specialist teachers. There is also the opportunity to take ballet lessons, or horse riding across the road in Hyde Park.

The fun doesn’t stop at the end of the school day as there are great after-school activities daily. The real stand-out favourites include drama, hip-hop dance, science and cooking club.

For busy parents we offer before and after-school care, starting with breakfast at 8am through to collection at 6pm. By then the pupils are fairly regulated to be tired out from their exciting day in the Long Garden!

Taken from ‘The Guide to Independent Schools’ Autumn 2016