Our Review of Gatehouse School
As part of our Education Consultancy service, we review the UK’s leading schools so that we can give you independent and expert advice to help you find the best school for your child. In this article, we review Gatehouse School, a co-educational independent school for pupils aged 3 to 11 in East London. If you are interested in sending your child to this school or are struggling to find the right school for your child, please contact one of our education consultants today.
Gatehouse School was opened in 1948 by British educationalist, Phyllis Wallbank. The school is considered unique amongst leading London independent schools because it is completely non-selective. Parents put down their children’s name within six months of birth and selection is made entirely on a first come, first served basis. Nearly all pupils enter at nursery level in the September following their third birthday. As a result, there can be up to a year’s difference in the ages of children in each year group. A very small number of children are offered places in other years.
The school’s strengths lie in preparation for entry to senior schools, especially leading London day schools, such as City of London Boys, City of London Girls, St Paul’s, Westminster and Francis Holland. Far fewer children go to country boarding schools from Gatehouse school, which reflects the school’s parents. Many are, ‘first time buyers parents’, experiencing their first foray into independent education.
All of the teachers are bright young things with lots of energy and a hands-on approach. Class sizes go up to 24 pupils, with two teachers leading larger classes. The classes are not streamed, so mixed abilities are all taught together, with a focus on helping each individual child from the brightest to those who need a confidence boost. Gatehouse School also has a dedicated SEN teacher for whom parents pay extra, and the school accepts children with Specific Learning Difficulties. The only thing they can’t do is work with children who cannot cope with class learning.
Like most independent prep schools, the school’s academic success is bolstered by small class size and excellent facilities for extra-curricular activities, including football, chess, yoga, dance, Art and gardening. There are also after-school clubs that run from 3.30pm to 5.30pm, giving pupils the opportunity to complete their homework if their parents need to work later or they are waiting for a later bus service. This reflects that the school is community orientated and serves the needs of working parents.
Gatehouse School also has very low fees. Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and 2 fees are £3,870 per term, and fees for Year 3, 5, 6 are £4,075 per term. The school explained that the fees are kept low because the school has steadily grown over a number of a number of years and has not needed to raise them.