Amongst all the head teachers featured in our SLT Schools Guide, Clare King, the Moat’s young and dynamic Head, stands out as a leader with passion and conviction for her school. On a tour of the classrooms, it was easy to see how the schools focuses on nurturing the skills that dyslexic children have, as well as helping them to overcome the challenges they face in more traditional schools.
Alongside core academic subjects, the school claims to focus on creativity and I was impressed by their extensive art, drama, music and technology facilities. I was particularly impressed by the high level of IT knowledge of the children – they all seemed to be perfectly at home using quite complex design programmes. It was clear that there was a use of advanced technology to help foster the children’s strengths in art and design. Outside, the school had tennis courts and the use of nearby playing fields; Clare explained that sports are another excellent way to develop the children’s skills and capabilities.
Further into my visit I became aware of the variety of backgrounds of the Moat’s cohort. There was a healthy mixture of LEA supported and independent fee-paying children, which made for a relaxed, community feeling and a sense of equality amongst the students.
As a co-educational day school, it was a little surprising to see so few girls attending; however Clare assured me that the school is currently trying to change this. Demographically, more boys than girls are diagnosed with Dyslexia and hence there are more boys attending the Moat. Clare also explained that a future development for the school may be the opening of a sixth form, allowing pupils to remain at the school and continue their studies up to A-levels. Unlike other specialist schools, The Moat School expects students to stay for the entirety of their school career and not return to mainstream schools. If a sixth-form is implemented, the Moat will be the first school to offer these services in London.
Clare and all of the staff struck me as very bright young people, who thoroughly enjoy education and really care about the pastoral as well as academic happiness of their pupils. The school had a terrific sense of calm, well managed energy. Teaching methods seemed informal but I suspect also authoritative when necessary. What I found most endearing was the mutual respect teachers and students had for one another.
To find out more about The Moat School, visit their website. If you are looking for another school for your child, speak to one of our educational consultants.