25th January 2012
An introduction to Wandsworth Preparatory School by Mark Malley, CEO of Bellevue Education.
Welcome to Wandsworth Preparatory School, which will be opening its doors to pupils in September 2012.
I have wanted to open a school in Wandsworth for a very long time – it is a wonderful area, and one that I know very well, having lived in Putney with my family. So when Edwina Angell-James, principal of Wee Ones Nursery, approached me with her ideas for the School, I jumped at the chance to start something really special. Wee Ones is firmly established as a leading nursery that really nurtures and stimulates its children and I knew that together, Edwina and I could create a school that delivers the very best of traditional education in innovative and exciting ways; that provides a nurturing environment, and one that stimulates and excites. That’s what Bellevue Education is all about; that’s what I personally am all about.
I set up Bellevue Education because I wanted to create a group of schools that provides the sort of education that I believe in. Eight years ago I became Head Master of Norfolk House School in Muswell Hill. It was a school that was failing when I took over; a school that was graded ‘Outstanding’ by the Independent Schools Inspectorate two years later and again this year.
Now Norfolk House is part of a group of schools that maintain their own unique characteristics but share the same ethos and values, under the Bellevue umbrella. We believe in broad curricula delivered in innovative ways that excite and engage children. We believe in investment – in teachers, buildings and technology; and we believe that exceptional results should be a by-product of the education that we offer, not the exclusive focus. Bellevue pupils leave us to join the country’s very best day and boarding schools, often with scholarships, but they achieve this success not because we hot-house them, and not because we subject them to days of examination practice. Rather, we excite them. We inspire them. We create an environment that is happy and nurturing but also dynamic and stimulating. We treat each pupil as an individual and encourage them to aim as high as possible, but we also let them make mistakes. We believe that independent learning is our ultimate goal; our pupils love finding things out for themselves, and it is this grounding that enables them to flourish, whichever school they go on to.
Bellevue Education recruits the best teachers and head teachers and makes sure that they are fully supported with innovative resources, shared best practice and focused training. We involve parents in their children’s education with regular meetings and written reports, but also with head teacher blogs, email newsletters and even text messages alerting parents to sports fixtures.
Quite simply, we believe that what we provide is the best possible education, in the best possible environment. That is what Edwina and I are going to create in Wandsworth Preparatory School, and I hope very much that you will want to be a part of it.