About our school
What makes us unique
E ducation at the Old Vicarage is very personal. Girls are challenged, supported and given opportunities that most small schools cannot provide. With our small class sizes, house system and buddies, we create an environment in which friendships are formed, personalities develop and talent is nurtured.
“Pupils’ entirely positive attitude stem from the extremely high expectations shared and promoted by leaders, staff and governors.”
Small class sizes
It is rare to have class sizes of 15 in a London school but the benefit of our personal approach is that the individual skills of every girl are recognised and carefully brought to the fore.
The atmosphere is purposeful, yet cosy and intimate and you can be sure that your daughter will be given the individual challenge, support and encouragement she needs. Classes are large enough to enable development of interpersonal skills, yet small enough to allow a personal approach to teaching the core subjects, sport, music and drama.
Every girl is given the opportunity to try new challenges – from residential trips to singing a solo to representing the school at a sport. Everyone is given these opportunities, perhaps from a very gentle start, and it is on these small achievements that inner confidence builds.
We introduce specialist teachers, with an expertise in and real love for their subject, from Reception for Music and Sport, from Year Two for Art, French and ICT as well, and from Year Three for all subjects. In this way, the girls are extended, inspired and challenged by staff who are experts in their fields.
Having close relationships at school is a big part of the Old Vicarage community and pupil culture. Each of our younger girls is assigned a buddy, who will be from a class three years ahead and who will befriend them in the playground, much as an older sister would, as well as join them at key moments of the year for events and outings. This establishes security and leads to some long lasting and very loyal friendships. For the older girl, being a buddy is a mark of maturity and inspires a growing sense of responsibility.
The castle on the hill
We are very lucky to be located in an architecturally beautiful Grade 2* listed building. 48 Richmond Hill was built as the family home of Sir John Houblon, the first Governor of the Bank of England. The grounds originally extended along what is now Ellerker Gardens as far as Onslow Road and down the hill to the Vineyard. Much of this land now contains houses in which many of our parents live. Our girls have the great privilege of being educated in these wonderful surroundings.