BestPrepSchools.co.uk - helping parents choose the best private preparatory or pre-preparatory school for their child

Fantastic fantastic fantastic! He absolutely loves it there and he is so happy. We have received a wonderful report and he loves the new headmaster. He has made some gorgeous friends and so far he has seen absolutely no bullying!! He has thrown himself into school life and to be honest he has done more at X in two months then he ever did during the three years at Y! Thank you so much and if you ever have any parents interested I would be only too willing to talk to them.

Mrs S W

International Schools

UK Schools Outside of National Curriculum

By international schools we mean those schools in the UK that do not follow the standard curriculum taught in UK schools, but instead follow either the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme or teach the curriculum of another country.

A significant number of independent senior schools now offer the IB Diploma at 6th form level (16+) as an alternative to A Levels, but only a handful of schools follow the Middle Years Program (MYP) or Primary Years Program (PYP) lower down the school. For families moving into the UK from abroad, where the children have been educated in an international school, it may be important to them to find a school that offers the IB curriculum as it offers a multinational, transferrable curriculum and provides continuity for the children. Having said that, it is generally considered that the programmes of study followed by the vast majority of private prep schools in the UK are more academically rigorous and demanding, especially those that focus on preparing children for Common Entrance at 11 or 13. All good UK prep schools offer a broad and balanced curriculum, and provide an education that will be compatible with any other system, so parents should not restrict themselves to only considering international schools.

There is a large contingent of US citizens working in London and to cater for them several schools in the London area offer the American curriculum from Kindergarten through to 12 th Grade, sometimes alongside the IB programme. There are also bi-lingual schools that cater for other foreign nationals living in the UK and teach, for example, the French curriculum.

International schools offer a unique educational environment where children will be part of a community embracing many different cultures and languages, although the main medium of instruction will be English (with the exception of the bi-lingual schools). For some international families this is extremely important, particular if this is the type of school that children are already familiar with. Generally, the international schools have a relatively high turnover of children as they cater for families moving in and out of the capital. A dmissions arrangements tend to be more flexible, but all schools will want to see satisfactory reports from previous schools and some may require children to sit entrance tests, particularly where English is not the first language.

International schools tend to be located near to popular housing regions for affluent expatriates including Hampstead, Westminster, Chelsea, Fulham, Richmond, Cobham, Thorpe and Uxbridge. Most of them are “all-through” schools, catering from 3 to 18 and the majority are co-educational. Fees tend to be higher than for comparable British schools, probably because education costs are often covered by employers.

Some international schools offer boarding facilities, although generally not for prep school age children. Please contact us for further information on +44 (0) 1732 368767 or by filling in the  Enquiry Form.