Wicked Smart

Spotlight on schools: Wetherby Preparatory school

judith aitken

Wicked Smart are dedicated to understanding the ins and outs of the top prep schools in London, and every week we will be shining the spotlight on a different prep school. Our main focus is to zone in on the 7+ procedure, to shed some much needed light on what parents and children should expect. This week it’s the turn of Wetherby Preparatory School!

The basics

Address: Bryanston Square, London W1H 2EA

Headteacher: Nick Baker

Pupil role: 352 (Boys only)

Termly fees: £7220

Ages: 7 - 18

Website: https://www.wetherbyprep.co.uk

What’s good about it?

Wetherby Prep school is often considered to be the number 1 prep school in the country. It could be said that Princess Diana put this school on the map, choosing for both Prince William and Harry to attend the Notting Hill establishment. Many other notable alumni have attended Wetherby and it was awarded the ‘best prep school’ title by Tatler in 2012.

We believe however that this school rightly deserves its notoriety due to the standard of education delivered, as opposed to the glitz and glamour seen at the school gates! Wetherby prides itself on being a small community school, where siblings receive priority on entry (a word of warning - do not expect this at all schools!).

The curriculum is well rounded, where a more holistic approach is taken to learning as opposed to the more traditional methods of other prep schools. Academic rigour is valued, but sports and extra curricular activities are also strongly encouraged to develop a well rounded student.

Classrooms aren’t silent and stuffy, instead children are encouraged to question, debate and explore various ideas and opinions. The teachers at Wetherby are committed to ensuring that all students are confident and happy individuals.

What does the 7+ exam look like at Wetherby?

It’s not a surprise to hear that the 7+ exam procedure at Wetherby is a more relaxed affair than at other schools. Although the school itself is not forthcoming with exactly what will be assessed, parents are made aware that teachers are looking for children who have potential both academically and socially, and it is one of the few schools that does seem to keep their promise on this.

Once registered, prospective students are invited to attend an assessment day in January, where they will be asked to complete English and Maths papers. Social skills are also closely observed during group exercises, but care is taken to ensure that there isn’t an air of competition amongst the boys. If successful, families will receive a letter a few weeks after the assessment day. Each year, 20 boys will be welcomed into Wetherby to begin Year 3.

There is a pre-prep school at Wetherby, and any boys in attendance here will automatically feed into the Junior school if they wish.

In a nutshell…

Wetherby is refreshing in the sense that it is not looking for the uber intelligent child geniuses of the world - they understand that they are dealing with children who are only just beginning their educational journey. Wetherby’s values focus on manners, respect, courtesy and the development of children’s abilities both inside and outside of the classroom.