Prince George to start at ‘busy, slightly chaotic’ school
The four-year-old begins full-time education in September when he joins the private day school Thomas’s Battersea.
Prince George will be going to a “busy” and “slightly chaotic” London school where the cosmopolitan capital is reflected in the 19 different languages spoken in pupils’ homes, according to a schools guide.
The four-year-old, who will one day be king, begins full-time education in September when he joins one of three reception classes at private day school Thomas’s Battersea.
The school, where fees cost from £17,604 a year, was reviewed as “A big, busy, slightly chaotic school for cosmopolitan parents who want their children to have the best English education money can buy. That is what they want and, to a large degree, that is what they get”.
The assessment by The Good Schools Guide added: “Plenty of opportunities for pupils to excel but withdrawn types might find it all somewhat overwhelming.”
Like George, new headmaster Simon O’Malley starts at the school in September. An Aberdeen University graduate, he has taught in Kenya and previously was headmaster of Wellesley House School in Kent, a post he held for 11 years.
The Good Schools Guide, which describes itself as offering “unbiased and candid school reviews” on its website, praised Mr O’Malley, describing him as “Ambitious and enthusiastic; generated an energy and buzz about his previous school. Much-liked and respected by parents”.
The school, a selective establishment, has 560 boys and girls aged from four to 13, with around 20 in each class. It is described in the guide as having great facilities from its science labs to gym.
The guide, which said 19 languages are spoken in the homes of pupils, added: “School celebrates and appears to make the most of this range of different cultures.”
It also said: “Academically, teaching deemed pretty good, though lots of coaching still occurring in the last years. ‘Just as insurance,’ say the parents. We did feel that this was definitely more about anxious and ambitious parents than inadequately taught children.”
Thomas’s, which runs a number of schools in London, says on its website: “In each school, we aim to offer the highest academic standards, set within a broad and rich curriculum, which inspires enjoyment, learning and achievement.
“We expect every member of the schools’ communities to ‘Be Kind’.”
The Duchess of Cambridge has already said she is not sure George “has any idea what’s going to hit him”. He will be young for his year, having only turned four in the summer.
Art, ballet, drama, ICT, French, music and physical education are all taught by specialist teachers from a child’s first day at the Lower School.
On his first day, George will meet his form teacher, teaching assistant and head of the lower school Helen Derbyshire.
His smart, new uniform – which must be bought from John Lewis – includes a £25 navy v-neck pullover, matching Bermuda-style school shorts, long red socks and black shoes.
Other items George will be taking with him are a red art smock, which costs from £30, and a sports kit including swim hat and a pair of black ballet shoes.
George’s compulsory winter and summer uniform, plus sports and ballet kit, will have cost William and Kate more than £365, not including extras such as a winter hat and scarf.
Mornings snacks provided by the school for the Prince and his peers will include organic milk, freshly baked pain aux raisin and grissini wholewheat bread sticks.
For lunch, he will tuck into freshly cooked meals which, whenever possible, feature organic meat, vegetables and dairy – something George’s grandfather the Prince of Wales, a passionate advocate of organic produce, will be glad to hear.
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