A 21st century school – Kensington Park School

Kensington Park prospectus in London, U.K. Oct. 4, 2018, Photograph by Suzanne Plunkett

Kensington Park School is a new co-educational day and boarding school in central London. While offering what is in many respects a traditional British curriculum, being a new school means that we have been able to create an ethos, curriculum and co-curricular provision that is very much geared towards preparing our pupils for the challenges of the 21st century. Of course, many schools will be aspiring to do this, but at KPS this has been part of our DNA right from the very start.

A KPS education is about so much more than a narrow perspective on academic subjects and a focus on exam results. Yes, examination results and university outcomes are important, but an education must also place due emphasis on creativity, on developing a child’s soft, interpersonal skills, and encouraging a sense of global understanding. At KPS, teachers across departments work collaboratively with one another on curricular and co-curricular ventures to help reinforce learning and to create a deep sense of understanding amongst our pupils that knowledge and skills are transferable. The Creative Hub is at the heart of the school. Comprised of three co-located spaces – our theatre, the Mezzanine (our state-of-the-art ICT suite), and the art studio – the Creative Hub facilitates pupils working together across a range of disciplines towards a common goal. In the theatre, you may find pupils directing and acting in a play they have written themselves as an extended English assignment. In the art studio, pupils will be working on sets for the production, and making costumes using traditional tools such as sewing machines; while in the Mezzanine, pupils may be composing digital music and a son-et-lumière package for the play as other pupils produce props on one of our 3D printers.  

The curriculum, and how it is delivered, supports our desire to prepare our pupils for the challenges of the 21st century global workplace, and we place a lot of emphasis on high quality teaching in very small, concentrated sets. We have configured each of our four science laboratories for a maximum of twelve pupils to ensure that our pupils get the individual attention they need as well as plentiful opportunities to engage with science through hands-on, experiential learning. In addition, computer science is on offer to all pupils from year 10, and is positioned in the curriculum as a fourth science option. Teachers and pupils work with Windows based devices in tech-rich rooms. All the time, however, we are mindful to ensure that pupils do not lose sight of the importance of writing with a pen and paper, and of reading books other than on an electronic device!

We offer a traditional range of languages such as French, German, Spanish, Italian, Latin and Greek; but with an awareness of the changing world in which we live, we also place an emphasis on Mandarin which is compulsory in years 7 and 8, and optional beyond that. As we seek to develop an understanding of the wider world amongst our pupils, and to prepare them for the opportunities of the workplace, we will be encouraging our pupils to make the most of our very close relationship with the University of Jiao Tong in Shanghai, one of the very top universities in China. Linguistic, scientific and cultural placements with departments and students at Jiao Tong will encourage pupils to develop their global perspectives and allow them the opportunity to develop their own academic and cultural interests in an environment that is both challenging and stimulating at the same time.

Kensington Park School is both a new school and a small school, but despite our size we are a school with a big vision and one which we are confident will have a positive, life-long impact on the lives of young Londoners for years to come.

Do not miss their Summer Holiday Art Programme running in July.

Kensington Park School’s Art teacher, will host a five day summer art programme for local budding young artists, aged 11-13. The course will take place from July 8th to July 12th at KPS Lower School and includes exploring a range of techniques such as acrylic painting, sculpture, etching, mono and lino printing and observational drawing.

For more information do check their website. Article written by Headmaster Paul Vanni of Kensington Park School.