Queen's Gate

Logo of Queen's Gate

Pupils Info

Gender – Girls School
Age range – Age 4-18
Number of pupils on roll – 520 Pupils

Characteristics

Average Class Size: 20
Day School
Oxbridge Entrance Percentage: 15%
£5,850
A* to B at A-Level Percentage: 82%

SUMMARY

Queen’s Gate is an institution amongst London girls’ day schools; it is all at once quintessentially English and tremendously international. Given its prime position in South Kensington, it’s no surprise that it has as many foreign – largely European – students as one would expect, with, at last count, nearly 50 nationalities represented and a special bilingual section set up to cater to these.

The school – which comprises a separate junior school (for 4-11s) and senior school (for 11-18s), with three-quarters of girls going all the way through from 4-18 – occupies five joined townhouses on Queen’s Gate and is deceptively sprawling, while at the same time cosy in feel. Queen’s Gate has always refused – unlike rival schools such as St Paul’s Girls and Godolphin & Latymer – to focus unduly on academics, yet results are still very impressive, and increasingly so. But a good deal of time is also given over to fun, arts and extra-curriculars, and just letting girls develop as individuals. In keeping with this spirit of individuality, the lack of school uniform is a popular aspect of school life here.

Background and Reputation

Founded in 1891, the school has occupied the same site for more than 120 years – not something many schools can say! With South Kensington being perhaps London’s most international quarter, it is no surprise that Queen’s Gate has become increasingly internationally diverse over the years, but it has also managed to retain its distinct English identity. This is a place where ‘nice’ girls have always flocked. Old girls include Susannah Constantine, the Duchess of Cornwall (aka Camilla Parker Bowles) and Lynn and Vanessa Redgrave, among many socially well-heeled others. Camilla remains involved and caused much excitement opening up a new building recently. But parents and pupils are unlikely to have been too fazed by her presence – being a pretty posh bunch, as they are. Girls are known for their impeccable manners and until not too long ago used to stand up and curtsey when the headmistress entered the room.

Academic and Exit Results

Going from strength to strength. 72% of A-levels and 76% of GCSEs marked A*-A. A-level preparation is known to be outstanding here, with a maximum class size of 10 students. Modern languages are very strong – perhaps because of the school’s international embrace – with all subjects (French, Spanish, Italian, German) taught by native speakers and loads of trips abroad planned. There’s a strong learning support department, with dyslexia and dyspraxia both catered for, but not in the extreme.

Social and Pastoral

There aren’t many rules here (as evidenced by the lack of school uniform); however, the school adopts a zero-tolerance policy to most infractions, with detentions handed out plentifully, including Saturday detentions, which are particularly unpopular. And although there is no uniform, school staff are vigilant about ensuring that girls’ attire is up to scratch; if not, they must endure the humiliation of being forced to wear a ‘granny skirt’ – every girl’s horror. The school’s tutor system is very popular, with each student being assigned one throughout the school; in addition in Sixth Form girls are allocated work tutors with whom they meet monthly. The big sister system, between sixth form girls and the younger forms is equally valued by pupils, staff and parents alike. There are incidences of anorexia, as would be expected in any girls’ school, but these are dealt with swiftly. School lunches are said to be excellent, with two grand dining rooms – the white or the black – to choose from.

Sport, Art, Music and Drama

Sport is surprisingly strong here, for a little cosy London school, and all the more so since the relatively recent appointment of a former GB Olympic pentathlete as the Head of Sport. Girls have notched up particularly impressive cross-country results, with numerous awards being bestowed in recent years. The main sports are netball, rounders, athletics, tennis and hockey. Other options include yoga, dance, climbing, gymnastics, basketball and fencing, with Queen’s Gate girls having competed in the Public Schools’ Fencing Championships. Particularly keen girls can come in for early morning swimming and running sessions, as well as other early bird athletic clubs, all kicking off at 7am, followed by breakfast at school. Drama and Music are also superb – not surprising, given the central London location and proximity to the Royal Albert Hall. Most girls take the LAMDA exams (in speech and drama) each year, many winning medals. There are frequent school trips to the opera and West End musicals. As for music, there’s a chamber choir, individual lessons in just about everything and an opportunity for those with talent to join in professional musicals.

Extracurricular

There is almost every kind of club here – most of these taking place at lunchtime – from Japanese to jewellery-making to debating to bird-watching to cheerleading, cookery and much more. Charity work is also a big deal – both in the local community and farther afield. Art and design – taking place in the new art suite in the school’s rooftop conversion – is also huge. Budding artists travel to the Louvre and Musee d’Orsay in Paris, as well as, frequently, to the V&A, which is right on the school’s doorstep.

Contact

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