Garden House School was founded in 1950 by Margery de Brissac Bernard (1896-1994). Miss de Brissac educated the children and grand-children of diplomats and Prime Ministers including Winston Churchill and Alec Douglas-Home. Although she had no formal training as a teacher, she had great experience of life. Miss de Brissac worked at the Admiralty during World War One and trained as a nurse with the Red Cross. Following the end of the Second World War, she taught ballet in London. As a result of her success as a ballet teacher, Miss de Brissac was persuaded to consider establishing her own School. As a ballerina, her style, personal discipline and moral stance appealed to teachers and parents alike.
In many ways, little has changed at the heart of Garden House from the essential values established in those early years. Goodness, kindness, forgiveness and a happy, purposeful energy remain at the core of the School and the Garden House child. Miss de Brissac was a living memorial to dance, music, singing, learning and loving and these remain the pivotal values around which Garden House School thrives and develops.
In 1973 at the age of 77, Miss de Brissac handed over the ownership of Garden House School to Mrs Jillian Oddy, a parent and teaching assistant at the School and now the Principal.
Garden House has grown gradually since 1973. Then it was primarily a pre-prep school for boys and girls with just a smattering of older girls. The School developed, accepting girls to 11 years of age. In 1989, the Boys' School was established and since 2009, boys may continue their education at Garden House up to the age of 11. Garden House boys and girls are educated separately, except in Kindergarten. They are together for meals and for After School Clubs. In the 1990s, Garden House New York opened. Close links exist between the London and New York Schools.
In 2004, the School moved into a single, purpose-designed building to the south side of the Duke of York's development. For the first time, the girls and boys were in the same location, while continuing to be taught separately.
The School remains family-run and privately-owned. It is considered among the most prestigious pre-prep and prep schools in central London.
While respectful of our history, Garden House is very much grounded in the present yet always looking towards the future for our children. Garden House prides itself on the long-term commitment of its core staff, and the fact alumni return as parents themselves or as teachers. The School has an aesthetic which celebrates the appreciation of beauty in all its forms, with kindness as key.