Garden House Girls' School follows the National Curriculum of English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, Religious Education, PSHE, Computing (ICT), Art, Music and Modern Foreign Languages. Physical Education (netball, tennis, rounders, gym, swimming, athletics and pop lacrosse) is integral to our Girls’ School day. In addition, we teach French from Kindergarten. Latin, Design Technology, Current Affairs, Drama, Dancing, and Fencing are included in our broad Curriculum.

Throughout the School Year, we have themed learning days including French Day, Early Years’ Day, Science Investigation Day and annual events including a Maths Olympiad and an inter-house general knowledge competition known as Gardenversity Challenge.

Garden House School provides a thorough, balanced education in a lively and purposeful environment for girls aged 3 to 11. Our girls are taught separately from our boys. Our girls achieve high academic results in a calm and constructive manner. Encouraged to have inquiring, independent minds, emphasis is placed not only on academic, sporting and artistic ability but on manners and consideration to others. The School operates a Kindness Code which is rigorously adhered to and constantly re-emphasised.

The two or three classes within each year group run in parallel. Mathematics is streamed from Junior School (year 2) upwards. Garden House offers a very high teacher/child ratio and the majority of classes have at least one classroom assistant supporting the class teacher.

The School has two libraries and a computer suite. Computing is taught as a specialist subject as well as being integral to a girl’s learning across the Curriculum. The School has an art room, ballet/performance room and a well-resourced music room.

THE GIRLS’ CURRICULUM

Garden House School provides a thorough, balanced education in a lively and purposeful environment for girls aged 3 to 11. Our girls are taught separately from our boys. Our aim is to awaken a love of learning alongside preparation, ultimately, for 11+. Garden House Girls' School follows the National Curriculum of English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, Religious Education, PSHE, Computing (ICT), Art, Music and Modern Foreign Languages. Physical Education (netball, hockey, tennis, rounders, gym, swimming, athletics and pop lacrosse) is integral to our Girls’ School day.

We teach French, Drama and Ballet from Kindergarten, with Latin and Fencing introduced to the girls’ timetable as they get older. This broad curriculum also includes themed learning days throughout the year, including French Day, Early Years’ Day, Science Day and World Arts’ Day. Other exciting events include a Maths Olympiad and an inter-house general knowledge competition known as Gardenversity Challenge.

Our girls achieve high academic results in a calm and constructive manner. Encouraged to have inquiring, independent minds, emphasis is placed not only on academic, sporting and artistic ability but on manners and consideration to others. The broad curriculum is backed up by traditional values. The School operates a Kindness Code, which is rigorously adhered to and constantly re-emphasised.

The two or three classes within each year group run in parallel. Mathematics is streamed from Junior School (year 2) upwards. Garden House offers a very high teacher/child ratio and each class has at least one teaching assistant supporting the class teacher.

The School has two libraries and a computing (ICT) suite. Computing (ICT) is taught as a specialist subject as well as being integral to a girl’s learning across the Curriculum. Each class has access to laptops and Learn pads. The School also has an art room, ballet/performance room and a well-resourced music room.

Our girls leave us as kind, confident and courteous individuals, aware of their strengths and ready for life beyond Garden House. Above all, they leave us with a love of life and learning.

+ English

HEAD OF ENGLISH – MISS MORVEN MACDONALD BA (HONS) MA

Morven attended Durham University and took her degree in Education Studies and Psychology (BA). She undertook her teacher training using the Teach First route and has a Masters in Transformational Leadership. Morven’s teaching career began in Kent, where she spent two years teaching Year 6 at Folkestone Primary Academy. She joined Garden House in 2014 and has just begun her third year with Middle School One Boys (Year 3). She became Deputy Head of English in 2016.

DEPUTY HEAD OF ENGLISH MRS ISLA SWEENEY BA (JOINT HONS) MA, QTS

Isla attended Leeds University where she studied Italian and Geography (BA). She undertook her teacher training using the Teach First route and has an MA in Education. Isla’s teaching career began in Croydon, and then moved on to Clapham where she taught at a French/English bilingual primary. She joined Garden House in 2017 and has just begun her second year with MSII girls. She became Deputy Head of English in 2018.

“I like English because it gives me the freedom to write my inner most thoughts; to create a roller-coaster of emotions and senses, to build a mystical maze to unravel and to distract from any crisis that is around us. - USII Pupil

"I love writing stories and using WOW words and I like using expression in my reading like when I shout “Oh no!” - Prep Pupil

The ability to communicate ideas and feelings clearly, effectively and with confidence. A love of reading with the ability both to comprehend and to question the text. These are qualities that our English teaching is designed to foster.

At Garden House, English is the medium through which almost all learning takes place, both inside and outside the classroom. During English lessons, as well as in many other parts of the curriculum, we lead our pupils to develop confidence in speaking and listening, spelling, grammar, reading and writing.

We teach children in a stimulating environment and our creative lessons provide opportunities for individuals to communicate independent views and opinions, listen and respond imaginatively and express feelings through spoken and written language. This helps develop their confidence to have a voice. The children develop their handwriting, being encouraged to use cursive script during Years 1 and 2 and working towards achieving their pen licences, typically in Years 3 and 4. In Years 4 and 5, the children undertake the English Speaking Board examinations, giving them the opportunity to demonstrate their skills before external examiners.

In lessons, children will be reading, discussing, and producing a wealth of different texts. These include:

  • poems
  • descriptions
  • stories
  • instructions
  • recounts
  • articles
  • persuasive texts
  • letters; and
  • play scripts.

We nurture a love of reading at Garden House; realising its potential to transport children to different places, whilst positively impacting on their ability to access all other areas of the curriculum. This begins in the Early Years where children are taught systematic phonics. These skills are then embedded as children progress through the school.

Particular highlights in the English calendar include author visits, Poetry Day and Book Week. These transform the school into a hive of creativity and immerse children into the world of literature.

+ Mathematics

We use mathematics in almost every aspect of our lives at garden house our curriculum is aimed at allowing the children to apply mathematical concepts with confidence not only in their maths lessons but also across the curriculum and in daily situations

Lessons are approached in a variety of ways to ensure the children progress to the best of their ability. All pupils have opportunities to learn in a way which caters for their learning styles using a range of visual, auditory and kinaesthetic resources. In each year group the following strands are taught and reinforced: place value; number (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division); calculating; shape, space & measures; and, data handling. Problem Solving is at the heart of our teaching and children are encouraged to apply their learning to practical situations, this includes creating magic potions, designing a Theme Park or using their measuring skills to work out the area of the chicken coops found in Roald Dahl’s ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’!

Mental arithmetic is a key skill which is taught from an early age. We encourage this in a number of ways including Times Tables awards and “Mad Minute”. Every there is a house competition where each child has the opportunity to compete in the Maths Olympiad which involves solving challenges and puzzles in house teams across the year groups. This causes much excitement for each pupil in Junior School upwards as they wait in anticipation of who will win the much coveted Olympiad award!

Head of Mathematics KSI – Mrs Bobby Vantreen BA (Hons), QTS

Bobby attended Leeds University where she took her degree in Business Management (BA). On completing her degree, she went to Roehampton University and completed her PGCE. She started working at Garden House in September 2013, teaching Transition Boys (Year 1) for three years, before moving to Junior School boys (Year 2) in September 2016. Bobby became Head of Key Stage One Mathematics in 2015.

Head of Mathematics KSII – Miss Katie McDonald BA (Hons), QTS Katie attended Southampton University and took her degree in Geography (BA). She continued at the same University and undertook her teacher training to complete her PGCE. Katie’s teaching career began in Totton where she worked at Abbotswood Junior School teaching KS2 for four years. She then moved to Kenya in 2010 and spent the same number of years teaching at St Andrew’s School – a British Curriculum boarding school on the edge of the Rift Valley. Here she taught 9-11 year olds and became Head of Year 5 & 6.

She joined Garden House in 2014 and having completed four years with Upper School Two Boys (Year 6) in September 2018 she moved to teach Upper School Two Girls (Year 6). She became Head of Key Stage Two Mathematics in 2015.

+ Science

Whilst we try to avoid blowing up the school, we do have a huge amount of fun in Science! Children love learning Science at Garden House School and for many children it ranks amongst their favourite subjects. Our aim is for our children to leave a Science class feeling inspired and to see the world with a renewed sense of wonder and inquiry.

Lessons are approached in a hands on, practical manner. The children are encouraged to relate their scientific discoveries to everyday situations. There are so many adventures for the children such as exploring live habitats, caring for recently hatched chicks, discovering patterns and animal behaviours at London Zoo, handling dinosaur fossils or using their circuit knowledge to create wonderful inventions.

Through Science children learn to think differently, investigate ideas, ask questions and discover answers themselves. They do this by observing, pattern seeking, identifying, classifying, researching and carrying out comparative and fair testing. Most importantly, in Science the children learn that mistakes are not to be feared but instead form a vital part of their learning journey.

Science Day is a particular highlight of the Garden House calendar with teachers and visiting scientists collaborating to bring the magic of Science to life via a wild variety of experiments, demonstrations and workshops.

“Our imagination expands every single time we have a lesson.”

“I love experiments. It is so much fun to see what happens; maybe it explodes, maybe it doesn’t!”

Head of Science – Miss Charlie Miller, BA (Hons), QTS

Charlie studied Graphic Design at the University of Brighton. Having spent some time working at Garden House during her gap year she decided to return as a teaching assistant in 2007. She then completed her training and worked in Preparatory (Reception) as a class teacher for 4 years. She has since worked in Transition (Year 1) and now Junior School (Year 2). She became Head of Key Stage 1 Science in September 2014 and overall Head of Science in January 2017.

+ Humanities

Geography and History are taught under the umbrella of Humanities here at Garden House. In Key Stage One the children study a term-long topic covering historical, geographical and scientific objectives in a diverse and creative way. In Key Stage Two, Humanities and Science are taught separately. At all stages, our teachers encourage the children to develop a curiosity for the world around them as well as an understanding of how the past has shaped that world.

AIMS OF HISTORY TEACHING

History at Garden House is so much more than dates and facts; it is a meaningful exploration through time, encouraging a natural curiosity to question and developing the skills to find answers. The children take a chronological journey through a range of topics from British and world History.

We are extremely lucky as a school to have a number of connections through the community with establishments such as the Royal Hospital. The children gain a valued insight into the past through the visits and talks given to them by the Chelsea Pensioners. Trips to places such as Hampton Court or a real Victorian classroom further enrich the children’s understanding and help bring the past to life. We also entertain a number of visitors from history like Roman legionaries or Florence Nightingale.

Above all, we believe that the ability to formulate enquiry skills and develop the children’s own opinions is paramount to becoming successful historians. It is this sense of wonder and excitement that we harness within the children, equipping them for life.

“I love learning about what happened in the past and how people lived - JS Pupil

“ I like history because we get to learn what we have come from and how we have evolved - USI pupil

“ It is really fun to learn about the Kings and Queens, when I went to the Westminster Abbey, it was fascinating to see Henry VIII’s grave - MSI pupil

AIMS OF GEOGRAPHY TEACHING

In Geography we want the children to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of the world we live in and on which we all depend. It is important that the children develop a sense of responsibility for the Earth as well as an awareness of cultural diversity.

The children develop their knowledge of environmental issues and learn to form their own opinions on them. Map work and Global Location form an important part of the Geography curriculum allowing the children to place their learning and their own experiences into a broader context.

Hands-on activities during field work make their learning more tangible allowing the children to develop their confidence to cherish and explore the world around them.

“ There are so many interesting topics that we cover it makes me want to find out more stuff at home - JS pupil

“ We learn Geography in such a fun way - USI pupil

I like Geography because there are lots of different places to learn about. In particular, the project about Peru was fun because I liked learning about the capital city and the history of the country. It was great to play real Peruvian musical instruments! - MSI pupil

+ Languages

At Garden House, we consider the learning of languages to be a central and critical part of every child’s education. Learning further languages allows children to broaden their horizons, open their minds and, in due course, embrace a greater variety of opportunities.

The learning of languages also offers children a new and challenging academic discipline and improves their understanding of their own language. As Goethe said, “Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own.”

All children learn French from the age of 3 when they start in Kindergarten. From a strong oral start, based largely on song and conversation, the children develop their written skills in preparation for Senior Schools. We use a wide variety of resources from Linguascope to Languages-on-Line and follow the Rigolo and Allez schemes. In Year 6, the children go on a week-long trip to northern France which immerses them in French life and culture.

All the children in Year 4 have a ‘taster’ year of Spanish which enables them to appreciate the different language structures and gives them a chance to enjoy savouring the basics of another modern foreign language.

In addition, there are language clubs in the morning and after school, which are tailored to the appropriate levels. The languages offered depend on the demands of each year. French, Spanish and Mandarin are offered every year and others when there is sufficient demand.

The children start learning Latin in Year 3 (boys) and Year 4 (girls). They begin with an introduction to Roman Civilisation and, in particular, to life in England during Roman times. As the children mature, we introduce a more rigorous approach to the study of the language, ensuring the children grasp the mechanics of the grammar thoroughly. We teach them to apply these not only to the study of Latin but to appreciate how they are also relevant to their own and other modern languages. Thus, we aim to promote a passion for the Classics which they will carry with them onto the next stage of their education.

+ Computing

The Computing department at Garden House aims to provide our girls with a number of invaluable transferable skills, which will help them prosper and work confidently in the increasingly technologically based world of the 21st Century.

Alongside providing a firm foundation in the operation of the most widely-used software packages, our objective is to inspire our girls to become the forward-thinking programmers, web-designers, games-makers and app-developers of the future. A focus on programming, coding and control technology promotes the importance of approaching tasks in a logical and systematic way. The girls are encouraged to organise their thoughts in a formal, unambiguous and structured manner. Programming at Garden House is not, however, in any way robotic in its output; the coding skills which the children learn allow them to be creative and imaginative in their work, whilst also developing important problem-solving instincts. Ultimately, we aim not just to teach our pupils how to use software and consume information but to give them the tools to become independent enquirers and producers of products and solutions.

To support this, the girls at Garden House are provided with access to a state-of-the-art provision of networked computers, laptops and tablets. Weekly Computing lessons take place in our dedicated computer suite, whilst a wide range of departments use our class sets of laptops and LearnPad tablets to support the delivery of their curricula. In addition, music technology sessions benefit from the use of Apple Mac computers.

Fibre-optic internet is available throughout the school, underpinned by advanced filtering systems. Regular e-safety sessions are delivered in both Computing and Life & Culture lessons, which give our girls the confidence to use technology in a safe, considerate and responsible manner.

+ Learning Support

As a non-selective School, Garden House is committed to enabling every child to achieve their full potential and our strong and committed Learning Support Department plays an active role in this.

It is staffed by a team of four full-time highly-qualified special needs teachers, augmented by two part-time similarly-qualified teachers. The School is thus able to provide specialist help for a wide range of learning difficulties. In addition, two speech therapists and an occupational therapist visit from local clinics. This enables children’s needs to be met within School and all specialists can keep in close contact with teaching staff and parents.

Support is tailored to a child’s specific requirements, whether it be in the classroom, as part of a small group or one-to-one lessons. Three of our specialist staff are also qualified to conduct thorough assessments to gain greater insights into a child’s strengths and difficulties.

The Department runs a variety of groups ranging from handwriting, spelling, phonics, language skills (including EAL children) as well as After School Clubs including Sensory Circuits and Puzzle Club.

ABLE LEARNERs

At Garden House School, we believe teaching and learning should be challenging and enjoyable for children of all abilities. We recognise the need to identify our Able Learners as early as possible in their School career and thereafter to make enhanced provision for them.

We use a variety of criteria by which to assess a child as an Able Learner, including analysis of class work, various assessment techniques are utilised as is observation. The School’s Able Learner Register keeps a record of such provision for each relevant child. The provision includes teaching in small groups, extension for the child within class teaching and Challenge Boards.

After School invitation-only Clubs exist to further challenge these children.

+ Field Trips and External Visits

Scattered throughout the School year are a number of field trips which we believe enhance understanding of theoretical concepts as well as encouraging our children to be confident and relatively independent. Our 10 year old girls attend a week’s science and geography residential course. Our 11 year old girls travel to France for a combined French speaking/outward bound course. A Choral Society trip to Canterbury Cathedral has become an annual event.

Integral to the curriculum and to our committed aim of educating the whole child, visits are made to a whole host of destinations from Cathedrals including St Paul’s, museums including the Natural History and Science Museum, the V&A, National Gallery and the Royal Academy. All visits are related to what the children are learning and the girls enjoy art trips to current exhibitions. In addition to the leading museums, the children visit places such as the Cabinet Rooms, Shakespeare’s Globe and Hampton Court. Day trips to the Wetlands, mornings out of School for Pond Dipping, visits to the Butterfly House at Syon House, Odd’s Farm, the London Aquarium and London Zoo are regular and very popular destinations for the younger children.

In addition, we encourage visiting specialists, from fields as diverse as art and rare animal breeds, to enlighten our children. Visits range from dance and drama specialists to authors to aid Literacy and Creative Writing to artists to encourage the creative spirit. Also aimed at broadening the children’s horizons, via the weekly Newsletter, we draw attention to weekend events whether Sport Matches or Art exhibitions or Musical Concerts.

Trips and Excursions past and present include:

  • Week in France
  • PGL to Isle of Wight
  • Juniper Hall - outward bound and geography
  • Ski Trip
  • Cheltenham Festival
  • Wallace Collection
  • Ragged School Museum
  • Globe Theatre
  • Polka Theatre
  • Stick Man at Leicester Square Theatre
  • Diana Memorial Garden
  • Holland Park Ecology Centre
  • Buddist Temple
  • The Look Out in Hyde Park
  • V&A
  • History trip to British Museum
  • Royal Observatory
  • Governor’s Review at The Royal Hospital
  • Bocketts Farm
  • Chelsea Fire Station
  • London Aquarium
  • London Zoo
  • Andipa Gallery
  • Dulwich Picture Gallery
  • Saatchi Gallery

+ Art

The Art department is run by three outstanding specialist staff who have the ability to energise and inspire children with the same passion for Art as has inspired them. Each child does at least one hour of Art a week and they cover a range of disciplines from drawing, painting and printing to sculpture. There are two invitational drawing clubs for both the Lower and Upper School aimed at extending children who show potential, as well as an Arts and Crafts club which is open to all. In addition to this, the school invites visiting artists to come and talk to the children about their practice and to run workshops. In recent years we have had a brilliant success rate with talented children achieving Art Scholarships for their future schools.

Children’s artwork is entered into competitions, providing the opportunity to see selected artworks exhibited in some wonderful spaces, such as the Royal College of Art and Saatchi Gallery. We have close links with galleries and arrange regular trips for the children to be exposed to traditional and contemporary exhibitions. World Arts Day is held in school biannually and is a wonderful celebration of all things artistic.

Every week we commend artistic achievements of children by awarding an Art of the Week certificate in assembly. There is also an Art Box in the school newsletter with any exciting announcements about children’s artwork, upcoming exhibitions and our half termly photography competitions. Overall it is a thriving department and the children are encouraged to explore, experiment and expand their knowledge and ability through a practical experience.

+ Music

At Garden House School, we believe that all children are musical. Children flourish in a varied and dynamic environment and therefore the wide range of musical activities available at the School helps to enrich their education. Annual performances at venues such as Cadogan Hall, Royal Hospital Chelsea Chapel, The Royal Court Theatre and Holy Trinity Church allow for high standards to be expected and achieved. In these performances one might see one of many of our ensembles such as the string, woodwind or guitar ensemble, or one of five choirs.

Our auditioned choir takes an annual overnight trip to destinations including France, Canterbury and Cheltenham. This past year the Upper Girls Chamber Choir was nominated for the Music For Youth National Festival. There are many school events throughout the year which train the children in the art of rehearsing and performing to a wider audience.

A broad Curriculum is offered to children in Kindergarten upwards. This combines and encompasses the musical tools required to develop their theoretical and practical understanding. Through weekly or bi-weekly music lessons each child grows in their understanding of music through singing, playing instruments, listening, movement, reading and composing music and performance.

In addition, in the older years their participation increases to include weekly hymn practise and/or involvement in one or more of our five choirs.

On offer at the School is an opportunity for children to receive one to one music lessons on a variety of instruments. Currently 80% of the eligible student body receive a lesson during the week; receiving piano, string, woodwind, brass, guitar, harp, singing or drumming lessons. Each year the girls perform in an afternoon concert and compete to perform a solo at the annual Gala Night held at Cadogan Hall in the Spring.

+ Drama

Drama plays a major role in the life of Garden House School. Not only is Drama part of the weekly curriculum but the academic year is also filled with theatrical events and diverse workshops. The Drama Department celebrates the individuality of each child and encourages their unique personalities to thrive and their personal confidence to grow.

There is a strong emphasis on public speaking skills and an ability to communicate individual ideas and viewpoints to a wide audience. The non-denominational weekly Assembly is a major event, with each class being given the opportunity to choose a topic and to expand upon it. There are after school Drama Clubs open to any child who has an interest in performance. Children take English Speaking Board examinations in Middle School Two and Upper School One and are given the opportunity to take an Entry Level Acting examination through LAMDA in their final year at Garden House.

The dramatic year begins with either a Poetry Festival or World Arts Day in the autumn and a variety of exciting poets and performers are invited to visit the School and share their work through lively and interactive sessions. The children have the opportunity to write their own poems and to explore a diverse number of performance techniques whilst exploring cultures from across the globe.

Christmas brings a wealth of wonderful Church services and Carol Concerts which bring the whole School together in celebration. The Lower School present a Nativity and the Upper School boys and girls both provide a wonderful sense of festivity with their own services where there is great opportunity for public speaking and storytelling. A magical candlelit Service at The Royal Hospital Chapel concludes our Autumn Term.

The great dramatic highlight of the spring is the Shakespeare project. Each year MSII boys and girls come together to perform one of Shakespeare’s great works in a professional theatre. This project is always met with great enthusiasm by the children who relish the challenge of interpreting the language and of bringing some of the most famous characters in English literature to life.

The Summer Shows are the pinnacle of the dramatic year at Garden House. With five musical shows spanning the whole School, everyone has the opportunity to take to the stage and demonstrate all the dramatic skills they have learnt throughout the year.

The Summer Shows are performed at The Royal Court Theatre. This is a wonderful and unique experience for the children to perform on a truly world famous stage.

+ Sport

Hockey

Hockey takes place in the Autumn and Spring terms at Garden House School. The children learn a range of ball skills, spatial awareness and co-ordination and they learn to manipulate the hockey stick, dribble and pass the ball and work as a team. The children have the opportunity to play in plenty of matches against other schools and inter-house events within the school from year 2 upwards. The girls in year 6 experience going on Hockey Tour for the weekend, playing other Schools and Hockey Clubs. Garden House hosts an annual hockey festival at Battersea Park. Hockey is taught at a variety of venues including Battersea Park, Vauxhall Sports Centre and St Luke’s.

Netball

Girls start to learn the basic skills in Netball from Year 2 and build upon these through to Year 6 in their weekly games sessions and after school clubs throughout the Autumn and Spring Terms. All girls will play competitive matches against other schools and also play Inter House matches which help to develop their teamwork, sportsmanship and enjoyment of Netball. We use Netball courts in The Royal Hospital, Battersea Park and St Luke’s Courts, Chelsea.

Swimming

At Garden House, swimming is part of the Curriculum from Year 1 all the way through to Year 6. We believe that swimming is an essential life skill and therefore our curriculum includes water confidence, stroke development and personal survival skills. To encourage and recognise progression, pupils can achieve both ASA and GHS swimming awards during School lessons. Every pupil has the opportunity to represent their house in an annual Inter house Swimming Gala and for those children in Year 2-6 that would like to have an extra swimming lesson, a School Swimming Club is available. A School Swimming Squad is run for pupils in Year 2-6. The squad allows children to swim in a competitive environment and prepare for regional or School Swimming Galas. Pupils are selected for this squad through a time trial. In recent years, Garden House have finished third in the London League grand final and been crowned the U10 girls National IAPS champions.

Athletics

We cover a variety of athletics events in which the children compete at their summer Sports Day. These include a range of field events such as: Javelin, Rounders ball throw, Quoit throw, Rounders ball hit, Hurdles, Long Jump, Standing jump and Skipping. We cover all tracks events from the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m. We give all the children the opportunity to become well practiced in the skills and techniques of all of the track and field events available to them. Athletics Club takes place in the Summer term in Battersea Park in the Millennium Arena. Children from Junior School to Upper School II are welcome to join.

Gymnastics

All girls start Gymnastics in Preparatory aiming to develop their core strength, flexibility, balance and body control with the use of mats and apparatus. Gymnastics takes place in all three terms and there are early morning Gymnastic Clubs for all abilities and ages to practise their skills and perform in group displays. The Upper Girls’ also take part in gymnastic competitions, explore rhythmic gymnastic ideas and perform sequences to music.

Rounders

Rounders is played during the Summer term at Garden House School. Throughout the school the children learn a range of co-ordination, spatial awareness and ball skills. They also learn the rules of the game. There are opportunities for all girls to take part in Inter House matches and matches and tournaments against other schools from year 2 upwards. Rounders is taught at Battersea Park and Vauxhall Sports Centre.

Cross Country

During the Autumn and Spring terms, there are a variety of events from team competitions with selected children to the annual Inter House event in which all children participate from Year 2 upwards. This takes place in Royal Hospital South Ground and Burton Court. The GHS Cross Country team competes in many races and competitions including an Interschool event hosted by Garden House in Battersea Park as well as events organised by other schools including a multi school Biathlon which is hosted by a large senior boarding School outside London. We offer a Running Club which trains before School in Battersea Park once a week as well as two morning fitness sessions all of which are open to all children who wish to join. All children are encouraged to set personal goals and targets throughout the year.

Tennis

Upper Boys’ and Girls’ take part in weekly tennis lessons in the summer term taken by specialist coaches. The aim is to develop their basic techniques, game knowledge and have match practice. There is also a weekly After School Tennis Club for year 3 upwards which is held in Battersea Park.


+ Fencing

Described as ' an art, a science, and a sport ' Fencing is an all-encompassing compliment to the education of a child. Principally the concept of ' technique ', the application of which plays the crucial role in improving the chance of success; and how this concept transitions across all sports and the academic subjects - this is the logical element of fencing. The deployment of the technical skills in 'combat' or free play is where the Artistic attributes develop, as the fencer composes their tactics according to their intellectual characteristics.

Teaching the child to control emotions and subsequently maintain capability for analytical thinking under pressure, is vital both for their ability to deploy strategy, as well as to the overarching principal of good 'gamesmanship'.

Similar to Ballet (the movements of which originate from Fencing ); the acquisition of asymmetric co-ordination; the encouragement of self reliance & self discipline; the challenge of maintaining grace under pressure; is of immense benefit to development. Those more ‘Fencing specific ' attributes such as; improving reflexes ( simple reaction speed as well as both compound and decision reaction speeds ) ; combat psychology ; discernment between tactical and strategic thinking; are skills only beginning to become attainable for Upper School students at Garden House.

The Syllabus follows the national grading system with IX grades. All students will attain the first grade by the end of their schooling at Garden House. Some are capable of achieving grade I in MSII, two years ahead of their peers, the grade being an indication of co-ordination and application.

The focus of our method at the school is to give the students a very clear understanding of the basic idea of fencing. For the girls, we use the ‘linear method’ starting with games and exercises in pairs to help develop good 'distance keeping’ and targets mounted on the wall develop quality lunges for attacking. In the penultimate year, USI, the girls wear protective jackets and masks and practice simple attacks and parry ripostes in pairs, training each other. Once these distance keeping, defense/attack and contact skills are competently programmed we can safely start free play as a group.

However, it is recognised as a curriculum subject some latitude is to be permitted when it comes to 'competitive' play. It is important to stress that no one is obliged to fight, as this would be contrary to the philosophy of Fencing.

By the end of their time at Garden House the class takes the form of a 'club' whereby the students are granted autonomy and responsibility for themselves. This affords the Master the opportunity to give individual lessons to squad fencers and to give tactical piste side advice as well… some of the girls like to referee, whilst others support and help the fencers with their kit, timekeeping or scoring; Some girls will be working towards grade IV & will have won medals at national competition ! As such the group is a reflection of Life with all characters contributing to the goal, because the creation of one great fencer requires the participation and energy of a unified group.


THE GIRLS’ UNIFORM

The new GHS uniform provider is Billings & Edmonds School Wear Tailors & Outfitters. Orders can be made via the website Billings & Edmonds, via e-mail or by telephone 020 8742 0201. The shop is located at 112 Chiswick High Road, London W4 1PU. They are now stocking our uniform as Harrods have already stopped doing so.

There is also a Second Hand Uniform Shop run by Mrs Moore based at 11 Chelsea Park Gardens, SW3 6AF. To make an appointment to purchase second hand uniform, please call Mrs Moore on 020 7352 7594.

Every item including games wear and shoes must be clearly marked with NAME TAPES. Shoes can be obtained from Harrods, Peter Jones or Papouelli Shoes on Elizabeth Street.

+ Autumn/Spring Term

Girls may wear the Summer uniform for the first half of the Autumn Term. Below are the recommended nos.

  • 1 x Blue tweed coat with velvet collar
  • 1 x Blue velvet beret
  • 3 x Blue and white checked viyella (long-sleeved) shirt
  • 2 x Grey pleated skirt
  • 2 x Grey round-necked jersey
  • 3 x Grey socks or grey woolly tights
  • 1 x Navy blue shoes, single or T-bar. (Start Rite/Clarks)
  • 1 x Grey GHS scarf (optional, available at School Shop)
  • 1 x Grey gloves
  • 1 x Regulation rainwear, yellow cape

+ Summer Term Uniform

  • 1 x Grey Blazer with School Badge
  • 1 x Panama hat with blue ribbon
  • 3 x White, short-sleeved blouse
  • 3 x Blue and white striped pinafore dress
  • 2 x Grey cardigan
  • 3 x White ankle socks
  • 1 x Navy blue shoes or sandals

Regulation School Bags are available from the School Office or online shop for all children in Junior School upwards

+ Art & Dance Uniform

DANCE - Pink ballet shoes (Preparatory, Transition & Junior School only)

Supplied by Chelsea Ballet Schools; purchases can be made directly via www.chelseaballet.com.

ART - Red Smock - Preparatory & Kindergarden Only

+ Games & Swimming Uniform

Swimming

  • Navy blue swimming costume
  • Navy blue swimming hat
  • Transition upwards should wear a house colour swimming cap: Poppy: Red, Holly: Green, Daffodil: Yellow, Bluebell: Blue
  • Towel (own)

+ Sports Uniform

Preparatory

  • Black slip-on gym shoes
  • White trainers (as plain as possible)
  • GHS navy sweatshirt (round neck with logo on front)
  • Matching navy blue tracksuit trousers with logo
  • Regulation navy blue waterproof jacket with logo
  • GHS white t-shirt (with logo on front)
  • Blue cotton shorts
  • Games socks (white ankle)
  • Navy blue baseball cap with GHS logo
  • Regulation navy blue fleece hat with logo (optional)

Transition & Junior School

  • Black slip-on gym shoes
  • White trainers (as plain as possible)
  • GHS navy sweatshirt (round neck with logo on front)
  • Navy blue tracksuit trousers with logo
  • GHS white t-shirt (with logo on front)
  • Blue cotton shorts
  • Games socks (white ankle)
  • Regulation navy blue waterproof jacket with logo
  • Regulation navy blue fleece hat with logo (optional)
  • T-shirt with house colour logo

Middle School I – Upper School II (7-11 Yrs)

  • White trainers (as plain as possible) with white laces only
  • Navy hooded sweatshirt
  • Matching tracksuit trousers
  • GHS pale blue polo shirt
  • Navy skort
  • Grey and pale blue socks
  • Blue cotton long shorts (Autumn and Spring Term)
  • Regulation navy blue waterproof jacket with logo
  • Regulation navy blue fleece hat with logo (optional)
  • Black slip-on plimsolls
  • White ankle socks (summer term)
  • T-shirt with house colour logo