In a far-flung corner of the East End, where the River Lea meets the Thames at Bow Creek, a maths lesson is taking place. The pupils barely glance up as a former lighthouse boat (now a recording studio) bobs into view on the racing tide.
After all, this is just another day at Faraday School.
This small, independent prep school for pupils aged 4 to 11 has to be one of the most unique in London. Founded in 2009, and growing a year group at a time, Faraday teaches a traditional curriculum in a creative environment. And, being housed at Trinity Buoy Wharf, it doesn’t get much more creative.
Class sizes are kept small and the mornings are focused on the core subjects of literacy and mathematics. Small group breakout phonics and English groups, set on ability rather than age, take place each morning, before pupils return to their own year group and classroom.
This ensures every pupil works at the right pace for them and that their learning is consolidated before they move on to the next stage. It also contributes to pupils’ progressing rapidly and staying engaged, which explains why there is a buzz about the place.
Pupils are happy and excited to be at school. Today, for instance, they started with ‘Wake Up Shake Up’ assembly—a whole school activity that sees them dancing on the rooftop playground. Later the Dogs Trust will be visiting with a rescue hound.
In the combined Year 5 and 6 classes, the energy is palpable; they will soon be leaving on a three-day residential, joining pupils from Faraday’s sister school, Maple Walk, in archery, mining, orienteering and quad biking.
“The school has an international feel…to make the commute easier, there are three school buses with stops across the East End and south of the river.”
This rich and varied curriculum and the numerous extracurricular activities are particularly popular with parents. There is a wide range of afterschool clubs, with full lists this term for Mandarin, guitar, ballet and cooking. Meanwhile extended care until 5:30pm helps working parents.
Faraday was the second school started by the New Model School Company, with the aim of making an independent education as widely available as possible. With fees for the next academic year set at £3,044 per term, it certainly offers excellent value for money when compared to many competitor schools.
But the best way to truly understand Faraday School is to visit. Open mornings happen on a weekly basis.
Find out more about Faraday by visiting their website: www.faradayschool.co.uk
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