Abercorn School

28 Abercorn Place, London NW1 6JF

Profile: Established in St John’s Wood in 1987, Abercorn School is a co-educational nursery, pre-prep and preparatory school for boys and girls aged 2 – 13. It places great emphasis on pastoral care and a happy learning environment, combining maths and language learning with arts and music. It is also very successful in sports, with its pupils winning the North London Swimming Championships several years in a row. The school caters well to working parents with school gates opening at 8am already and a wide offer of afterschool clubs that include Mandarin, Drama,Tae Kwon Do, Swimming, Golf and Tennis.

It is not a small school, currently educating about 350 children, but it operates the Early Years Foundation, Middle and Upper Schools on separate sites across St John’s Wood and Maidavale. Most Abercorn pupils come from the area around St John’s Wood and reflect the neighbourhood’s diversity. About a third of the pupils are from non-European cultures and typically 10% come from continental European backgrounds families.

The Independent Schools Inspectorate carried out its last inspection in 2009 and highlighted the high quality of teaching. All other areas of the school are good but not excellent or outstanding as most of the other North London preps reviewed here.

The quality of teaching is consistently good and a significant proportion is outstanding, promoting good progress made by pupils. Staff have excellent relationships with their pupils and teaching throughout the school very successfully promotes the aim to provide a friendly, caring and inspiring academic atmosphere

The school has many strong features and is successful in fulfilling its aims. Provision in the EYFS is good and is effective in meeting the children’s needs. A wide-ranging curriculum is provided throughout the school with many opportunities for pupils to learn and achieve well

(all from ISI Inspection Report January 2009)

The school offers academic scholarships for boys and girls at the 7+ and 8+ stage for entry into year 2 and year 3.

Admissions: Admission to the school at the nursery and Reception stage is non-selective. It charges an unusually high registration fee of £225 and parents also need to provide a copy of the child’s birth certificate. For entry into Year 1 and above, children perform a short test in English and Maths to enter the school. The admissions page of the school websites has more details and a downloadable pdf Registration form.

Exit Results: Girls leave the school at the 11+ stage, while boys stay on until 13+ for Common Entrance. The school only provides a list of schools its leavers go onto without numbers per school, which is typical for schools that perform somewhat less well than the academic hothouses that pride themselves in their exit results (such as Arnold House and The Hall). You may want to ask for more details of senior school placement when visiting this school.

“Our pupils have been successful in obtaining offers from the following schools:

  • Aldenham
  • City of London School – scholarship
  • City of London Girls’ School
  • Dean Close
  • Francis Holland, Clarence Gate – music scholarship
  • The King’s School, Canterbury
  • The Oratory, Reading
  • Mill Hill – scholarship
  • Portland Place
  • Queen’s College – scholarship
  • Queen’s Gate
  • St. James’ Senior Girls’ School
  • University College School – scholarship”

The school website also provides the list of senior school placement results from 2005 – 2010.

Further resources:


School reviews on this website express my personal expression, based on web research, school visits and word of mouth between parents. If you have a different experience of the school or would like to add information missing here, or if you have any other helpful hints, please leave a comment below.


5 Responses to “Abercorn School”

  1. Colleen Mueller September 17, 2011 at 1:48 PM #

    I have three children at Abercorn School who have been students there since 2008. We are Americans living abroad and chose to send our children to a British school for the experience. We have never been happier about a decision! Abercorn is a lovely school with caring teachers and a dedicated staff. Our kids love going to school and have absolutely thrived. Abercorn gives each child the attention needed to reach their maximum potential. Children all learn differently and are at varying levels. Abercorn recognises this and sets the work for children accordingly. We are very impressed with how our children have performed and know that they will continue to excel thanks to Abercorn.

    • londonpreprep September 17, 2011 at 4:50 PM #

      Hi Colleen,
      thank you so much for writing londonpreprep’s first parent review! This is fantastic! It is great to hear that your three children are doing so well and enjoying their time at Abercorn! I am sure your comment will help other parents checking this page get a better idea of Abercorn. Websites and inspection reports are one thing but there is nothing more helpful than hearing the opinion of parents with happy children at a school!

  2. Vikki Done September 20, 2011 at 1:29 PM #

    My husband and I also have three children at Abercorn ranging from Nursery through to Year Three. Our eldest is just starting her sixth year at Abercorn and we are huge fans of the school. It provides our children with a happy, nurturing environment for them to learn and grow. The academic standards are extremely high and the children achieve great results. The standard of teaching is very strong and the school itself has a wonderful community spirit. I would wholeheartedly recommend Abercorn to other parents looking for a co-ed school in central London.

    • londonpreprep September 20, 2011 at 1:45 PM #

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Vikki, that’s fantastic! It is very assuring to hear from such happy parents! I have a friend in St. John’s Wood just looking at nurseries and pre-preps for her son and I think I will definitely recommend her to check out Abercorn School!

  3. Kelly Basile September 21, 2011 at 12:46 PM #

    We currently have two children at Abercorn and a third who attended Abercorn for almost 4 years before successfully transitioning to South Hampstead. Our experience of the school has been one of consistently high quality teaching combined with a caring pastoral environment. The school offers a broad range of extra-curricular activities that have matched the interests of our children. Our children have been extremely happy and inspired to learn throughout the course of our experience with Abercorn. We thank the very talented staff for their hard work and dedication and would recommend the school to other families looking for a nurturing, early years, learning environment in London.

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