It is exciting times for The Mall School in Twickenham with the first girls joining the school in September 2023. The move to co-education will be phased in gradually starting with Reception entry in September 2023, and will be completed across all year groups by September 2029. Following the school’s new day nursery opening in September 2022, The Mall now offers an excellent education across 50 weeks of the year for children aged 6 months to 11 years.
Girls joining the school will benefit from our broad and creative curriculum and dedicated preparation for 11+ examinations, within the nurturing environment that the pupils currently enjoy, making use of our impressive facilities including indoor heated swimming pool, purpose built theatre, creative and performing arts centre and sports hall. The Mall achieves extraordinary results, despite being a non-selective school, thanks to our inspiring teaching and pastoral care and the school was rated as excellent in all areas in its ISI Inspection earlier this year.
In making the announcement to current parents, Chairman of Governors, Rupert Walker, said: “As a forward looking school, and having evaluated the current market conditions, we feel that this is the ideal time to make this exciting change. The introduction of co-education and a nursery is a natural development for the school that we feel will bring positive benefits to The Mall community as well as responding to the significant demand locally for a school that serves the local community and modern family life.”
Girls joining The Mall during the early stages of the move to co-education will be pioneers of a new development for the school and will accordingly benefit from appropriate fee discounts.
For some time we have become aware that prospective parents are increasingly seeking a school that can serve both their sons and their daughters. This reflects that in the past 25 years the percentage of co-educational independent schools in the UK has risen from 55% to 81%.
As a forward looking school, and having just opened our co-educational day nursery for children aged 6 month to 4 years, we feel that this is the ideal time to make this exciting change. The introduction of co-education to allow all children to move up from the nursery or join us at Reception is a natural development for the school that we feel will bring positive benefits to our community and best reflect modern family life.
Our co-educational nursery opened in September 2022 and girls will be able to join our Reception class from in September 2023. Thereafter, girls will move through the school year on year. The Mall will be fully co-educational by 2029. There are no plans to admit girls to any of our other current year groups.
We are phasing in the change gradually from September 2023 starting in Reception to ensure that boys who are used to being taught in a single-sex environment will continue to learn in single-sex classes for the remainder of their time at The Mall. It also gives us lots of time to consider and make any changes that are needed to our facilities, academic curriculum and extra-curricular programme to best meet the needs of both boys and girls as they move through the school.
Parents of children joining the school will be regularly invited to meetings to share their thoughts and ideas on how the move to co-education is evolving.
Most of our current teaching staff have taught girls, including in Reception. Our programme of professional development and training will include how to support girls both pastorally and academically so that class teachers and form tutors can met the personal, social, emotional and learning needs of all their pupils.
No. Class sizes will remain capped at 20.
Our Deputy Head, as part of his Masters course, is currently reviewing our curriculum and it will remain broad and exciting with subjects such as art, design technology, digital skills, drama, French, geography, history, Latin, music, personal social and health education, religious studies, science and sports alongside the core subjects of English and maths. Verbal and non-verbal reasoning is introduced in Year 4 as children start to prepare for their 11+ exams.
Our teachers are always looking at ways to adapt the curriculum to make it more relevant and interesting and they will make sure the content is as inspiring and creative for girls as it is for boys.
Girls and boys will leave at the end of Year 6. The gradual introduction of girls into the school will give the Headmaster time to visit and get to know the additional senior schools that our girls may be applying to at 11+. Our boys currently receive offers from over 20 independent and state grammar schools each year including lots of popular co-educational schools such as Kingston Grammar School, Epsom College, Latymer Upper and St George’s College.
In our regular parent surveys, carried out by an external market research consultant, we consistently score highly against other prep schools for our advice on and preparation for entry to senior schools and we look forward to preparing girls for the same co-educational schools the boys go to as well as girls’ only independent senior and state grammar schools.
As a non-selective school, our record of success at receiving offers and academic and non-academic awards at highly selective independent and state grammar schools is extraordinary. We strive to ensure that all children develop a love of learning and make the very most of their abilities. As a stand-alone prep school we are best placed to advise parents about the full range of senior schools on offer and where we feel will continue to bring out the best in their daughter or son.
The standard of music and sport is very high at The Mall, as is the opportunity of involvement for all pupils. As a co-educational school, The Mall will offer a range of team sports for the boys and girls with competitive fixtures against other schools. All our musical activities including various choirs, bands and orchestras, choir, as well as individual lessons to learn a musical instrument will be offered to all. All the children in Years 2 and 3 will continue to take part in the Richmond Singing Festival and all pupils will take part in annual drama performances, for example the Year 6 Leavers’ Play, throughout their time at the school. We remain committed to all children being encouraged to embrace all the opportunities we offer outside of the classroom and spark a passion for an interest which they will take with them to senior school and beyond.
Additional toilets and changing facilities for girls will be created and the redevelopment of the outdoor space will give both boys and girls a fantastic choice of interactive areas to play and socialise in.
We regularly review both our extra-curricular programme and destinations for trips and visits, including residential trips. Pupils get the opportunity to contribute to this through the pupil council and feedback forms after trips. We will of course want to ensure the clubs we offer will be of interest to boys and girls.
We are working with our current uniform suppliers, Stevensons, to create the girls’ uniform. If there are any changes to the uniform, these will only apply to children joining us in Reception and the uniform worn by the boys that are already in the school will not change.
Yes, The Mall Nursery pupils will be offered a place in the Reception class, unless there are exceptional circumstances. We will still welcome children from other nurseries but early registration is advised as we will offer these places on a first-come-first-served basis.