I am delighted to introduce myself as Head of the new Radnor House Prep School, opening in September 2023. Having lived and worked in Richmond and Twickenham for over 20 years, I am very aware of the excellent reputation of Radnor House senior school. I am so excited to be given this opportunity and I look forward to working closely with parents, children, and the wider Dukes community to build upon Radnor’s established success.
I am very proud to be taking the school forward into its next chapter as a nursery and prep school for girls and boys aged 2 to 11. Education should provide the best preparation for next steps into senior school and life beyond, and in my view children should receive an education based on encouragement rather than pressure. The very best results come from a broad base, an interesting and challenging curriculum, and a strong and supportive network of parents, pupils and school.
We have the chance to create something new and exciting at Radnor House Prep School and our core principles of Resilience, Reflection, Respect and Resolve will underpin everything we do.
As a prep school, we will benefit from the wonderful riverside site, and the refit planned for summer 2024 will provide us with more outstanding resources for an exceptional educational experience. Our children will also have the chance to progress directly into Kneller Hall School, the new Dukes senior school opening officially in Twickenham in September 2024, in addition to Hampton Court House in Hampton. For those who want to look at other 11+ schools the preparation will be thorough and targeted.
Radnor House Prep will place a holistic lens over the curriculum; teaching children to challenge the question and then find their answers. Teaching them to seek, explore, dare to try and be unafraid to fail. To balance a healthy mind with a healthy body. To learn who they are and their place in the world.
Transitioning to Pope’s Villa
In order to ensure a smooth transition for both Kneller Hall and Radnor Prep students, current Radnor House senior pupils from Year 7 – Year 13 will remain at Pope’s Villa while building works begin at Kneller Hall for the duration of the transition year of September 2023 to August 2024. I am delighted to let you know that buildings at 41 Kew Foot Rd, Richmond (next to Richmond Rugby Club) – currently operating as Falcons Prep School – will be Radnor Prep’s temporary home during these 12 months.
One of the benefits of a relatively blank canvas is that we can create a new and exciting curriculum. Our teaching will draw on all the subject specialisms together to link teaching and learning. I know a number of you expressed how much the children had enjoyed some of their project-based learning and this will be the foundation on which our curriculum is based. There is a danger with the silos of individual subjects that you don’t share the contextual correlation that is particularly important for younger age children. By linking everything through the curriculum, we blend the academic rigour of subjects with the teaching of the real-life skills of teamwork and collaboration, investigation and problem-solving, through topical examples.
The new temporary premises at Kew Foot Road will provide us with all that we need. There will still be two superb STEAM spaces, a science lab, rooms for music, drama and, now much closer, plenty of space for PE and Games for all, including competitive sports fixtures at Richmond Rugby Club. There is a lovely spacious playground, access to a swimming pool, school hall and library. The brand new STEAM rooms will be fully equipped for a combination of traditional practical skills alongside the more focused product design. Exciting projects such as the Dyson Award, Formula One design, drone coding and building, motorised race ready boats, and stop motion animation will all form part of our new and exciting STEAM curriculum.
We have already recruited our core teaching team, all of whom are really excited about designing and implementing a new and stimulating creative curriculum. We have recruited specialist teachers for Science, History, STEAM, French, PE and Games, Music, Geography and Drama. Each pupil will have their own iPad as previously planned and will be taught to use these as an additional tool to extend and expand their knowledge and skills, fully embedded in the teaching and learning.
I am still as excited as ever about being able to offer the essence of the Radnor House Prep School from September 2023. This was never about physical space but instead, it is about a philosophical, creative way of teaching and learning which will open up young minds, encourage them to take on new challenges and leave them fully ready to embrace whatever lies ahead.
Our mission statement remains the same:
If you haven’t explored every turn? How can you be bold, if you’ve never felt nervous? How can you know what you want, if you haven’t discovered what you don’t? How can you enjoy the win, if you don’t know how it feels to lose? How do you know the answer, if you don’t understand the question? We champion our children to be ambitious and inquisitive. To try new things and be unafraid to fail. Challenge structures and norms. Uncover what their best is, not someone elses. Experiment and change their minds. Balance different passions and ways of learning. Embrace change and the unknown. Discover who they are not who they want to be. Because Radnor House Prep is a place where curious minds can explore.
I look forward to welcoming parents to Radnor this year. To book a slot at one of our upcoming Open Days, please visit our Eventbrite page
Mrs Stephanie Piper