We are an independent school for girls ages 4-11, where creativity, curiosity and intellectual pursuits are championed. At St Christopher’s, pupils are nurtured and challenged; they discover who they are and learn to develop an inquisitive mind and a solution-focused mindset. Our girls are observers, thinkers, risk-takers, campaigners. They are learners so that they can become change-makers.
Please click on the interactive points on the map for more information.
Our castle is more than just a climbing frame, it is the setting for imaginative play at breaktimes and has also staged strolling productions by Year 4, most recently of Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
The reading chair is a quiet spot for girls to lose themselves in a good book, either reading alone or to their friends. In the spring and summer terms, we invite parents to take a seat in the reading chair and share a story with their daughter’s class.
The court is where girls play netball, rounders, dodgeball, short tennis, football and cricket, and practise athletics for our annual Sports Day, which is held at Parliament Hill athletics track. On May Day each year the court is the centre of our traditional celebrations, which begin with dancing round the maypole and end with an afternoon of old-fashioned games such as skittles, skipping, tiddlywinks and hopscotch, followed by a feast of homemade lemonade and cakes.
The science garden has been the setting for many exciting experiments involving plants, herbs, insects, bird feeders, a bee hotel, and even a live webcam in the pond to monitor tadpole development. Local wildlife passing through includes a family of foxes and a returning community of toads.
What friendship means, and how to be a good friend, is central to everything we teach at St Christopher’s. The youngest of our pupils know that if they are ever feeling a little lost or alone at breaktime, all they have to do is sit on the bench under the friendship tree and anyone passing will stop to make friends and invite them to join in a group or a game.
Old and new media are housed side by side in our library and computing block. Pupils have timetabled library sessions each week and are free to borrow books and enjoy the library at break times.
Our computing curriculum is broad and varied, providing the pupils with opportunities to develop both their creative computing and programming skills, whilst understanding the importance of being a responsible digital citizen.
Cross-curricular links are made where possible, in order for pupils to see how technology can enhance the learning experience and how the skills they acquire are transferable.
In lessons, activities range from frame animation to film making, from designing adverts to promote a product they have created in their DT lesson, to building timelines to support their learning in history.
The pupils learn how to navigate both the school computer network and cloud-based servers.
The programming curriculum begins in the lower school using programmable toys. Then the girls move swiftly onto block programming, in order to understand the principles of coding, designing animations and games. In Key stage 2 they learn text-based languages too so the pupils see the syntax involved in the coding process. Robotics are also introduced where the pupils build a robot and program the movement including lights and distance sensors. The girls leave us with having experienced a range of programming software.
Skills gained in computing lessons help them use technology across the curriculum with iPads and Chromebooks used to enhance the learning experience.
The safe use of technology and the application of the St Christopher’s SMART rules are discussed across the curriculum when pupils apply their computing skills.
We have approximately 28 girls in our Reception class alongside two class teachers and a teaching assistant. At St Christopher’s we know that each individual comes with a range of different experiences and understanding of the world around her and we aim to cater to all of these needs. Upon their arrival the girls begin reading daily within class which in time cultivates a long-lasting love of reading. The girls have English and maths lessons and then spend the afternoons exploring a range of different topics which are child initiated- they explore this topic through a variety of different strands including art and science. Specialist subjects begin in Reception and the girls experience a varied curriculum from Mandarin, to music, to computing. There is a focus on outdoor learning and free flow from the outdoors to the indoors and to this end the girls have their own mud kitchen, covered outdoor area equipped with tuff trays and kinaesthetic learning experiences, and their own playground. The Reception playground also encourages the girls to form firm friendships amongst their peers in their first year at St. Christopher’s.
The Year 5 classroom block is home to our science and language rooms.
In science, inspiring the pupils’ curiosity about the world around them, and helping them develop observational, critical and practical skills are our key aims. Science is not only a source of facts and investigations, but a fundamentally important way to view, scrutinise and improve the world.
From Reception to Year 3, science is taught by the class teacher with child-initiated ideas inspiring the lessons. Years 4-6 are taught by a specialist in the dedicated science lab. We follow both National Curriculum as well as ISEB Curriculum in order to prepare any girls sitting science 11+. Outdoor exploration of nature is encouraged in the science garden and its pond, as well as many trips and workshops. There is clear focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts, mathematics) with design and technology projects closely linked to topics studied, giving the pupils a grounding in understanding the crucial role of product design and engineering in our society.
St Christopher’s is an international community and many of our pupils are bi-lingual or even tri-lingual. In our language teaching the emphasis is on understanding and communication. Spanish is taught throughout the school from Reception to Year 6, Mandarin is taught from Reception to Year 4, and French and Italian are offered as after-school clubs. We celebrate European Day of Languages every September with a wide range of activities and workshops which have in the past included Greek dancing, and making national costume hats out of recycled cardboard and paper in DT.
English is taught through literature. The school does not use abridged or simplified texts for this purpose, but rather through books appropriate for the age and ability of each individual pupil. In KS1, the girls read one to one with an adult every day, allowing them to foster a love of reading, as well as a confidence with texts, from the moment they join the school. Emphasis is placed on regular writing; and imaginative, descriptive and reported genres are introduced. Spelling and grammar rules are taught and practised regularly. Higher up the school, a love of language is fostered through open-ended investigations into the origin of, and relationship between, words. At St Christopher’s, we pride ourselves on the flexibility and creativity of our curriculum, and our ability to incorporate topics about which the girls feel passionately into our teaching. As such, we do not ‘teach to the test’. However, the girls are thoroughly equipped to sit various 11+ exams, being exposed to the full range of skills required from a young age. In years 5 and 6, the girls are taught by the head of English, allowing for a consistent approach in exam preparation.
Mathematics teaching at St Christopher’s aims to instil curiosity and confidence for all girls. At all levels, there is a focus on fluency of key facts and procedures, clear understanding and the application of knowledge through reasoning, problem solving and investigation.
To achieve this, we use elements of the Singapore Maths philosophy, introducing concepts first using concrete materials, before moving on to pictorial and finally abstract representations. Mental arithmetic skills are taught discreetly at all levels to aid numerical confidence and dexterity. Progression in problem-solving skills is cumulative throughout the school, with challenge forming a key element.
Each class has a Maths Monkey who helps the children to understand that maths is all around us. Maths Monkey goes home with children at weekends, and the girls are encouraged to take part in mathematical activities such as cooking, using construction materials, map reading, solving puzzles and playing board games with their family.
Girls have two music and one song class each week. During these sessions they create, perform, listen to and explore music in all its guises.
Classroom projects give girls the freedom to apply musical knowledge in their own, unique way, while informal concert platforms offer opportunities to hone performance skills. Girls are introduced to music of all styles and are encouraged to respond critically and emotionally.
St Christopher’s is a singing school and we encourage girls to sing at the top of their lungs, as often as possible! Song is used as a catalyst for music-making and compliments the creative curriculum.
Currently St Christopher’s has only one Reception (4+ entry) class. From year 1 upwards, each year has two classes. Upon moving up to Year 1, the Reception class is split into two and the girls who entered at 4+ are joined by girls entering at 5+. Girls born September to February will usually start in Reception and girls born March to August will usually start in Year 1.
However, we invite Reception and Year 1 girls to take part in the same cycle of assessments precisely to allow for some possible movement between the two groups. We are sometimes able to offer an earlier start to a summer born girl; this is dependent on a number of factors including, but not limited to, overall numbers of candidates, numbers of sibling candidates and a child’s school readiness. Some parents of winter born girls may wish to defer entry to Year 1.
We will run live tours when it is safe to do so. Our current focus is to keep the school as safe as we can for the girls in school. We hope that should restrictions not allow live tours in the school day before you need to make a decision on we will arrange a socially distanced visit to the site at a time when the children are not there but we know that as parents the most valuable experience is seeing our school in action and we are sorry we are not able to do this currently.
At St Christopher’s the focus is on each child as an individual. As each individual child is different, so will be the school that is best for them. We aim to send each girl to the senior school where she will thrive and fulfil her potential. Each year we send girls to all of the major London Day schools, several of them with scholarships and exhibitions. We also send a few girls each year to boarding and out of London schools. Recent results may be viewed here.
Yes we have a bursary scheme and details of the application process are on our website. All financial assessments are undertaken by a third party. We welcome bursary applications and can support 100% of fees where the financial circumstances require this.