Head's Welcome and Ethos

Head's Welcome and Ethos

Our Head, Mrs Beth Friel is currently on maternity leave.  We are delighted that Mr Graeme Smith has joined us as Acting Head during this period and shares the same ethos and educational philosophy.

Welcome to Clifton Lodge School

What makes Clifton Lodge special?  People.

Every school has people, but our job is first and foremost about developing people. At Clifton, our philosophy is driven by putting people first and particularly being pupil-centred. Many prep schools will talk of providing a broad range of opportunities and whether they are academic or strong pastorally. At Clifton, the academic and pastoral are completely interdependent and thus we do not just provide a broad range of opportunities, but we mentor and support the pupils to make the most of these opportunities.

Whilst our pupils learn subjects through our rigorous core-knowledge curriculum, they are also using real-life skills to apply this knowledge. This is an active and engaged process which taps into different senses and styles of learning. We include all children in all aspects of their learning. This is easy to say but in practice means individualising the learning and empowering the children. They do not need to fit a mould, they do not have to be extroverts, they do not have to have great short-term memory, but they do need to learn how they tick and take ownership and responsibility.

Teaching can often focus upon developing IQ and ‘scores on the doors’ but educators must not neglect developing EQ (Emotional Intelligence). Not only will an emotionally intelligent child learn better, but they will also know how to learn better, they will be more secure in themselves (and know why) and be able to empathise with others. Being more secure means they will be better equipped to cope (and indeed thrive) with the life ahead of them, not just in senior school but beyond. At Clifton Lodge, our pupils’ ‘scores on the doors’ improve beyond expectations and are sustained far beyond the next test or exam.

So, at Clifton Lodge, it is not one size fits all. Each child, each member of staff and each family are respected for who they are and what they bring to the community.  Such individualisation of learning is a challenge for all, but it is mighty rewarding. In teaching the children we also mentor them, so that each child knows how best they learn best. Our school virtues of Love, Integrity, Self-Control, Wisdom, Fortitude and Justice do not just happen. They drive all that we do and are cultural. We want to help our children to make their own decisions, learn from mistakes, be independent, use their initiative, be ambitious, collaborate, respect diversity, be safe, be happy, lead and thrive on challenge.

The school motto is “Optime” – Try always to do your best. The tricky part is that none of us knows where our best is until we test our comfort zones and find our zone of flow where the level of challenge, skill and knowledge lead to something really special. We make this process fun and it does develop a happy, confident, friendly environment for all, of which we are proud.

I look forward to welcoming you to the Clifton Lodge community so that you can experience this people-centred approach for yourselves.

Graeme Smith

Acting Head
Our detailed school aims and ethos statement can be found here

Current Parent

Parent Survey

We are very grateful and would always recommend families to this nurturing and holistic school. Thanks for the support and a well rounded education.

Current Parent

Parent Survey

High aspirations and expectations for all pupils. Children are nurtured to achieve their potential. Small school and attentive teachers.

020 8579 3662