Beechwood Park School
Beechwood Park, Pickford Lane, Markyate, Nr St Albans, AL3 8AW, Hertfordshire
Co-educational Day & Boarding Preparatory & Nursery
|Head of School (until July 2023)||Mrs Maureen Cussans|
|Co-ed Age Range||3 months-13 years|
|Number of pupils||529|
|Day fees per annum||£13,170 per annum|
|Average Class Size||16|
|Associations||BSA, IAPS, ISC|
A haven of happiness, curiosity and creativity, Beechwood is a school that dares to be bold, with a child-centred mission to nurture, engage and inspire every pupil. From our rising 3 year olds in the award-winning onsite Woodlands Nursery, through to Year 8 pupils as they forge their paths to senior school, pupils are at the centre of the learning process; highly committed staff help pupils to realise their strengths, overcome their weaknesses and find their passions, during these important years of discovery and development.
The Beechwood culture is committed to challenging and supporting pupils to be the very best they can be, academically and in wider creative and sporting pursuits. The School provides an excellent learning environment, with lively, innovative and engaging teaching delivered by talented and well-resourced staff, and a breadth of curriculum to ensure every pupil thrives and experiences success. In class, pupils make differentiated choices, feel empowered to take ownership to go beyond their comfort zone.
Beechwood's child-centred education focuses on the development of ten skills identified by the World Economic Forum as essential to future wellbeing, academic and career development. As pupils progress, they learn to think, to develop confidence and independence, to be self-driven, reflective and ambitious in pursuit of excellence: pupils work hard because they see the value in doing so. School reports - which, in line with our child-centred approach, are addressed to pupils, not parents, focus on engagement over attainment. Future Skills lessons start in Year 3, designed to develop pupils' core thinking, critical reasoning and learning skills ahead of senior school and beyond. The result? World-ready pupils with lifelong friendships and memories, character and skills for success, ready for the challenges ahead.
Visit any Beechwood or Woodlands Nursery classroom, and see collaboration in practice, pupils communicating articulately, using negotiation skills, emotional intelligence, and confidence to solve problems. Lessons focus on harnessing natural academic curiosity and creativity, using imaginative, hands-on experiential learning - pupils make use of the extensive grounds to test scientific theories and re-enact historic battles. Whatever the subject, loving learning is the goal, rather than "just" examination results (which are consistently excellent, with pupils moving onto leading local day schools and national boarding schools, frequently with scholarships).Pupils make exceptional progress in core subjects; academic expectations are high; they benefit from specialist teaching in French, PE (including swimming), Drama/Dance, and Music from Reception.
Beechwood encourages pupils to be engaged, curious and individual; each pupil can find and pursue their passion, across academic, sporting and creative pursuits. Opportunities for challenge, success and improvement abound, and pupils participate in a staggering, and constantly evolving array of 100+ co-curricular activities (from Ancient Greek to Yoga, via Lego® engineering, pottery, podcasting and Warhammer) designed to engage, inspire, excite and ensure balance and enjoyment.
Pastoral care is critical and staff ensure this is at the heart of the School. Our Pastoral Team includes a School Counsellor and Bruce the Wellbeing Dog. Parents have privileged access to live webinars and a digital library of resources through our pioneering project with Tooled Up Education. Beechwood has a firmly embedded series of School Values spanning both academic and personal aspects of school life. Collaboration and perseverance in learning are complemented by cultivating courage and curiosity as aspirational goals for pupils' personal lives.
Flexible boarding is available from Year 5 ; by the time our Top Formers leave, most will have had some boarding experience. The boarding house is a "home from home" and most boarders live nearby but choose to board for the transformative experience it offers them as they mature. It doesn’t matter how many nights a boarder chooses to spend at School during the week - their bed is their own, and is "booked" by the term. Pupils and their parents choose boarding for a variety of reasons - for the flexibility it offers, to give children a taste of independence, to prepare for boarding life at senior school, or just because they have heard how much fun our boarders have!
Not only do children enjoy their school days and thrive at Beechwood, they will do so within beautiful surroundings where fresh air, grass and trees surround the exceptional facilities. From our Sports Hall, indoor swimming pool and cricket nets to our Music Technology Suite and Recording Studio, from our newly refurbished DT Workshop, Art Studio and Pottery Cellar to our stunning library and extensive Forest School, the buildings, space and teaching provision are there to provide every pupil with an inspiring environment in which to learn.
Whilst Beechwood enjoys a stunning historic location (the school buildings are part of a rich and varied history that involves Henry VIII, Edward VI, King Charles I and II and more recently Queen Mary, consort of King George V), the school is nevertheless modern and forward looking, and primed and ready to make the most of the enormous opportunities for innovation in 21st Century education.
If your child is curious about the world, keen to learn, willing to do their best, to embrace any opportunities thrown their way, and to contribute to school life, we are confident that they will happily find their place at Beechwood.