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Knightsbridge School prides itself on creating a happy space for children to fulfil their individual potential. Natalie Flaum spoke to Head, Shona Colaço, to find out how children are encouraged to become the best versions of themselves

What makes Knightsbridge School unique?

The really strong sense of community. When you walk into this building, its palpable you can really feel the buzz and sense of energy. We spend a lot of time getting to know our families, to ensure the right fit and continue to gel as one spirited community. As well as the pupils, parents play an integral part of school life and we run mum’s netball, dad’s football, family social events and cricket matches throughout the year. It’s a really happy school where the staff bound in every morning, just as excited about starting their day as the children.

To what extent does the school foster an international outlook?

For many international families, we are the first hub they meet when they arrive in London. Children are encouraged to reflect on how they communicate with each other and what it might look and feel like from someone else perspective. This works on a simple operational level as they enjoy their education journey here. We wish to be globally representative in both how we operate and in our outlook. Where inclusion is honoured, diversity follows and we value all nationalities and cultures in our school - we wouldn’t be representative of London otherwise.

Over the last year, the seniors have done sports education with a large cohort of Afghan refugees in the primary schools we reach out to. We are a fortunate community so acknowledging that and giving back and supporting others is important. Charity is at the heart of what we represent, either related to a personal connection in the school, local area or education and young people.

How has founder and principal, Magoo Giles’ philosophy shaped the school?

Magoo Giles introduced the KS code, which are a set of 12 principles as taught by his mother. These statements are at the heart of every interaction and aspect of school life, and are of great sentimental value. All children receive the code when they arrive and we have pocket size messages that we give to parents too. Magoo Giles once served as a former Coldstream Guard in the Queen’s Equerry, gave the late Queen a code when he visited at an event. So, even our Royal Family are aware of the KS code.

How does the school prepare young minds for the future?

As one of the most vibrant international cities on the planet, we are located minutes away from all the famous London landmarks, museums and galleries. We want to remain agile and consciously welcome this unique wealth of amenities into our education programmes. We are privileged to have access to the outside space at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea, and have built a close relationship with the Chelsea pensioners, who attend our yearly remembrance assemblies and are an inspirational pool and fountain of knowledge with so much experiences to share with our pupils, which is truly humbling to see.

What are the most important aspects of a well-rounded education?

Education is no longer about teachers’ gatekeeping and imparting their wisdom and knowledge to children. Our children must be adaptable, agile, resilient, able to collaborate, cooperate and work independently in any situation. Supporting and providing children with the right vocabulary when they are very young, will equip them for what they need for a successful life ahead.

How do you balance academic rigour with co-curricular activities?

Our curriculum is as broad as it can be. Exams are not what define you as a person. We refer to them in context, in that you must jump through the hoop to find out what happens next. Yes, we pay close attention to how much value we add to a child’s academic data, but we like to think that the true measure of success in education happens later on, in adult life. It’s about acknowledging that perspective and that there’s always something beyond. Self-organisation, self-regulation, self-management, and self-motivation are the biggest skills we can teach children as life lessons. We run over 70 clubs a week from language clubs to self-defence. We still run Greek Club which has a strong connection and history to the Greek community, as the successor to the Hellenic College of London.


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