We’re seeing a quiet movement away from highly pressurised, exam-orientated schools”, says David Bradbury, Headmaster at Portland Place School - an independent co-educational school for ages 10-16. “Parents want their children to get great results, but not at the expense of their wellbeing.”

“The happier a child is, the more receptive they are to new ideas. So we don’t test them left, right and centre. We give them space to discover their passions; small class sizes allow us to see every child’s potential and set it free.”

The Good Schools Guide describes Portland Place as “a haven for creativity”. But this isn’t just about rehearsing at the RADA studios or giving free music tuition and instrument loans to every Year 7 student. The school is also creative in the way they teach science, how they adapt history lessons to students’ individual needs or hold one-minute maths challenges to get everyone involved. The teachers are free to be adventurous and ambitious in their teaching, which sparks a life-long love of learning in the students.

Portland Place has an emphasis on supporting the students’ mental health, and improving their personal resilience, through the student coaching programme. Complimentary to this is their enrichment programme – activities for all students not tied to examinations and allowing them to explore and develop new interests. Activities range from horse riding to photography, rock band to mad scientist.

Students at Portland Place quickly develop a sense of independence, making the most of their central London location by playing sport in Regent’s Park and visiting the world-class galleries and museums on their doorstep.

In 2020, Portland Place pioneered the first hybrid school, offering a mix of online and on-site learning. Portland Place Hybrid School has gone from strength to strength, providing the same standards of academic and pastoral care that befit an Alpha Plus independent school.

“Our aim is for children to achieve personally, socially and academically,” David concludes.

“We’re open-minded about what success looks like because it’s different for every child.”

If you’re interested in finding out more about how happiness gets results at both Portland Place School or Portland Place Hybrid School, visit portland-place.co.uk or contact the registrar at admissions@portland-place.co.uk 020 7307 8700. Entry from Years 6 – 1