A forward-thinking, co-educational independent school for 3-11 year olds based in beautiful Bath. We believe happy children learn best... and have the results to prove it!
The Paragon is an independent, co-educational day school based in a beautiful Georgian house a mile from the centre of Bath. We have eight acres of our own gardens and woodland and, at our senior school, Prior Park College, access to superb science, sport and other facilities. Catering for more than 270 children aged 3 to 11, we offer a broad curriculum taught in small classes by teachers with a real passion for their subject.
About the school
Academic life at The Paragon cultivates a love of learning and encourages independent and creative thinking. Our results are impressive. Our children consistently achieve well above the national average and many win senior school scholarships. We work closely with Prior Park to support the children's progress and transition to our senior school. But we think our attraction as a school lies in far more than just our academic success.
We see our job as preparing children for life with all its opportunities and challenges - building the high self-esteem, strong moral values and sense of social responsibility that will help them grow into adults that succeed in the widest possible sense. Far from holding parents at arm's length, we encourage you to get involved - to join our Mums' hockey or Dads' football teams or to lead an assembly talking about your job, your hobby or whatever you feel passionate about.
We don't want The Paragon to feel like an 'island' cut off from the real world. Quite the reverse. So we often invite locals - our postman, a nurse or an underwater cameraman - into class and we regularly take children out into the community, for example, to sing carols or give a concert at our local old people's home. By doing so, we help children develop an awareness of the wider world and the confidence to believe that they can play a part, however small, in making it a better place.
Bursaries are awarded according to the Prior Park School’s Means Tested Bursary Policy in response to parental need, either to relieve difficulty in the family of an existing pupil, or to enable entry to Prior Park by pupils whose parents could not otherwise afford the fees.
The Governors of The Paragon School in Bath are delighted to announce the appointment of Rosie Allen as its new Head. Selected from an impressive field of candidates, Mrs Allen succeeds Andrew Harvey and will take up her post on 01 September 2020.
3rd March 2020 — The Governors of The Paragon School in Bath are delighted to announce the appointment of Rosie Allen as its new Head. Selected from an impressive field of candidates, Mrs Allen succeeds Andrew Harvey and will take up her post on 01 September 2020.
Rosie was previously Head at Radnor House School in Twickenham and is currently one of the Non-Executive Directors of the Radnor House Schools Group. In addition, she holds several Governorships including at the City of London School and Beechen Cliff School in Bath. Rosie was educated at South Hampstead High, a GDST school, before going on to read History at the University of Nottingham, from where she graduated with first class honours. She began her teaching career at Mill Hill County High, before moving into Preparatory specialism with roles at The Hall, Hampstead, and then Sherborne Preparatory School, where she was Deputy Head Academic. Joining Radnor House as a co-founder in 2011, Rosie was responsible for the launch of the school and its successful development over the first few years. She oversaw the academic, pastoral and co-curricular arms of the school, first as Head of Prep, then Senior Deputy and as Head from 2016.
Chair of Governors, Mr Michael King, said, “We are confident that we have chosen an excellent leader for The Paragon and a worthy successor to Andrew Harvey. Rosie brings with her a wealth of educational and management experience which will be of value to the Paragon and to Prior Park Schools as a whole. We look forward to working with her in developing our long-term vision for the school.”
Mrs Allen said, “I am thrilled to be joining The Paragon. It is a truly magical place and my interactions with the school so far have given me a real sense of the breadth and depth of the wonderful all-round educational experience which its children receive from the dedicated staff. I am very much looking forward to getting to know the wider Paragon community better, including parents and alumni, and of course the fabulous children who have all been so welcoming during my visits. I look forward to joining their adventures!”
The Paragon School is an independent, IAPS Co-educational Christian School in Bath for 3-11 year olds.
When Headmaster Andrew Harvey was asked if two pupils could go to school in Holland, he said yes; what a great opportunity. Scott and Elena, brother and sister, had the chance to spend three months at a Jozefschool in Hillegom.
29th June 2018 — It was an opportunity born out of their parents desire for them to improve their spoken and written Dutch and to engage more fully with the Dutch culture. “We felt they would benefit from understanding that things are done differently in other places: that there’s never one right answer or one approach.”
We caught up with the children once they returned to The Paragon and asked them what it was like.
Elena, age 7, who is in Year 3, made some very quick observations that seemed close to her heart; “You can wear whatever you like, the homework is really easy, but there’s no fish & chips.”
Ten-year-old Scott didn’t seem so thrilled with the fact that there were tests everyday, but was happy to report that there were half days on Wednesdays and Fridays. “You don’t do sport at school in Holland and there was no art or music or French. There were English lessons – I was good at them.”
It seems that sport is organised outside of school and Elena tried handball which she loved and Scott played football three times a week as well as rugby – all on top of PE sessions at school.
It may seem like a cliché when talking about the Netherlands, but both children commented a lot about cycling and the canals. Everyone cycles – it’s so flat and easy. There are a lot of canals and they were able to swim in them and also to ice-skate – in the side sections where the boats and barges rarely travel.
In true younger sister fashion, Elena told how Scott went home on his own. Mum Claire clarified;
“Children have much more personal freedom in the Netherlands than in the UK. Partly that’s afforded by the fact the country is set up for cyclists so it’s safe for children to cycle alone (no one wears helmets, by the way!) but it’s also just more accepted. Scott cycled to school on his own and often met a friend on the way. I cycled with Elena. Scott was allowed to come home on his own as long as we had agreed it in advance. Elena wasn’t. Although she was allowed to go and play with friends in the neighbourhood alone. They also take their rowing boat to the other side of the canal to play unsupervised in the park. They have telephones and we make sure they take them with them.”
It is evident that both children enjoyed the experience enormously and made friends easily, but they both said they preferred The Paragon. “The playground is bigger and better.” said Elena. Scott reported; “It was good to learn more Dutch and it was fun making new friends. I liked the teachers, but I like the teachers at The Paragon more.”
What does mum think? “I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly they slipped into the rhythm of Dutch school. Fortunately, the Dutch system works slightly differently and both children found they were well ahead in maths for their year group making the transition easier. Dutch was obviously a different matter and while they’re both fluent speakers, their spelling and grammar is behind for their age group. That said, in the space of the three months, they both improved greatly and Elena, in particular, was taken with the different formation of letters she had to learn in hand writing.”
Some say that your school days are the best days of your life and yearn for that time, others have nightmares that they are stuck back at their school. We asked Nina Pugh, Dedicated Support Worker at The Paragon what she thinks.
28th June 2018 — Nina is just finishing Year 6, for the second time. For the last seven years she has supported Hester, a visually impaired child through her junior school days. She started when Hester joined the school's Squirrels Nursery, aged three. She has facilitated Hester's education every year of school, working alongside class teachers, teachers for the visually impaired, the Learning Support department and Hester's family. Nina's role is to help Hester access the curriculum and overcoming the obstacles of limited sight. The role is varied and has provided Nina with a wonderful insight, an adult's view, of modern day junior school education.
What are your overall impressions of today’s education for youngsters?
Pupils are very much encouraged to be children with their unique personalities. A lot of learning in the early years is done through play and creativity.
The children are inspired learners as they approach certain subjects from different perspectives. For instance, each term they will study a topic, which is often taught across the curriculum in art, ICT, geography, history, science, creative writing and so on and they have a chance to do independent research, read relevant novels, work in groups and hold presentations. When they show an interest in something, the teachers let them explore it.
All the children use technology and Hester has her own, such as a magnifier, Perkins Brailler and high spec BrailleNote with specific software.
“Hester and all the children are much more intuitive when it comes to using technology, than I am or will probably ever will be.”
You went to school in Norway, how does that differ from school here?
I went to school in the 1970-80’s and, like here, I am sure the school system there has changed a lot in the last forty years. I didn’t start until I was 7 years old. Looking back, we were more passive learners than children are today, copying from the blackboard and using a lot of text books and work sheets. There were no school uniforms and no yummy lunches. The winters were great as we would have ski-days instead of PE. I also enjoyed special subjects such as woodwork, crafts and cooking classes, all of which were part of the curriculum.
My school was quite strict and we stayed with the same class and teacher for several years. Having a new class teacher each year at The Paragon motivates the children in different ways. It inspires me. Although there is a consistent approach to planning, marking and class rules throughout the school, each teacher bring something new and I and the children have enjoyed the change of pace.
Here, and nowadays, every child is known and supported very well, not just Hester. I have been a Paragon parent myself and always felt that there was a good dialogue between school and home.
What have been your favourite lessons or activities and why?
I personally really enjoy art. There is always a buzz in the art room as the pupils’ are allowed to express their creativity using different media, such as paint, clay, fabrics etc. As mentioned, the work set is often Topic related or inspired by certain artists (some visiting) or artistic movements/periods.
The Paragon has lots of 'special days' when everyone is off timetable and works together on a subject. We just had an amazing Science Day, where the children were grouped into their houses and took part in exciting experiments. Hester and the rest of Year 6 were given the task of researching, explaining and demonstrating hands-on activities to the younger years which was fantastic.
I can think of so many activities I’ve loved – Roman Day, learning different dances across the decades, the Year 5&6 Play – it is wonderful to experience something, not just passively absorb it.
You've been on lots of school trips with The Paragon, including camping overnight.
I have seen the value in terms of giving the pupils a certain independence and bonding with their peers, as well as being a fun learning experience. Some children were a little worried about staying away from home, but they all seem to come back a little bit more grown up and walking a little taller.
What are your thoughts on repeating these school years?
I appreciate it much more second time around. The way things are taught is much more inspiring. With the ‘behind the scenes’ insight that you have in this role, you can see how much planning and logistical detail there is for everything that happens. You realise how special it is and how lucky the children are to have this experience.
I am sad to let go of this experience, even though there is a natural end. I feel privileged to have been part of these children’s lives and to see how they have grown, the camaraderie between them, their independence and confidence, but also how they look out for each other. If I had the chance, I would do it all again.
Drum roll please...we are proud to introduce you all to Vincent van Owl, the owlet we have sponsored, designed and decorated for the Minerva Owls of Bath Sculpture Trail.
26th June 2018 — We are delighted to sponsor two owlets in this much loved activity, one for our own pupils at The Paragon, but also Whoolio!, a very colourful owl decorated by the pupils at Three Ways School, a special needs school in Bath.
The trail, which follows on from the much loved Lions of Bath in 2010 and King Bladhud's Pigs Trail in 2008, will start at the end of June and run until September.
Vincent van Owl, The Paragon Owlet, features the stars and skyline of Widcombe, with a magical twist. The design was inspired by the work of Vincent van Gogh and his painting, Starry Night, an artwork studied by pupils at The Paragon, particularly in Reception Class when the children study light and dark and in Year Two when they have been learning about Space. We have taken the opportunity to learn much about owls and our Pre-Prep children enjoyed a special owl day.
The harmonious use of colour and loose brushwork lent itself to multiple contributors and all The Paragon pupils have the opportunity to bring Vincent van Owl to life whilst he has been residing in the art room at The Paragon.
Vincent and Whoolio have flown off this week to join the sculpure trail and we recommend that everyone goes to visit him and his friends on the trail. There will be upto 85 Owls and a parliament of Owlets across the city. The Owls of Bath trail maps is available from outlets across Bath. The free Owls of Bath interactive app will be available , with links available via the website and there will be QR codes to download the Owls of Bath app on every Owl's plinth.
Vincent will be on public display in Widcombe Parade over the summer holidays and he will be back in the autumn to take up his permanent residence at The Paragon.
You know its been an inspiring assembly when the chatter in classrooms and the staff room alike is all about the guest speaker. The Paragon has fallen a little bit in love with Lizzy Yarnold.
24th April 2018 — Lizzy, accompanied by fellow Skeleton Olympian, Jerry Rice, came to share her story and inspire us all.
For a woman that hurls herself down slopes at 90mph Lizzy came across as down-to-earth, very likeable, and enthusiastic about sport, encouraging children and life in general.
Double Olympic Champion Lizzy Yarnold MBE cemented her place in sporting history not once, but twice. Lizzy sensationally won her second Olympic Gold at the PyeongChang 2018 Games, adding to the Gold she won in Sochi in 2014, becoming the first Team GB winter athlete to retain their Olympic title. Team GB’s most decorated Winter Olympian was also the first British athlete and the second person ever to claim the Grand Slam of skeleton titles when she won every major title in her sport in just 407 days back in 2014/15.
Lizzy shared with us her love of all sports, but particularly netball, football, javelin, shot put and heptathlon as well as her secret ambition to be an Olympian. It was interesting to hear about her trial at the Girls for Gold programme and selection for skeleton sport, something she didn't know much about before.
The children loved handling Lizzy's two gold medals, earned at the Sochi and Pyeongchang in South Korea. She and Jerry taught everyone how to say hello in Korean (ann-yeong-haseyo) and deliver a respectful bow.
Her determination and natural competitiveness to do well is evident. She, like everyone, feels nervous, feels scared, recognises the dangers in what she does, but she continues on and doesn't give up. A powerful message for the young people in her audience.
PARAGON SCHOOL ARTWORK TO BE SHOWN IN THE NATIONAL GALLERY
Pupils from The Paragon School are delighted to hear that their work will be displayed in the National Gallery in London this summer. Year 4, working with Miss Alexandra Hucks, Head of Art, took part in the Take One Picture Exhibition.
21st March 2018 — The picture, Pintoricchio's Penelope with the Suitors which was painted around 1509, was the source of inspiration. Although many schools take part in the Take One initiative, only a few are selected to be displayed.
The eight and nine year olds spent time looking at the themes within the Pintoricchio painting. The Paragon pupils were interested in the image of Penelope weaving and the view of the boat through the window. They identified these two main themes and discussed the idea of voyages and journeys as a lead for the project. The children had lots of ideas about Penelope weaving or stitching a story about the voyage of Odysseus boat, where it had come from, why it was returning home, what the sailors had seen on their travels.
The children investigated the work of St Ives artist Alfred Wallis and they engaged well with his naive style of painting seascapes. They worked from observation from a range of model boats to create the forms for the ships and sail boats in their own seascapes. Maps of Cornwall were used to collage the backgrounds for the paintings and the children focused on mixing a range of blues for the sea. They had fun naming and recognising places on the maps that they knew and decided that the boats in seascapes they had painted could be traveling to different places on the map.
The idea of sewing a journey was inspired from a discussion on mapping journeys and the aboriginal use of journey lines as a visual record. The children thought it would be fun to connect places on the maps with a woven or stitched line. Many of the children had not sewn before and they enjoyed experimenting with the new technique.
"We learnt about how the importance of the colour blue had been used in the painting of Penelope and we then experimented with mixing shades of blue in our art lessons. I loved creating a stormy sea using a range of blue shades. I also liked drawing from the model boats my teacher had. The best part was stitching journeys from one place on the map to another." Eve, aged 8
The display takes place in the Sunley Room at The National Gallery from Wednesday 9 May until Sunday 12 August. Admission is free.
Our admissions process is very simple and it starts with a conversation.
We know that you’re making an important decision about your child’s future. We believe that we offer an exceptional educational experience. Let us show you how. Come to our next open morning and talk to us about a future for your child at The Paragon School.
Explore the school, grounds and facilities. Take a tour with our pupil guides and talk to our skilled and welcoming teachers. You’ll be able to park in the school grounds and refreshments will be available throughout the morning.
If you would like to visit sooner, our Registrar, Mrs Braithwaite, will be happy to arrange a tour on a typical school day.
Or, you can call or email us now for more information.