Unicorn School is an iaps co-ed school for children aged 3 to 11, located opposite Kew Gardens in Surrey.
About the school
Unicorn is a co-educational and independent primary school situated opposite Kew Gardens. We provide a friendly, creative and stimulating learning environment for boys and girls between the ages of three and eleven. Class sizes are small, with a one-form entry of usually no more than 22 in each year. We are unique as a parent-owned school and have a number of second-generation Unicorns as pupils.
Bursaries are available. Unicorn School is non-discriminatory. Once we have an eligible list of applicants, the child and their parents will be interviewed by the Headmaster and the Bursar. References will be taken up and, where appropriate, assessments will be made of academic progress as it’s important that children joining Unicorn at a later stage are suited to the established class. The final recommendations will be reviewed by a sub-committee of Governors.
Polly Fraley appointed as next Head of Unicorn School
The Governors of Unicorn School are delighted to announce that Polly Fraley will succeed Kit Thompson as Head of the School from 1 September 2021.
22nd March 2021 — The Governors of Unicorn School are delighted to announce that Polly Fraley will succeed Kit Thompson as Head of the School from 1 September 2021.
Unicorn, which last year celebrated its 50th anniversary, is a co-educational, independent school located on the Kew Road, opposite Kew Gardens. The school is well known in the local community for its child-centred approach combined with excellent academic results and success in sports, music and the arts.
Polly was educated at the Godolphin and Latymer School before studying History at Oxford and completing her PGCE in Primary Education at Roehampton University. Polly first joined Unicorn in 2008 as Head of Juniors and Learning Support and spent six years with the school before moving to Sheen Mount Primary School to broaden her experience, returning to Unicorn in 2017 as Deputy Head.
The exceptional reputation and standing of Unicorn attracted an excellent field of applicants. The Governors prioritised candidates with a strong affinity for the school’s ethos and values, but who also demonstrated a clear vision and insight into the future educational needs of Unicorn pupils. Consistent with those values, the latter stages of the interview process included a Pupil Panel, whose feedback further informed the Governors’ deliberations. Ultimately, Polly shone through with her professional approach and her passion for the school.
Commenting on her appointment, Polly said, “I am thrilled to be taking over the reins of Unicorn and am committed to adhering to our founders’ vision of providing a broad, exciting and creative curriculum for our children. It will be a privilege to do my part in continuing our 'Unicorn community' ethos, where every child and their family is important and valued.”
Phil Hinton and Geoff Bayliss, co-Chairs or Governors, said, “We sought a leader who will be able to provide the leadership, inspiration and innovation to continue the evolution of Unicorn whilst staying true to its original ethos of which Governors, parents, staff and pupils are so committed. From a very strong field of candidates, we are confident that Polly is an outstanding choice for our next Head.
Finally, we wish to thank Kit Thompson for his eight years of excellent service and leadership of the school.”
Tomorrow will be a good day - a tribute to Captain Sir Tom Moore
We were overwhelmed by the amount of beautiful, moving and thought-provoking tributes that the children at Unicorn School have been sending in after the death of Captain Sir Tom Moore last week.
9th February 2021 — We were overwhelmed by the amount of beautiful, moving and thought-provoking tributes that the children at Unicorn School have been sending in after the death of Captain Sir Tom Moore last week. Annabelle, a year 6 pupil, looked up Sir Tom's collection of medals, chose one, drew and coloured it in 100 times and Tabitha's 100 poppies was also very poignant. Other things the children have done is jumped 100 star jumps, baked 100 biscuits. Max drew and painted 100 rainbows and Julia 100 hearts, Lizzie Rose completed 100 cartwheels and Celine 100 somersaults on the trampoline. Venetia composed a poem with 100 words and Olivia compiled 100 motivational quotes in his honour.
Rest in peace Captain Tom, a hero who gave a nation hope.
UNICORNS DO EXIST … THE ‘ORIGINAL’ PARENT FOUNDED SCHOOL, 50 YEARS ON!
Unicorn School in Kew celebrates its 50th anniversary - Monday 21 September 2020: Today, as we navigate through so much that is new, and adapt in an ever-changing world, the original ‘Parent Founded’ school is fundamentally unchanged.
21st September 2020 — CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF THE UNICORN SCHOOL
Monday 21 September 2020: Today, as we navigate through so much that is new, and adapt in an ever-changing world, the original ‘Parent Founded’ school is celebrating its golden anniversary, fundamentally unchanged.
Unicorn School was founded in Kew, Richmond, by a group of local, pioneering parents and teachers who wanted to create a school that offered a rounded education, encouraged children to flourish creatively and enjoy the process of learning.
Fifty years on, the school has come a long way from the village hall venue (that had to be packed up on a daily basis) and second-hand furniture reclaimed from a GLC furniture dump! Today, based in a converted Victorian house opposite Kew Gardens, the school provides a broad and rich educational experience, alongside an outstanding reputation in the arts. Unicorn covers much more than the National Curriculum, focusing on developing social skills, resilience and a love of learning at all ages, with its ethos remaining as strong today as it was at the beginning.
"…This is a well-maintained, stimulating, setting with happy children engaged in learning" - The Good Schools Guide
Unicorn is very much a local school, with most parents living in and around Kew and the surrounding area. It is proud to achieve excellent academic results as a by-product of the relaxed, friendly and nurturing environment provided by the school.
“The overall high standard of teaching contributes strongly to the pupils’ excellent levels of achievement and personal development, greatly supporting the school’s aim to educate and nurture the whole child” - Independent Schools Inspectorate Report 2016
Headmaster, Mr Kit Thompson, said, “It is a great honour to be at the helm, driving this wonderful legacy forward with the support of excellent teaching staff and the Unicorn community as a whole.’’
Unicorn School pupils thoroughly enjoyed an amazing Arts and Culture Week with the wonderful Tony Gee and his team from Creation Myth Puppets.
2nd March 2020 — Unicorn School pupils thoroughly enjoyed an amazing Arts and Culture Week with the wonderful Tony Gee and his team from Creation Myth Puppets. All the children from Reception to Year 6 spent the week making fabulous bird puppets and rehearsing for the Grand Finale show, 'Conference of the Birds'.
Unicorn School's juniors performed the cantata, ‘Ocean World’ to parents and staff on Monday, a very topical musical which tells the story of a dangerous journey undertaken by a mother whale and her baby calf, with a clear and simple ecological message: If man continues to misuse the sea, he will ultimately destroy all the precious life within in.
17th October 2019 — Unicorn School's juniors performed the cantata, ‘Ocean World’ to parents and staff on Monday, a very topical musical which tells the story of a dangerous journey undertaken by a mother whale and her baby calf, with a clear and simple ecological message: If man continues to misuse the sea, he will ultimately destroy all the precious life within in.
Narrations were read by pupils in Year 6, with solos sung by various children in the juniors. Ted Burke from Friends of the Earth came to watch the performance and speak to everyone about the vital work the charity is doing to reduce plastic waste.
Early registration is recommended together with a visit to the school. We give priority to siblings and the children of past Unicorns. Other places are offered to children on the waiting list at the discretion of the Headmaster. Classes are small, with usually no more than 11 boys and 11 girls. We currently have approximately 172 children in eight classes with a one-form entry. From time to time, places throughout the school do become available – please contact the School Registrar on 020 8948 3926 for details.