These are the six best state primary schools around Richmond and Kew. Located within four miles of each other they follow a north-east to south-west line from Kew to Petersham. They are among the top 15% of schools in the country, as determined by the Schoolsmith Score. Four rank in the top 1% of primary schools in England. They are;
- The King’s Church of England Primary School in Kew,
- Kew Riverside Primary School,
- Marshgate Primary School in Richmond,
- St Elizabeth’s Catholic Primary School in Richmond,
- The Vineyard School in Richmond, and
- The Russell Primary School in Petersham.
The differences between primary schools are less obvious than prep schools, and deliberately so. State education is designed such that all children should receive the same curriculum irrespective of where they are taught, and who is teaching them. So, to differentiate, parents have traditionally looked to SATS results and Ofsted gradings. Beyond that, there is also a commonly held belief that Church schools are ‘better’ schools. That’s pretty much it. Hopefully, this comparison might shed a little more light.
There is also a partner review for prep schools in the same area; Richmond and Kew. And that can be found here (soon).
Age range, gender mix, and faith
Five of the schools educate children from age 4 (Reception) to 11 (Year 6). Russell Primary teaches from age 3 to 11, which means it also has a nursery class. Though please be aware that attendance at the nursery is no guarantee of a place in Reception.
Each school provides access to out of hours care from 7.30/8.00am to 6.00/6.30pm. Most care is on the school premises and provided by external contractors. Some is provided by school staff, the benefit being continuity of care. This is the case after school at Marshgate Primary, and before school at St Elizabeth’s Catholic Primary
As far as gender mix goes, they are all co-educational, as indeed are almost all state primary schools.
Two of these schools are church schools, one Church of England and one Catholic. They are also Voluntary Aided schools, which means that faith may have a role to play in the admissions policy. The other four are community schools teaching a mandatory RE curriculum.
In terms of admissions policy, please refer to the individual schools’ websites. All operate a catchment system.
But the faithful have some priority at the church schools if they are oversubscribed for places in Reception. As indeed they are.
The Vineyard School, Marshgate Primary, King’s CofE Primary, and St Elizabeth’s Catholic Primary are regularly oversubscribed on first preference choices. Additionally, The Vineyard and St Elizabeth’s are among the five most popular schools for applications in the borough of Richmond upon Thames.
Ofsted inspectors consider three of these schools to be Outstanding and three Good, according to their latest inspections.
St Elizabeth’s Catholic Primary, The King’s CofE Primary, and Marshgate Primary are the Outstanding schools. The Vineyard, The Russell Primary School and Kew Riverside Primary are the Good schools.
Buildings and grounds
These Richmond and Kew primary schools occupy purpose-built facilities, built in the 1950s/60s in residential areas. Russell Primary has three acres of grounds.
Class sizes and classes per year
The best primary schools in Richmond and Kew are different sizes. Which goes to show that size isn’t everything when it comes to being a high scoring school. But size can be important as it influences the look and feel of a school. And larger schools tend to have more facilities, though not necessarily in proportion to the number of pupils.
- 2 one-form entry schools; Russell Primary and Kew Riverside Primary,
- 1 one-and-a-half-form entry school; St Elizabeth’s Catholic Primary,
- 2 two-form entry schools; Marshgate Primary and The King’s CofE Primary,
- 1 three-form entry school; The Vineyard School.
Class sizes at each school are typically 30 pupils.
Facilities at Richmond and Kew state primary schools
They all have some specialist facilities to support their curricula. For sport, they all have playgrounds and a school hall. All but Marshgate Primary have a grass field, and St Elizabeth’s Catholic Primary has an Astroturf pitch.
Beyond the multi-purpose hall, arts facilities are limited in most cases to an art room or a music room. Marshgate Primary has both, and an outdoor drama area. As for academic facilities there are libraries, environmental areas, and IT facilities. Kew Riverside and Russell Primary have a food tech room, and there’s a science lab at Vineyard School.
So can we say that one school has better facilities overall? No, not really.
All these schools teach a broad curriculum in line with the National Curriculum.
They are similar in that they are mainly traditional subject based curricula. They do use some cross-curricular topic-based methods, particularly with the humanities subjects, to develop pupils’ enquiry skills. But most topics are within the subjects.
The educational experience will be different at the church schools compared to the non-religious schools. Curricula at Catholic and Church of England schools emphasise Catholic or Christian social morality. It’s most apparent in lessons such as PSHE, Citizenship and in assemblies. RE, naturally, plays a prominent role in the curriculum as a core subject along with English and maths. And there is usually daily worship.
All the schools teach French as their foreign language. The National Curriculum stipulates that language teaching must start from Year 3 at the latest. Marshgate Primary and The Russell Primary teach French from Year 1 and Reception, respectively.
All of the schools include some element of outdoor learning in their curricula, particularly for their youngest pupils.
Each of the schools offers educational trips. Marshgate Primary, St Elizabeth’s Catholic Primary, King’s CofE Primary and Russell Primary have the most residential trips.
Sport at Richmond and Kew state primary schools
Each school teaches between nine and thirteen different sports.
But the commitment to sport at The Russell Primary has been recognised with a School Games Mark Gold accreditation.
The size of the primary school, in terms of number of pupils, has a bearing on the strength of their sports teams. The idea being that larger schools have a larger pool to select from. All of these schools provide and encourage participation in a wide range of sports. But, on average, we should expect The Vineyard and possibly Marshgate Primary and King’s CofE Primary to have the strongest teams. Local bragging rights maybe.
However, no Richmond and Kew primary school has a sustained track record for sporting achievement in national competitions.
The arts at Richmond and Kew state primary schools
The schools all promote engagement with the arts on an individual and ensemble basis. For example, there is art, a choir, instrument learning and dramatic performances at each school. Arts provision is probably best at The King’s School and Marshgate Primary, in and out of the classroom. Marshgate Primary previously had an Artsmark Gold accreditation.
Pupils at each of these six Richmond and Kew state primary schools benefit from a larger number of after-school activities than at most primary schools. There’s sport of course, but there are up to 10 clubs for academic enrichment, hobbies, and the arts at each one.
This pick of primary schools in Richmond and Kew achieve good academic results. On a four-year average, they are all in the top 20% of UK schools for attainment in Year 6 SATS. Which means they are consistently good, not just scoring well one year for a particularly able year group.
Of particular note is St Elizabeth’s Catholic Primary School which is in the top 1% nationwide. Marshgate Primary is in the top 3%. The Vineyard and The King’s CofE Primary are in the top 4%.
As for pupil progress, again measured on four-year average from SATS results, they are above average. Though rankings are lower than for attainment, possibly because of the high level of ability of pupils on entry. Marshgate Primary is in the top 7%, and St Elizabeth’s in the top 8%.
Choosing the best state primary school in Richmond and Kew
The freedom to choose a state school is somewhat limited as applicants need to live within the school’s catchment area. But there may be a choice of more than one. Most Education Authorities offer the opportunity to select preferred schools, albeit from a limited list.
These schools are all among the top 15% best primary schools in the country. As I hope this note has shown, any one of them should be a preference. Four of these Richmond and Kew primary schools rank significantly higher. King’s CofE Primary and The Vineyard School rank in the top 120 English primary schools by Schoolsmith Score. St Elizabeth’s Catholic Primary is in the top 50, and Marshgate Primary is in the top 20.
|Best Richmond & Kew primary schools
|Marshgate Primary School
|St Elizabeth’s Catholic Primary School
|The King’s Church of England Primary School
|The Vineyard School
|The Russell Primary School
|Kew Riverside Primary School
Why are these the best state primary schools in Richmond and Kew?
Schools that feature in these notes are those with the highest Schoolsmith Scores, not just in Richmond and Kew, but nationwide. The Schoolsmith Score is an objective score that accounts for 50 different aspects of schooling, grouped into 5 broad categories. You can read more about them from the links below, and the Schoolsmith Score here.
- their achievements; academic, sporting and artistic,
- the breadth of the education they offer,
- the quality of teaching,
- their facilities,
- their look and feel.
Need more help?
By now you might be wondering what you should be thinking about when choosing a school? It happens to everyone. Why not try my 7 one minute quizzes for those starting their school search? Wood, trees, and all that…