As Eaton Square Upper School, Mayfair prepares to open its doors in September 2017, we speak to the new Headmaster, Phillip Williams, about his vision for London’s new independent senior school.
Why have you moved to Eaton Square Upper School?
I have always loved working in central London and I want to devote my professional life to education. Having the opportunity to not only join a very well-respected and prestigious group of schools, but to also join just as the senior school is launching, is such a huge honour and incredibly exciting.
I also felt the ethos and values of Eaton Square Schools’ governing body resonated with my own. The new school represents a unique opportunity to design an education tailored precisely to the early twenty-first century, whilst still maintaining many of the core qualities we have always held dear. We want to design a school and education that is in line with the trends for the future, while building on firm foundations of timeless values.
What do you hope to achieve at the new school?
There are very few independent co-educational senior schools in central London and none in Mayfair, so first and foremost we want to ensure we are fulfilling a very clear need for more schools that can meet the requirements of families in the area.
I hope that in a few years’ time, Eaton Square Upper School, Mayfair will be the first choice not just for parents in and around Mayfair, but for any London parent seeking a well-rounded, hands-on education for their children that’s built on a combination of holistic and traditional values, catering specifically to the needs of modern children.
I want our education to be exciting and relevant to our times. My decade at Winchester especially taught me how independent education needn’t be too closely tied to government guidelines. I hope our students will never be bored, will look forward to going to school, and will be proud to have attended Eaton Square Upper School, Mayfair for the rest of their lives.
What will the focus of the new school be?
As with all of our schools, our focus is always to provide students with the very best education possible. We understand that all children are individuals with their own specific needs, challenges and goals – therefore, we want to create a learning environment that recognises these individual needs and is tailored as much as possible to each student.
It’s so important that pupils are afforded the opportunity to develop at their own pace and in an environment they feel comfortable with. If children feel rushed, unhappy or stressed – their learning is ultimately the first thing to suffer. Therefore, we want to make sure all our students are as happy as possible and start and end their day with a smile. This family-driven ethos has always worked well for us and is something that will definitely be integral to Eaton Square Upper.
What makes Eaton Square Upper school different?
One of the most exciting and unique things about Eaton Square Upper is that we are starting completely from scratch, yet we still have the benefit of belonging to a very well-established network of feeder schools. This means we can be extremely flexible when creating the right kind of culture, whilst taking all the very best qualities from our existing schools and replicating them.
Our location is something we are also very proud of. 106 Piccadilly is a stunning, grade I listed building, overlooking Green Park. It has a wonderfully rich history, features of which can be seen in every single room – from the ornate ceiling murals and cornicing, to the grand stone staircase with a wrought iron balustrade. Having such a fantastic location means we’ll be able to take advantage of a wealth of resources right on our door step. So whether it’s sports lessons in Green Park, drama workshops in local theatres or simply soaking up the culture of one of the world’s most exciting multi-cultural cities, we’re in the ideal position to do it all.