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Receive a British Education on the Upper East Side at Wetherby-Pembridge School

Receive a British Education on the Upper East Side at Wetherby-Pembridge School

Students enjoy traditional yet forward-thinking schooling at this new English transplant.


Name of school: Wetherby-Pembridge School New York 

Grades: Preschool-Kindergarten

Size of student body: 30-40 

Educational approach or philosophy: “Whilst setting high educational standards Wetherby-Pembridge also focuses on inspiring the individual to gain confidence and reach success,” reads the school’s website. The “whilst” is one clue children will have a charmingly British-influenced experience at Wetherby-Pembridge New York, the nearly 2-year-old American outpost of a group of English schools. Yet don’t confuse British with stuffy; “the one message we are keen to get across is that we’re very warm,” says Kate Bailey, head of school. “Very much, we are about building the child and the student on every level. It’s about developing a passion for lifelong learning.” 

Wetherby-Pembridge, which will begin its second year in September and plans to expand through eighth grade, also embraces academic rigor. “We are geared up to exit our grade eight children into top boarding schools and high schools,” Bailey says. Classes are designed to help children excel in secondary-school entrance exams, including the International Student English Exam and the Secondary School Admission Test.

What makes the school unique: Wetherby-Pembridge follows the Early Years Foundation Stage, which is the early-years portion of the English national curriculum. Children are introduced to numeracy and literacy earlier than in most American preschools, and some English and math classes are single-sex to accommodate boys’ and girls’ different learning styles. And in keeping with the school’s core values—resilience, respect, and responsibility—teachers cultivate the children’s manners, conversational skills, and public speaking ability. Students are also encouraged to be well-rounded by pursuing extracurricular activities such as sailing, cooking, and chess. “We try to do a lot of sport in the body of the actual timetable as well,” Bailey adds. Gymnastics, soccer, T-ball, year-round swimming, and other activities are on offer.

Parents attend a monthly themed family assembly. And each week two student awards go out: “There’s the Golden Apple Award, for academic achievement or considerable improvement, and the Big Apple Award, given out more for things like integrity, kindness, friendship, and manners,” Bailey says. “We are sowing success in everything we do.”


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Main image: Wetherby-Pembridge hails from a longstanding tradition of schools in the United Kingdom.
Courtesy Jeff Zorabedian of JDZ Photography



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