Profile: Immanuel and St Andrews Primary School

[Photo: courtesy Immanuel School year 5 blog]

Immanuel and St Andrews School is a unique primary school in Streatham. Built on the site of the current Sainsbury's superstore in 1861, it moved to its present location behind Sainsbury's in the mid-1980s. Not only does it have the longest name of any primary school in the area, but Immanuel reflects the ethnic, cultural and faith-based attributes of the entire Streatham community across its intake. Head James Robinson describes this as the spice that makes Immanuel school tasty.”

Although it is a Church of England school, with 50% of the intake reserved for churchgoers, the school is popular with all faiths because of its emphasis of celebration of faith as a key part of the curriculum. Perhaps this and the cultural diversity of the school might mean that educational attainment suffers? On the contrary; for the past three years, the school has been in the top 10% of Lambeth borough primary school attainment in all subjects and this has been a consistently upward trend as well. It's not surprising that the school has been oversubscribed for the past three years.

Immanuel and St Andrews was Streatham's smallest primary schools until school expansion meant it needed to grow to be a two-form entry school and will once again rank as one of the smallest primary schools in the area as others are in the process of expanding to three or four form entry. As a result, the school community is very friendly and parental involvement is very high. An indirect effect of this is outstandingly good behaviour on the part of children: there have been no exclusions for some years, and Mr Robinson expects this to continue to be the norm.

Because of expansion, the school needed new classrooms and other facilities. An ambitious building project over past year has brought the school's facilities right up-to-date and the children love their new classrooms.

The Head and Governors are bringing out a new Charter for parents this year, pledging additions to the curriculum including a range of foreign language teaching, and the very popular “Forest School” where the children study plants and wildlife on Streatham Common.

Hype aside, it's not all work. The school's football team consistently ranks in the top half of the Lambeth Primary Schools League and competitive tag rugby, cricket, chess and athletics are regular events.

As always, we recommend speaking to a parent of a child at any school but the ones we spoke to echoed what the head said about the culture, the enthusiastic community and the academic focus. We can say with confidence this is one school to watch very closely in the future.