A letter from our Headmistress, Kelly Gray

Dear Parents

It feels like a long time ago that I applied to be Headmistress of Bassett House School. As a former teacher at Thomas’s Kensington and Deputy Head of École Française de Londres Jacques Prévert in Brook Green, I knew the area relatively well, had heard only good things about Bassett House School, and it seemed like the perfect place to apply for my first headship. The lead-in for the Bassett headship was very long (all first round interviews took place during deepest lockdown) and I was certainly put through my paces – I was even interviewed by the pupils!  As I reached the final stages of interview, lockdown had lifted, and I could finally experience the inimitable Bassett buzz. As soon as I entered 60 Bassett Road, I was met by the warm, compassionate, and open staff, the beautifully articulate and engaged pupils and our previous Headmistress, Mrs Philippa Cawthorne, who was incredibly passionate about Bassett, and with whom I felt an immediate affinity. I knew then that Bassett was the place for me.

Those interviews were almost four years ago, and May will mark three years since I joined Bassett. The time has passed very quickly, and I feel very proud of what the team and I have achieved in a relatively short space of time: taking pupil numbers back to pre-Covid and pre-Brexit figures, introducing an innovative, new, future-focussed curriculum, which includes horse riding, Spanish and discrete drama, as well as garnering a multitude of academic and pastoral awards and accolades along the way. I have loved every moment developing our amBASSETTors, building the Bassett team – my second family – and getting to know each and every one of our parents, who have always treated me with such warmth. It has been a privilege to get to know every child and family.

I am honoured to have now been appointed by the Governors to take up the headship at another Prep school within the Dukes Education family, Prospect House School in Putney, from September. I will be here at Bassett House for the rest of the school year, and I will ensure a smooth and thorough handover with the incoming head. I am excited to take up this new position and will take with me many wonderful, happy memories of my time at Bassett.

I have no doubt that Bassett House is in excellent shape for the future. With over 150 brilliant pupils, a team of staff utterly dedicated to creating magical learning memories for the pupils and following on from an exceptional ISI inspection, which highlighted everything we do day in day out for the benefit and betterment of Bassett, it is clear that Bassett will continue to go from strength to strength.

Following a rigorous selection process, it gives me great pleasure to tell you that we have appointed a brilliant new Head for Bassett House, Mr Christopher Woodward.  Chris joins us in September from Newton Prep School in Battersea, a large and vibrant co-ed school where he is currently Deputy Head. Chris holds a degree in music from King’s College London and was previously Director of Music at Newton Prep having joined the school in 2017. Prior to this, he worked across a range of year groups in an outstanding Church of England primary school in Ealing.

When Chris visited Bassett House and met children and staff he was impressed by the children’s confidence and achievements, and the innovative approaches and dedication of the staff team. I have every confidence that Chris will bring ambition and inspiration in equal measure to Bassett House and is the right person to build on our success.

Thank you, as always, for your continued support.

Kelly Gray

Where next?