Welcome to Barbara Speake’s Independent Day School

The independent day schools include the Primary School for ages 4 -11 and the Secondary School for ages 11-16 offering academic and artistic training and qualifications.

In addition to the exceptional performing arts skills gained through training within small groups where one to one focus can be provided, our pupils gain a wealth of self confidence, the awareness to acknowledge and demonstrate creative expression which are key attributes.

Barbara Speake Schools for Performing Arts’ unique curriculum promotes learning paths for all types of students whether they are academically driven, focused primarily on an artistic path or naturally driven to perform despite needing additional learning support.

Our aim with the new structure and leadership for the academic year 2019/20 looks to continue the exceptional vocational studies students traditionally offered by Barbara Speake in addition to implementing additional artistic examinations as well as inspiring our students academic focus.

Our small class sizes enable our specialist teachers to deliver great lesson plans while providing one-to-one guidance, support and evaluation for additional support input by learning support where applicable.

Please explore our sub menu on the left to find out more about our Schools, Admissions and our next Open Evenings. If you would like to come and visit, or have any queries, please contact our administration team at 020 87431306.


View our Prospectus here

School Application Form


Lower Juniors

Lower Juniors consists of our Reception class, Year 1 and Year 2


The emphasis in Reception is to introduce our young pupils to school life.

Students who are four years old before September can apply for a place in reception class. Pupils are required to attend Year 1 following their 5th birthday.

This year your child will continue to learn by doing things for themselves, by exploring and investigating, watching and listening, talking and discussing, creating and communicating — in other words — playing. Play is children’s work and playing hard is very tiring! Your child may be really exhausted and perhaps a bit grumpy when they come home! If they don’t want to talk about their day straight away, don’t worry, they will gradually let you into their new world as time goes by. Play can also be very messy as your child will be learning both inside the classroom with sand, water, paint, but also in the outdoors with mud, leaves etc. so you can expect some mucky clothes at the end of the day!

All children in Reception follow a curriculum called the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and this is broken down into 3 prime aspects and 4 specific areas of learning.

Personal, social and emotional development

One of the prime aspects of your child’s first year at school will be a focus on their personal, social and emotional development, and their teacher will be aiming to give them a good start to their school experience by helping them form positive relationships, build confidence and self-awareness, as well as manage their feelings and behaviour.

Physical development

Physical development is important too: you will hopefully notice that they are starting to move more confidently and to understand how to look after themselves and be healthy.


The final prime area is communication. Children learn through speaking and listening first and foremost, and this year you may notice your child communicating in a variety of ways at school — for example, through stories, in conversations with adults and their friends, or through facial expression, movement or dance.

For the specific areas of learning, your child will learn the basics of literacy — reading, writing and phonics. Barbara Speake uses a specific phonics scheme such as Read, Write Inc. but generally all will use the 44 phonics sounds and 18 diagraphs (two letters making one sound — sh, ch, th, qu, ng, ai, ee, ie, oa, oo/oo, or, er, ow, oi) to read and spell words. In maths, Reception classes will cover numbers, simple sums, shapes, spaces and simple measuring.

Children learn about the world, too, exploring different people and communities, and how we can use different forms of technology in our learning. Finally, imagination and creativity are championed in the area of expressive arts. Your child will explore different media and materials and be encouraged to use their imagination in a range of different experiences.

Specialist Training

Included in the curriculum is the artistic element of learning where our pupils engage in the arts through ballet, tap and musical theatre. Pupils are monitored throughout their development and when they are ready they embark on graded assessments in their dance where students are excited to gain their first level certification.


Year 1 & 2


Continuous provision offers our pupils the chance to engage in active learning through hands-on, play-based activities which they can access whenever they choose.

Continuous provision can enable children to explore recent learning, practice new skills, and follow their own interests, both indoors and out.

Staff will often enhance the provision areas to make links to adult led learning. This gives teachers the opportunity to introduce their adult-led activities, being sure that children have plenty of chances to practise and improve skills, knowledge and confidence in active, independent learning.

Entry to Barbara Speake is by assessment and interview. We are an inclusive school that welcomes pupils who want to nurture their natural talent in performing arts or gain an enriched academic curriculum as well as the confidence to pursue whichever career prospects they choose. Information about open days can be found here. Barbara Speake Schools for Performing Arts fosters academic excellence, independence of mind and reflects the diverse talent the UK has to offer.  Our bursary and outreach schemes makes it possible for any pupil with the potential to thrive at Barbara Speake to achieve and take up a place, regardless of her family’s financial background. Further details about our bursary scheme can be found here. Parents are able to submit an application at any time throughout the year. The forms can be found here. The Admissions Office is always happy to answer any queries from parents and school. Barbara Speake Schools for Performing Arts East Acton Lane, London, W3 7EG 020 87431306

Upper Juniors

Upper Juniors consists of Year 3, 4, 5 and 6


Lower Seniors

Lower Seniors are our exploration years where our Year 7 and Year 8 pupils are introduced to the secondary school full curriculum.


Upper Seniors

Upper Seniors consists of Year 9 – 11 where students choose their cluster of subjects to concentrate on.



While most family choose Barbara Speake for its exceptional performing arts, academic life at this school is uniquely stimulating due to a varied, well laid weekly timetable. Our aim is to instil discipline, focus and determination in each student while all our pupils automatically gain from their time at Barbara Speake, the confidence, skill and opportunity to move ahead

For the first two years of Senior School, all students study a wide range of subjects including English, Mathematics, General Science, Humanities (History, Geography, Religious Studies), Art & Photography, Foreign Languages (Spanish, French), ICT, GCSE Dance, GCSE Drama, Music (Singing), Ballet, Tap and Modern Jazz.

In year 9 students then choose their ‘Pathway to Studies’, this refers to a cluster of subjects with their desired artistic specialist Drama or Dance. Either pathway chosen consists of six subjects in the core curriculum: English, English Literature, Mathematics, Biology, Physics and a modern foreign language. In addition, they choose from five GCSE options History, Religious Studies, GCSE Drama, GCSE Dance and an additional language (Spanish or French). Our students then from their pathway choice, have the opportunity to sit artistic examinations for Dance with IDTA, Drama with Lamda and Music with London College of Music (LCM). Non-examined general studies courses encourage students to develop their scholarly interests exploring cross-curricular connections and to engage in broader discussions about ideas.

There are some pupils that attend our school specifically for the exceptional artistic development the school has to offer and may take a customised pathway of both dance and drama. We meet with these students and their parents and discuss the direction to enable their curriculum to be as fulfilling and captivating as possible. This has allowed us to introduce a Barbara Speake Programme alongside the four academic subjects that all students follow. .

The full curriculum policy, which may change marginally from time to time, is available here.