Emanuel School was founded in 1594 by Lady Dacre. 

      Unusually, it was co-educational from the very beginning. Her original vision for the foundation was 'for the bringing up of children in virtue and good and laudable arts so that they might better live in time to come by their honest labour' and she initially made provision for twenty students: ten girls and ten boys. Today, Emanuel remains fully co-educational, but has grown in size to over 890 students and our aims have become bolder and broader.

      'for the bringing up of children in virtue and good and laudable arts so that they might better live in time to come by their honest labour' 

      Lady Dacre 1594

      Our Aims

      • Promoting independent thought and a lifelong curiosity for learning
      • The pursuit of academic excellence
      • Providing a broad-based education enabling all pupils to discover their strengths, develop their individual talents and prepare for higher education and adult life
      • Providing supportive pastoral care that nurtures health and well-being, emotional maturity and spiritual richness
      • Engendering respect, tolerance and understanding of the importance of caring for others and the environment

      The charitable object of the foundation is the provision of education with a Christian ethos. That is why Emanuel has two Chaplains and assemblies in chapel are part of daily life.

      This vision can only be achieved if a child is happy. So our starting point at Emanuel is to create a safe and caring community – a place where girls and boys can grow and thrive. 

      At Emanuel we are always striving to find new ways to deliver our educational programme. 

      Emanuel is an academic institution. Our best performing girls and boys get straight A*s at GCSE and A Level and go on to prestigious universities such as Oxford and Cambridge. 

      Intellectually pupils are pushed in their lessons and by the impressive array of outside speakers on a wide range of topics from politics, science, academia, the media and business. However we believe that success comes in many different forms and so we are also very keen to admit pupils with a talent in music, art, drama and sport. We award more scholarships in art, music, sport and drama than any other school in London. We encourage all pupils to pursue their passions, whether in sports teams or creatively through drama, music and art. They may discover a love for politics, entrepreneurism, mentoring or debating. It may be the sense of achievement and satisfaction they find in our leadership programme, running the lighting for a school play or going on a trip to one of our partnership schools in India or the USA. There are many opportunities to thrive at Emanuel and we expect our pupils to make the most of what is on offer here. 

      We believe that success comes in many different forms. 

      For example, we are one of the first schools in the UK to introduce leadership training to all students in Years 9, 10 and 11 and the Lower Sixth as an integral part of the curriculum. This is based on a creative leadership programme developed in the USA. It focuses on personal awareness and growth, building effective relationships, motivation and developing leadership skills, all of which will give our students the confidence to contribute to the wider community. This is training for life. We are now delivering some of our lessons in the Sixth Form using the Harkness method. This involves a collaborative approach to learning and is largely student-led. Teachers and pupils are able to visit the Lawrenceville School near Princeton, New Jersey (one of our partner schools in the USA) to see this style of teaching in action.

      We are proud of our deserved reputation for excellence in art, music and drama

      Emanuel pupils are frequently selected to play in the National Youth Orchestra and to sing in the National Youth Choir. Our students win places at the top specialist art and drama colleges such as LAMDA and go on to land major parts in the West End or in films and television. In sport our pupils regularly achieve distinction at county, regional, national and international level in netball, rugby, cricket and athletics. In rowing, one of our most popular sports, we have won the Schools’ Head of the River eleven times. We have produced Oxford and Cambridge blues and over fifty international oarsmen and women.

      We promote the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, because it offers valuable training in self-reliance as well as fostering a spirit of service to others. There are regular rugby, netball and rowing tours, music tours, geography and history field trips all over the world and a foreign language exchange programme. 

      Pupils have opportunities to explore the capital’s museums, galleries, exhibitions and theatres, so conveniently on our doorstep. Our drama students take productions to the Edinburgh Festival. We challenge the organisational and leadership skills of our pupils – whether it is scheduling their work, mentoring other pupils, managing House activities or setting up and running a company in the vibrant Young Enterprise scheme in the Sixth Form. 

      We are just as proud of the pupil who has won a place to study drama at LAMDA as we are of another who has gone to read Veterinary Science at Cambridge. We are delighted to have so many talented pupils here as it makes Emanuel such an exciting and rewarding place to be.

      Kate Bainbridge, Head of Sixth Form.

      OE Tallulah Haddon in the BBCs 'The Living and the Dead.'


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