History

    St Christopher's school has had a range of incarnations – perhaps the most fundamental being when Miss Manning was persuaded to sell the school to a newly formed trust, rather than builders. The money came from one parent and was underwritten by another. In 1972, St Christopher’s School trust was established; the loan repaid and since then considerable building work has taken place to ensure that St C’s is a well-resourced place.

    St Christopher's School was established in 1883 with the earliest written records appearing in 1889 of a small class begun by an enthusiastic educationalist in her father's drawing room.

    This developed rapidly into a preparatory school known as the Hampstead Kindergarten and School, under the leadership of Miss Amy Pridham, who was soon joined by a partner, Miss E G Wells.

    In 1909 Miss Pridham retired and in 1912 Miss Wells also gave up but a small school remained under the headship of a younger teacher called Miss Wright.

    In 1919 Miss Wright took over two local schools, Tremarth and Rusking House and the school acquired its current name. Larger premises were required and 32 Belsize Lane was vacant and available. (A lady called Miss Mole had run a Nursery Training College there for "the training of gentlewomen".) Miss Wright applied for a lease to the freeholders, the Church Commissioners. For some reason the negotiations failed but Miss Wright was not one to take no for an answer. She made a direct appeal to the Bishop of London who intervened and obtained a reversal of the Commissioners' decision.

    In 1937, Miss Wright extended the gym to its present length and obtained the lease of 20 Lyndhurst Gardens, which became the Junior School. In 1950 Miss Wright retired and Miss Bell and Miss Manning bought it from her.

     

     

    A prospectus from the 1930s reveals that the curriculum included:

    Scripture, Country Dancing, Class Singing, Drawing and Painting, Nature Rambles, Work in Science Laboratory, Lessons on Current Events, Handicrafts and Needlework.

    Pupils (boys and girls) ranged in age from "under 7s" to 18 and the fees varied depending on pupil age from 7 up to 15 guineas per term.