We chatted to Head of Buxlow Prep School and Nursery Christine McLelland, who spoke to us about the unique and exceptional education the school provides for its students.

“At Buxlow Prep, we’re educating the leaders of tomorrow,” Christine says. “Every one of our children is nurtured with kindness, celebrated for their uniqueness and empowered to excel.

“As the newly appointed Head, I am thrilled to embark on this journey alongside our dedicated team, inspiring students and supportive community.”

Vision and values

Christine tells us that the heart of their vision is a belief in the power of soft, transferable skills.

“Twenty years ago, during my training, I became familiar with Philosophy for Children and was instantly hooked on it,” Christine tells us.

Philosophy for Children (P4C) is a movement which focusses on language for debate, problem-solving, critical thinking and reasoning. “In a rapidly evolving world where technology dominates, we understand the importance of instilling these foundational skills early on,” she says.

Brent & Kilburn Times: The heart of Buxlow Prep School and Nursery lies in our unwavering dedication to nurturing well-rounded individualsThe heart of Buxlow Prep School and Nursery lies in our unwavering dedication to nurturing well-rounded individuals (Image: Buxlow Prep School)“Our curriculum incorporates these skills, preparing students through real-world application for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, both in their professional and personal futures.”

“I’ve witnessed the transformation of children in previous settings I’ve been in when we’ve applied this to their curriculum, and I am excited to bring it to Buxlow Prep next academic year.”

A wealth of experience

With a career spanning 25 years in private and state education, Christine brings a wealth of experience and a steadfast commitment to fostering a learning environment that goes beyond academics.

“I began as a classroom teacher for reception through to Year 6 in the state-maintained sector and absolutely loved it. I love being in the classroom – I have always cherished the opportunity to make a positive, direct impact on young minds.”

She then went to become Key Stage Lead, PE, ICT and Maths Lead: “I really struggled with Maths growing up, and so when I became a teacher, it was  essential for me to ensure that children didn’t leave with a negative attitude to the subject and were keen to hone their skills.”

This led her to a Deputy Head role, and eventually a Headship, transitioning into the independent sector with education group Cognita at North Bridge House.

“At North Bridge House I had the privilege of overseeing multiple private schools in London, simultaneously. I grew so much within that role, and it really has got me to where I am today – I know what’s important for me as a Head now and what works best for my students,” she says.

“While each School had its own character and challenges, it was a unique challenge which taught me so much about clarity of expectation and leadership.  I was initially seconded the role of Head, at very short notice,  and an inspection within the first six months one of the school inspections came back as requiring ‘improvement’,” Christine explains.

“It was difficult to manage, but with a massive push for recruitment and a drive for excellence, we completely turned the school around within 12 months, which I’m incredibly proud of.

She goes on to tells us about the third school which they opened during the pandemic - “This involved finding new premises and redesigning the entire building from the inside-out, before opening the doors in September 2020, which was a massive accomplishment.”

Christine explained the importance of a school feeling right for her, as well as her being the right fit for the school. “It was the ethos of Buxlow Prep School that truly resonated with me. The heart of Buxlow Prep School and Nursery lies in our unwavering dedication to nurturing well-rounded individuals equipped not only with academic prowess but also with essential soft skills for the future.”

Modern learning

Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the school remains steadfast in their commitment to excellence.

“It was difficult transitioning into online learning practically ‘overnight’ when lockdown first happened,” Christine notes. “But now we can benefit from what we learned during that time, which is why all the teachers at Buxlow Prep School are ‘Apple certified’, meaning they can incorporate the use of technology seamlessly in their classes.

“Students from Year 1 are assigned their own iPad, where they can pivot from books to their iPad as well as using them to complete homework tasks. We utilise a range of educational apps and websites including Atom learning, all of which support the 11+ preparations well ahead of time.

Brent & Kilburn Times: Christine has over 25 years of experience working within both state and private education.Christine has over 25 years of experience working within both state and private education. (Image: Buxlow Prep School)
“I currently teach Religious Studies to Year 5, and if my students don’t understand a keyword, they can search it on their iPad, explain it to each other and then we can get straight back to the lesson – iPads are used effectively to facilitate learning, but the children are never over reliant.”

Christine shares her thoughts on classroom sizes: “We have an average of 10 children in our classes at Buxlow Prep,” she reveals. “I’ve taught classes of 30, and I know the most important factor is the standard of teaching, but having such small classes allows for a great level of 1:1 support that’s tailored to their individual needs.

“Whether it's through innovative teaching methods, small class sizes that foster personalised attention, or leveraging technology to enhance learning experiences, we are dedicated to ensuring that every child reaches their full potential.”


“Our commitment to holistic education extends far beyond the classroom,” says Christine. “We take pride in our close-knit community, where every child is known, valued, and supported. From Friday assemblies that celebrate diverse achievements to our rich history dating back to 1927, Buxlow Prep in Wembley is not just a school, but a family.”

She shares how the teaching staff celebrate each child’s wins and achievements when they meet in the staffroom - “I love how invested the staff are in each child’s journey and experience – it makes our job so rewarding.

“As we look towards the future, we remain focused on preparing our students for success in an ever-changing world. Whether it's through our innovative curriculum, personalised support, or preparing students for their next academic journey, we are dedicated to empowering each child to become confident, compassionate, and resilient individuals,” she tells me.

“At Buxlow Prep School, every child's journey is celebrated and every dream is nurtured. Together, let's inspire excellence and shape the leaders of tomorrow.”

To read more about Christine, visit www.buxlowschool.org.uk/about-us/welcome-from-the-head

To find out more on enrolling your child at Buxlow Prep School and Nursery, Wembley visit www.buxlowschool.org.uk/admissions/visit-us.

To contact the school, call 0208 904 3615 or email admin@buxlowschool.org.uk