Karen O’Connor welcomes you to Berkhamsted Pre-Prep

At Berkhamsted Pre-Prep, we ignite a passion for learning from the very beginning of an exceptional educational journey through our School

Karen O’Connor

Headteacher of Berkhamsted Pre-Prep

Every decision is aimed at offering the very best of a modern, excellent education and igniting a passion for learning from the very beginning of an exceptional educational journey through our school.

Berkhamsted Pre-Prep places each child at the centre of everything we do. Wellbeing is our first priority, and providing a high level of nurture and care is our primary focus.

Our team are skilled professionals who have an in-depth understanding of early child development. At Pre-Prep we aim high to give children the best possible start to their education. Learning opportunities are planned to provide challenge, developing not only knowledge but also the skills and aptitudes that allow our children to question, debate, collaborate and problem solve from a very young age.

Children are taught to recognise failure as the key to success and school is a safe space where mistakes are key to acquiring mastery. Our hope is to encourage their natural curiosity and passion for learning, laying the foundations that will allow them to make the most of the opportunities available to them.

“Outcomes for children are outstanding.”
—ISI Report

The latest ISI inspection of Berkhamsted Day Nursery and Pre-Prep in June 2016 captures our philosophy perfectly: “Outcomes for children are outstanding. All children make excellent, continuous progress in relation to their individual starting points and capabilities due to the nurturing and supportive environment that recognises each child as an individual.”

We strive to build positive relationships where children learn to socialise and work with each other and where kindness and respect are qualities that are celebrated and embraced. Our excellent pastoral care gives our school a family feel where children learn the importance of serving others and the importance of being part of a community where everyone is valued.

I warmly welcome you to visit our school, to see for yourself the innovative and all-rounded provision we have on offer here at Berkhamsted Pre-Prep.

Karen O’Connor BA, MA,  PGCE,  NPQH
Headteacher of Berkhamsted Pre-Prep

Karen’s Biography

Karen O’Connor is the Headteacher of Berkhamsted Pre-Preparatory School and Berkhamsted Day Nursery.

She attended Saint Michael’s Grammar school in North London, completed a degree in English and History at the University of Southampton, followed by a PGCE, and in recent years attained a Masters in Leadership at University College London.

Karen has been a senior leader for over 20 years, leading across a range of maintained primary schools. This has included holding a number of Deputy Head and Acting Headship posts, working in both the London Borough of Barnet and in the Inner London borough of Camden, prior to coming to take up her post at Berkhamsted. She is committed to ensuring that every child has the best possible start to their educational journey and in addition is a Governor of a maintained all through school in Barnet.

Karen and her husband Richard have a daughter who attends Berkhamsted Girls School. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, playing tennis, swimming, travel and joining her daughter on horse riding hacks.

Karen’s Podcast – Pre-Prep Life


Open Events

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As dreamy country schools go, the pre-prep is right up there, while the prep – a five minute drive away – is much bigger and so urban it could almost be London.

Staff share an ambitious vision, with high expectations for what all children can achieve and ensure that high standards of learning and care are delivered.

Inside, the emphasis on teaching and learning, as well as cross-curricular, is evident from the glass-covered noticeboards alone – among the largest and most comprehensive we’ve seen.

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