Kensington Wade was established in 2017 by Professor Hugo de Burgh, an expert in Anglo-Chinese studies. The school received early support from a large number of prominent educationalists, diplomats, authors and politicians from both Britain and China. These supporters were excited by the prospect of launching the first prep school in Britain to offer a fully bilingual and bicultural immersive environment in which children could learn the world’s two most important languages – English and Chinese.
It is well recognised that learning in two languages offers considerable developmental advantages to children. The vision for Kensington Wade was also based on the belief that future generations of global opinion formers and decision makers should learn Chinese at an early age – so they could operate in a world in which Chinese was increasingly influential in culture, business, politics and international affairs.
Kensington Wade’s Founding Head Joanna Wallace, drawing on her many years of experience at the highest level of London independent education, designed everything from the school’s curriculum and ethos to our uniform. She opened the doors to our first intake of Reception pupils in 2017 and joined the executive board in 2021 to oversee the strategic development of the school as Principal.
Kensington Wade takes its name from Sir Thomas Wade (1818-95), a British diplomat and prominent sinologist who spent over 40 years in China in senior government positions. He later became the first Professor of Chinese at the University of Cambridge, wrote the first textbook of the Chinese language in English and originated the Wade Giles romanisation system which is still widely used today.