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Prince George is preparing to complete a major milestone as the future king embarks on his first week of school.
His parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are sending the four-year-old to a £17k-a-year independent school in a Battersea.
Thomas’s Battersea will welcome the young prince and his parents on Thursday, the first day of the new academic year, with Helen Haslem, head of lower school, expected to greet the couple.
George will be smartly dressed in his new uniform, a navy v-neck pullover, matching Bermuda-style shorts, long red socks and black shoes.
The school, where fees cost from £17,604 a year, has been described by the Good Schools Guide as: “A big, busy, slightly chaotic school for cosmopolitan parents who want their children to have the best English education money can buy.
“That is what they want and, to a large degree, that is what they get.”
The guide, which said 19 languages are spoken in the homes of pupils, added: “The school celebrates and appears to make the most of this range of different cultures.”
Kate has already said she is not sure George “has any idea what’s going to hit him” when he starts school.
Thomas’s, which runs a number of schools in London, says on its website: “In each school, we aim to offer the highest academic standards, set within a broad and rich curriculum, which inspires enjoyment, learning and achievement.
“We expect every member of the schools’ communities to ‘Be Kind’.”
Like George, new headmaster Simon O’Malley starts at the school this week. An Aberdeen University graduate, he has taught in Kenya and previously was headmaster of Wellesley House School in Kent, a post he held for 11 years.
Thomas’s Battersea has 560 boys and girls aged from four to 13, with around 20 in each class.
The four-year-old prince and his classmates will be taught a range of subjects and activities from ballet and art to drama, French, music and physical education.
The school serves freshly prepared organic meals for lunch and aims to ensure the young future king becomes a “conscientious and caring citizen of the world”.
In a 2014 Ofsted report, the school was rated outstanding and the children are described as enjoying school life and following the establishment’s most important rule: “Be kind.”
It says the children are adamant there is no bullying and have their own Anti-Bullying Committee, which trains older pupils to help younger pupils in need of peer support.
School dinners boast an impressive range of wholesome options – and the catering team make sure the offerings feature organic meat, vegetables and dairy whenever possible.
Past menu choices range from freshly prepared authentic lamb ragout with garlic and fresh herbs, served with organic grated cheese, baton carrots and cucumber, and steamed fibre-rich whole-wheat twisty pasta, to Mediterranean 50/50 couscous and quinoa, and baked smoked mackerel on a bed of puy lentils.
The school also implements a strict control on the use of salt and sugar. Desserts have included an oven-baked oatmeal and raisin cookie served with a banana milkshake, and steamed jam and coconut sponge with organic custard.
The Prince’s smart, new uniform – which must be bought from John Lewis – includes a £25 navy v neck pullover with red trim and an embroidered red unicorn school logo on the chest, navy bermuda-style school shorts with smart front pleats and belt loop detail, and long red socks with navy stripe detail on the turn-over.
Other items George will be taking with him are a red art smock, which costs from £30, a sports kit including a swim hat, and a pair of black ballet shoes.
George’s compulsory winter and summer uniform, plus sports and ballet kit, will have cost William and Kate more than £365, not including extras such as a winter hat and scarf.
Additional reporting from PA.
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