The Stanley Story

  • The British Primary educational philosophy is a unique instructional approach created 50 years ago under the direction and leadership of founding head, Carolyn Hambidge. 

    Today, Stanley British Primary School is a singular independent school serving children from transitional kindergarten through 8th grade. At Stanley, a child's education goes well beyond academics - our teachers and our instruction principles give children the opportunity to reach their full potential academically, creatively, socially, emotionally and physically.


  • Stanley's History of Teacher Preparation
    The Stanley Teacher Prep program was founded in 1972 by former Colorado First Lady Bea Romer and founding head Carolyn Hambidge, both of whom had a vision for a school that would not only teach children but would serve as a model for teaching teachers as well. For Carolyn and Bea, the vision for their first classroom was to nurture the development of human beings — to be a safe place where teachers and children learned and taught.

    Influencing Public Education
    Carolyn and Bea sought funding to launch this new educational concept, the British Primary approach, with goals to influence public education and partner with public teaching entities. 

    Through a partnership with one of Colorado’s higher educational public institutions, Metro State College, they were successful in obtaining grant monies from the federally funded Model Cities Project, which at the time was at the forefront of civic innovation across the country.

    Out of the basement of Montview Presbyterian Church in metro Denver, Bea and Carolyn started their first early childhood lab classroom in 1972 where they hosted interns as apprentice teachers who learned from master instructors.

    Growing Demand
    Based on the growing demand from parents seeking effective teaching for their children, the intern residency program expanded from a single lab classroom into a fully integrated teaching preparation model.

    In 1992, the British Primary teaching approach and residency model were integrated into two Denver public elementary schools. These agreements represented one of the first successful educational partnerships, demonstrating that private entities with resources can effectively work with public institutions to ensure the greater good in educating all children effectively. One of the founding principles of the program continues to be a commitment to reaching children in schools deeply affected by poverty.

    Going Forward
    In 2015, Stanley united with PEBC's Teacher Residency program to create Colorado's largest and most effective teacher residency model. We now work together on recruiting and licensure coursework for Stanley residents.

  • Founding Head Carolyn Hambidge

    Stanley's founder, Carolyn Hambidge, was educated at The Froebel Institute, now a college within the London University system. She and her young family settled in Denver in the early 1970s; soon after, Carolyn and a team of like-minded educators opened a preschool rooted in progressive principles.

    Over a relatively short time, their enterprise developed into the Stanley School, taking its name from the historic Stanley school building they adopted on 13th Avenue & Quebec Street (now Paddington Station Preschool), and later moving to our current location, the former officer's club and barracks of the Lowry Airforce Base.