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Open Days


Open-day season is here: a chance for parents to hear the head, see the dorms, meet the pupils and generally get a sense of whether a school might suit their child. Keep scrolling for our handy list of all upcoming open days in each area of the country, and get booking – spots fill up fast...

And remember: if you can’t snag a place at any of these open events, don’t panic. Schools will always be as accommodating as possible to prospective parents, so our advice is to pick up the phone and contact the school to arrange a visit.

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London

Prep Schools
Falcons School , Putney

Open Morning 9.30-11.00am - 10 May 2024
Open Morning 9.30-11.00am - 07 June 2024

Small but perfectly formed with senior school-style amenities, this London prep has a powerhouse head who puts children’s wellbeing at the centre of everything. Having just turned co-ed, it’s going through a period of change – but with its recent acquisition by Inspired Education, it’s getting an injection of funding that will no doubt see it fly even higher.
Falcons School
Fulham Prep, Fulham

Prep Open Morning 9.45-11.00am - 12 June 2024

This busy prep in a prime London location is filled with charming pupils who have a real sense of purpose as they go about their days. It’s part of an all-through offering, with a wonderful sense of continuity – executive head Bex Tear describes the Fulham family as the ‘perfect incubator for learning’. Ideal for London parents who want to keep their children close, Fulham Prep is ticking all the boxes.
Fulham Prep
Griffin House Preparatory School, Aylesbury

Open Morning - 03 May 2024
Open Morning - 17 May 2024
Open Morning - 07 June 2024
Open Morning - 28 June 2024

Just a 30-minute train ride from London Marylebone, non-selective Griffin House is nestled in five acres of idyllic Buckinghamshire countryside. And it’s the appreciation of the great outdoors that sits front and centre here, with the grounds used for practical learning, sporting success (there’s a tennis court, all weather pitch and an adventure play area on site) and pastoral initiatives including regular walks, meditation and poetry sessions in the grounds to boost pupil wellbeing and encourage children to appreciate the natural environment.
Griffin House Preparatory School
Hall School Wimbledon - Junior School, Wimbledon

Whole School Open Morning 9.00am-12.00pm - 11 May 2024
Whole School Open Morning 9.00am-11.00am - 11 June 2024

Offering a fabulously well-rounded curriculum from a young age, Hall School Wimbledon’s unique learning framework is anchored around six core principles: mindset, digital literacy, health and wellbeing, entrepreneurship, sustainability and global awareness.   
Hall School Wimbledon - Junior School
Ibstock Place Prep School, Roehampton

Pre-Prep and Prep Open Morning - 11 June 2024
Whole School Open Day (Prep and Senior) - 21 September 2024
Pre-Prep and Prep Open Morning - 08 October 2024

A school within a school, this co-ed prep on the edge of Richmond Park offers a ‘safe passage’ to the senior school it is a part of.
Ibstock Place Prep School
Ivy House School, London

Open Day 10.00am - 14 June 2024

Newly co-ed and multi-faith, Ivy House (formerly St Anthony’s School for Girls) is a poster prep for holistic education. At this small and nurturing north London school, parents don’t need to choose between academic rigour and an idyllic childhood – pupils here get both. Relaxed, quietly confident and enquiring children are the wonderful results.
Ivy House School
King's College Junior School - Wimbledon, London

7+ Open Morning - 14 June 2024

King’s College School, Wimbledon is the high-octane school du jour – and if you’ve got your eye on a highly coveted place there, this is a very good place to start. Autonomous but part of the same leafy campus as the big school, the junior school is home to 280 or so of south-west London’s brightest buttons, unmissable in their cheery cherry-red blazers.
King's College Junior School - Wimbledon
King's House School, Richmond

Open Day - 26 April 2024
Open Day - 10 May 2024
Open Day - 14 June 2024

This in-demand prep in leafy Richmond is going co-ed beyond nursery age from September 2024 – which will no doubt make it an even more compelling choice for local families. Something of a Tardis, there’s plenty of space for playing and exploring, and the lovely nursery is one of the most nurturing we’ve visited.
King's House School
Notting Hill Prep School, Notting Hill

Open Day 9am - 13 May 2024
Open Day 9am - 06 June 2024
Open Day 9am - 17 June 2024

There’s a unique approach at this forward-thinking London prep where pupils’ minds are nurtured by the principles of Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats, and dancing, yoga and mindfulness are all part of the school day. A school where, head Sarah Knollys says, ‘marvellous mistakes’ are celebrated, a protective veil is thrown over childhood, with academics and emotional intelligence blossoming in the intimate and relaxed environment.
Notting Hill Prep School
Old Vicarage School, Richmond upon Thames

Open Morning - 04 October 2024

This wonderfully nurturing all-girls prep that sits on Richmond Hill in a Grade II-listed, crenellated castle is academically rigorous, but not to the exclusion of letting pupils savour childhood, and it delivers a holistic education with excellent pastoral care. In the words of two Year 5 girls: ‘It is a really kind school, the relationships between the year groups are very powerful, and the teachers understand the pupils and take time to help you.’ For local families looking for an exceptional single-sex school for their daughters, Old Vicarage School (OVS) is a sure-fire choice.  
Old Vicarage School
Queen's College Preparatory School, London

Open Morning - 26 April 2024
Open Morning - 10 May 2024

With its central London location, this precursor to Queen’s College is a bustling hub of energetic, exuberant and purposeful pupils exuding a friendly, charming vibe.
Queen's College Preparatory School
Shrewsbury House Preparatory School, Surbiton

Open House - 17 May 2024
Open Morning - 28 September 2024

Alta Peto (Aim High) is an apt motto for this Surrey prep school, one of the oldest in the country. Academic results are top-notch, but boys don’t just have an opportunity to shine in the classroom – there is something here for the actor, the artist, the sportsman and the musician. The aspirational mindset encompasses moral values too, with good manners and kindness instilled in every pupil. Head Joanna Hubbard says the secondary schools she’s in touch with tell her they can always identify a Shrewsbury House boy as ‘he will be the one who notices the boy needing friendship’.
Shrewsbury House Preparatory School
St Benedict's Junior School, Ealing

Nursery & Junior School Open Morning - 16 May 2024

An all-through Catholic school grounded in Benedictine values, this west London co-ed offers one-stop education from age three to 18. A love of learning is instilled in pupils through madcap scientific experiments, dressing up as Tudors, Egyptians or whatever the topic may be and plenty of exciting trips, including the much-anticipated Year 5 residential to Seville.
St Benedict's Junior School
St James Preparatory School, London

Open Event (9am-10.45am) - 01 May 2024

Every school likes to harp on about happiness, but there’s an all-pervading sense of joy at this unconventional west London prep, where every lesson starts and finishes with a mindfulness pause, Sanskrit is on the curriculum from nursery and lunches are strictly vegetarian-only. St James offers a traditional British education laced with Eastern wisdom, and its academics are strong – and pastoral care even stronger.
St James Preparatory School
Surbiton High Girls' Prep School, Kingston upon Thames

Open Morning - 03 May 2024

Established in 1884, Surbiton High is a leading independent school founded on the belief that being happy and successful as a child is the foundation of future accomplishment. The girls’ prep caters for Reception to Year 6 on a roomy campus with well-equipped classrooms and multifunctional teaching spaces. We were shown round by girls who were confident, purposeful, motivated, articulate and fiercely proud of their school – what better advertisement could there be?
Surbiton High Girls' Prep School
The Village School for Girls, Belsize Park

Open Morning 9.30am-11.30am - 08 May 2024
Open Morning 9.30am-11.30am - 19 June 2024

Exciting changes are afoot at this small, all-girls’ prep near Hampstead Heath. From September 2024 it will be taking in one Year 7 cohort a year until 2029 when it will be a fully-fledged senior school, educating girls with its uniquely progressive approach all the way through to their GCSEs. With new head Kirstie Hampshire at the helm and numbers flourishing, we can’t wait to see its progress as it spreads its wings.
The Village School for Girls
Tower House School, East Sheen

Open Morning 9.15am - 10 May 2024

The sound of happy voices floats down the street as you approach this south London gem. The only single-form, all-boys’ school in the area, it offers a unique education for the lucky 180 pupils who attend. And if that sounds like a competitive bun fight, it’s not. Proudly non-selective, Tower House School takes boys whatever their ability or learning challenges. Much like its Tardis-like campus, there’s a lot more going on than meets the eye here, with the pupils’ individual needs at the heart of everything.
Tower House School
Wimbledon Common Preparatory School, Wimbledon

Open Morning 9.30am - 05 June 2024

A joyous atmosphere pervades this London pre-prep in leafy Wimbledon Village that goes by the rather lovely nickname of ‘Squirrels’. Part of the King’s College School Corporation, many of the boys skip over the road to the junior school when they turn seven, but while it is selective, there’s no hothousing here – as head Andrew Forbes says, it’s a ‘happy, fun, buzzing school’.
Wimbledon Common Preparatory School
Senior Schools
DLD College London, South Bank

Open Event 5pm - 09 May 2024

This day and boarding co-ed for teenagers aged 13 to 19 is something out of the ordinary. Slap bang in central London, its bold, undulating façade nestles on the South Bank, offering a dynamic, grown-up space for students from over 60 countries to learn and live within its walls. Yet for all its modernist looks, at its essence, says deputy head academic Dr Sarah Watson, it’s ‘a small school environment, with small classes and lots of attention’.
DLD College London
Fulham Senior School, London

Prep Open Morning 9.45-11.00am - 12 June 2024

This small new school’s trajectory is already impressive – it opened its doors in 2017 and moved into a purpose-built facility in 2021. Set up in response to persistent pleas from parents to provide the next step after the prep school (which had so delighted them), Fulham Senior is rightly proud of its origins as a ‘prep that has grown upwards’.
Fulham Senior School
Hall School Wimbledon - Senior School, Wimbledon

Whole School Open Morning 9.00am-12.00pm - 11 May 2024
Whole School Open Morning 9.00am-11.00am - 11 June 2024

Offering a fabulously well-rounded curriculum, Hall School Wimbledon’s unique learning framework is anchored around six core principles: mindset, digital literacy, health and wellbeing, entrepreneurship, sustainability and global awareness. 
Hall School Wimbledon - Senior School
Ibstock Place School, Roehampton

Senior School Open Evening - 08 May 2024
Whole School Open Day (Prep and Senior) - 21 September 2024
Senior School Open Morning - 16 October 2024

This all-through school on the edge of Richmond Park seamlessly combines tradition and innovation, offering pupils a ‘safe passage’ from prep to senior. The Independent Schools Inspectorate recently graded it excellent in all areas, its highest rating, and it’s easy to see why. With its clear-sighted head and polished atmosphere, Ibstock Place is a serious London contender.
Ibstock Place School
King's College Senior School - Wimbledon, London

13+ Forum 9.30am-11.15am - 10 June 2024
16+ Open Evening 5.45pm-8pm - 10 June 2024
11+ Open Evening 5.45pm-8pm - 12 June 2024

Academically ambitious and pastorally supersonic, King’s College School Wimbledon is firing on all cylinders – and if we could turn back the clock and go back to school, this one would be high on our list. King’s Wimbledon is a major player in boys’ education – and since the sixth form went fully co-ed back in 2010, girls have been getting a slice of the pie too, with places for both boys and girls becoming more sought-after year upon year.
King's College Senior School - Wimbledon
More House School, London

Open Day - 22 May 2024
Open Day - 20 June 2024

Somewhat under the radar, More House has evolved from its religious roots (it was founded by a group of parents frustrated by the lack of Roman Catholic secondary options in south-west London) to become one of the most progressive – and exciting – schools in London. Offering a creative curriculum, it encourages its girls to thrive by following their dreams to wherever they might lead them, whether that’s Oxbridge or an apprenticeship. Pupils are hand-picked by the head, Ms Hagerty, who will know instinctively if they are right for More House or not, but there’s no snooty selectivism here. In fact, pupils come from far and wide, with one or two bursary recipients in every school year, plus academic scholarships offering discounts on fees for Year 7s and Year 12s.
More House School
Queen's College, London, London

Open Day - 16 May 2024

Times have certainly changed at this traditionally liberal, non-competitive school. Queen’s College is a calm, warm, friendly place that now ranks alongside the best of the London day schools, firmly on the 11+ list for many parents. With a broad church of ability, academic results are rising, the quality of teaching across the curriculum is excellent and there is a real sense that this is a school that is going places.
Queen's College, London
Royal Russell School, Croydon

Open Event - 30 April 2024
Open Event - 16 May 2024
Open Event - 11 June 2024

This school is a real oasis, not just for its surprisingly spacious campus that makes it hard to believe that Croydon is a stone’s throw away, but for the wonderful culture of acceptance that allows pupils’ confidence to soar. Individuality is celebrated and, in the words of one sixth former, there’s ‘something here for everyone, scholar or beginner’. Diverse and inclusive, with top-notch facilities, it’s a place where pupils can really grow and find their passions.
Royal Russell School
St Benedict's School, Ealing

Senior School Open Morning - 02 May 2024

A school where ‘you really can have it all’ says the head. Expect good academic results, coupled with an all-round education and a pastoral system underpinned by the Benedictine ethos that values every child as an individual. Staff are interested in their pupils and demonstrate that they care – building a rapport that supports student growth, even when it’s tricky. Parents and children are encouraged to learn together by attending lectures exploring themes such as parenting and PSHE or simply enjoying a soprano recital together.
St Benedict's School
St James Senior Girls' School, London

School Tours, 9.00am - 10.45am & 11.00am to 12.45pm - 01 May 2024

Meditation, vegetarianism, mindfulness and Sanskrit are all embraced at this gently quirky, spiritually minded west London senior. Here, lessons begin with moments of stillness, and high-spec hi-tech is sensitively combined with significant teacher input – in return, girls blossom into happy, hardworking, humble sophisticates. It’s selective and small, with half the 11+ intake arriving from the on-site prep (pupils move seamlessly between the two, with boys heading to St James Senior Boys’ School) and the rest from a smattering of states and independents across London. All benefit from the singular ethos at the heart of St James, which in the words of one sixth-former has ‘a unique talent for letting us express ourselves and be individual with our own specific talents’.
St James Senior Girls' School
Surbiton High - Senior School & Sixth Form, Kingston upon Thames

Open Morning - 30 April 2024
Open Morning - 07 May 2024
Open Morning - 09 May 2024
Sixth Form Open Evening - 13 May 2024

Spread across five buildings in Surbiton, this fantastic girls-only school also has a 39-acre sports facility a few miles away and a boathouse on the Thames. It’s an excellent all-rounder with a ‘Nourish to Flourish’ charter for wellbeing, national success in sports and trips that range from yoga and surfing in the South of France to tours of Peru, South America and Barbados.
Surbiton High - Senior School & Sixth Form
Wetherby Senior School, London

Open Evening Event - 01 May 2024

Wetherby Senior is still a relatively new school – but with numbers going from strength to strength, its success is already abundantly clear.
Wetherby Senior School
Whitgift School, South Croydon

Spring Open Afternoon 1pm - 4pm - 09 May 2024
Autumn Open Event 9am - 1pm - 28 September 2024

Successful, popular and a real contender on the London day-school circuit, Whitgift has wowed us. Academic results are stellar, sport and co-curricular spectacular, the pace of change and innovation terrific and the social conscience inspiring.
Whitgift School

South East England

Prep Schools
Battle Abbey Prep School, Bexhill

Prep & Nursery (Bexhill, ages 3 months - 11), 10.00am-12.00noon - 27 April 2024

  A school where character is valued above academic ability, Battle Abbey Prep takes a holistic approach to education. Keep children children is the ethos energetically embraced by all the staff, not least the charismatic head, Craig Austen-White. The result is uninhibited pupils who love to learn. The senior school a quarter of an hour’s drive away allows for access to ‘big-school’ facilities, and, of course, it’s a natural next step that takes the stress out of 11+ decisions. 
Battle Abbey Prep School
Benedict House Preparatory School, Sidcup

Open Morning (whole school) - 26 April 2024
Opening Morning (whole school) - 17 May 2024
Open Morning (whole school) - 07 June 2024

With plans to expand its site and double its numbers, this small co-ed prep school in Sidcup is one to watch. Its 100 per cent success rate in the 11+ Kent Test means it’s super popular with parents who have an eye on a local grammar school, but the family-style nurturing and focus on the individual mean it is no exam factory. 
Benedict House Preparatory School
Broughton Manor Preparatory School, Milton Keynes

Open Morning - 27 April 2024
Open Afternoon - 03 May 2024
Tours at Ten - 20 May 2024
Open Morning - 24 June 2024

Led by joint heads Rachel and Jeremy Smith, pupils beetle about in distinctive red-trimmed blazers at this co-ed prep school set on the outskirts of Milton Keynes. Most join the ISI-rated Outstanding nursery from the age of two months, before progressing up to the pre-prep and prep school in the school’s main building.Co-curricular is important – pupils’ horizons are broadened with regular trips to the likes of the House of Parliament, the Sky TV studios and Bletchley Park, and the school has recently been awarded the prestigious Silver Artsmark Award. We love the sound of the Spinney, a unique learning space set in the campus’ beautiful gardens.
Broughton Manor Preparatory School
Caldicott School, Farnham Royal

Open Day - 18 May 2024
Open Day - 12 October 2024

A country education within a minibus ride of the metropolis: this sporty all-boys prep gives its pupils the opportunity to stretch their legs, and their minds, in 40 splendid Buckinghamshire acres.
Caldicott School
Chandlings Prep School, Oxford

Whole School Open Morning 10.00am-12.00pm - 08 May 2024
Whole School Open Morning - 21 September 2024
Early Years Open Morning - 11 December 2024

A high achiever set in 60 acres of beautiful countryside just outside Oxford, this prep has all the facilities you might expect and more, from a riding school and nine-hole golf course to a ballet studio and pet goats – and it’s a pretty special place to spend the halcyon days of childhood. Chandlings Prep's values are written by the pupils, and head Christine Cook is often seen greeting everyone at the gate – just two examples of the inclusive, pastorally driven care here.
Chandlings Prep School
Cheam School, Newbury

Open Morning, 10.00am to 12.30pm - 18 May 2024

Undisputedly smart on the outside, delightfully down to earth on the inside, this impressive Berkshire prep is one of the oldest in the country – and wears its history and heritage with pride. It’s a winning mix of old-fashioned country values and progressive quirkiness, where academic standards are sky-high and children hop off to top boarding schools all over the country. An exciting place to be.
Cheam School
Cranleigh Preparatory School, Cranleigh

Open Morning - 11 May 2024

A country prep an hour’s drive from Wimbledon with forty rolling acres for pupils to run free, and an all-round education delivered with a relaxed, but focused attitude – it’s no wonder more London parents are eschewing the capital’s fevered competition for Cranleigh Prep.
Cranleigh Preparatory School
Crown House Preparatory School, High Wycombe

Open Morning Y1 to Y6 and Pre school -2, 9.30am-11.30am - 02 May 2024
Open Morning Y1 to Y6 and Pre school -2, 9.30am-11.30am - 23 May 2024

There’s no doubting the appeal of Crown House’s ability to successfully shepherd most of its pupils through the 11+ (especially when you consider it’s non-selective), but what makes this small Bucks prep school so special is that academic excellence is not a result of hothousing.
Crown House Preparatory School
Cumnor House Sussex, Haywards Heath

Open Week 13th-17th May - 13 May 2024

Non-selective, wonderfully community-minded and small enough for every parent and pupil to be known by name – the ethos at this peppy, broadly local co-ed Sussex prep is a celebration of childhood, which our return visit once again confirmed in action. Packed with happy, charismatic children, Cumnor House Sussex has long been a draw for families seeking life outside of the capital – and those with their eye on a highly successful senior school too.
Cumnor House Sussex
Dulwich Cranbrook - Prep School, Cranbrook

SUMMER CELEBRATION OPEN MORNING - 22 June 2024

Set on a glorious 50-acre campus just an hour from London by train, Dulwich School Cranbrook was founded when the headmaster of Dulwich Prep London evacuated his pupils here to his in-laws’ house after the outbreak of the Second World War. What was originally a group of huts in the orchards surrounding the main manor house has grown into a thriving, incredibly open and welcoming school for 400 children aged three to 13.
Dulwich Cranbrook - Prep School
Eagle House School, Sandhurst

Open Day - 11 May 2024

Founded in 1820, Eagle House is one of the oldest prep schools in the UK and it’s not hard to see why it survives and thrives today. Set in 30 pretty acres surrounding a grand Victorian former hunting lodge, it’s an unpretentious place, holistic in approach, allowing plenty of tree climbing and outdoor exploring while maintaining an excellent academic record. Kindness, respect and courage are the trio of school values and children are expected to really take ownership of all three as they make the most of everything this ‘have a go’ environment has to offer.
Eagle House School
Edgeborough, Farnham

Open Morning - 14 June 2024

Easily commutable, yet leaps and bounds less pressured than London schools, this laidback, co-ed prep brims with green space and traditional values.
Edgeborough
Elstree School, Newbury

Open Morning 10am-12 noon - 03 May 2024

Stunning grounds, fabulous facilities and a classic, traditional experience underpin life at this real gem of a prep school. Loved for its family values, Elstree School boosted its already significant appeal by opening its doors to girls in 2020 – a brilliantly planned and executed move.
Elstree School
Eton End School, Datchet

Open Afternoon - 18 May 2024

Nurture is a central tenet at this prep school in Berkshire, with new head Rachael Cox placing the physical and mental wellbeing of pupils at the heart of every decision. A five-year plan includes a total refurbishment of classrooms to both reduce sensory overload by replacing bright colours with neutral tones and boost an atmosphere of safety and cosiness with plants, lamps, comfy furniture and blankets for children to curl up under. 
Eton End School
Frensham Heights Junior School, Farnham

Year 3 Adventure Taster Day 9.30am-3.10pm - 29 April 2024
Whole School Open Evening 5.30pm-8pm - 10 May 2024
Reception Minibeast Safari Taster Day 9.30am-11.30am - 17 May 2024

Frensham Heights is a Surrey day and boarding school with its focus firmly fixed on the future. Since its foundation in 1925, it has sought to provide an alternative style of education based on mutual respect, tolerance and generosity of spirit. Its invitation to ‘come and be you’ and focused attention on inspiring each child to improve themselves – in any way – was a pleasure to see. With no uniform and pupils on first name terms with their teachers, we love the less formal, more progressive educational ethos here – one that celebrates children in the most holistic way possible, and brilliantly prepares them for a world beyond school.
Frensham Heights Junior School
Godstowe School, High Wycombe

Whole School Open Morning - 11 May 2024
Nursery Stay & Play Event - 16 May 2024

All-girls’ boarding preps are a rare breed. But that’s not the only reason that Godstowe School stands out from the education crowd. It’s non-selective yet highly successful, with pupils regularly scoring first-choice places at top senior schools as well as an impressive number of scholarships. The school is located in 12 acres of parkland overlooking High Wycombe (the Lodge pre-prep and nursery are also on-site).
Godstowe School
Highfield and Brookham , Liphook

Open Morning - 27 April 2024

Highfield and Brookham is flourishing – it’s got a gloriously family-friendly, homely feel, academics are top notch, and childhood is really valued. All of this helps shape the schools into one of the South East’s top non-selective preps.
Highfield and Brookham
Highfield School for Girls, Maidenhead

Open Morning - 17 May 2024
Open Afternoon - 21 June 2024

This small prep in Maidenhead has a wonderful family feel, with lots of inter-year mixing and a relaxed, happy atmosphere. The new head Sarah Wallace took up post in November 2023 and is a familiar face having previously been deputy, making for a super-smooth handover. Pupils do everything with gusto, in and out of the classroom, and it really feels like their views and opinions count. And with a near 100 per cent pass rate in the Buckinghamshire 11+, all options are open to them when they leave, confident in themselves and with a kind outlook on the world.
Highfield School for Girls
Holme Grange School Prep, Wokingham

Open Day - 03 May 2024

There’s a small-school feel to Holme Grange and a real sense that each individual is valued for what they bring to the community, not just academically but in sport, creative endeavours and, most importantly, values including kindness, generosity, acceptance and respect. These principles truly permeate the school and the nurturing environment is palpable – and utterly embodied in the impressive head Claire Robinson. Generally, children progress from the prep to the senior, Eaton Grange, but ambitions to move elsewhere are also encouraged.
Holme Grange School Prep
Horris Hill School, Newbury

Boarding Open Morning - 27 April 2024
Lower School Fun Day - 11 May 2024
Whole School Open Morning - 20 June 2024

Newly co-ed, this former all-boys’ prep has an enviable 100 per cent success rate for getting pupils into top public schools, and with girls now in the mix too, its charmingly traditional values are accessible to all. A school where pupils get as absorbed in play as they do in learning, Horris Hill seems adept at honouring its historic roots while keeping its eyes firmly focused on what a modern education needs to deliver. And with head Rob Stewart at the helm, it feels like the school’s future is bright.
Horris Hill School
Hurst Preparatory School, Hassocks

Open Morning (11+ entry) - 10 May 2024

There’s a real wow factor to this school nestled in the beautiful Sussex countryside, with wonderful architecture and grounds that stretch over 140 acres. Sequestered within the same site as big sibling Hurstpierpoint College, this prep benefits from all the senior school’s facilities, the expansive campus and the filter-down values of working hard, doing good and engaging. Academics are rigorous and co-curricular abundant, with pupils emerging in Year 8 ready and eager for senior school.
Hurst Preparatory School
Longacre School, Guildford

Open Day - 07 June 2024

Pupils at this co-ed day school located in the beautiful Surrey Hills describe it as a place that’s encouraging, full of opportunities and fun. It’s clearly a formula that makes for a happy learning environment. Head Matthew Bryan says ‘pupils come here and flourish’ whatever their ability. ‘We don’t believe in making a choice between happiness and academic success; children deserve both.’ Pupils are brilliantly prepared for the 11+ and regularly leave with a haul of scholarships. But classroom learning is balanced with plenty of time to get muddy in the nine-acre grounds, which includes a wilderness area rather wonderfully known as ‘Badgerville’.
Longacre School
Moulsford Prep School, Wallingford

Open Morning - 10 May 2024

A rare find, Moulsford is a muddy-knees, high-energy prep school devoid of fuss or flash. An incredibly popular choice among the Oxfordshire gang, it is very accessible, fervently all-boys and gives pupils the chance to try out boarding – even if the majority are day boys. It may have a lower profile than Ludgrove, Papplewick and Summer Fields, but there’s a sense of tradition in the air – and with an idyllic setting on the banks of the Thames, a sense of fun too.
Moulsford Prep School
Rose Hill School, Tunbridge Wells

Open Event - 18 May 2024

This fantastically innovative school – where learning is engaging and fun and pastoral care is second to none – has become a real contender in the competitive Kent market. In the words of one pupil, ‘You feel like you belong here at Rose Hill,’ a testimony that says a lot about the safe environment and ethos of kindness and care that envelops the school.
Rose Hill School
Somerhill, Tonbridge

Open Morning 9.00-12.00pm - 17 May 2024

A stunning school that offers the best of both worlds, Somerhill School mixes co-ed and single-sex education under one (rather splendid) Jacobean roof. Pupils are divided into four teaching groups: Saplings, a fully-hybrid outdoor nursery for children from two to four, co-ed Somerhill Pre-School for Reception to Year 2, Yardley Court for boys from Years 3 to 8 and Derwent Lodge for girls from Years 3 to 6 – it sounds complicated at first, but once you wrap your head around it, the genius of the set-up is revealed.
Somerhill
St Andrew's Prep Eastbourne, Eastbourne

Open Morning - 04 October 2024
Open Morning - 05 October 2024

Located in the sunny Sussex coastal town of Eastbourne, St Andrew’s Prep offers its pupils a superbly rounded education just over an hour from the capital and a stone’s throw from the seafront.
St Andrew's Prep Eastbourne
St Lawrence College Junior School, Ramsgate

Whole School Open Week 6th-10th May - 06 May 2024

Located just a mile from the golden sands of Kent’s Ramsgate beach, this school has a really sunny feel to it with a campus that has everything its super-energetic pupils need, from light, bright classrooms and a pool to playing fields and an adventure playground. Classes are small, the atmosphere is friendly and, with a senior school on site, it’s a compelling one-stop shop from age three to 18.
St Lawrence College Junior School
Summer Fields, Oxford

Pre-Prep Open Morning - 10 May 2024
Prep Open Morning - 11 May 2024

A breathtaking 70-acre secret garden behind high walls and iron gates right in the centre of north Oxford’s Summertown, Summer Fields is a modern yet traditional prep with high standards and impressive results. While still a boarding school at heart, it has moved with the times and embraced a more versatile offering – and the relatively new pre-prep has only served to strengthen its already significant appeal.
Summer Fields
Sunningdale School, Sunningdale

Open Morning 10.00am - 12.30pm - 04 May 2024
Open Morning 10.00am - 12.30pm - 18 May 2024

If you’re after the quintessential English all-boys prep school, look no further. Sunningdale is a proper, traditional prep (in the very best sense of that word), family-owned and with a wonderfully warm atmosphere. 
Sunningdale School
Sutton Valence Preparatory School, Maidstone

Open Morning - 03 May 2024

Spread across two rural sites in the Kent countryside, Sutton Valence has a 450-year history. Best-known for its tight-knit community and impressive roster of co-curricular opportunities – from CCF and volunteering to musical performances at prestigious venues in Amsterdam, Prague and Rome, it’s popular with families both in the southeast and further afield.
Sutton Valence Preparatory School
The New Beacon, Sevenoaks

Open Morning - 17 May 2024
Nursery Stay & Play Open Morning - 15 June 2024

There’s a lovely family feel at this all-boys prep in Sevenoaks which has strong community ties, including with the local girls’ schools. Solidly academic with a great sporting reputation and excellent pastoral care, it mixes tradition and innovation with aplomb, producing happy, purposeful and well-rounded pupils. Now part of the Tonbridge group, boys can make use of the senior school’s fantastic facilities and many choose to go there when they leave, though the prep remains proudly independent.
The New Beacon
The Pilgrims' School, Winchester, Winchester

Pre-Prep Open Day - 03 May 2024
Whole School Open Day - 11 May 2024

Tucked away between Winchester Cathedral and Winchester College on Cathedral Close, this magnificent prep (and pre-prep) for 270 boys oozes history and has lovely listed buildings arranged around a gorgeous quad. Yes, it could have a teensy bit more space, but what it lacks in on-site sports facilities (playing fields are just down the road and pupils use the state-of-the-art hall and courts at the College), it more than makes up for in other ways.
The Pilgrims' School, Winchester
Thornton College Prep, Milton Keynes

Meet the Head - 15 May 2024
Whole School Open Morning - 28 September 2024

Very much an all-through school, Thornton College is one family on one site with a focus on inclusive values, and an incredibly inspiring head at the helm. Girls we met were confident, chatty and exceptionally well behaved – and nurture is well and truly baked in.
Thornton College Prep
Westbourne House School, Chichester

Open Morning - 18 May 2024

An idyll of all that is enchanting in childhood – sprawling grounds, woodland playgrounds, acres of playing fields, mucking about in boats on the school lake... Westbourne House has managed to bottle that elusive formula of what makes a prep school perfect: not too big (360 pupils), a small family feel, and yet an immensely large site, fizzing energy and, oh yes, top-drawer academics.  
Westbourne House School
Windlesham House, Pulborough

All school open morning - 11 May 2024
Pre-Prep open morning - 23 May 2024

Windlesham House is one of those schools that evokes an incredible emotional response, with many parents themselves having spent Elysian childhoods here. In the heart of rural West Sussex, this is the oldest prep in the country, yet in recent years there has been an injection of fresh energy into the school, which has brilliantly adapted to the needs of modern families and a vibrant local market too. There’s a wow factor here, with parents and pupils alike bowled over by everything it offers.
Windlesham House
Senior Schools
Benenden School, Cranbrook

Open Day 9.15am - 11 May 2024
Open Day 9.15am - 15 June 2024
Open Day 9.15am - 25 June 2024

Why do we love Benenden so much? Because it does exactly what it says on the tin: traditional, all-girls full boarding brought bang up to date. For the academically competent all-rounder who is happy to live in a lovely rural bubble, this is a reassuringly solid choice – and a school that’s firing on all cylinders.
Benenden School
Cranleigh School, Cranleigh

Open Day - 15 June 2024
Sixth Form Open Morning (16+ entry only) - 22 June 2024

Basking in 240 acres of leafy Surrey countryside, Cranleigh School is a bit of a Goldilocks school – not too big, not too small, good for girls, good for boys, not greedy for the sportiest or the cleverest, but rather valuing what every pupil brings to the community. A real family atmosphere and a down-to-earth attitude creates a school filled with happy, well-rounded children confident in their own abilities.
Cranleigh School
Downe House, Thatcham

Information evening for day girls - 30 April 2024
Open Day - 18 May 2024

A top choice for families looking for the proper full-boarding experience from the get-go, Downe House combines tradition with a refreshing balance of work and play. There’s an unapologetic understanding that hard work and focus are important, but girls do very well academically as a result.
Downe House
Eastbourne College, Eastbourne

Open Morning - 11 May 2024
Sixth Form Open Evening - 19 September 2024
Open Morning - 05 October 2024

Eastbourne has a best-of-both-worlds location between the South Downs and the sea – head Tom Lawson waxes lyrical about the wellbeing benefits of living by the water. Outdoorsy boys and girls run along the beach after lessons, go mountain biking over the hills and spend the summer term sailing and windsurfing.
Eastbourne College
Frensham Heights School, Farnham

Whole School Open Evening 5.30pm-8pm - 10 May 2024

Frensham Heights is a Surrey day and boarding school with its focus firmly on the future. Since its foundation in 1925 it has sought to provide an alternative style of education based on mutual respect, tolerance and generosity of spirit that educates the whole child. Its invitation to ‘come and be you’ and insistence on inspiring each child to improve themselves – in any way – is a pleasure to see. With no uniform and pupils on first name terms with their teachers, we love the less formal, more progressive educational ethos here – one that celebrates children in the most holistic way possible, and brilliantly prepares them for a world beyond school.
Frensham Heights School
Heathfield School, Ascot

Open Morning 9.45am - 12 noon - 11 May 2024

‘The merit of one is the honour of all’ is the school motto here – and there is certainly much to be merited at Heathfield. Cast aside any preconceptions you may have about this all-girls, Ascot-based senior and prepare to be bowled over by an unashamedly girls-first ethos which puts its pupils at the forefront.
Heathfield School
Holme Grange School - Eaton Grange, Wokingham

Open Day - 03 May 2024

This is a school that knows how to bring out the best in each and every pupil. The more academically minded are stretched, while the diverse offering means everyone achieves their potential with no sense of hierarchy of routes. Underpinning everything are values that will see the pupils grow into kind and responsible young people, confident to take their place in the world. There are no plans to extend to A-level at present as the school is happy it prepares pupils well for the range of options post-16.
Holme Grange School - Eaton Grange
Hurstpierpoint College, Hassocks

Open Morning (11+ entry) - 10 May 2024
Open Morning (Senior School and Sixth Form) - 11 May 2024

This unashamedly academic school nestled in the beautiful Sussex countryside has a real wow factor, with wonderful architecture and grounds that stretch over 140 acres. Ambitious for all its pupils to be the best they can be, there’s a Challenge Grade system that involves each individual being set a personal target so they compete with themselves, not a whole cohort. A warm and friendly community, with boundless opportunities to try new things – from journalism to sailing – means children are happy and stimulated. ‘You have to work hard,’ one told us, ‘but every day is different and you can have a go at everything.’ With the prep on the same site too, it offers an excellent all-through education, with a popular weekly boarding system in the college that sees pupils go home for weekends.
Hurstpierpoint College
Lancing College, Lancing

Open Day - 27 April 2024
Open Day - 18 May 2024

From the beautiful architecture and grounds to the pupils striding purposefully across quads on their way to lessons, Lancing College seems to have the playbook of an Oxford college. But while the environment feels awe-inspiring, it’s also refreshingly unflashy, with no sense of entitlement or privilege, just the love of learning, working hard and being part of a supportive community underpinning its solid foundation. It's an impressive school that surprisingly flies under the radar – but we suspect that won’t be the case for long.
Lancing College
Marymount International School London, Kingston Upon Thames

Open Day - 27 April 2024
Open Day - 21 September 2024
Open Day - 19 April 2025

The first all-girls school in the UK to adopt the IB curriculum – both the Middle Years and Diploma programmes – Marymount International School offers a broad-horizon education from its leafy setting in Kingston upon Thames. Pupils come from over 55 countries, creating a buzzing cultural diversity and a truly global outlook, and while the school remains faithful to its Catholic heritage, its ethos is inclusive. ‘What we offer as a school is a hidden gem’, says head Margaret Giblin – we couldn’t agree more.
Marymount International School London
Mayfield School, Mayfield

Open Morning - 26 April 2024
Open Morning - 14 June 2024

One of the UK's leading all-girls Catholic schools, Mayfield gets great results despite being only gently selective. The pupils we met were happy and motivated, no doubt thanks to the wonderfully rounded curriculum that excels at art – ceramics in particular – the on-point pastoral care and the storybook setting, complete with an equestrian centre that is the stuff of girls’ dreams.
Mayfield School
Queen Anne's School, Caversham, Reading

Open Morning (9.30 - 11.30 am) - 11 May 2024

There’s a wonderfully unconventional buzz about Queen Anne’s. Girls here are happy to step out of their comfort zone and throw themselves into the endless opportunities that come their way. Queen Anne’s is all about helping pupils to be at the top of their game through happiness and creativity. It’s a sure-fire alternative to the higher-pressure London scene, and we can see why urbanites are flocking here. Kind Hearts, Fierce Minds, Strong Spirits is the school’s motto – and we really got the sense that girls here were genuinely living by this mighty triumvirate.
Queen Anne's School, Caversham
Reddam House Senior School, Wokingham

Open Day - 11 May 2024

Reddam’s stunning grounds complete with period drama mansion house, lake and woods belie its diverse, international feel. Very much an all-through school with a principal across the juniors and seniors, it offers a one-stop education that is a happy mix of traditional English public school with a global modern outlook. It’s part of the international schools group Inspired and there are also Reddams in Australia and South Africa.
Reddam House Senior School
Sevenoaks School, Sevenoaks

Open Morning - 15 June 2024

Recognised globally as one of the top IB schools in the world, sought-after Sevenoaks is academically rigorous, with fantastic facilities and a down-to-earth, all-inclusive approach. Helmed by head Jesse Elzinga –– who is as polished as he is welcoming – the school flies under the radar somewhat, which Mr Elzinga seems perfectly content with. When you’re this good, there’s no need to blow your own trumpet.
Sevenoaks School
Sir William Perkins's School , Chertsey

Open Morning 09.15 - 11.15 - 02 May 2024
SWPS Showcase - 14 September 2024
SWPS Sixth Form Open Evening - 18 September 2024

Stellar academics are combined with a fantastic co-curricular programme (it has a particularly fine reputation in rowing) at this girls’ day school in Surrey. A new head joined in September and she already has her feet firmly under the desk, ensuring pupils’ individuality continues to be championed – there are no identikit girls here, just high-achievers in charge of their own future.
Sir William Perkins's School
St George's School, Ascot, Ascot

Open Morning - 03 May 2024
Open Afternoon - 10 May 2024
Open Morning - 12 June 2024
Open Morning - 27 June 2024

‘I feel like I am at the centre of my own story,’ says one pupil at this all-girls’ day and boarding school. It’s a ringing endorsement at a time when so many young girls struggle to navigate their own path in a noisy world. We were struck by how at ease all the girls are across the year groups; it’s a superbly supportive community. And while the school is small, horizons are huge, with girls exceeding expectations in and out of the classroom – taking the lead in clubs, becoming ‘Googlie’ mentors (the school is one of 14 in the country to be awarded Google reference school status) and learning how to make an impact by matching their passions with assertiveness. It really feels like the sky’s the limit here, with the Georgian girls soaring.
St George's School, Ascot
St James Senior Boys' School, Ashford

Open Morning - 09 May 2024
Open Morning - 20 June 2024

This boys-only school in Ashford, Surrey takes a holistic approach to education, with a focus on philosophy, wellbeing and individualised learning. The end result is well-rounded young men who have been encouraged to work outside their comfort zone and grow as learners, as well as people. It’s also the only school in the country to offer Sanskrit to GCSE; head David Brazier believes that ‘the world certainly needs such Renaissance men’ – and St James certainly produces them.
St James Senior Boys' School
St Lawrence College, Ramsgate

Whole College Open Week 6th-10th May - 06 May 2024
Senior School Summer Tours - 08 June 2024

Just a mile from the golden sands of Kent’s Ramsgate Beach, St Lawrence College is one of only a handful of certified World Class High Performance Learning Schools, an accolade recognising the school’s efforts to provide an exceptional education to its students. There’s a wonderfully inclusive, vibrant community here – pupils hail from over 25 different countries and get stuck into a busy six day a week timetable, packed with academic and co-curricular opportunities. Outstanding athletes can sign up for the school’s Elite Performance Programme; there’s a 500-seat theatre for future actors, and a dedicated exhibition space to showcase budding artists’ work. Support for life beyond school is exceptional – extra academic clinics are laid on for those shooting for a place at Oxbridge or Medical School, and critical thinking classes help develop confidence ahead of interviews. Full boarding is popular – and as the school doesn’t close during exeat weekends, it’s a hit with overseas families. 
St Lawrence College
Sutton Valence School, Maidstone

Open Morning - 27 April 2024

Spread across two rural sites in the Kent countryside, Sutton Valence has a 450-year history. Best-known for its tight-knit community and impressive roster of co-curricular opportunities – from CCF and volunteering to musical performances at prestigious venues in Amsterdam, Prague and Rome, it’s popular with families both in the southeast and further afield, thanks to flexi and full boarding options.  
Sutton Valence School
The King's School, Canterbury, Canterbury

Open Morning - 18 May 2024

For one of the oldest schools in the country (it’s been around since 597AD, when St Augustine arrived to evangelise England, and was rebranded by Henry VIII in 1541 as his own school – hence the name), The King’s School, Canterbury feels thoroughly modern. New head Jude Lowson is a wonderfully forward-thinking leader and while tradition (the sixth form heads of houses wear purple gowns passed down through the years) and the school’s storied musical reputation are part of the fabric, this is a school that knows how to move with the times.
The King's School, Canterbury
Thornton College, Milton Keynes

Meet the Head - 15 May 2024
Whole School Open Morning - 28 September 2024

Very much an all-through school, Thornton College is one family on one site with a focus on inclusive values, and an incredibly inspiring head at the helm. Girls we met were confident, chatty and exceptionally well behaved – and nurture is well and truly baked in.
Thornton College
Wellington College, Crowthorne

Visitor Day (bookable from the start of the Summer Term) - 05 October 2024

A progressive school at the forefront of educational innovation, Wellington College was transformed by visionary head Sir Anthony Seldon and is soaring once again with James Dahl in charge. With its constant buzz, forward-facing attitude and so much for the taking, its pupils are brilliantly prepared to cope with the pressures of the modern world. There’s a palpable culture of inclusivity and ‘go-getting’ – it’s cool to be busy, and to make the most of life here, children need to be driven and willing to get involved.
Wellington College

South West England

Prep Schools
Badminton Junior School, Westbury-on-Trym

Whole School Open Morning (Reception - Sixth Form) - 06 May 2024
Whole School Open Morning (Reception - Sixth Form) - 28 September 2024

As a small, single-sex school, Badminton offers an incredible level of support from the get-go, with all girls well known individually and allowed to grow at their own pace. That’s not to say the junior school doesn’t have academic clout – it definitely does, and the blue sky-thinking head Heidi Welch is adept at weaving tip-top academics into the super-secure pastoral setting. All but a tiny number of pupils transfer to the senior school in Year 7, but even for those who don’t, this is a smashing launch pad.
Badminton Junior School
Beaudesert Park School, Stroud

Open Morning 9.30am-12noon - 10 May 2024

Wearing its brilliance lightly, Beaudesert Park School sits high on the Cotswold prep list for both longstanding locals and relocating Londoners. It’s a very well-appointed site with some big-hitting facilities yet the atmosphere is warm, welcoming and wonderfully down to earth.
Beaudesert Park School
Clayesmore Preparatory School, Blandford Forum

Open Morning - 11 May 2024

Housed in a turreted mansion between Blandford Forum and Shaftesbury, Clayesmore Prep shares the same gloriously rural surroundings as the senior. Its dedicated facilities are topped up with the bonuses of the main school’s large sports centre, full-sized Astroturf, dance studio, theatre and chapel. There is a real emphasis on older pupils mentoring and supporting younger ones.
Clayesmore Preparatory School
Clifton College Preparatory School, Clifton

Preschool to Year 8 Open Day - 26 April 2024
Preschool to Year 6 Open Day - 27 September 2024

There’s no ‘one size fits all’ at this unstuffy Bristol prep (which includes a preschool and pre-prep too), part of the Clifton College stable. The intake is refreshingly broad – and so is what’s on offer.
Clifton College Preparatory School
Dean Close Pre-Preparatory School, Cheltenham

Open Morning - 11 May 2024

Known as the Squirrels, this pre-prep is the natural starting point for those wanting an all-through education at Dean Close. The WOW days are a neat way to top or tail a study topic, with exciting activities such as treasure hunts, detective trails or hands-on science experiments.
Dean Close Pre-Preparatory School
Dean Close Preparatory School, Cheltenham

Open Morning - 11 May 2024

A co-ed prep with a family feel set in 50 acres near the centre of Cheltenham. Children here are championed and challenged through positive reinforcement and strong pastoral care and the school also educates the choristers of Tewkesbury Abbey as part and parcel of its offering. A pre-prep that takes children from two years old, as well as providing pupils with a seamless transition to the senior are massive boons for most – plus the expansive zoned campus gives prep pupils the best of both worlds with dedicated spaces just for them and a world of further opportunity on the doorstep. 
Dean Close Preparatory School
Exeter Junior School, Exeter

Junior School Taster Day - all years: 9.00am-4.00pm - 07 May 2024
Summer Open Evening - 09 May 2024
Exeter Pre-prep Open Morning - 16 May 2024
Exeter Pre-prep Open Morning - 19 September 2024
Whole School Open Morning - 05 October 2024
Whole School Open Morning - 28 November 2024

There’s a lovely warm environment at this academically ambitious school in the heart of Exeter, where pupils are as industrious outside the classroom as they are in, throwing themselves into a huge range of different activities. With the pre-prep (on a different site) and senior (on the same site) it’s a compelling all-through option, with engaging overall head Louise Simpson expertly overseeing all three schools, following her pupils from age three to 18.
Exeter Junior School
Exeter Pre-Prep School, Exeter

Whole School Open Morning - 09 May 2024
Pre-prep Open Morning - 16 May 2024
Pre-Prep Open Morning - 19 September 2024
Whole School Open Morning - 05 October 2024
Whole School Open Morning - 28 November 2024

Like its big sibling junior and senior schools, this pre-prep has a lot of academic ambition. It’s achieved through a tremendous sense of teamwork, with every teacher involved with every pupil, which makes for a very special environment, and means little ones are ready to fly when they reach junior school.
Exeter Pre-Prep School
Hazlegrove Prep School, Yeovil

Open Day - 18 May 2024

This historic Somerset school has enviable film-set looks, but it’s the pupils who give it soul, belting around its 200 acres on bicycles and scooters and clomping through forests in brightly coloured wellies. Bursting with creativity and innovation, plans are afoot for rewilding and solar panels, and the superlative academics (achieved without being selective) and enlightened pastoral care mean parents are clamouring to get their children’s names down from birth.
Hazlegrove Prep School
Kingswood Prep School, Bath

Prep School Open Morning - 10 October 2024

It isn’t always easy to hit the sweet spot between academically ambitious and passionately nurturing – but Kingswood Prep has nailed it. ‘Be kind, be kind, be kind’ is the mantra here, and learning starts with attending to the wellbeing of each and every child. Glorious architecture, spacious grounds and uplifting views over Bath are added bonuses, while the senior school offering an all-through option up to 18 makes it the complete package. 
Kingswood Prep School
Pinewood School, Shrivenham

Open Day - 16 May 2024

Welcoming, warm, thoughtful, busy, varied, thriving and all about the children, Pinewood is a must-see. The lack of head boy/girl encapsulates the overarching takeaway from this 84-acre nirvana which is that every child is important.
Pinewood School
Port Regis School, Shaftesbury

Pre-Prep Open Day - 10 May 2024
Prep Open Day - 11 May 2024

Don’t be fooled by the turreted façade of Motcombe Park, Port Regis’ magnificent Victorian red-brick home: this is no draughty, creaky old school. It’s a place that shimmers and shines; hot on manners, hard work and integrity, yet dynamic and progressive. Brilliant head Titus Mills arrived in 2021, tasked with reinvigorating Port Regis – if you’re expecting a sleepy country school, prepare to be blown away.
Port Regis School
Taunton Prep School , Taunton

Open Morning 09.30-12.30 - 27 April 2024

Taunton Prep offers families a compelling all-through school experience, with siblings moving easily between the pre-prep, prep and senior schools with no exam pressure. The prep’s campus sits in the middle and feels spacious with its own half of a brand new dining hall and dedicated performing arts centre. The school is proudly inclusive with top-notch co-curricular credentials. A real all-rounder, it stands its ground against other competitors in the area.
Taunton Prep School
Wells Cathedral Prep School, Wells

Summer Open Morning 10.00am - 11 May 2024
Be a Mathematician for the Day - 15 June 2024
Be a Chorister for a Day - 21 September 2024

For one of the oldest educational establishments in the world (founded in 909), Wells Cathedral School has a decidedly modern motto: Esto Quod Est (Be What You Are). This co-ed day and boarding all-through school is very well set up for getting the best out of every pupil, and it’s clear that the prep school – which shares the same site as its senior sibling – takes this warm, accepting attitude seriously.
Wells Cathedral Prep School
Senior Schools
Badminton School, Bristol

Whole School Open Morning (Reception - Sixth Form) - 06 May 2024
Whole School Open Morning (Reception - Sixth Form) - 28 September 2024
Sixth Form Open Evening - 11 October 2024

A smart, unfussy, forward-looking school that is both quintessentially British and wonderfully diverse with a phenomenal global, outward-looking view on the world, Badminton offers a compelling all-through education for girls. Its small size allows strong relationships to be forged and a real culture of tolerance and respect to be fostered. This is a hugely democratic sort of place, where girls are encouraged to be proactive in and outside school – and it has an air of intellectual rigour to boot.
Badminton School
Canford, Wimborne

Open Morning - 27 April 2024

Despite its magnificent setting and illustrious history, there is no sense of privilege or entitlement at this 100-year-old school in the beautiful Dorset countryside. Pupils are friendly, down-to-earth and outward-looking, happy in their own skin and modest about their achievements – even though there would be much to brag about, from ace exam results to stellar performances on the playing field and stage. It’s no wonder waiting lists are growing – this is a school with serious game, turning out wonderfully grounded young men and women with a real awareness of the world around them.
Canford
Clayesmore School, Blandford Forum

Open Morning - 11 May 2024

Top-notch academics paired with a family vibe make this rural Dorset school a happy place to be. And with a prep school on the same site, it offers an excellent all-through option. Leaving the prep feels seamless (95 per cent of its pupils join the senior school), and with the stress of being drilled for exams to get into senior school eliminated, the inclusive holistic approach established at the prep continues organically – pupils don’t even need to change uniform, bar a couple of items.
Clayesmore School
Clifton College, Clifton

Sixth Form Open Day - 04 October 2024
Year 7 - Year 11 Open Day - 05 October 2024

Clifton College hits the sweet spot of individual care and attention, with the numbers and resources to offer everyone a multitude of options. There is no set path here and, as pupils grow and develop, it becomes the school they need to maximise their potential both in the classroom and beyond. And with the adjacent preparatory school available as a seamless build-up, Clifton really does have it all.
Clifton College
Dauntsey's , Devizes

Spring Open Day - 11 May 2024

Dauntsey’s is a warm and welcoming centre of learning and adventure. Pupils are taught to be courageous but humble, an ethos to be cherished in a world full of competition and entitlement – they are lucky to be here and, refreshingly, they know it.
Dauntsey's
Dean Close School, Cheltenham

Open Morning - 11 May 2024

A fabulous educational oxymoron, Dean Close is a smallish big-hitter. With around 500 pupils, it has enough numbers to pack a punch, but it retains the family feel of its prep-school sibling. Facilities are fantastic and this is a school which seems very clear about its identity and purpose. It really is, as their strapline suggests, ‘Distinctly Dean Close’.
Dean Close School
Exeter School, Exeter

Summer Open Evening - 09 May 2024
Whole School Open Morning - 05 October 2024
Sixth Form Open Evening - 07 November 2024
Whole School Open Morning - 28 November 2024

A school where academic sights are set high and pupils rise to them through excellent teaching and a programme of mind-expanding lectures, masterclasses and educational trips. Co-curricular is equally strong, with wonderful facilities and a ‘let’s do it’ mentality. The pre-prep and junior sibling schools means it’s a compelling all-through option, with engaging overall head Louise Simpson expertly overseeing all three schools, which means she follows many pupils through their whole educational journey from age three to 18.
Exeter School
Kingswood School, Bath

Westwood and Beaconfield House Information Morning - 15 June 2024
Senior School Open Morning - 28 September 2024
Sixth Form Information Event - 02 October 2024

With its impressive sporting reputation, excellent academic results and top-billing arts, Kingswood is the epitome of a polymath school. Support for busy families is a big part of the ethos and, with the prep school on the same stunning campus overlooking Bath, it’s a compelling all-through option, with excellent boarding facilities from Year 7.
Kingswood School
Marlborough College, Marlborough

Sixth Form Visit 2025 Entry - 01 May 2024
House Visit Afternoon 2027 Entry at 13+ - 09 May 2024
Sixth Form Visit 2025 Entry - 15 May 2024
House Visit Afternoon 2027 Entry at 13+ - 21 May 2024
Sixth Form Visit 2025 Entry - 05 June 2024
Open Day 2027 & 2028 Entry at 13+ - 08 June 2024
House Visit Afternoon 2027 Entry at 13+ - 18 June 2024

We all know Marlborough as the alma mater of our future Queen – but while appearing traditional on the surface, this is a school that ripples with vibrancy, vivacity and a certain amount of edge. It is one of the country’s most popular co-ed, full-boarding all-rounders, and one of the very few genuinely seven-days-a-week schools left in the UK. It is incredibly popular and deservedly so, it strives to exceed its acclaim rather than resting on its reputation.
Marlborough College
St Mary's Calne, Calne

Open Day - 11 May 2024
Open Day - 09 November 2024

Small and nurturing, academic but not a hothouse and brimming with laidback, nicely gung-ho girls, St Mary’s Calne is, says the school, ‘the best of the British boarding school tradition – with a modern twist’. Girls are equipped with firm foundations for life, leaving armed with bucketloads of confidence and self-esteem. 
St Mary's Calne
Taunton School, Taunton

Open Morning 09.00-12.30 - 27 April 2024

A proudly inclusive school that excels in academics as well as co-curricular subjects, Taunton Senior School offers families a compelling all-through educational experience with children moving seamlessly from pre-prep to prep to senior school, meaning parents don’t have to worry about multiple school locations as their children move up the years. This is just one of its strengths in an area with plenty of independent schools vying for pupils.
Taunton School
Truro School, Truro

Open Morning - 05 October 2024

The sense of belonging is palpable at this school, which overlooks Truro Cathedral from its hilltop location. As well as enriching children’s lives with learning, physical challenges, creativity and fun (after school you’ll see a flurry of pupils grabbing their surfboards from the corridors to head off to the beach), there’s a real commitment to creating citizens of Cornwall, who will go into the world taking their Cornish identity with them. There’s a feeling of energy and optimism here that’s infectious – and it starts in the nursery and prep school, making Truro a fantastic all-through option.
Truro School
Wells Cathedral School, Wells

Be a Specialist Musician for a Day - 08 May 2024
Summer Open Morning 10.00am - 11 May 2024

For one of the oldest educational establishments in the world (founded in 909), Wells Cathedral School has a decidedly modern motto: Esto Quod Est (Be What You Are). This co-ed day and boarding school is well set up for getting the best out of every pupil, regardless of their talents. While often compared to four other music specialist schools in the UK, Wells Cathedral School has a very different modus operandi. It’s the only one that is set within a traditional school environment and, perhaps more crucially, it offers an all-through, all-round education in addition to delivering excellence in music.
Wells Cathedral School

East of England

Prep Schools
Bedford Prep School, Bedford

Open Morning - 18 May 2024

Located in the same grounds as Bedford Upper School, this high-achieving prep is consistently at the top of the leaderboard in academics, sport, music, drama and technology. It shares the same pride among pupils, parents and staff as the senior school, and there is a strong sense of community and camaraderie. We were struck by what a happy place it is – when we visited, there was a real buzz rippling through the bright and airy buildings, with boys prodding snakes in the science lab, charging around the rugby pitch and devouring books in the library – and with most boys moving up to the senior school with no Common Entrance to stress about, it offers an all-through education parents can feel confidence in.
Bedford Prep School
Chigwell Pre Prep & Prep School, Chigwell

4+ Open Morning - 15 June 2024
7+ Open Morning - 15 June 2024

This Essex school gives the old adage ‘You can’t have your cake and eat it’ a good run for its money. For starters, it’s seamlessly part of the senior school with younger children nested in a self-contained oasis where they can grow their wings knowing exactly where they’re flying on to. It’s got a restless ‘Let’s never stop trying to improve’ ethos backed up by 400 years of tradition. And it combines the convenience of a town school with the spaciousness of a country prep. In an area jostling with good schools, we think this might just be one of the best. 
Chigwell Pre Prep & Prep School
Framlingham College Prep School, Woodbridge

Prep School Open Morning - 06 May 2024

With its country prep feel, top-notch staff and heartening ethos that is all about nurturing and celebrating the uniqueness of each and every child, Framlingham College Prep is hard to resist. And that’s not all – with the excellent Framlingham College providing the final destination for 97 per cent of pupils, it also offers an all-through journey that equips pupils with all the skills and knowledge they need to blossom in the world.
Framlingham College Prep School
Gresham's Prep School, Holt

Open Morning - 03 May 2024
Open Morning - 27 September 2024

A traditional education is the focus at this Norfolk prep school, but just as important is allowing children the freedom to thrive and find their own way. The happy atmosphere and fully engaged pupils attest to the success of this approach, and with new, state of the art premises on the horizon in 2026, the future at Gresham’s is looking very bright indeed.
Gresham's Prep School
King's Ely Prep, Ely

Open Event - 11 May 2024

This high-achieving prep in Ely near Cambridge is part of the King’s Ely family and so offers a seamless all-through education from age two to 18. Music and drama are standout subjects and Christian values and personal development are foundation stones. Add in a good cultural blend of international pupils, choristers and boarding options and you have the complete package.
King's Ely Prep
Langley Prep School at Taverham, Norwich

Open Day - 27 April 2024

This school outside Norwich has fabulously spacious grounds that pupils don boiler suits to roam around in – and when it’s wet, storm coats and wellies too. It’s just one way that Langley lets its pupils embrace their childhood while they learn. It’s proudly non-selective – in the school’s words, it’s ‘a flower bed where a lot of variety grows’ – and there’s no Common Entrance; instead, it is adapting the Prep-School Baccalaureate in its own image, giving pupils a broad foundation in skills such as teamwork and confidence, as well as traditional academics. And with almost everyone moving up to the senior school at the end of Year 8, the holistic education continues seamlessly – and with no stress – to age 18.
Langley Prep School at Taverham
Old Buckenham Hall , Ipswich

Open Morning 10am - 04 May 2024

This small, charming and ‘proudly muddy’ co-ed is a pinch-me-perfect place for children to grow up. Parents praise the ‘lovely ethos’ and ‘emphasis on kindness and politeness’ – something that stems from the ‘OBH Way’, a set of moral values created by the pupils.
Old Buckenham Hall
Saint Felix Prep Department, Southwold

Prep Taster Day - 20 May 2024
Prep Open Afternoon - 04 June 2024

It feels like Saint Felix School is heading for great things. Newly arrived head Matthew Oakman has embarked on an exciting overhaul, the school’s acquisition by the Inspired Learning Group is delivering financial heft and its 75 acres of bucolic grounds within walking distance of Southwold, the jewel of the Suffolk coast, are all propelling the school into the spotlight – and numbers are booming. The buzzy prep is fully integrated into the bosom of the ‘big’ school, sharing classrooms, teachers, dining room and sport facilities, while still offering pupils the cosy and nurturing experience of a small school.
Saint Felix Prep Department
Senior Schools
Bedford School, Bedford

Open Morning - 18 May 2024

The self-assurance of this venerable school that dates back to 1552 is wonderfully evident in the confident and considerate young men it turns out. Its commitment to a holistic education means it’s not jumpy with change but rather finesses what it does in a mindful manner. A sense of pride and contentment is palpable among pupils and staff alike and, although it might not catch the eye with state-of-the-art buildings, the solidness of Bedford School goes much deeper than a flashy façade.
Bedford School
Chigwell Senior School , Chigwell

11+ Open Morning - 15 June 2024

This Essex school gives the old adage ‘You can’t have your cake and eat it’ a good run for its money. For starters, it’s seamlessly part of the junior school so children can start aged four and move through the school organically with no stressful stop and start at Year 6 or Year 8. It’s got a restless ‘Let’s never stop trying to improve’ ethos backed up by 400 years of tradition. And it combines the convenience of a town school with the spaciousness of a country prep. In an area jostling with good schools, we think this might just be one of the best.
Chigwell Senior School
Framlingham College, Framlingham

Senior School Open Morning - 27 April 2024

This warm and friendly school in Suffolk has its feet on the ground – which gives its pupils the space to reach for the stars without feeling the pressure. There’s no sense of academic snobbery or chasing top billing on league tables here; rather, kindness is the driving ethos and individuality is nurtured, with achievements celebrated in and out of the classroom. A fully integrated prep means pupils can grow up here acquiring skills and knowledge to equip them for the future.
Framlingham College
Gresham's School, Holt

Open Morning - 04 May 2024

There’s a wonderfully laid-back and friendly atmosphere at this historic school that has a deservedly excellent reputation for tradition, solid teaching and good old-fashioned manners. Refreshingly unflashy, it’s quietly impressive with fabulous academics (without being overly selective) and fantastic facilities, particularly in STEAM and music. The only school in Norfolk to offer the IB (alongside A-levels), it sits in the Top 250 for value-added, and you get the feeling that every pupil knows they are getting the absolute best education for them.
Gresham's School
King's Ely, Ely

Open Event - 11 May 2024

One of the oldest schools in the world with the stunning Ely Cathedral at its heart, King’s Ely certainly has gravitas. And with pupils regularly filing into the cathedral for assemblies, services, and choristers’ choir practice, it feels like a grounding force for everyone. But equally appealing is the incredibly friendly atmosphere at the school and the brilliant choice of academic and co-curricular options. And with the prep on the same site and nursery and pre-prep five minutes’ walk away, it offers an all-through option which is certainly compelling.
King's Ely

Midlands

Prep Schools
Edgbaston High Preparatory and Pre-Prep School, Birmingham

Prep and Pre-Prep 'School in Action' Morning - 15 May 2024
Prep and Pre-Prep 'School in Action' Morning - 13 June 2024

We were floored by the pace, variety of life and buzzing sense of activity at this aspirational and inspirational multicultural all-girls day school in leafy Edgbaston, just to the south of central Birmingham. Girls zip in all directions across the compact campus, out along the 10-minute walk to the sports fields and move seamlessly up to the senior school (the whole school shares the same campus and even some teachers).
Edgbaston High Preparatory and Pre-Prep School
Moreton Hall Prep, Oswestry

Whole School Open Day - 18 May 2024

A relaxed vibe radiates from everyone you meet at this small co-ed prep tucked away in the folds of stunning Shropshire. Head Deborah Speakman describes it as wholesome; the children we met embodied it in their excited, smiley faces and lovely manners. Respect and a strong sense of belonging replace strict rules – and it works, all the way up from the cosy, onsite nursery to the girls-only senior school.
Moreton Hall Prep
Repton Prep, Derby

Whole School Open Morning 9.00am - 11.00am - 11 May 2024
Pre-Prep Stay and Play Experience Day (Nursery to Yr 2) - 13 June 2024

A stunning rural location in the heart of England. The leafy campus, with the historic Foremarke Hall at the centre, is aesthetically impressive and has a buzzy feel.
Repton Prep
The Downs Malvern, Malvern

Open Morning 9.30am-12.30pm - 17 May 2024

Chatting with the headmaster in his study, we could not help but be distracted by the almost fictionally idyllic surroundings here. The furthest view is of the stunning Malvern Hills, the backdrop is green space and trees and, in the foreground, children shriek, laugh and race all over Brock Meadow which is encircled by the school’s very own light railway. If you could draw a picture of childhood – this might well be it.
The Downs Malvern
The Elms, Malvern

Summer Open Morning 10am-12pm - 18 May 2024

We’ve visited hundreds of country preps over the years, and every one is a joy in its own way. But The Elms is truly special and never fails to impress us with its super-polite pupils who sprint ahead to open doors, the stunning setting on the edge of the Malvern Hills and the (sometimes gently bonkers) celebration of all that is best about childhood.
The Elms
Witham Hall Preparatory School, Stamford

Open Day - 11 May 2024
Open Day - 09 November 2024

‘A quintessential country prep school with a bit of ambition,’ is how head Will Austen describes Witham Hall. We think he’s being modest. This co-ed in rural Lincolnshire seems to have cracked the formula for providing a near-perfect education, with pupils gaining scholarships left, right and centre to the country’s top public schools. It’s no wonder parents travel up to an hour each day to send their children here.
Witham Hall Preparatory School
Wolverhampton Grammar Junior School, Wolverhampton

Year 5 Discovery Day - 27 April 2024
Whole School Open Day - 05 October 2024
Junior & Infant School Open Morning - 25 January 2025

Wolverhampton Grammar, located in the city’s suburbs, is refreshingly down to earth. Children are supported throughout their educational journey at this highly aspirational, friendly and well-rounded day school, which has evolved and extended gradually from its original incarnation as an all-boys senior to its current status as a fully co-ed all-through with provision from Reception to Year 13.
Wolverhampton Grammar Junior School
Senior Schools
Edgbaston High School for Girls, Birmingham

Senior School Open Evening 4.30-7.00pm - 20 June 2024

We were floored by the pace, variety of life and buzzing sense of activity at this aspirational and inspirational multi-cultural all-girls day school in leafy Edgbaston, just to the south of central Birmingham. Girls zip in all directions across the compact campus, out along the 10-minute walk to the sports fields and, once their time to leave has come, off to an impressive range of universities.
Edgbaston High School for Girls
Moreton Hall, Oswestry

Whole School Open Day - 18 May 2024

There’s a lovely feeling of calmness at this school that prides itself on its self-guiding, self-determining ethos. We saw what the school calls the ‘Moreton magic’ in spades, meeting pupils who embodied the values of belonging and ambition so beautifully portrayed in the ‘two sides of the same coin’ video on the school’s website. Not just slick marketing, it’s a genuine representation of this very special school where every girl is allowed to be unapologetically herself.  
Moreton Hall
Wolverhampton Grammar School, Wolverhampton

Sixth Form open evening - 20 June 2024
Whole School Open Day - 05 October 2024

This is a school with an infectiously purposeful and upbeat feel. It focuses every energy on obtaining the best for its pupils without the need for swanky window dressing. Tech integration is some of the best we’ve seen, with devices cleverly used to extend and inspire learning throughout.
Wolverhampton Grammar School

North of England

Prep Schools
Ackworth School Coram House, Pontefract

Whole School Open Morning - 06 May 2024

Ackworth School Coram House
Senior Schools
Ackworth School, Pontefract

Whole School Open Morning - 06 May 2024

Ackworth School
Ampleforth College, York

Open Day - 11 May 2024

It’s a new dawn for this high-profile public school in North Yorkshire. In the words of head Peter Roberts, it’s time to move on from ‘being good’, something the school has tirelessly worked on to restore its reputation, to ‘doing good’. We were struck by how happy and confident the pupils are and the genuinely warm and friendly environment. The evergreen Benedictine ethos of serving each other, tolerating differences and living harmoniously as a community is alive and well, and the school’s motto, ‘A Compass for Life’, couldn’t ring truer right now.
Ampleforth College
Giggleswick School, Settle

Senior and Sixth Form open day - 27 April 2024

This school in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales is one to watch. Numbers are growing and families far and wide are taking note of its unique offering – a nurturing setting that celebrates the individual and has some of the UK’s best outdoor pursuits on its doorstep. It’s no wonder it’s seeing both a drift from local schools and an interest from parents further afield. Giggleswick’s #throwyourselfin campaign really sums up the ‘let’s go for it’ spirit which is seen everywhere from the classroom to the sports field.
Giggleswick School

Scotland

Prep Schools
Gordonstoun Junior School, Elgin

Taster Day - 17 May 2024

This uniquely active and interactive junior school shares a colossal 200-acre campus with the senior school, so it’s an ideal choice for parents looking for a character education for their child right from the start. Gordonstoun Junior School embraces service and internationalism and throws itself into a fully holistic, all-round education – which means every pupil learns how to sail, heads out on hearty outdoor expeditions, learns a musical instrument and benefits from outstanding facilities.
Gordonstoun Junior School
Senior Schools

Global Schools