Pilgrims are prepared for entrance to a wide variety of senior independent schools, through scholarship, Common Entrance, or through the senior school’s own entrance examination. A challenging curriculum is provided which seeks a balance between academic subjects and aesthetic, practical, musical and physical activities.

The school has a commitment to the best modern educational practices. Streaming, setting and differentiation within years and subjects ensure that each boy can realise his potential and develop his unique talents. Effort is encouraged and rewarded: every Pilgrim aspires to great achievement, but endeavour is celebrated just as highly.


A system of regular subject assessment provides evidence of effort and achievement throughout the school year. Feedback is given to parents half-termly through either assessment cards or full reports. Parents' evenings are arranged regularly to ensure close contact between subject teachers and parents. Tutors, form teachers and subject teachers are always happy to discuss the progress of individual pupils. They can be contacted by email or through the school office. Curriculum presentations at the start of the year share useful information with parents about what the boys will be studying and how best to support them. From time to time, a presentation may be offered to provide helpful insight for parents about the latest teaching methods.

Form structure


The Pre-Preparatory Department forms an integral part of The Pilgrims' School. The curriculum is firmly aligned with that of the Junior years, ensuring a common approach and allowing for the best preparation for transition to the Prep. There is one form in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2.





Junior Years

Year 3 is the entry year of the Prep school. The boys in Year 2 of the Pre-Prep move up and are joined by a number of new boys to make two small forms, which are not set. In Year 4, the year group continues as two mixed ability forms, but they are set for maths. In Year 5, the two forms are set for English and maths.

Classes in Years 3, 4 and 5 are taught mostly by the Junior Department staff, with specialist teaching for design technology, French, ICT, music, PE and science.

Teaching builds significantly on the requirements of the National Curriculum with an emphasis on the fundamentals of English, mathematics and science at all levels.

Senior Years

Year 6 marks the transition to the senior years and the start of the Common Entrance curriculumIn. This is the year in which boys sit the ISEB test, for which they have been thoroughly prepared. The year group is set in three forms, which are subset for English and maths. Latin is taught from Year 6.

Year 7 is also set in three small forms. One is the gentle beginnings of a scholarship set, the other two forms follow the same curriculum but at a different pace, allowing the flexibility to teach specifically to the individual requirements of each boy.

Year 8 is set into three forms, working toward the specific requirements of each boy's future school entry examinations: a scholarship form, a Common Entrance form and a Winchester College form. There will naturally  be a degree of overlap between the forms, determined by each boy's academic ability; for example, a boy might be sitting Common Entrance but be placed within the Winchester form.