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Joining the Prep

Taster days

Like us, you will want to be sure that The Pilgrims’ School is the best choice of school for your son. Our taster days, which include our entry assessment, are designed to help us answer that important question with you.

Taster days are held individually or in small groups most Tuesdays throughout the year, usually no more than three terms ahead of the planned start date. They are arranged by appointment, and your son will need to be registered before his day with us. We take great care to ensure that your son feels welcomed and at ease, and that his day is enjoyable and informative.

When he arrives, your son will be met by a Pilgrim of the same age, who will look after him for the whole day and introduce him to the boys in his class. Your son will spend the day as a Pilgrim, starting with the entry tests and then joining in with lessons, sport, lunch, breaks, snacks and activities, all of which will give him a good sense of what it would be like to come to Pilgrims’ every day.

Boarding tour

If your son will be joining as a boarder, your visit will start with a detailed tour of the boarding house with a Houseparent, who will explain the daily boarding routine and describe the activities and fun excursions which take place in the evenings and each weekend. Your son will be looked after for the day by a current boarder, who will give your son lots more information about boarding at Pilgrims’. Please note, we are not able to offer an overnight stay to boys who are not currently at the school.

Our entry tests

We use age-appropriate tests designed to assess your son’s current level of ability and, more importantly, his future potential. Our standardised entry tests are based on maths, English, and NVR (non-verbal reasoning). Your son will be working with a senior member of staff, either individually or in a small group. Older boys (for entry to Years 6 and 7) will have interviews with specialist subject teachers and potential scholars may be given extension work.

If your son is musical, he might enjoy the opportunity to play for the Director of Music and to attend a choir practice or orchestral rehearsal.

There is no need to prepare your son for our entry tests. If there is anything he does not understand, the teacher will help him and will explain the question. The tests are presented in user-friendly workbooks, and there is a lot of chat and sharing of ideas while your son works. Getting a sense of your son's character and personality is just as important to us as his academic potential. We are looking for the best possible fit, academically, socially, and pastorally.

What's it like to start at The Pilgrims' School? Find out here

Our Location

We are blessed with a truly idyllic location. Just an hour south of London by direct train, with easy access to all the major travel hubs, and yet we are surrounded by the stunning countryside of the South Downs National Park. The school is tucked away between Winchester Cathedral and Winchester College, within the secure and secluded Cathedral Close. Moments from our front door is the heart of the historic city of Winchester, or step through our back gate to find water meadows, countryside, and the South Downs Way.