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Our Pre-Prep

Joining the Pre-Prep

Joining our Reception class

We look forward to meeting you and to welcoming your pre-school son to our Pre-Prep for a Stay and Play session. This short visit forms the basis of our admissions process for Reception places and can be arranged most mornings of the week, usually no more than one year before your son starts school.

It is very similar to going to playgroup, except we ask you to leave your son with us, once he is happy for you to go.  He will soon find new friends as he explores the activities on offer in the classroom or outside. He might like to play with the train set, or Lego (of course!) and other construction games, try on costumes in the role-play corner, enjoy an art activity, put together some puzzles, and play outside. There might be just enough time to enjoy a story and perhaps some music with the boys before you pick him up.

The little boys who visit us are at many varied stages of their social and educational development. We do not look for any particular level of academic ability in order to offer a place. We look instead for boys who are sociable, happy to follow instructions, and ready and eager to learn. During their visit, we encourage them to investigate and create independently whilst following their interests or learning new skills. 

The Pre-Prep is an integral part of The Pilgrims' School, and there is no further entry assessment for Pilgrims’ boys to continue to Year 3 of the Prep. The Pre-Prep curriculum is firmly aligned with that of Year 3. Each boy's progress is closely monitored by the Head of the Pre-Prep and the Head of the Junior Years, ensuring the best preparation for transition to Year 3.  

Children within the EYFS are active learners and they have many opportunities to explore and investigate. They are enthusiastic and happy learners who are supported to make strong progress, whatever their needs.‚Äč
ISI Inspection

Stay and Play dates for places in Reception 2020 are available to book now

You might like to coincide your son's Stay and Play with a tour of the school and a chat with the Headmaster. Or you are very welcome to take advantage of the time available and pop into town for a coffee!

Joining Year 1 and Year 2

If places are available, boys who are already in full-time school and wish to join the Pre-Prep are invited to spend a taster day with us. Your son will become a Pilgrim for a day, joining in with lessons, breaks, lunch and whatever sport and activities are scheduled that day. The class teacher will hear him read and the Head of the Pre-Prep will help him work through simple exercises to assess his basic numeracy and literacy skills. The atmosphere is informal, relaxed, and fun!

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.