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Curriculum

Senior school destinations

Pilgrims’ feeds some of the top independent schools in the country and ambitions are high. Each year, over 40% of our boys go to Winchester College.  However, a majority head elsewhere, and Pilgrims’ feeds a wide number and type of school: from co-ed (e.g. Canford, Marlborough) to single sex (e.g. Radley, Sherborne); and full boarding (e.g. Charterhouse, Harrow) as well as day (e.g. King Edward’s in Southampton and Portsmouth Grammar School).

Applying for senior schools

The Headmaster, with the Deputy Head (Academic) and your son’s tutor, will work closely with you to help identify the best ‘fit’ of senior school - a school where your son will be happy and continue to thrive.

11+  successful entry to senior schools

Nearly all the boys stay until the end of Year 8 and move on to one of the country’s major independent schools.

Some boys will opt to move at the end of Year 6 to take a place at one of the nearby independent day schools. Specialist teachers prepare them for the entry test and interviews in Year 6 (11+), often resulting in a scholarship or other award. Some boys will defer the offer from the senior school and delay their move until the end of Year 8 (13+), preferring the breadth and pace of the Pilgrims’ curriculum and the rich opportunities as a Senior in a prep school.

Specialist preparation for 13+ senior school entry

We prepare the boys thoroughly for their senior school applications, ensuring that they feel confident in the entry exams and interviews and able to do their very best.

Boys apply for entrance to senior schools through scholarship, Common Entrance, or a school’s own entrance examination. The formal process begins either in Year 6 or Year 7, depending on the choice of senior school.  Before then, all the boys are given lots of practice for the ISEB's Common Pre-Test (CPT) from Year 4 onwards, which gives them confidence with the computer-based tests and experience of the best techniques for interviews and practical-based group tasks.    

Senior school interview practice

A good interview can make all the difference to the success of a senior school application.  We spend considerable time helping our boys to be comfortable in conversation and teaching them the skills needed to offer an interesting exchange of views and opinions.  With a strong focus on interview technique and lots of practice, we guide the boys to give considered responses to interview questions rather than overly schooled, prepared answers.  Our aim is make sure that the boys come across as interested and interesting.

Senior school references

These are very important!  The Headmaster and Deputy Head Academic spend a great deal of time and focus tailoring the reference for each individual boy for his specific senior school. They will consult with your son's tutor and teachers to ensure the reference reflects the essence of his character and personality, with content about his hobbies and passions as well as his academic strengths.

Senior school scholarship results

2019

All the boys have made a successful transition to their senior school, whether through Common Entrance, scholarship or Winchester Entrance. Our scholarship results were, arguably, the best on record, with 20 awards won from a cohort of 38 boys. 

In the Year 6 pre-tests in 2019, 10 boys were given conditional offers from Eton and 23 from Winchester College.

Scholarships and exhibitions
2015-2019
Award   Senior School
Academic  18 Winchester College
  4 Sherborne
  2 Charterhouse
  2 King Edward VI
  1 Marlborough
  2 Portsmouth Grammar
  2 Other
Total  31  
     
Music  21 Winchester College 
  4 Eton
  4 King Edward VI
  4 Sherborne
  3 Charterhouse
  2 Bryanston
  2 Canford
  2 Portsmouth Grammar 
  1 Churchers
  6 Elsewhere
Total  49  
     
All-rounder 1 Marlborough
  1 Sherborne
Art 1 Charterhouse
Sport 1 Bradfield
  1 King Edward VI
  1 Millfield
Total 6  
Destinations of Leavers
2015-2019 

 

2015-2019 total

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

Winchester College 76 18 13 14 15 16
Charterhouse 13 1 3 5 2 2
Sherborne 13 4 6 1 1 1
Eton 12 3 4 2 1 2
King Edward VI 8 2 2   2 2
Radley 8 1 1 2 3 1
Bradfield 6 1 1   4  
Canford 6 2   1 2 1
Bryanston 4   1     3
Marlborough 4 1 1 1 1  
Portsmouth Grammar 4 2     2  
St Edward's Oxford 4 1 1 1   1

Bedales 

3

1

2

 

 

 

Harrow 2         2
Wellington 2       2  

Westminster

1

 

 

 

1

 

Elsewhere

12

1

3

3

2

2

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.