The Admissions Process Explained

Our admissions process is designed to be as friendly and flexible as possible, providing the opportunity for you as a family to get to know us, and decide whether Sherborne Prep is the right school for your son or daughter.

Although most families join us in September, at the beginning of the academic year, you are welcome to join at any point during the year, and it is not unusual for families to do this.

Generally, there are six stages to our admissions process:

1) Enquiry

Please feel free to contact us by phone (01935 810911), email:, in person at 39 Acreman Street, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3NY (see directions), or by using our online enquiry form, and we will be delighted to assist you with your queries, and to send you our prospectus and other general information about The Prep.

2) Visit

Although the website and information pack can give you a taste of the opportunities on offer for your child at Sherborne Prep, it is only with a visit to The Prep that you can get a real sense of the energy, enthusiasm and happiness around The School.

Our focus is very much on the needs of the individual, and with this in mind we prefer to offer personal tours of The Prep, rather than generic Open Days. We have a very flexible approach to visits, and will always do our utmost to find a date and time that is most convenient for you. A morning visit is ideal because you will see all the children in their academic setting (whereas the afternoons tend to be busy with the sports programme). Although you are also welcome to come and see us at any time of the year, you will get a much better feel for the happy and enthusiastic atmosphere of The Prep during term time.

We suggest that you allow about an hour and a half if visiting the Pre-Prep and Prep, and one hour if you are visiting either the Prep or the Pre-Prep. Of course, if you have limited time, we can tailor the tour to suit you. You will have coffee and a chat with the Headmaster, Nick Folland, in his study, and we will show you around the Prep. Heidi Berry, our Head of Pre-Prep, will give you a tour of the Pre-Prep. The whole family would be most welcome to come along on your visit. Alternatively, you may wish to visit just as a parent first, and then bring your child/children with you on a subsequent visit - the choice is entirely yours.

3) Registration

Once you have decided that Sherborne Prep is the right school for your son or daughter, the next step is to complete a registration form, which should be returned to The Registrar, (Mrs Charlotte Carty, Sherborne Prep, Acreman Street, Dorset, DT9 3NY) together with a cheque for the registration fee of £50 per child. By registering you are formalising your interest in the Prep, and your child's name will be put on the provisional list for your chosen start date. If there is a waiting list for a particular year group then this form will secure your position on the waiting list.

4) Offer and Acceptance

Once your plans have become firm, and you are ready to proceed, The Registrar will (subject to availability) send you a firm offer of a place at Sherborne Prep, together with an Acceptance Form for you to complete and a copy of our terms and conditions. The Acceptance Form should be returned to The Registrar, (Mrs Charlotte Carty, Sherborne Prep, Acreman Street, Dorset, DT9 3NY) together with a cheque for the deposit of £500 per child for UK based children and £1000 for children based overseas, which is refundable at the end of your child's Prep career.

5) Taster Day

Before your child's start date, we will invite your son or daughter to come and spend a day (or, if your child is going to be a boarder, then a day and a night) with us at The Prep. We will work with you to find a date that suits you. This is a lovely opportunity for your child to meet the children who will be in the same year, to make new friends, and to familiarise him/herself with the school, the pupils and the staff. In addition to the guiding hands of the staff, every visiting child, from Reception age upwards, will have a class "buddy" for the day, to take extra special care of your child, and show them where to go and what to do. Being a buddy is a very prized role, and all the children are very keen to help and play with a visiting child! It is perfectly natural for your child to be a little anxious at the prospect of a Taster Day, but please be assured that, in our experience, even the most nervous child arriving for a Taster Day is very soon smiling, and leaves The Prep at the end of their stay happy, excited, and eager to start.

At this time you will also receive a log in for our Parent Portal where you can them complete several forms, such as a medical form, a music lesson request form, and consent forms prior to your child starting with us. We will also contact (where applicable) your child's current school to request school records and reports.

6) Welcoming you to the Sherborne Prep Family

Now the fun really begins! During the term and the holiday before joining we will send you more detailed information, such as the Parent Handbook (packed with useful details such as the timings of the day, useful contact numbers and uniform lists). Our School Administrator will send you an introductory email, tell you which House your child will be in, send the list of activity choices for the coming term, and details of any forthcoming trips. You will also start to receive Parent Emails from the School Office, and invitations to such things as pre-season training.

The Friends organisation will, with your consent, contact you to welcome you to The Prep Family, to offer help and advice, and to invite you and your child to meet other families and get to know more about The Prep in a relaxed and informal way.

At the start of every Academic Year, on the afternoon before the first day of the Michaelmas Term, you and your family will be invited to come and join us for the New Families Welcome Tea, where you will have a chance to meet other families, both old and new, form teachers, and other members of staff.

We look forward to welcoming you to The Prep Family, and very much hope that your time at The Prep will be an extremely happy experience.