Sherborne Prep is an independent co-educational day and boarding School for children aged 3 - 13 in Dorset


Supporting each other

Our pupils, seizing the opportunity


Scholarships are awarded to recognise talent, potential and character in year 7 and 8.

We offer Academic scholarships as well as awards for Music, Art, Drama and Sport.  All scholars and award holders engage with the new Sherborne Schools Group Scholars’ Programme which includes presentations, collaboration, activities, mentoring and events for pupils from Sherborne Prep, Sherborne School and Sherborne Girls’ School.

The maximum value of any non-means tested scholarship or award, or any combination thereof, is 10% of the full day or boarding fee, and applicants are also welcome to apply for a means tested bursary.

For exceptional candidates a Head's Discretionary Award may be granted. 

Scholarship and award applications should be completed by the parents of the candidates and be supported and signed by their current Head Teacher. Applications should also include a one-page reference from their Head Teacher or relevant Head of Department. In addition to the Scholarship Assessment days potential pupils are also invited to attend a Taster day to get a feel for a normal school day.

Academic Scholarship

The Academic Scholarship Programme
We encourage our academic scholars to celebrate and investigate their own individual academic enthusiasms and interests. We expect them to follow their own paths with energy and enthusiasm, and to set an example to others in doing so. We will support, guide and encourage them on their chosen path and help them to maximise their achievement. Academic Scholars will be carefully prepared for senior school scholarship assessments.

Opportunities available to our academic scholars include: 

  • a range of Academic Enrichment sessions,
  • lectures and talks given by a range of visiting guest speakers,
  • engagement with the joint Sherborne Prep, Sherborne School and Sherborne Girls’ School Scholars’ programme to include collaborative projects, presentations, mentoring and trips,
  • opportunities to research, prepare and deliver presentations to other pupils, parents and guests,
  • a range of UK and overseas language, history and cultural trips,
  • careful tracking of progress and achievement from their point of entry to the Prep, to ensure that their progression and stretch are monitored and that they maintain a high ambition for academic achievement,
  • representing Sherborne Prep at subject specific enrichment days, held at SPS and other schools for high attainers,
  • an academic coach/mentor, in additional to regular guidance from their Form Teacher.

Academic Scholars - Expectations
Academic Scholars lead the way in learning how to think, not simply what to think or produce. They exemplify high standards of commitment and motivation, reflect the joy of learning and set an example of commitment, ambition and achievement. 

What is the Required Standard?
Potential Academic Scholars should be achieving at above national age expectations. They must be committed to their academic study and progression with a genuine desire and curiosity for academic subjects, ideas and intellectual inquiry.

Academic Scholarship Assessment Days
Potential scholars will take part in a morning of activities at the school. This will also include cognitive ability, Maths and English assessments, and one or more interview with senior members of staff.  

Music Awards

The Music Department
Sherborne Prep has a vibrant and engaging music department and you can always hear the sound of music permeating throughout the school. We have five choirs, including a Chamber Choir and Senior Girls' Vocal Group. Many of our pupils are Sherborne Abbey Choristers who have the opportunity to sing in the exquisite Abbey each week.  We have a School Orchestra, Brass Ensemble, Senior and Junior Percussion ensembles, several chamber ensembles including the Abbey Trio, Castle Trio, Acreman Ensemble and Digby Quartet along with jazz groups. There is a full range of peripatetic music teachers delivering individual music lessons for all instruments.

We have close ties with Sherborne School and Sherborne Girls' School, both of which have outstanding reputations for musical excellence, and SPS musicians perform regularly with the Joint Schools' Orchestras. We have soloist concerts every Friday afternoon which take place in the Tindall Recital Hall at Sherborne School. In addition, we hold flagship concerts each term which give our scholars, choirs and instrumental ensembles an opportunity to perform in front of larger audiences. 

Our music curriculum has four strands - Performance, Listening and Appraisal, Improvisation and Composition - and there are opportunities for children to perform their own compositions.

The Music Scholarship Programme
Our Music Scholarship programme supports children to improve their musical and performance ability, prepares them for senior school music scholarships and enriches their lifelong commitment to music.  

Scholars have extra theory lessons with specialist teachers to fast track children to Grade 5 and advanced aural sessions for those preparing for higher Grades. The Music Scholarship also covers two private peripatetic music lessons per week.

Music Scholar Expectations
Our scholars are expected to perform regularly in our Friday concerts, termly concerts and Assemblies. Scholars assume a high profile in choirs and instrumental ensembles and are expected to attend theory lessons and advanced aural training. They lead by example, giving their best at all times, making a positive contribution to rehearsals, practising regularly, being punctual and organised, and helping and inspiring younger or less able musicians. 

What is the Required Standard?
At 11+ we would expect a level of Grade 3 or above for the first study instrument along with the ability to sing.  A formal exam certificate is not necessary as we will be looking for musical potential.  We would expect two contrasting pieces on the first study instrument and any other pieces on second/third study instruments.  Choral scholarships may be considered in collaboration with Sherborne Abbey's Director of Music.

Music Scholarship Assessment Day 
Candidates will have an interview with and perform for the Head of Music and the Director of Music, including some sight reading and aural tests. They will also perform an un-prepared piece after a rehearsal with the accompanist and this is given to the student 30 minutes prior to performance.

Art Awards

The Art Department
Art is an area of great strength at SPS with pupils encouraged to explore individual creativity and interpretation through a wide range of artforms. The Art studio is open at break and lunch times and the Head of Art provides an extensive mentoring system to help young artists develop.

The Art Scholarship Programme
The Art Department offers wide-ranging opportunities to all our pupils but Art scholars are encouraged to produce more work than others in order to develop further this area of their education. For this, commitment is required from both sides; candidates are expected to show progress whilst the School facilitates opportunities to develop excellence.

Opportunities include:

  • guided work on personal projects with individualised guidance and support,
  • promotion of work through internal and external events,
  • access to Sherborne School Art Department facilities, including interaction with Art Scholars from Sherborne School and Sherborne Girls’ School,
  • close mentoring/coaching, including regular meetings to develop ideas,
  • plentiful access to the Art Department, creating a "studio environment" for Art Scholars,
  • working on presentations for the rest of the class or School to improve communication skills,
  • trips and visits to art collections and galleries associated with personal projects and general artistic interests. 

Art Scholar Expectations
Art Scholars focus on building an extensive portfolio of work to develop their talents and prepare them for Art scholarship assessments at senior schools. Art scholars attend at least one Art co-curricular club and a History of Art enrichment session, offering opportunities for developing their technique and the ability to research and communicate. 

What is the Required Standard?
A demonstrable commitment to Art is essential, sending a clear message of consistency and progression to peers, families, and the school community. A good base knowledge of drawing and painting technique is highly desirable, whilst a genuine curiosity to explore new areas of expression is also important. 

Art Scholarship Assessment Day
The Assessment Day consists of a formal exercise to demonstrate skills, problem solving and general creativity. Candidates are given the opportunity to work on a specific task in a supportive and relaxed environment allowing them to share ideas, away from the idea of a "test". This will give good indication of technical ability, character and social interaction within a group. A portfolio of artwork should also be brought along on the assessment day.

Drama Awards

The Drama Department
Drama is thriving at SPS and we believe it supports children in so many more ways than just acting prowess.   Years 3 to 8 have a Drama lesson each week in the studio and children explore various texts to develop dramatic skills whilst also developing confidence, expression and teamwork. 

Each year group produces one show a year, alternating annually between performing a play and a musical, and we dedicate a full timetabled week to producing these shows. These are under the direction of our Head of Drama who involves the children in writing, interpreting and adapting bespoke scripts personalised to the individual year group.

Speech and Drama lessons are also available for students in Years 5 to 8 and the pupils are encouraged to work towards a Poetry and Prose examination and an Acting examination each year. 

The Drama Scholarship Programme
Drama Scholars develop extensive dramatic skills and engage with a bespoke mentoring programme with the Head of Drama to oversee their progression and the development of their creativity and interpretation. Drama Scholars receive one Speech and Drama lesson per week during term time as part of the award.

Scholars with a passion for Drama and the world of theatre are encouraged to apply for Drama scholarships at senior schools. Support and mentoring for auditions, interviews, monologue performances and theatre reviews are all provided. 

Drama Scholar Expectations
Drama scholars develop strong drama skills and are expected to have a vibrant interest in performing and theatre as well as a strong desire to learn and improve. They take a keen interest in all the performance and presentation opportunities offered at School and play an active role in School productions. This may include helping with costumes, lighting, sound and directing.

What is the required standard?
The most important quality for a candidate applying for a Drama scholarship is a genuine passion for drama and an interest in learning about the world of theatre. Scholars take weekly Speech and Drama lessons, are ambassadors for the School and inspirations for younger pupils. They enthusiastically exploit the multiple performance opportunities available.

Drama Scholarship Assessment Day
Candidates perform a chosen poem or monologue, undertake a short piece of sight-reading, and have an interview with the Head of Drama. Video footage of previous performances can also be sent to the School to support your application.

Sport Awards

The Sport Department
This is an exciting time for the Sport Department as our nationally recognised programme recently won the Independent Schools of the Year Award for Sporting Achievement. The judges made particular note of our approach to physical literacy and functional movement. In collaboration with FMS UK, we screen the pupils regularly throughout the year and every pupil has an individualized movement skill development plan.

This individual focus is also supported by a high-quality games and swimming programme, with specialist coaches working across all age groups. Team Games and their values are at core of our programme, where pupils learn through fun games and discovery. We are looking to develop problem solvers who are active, collaborative, respectful, committed and proud.  Our pupils regularly achieve success in individual and team events across a range of disciplines both within and outside School.  

Our links to Sherborne School and Sherborne Girls provide significant benefits in terms of access to facilities, coaching and resources.  Our exciting new sports centre development is well underway and, when completed in 2023, will provide our boys and girls with an exceptional state-of-the-art facility to support their physical health and sporting development.  

For all these reasons, the future of sport at Sherborne Prep School is very exciting.

Please see below links to a recent article outlining our sporting provision and to the sports section of our website.

News Details - Sherborne Preparatory School

Sport - Sherborne Preparatory School

The Sport Scholarship Programme
Sport scholars receive high quality coaching, a dedicated mentor and individual support including programming and training management, additional and regular small group coaching, experience sessions, nutritional advice and support and close school liaison with representative pathways.

Sport Scholar Expectations
Sports scholars set themselves high standards in all aspects of School life.  They maintain an organised routine, are good communicators and demonstrate high standards of dress and behaviour both on and off the field. They are expected to be excellent ambassadors for sport, providing support and encouragement for other pupils, passing on knowledge and motivation, demonstrating excellent sportsmanship and a healthy ambition to be the best at what they do and go the extra mile to achieve this.

What is the Required Standard?
Candidates should be able to demonstrate a high level of potential and performance in their chosen sports (proficiency in major school sports is an advantage) as well as athletic and mental resilience. 

Sport Awards Assessment Days 
Assessment day will comprise the following elements:

  • Physical profiling – this will include assessment in agility, balance, co-ordination and speed of movement.
  • Practical assessment in chosen sports – this involves skill related and game related activities. During this practical assessment, we will be looking at performance, decision making, game awareness and teamwork.
  • Interview with the Director of Sport – this provides an opportunity for the candidate to meet with our Director of Sport and discuss the sporting opportunities and provision available at Sherborne Prep. During the interview, the Director of Sport  will explore the candidate’s sporting background, aspirations and approach to their chosen sport.

Candidates should bring kit and equipment relevant to their chosen Sport(s).

If possible and appropriate, the Director of Sport  will try to observe the candidates playing for their own school or club as part of the assessment. Video footage will also be accepted as part of an application.

For further information please contact Charlotte Carty, Registrar. 

*We have a separate process for internal candidates - please contact

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