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Royal Russell Junior School
Royal Russell Junior School
Royal Russell Junior School
Royal Russell Junior School
top 200
Royal Russell Junior School Croydon, Surrey Visit
Royal Russell Junior School
305 pupils, ages 3-11

Royal Russell Junior School

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Our View

There’s much to recommend this co-ed, all-through school that sits in spacious grounds just a stone’s throw from Croydon. Pupils are happy and confident, encouraged academically and supported emotionally, and they have automatic entry into the senior school which is equally excellent. It’s a place where passions are nurtured and pupils are treated as individuals. A beautifully-designed new building due to open in 2026 will be the icing on the cake.


It’s hard to believe that the school’s 110 acres of parkland are just a speedy 25-minute journey from London Victoria – hop off at East Croydon and a tram will drop you right at the gates. There’s an overarching sense of space on the university-style campus, with an impressive mix of 19th-/20th-century and contemporary architecture, and masses of woodland that is home to friendly families of deer. Leafy surroundings like these undoubtedly have a hugely positive impact on pupils’ learning experience – and, most importantly, their mental health.

The spanking new junior school building will have three wings accessed through a woodland path. Mimicking the pupils’ journey through the school, the entrance will lead into the wing for the youngest years and then spiral up through to the top where the Year 6s will be located. It’ll be built alongside the existing building which will be demolished once it’s finished.

Lots of pupils hail from south London, including Balham and Clapham, but the catchment area spreads out all the way to Oxted, West Wickham, Caterham and Kingswood. Pupils can join the school’s extensive minibus network from Year 3 and up.


Headmaster John Evans arrived here in 2019, before which he taught at Dulwich College and Haberdashers’ Askes’. His gorgeous golden doodle Ludo is always by his side – and judging by the reception they received during our tour, both are clearly adored by staff and pupils. Alongside senior head Chris Hutchinson, he’s created a school where everyone feels they belong, parents and pupils alike. ‘Families feel at home,’ he tells us.


Most children join the school from the nursery or Reception, and the expectation (and reality) is that most will stay on the whole way through to 18. Admission is via an assessment and taster day, with pupils welcome to join the school at any stage between nursery and Year 6.

Academics and senior school destinations

Children are fully immersed in the magic of learning – there’s specialist teaching from the get-go, and class sizes never creep above 20. We were hugely impressed with the amazing library, where pupils were busily engrossed in their books in different themed sections, and there’s a serious forest school in the grounds where children were eagerly hunting for minibeasts and climbing trees with bucketloads of enthusiasm. An annual symposium week sees pupils look at a specific topic in depth; last year, it was sustainability, which saw pupils delve into upcycling, food miles and farm-to-fork eating – and really helped bring learning to life in a creative and meaningful way.

Almost all pupils make the move up to the senior school at the end of Year 6. The transition between the junior and senior schools is seamless; there’s no exam, and junior pupils go there for lunch every day and have access to all the senior facilities, so by the time it’s their turn to move up, it all feels incredibly natural. If there’s any concern that the all-through journey isn’t right for a pupil, conversations are had as early as possible.


Junior school pupils make full use of the ace senior school sports facilities, which include an indoor pool, plenty of pitches and tennis courts and a smart Astro for hockey – all available for use by the local community too. There’s even a cross country course winding its way through the campus, and pupils have ample opportunity to play in competitive fixtures against local schools.

Music is timetabled and pupils can take individual instrument lessons taught by teachers from the senior school. There’s plenty of opportunity to perform, with choirs, orchestras and a combined orchestra with the senior school. Pupils are taught by specialist art teachers from nursery upwards, and as well as a dedicated art room, pupils also have use of the kiln at the senior school. Drama is on the curriculum too and every year the little ones perform at Christmas and the Year 6s put on a play (the annual house drama competition is a real highlight on the school calendar).

After-school clubs include everything from golf and taekwondo to karaoke and knitting – and there’s even the option to help out at the local animal rescue centre or go riding in the summer.

School community

There’s a great emotional literacy programme to bolster the pastoral provision here, with pupils taught how to recognise feelings and use them to resolve and regulate their emotions (when we visited, Year 6 pupils were looking at courage, bliss and defiance). Pupils with more challenging anxiety or social communication skills have Lego therapy and the school works with the Croydon mental health team to support families. A traffic light system rewards good behaviour and pupils can apply to be ambassadors and given prestigious roles of responsibility.

This is a school for families looking for an inclusive and diverse community – and the pupil body reflects the melting pot of life in Greater London. The school’s wonderfully flexi wraparound care (which includes extended days until 6pm and a holiday club during the holidays) is a godsend for working parents. There’s a strong community of parents who are invited to reading and writing workshops and a curriculum evening at the start of the year.

And finally....

This is a wonderfully unflashy, family-focussed prep that is tuned into the wellbeing and learning of each and every child.

Gallery See All

Boys in maroon and blue playing football with a yellow ball
Royal Russell Junior pupils sitting at a wooden table outside with a teacher
Girl with red hair playing on a wooden log swing in the woods
Two girls in maroon tracksuit tops looking at an ipad together
Boy and girl in maroon blazers wearing headphones sitting at computers
Girl in a white polo shirt and blue skirt doing the long jump into a sand pit
Boys in cricket whites playing cricket on a green grass pitch
Girls in maroon tracksuit tops getting food at the canteen
Girls in navy blue swimming costumes hats and goggles sitting in the pool
  • Senior school destinations

    Senior school destinations

    88% Transition to Royal Russell Senior School

  • Scholarships for senior schools


    AcademicTBCRoyal Russell Senior School
    Music4 Royal Russell Senior School
    Drama5 Royal Russell Senior School
    Sport9 Royal Russell Senior School
    Art2 Royal Russell Senior School

  • Fees and bursaries

    Day fees per term

    Year 1£4,711
    Year 2£4,711
    Year 3£5,771
    Year 4£5,771
    Year 5£6,005
    Year 6£6,005

    Bursary contact:
    PA to the Director of Finance and Operations Mrs Donna Moon
  • Transport links

    School Transport
    School daily bus network

    Public Transport
    Nearest mainline train station: Victoria
    Nearest London Overground station: Coombe Lane Tram Station
    Journey time to London by train: 27 minutes
    Nearest international airport: Gatwick Airport (18 miles)

School Updates

  • See Royal Russell Junior in our London Prep Schools Guide

    See Royal Russell Junior in our London Prep Schools Guide
  • WATCH: Royal Russell Junior School

    WATCH: Royal Russell Junior School
  • See Royal Russell Junior School in our All-through Schools Guide.

    See Royal Russell Junior School in our All-through Schools Guide.

Royal Russell Junior School is
linked with:


Coombe Lane, Croydon, Surrey CR9 5BX

020 8651 5884


ISI Report


Term Dates

Open Days

Open days and how to visit View Open Days

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