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Shrewsbury House Preparatory School
Shrewsbury House Preparatory School
Shrewsbury House Preparatory School
Shrewsbury House Preparatory School
Shrewsbury House Preparatory School Surbiton, Surrey Visit
Shrewsbury House Preparatory School
343 pupils, ages 7-13
Boys only

Shrewsbury House Preparatory School

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Our View

Alta Peto (Aim High) is an apt motto for this Surrey prep school, one of the oldest in the country. Academic results are top-notch, but boys don’t just have an opportunity to shine in the classroom – there is something here for the actor, the artist, the sportsman and the musician. The aspirational mindset encompasses moral values too, with good manners and kindness instilled in every pupil. Head Joanna Hubbard says the secondary schools she’s in touch with tell her they can always identify a Shrewsbury House boy as ‘‘they are charismatic and sparky, determined to make the very most of school life’.


The school occupies a compact, well laid-out campus in a leafy area of Surbiton. The A3 is minutes away but you wouldn’t know it; the school feels like its own world. A handsome arts and crafts manor house is the centre point, with extensions to accommodate classrooms, the art room, the D&T room, three science labs and a dining hall that doubles up as a performance space. There is also a full-size sports hall and a heated 20-metre swimming pool with retractable roof. In the school grounds, pupils have an adventure playground and all-weather pitch to play on.

More than half of the boys take the school minibus which has pick-up and drop-off points in Fulham, Barnes, Putney and Wimbledon. For local families there is a one-way system that keeps cars moving, which has contributed to the school receiving a Gold TFL Award.


Mrs Hubbard joined the Shrewsbury House Trust, which also includes the co-ed pre-preps The Rowans School in Wimbledon and Shrewsbury House Pre-Prep, in 2017 and took up the executive headship in 2021. ‘It was already fabulous,’ she says, so her approach has been to be ‘a lot more forward-thinking’, focusing on what boys need next, at senior school and in the wider world. ‘There is something special about this age group… transformation is profound here; it is a time for making memories and developing independent, curious and passionate learners to succeed in a changing world.’ The needs of the individual are nurtured to ensure all the children feel comfortable. At breaktimes, boys can play football or table tennis, explore the adventure playground or find a good book to read in the library. Mrs Hubbard wants each pupil to ‘feel recognised, valued and celebrated for who they are’. The result is boys who will take risks and not be bothered if it goes wrong.


The school is selective and boys sit the 7+ in English, maths, reasoning and listening in the November of Year 2 for entry into Year 3. Prospective pupils take the tests at the school and also do a non-assessed music/art activity. This gives the school a chance to see if, in Mrs Hubbard’s words, they are ‘teachable’ and ‘want to learn’.

Academics and senior school destinations

Shrewsbury House achieves stellar results: ‘Academics are in place for when they move on to secondary school,’ says Mrs Hubbard. All the classrooms have smart boards and projectors, and the school provides individual digital devices (Chromebooks, iPads, laptops) to support a hybrid learning approach – boys use workbooks alongside Google Classroom for resources.

There’s a lot of emphasis on reading, with an accelerated reading system in place. Pupils are avid readers and record their books on a digital system, taking an online quiz designed to develop their comprehension skills and provide further book recommendations for them. English teachers guide the boys to read a broad variety of books and the librarian also helps them expand their reading with changing displays much like a bookshop – on our visit it was science week and the table outside the library was full of interesting science-related books. The library is a real focal point. It’s open every breaktime and has 9,000 books as well as magazines to get engrossed in, plus new beanbag armchairs to curl up in. In the younger years, library lessons are timetabled while the older boys go there for some of their English lessons. A ‘book of the month’ piques interest, as do visits from authors. Additionally, there are regular ‘millionaire’s tea parties’ held with the head to celebrate pupils who’ve read a million words. By Year 8, many boys have a reading age of 17+.

Children start Year 3 with a form teacher for half their lessons, but from Year 4, they have specialist teachers for all subjects and go to dedicated classrooms. Streaming in maths and English starts in Year 4. In Year 6, they are set for French too. In Years 7 and 8, there is an academic scholarship set, preparing the boys for academic awards to a wide variety of top secondary schools. All boys in Year 8 can also compete for music, drama, art, D&T and sports scholarship if they show prowess in these areas of the curriculum.

Boys in Years 7 and 8 can also study Greek as an extra-curricular option.  From Year 3, pupils have specialist science teachers and from Year 7, the boys focus on chemistry, physics and biology in preparation for their Common Entrance and scholarship exams. The science labs are first-rate, fully equipped to the level you’d find at a secondary school. Many of the boys love the classroom in the history room which has model aeroplanes hanging from the ceiling, a locked display cabinet with an old gun, battle dress and life-size cardboard cut-outs of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.

Leavers go on to an impressive list of top senior schools, including St Paul’s, Eton and Radley, many with a scholarship.


One pupil on our visit told us the best thing about school was how much sport they do. The on-site all-weather pitch is used for football, rugby and cricket, and children have weekly PE lessons alongside scheduled swimming lessons in the on-site pool. In Year 7 and Year 8, boys rotate swimming and PE each half-term.

The sports hall is amazing, offering gymnastics, badminton, basketball, indoor football and tennis, circuit training… but the cricket facilities are perhaps the most impressive. There are four cricket nets, a bowling machine, video analysis and ‘daylight technology’ lighting which helps the boys when they’re facing fast balls.

A large playing field next to Chessington World of Adventures is a short minibus ride away. This is where the boys play their fixtures – each year group has matches on different days of the week, with the older years having some Saturday fixtures too. There’s a lovely wildflower area here and a sports pavilion with solar panels. The school has just won a Green Flag Award and an eco-committee, which includes pupils in all year groups, is focused on improving sustainability.

Shrewsbury House is very musical with around 200 boys learning an instrument aided by 17 peripatetic teachers. The spring concert the day before our visit featured bands – rock and jazz – the junior choir, groups and ensembles. The Year 5 rock band was formed by some pupils in Year 4 and with help from the music teachers they are now real ‘rockstars’, says Mrs Hubbard: ‘A sense of fun is so important to create lifelong memories.’

All the children get involved in drama, with each year group putting on a play; when we were at the school, we saw the Year 6s rehearsing for their upcoming performance of Oliver Twist. Drama scholars are involved in the advanced drama club, helping out with the costumes, make-up and lighting for all the year group plays.

Art lessons take place in a light-filled studio under the watchful eye of the enthusiastic head of art who is rethinking the curriculum to allow the boys to be more involved in evaluating their own work. The D&T room is well equipped with wooden work benches and equipment including circular saws and laser cutters. As part of a recent recycling project, the children created powered flying machines and the classroom walls are hung with clocks designed by the pupils.

A new two-part Discovery programme was launched in 2022 for the Year 7 and 8 boys. On Friday afternoons, they go off timetable and choose from a selection of topics, such as the structure of DNA or paper engineering, which they learn for the sheer joy of it – no tests, no stress. The second part of the programme sees speakers coming into the school to deliver seminars to the boys. Parents are invited as well and the quality of speakers is high; Sky Sports’ Formula 1 presenter Simon Lazenby visited recently.

Clubs include shooting, karate, fencing, cookery and chess club. They change termly and run Monday to Thursday. In the summer term, there’s an activities week – from Year 4 it’s residential, with the Year 8s spending a week in Ardèche with an overnight kayaking excursion. Year 3s enjoy day trips throughout the year. There are school ski holidays and there has been a cricket tour to St Lucia.

The four houses provide opportunities for lots of inter-house competitions including sports, quizzes, singing and poetry reading. Each year, the pupils nominate a charity they fundraise for by taking part in a sponsored run and staging the annual talent competitions. The school also supports a range of other charities – and fundraising efforts help provide books for local communities and sports shoes for children in Laos.

School community

There are timetabled PSHE lessons and a safeguarding team that monitors the school’s ‘Say Something’ message system. This works via an icon on the computer screen that boys can click and send messages through to the team if they’re having an issue. Our pupil guides told us they feel very safe at school, with ‘tons of people to speak to’ if they’re having a bad day.

The ‘fabulous’ parent body is very active, says Mrs Hubbard, organising a summer ball, a sports dinner and a comedy night, among other events. They also support events for the pupils such as a much-loved five-aside football event in the summer term. It helps create a joined-up and cohesive community, says Mrs Hubbard. ‘Parents can make lifelong friendships, as well as the boys.’

And finally....

This is a school with superlative academic results that doesn’t hothouse the boys to achieve them. It’s a happy place with aspirational pupils who are full of enthusiasm and kindness, where a strong sense of community is married with respect for the individual.

Gallery See All

boys playing football on a green astroturf pitch
Teacher in an orange shirt surrounded by boys in the classroom
Boy in a grey shirt and red tie cutting cardboard with blue scissors
Boy with blond hair holding a brass instrument
Shrewsbury House boys coming out of the school bus
boys in white shirts and red ties playing with musical instruments
boys in grey jumpers and red ties in a science lesson
boys running around in the sports hall at Shrewsbury House
boys in red swim caps leaning on the side of the pool
  • Fees and bursaries

    Day fees per term

    Year 1-
    Year 2-
    Year 3£7,350
    Year 4£7,350
    Year 5£7,350
    Year 6£7,350
    Year 7£7,350
    Year 8 £7,350

    Shrewsbury House offers bursaries to able children who could benefit from an education at the school, no matter their personal circumstances. The school offers means-tested bursaries to new pupils who qualify, and has a hardship fund for existing pupils whose financial circumstances have changed. Bursaries can cover up to 100% of fees according to need. Applications are judged against suitability, both academically and regarding wider school life, as well as need. The application process takes into account a full financial history and is subject to an annual means-testing review and may be varied up or down at the discretion of the Governors. The School uses a specialist third party organisation, Bursary Administration Limited (BAL), to assess bursary applications.
  • Transport links

    School Transport
    School bus service to/from London

    Public Transport
    Nearest mainline train station: Chessington North
    Nearest London Overground station: Surbiton
    Journey time to London by train: 20 minutes
    Nearest international airport: Heathrow (9 miles)

School Updates

  • SHS Host Year 1 Music Festival

    On Wednesday morning, SHS’s assembly hall reverberted with excited singing of Year 1 children from a number of local schools.
    SHS Host Year 1 Music Festival
  • Year 4 Trip to RHS Gardens, Wisley

    Year 4 embarked on a cross-curricular trip to RHS Gardens, Wisley.
    Year 4 Trip to RHS Gardens, Wisley
  • Half Term Ski Week

    An AMAZING half-term week away was enjoyed by twenty-nine boys from Years 5-8 in the beautiful Italian Alps.
    Half Term Ski Week
  • Drama – ‘Bumblesnouts Save the World’

    It was a very topical and serious message that was presented in the Year 4 production of ‘Bumblesnouts Save the World.’
    Drama – ‘Bumblesnouts Save the World’
  • SHS Voices visit Westminster Abbey

    SHS Voices had the exciting opportunity to visit Westminster Abbey last week, taking in some of the fascinating history of the Abbey, including opportunities to see the Coronation Chair, the grave of the Unknown Warrior, the monuments to Sir Isaac Newton’s and Stephen Hawking, along with the magnificent Henry VII Lady Chapel.
    SHS Voices visit Westminster Abbey
  • Laos Shoe Collection

    We were delighted to welcome Mr Blevins who first introduced the School to the opportunity to support the Laos Conversion Collection in 2015.
    Laos Shoe Collection
  • Book Collection for the Children’s Book Project: World Book Day

    Thank you to the School Community for your overwhelmingly generous donations to the Children’s Book Project.
    Book Collection for the Children’s Book Project: World Book Day
  • The Linnean Society

    Six of our students were invited to present their research, pertaining to the Discovery Programme entitled ‘Wildfowl, Wetlands and The Linnean Society’, at The Linnean Society of London’s residence in Burlington House, Piccadilly.
    The Linnean Society
  • Millionaire Club Tea Party

    Millionaire Club Tea Party
  • News from the Science Department

    Following the success of the first round of the Science Quiz Club competition, we were asked to participate in the semi-finals of this year's National event.
    News from the Science Department
  • View from the Top: Joanna Hubbard on nurturing young minds

    View from the Top: Joanna Hubbard on nurturing young minds
  • 'Cultivating Curiosity' by Joanna Hubbard, Head of Shrewsbury House School

    'Cultivating Curiosity' by Joanna Hubbard, Head of Shrewsbury House School
  • See Shrewsbury House in our London Prep Schools Guide

    See Shrewsbury House in our London Prep Schools Guide

Shrewsbury House Preparatory School is
linked with:


107 Ditton Road, Surbiton, Surrey KT6 6RL

020 8399 3066


ISI Report


Term Dates


Open Days

Open days and how to visit View Open Days Register for open Day

Open House
17 May 2024
Open Morning
28 September 2024

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