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St Andrew's Prep Eastbourne
St Andrew's Prep Eastbourne
St Andrew's Prep Eastbourne
St Andrew's Prep Eastbourne
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St Andrew's Prep Eastbourne Eastbourne, East Sussex Visit
St Andrew's Prep Eastbourne
343 pupils, ages 9 months -13 years
Day and Boarding

St Andrew's Prep Eastbourne

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Our View

It’s not just sunny Eastbourne’s fresh sea air that creates the happy atmosphere at St Andrew’s Prep. There’s also the school’s dynamic approach to academics, well-attuned listening culture and recognition that learning at the beach, forest school, on the stage and on the sports field are as important as learning in the classroom. As head Tom Gregory says, this is a place ‘full of opportunity, challenge and fun’.


One road away from the coast, St Andrew’s Prep sits in a residential neighbourhood of Eastbourne, and is made up of buildings housing different sections of the school: nursery, pre-prep and prep, all of which border the sports field, where pupils have games and play during break.

Six school minibuses offer morning pick-ups and evening drop-offs, which parents can opt in and out of as needed. Most children live locally but for those who are further away, sibling senior school Eastbourne College’s minibus routes are an option.


Mr Gregory took up the headship in 2021 and wasted no time in relocating the library to the heart of the main prep-school building. An empty space that once linked two sections of the school, it’s now carpeted and packed with shelves full of books. 'Reading is fundamental to everything you do,’ says Mr Gregory, who wanted pupils to have constant access to physical books. Once a St Andrew’s Prep pupil himself, he had a career in investment banking before realising his vocation lay in teaching. His own children now attend the school, so he has a unique perspective as a head, parent and former pupil. His vision is for pupils to reach their academic potential, whilst encountering as many opportunities as possible, embracing them all and having the courage to have a go at something new.


Non-selective, St Andrew’s Prep accepts day children for all year groups and boarders from Year 3. Pupils can join at any stage of the academic year. The nursery takes babies from nine months, and there are currently 70 little ones. From Reception to Year 8, there are a total of 300 pupils.

Academics and senior school destinations

Classroom teaching, forest school and free-flow activities are the cornerstones for pre-prep pupils. Reception has a cooker in the classroom – on our visit they had just made apricot flapjacks – and on Friday mornings they take the classwork from the week into forest school, which is a huge adventure playground enjoyed by all the pre-prep pupils. It’s timetabled into the week for Years 1 and 2, alongside core subjects and D&T, computing, French, music, dance and drama, some of which are taught by specialist teachers. 

In Year 3, children move to the ‘big’ building (but to the safety of the Junior Hub), and are taught in their classes for most subjects, but are in ability sets for maths. By Year 5, most subjects are taught by specialist teachers and they start Latin and drama. If a pupil’s first language isn’t English, they mght attend specialist EAL lessons instead of studying French and Latin. From Year 7, pupils are set by ability in maths, English, French, Latin and science.

The school shook things up in 2019 when it moved away from Common Entrance and adopted the innovative new Bridge Curriculum, which takes the best of CE and the national curriculum and combines them into a syllabus that is far more dynamic and effective in preparing for GCSEs and beyond, with lots of collaborative and individual project work, and presentation and research-skills practice. The curriculum is carefully coordinated with the subject heads at Eastbourne College, but it is also carefully benchmarked against the CE syllabus so as not to disadvantage pupils who don’t opt to go there. Pupils who intend to sit academic scholarships to senior school move into a scholarship group in Year 8.

The majority of pupils do go to Eastbourne College, but the 10 per cent who don’t head to a range of other destinations including: Ardingly; Bede’s The Dicker; Benenden; Brighton College; Hurst; King’s Canterbury; Roedean; Mayfield and Tonbridge.



Sport is part of the regular diet at St Andrew's Prep – five to seven hours a week in Years 3 to 4, and a minimum of seven hours from Year 5. From rugby, netball, football and hockey to swimming, basketball and volleyball, lessons and fixtures are inclusive.

The facilities are fantastic: a sports hall for PE, netball and cricket nets, an indoor pool, netball and tennis courts, and even an indoor shooting range. Eastbourne College’s Astros and sports coaches are also part of the offering. Dance in the sprung-floor studio is taught by a specialist teacher from Year 2, with a boys-only dance club that is very popular. Exercise classes such as Zumba are also on offer – and the school is becoming known for its table tennis skills too.

Whatever the weather, Years 3 and 4 have beach school every Thursday (taking flasks of hot chocolate when it’s cold), where they do art, poetry, story-writing and maths. Back at school, the art room is impressive, with a pottery area complete with kiln.

There are plenty of performance spaces for music and drama, and there is usually something going on, from plays to teatime concerts. All the junior pupils sing in their own choir; there's also a senior and audition-only choir, and middle and senior pupils get involved in staging a production. Recent music tours have seen pupils travel to Paris and Italy. 

Endless extracurricular clubs include everything from archery, Lego clinic and Brownies to sailing, water polo and golf.


Full, weekly, flexi and occasional boarding are all on offer, with capacity for about 50; currently there are 25 to 30 boarders, with a number of overseas children from China and Spain, among others. The boarding house in the prep-school building is homely, with two- to six-bed boys’ and girls’ dorms in separate areas and three common rooms, one a shared space and the other two for each gender. After sports fixtures on Saturday afternoons, boarders tend to go for a beach stroll, with Sundays dedicated to something more adventurous like climbing or visiting a theme park. Sunday-lunch roast is a popular fixture.

School community

There’s a wonderful listening culture at the school, with 15 trained listeners on the staff. ‘If children can share their worries, they can keep on an even keel,’ says Mr Gregory, who is rightly proud of the scheme. A medical centre staffed with three full-time nurses is next to the wellbeing centre (The Snug), where pupils can drop in for a chat or pre-book an appointment with the trained listeners.

The parent body is very supportive and the school embraces them as part of the family. There are coffee mornings, tea parties and even a beginning of term camping night involving pizza, an outdoor cinema and a barbecue breakfast cooked by the head before everyone heads off on an annual sponsored walk. The Friends organise lots of fundraisers including quiz nights, gala balls – and the most anticipated event of them all: the surprise-themed leavers’ ball for Year 8s.

And finally....

This is a school full of kindness, outside-the-box thinking and a plethora of opportunities for pupils to try almost anything. Facilities are top-notch and the seaside location is hard to beat.

Gallery See All

Pupils in striped blazers walking on green grass with the sea behind them
Senior pupils in class with laptops
Girl in white tshirt and blue skirt playing tennis
Boys in navy tops playing rugby
Girls in white tops in pottery class
Boy playing table tennis in school uniform
Girls in class drawing wearing purple and white striped dresses
St Andrew's Prep indoor sports hall
Girl in blue helmet playing cricket with bat and pads on
Boys and girls in uniform together under a tree
Boy in white top and orange boots playing hockey with a yellow ball
Pupils in striped blazers doing a science experiment with safety goggles on
  • Senior school destinations

    Senior school destinations

    Bedes, Brighton College, Burgess Hill Girls School, Eastbourne College Shrewsbury School x 1

  • Scholarships for senior schools


    Academic7Eastbourne College
    Music2 Eastbourne College
    Drama3 Eastbourne College
    Sport4 Brighton College and Bede's Senior School
    Art1 Eastbourne College
    All Rounder2 Eastbourne College
    OtherEastbourne College Named Sport Award (Nigel Wheeler) Eastbourne College

  • Fees and bursaries

    Day fees per term

    Year 1£4,100
    Year 2£4,100
    Year 3£6,000
    Year 4£6,600
    Year 5£7,100
    Year 6£7,100
    Year 7£7,250
    Year 8 £7,250
    Boarding fees per term

    Year 1-
    Year 2-
    Year 3 £10,305
    Year 4 £10,305
    Year 5 £10,305
    Year 6£10,305
    Year 7£10,305
    Year 8 £10,305

    Bursary contact:
    Finance Director Chris Bentley-Mawer
  • SEND

    This school currently supports the following kinds of learning needs, health needs and physical disabilities:
    Speech, language, autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, slow processing.

    This school currently delivers the following interventions to pupils in class and outside class to support their learning, health and/or physical needs:
    Support is given mainly in class with some small group intervention from Year 1 upwards.

    This school currently provides the following support for pupils' mental health needs
    The Head of Pastoral Care oversees the school’s Welfare Management Team which prioritises the wellbeing of every child. The Pastoral Leadership Team which includes the Head of Boarding, Head of Well-being, Headmaster, Tutors, Listeners and each year group Head look strategically at Pastoral Care across the whole school. In addition, they have a listening service which provides daily opportunities for children to talk to teachers. The school has a dedicated wellbeing hub called The Snug where pupils can come and be accepted just as they are at that moment. Their feelings will be explored through play, talk or pictures and art. They have a school counsellor and worry boxes. There are also opportunities for discussion in weekly Mind Matters lessons and PSHE. Pupils cannot self-refer at this age group.

    Co-ordinator: Mrs A Ford
  • Transport links

    School Transport
    Escorted train service to/from London
    School daily bus network

    Public Transport
    Nearest mainline train station: Eastbourne
    Journey time to London by train: 85 minutes
    Nearest international airport: London Gatwick (45 miles)

School Updates

  • See St Andrew's in our Country Prep Guide

    Find your perfect country prep school. Whether you're contemplating a move for your entire family or want to explore the education options within a daily minibus-ride of the capital, we can help.
    See St Andrew's in our Country Prep Guide
  • See St Andrew's Prep in our All-through Schools Guide

    See St Andrew's Prep in our All-through Schools Guide


Meads Street, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN20 7RP

01323 733203


ISI Report


Term Dates

Open Days

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

Open Morning
04 October 2024
Open Morning
05 October 2024

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