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Open Days

Open-day season is here: a chance for parents to hear the head, see the dorms, meet the pupils and generally get a sense of whether a school might suit their child. Keep scrolling for our handy list of all upcoming open days in each area of the country, and get booking – spots fill up fast...

And remember: if you can’t snag a place at any of these open events, don’t panic. Schools will always be as accommodating as possible to prospective parents, so our advice is to pick up the phone and contact the school to arrange a visit.

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Prep Schools
Griffin House Preparatory School, Aylesbury

Open Morning - 28 June 2024

There’s a lovely mix of tradition and innovation at this small, nurturing prep in Buckinghamshire. Pupils look picture perfect in boaters and caps, and non-selective, all abilities are catered for, whether a pupil needs extra help or extra challenge. The result is a hit rate for getting pupils into local grammars that other schools would be grandstanding about.
Griffin House Preparatory School
Ibstock Place Prep School, Roehampton

Explore Ibstock Pre-Prep - 29 June 2024
Whole School Open Day (Prep and Senior) - 21 September 2024
Pre-Prep and Prep Open Morning - 08 October 2024

A school within a school, this co-ed prep on the edge of Richmond Park offers a ‘safe passage’ to the senior school it is a part of.
Ibstock Place Prep School
Old Vicarage School, Richmond upon Thames

Open Morning - 04 October 2024

This wonderfully nurturing all-girls prep that sits on Richmond Hill in a Grade II-listed, crenellated castle is academically rigorous, but not to the exclusion of letting pupils savour childhood, and it delivers a holistic education with excellent pastoral care. In the words of two Year 5 girls: ‘It is a really kind school, the relationships between the year groups are very powerful, and the teachers understand the pupils and take time to help you.’ For local families looking for an exceptional single-sex school for their daughters, Old Vicarage School (OVS) is a sure-fire choice.  
Old Vicarage School
Queen's College Preparatory School, London

Open Event - 25 September 2024
Open Event - 16 October 2024

With its central London location, this precursor to Queen’s College is a bustling hub of energetic, exuberant and purposeful pupils exuding a friendly, charming vibe.
Queen's College Preparatory School
Shrewsbury House Preparatory School, Surbiton

Open Morning - 28 September 2024

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 ‘he will be the one who notices the boy needing friendship’.
Shrewsbury House Preparatory School
St James Preparatory School, London

Reception 2025 Taster Morning - 10 October 2024
Open Morning - 06 November 2024
Reception 2025 Taster Morning - 07 November 2024

Every school likes to harp on about happiness, but there’s an all-pervading sense of joy at this unconventional west London prep, where every lesson starts and finishes with a mindfulness pause, Sanskrit is on the curriculum from nursery and lunches are vegetarian-only. St James offers a traditional British education laced with Eastern wisdom, and its academics are strong – and pastoral care even stronger.
St James Preparatory School
The Village School for Girls, Belsize Park

Open Morning - 19 June 2024

Exciting changes are afoot at this small, all-girls’ prep near Hampstead Heath. From September 2024 it will be taking in one Year 7 cohort a year until 2029 when it will be a fully-fledged senior school, educating girls with its uniquely progressive approach all the way through to their GCSEs. With new head Kirstie Hampshire at the helm and numbers flourishing, we can’t wait to see its progress as it spreads its wings.
The Village School for Girls
Wimbledon Common Preparatory School, Wimbledon

Open Morning - 09 October 2024
Open Morning - 05 March 2025
Open Morning - 04 June 2025

A joyous atmosphere pervades this London pre-prep in leafy Wimbledon Village that goes by the rather lovely nickname of ‘Squirrels’. Part of the King’s College School Corporation, many of the boys skip over the road to the junior school when they turn seven, but while it is selective, there’s no hothousing here – as head Andrew Forbes says, it’s a ‘happy, fun, buzzing school’.
Wimbledon Common Preparatory School
Senior Schools
Emanuel School, London

Sixth Form Open Evening - 02 July 2024
Year 6 & 7 Open Day - 14 September 2024
Sixth Form Open Evening - 24 September 2024
Year 6 & 7 Open Morning and Open Afternoon - 03 October 2024

One of the most popular co-eds in London, with 12 acres of handsome grounds on the edge of Wandsworth Common, enviable facilities, inspiring teachers and happy children, Emanuel is a tremendous all-rounder that has come of age. This is an academic day school with something of a boarding-school atmosphere – long days and a lot going on.
Emanuel School
Ibstock Place School, Roehampton

Sixth Form Open Evening - 12 September 2024
Whole School Open Day (Prep and Senior) - 21 September 2024
Senior School Open Morning - 16 October 2024

This all-through school on the edge of Richmond Park seamlessly combines tradition and innovation, offering pupils a ‘safe passage’ from prep to senior. The Independent Schools Inspectorate recently graded it excellent in all areas, its highest rating, and it’s easy to see why. With its clear-sighted head and polished atmosphere, Ibstock Place is a serious London contender.
Ibstock Place School
More House School, London

Open Day - 20 June 2024

Somewhat under the radar, More House has evolved from its religious roots (it was founded by a group of parents frustrated by the lack of Roman Catholic secondary options in south-west London) to become one of the most progressive – and exciting – schools in London. Offering a creative curriculum, it encourages its girls to thrive by following their dreams to wherever they might lead them, whether that’s Oxbridge or an apprenticeship. Pupils are hand-picked by the head, Ms Hagerty, who will know instinctively if they are right for More House or not, but there’s no snooty selectivism here. In fact, pupils come from far and wide, with one or two bursary recipients in every school year, plus academic scholarships offering discounts on fees for Year 7s and Year 12s.
More House School
Queen's College, London, London

Open Event - 18 September 2024
Open Event - 19 September 2024
Open Event - 17 October 2024

Times have certainly changed at this traditionally liberal, non-competitive school. Queen’s College is a calm, warm, friendly place that now ranks alongside the best of the London day schools, firmly on the 11+ list for many parents. With a broad church of ability, academic results are rising, the quality of teaching across the curriculum is excellent and there is a real sense that this is a school that is going places.
Queen's College, London
St James Senior Girls' School, London

Annual Open Day - 21 September 2024
Sixth Form Open Evening - 03 October 2024

Meditation, vegetarianism, mindfulness and Sanskrit are all embraced at this gently quirky, spiritually minded west London senior. Here, lessons begin with moments of stillness, and high-spec hi-tech is sensitively combined with significant teacher input – in return, girls blossom into happy, hardworking, humble sophisticates. It’s selective and small, with half the 11+ intake arriving from the on-site prep (pupils move seamlessly between the two, with boys heading to St James Senior Boys’ School) and the rest from a smattering of states and independents across London. All benefit from the singular ethos at the heart of St James, which in the words of one sixth-former has ‘a unique talent for letting us express ourselves and be individual with our own specific talents’.
St James Senior Girls' School
Surbiton High - Senior School & Sixth Form, Kingston upon Thames

Open Morning - 12 September 2024
Sixth Form Open Evening - 16 September 2024
Open Morning - 18 September 2024

Spread across five buildings in Surbiton, this fantastic girls-only school also has a 39-acre sports facility a few miles away and a boathouse on the Thames. It’s an excellent all-rounder with a ‘Nourish to Flourish’ charter for wellbeing, national success in sports and trips that range from yoga and surfing in the South of France to tours of Peru, South America and Barbados.
Surbiton High - Senior School & Sixth Form
Whitgift School, South Croydon

Autumn Open Event 9am - 1pm - 28 September 2024

Successful, popular and a real contender on the London day-school circuit, Whitgift has wowed us. Academic results are stellar, sport and co-curricular spectacular, the pace of change and innovation terrific and the social conscience inspiring.
Whitgift School

South East England

Prep Schools
Ardingly College Preparatory School, Haywards Heath

Prep School Open Morning - 27 September 2024

A few years ago, this prep – which shares the same gorgeous grounds and approach to teaching as the senior school – launched its ‘Shaping My World’ initiative to encourage children to be adventurous, curious, generous and ingenious, and to leave as independent thinkers prepared for life. As well as a themed festival and weekly lesson, it’s a notion that is embedded in everything from assemblies to games and drama.
Ardingly College Preparatory School
Barfield Prep School, Farnham

Open Morning - 20 September 2024

The individual is everything at this lovely Surrey day school whose incredible use of outdoor space – including woodland activities, a ‘sandy play’ playground, and play equipment galore – takes centre stage. Nature serves to nurture the whole child, building confidence, resilience and a sense of adventure. Parents tell us they feel their children are ‘in a really safe pair of hands’; pupils just love having school days packed full of fun.
Barfield Prep School
Bede's Prep School, Eastbourne

Open Morning - 21 September 2024

School days are about more than hitting academic targets at this lovely day and boarding school perched on a clifftop in Eastbourne. Head Leigh-Anne Morris is passionate about children building ‘a bank of memories and friendships and leaving with lasting memories of happy moments’. This holistic ethos serves the 250 or so boys and girls well: ‘Pupils have a sense of joy to pursue their own brilliance; there is something for every child,’ says Mrs Morris. And with a nursery (for babies from six months) and senior school (which encompasses the Legat School of Dance) all part of the same charitable trust, it’s a compelling one-stop educational journey.
Bede's Prep School
Broughton Manor Preparatory School, Milton Keynes

Open Morning - 24 June 2024

Led by joint heads Rachel and Jeremy Smith, pupils beetle about in distinctive red-trimmed blazers at this co-ed prep school set on the outskirts of Milton Keynes. Most join the ISI-rated Outstanding nursery from the age of two months, before progressing up to the pre-prep and prep school in the school’s main building.Co-curricular is important – pupils’ horizons are broadened with regular trips to the likes of the House of Parliament, the Sky TV studios and Bletchley Park, and the school has recently been awarded the prestigious Silver Artsmark Award. We love the sound of the Spinney, a unique learning space set in the campus’ beautiful gardens.
Broughton Manor Preparatory School
Caldicott School, Farnham Royal

Open Day - 12 October 2024

A country education within a minibus ride of the metropolis: this sporty all-boys prep gives its pupils the opportunity to stretch their legs, and their minds, in 40 splendid Buckinghamshire acres.
Caldicott School
Chandlings Prep School, Oxford

Whole School Open Morning - 21 September 2024
Early Years Open Morning - 11 December 2024

A high achiever set in 60 acres of beautiful countryside just outside Oxford, this prep has all the facilities you might expect and more, from a riding school and nine-hole golf course to a ballet studio and pet goats – and it’s a pretty special place to spend the halcyon days of childhood. Chandlings Prep's values are written by the pupils, and head Christine Cook is often seen greeting everyone at the gate – just two examples of the inclusive, pastorally driven care here.
Chandlings Prep School
Cheam School, Newbury

Open Morning - 11 October 2024
Open Morning - 07 March 2025

Undisputedly smart on the outside, delightfully down to earth on the inside, this impressive Berkshire prep is one of the oldest in the country – and wears its history and heritage with pride. It’s a winning mix of old-fashioned country values and progressive thinking, where academic standards are sky-high and children hop off to top boarding schools all over the country. This is a school brimming with good eggs (yes, they do have an award for that!), and both children and staff are exceptionally well-mannered and kind. An exciting place to be.
Cheam School
Cranleigh Preparatory School, Cranleigh

Open Morning - 05 October 2024

A country prep an hour’s drive from Wimbledon with forty rolling acres for pupils to run free, and an all-round education delivered with a relaxed, but focused attitude – it’s no wonder more London parents are eschewing the capital’s fevered competition for Cranleigh Prep.
Cranleigh Preparatory School
Dulwich Cranbrook - Prep School, Cranbrook

Whole School Open Morning - 05 October 2024

Set on a glorious 50-acre campus just an hour from London by train, Dulwich School Cranbrook was founded when the headmaster of Dulwich Prep London evacuated his pupils here to his in-laws’ house after the outbreak of the Second World War. What was originally a group of huts in the orchards surrounding the main manor house has grown into a thriving, incredibly open and welcoming school for 400 children aged three to 13.
Dulwich Cranbrook - Prep School
Elstree School, Newbury

Open Morning - 27 September 2024

Stunning grounds, fabulous facilities and a classic, traditional experience underpin life at this real gem of a prep school. Loved for its family values, Elstree School boosted its already significant appeal by opening its doors to girls in 2020 – a brilliantly planned and executed move.
Elstree School
Great Ballard Prep, Chichester

Open Morning - 28 September 2024
Open Morning - 08 March 2025
Open Morning - 17 May 2025

Set just outside Chichester, this bucolic, family-owned co-ed prep sees pupils heading outside whenever they can, be it getting muddy at forest school, mountain-biking across the Downs or camping out in the grounds. In the classroom, they follow a forward-thinking curriculum packed with leadership, problem-solving and entrepreneurial skills. Such is the demand for day places that boarding is no longer on offer, and instead the space is being used to expand both the prep and the organically growing senior school.
Great Ballard Prep
Highfield and Brookham , Liphook

Open Morning - 28 September 2024
Open Morning - 22 November 2024

Highfield and Brookham is flourishing – it’s got a gloriously family-friendly, homely feel, academics are top notch, and childhood is really valued. All of this helps shape the schools into one of the South East’s top non-selective preps.
Highfield and Brookham
Highfield School for Girls, Maidenhead

Open Afternoon - 21 June 2024

This small prep in Maidenhead has a wonderful family feel, with lots of inter-year mixing and a relaxed, happy atmosphere. The new head Sarah Wallace took up post in November 2023 and is a familiar face having previously been deputy, making for a super-smooth handover. Pupils do everything with gusto, in and out of the classroom, and it really feels like their views and opinions count. And with a near 100 per cent pass rate in the Buckinghamshire 11+, all options are open to them when they leave, confident in themselves and with a kind outlook on the world.
Highfield School for Girls
Horris Hill School, Newbury

Whole School Open Morning - 20 June 2024

Newly co-ed, this former all-boys’ prep has an enviable 100 per cent success rate for getting pupils into top public schools, and with girls now in the mix too, its charmingly traditional values are accessible to all. A school where pupils get as absorbed in play as they do in learning, Horris Hill seems adept at honouring its historic roots while keeping its eyes firmly focused on what a modern education needs to deliver. And with head Rob Stewart at the helm, it feels like the school’s future is bright.
Horris Hill School
Junior King's, Canterbury, Canterbury

Nursery & Pre-Prep Open Morning - 11 October 2024
Junior School Open Morning - 12 October 2024

With its bucolic setting and seamless ties with older sibling The King’s School, Canterbury, Junior King’s is becoming an increasingly hot ticket with Londoners wanting to swerve the intensity of the capital and take the stress out of senior school next steps. Flexi boarding has just been introduced and, hot off the press, a new head will be arriving in September 2024.
Junior King's, Canterbury
Rose Hill School, Tunbridge Wells

Open Day - 11 October 2024

This fantastically innovative school – where learning is engaging and fun and pastoral care is second to none – has become a real contender in the competitive Kent market. In the words of one pupil, ‘You feel like you belong here at Rose Hill,’ a testimony that says a lot about the safe environment and ethos of kindness and care that envelops the school.
Rose Hill School
St Andrew's Prep Eastbourne, Eastbourne

Open Morning - 04 October 2024
Open Morning - 05 October 2024

Located in the sunny Sussex coastal town of Eastbourne, St Andrew’s Prep offers its pupils a superbly rounded education just over an hour from the capital and a stone’s throw from the seafront.
St Andrew's Prep Eastbourne
Summer Fields, Oxford

Prep Open Morning - 21 September 2024
Pre-Prep Open Morning - 26 September 2024

A breathtaking 70-acre secret garden behind high walls and iron gates right in the centre of north Oxford’s Summertown, Summer Fields is a modern yet traditional prep with high standards and impressive results. While still a boarding school at heart, it has moved with the times and embraced a more versatile offering – and the relatively new pre-prep has only served to strengthen its already significant appeal.
Summer Fields
The Marist Prep , Ascot

Open Morning - 08 November 2024

With the on-site nursery now offering co-ed care for 47 weeks of the year and the broad, engaging and supportive environment of the all-girls prep school, you can see why The Marist is, to quote parents and teachers alike, going from strength to strength.
The Marist Prep
The Pilgrims' School, Winchester, Winchester

Pre-Prep Open Morning - 27 September 2024
Whole School Open Morning - 05 October 2024
Virtual Open Morning - 19 October 2024

An ambience of calm envelops this magical boys’ prep school that sits in Winchester Cathedral’s Close. Known for nurturing gifted musicians, it’s also academically robust and not too shabby on the sports field either. Winchester College next door is an aspirational presence (about 40 per cent of the boys go on to the college), while the magnificent cathedral where the choristers sing offers daily inspiration.
The Pilgrims' School, Winchester
Thornton College Prep, Milton Keynes

Whole School Open Morning - 28 September 2024

Very much an all-through school, Thornton College is one family on one site with a focus on inclusive values, and an incredibly inspiring head at the helm. Girls we met were confident, chatty and exceptionally well behaved – and nurture is well and truly baked in.
Thornton College Prep
Walhampton School, Lymington

Open Morning - 11 October 2024

This innovative prep has its finger on the pulse when it comes to providing a holistic education where diversity, inclusion and pupil empowerment are paramount. A fully rounded ethos encourages children to be children, while a broad academic offering, stellar co-curricular and a decidedly 21st-century eco awareness means pupils are nurtured in the best possible environment to prepare them for senior school.
Walhampton School
Westbourne House School, Chichester

Open Morning - 05 October 2024

An idyll of all that is enchanting in childhood – sprawling grounds, woodland playgrounds, acres of playing fields, mucking about in boats on the school lake... Westbourne House has managed to bottle that elusive formula of what makes a prep school perfect: not too big (360 pupils), a small family feel, and yet an immensely large site, fizzing energy and, oh yes, top-drawer academics.  
Westbourne House School
Windlesham House, Pulborough

Whole School Open Morning - 12 October 2024
Whole School Open Morning - 01 March 2025
Pre-Prep Open Morning - 15 May 2025

Windlesham House is one of those schools that evokes an incredible emotional response, with many parents themselves having spent Elysian childhoods here. In the heart of rural West Sussex, this is the oldest prep in the country, yet in recent years there has been an injection of fresh energy into the school, which has brilliantly adapted to the needs of modern families and a vibrant local market too. There’s a wow factor here, with parents and pupils alike bowled over by everything it offers.
Windlesham House
Senior Schools
Ardingly College, Haywards Heath

Virtual Open Morning (Senior School) - 13 September 2024
Lower School Open Morning (Year 7 & 8) - 20 September 2024
Sixth Form Open Evening - 25 September 2024
Senior School Open Morning (Years 7 through to Sixth Form) - 05 October 2024

Gorgeous grounds with sweeping countryside views – that’s the first impression of this co-ed day and boarding school, just 10 minutes’ drive from Haywards Heath, in West Sussex. At the top end, results are equally impressive: over the last few years, A-level performance has been the strongest since records began at the college – and the broad range of IB, A-level and BTEC courses on offer reflects the spectrum of academic ability of the pupils.
Ardingly College
Bede's School, Hailsham

Open Morning - 28 September 2024
Sixth Form Open Morning - 12 October 2024

‘This school lets you be yourself,’ says one pupil at this exceptional co-ed day and boarding school in Sussex where pupils thrive and shine in all areas, from the classroom to the playing field, the art studio to the stage (the Legat Dance Academy is part of the St Bede’s School Trust, as is the nursery and prep). Proudly non-selective, the school is interested in the child not league tables and, says head Peter Goodyer, is ‘mindful we sit as a part of a journey for education rather than as the end. We are responsible for preparing pupils so they can do whatever they want to do in the best shape they can be in.’ It’s a holistic approach that pays dividends, with happy and engaged pupils living in the moment and embracing everything that comes their way.
Bede's School
Benenden School, Cranbrook

Open Morning - 25 June 2024
Sixth Form Open Evening - 12 September 2024
Open Morning - 12 October 2024
Open Morning - 09 November 2024
Open Morning - 26 November 2024

Why do we love Benenden so much? Because it does exactly what it says on the tin: traditional, all-girls full boarding brought bang up to date. For the academically competent all-rounder who is happy to live in a lovely rural bubble, this is a reassuringly solid choice – and a school that’s firing on all cylinders.
Benenden School
Caterham School, Caterham

Open Morning - 21 September 2024

With the relaxed air of a country senior and the underlying street smarts of a school so close to the capital, Caterham is an impressive hybrid. Day-, weekly- and full-boarding options add to its appeal, and its inclusive, welcoming and innovative style is an attractive proposition. Its popularity has grown steadily to the point where there are five applicants for every place available – and it’s not hard to see why.
Caterham School
Cranleigh School, Cranleigh

Sixth Form Open Morning (16+ entry only) - 22 June 2024
Sixth Form Welcome Morning - 21 September 2024
Open Day - 12 October 2024

Basking in 240 acres of leafy Surrey countryside, Cranleigh School is a bit of a Goldilocks school – not too big, not too small, good for girls, good for boys, not greedy for the sportiest or the cleverest, but rather valuing what every pupil brings to the community. A real family atmosphere and a down-to-earth attitude creates a school filled with happy, well-rounded children confident in their own abilities.
Cranleigh School
Downe House, Thatcham

Open Day - 07 September 2024
Open Day - 16 November 2024

A top choice for families looking for the proper full-boarding experience from the get-go, Downe House combines tradition with a refreshing balance of work and play. There’s an unapologetic understanding that hard work and focus are important, but girls do very well academically as a result.
Downe House
Dulwich Cranbrook - Senior School, Cranbrook

Whole School Open Morning - 05 October 2024

Set on a glorious 50-acre campus just an hour from London by train, Dulwich School Cranbrook was founded when the headmaster of Dulwich Prep London evacuated his pupils here to his in-laws’ house after the outbreak of the Second World War. What was originally a group of huts in the orchards surrounding the main manor house has grown into a thriving, incredibly open and welcoming school – and one which has just expanded its appeal even further with the opening of a brand-new senior school, kicking off with an initial Year 9 cohort who arrived in September 2023.
Dulwich Cranbrook - Senior School
Eastbourne College, Eastbourne

Sixth Form Open Evening - 19 September 2024
Open Morning - 05 October 2024

Eastbourne has a best-of-both-worlds location between the South Downs and the sea – head Tom Lawson waxes lyrical about the wellbeing benefits of living by the water. Outdoorsy boys and girls run along the beach after lessons, go mountain biking over the hills and spend the summer term sailing and windsurfing.
Eastbourne College
Great Ballard, Chichester

Open Morning - 28 September 2024
Open Morning - 08 March 2025
Open Morning - 17 May 2025

Set just outside Chichester, this relatively new senior is the result of the organic growth of Great Ballard prep. Clever marketing, happy prep-school parents and word of mouth have resulted in a real buzz and demand for the senior school, which has helped the school double in size over the past 18 months. Ringed by the bucolic South Downs National Park, pupils make full use of their rural location – and in the classroom, they follow a forward-thinking curriculum packed with leadership, problem-solving and entrepreneurial skills. 
Great Ballard
Heathfield School, Ascot

Sixth Form Open Evening - 25 September 2024
Open Morning - 05 October 2024
Open Morning - 14 March 2025
Open Morning - 17 May 2025

‘The merit of one is the honour of all’ is the school motto here – and there is certainly much to be merited at Heathfield. Cast aside any preconceptions you may have, and prepare to be bowled over, Heathfield hits that rare sweet spot of being small enough to give every girl individual attention, and large enough to offer a full school experience in terms of academic options and co-curricular opportunities, whilst offering an astounding amount of flexibility to families. In her short time at the helm, Sarah Rollings has completely re-invigorated this outstanding school, placing pupil well-being and value-added achievement at the forefront of the unashamedly girls-first ethos, and introducing a stunning new sixth form centre, transforming the A-level experience.
Heathfield School
Lancing College, Lancing

Year 9 Open Day - 28 September 2024
Sixth Form Open Day - 05 October 2024
Year 9 Open Day - 12 October 2024
Year 9 Open Day - 16 November 2024

From the beautiful architecture and grounds to the pupils striding purposefully across quads on their way to lessons, Lancing College seems to have the playbook of an Oxford college. But while the environment feels awe-inspiring, it’s also refreshingly unflashy, with no sense of entitlement or privilege, just the love of learning, working hard and being part of a supportive community underpinning its solid foundation. It's an impressive school that surprisingly flies under the radar – but we suspect that won’t be the case for long.
Lancing College
Lord Wandsworth College, Hook

Headmaster's Reception - 21 June 2024

Philanthropy sits front and centre at this Hampshire school, which was established upon the death of its eponymous founder, Lord Wandsworth, 101 years ago. Originally built for the bereaved children of agricultural workers, it has educated 2,500 ‘Foundationers’ in its first century, with more than 50 pupils on supported places currently at the school and a separate bursary fund for means-tested places. This fosters a real community spirit, with children involved in every aspect of the running of the school – from helping interview new staff to designing the new sixth form centre.
Lord Wandsworth College
Marymount International School London, Kingston Upon Thames

Open Day - 21 September 2024
Open Day - 19 April 2025

The first all-girls school in the UK to adopt the IB curriculum – both the Middle Years and Diploma programmes – Marymount International School offers a broad-horizon education from its leafy setting in Kingston upon Thames. Pupils come from over 55 countries, creating a buzzing cultural diversity and a truly global outlook, and while the school remains faithful to its Catholic heritage, its ethos is inclusive. ‘What we offer as a school is a hidden gem’, says head Margaret Giblin – we couldn’t agree more.
Marymount International School London
Prior's Field, Godalming

Summer Open Afternoon - 27 June 2024
Autumn Open Day - 21 September 2024

This lovely, homely school feels like something of a Surrey secret, tucked away on 42 acres near Godalming. Teachers know whether girls need stretching or support, and adapt accordingly – which explains why it’s in the top two per cent of value-added at A-level (a diploma in food science and nutrition and a BTEC in music technology are alternatives). A place where pupils of all abilities are motivated to achieve great things.
Prior's Field
Shiplake College, Henley-on-Thames

Whole School Open Event - 21 September 2024
Sixth Form Open Event - 12 October 2024
Whole School Open Event - 22 March 2025

Selective but aimed at a broad range of abilities, Shiplake College is an authentic and unpretentious place that takes a holistic approach to educating ‘good eggs’. Until now, girls had only been able to join in the sixth form, but the exciting news is that as of September 2023, the school is now fully co-ed, welcoming them from Year 7.
Shiplake College
Sir William Perkins's School , Chertsey

Open Day - 11 September 2024
SWPS Sixth Form Open Evening - 18 September 2024
Open Day - 20 September 2024

Stellar academics are combined with a fantastic co-curricular programme (it has a particularly fine reputation in rowing) at this day school in Surrey. A new head joined in September and she already has her feet firmly under the desk, ensuring pupils’ individuality continues to be championed – there are no identikit students here, just high-achievers in charge of their own future.
Sir William Perkins's School
St George's School, Ascot, Ascot

Open Morning - 27 June 2024

‘I feel like I am at the centre of my own story,’ says one pupil at this all-girls’ day and boarding school. It’s a ringing endorsement at a time when so many young girls struggle to navigate their own path in a noisy world. We were struck by how at ease all the girls are across the year groups; it’s a superbly supportive community. And while the school is small, horizons are huge, with girls exceeding expectations in and out of the classroom – taking the lead in clubs, becoming ‘Googlie’ mentors (the school is one of 14 in the country to be awarded Google reference school status) and learning how to make an impact by matching their passions with assertiveness. It really feels like the sky’s the limit here, with the Georgian girls soaring.
St George's School, Ascot
St James Senior Boys' School, Ashford

Open Morning - 20 June 2024

This boys-only school in Ashford, Surrey takes a holistic approach to education, with a focus on philosophy, wellbeing and individualised learning. The end result is well-rounded young men who have been encouraged to work outside their comfort zone and grow as learners, as well as people. It’s also the only school in the country to offer Sanskrit to GCSE; head David Brazier believes that ‘the world certainly needs such Renaissance men’ – and St James certainly produces them.
St James Senior Boys' School
Sutton Valence School, Maidstone

Open Day - 28 September 2024
Open Day - 09 November 2024

This co-ed school in bucolic Kent has a work hard, play hard attitude. All-through in the truest sense of the term (the nursery and prep are a mere 800m away), it offers acres of green space, a holistic approach to academics and pastoral care, and an uplifting, joyful mindset. In the words of head James Thomas: ‘It’s a really good package: cracking staff, motivated pupils in a beautiful environment, good grades and exhausted kids at the end of the week.’ You couldn’t ask for more.
Sutton Valence School
The Marist School, Ascot

Senior Open Evening - 19 September 2024
VI Form Open Evening - 08 October 2024
Principal's Reception - 18 October 2024

Academics are top-notch, sports teams are embarrassingly successful, girls are articulate, kind and thoughtful and the extracurricular programme boasts 97 activities – there’s little doubt that The Marist is, to quote parents and teachers alike, going from strength to strength.
The Marist School
Thornton College, Milton Keynes

Whole School Open Morning - 28 September 2024

Very much an all-through school, Thornton College is one family on one site with a focus on inclusive values, and an incredibly inspiring head at the helm. Girls we met were confident, chatty and exceptionally well behaved – and nurture is well and truly baked in.
Thornton College
Wellington College, Crowthorne

Visitor Day (bookable from the start of the Summer Term) - 05 October 2024

A progressive school at the forefront of educational innovation, Wellington College was transformed by visionary head Sir Anthony Seldon and is soaring once again with James Dahl in charge. With its constant buzz, forward-facing attitude and so much for the taking, its pupils are brilliantly prepared to cope with the pressures of the modern world. There’s a palpable culture of inclusivity and ‘go-getting’ – it’s cool to be busy, and to make the most of life here, children need to be driven and willing to get involved.
Wellington College

South West England

Prep Schools
Badminton School Prep, Westbury-on-Trym

Whole School Open Morning (Reception - Sixth Form) - 28 September 2024
Prep School Open Morning - 06 February 2025

As a small, single-sex school, Badminton offers an incredible level of support from the get-go, with all girls well known individually and allowed to grow at their own pace. That’s not to say the prep school doesn’t have academic clout – it definitely does, and the blue sky-thinking head Heidi Welch is adept at weaving tip-top academics into the super-secure pastoral setting. All but a tiny number of pupils transfer to the senior school in Year 7, but even for those who don’t, this is a smashing launch pad.
Badminton School Prep
Clifton College Preparatory School, Clifton

Preschool to Year 6 Open Day - 27 September 2024

There’s no ‘one size fits all’ at this unstuffy Bristol prep (which includes a preschool and pre-prep too), part of the Clifton College stable. The intake is refreshingly broad – and so is what’s on offer.
Clifton College Preparatory School
Exeter Junior School, Exeter

Exeter Pre-prep Open Morning - 19 September 2024
Whole School Open Morning - 05 October 2024
Whole School Open Morning - 28 November 2024

There’s a lovely warm environment at this academically ambitious school in the heart of Exeter, where pupils are as industrious outside the classroom as they are in, throwing themselves into a huge range of different activities. With the pre-prep (on a different site) and senior (on the same site) it’s a compelling all-through option, with engaging overall head Louise Simpson expertly overseeing all three schools, following her pupils from age three to 18.
Exeter Junior School
Exeter Pre-Prep School, Exeter

Pre-Prep Open Morning - 19 September 2024
Whole School Open Morning - 05 October 2024
Whole School Open Morning - 28 November 2024

Like its big sibling junior and senior schools, this pre-prep has a lot of academic ambition. It’s achieved through a tremendous sense of teamwork, with every teacher involved with every pupil, which makes for a very special environment, and means little ones are ready to fly when they reach junior school.
Exeter Pre-Prep School
Kingswood Prep School, Bath

Prep School Open Morning - 10 October 2024

It isn’t always easy to hit the sweet spot between academically ambitious and passionately nurturing – but Kingswood Prep has nailed it. ‘Be kind, be kind, be kind’ is the mantra here, and learning starts with attending to the wellbeing of each and every child. Glorious architecture, spacious grounds and uplifting views over Bath are added bonuses, while the senior school offering an all-through option up to 18 makes it the complete package. 
Kingswood Prep School
Pinewood School, Shrivenham

Open Day - 03 October 2024

Welcoming, warm, thoughtful, busy, varied, thriving and all about the children, Pinewood is a must-see. The lack of head boy/girl encapsulates the overarching takeaway from this 84-acre nirvana which is that every child is important.
Pinewood School
Wells Cathedral Prep School, Wells

Be a Chorister for a Day - 21 September 2024

For one of the oldest educational establishments in the world (founded in 909), Wells Cathedral School has a decidedly modern motto: Esto Quod Est (Be What You Are). This co-ed day and boarding all-through school is very well set up for getting the best out of every pupil, and it’s clear that the prep school – which shares the same site as its senior sibling – takes this warm, accepting attitude seriously.
Wells Cathedral Prep School
Senior Schools
Badminton School, Bristol

Whole School Open Morning (Reception - Sixth Form) - 28 September 2024
Sixth Form Open Evening - 11 October 2024

A smart, unfussy, forward-looking school that is both quintessentially British and wonderfully diverse with a phenomenal global, outward-looking view on the world, Badminton offers a compelling all-through education for girls. Its small size allows strong relationships to be forged and a real culture of tolerance and respect to be fostered. This is a hugely democratic sort of place, where girls are encouraged to be proactive in and outside school – and it has an air of intellectual rigour to boot.
Badminton School
Canford, Wimborne

Open Morning - 05 October 2024

Despite its magnificent setting and illustrious history, there is no sense of privilege or entitlement at this 100-year-old school in the beautiful Dorset countryside. Pupils are friendly, down-to-earth and outward-looking, happy in their own skin and modest about their achievements – even though there would be much to brag about, from ace exam results to stellar performances on the playing field and stage. It’s no wonder waiting lists are growing – this is a school with serious game, turning out wonderfully grounded young men and women with a real awareness of the world around them.
Clifton College, Clifton

Sixth Form Open Day - 04 October 2024
Year 7 - Year 11 Open Day - 05 October 2024

Clifton College hits the sweet spot of individual care and attention, with the numbers and resources to offer everyone a multitude of options. There is no set path here and, as pupils grow and develop, it becomes the school they need to maximise their potential both in the classroom and beyond. And with the adjacent preparatory school available as a seamless build-up, Clifton really does have it all.
Clifton College
Exeter School, Exeter

Whole School Open Morning - 05 October 2024
Sixth Form Open Evening - 07 November 2024
Whole School Open Morning - 28 November 2024

A school where academic sights are set high and pupils rise to them through excellent teaching and a programme of mind-expanding lectures, masterclasses and educational trips. Co-curricular is equally strong, with wonderful facilities and a ‘let’s do it’ mentality. The pre-prep and junior sibling schools means it’s a compelling all-through option, with engaging overall head Louise Simpson expertly overseeing all three schools, which means she follows many pupils through their whole educational journey from age three to 18.
Exeter School
Kingswood School, Bath

Senior School Open Morning - 28 September 2024
Sixth Form Information Event - 02 October 2024

With its impressive sporting reputation, excellent academic results and top-billing arts, Kingswood is the epitome of a polymath school. Support for busy families is a big part of the ethos and, with the prep school on the same stunning campus overlooking Bath, it’s a compelling all-through option, with excellent boarding facilities from Year 7.
Kingswood School
Marlborough College, Marlborough

Visit day for Sixth Form entry 2025 - 11 September 2024
Visit day for Sixth Form entry 2025 - 18 September 2024
Visit day for Sixth Form entry 2025 - 25 September 2024

With its formidable reputation as one of the country’s top public schools (it’s also one of the very few genuinely seven-days-a-week schools left in the UK), Marlborough might be forgiven for resting on its laurels. But that’s not the Marlborough way. Recent initiatives include a new method of teaching and learning that places health and mental wellbeing at the centre of everything, while the College’s continuing drive to increase accessibility has seen a boom in bursaries. As the inspirational head Louise Moelwyn-Hughes says: ‘We are changing the face of Marlborough College through diversity, and access is at the heart of what we do.’
Marlborough College
St Mary's Calne, Calne

Open Day - 09 November 2024

Small and nurturing, academic but not a hothouse and brimming with laidback, nicely gung-ho girls, St Mary’s Calne is, says the school, ‘the best of the British boarding school tradition – with a modern twist’. Girls are equipped with firm foundations for life, leaving armed with bucketloads of confidence and self-esteem. 
St Mary's Calne
Truro School, Truro

Open Morning - 05 October 2024

The sense of belonging is palpable at this school, which overlooks Truro Cathedral from its hilltop location. As well as enriching children’s lives with learning, physical challenges, creativity and fun (after school you’ll see a flurry of pupils grabbing their surfboards from the corridors to head off to the beach), there’s a real commitment to creating citizens of Cornwall, who will go into the world taking their Cornish identity with them. There’s a feeling of energy and optimism here that’s infectious – and it starts in the nursery and prep school, making Truro a fantastic all-through option.
Truro School

East of England

Prep Schools
Bedford Prep School, Bedford

Open Morning - 05 October 2024

Located in the same grounds as Bedford Upper School, this high-achieving prep is consistently at the top of the leaderboard in academics, sport, music, drama and technology. It shares the same pride among pupils, parents and staff as the senior school, and there is a strong sense of community and camaraderie. We were struck by what a happy place it is – when we visited, there was a real buzz rippling through the bright and airy buildings, with boys prodding snakes in the science lab, charging around the rugby pitch and devouring books in the library – and with most boys moving up to the senior school with no Common Entrance to stress about, it offers an all-through education parents can feel confidence in.
Bedford Prep School
Gresham's Prep School, Holt

Open Morning - 27 September 2024

A traditional education is the focus at this Norfolk prep school, but just as important is allowing children the freedom to thrive and find their own way. The happy atmosphere and fully engaged pupils attest to the success of this approach, and with new, state of the art premises on the horizon in 2026, the future at Gresham’s is looking very bright indeed.
Gresham's Prep School
Ipswich Preparatory School, Ipswich

Whole School Open Day - 28 September 2024

This high-achieving prep in Ipswich delivers a top-notch education from a nautically themed building – each floor has a deck like a ship – with the impressive Claire Jackson at the helm. Possessing the perfect attributes for a prep school head – patience, kindness, a lovely sense of fun plus a razor-sharp vision for the school and her pupils – she alone is a draw for many parents, but the dedication of the entire staff and the elevated quality of teaching and pastoral care makes this school the complete package.
Ipswich Preparatory School
King's Ely Prep, Ely

Whole School Open Event - 21 September 2024

This high-achieving prep in Ely near Cambridge is part of the King’s Ely family and so offers a seamless all-through education from age two to 18. Music and drama are standout subjects and Christian values and personal development are foundation stones. Add in a good cultural blend of international pupils, choristers and boarding options and you have the complete package.
King's Ely Prep
Langley Prep School at Taverham, Norwich

Open Morning - 05 October 2024

This school outside Norwich has fabulously spacious grounds that pupils don boiler suits to roam around in – and when it’s wet, storm coats and wellies too. It’s just one way that Langley lets its pupils embrace their childhood while they learn. It’s proudly non-selective – in the school’s words, it’s ‘a flower bed where a lot of variety grows’ – and there’s no Common Entrance; instead, it is adapting the Prep-School Baccalaureate in its own image, giving pupils a broad foundation in skills such as teamwork and confidence, as well as traditional academics. And with almost everyone moving up to the senior school at the end of Year 8, the holistic education continues seamlessly – and with no stress – to age 18.
Langley Prep School at Taverham
Senior Schools
Abbey College Cambridge , Cambridge

Open Morning - 05 October 2024

This unique school’s mandate is to help young people achieve their dreams of getting a place at one of the UK’s top universities, which it does through stellar teaching and superlative pastoral care. Most pupils are international – from more than 40 countries – but from September 2024, a new Year 9 cohort will no doubt attract more UK students reaching for the stars.
Abbey College Cambridge
Bedford School, Bedford

Open Morning - 05 October 2024

The self-assurance of this venerable school that dates back to 1552 is wonderfully evident in the confident and considerate young men it turns out. Its commitment to a holistic education means it’s not jumpy with change but rather finesses what it does in a mindful manner. A sense of pride and contentment is palpable among pupils and staff alike and, although it might not catch the eye with state-of-the-art buildings, the solidness of Bedford School goes much deeper than a flashy façade.
Bedford School
Ipswich School, Ipswich

Sixth Form Information Evening - 24 September 2024
Whole School Open Day - 28 September 2024

There’s a lot to recommend this school in Ipswich. For a start, it’s considered one of the top independent schools in Suffolk, punching above its weight academically, and it also makes a splash in sports, music and drama. It has roots going back to 1399, and its mix of old and modern architecture on its current site (where it has been since 1852) is truly inspiring. And with a prep school across the road, it offers a stress-free, all-through education. Oh, and it’s the only school to be mentioned in a Shakespeare play – Henry VIII in a reference to Cardinal Thomas Wolsey who was a pupil at the school.
Ipswich School
King's Ely, Ely

Whole School Open Event - 21 September 2024
Sixth Form Open Event - 12 October 2024

One of the oldest schools in the world with the stunning Ely Cathedral at its heart, King’s Ely certainly has gravitas. And with pupils regularly filing into the cathedral for assemblies, services, and choristers’ choir practice, it feels like a grounding force for everyone. But equally appealing is the incredibly friendly atmosphere at the school and the brilliant choice of academic and co-curricular options. And with the prep on the same site and nursery and pre-prep five minutes’ walk away, it offers an all-through option which is certainly compelling.
King's Ely
Langley Senior School at Loddon, Norwich

Open Morning - 28 September 2024

At first sight, Langley’s glorious Capability Brown-designed grounds and stunning Palladian architecture will certainly turn your head. But its refreshing focus on individuals rather than results and the promise to ‘know your child for who they are’ are what really make this rural Norfolk school stand out. Everyone is welcome here, and the outstanding academic and pastoral support means pupils thrive in an environment teed up for them to blossom.
Langley Senior School at Loddon


Prep Schools
Hallfield School, Birmingham

Open Evening - 01 July 2024

In an educationally competitive marketplace, Hallfield School in Birmingham has carved out a niche with its ‘three months to 13 years’ offering and a headmaster whose enthusiasm for educating the whole child is infectious. With a surprising 22 acres, it’s a city school with a rural feel, and a palpably friendly vibe that envelops a core of solid academic achievement.
Hallfield School
King's Hawford, Worcester

Open Morning - 11 October 2024
Open Morning - 28 February 2025
Open Morning - 16 May 2025

Of the two prep schools that are part of the King’s Worcester Foundation, co-ed King’s Hawford is the more rural. A newly built elevated wooden fort now greets visitors, visible from the main road and a fitting first glimpse of a school where childhood is front and centre. In kindergarten (from age two) and Reception, every child gets a weekly forest-school session in woodland with space to plant trees, build shelters and learn about wildlife. These outdoor activities give boys and girls the self-confidence and independence of mind that fosters achievement in the mainstream curriculum. There’s a quietly dynamic evolution going on here, and we love it.
King's Hawford
King's St Alban's , Worcester

Open Morning - 04 October 2024
Open Morning - 07 February 2025
Open Morning - 09 May 2025

Part of the King’s Foundation – which includes sibling prep King’s Hawford and senior school King’s Worcester – King’s St Alban’s sits with ‘Big King’s’ adjacent to the grounds of Worcester Cathedral. A brilliant blend of small-scale, prep-school nurturing with the fully shared knockout facilities of the senior, this place is a highly attractive proposition. It’s down to earth, hardworking and hardwired to make education as valuable as possible for both pupils and parents. We came away feeling that it is a great choice for any child, with a tailor-made preparation for King’s Worcester built right in.
King's St Alban's
Moreton Hall Prep, Oswestry

Whole School Open Day - 28 September 2024

A relaxed vibe radiates from everyone you meet at this small co-ed prep tucked away in the folds of stunning Shropshire. Head Deborah Speakman describes it as wholesome; the children we met embodied it in their excited, smiley faces and lovely manners. Respect and a strong sense of belonging replace strict rules – and it works, all the way up from the cosy, onsite nursery to the girls-only senior school.
Moreton Hall Prep
Repton Prep, Derby

Prep School Open Morning - 28 September 2024
Prep School Open Morning - 16 November 2024
Prep School Open Morning - 15 March 2025
Prep School Open Morning - 10 May 2025

A stunning rural location in the heart of England. The leafy campus, with the historic Foremarke Hall at the centre, is aesthetically impressive and has a buzzy feel.
Repton Prep
Witham Hall Preparatory School, Stamford

Open Day - 09 November 2024

‘A quintessential country prep school with a bit of ambition,’ is how head Will Austen describes Witham Hall. We think he’s being modest. This co-ed in rural Lincolnshire seems to have cracked the formula for providing a near-perfect education, with pupils gaining scholarships left, right and centre to the country’s top public schools. It’s no wonder parents travel up to an hour each day to send their children here.
Witham Hall Preparatory School
Wolverhampton Grammar Junior School, Wolverhampton

Whole School Open Day - 05 October 2024
Junior & Infant School Open Morning - 25 January 2025

Wolverhampton Grammar, located in the city’s suburbs, is refreshingly down to earth. Children are supported throughout their educational journey at this highly aspirational, friendly and well-rounded day school, which has evolved and extended gradually from its original incarnation as an all-boys senior to its current status as a fully co-ed all-through with provision from Reception to Year 13.
Wolverhampton Grammar Junior School
Senior Schools
Edgbaston High School for Girls, Birmingham

Senior School Open Evening 4.30-7.00pm - 20 June 2024
Senior School Open Morning - 21 September 2024

We were floored by the pace, variety of life and buzzing sense of activity at this aspirational and inspirational multi-cultural all-girls day school in leafy Edgbaston, just to the south of central Birmingham. Girls zip in all directions across the compact campus, out along the 10-minute walk to the sports fields and, once their time to leave has come, off to an impressive range of universities.
Edgbaston High School for Girls
King's Worcester, Worcester

Senior & Sixth Form Open Morning - 28 September 2024
Sixth Form Open Morning - 09 November 2024
Senior & Sixth Form Open Morning - 18 January 2025

An upbeat, modern school with a storied history reaching back to the 7th century, King’s Worcester has a uniqueness that not only stems from its historic location at the heart of the city’s cathedral, but also from the caring atmosphere shaped by centuries of Christianity, which has been given fresh warmth by head Gareth Doodes. A modest day school with all the breadth and opportunity of a boarding giant, King’s is down to earth, ticks every box and is well worth a look.
King's Worcester
Moreton Hall, Oswestry

Whole School Open Day - 28 September 2024

There’s a lovely feeling of calmness at this school that prides itself on its self-guiding, self-determining ethos. We saw what the school calls the ‘Moreton magic’ in spades, meeting pupils who embodied the values of belonging and ambition so beautifully portrayed in the ‘two sides of the same coin’ video on the school’s website. Not just slick marketing, it’s a genuine representation of this very special school where every girl is allowed to be unapologetically herself.  
Moreton Hall
Wolverhampton Grammar School, Wolverhampton

Sixth Form open evening - 20 June 2024
Whole School Open Day - 05 October 2024

This is a school with an infectiously purposeful and upbeat feel. It focuses every energy on obtaining the best for its pupils without the need for swanky window dressing. Tech integration is some of the best we’ve seen, with devices cleverly used to extend and inspire learning throughout.
Wolverhampton Grammar School

North of England

Prep Schools
St Peter's York 2-8, York

Open Morning - 05 October 2024

Widely regarded as one of the top schools in the north of England, St Peter’s is certainly a hot ticket. The all-through education is a real draw and with its three-school structure moving to two-schools from September 2025, you get the sense there’s no resting on laurels here, with the question, ‘how can we be better?’, always front of mind.
St Peter's York 2-8
St Peter's York 8-13, York

Open Morning - 05 October 2024

Despite being one of the oldest schools in the world, with a Gothic façade that echoes that of York Minster (for which St Peter’s is the official choir school), this in-demand co-ed has a fresh, forward-thinking attitude. Widely regarded as one of the top schools in the north of England, St Peter’s is certainly a hot ticket – and the all-through education offered here is a real draw. With the current three-school structure moving to two-schools from September 2025, you get the sense there’s no resting on laurels here, with the question, ‘how can we be better?’, always front of mind.
St Peter's York 8-13
Senior Schools
St Peter's School York, York

Sixth Form Open Evening - 18 September 2024
Open Morning Senior School - 21 September 2024

St Peter’s might be the fourth oldest school in the world but this in-demand co-ed has a 21st-century outlook. Widely regarded as one of the top schools in the north of England, St Peter’s is certainly a hot ticket – and the all-through education offered is a real draw. With the current three-school structure moving to two-schools from September 2025, you get the sense there’s no resting on laurels here, with the question, ‘how can we be better?’, always front of mind.
St Peter's School York


Prep Schools
Senior Schools

Global Schools