Nursery and Junior School entry

"A word you'll hear a lot here is 'refresh,' which neatly sums up the school's attitude to constantly keeping things fresh and ahead of the game." Good Schools Guide

We provide education in the broadest sense, preparing girls to embrace their future opportunities and challenges with confidence and independence, igniting their curiosity and giving them the tools to embark on their own journey of exploration.

Choosing the right school for your daughter is one of the most important decisions you will make as parents and our Admissions department are on hand to guide you through the process.

Joining the School

Girls can join the Junior School at any age although our common entry points are Nursery, Reception, Lower I (Year 3) and Upper II (Year 5). Girls usually join in September but there is flexibility to accept applications during the school year if places are available and it is the right path for your daughter. Entry to Lower III (Year 6) is only available under exceptional circumstances – please do speak to Admissions if this is the case.

We offer a pre-reception nursery school year, for 3-4 year olds, based on a fulltime Monday to Friday offering. Nursery girls usually join in the September after their third birthday but there is flexibility to accept applications during the school year if places are available.

The first step is to see the school for yourself. We hold termly Open Mornings and arrange regular individual tours and Stay & Play sessions. Find out more on our Visit us page or contact the Admissions Team.

To have your daughter considered for entry to the School, please complete our online registration form. It is advisable, though not essential, to have registered by the end of December to be best positioned for a place the following September. Once you are registered we will keep you updated with news and invite your daughter for assessment. Please note, a non-refundable Registration Fee of £100 is payable (£250 for overseas applicants).

Online registration form

Assessments for the Junior School take place throughout the year and we can advise on the most suitable time for your daughter to visit.

The assessment process for Nursery is fairly informal and consists of a play session and one-to-one focused activity with a teacher.

For entry into Reception, Lower Preparatory (Year 1) or Upper Preparatory (Year 2) girls spend approximately two hours at school spending time with their peer group in lessons and undertaking 1:1 assessment activities with a teacher.

For entry into Lower I (Year 3) to Upper II (Year 5) girls visit for a few hours, complete written assessments including English, Mathematics and Reasoning and join their peer group in lessons.

Once you receive the offer of a place you will need to send back the Form of Acceptance and a non-refundable £1000 deposit (£500 of this is kept for the duration of your daughter's time at The Abbey, and £500 is deducted from the first term's fee invoice). We will keep you up to date with details about familiarisation events for both you and your daughter and information to help you prepare for her first day.

Pre-reception nursery

Most girls attend daily (8.45am-3.30pm) and our fees are based on this model, but do please contact us to discuss your daughter’s requirements. If you require childcare outside of these times, Abbey parents are offered the flexibility of additional chargeable out of hours’ services including Before and After School Care.

We completely understand that you may wish to occasionally collect your daughter early or have other commitments together.

The Abbey participates in the Early Years Education grant to provide up to 15 hours of funded schooling per week for children until the term in which they have their fifth birthday. This is deducted from your termly invoice.

Childcare vouchers are accepted for payment of qualifying charges, i.e. school fees up to the age of 5 and activities that take place on school premises and outside school hours. Please contact the Finance Department on [email protected] for further information on the use of childcare vouchers.

Moving up to Senior School

Girls move to the Senior School at the end of Lower III (Year 6) after successful completion of the Senior School entrance process including the Senior School entrance exam which takes place towards the end of the Autumn term in their Lower III year. A nurturing and supportive ethos is embedded throughout The Abbey and there are several opportunities for girls to learn about the exciting challenges of life at the Senior School during their time at the Junior School.