Bursaries are provided to assist Senior School students who would benefit significantly from an education at The Abbey and whose parents could not otherwise afford to send them. Bursaries are means-tested and parental assets and income are assessed and reviewed on an annual basis. Every case will be taken on its individual merits but, among those who qualify financially, the academic potential of the pupil will be the overriding factor.

  • Bursaries are not available at the Junior School.
  • Parents should indicate to The Head of Finance and Resources that a bursary may be needed by emailing bursaries@theabbey.co.uk.
  • All bursary applications should be received by the last Friday in November in relation to a place for the following September.

Further information about Bursaries can be found in our admissions policy.


Scholarships are awarded in the Senior School to recognise excellence. The prestige in recognition of a girl’s ability is considerable and Scholars are expected to demonstrate commitment and enthusiasm throughout their school life.

Scholarships are not available at the Junior School.

Academic Scholarships

Academic Scholarships (internal and external) are based on the results of assessments and provide a 10% discount per year on fees.

For Sixth Form entry (external only) Academic Scholarships are offered to the highest achieving candidates following a scholarship examination and interview on the Sixth Form Entrance Examination Day in November.

Specialist Scholarships

Specialist scholarships in Art, Drama, Music and Sport are offered to pupils joining the Senior School in Upper III (Year 7) and are awarded for three years until the end of Upper IV (Year 9). Much of the vibrancy of our community comes from the outstanding contribution our girls make to sport and the arts, and the School provides exceptional opportunities for talented pupils to develop their skills and grow their enthusiasm alongside others who share their passion. Workshops, masterclasses and trips create a rich and rewarding programme for our young Scholars.

Applications for Specialist Scholarships will open 1 June 2021 and close 1 November 2021. Candidates will be informed by mid-December whether they have been shortlisted for interviews and auditions, which will take place in January 2022.

There is an opportunity for internal candidates to re-apply for Specialist Scholarships in the summer of Upper IV (Year 9) for Lower V and Upper V (Years 10 and 11).

Sixth Form applications should be submitted by 1 November 2021.

Completed forms should be submitted to admissions@theabbey.co.uk

Art Scholarships

The Abbey offer the following:

  • Access to an enrichment programme of workshops and masterclasses led by artists (3 per annum)
  • Visits to galleries, museums or places of interest (1-2 per annum)
  • A kit of quality specialist materials
  • Open studio sessions
  • Access to School Art clubs
  • Art mentoring
  • Opportunity to complete Arts Award
  • Exhibitions of work in the School’s gallery
  • Access to a wide range of media, techniques and processes in the Art Department’s purpose-built studios
  • A £500 annual discount on fees

What do we expect from our Art Scholars?

  • Regular attendance at Art clubs/open studio sessions
  • Attendance at Scholars’ workshops and masterclasses
  • Entry into art-related competitions
  • Role model within lessons
  • Willingness to assist the Art Department at Open Evenings/Open Mornings as appropriate
  • Commitment, enthusiasm and engagement

Selection and assessment procedure

  • Candidates will be shortlisted based upon their portfolio submissions (see details below)
  • Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview
  • Applicants invited for interview are expected to be able to discuss an artwork by another artist, preferably one seen firsthand, during the interview
  • A one-hour art task will be set by the Art Department for shortlisted candidates

Portfolio Advice

The portfolio should include:

  • Up to five A1 sheets of work in a variety of media
  • At least one sketchbook
  • Evidence of drawing from observation

Any 3D work should be photographed. Portfolios should contain work completed both in school and independently by the pupil.

Drama Scholarships

The Abbey offer the following:

  • Special status within the School
  • A year-long Drama enrichment programme, overseen by our Theatre Artist in Residence and our Head of Drama
  • A Drama Scholars’ trip every year
  • A workshop with an external theatre company or practitioner
  • A Drama Scholars’ production (Lower School and Upper School rotate biennially)
  • Mentoring and support from the Drama Department
  • A £500 annual discount on fees

Scholars are also encouraged to participate in any other performance opportunities, as appropriate, including the Upper III Pantomime, the Lower School Play, the Upper School Play, and the School Musical.

What do we expect from our Drama Scholars?

Our Drama Scholars come from a variety of backgrounds and have differing levels of experience in various styles and genre. We are looking for passion, a desire to experiment and be challenged, and a willingness to take risks.

We would expect our Drama Scholars to demonstrate:

  • The ability to make confident, informed acting choices, driven by an understanding of their character
  • The ability to discuss drama thoughtfully and perceptively
  • The ability to work well with others, in an open and supportive manner
  • The ability to work imaginatively and independently
  • An open mind, enthusiasm and a sense of humour
  • A willingness to try new things
  • An interest in live theatre, as both audience and performer
  • Regular attendance at Scholars’ club and production rehearsals (repeated unexplained absence may lead to the scholarship being withdrawn)
  • A willingness to assist the department, as required, at Open Evenings, and community events

Acting experience, at school and/or with other organisations, as well as any Speech and Drama qualifications are welcome but not essential.

It is not necessary to take, or intend to take, GCSE Drama, A-level Drama and Theatre, or IB Theatre to apply for a Scholarship.

Selection and assessment procedure

For entry into Upper III (Year 7)
A two-minute monologue to be taken from the list provided by the department. Candidates will also have a short interview and participate in a group workshop.

For internal entry into Lower V (Year 10)
A two-minute monologue from a play of your choice. The monologue must come from a published play and should not be a poem, an extract from a book, a standalone monologue from the internet, or one that the candidate has written themselves. Candidates will also have a short interview and participate in a group workshop. Applicants should read the whole play that their monologue is taken from, as they may be asked about the play and the character during their interview.

For entry into the Sixth Form
As for internal entry into Lower V (Year 10). Candidates should also be prepared to have their monologue re-directed.

Music Scholarships

The Abbey is a very busy school in terms of music-making with a large variety of ensembles and activities that we hope will suit a wide range of musical interests and ability levels. Our Music Scholars are among our most enthusiastic and committed musicians who are happy to make music a principal focus of their school life. We rely on our Music Scholars to be role models for other musicians in the School and thus they are key members of the School’s musical ensembles.

The Abbey offer the following:

  • Free tuition at school on one instrument
  • Participation in an annual Music Scholars’ event with the opportunity to prepare a performance with one of the Music Department’s piano accompanists
  • Regular dialogue between Music staff and instrumental teachers concerning progress, to include discussion of future opportunities for Music Scholars

We would expect our Music Scholars to demonstrate:

  • A high level of enthusiasm for Music
  • A high level of musical proficiency
  • Willingness to work with other musicians within ensembles
  • Willingness to be role models for other musicians
  • Excellent progress in all musical activities
  • Excellent technical progress in instrumental/vocal lessons
  • Membership of appropriate ensembles
  • Full attendance at relevant music rehearsals and at concerts
  • Willingness to assist the Music Department at events as appropriate

Selection and assessment procedure

Candidates who have achieved the necessary technical level will be eligible to audition for a Scholarship. Please note that a minimum standard of at least Grade 3 is expected, but musicality, potential and enthusiasm are considered to be equally important.

Candidates will be required to:

  • Perform a solo of their choice on their principal instrument
  • Perform a solo of their choice on any other instruments they play, where time in the audition allows
  • Undertake some supporting tests (e.g. sight-reading)
  • Discuss their musical activities at interview with the Music staff

Sport Scholarships

The Abbey offer the following:

  • Access to a mentoring programme
  • Opportunity to receive specialist coaching
  • Professional advice on fitness and nutrition
  • Attendance at our annual Sports Awards
  • A £500 annual discount on fees

What are we looking for in a Sport Scholar?

Our Sport Scholars excel in a broad range of sports and compete at high levels.

For entry into Upper III (Year 7) we would expect applicants to:

  • Perform at a high level in a range of sports and sporting disciplines
  • Excel at one or more sports
  • Compete for the School in all sports in which they are selected
  • Attend all Sport Scholars’ meetings
  • Act as a role model on and off the pitch
  • Support the work of the PE Department
  • Help out at Open Mornings and Evenings

For internal entry into Lower V (Year 10) we would additionally expect applicants to:

  • Excel to county, national or international level in one or more sports

Selection and assessment procedure

On application please provide references from club coaches regarding the level at which girls are competing. Video evidence can also be provided alongside a reference. If shortlisted, girls will be invited to attend an assessment day.

For entry in Upper III (Year 7)
Potential Sport Scholars will be invited to take part in a day of assessment activities. The day includes:

  • Interview with Director of Sport
  • Basic physiological test
  • Sporting assessments in two of the four following sports: Swimming, Hockey, Netball, Gymnastics
  • Girls competing at a national or international level in any sport will be considered on a case by case basis and will be interviewed

For internal entry in Lower V (Year 10), and for entry to the Sixth Form

  • Interview with Director of Sport
  • Basic physiological test
  • Sporting assessments at The Abbey in a chosen sport
  • Girls competing at a national or international level in any sport will be considered on a case by case basis and will be interviewed

Girls who compete in a sport that the School does not offer can be awarded a scholarship and the title Sports Ambassador.