When should I start making enquiries?

It is never too early to think about your child’s education. We are happy to hear from you at any stage of your child’s development.

What is the structure of the school?

Our Pre-Prep comprises Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 (ages 2-7).  Our Prep School is from Years 3-8 (ages 7-13).

The three stages of Prep School are known as The Lower School (Year 3-4), The Middle School (Year 5-6) and The Upper School (Years 7-8).

We have two forms in each year group from Reception to Year 6 and three forms in Years 7 and 8.

What age do children start at Handcross Park?

The majority of our children join our Nursery (aged 2) or our Reception classes (aged 4) but children can join other year groups, provided spaces are available.

We open up a number of additional places at Year 7 as we become three-form entry in the Upper School, incorporating an academic scholarship set. This is a popular  entry point for those whose current schools come to an end at Year 6. It may also be ideal for those who feel they are not quite ready to experience the larger environment of a senior school at Year 7 and wish for a more nurturing setting before making the transition in Year 9. For further information on the benefits of Year 7 and 8 at Handcross Park, please follow this link (link to Year 7 and 8 page)

What age do your pupils leave?

Pupils leave after Year 8 to go on to their chosen senior school.

What are the main senior schools you feed into?

Around a third of our pupils move on to Brighton College, with the other two thirds moving on to many of the top senior schools in the country. For a full list of the senior schools we feed, please see our Destination Schools page 

Will I meet the Headmaster on our first visit?

Yes. Whenever possible, you will spend time with the Headmaster or Head of Pre-Prep over tea or coffee, and our Registrar will then give you a personal tour of the school.

What is included in the fees?

Everything during the core hours of the school day is included in the fees with the exception of Chromebooks for Year 5 and above and school uniform. Optional extras may include individual Learning Support, music, singing or LAMDA lessons and some school trips.  There is occasionally a small charge for an after-school activity, usually when an external professional is taking the club.  See Fees.

Do you offer bursaries?

The School provides financial assistance to parents who would not otherwise have been able to send their children to the School, in the form of bursaries.  It is the policy of the School that all new applicants for financial assistance are means-tested, and that existing recipients submit an application form each year for the School to ascertain the level of support available for the ensuing year. The School welcomes pupils from all backgrounds and provides financial assistance to gifted children from poorer economic backgrounds to allow them access to this excellent education.

The School also offers fee remission in the form of a sibling discount (5% for the second child, 10% for the third child).

Do you offer school lunches?

Yes, lunch is cooked daily on the premises and all pupils from Nursery to Year 8 have lunch in our newly refurbished dining room.  This is included in the fees, as well as morning and afternoon drinks and snacks. Nursery children can stay for lunch if they have pre-booked.

At extra cost, day pupils may join the boarders for breakfast at 7.30pm or supper at 6.00pm and this can be booked through either of the school offices.

Can I claim Government Free Entitlement for Nursery sessions?

Yes. We accept 12.5 hours of universal free entitlement for 3-5 year olds per week, which will be used against each morning session.

For more information regarding Free Entitlement


What is the earliest I can drop my child off at school?

By prior arrangement, Nursery and Pre-Prep children may arrive for Breakfast Care at 7.45am with the remaining children arriving for 8.30am in Nursery and 8.40am in the Pre-Prep when the school day starts. Pre-Prep children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 may also attend ‘Morning Story’ from 8.15am.

By prior arrangement Prep School day children may join boarders for breakfast at 7.30am. The Prep School day begins at 8.05am with pupils expected to attend registration at 8.15am.

What is the latest I can collect my child from school?

In Nursery, the afternoon session ends at 3.30pm. Nursery children may book in to After-School Care with optional pick-up times at 4.30pm, 5.00pm or 6.00pm.  

Pre-Prep finish their day at 3.20pm but children can attend after-school activities until 4.15pm or book into After-School Care with optional pick-up times at 5.00pm or 6.00pm.

Prep School lessons finish at 4.20pm for Year 3-4 and 4.55pm for Years 5-8. Children may stay for after-school activities until 6.00pm.

Do you offer transport to school?

We run a number of minibus routes in the local area and we are always adding to these routes based on demand. We also run a weekly minibus service, collecting pupils from London on a Monday morning and returning on a Friday evening.

School Bus Timetables

What boarding options are there for my child?

We offer full, weekly and flexi boarding. More details can be found here. Please also refer to Boarding FAQs here .

What is the ratio between girls and boys?

It is approximately half and half.

As you are a Christian school, do you accept pupils of other faiths?

Yes, children from all religious denominations (and none) are welcome at Handcross Park. Handcross Park is founded upon Christian principles and regular acts of worship through school assemblies take place during the school week.

What is the link between Handcross Park and Brighton College?

Handcross Park is proud to be a member of the Brighton College Family of Schools. As a Brighton College School we have a very close relationship with the College and many of our pupils leave Handcross Park to attend the senior school. We benefit hugely from this relationship with the College, through the sharing of knowledge and best practice as well as the use of facilities and termly visits for events and lectures. The relationship between us and the Brighton Family of Schools is an advantage to every Handcross Park pupil, regardless of whether or not they go on to Brighton College as their senior school.

How much Prep/homework will my child have?

From Nursery through to Year 8, all children are encouraged to read every day. Other homework varies according to the age of the pupils. Year 1 and 2 have weekly tasks in literacy or numeracy. The children in Year 3 to 6 have spellings to learn each week. Year 4 have an additional task in literacy or numeracy each weekend. In Years 5 and 6, as well as taking an interest in current affairs, pupils may have vocabulary to learn for languages.

In Years 7 and 8, Preps for core subjects, i.e. Maths, English and Science should take approximately 45 minutes. All other subjects should take no longer than 30 minutes each week.

How do you communicate with parents?

We have an open-door policy and always ask parents to pop in and see us if they have any questions or concerns. There are very many ways in which we communicate with parents: written reports, parent consultations, Headmaster’s and Pastoral Surgeries, Parent Forums, noticeboards, weekly newsletter, social media, email, phone and face-to-face communication at drop-off and pick-up times, all form part of our ongoing dialogue about your child.

How are new children helped to integrate

On their first day, each new child will be allocated a ‘pilot’. This will be another child in their class who is assigned to help them settle and make new friends. Teachers are very experienced in how to ensure that new pupils feel warmly welcomed to Handcross Park and will do everything they can to ensure the transition to Handcross Park is a happy one.

Is there Saturday school?

No, we don’t have school on a Saturday. We strongly believe that weekends are precious and should be spent having fun with your family or within our boarding family. There are occasional Saturday events throughout the year that pupils are expected to attend.

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