Admissions Procedure

Academic standards are high for the whole of Caterham School and entry is selective at all ages.

Entry to Caterham Preparatory School is subject to the availability of a place and the prospective pupil satisfying the academic and admission requirements of the School.

For entry to the Pre-Prep and Prep School, pupils are invited to visit the school to meet the Headteacher and attend an entrance assessment day. For entry to the Pre-Prep (from Reception to Year 2), all children are informally assessed within the classroom during their entrance assessment day.

The entrance examinations for the Prep School (Year 3 to Year 6) consist of written papers in English and Mathematics, as well as oral language and reading assessments. These take place by appointment as places become available. A report will be requested from the pupil’s current school prior to an offer of a place being made.


Prospective pupils will be considered as candidates for admission and entry to the School when the Application Form has been completed and returned to the School and the non-refundable Application Fee has been paid.
Please click here to make an application.


All prospective pupils (excluding entry to the Nursery Year) are assessed for entry in accordance with the admission requirements of the School and the criteria relevant to the particular Year Group for which the application is being made. In evaluating the completed assessments, the Head will be seeking evidence to support the view that the prospective pupil will be able to develop and prosper in the academic and social environment of the School.

As part of the entrance assessment procedure, with the prior permission of the prospective pupil’s parents, a letter is sent to the Head Teacher at the child’s current school to request a confidential pupil report.

We have specific arrangements for the Early Years Foundation Stage


New pupils may be admitted to Nursery in the September after their third birthday. At present there is no formal assessment for entry to Nursery Class. However, the prospective nursery children are invited to come in for an informal ‘come and play’ in the September prior to starting and before they receive an offer of a place. The progress of each child is monitored closely during Nursery Year through incidental and focused observations, systematic ‘tracking’ and focus group assessments linking with the Surrey Early Years Profile. Natural progression to Reception is not necessarily guaranteed, although great care is taken in making a judgement at this early age.


Pupils may be admitted to Reception in September after their fourth birthday. In October prior to this the Head of Pre-Prep and the Nursery Form Teacher initially assess all children registered on the Reception Year Class List.  Should offered places not be accepted or a place become available within the current Nursery Class for the Reception Year, children on the Waiting List are assessed during the course of the academic year. The Reception Class List assessment takes place in groups of 5, as part of the afternoon Nursery session. Parents are asked to go out of school and leave their children for the session. Those children assessed from the Waiting List are invited to join the current Nursery Class as part of the morning session. A place is not offered until assessment has taken place.

Great care is taken to make the child feel at home in an unfamiliar situation. During the assessment visit the Head of Pre-Prep or the Nursery Form Teacher ask the child to complete several appropriate tasks: Activities include counting, sorting, puzzles, colouring.

The children take part in a story time at the end of the session. Careful observation by the Head of Pre-Prep of the child’s social and communication skills is also taken into consideration during this time. Much is gained from talking to the child. Range of vocabulary, awareness of rhyme, ability to listen and carry out instructions and concentration span are noted. The children are encouraged to join in with a range of activities and careful observation of their behaviour and ability to interact with their peers is made.

It is only after this process that the Head of Pre-Prep forms an opinion about offering or refusing a place. If there is a doubt then discussions take place with the Preparatory Head.

Offer of a Place and Deposit

An offer of a place at the School will be made by way of a formal offer letter from the Head of the Preparatory School to the prospective parents. To accept the place, parents should complete the Acceptance Form must be completed and return it with the deposit.

Offer of a start date is subject to The Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS) agreement criteria whereby parents of new pupils are required to have discharged all obligations at their existing School.

In the Summer Term prior to the pupil taking up their place at the start of the next Academic Year, the new Pre-Prep pupils are invited to attend the School for an afternoon in order to meet their new Form Teacher, the Teaching Assistant and also their new class mates, thus starting the induction process.

For the September intake of pupils, prospective parents will be invited to attend an Information Evening which is specifically for parents of new children entering the School and the provision of an opportunity for new parents to meet the School staff.

A School Induction Pack and Information Book will be available to new parents providing general information, curriculum information, a parents’ guide to reading skills and information regarding the curriculum and preparation for entry to the Early Years (Nursery and Reception).

There is a School Uniform Shop on site and the School also operates a Second Hand Uniform facility.