Sadly we cannot currently offer our usual ‘taster days’ but from the start of the summer term families will be welcome for a socially distanced tour of the school. There will opportunities later in the summer for pupils to meet others in their prospective year group.

Joining Year 9

All pupils who have expressed interest in joining Year 9 are invited for an activity day when they are in Year 5. This typically takes place in June and is a great opportunity to experience a fun day at the school and meet some of the other pupils who will be in their year group in the future.

Candidates are then invited for personal taster days during Years 6 or 7. For those interested in boarding it may be possible to offer boarding tasters on the night. During their visit candidates will meet current pupils, participate in lessons and take the school assessment. They will also have a short interview with the Headmaster.  We request a preliminary school report from your current school at this stage. After the assessment you will be informed of the results and places will be offered.

Offers are typically made by way of a letter to parents. Offers may be open for acceptance for a limited time only. You will be asked to secure your place by completing the Acceptance Form and paying a deposit (which is returned against your final school bill). Joining information will then be shared with you ahead of your child’s start date.

Applications for Year 9 should be with us by the February of Year 7, after this point offers can still be made but they will be subject to availability.

During Year 8 we will ask your child’s school for an updated report and there will be other, frequent, opportunities for both you and your child to visit. Potential scholars can apply for 13+ awards in the January preceding their year of entry.

Joining Other Years

Candidates interested in Years 10 and 11 will be invited to spend a day at the school with the year group they will be joining. They will participate in a normal timetable of lessons and be accompanied throughout by a nominated pupil guardian. It should be noted that places in Years 10 and 11 may be are subject to GCSE choices and at Year 11 we cannot always match a candidate’s current programme of study.

Joining Years 9, 10 and 11 - Frequently Asked Questions

HOW CAN I FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE SCHOOL?

We encourage everyone to visit as it is important to get to know us and see the school in action. This can be either an individual family visit or at one of our Open Days. Open Doors provide the opportunity to meet the Head, staff and pupils. An important advantage of these events is that all the facilities can be viewed at your leisure; you can visit lessons as they happen and ask questions of teachers and pupils.

However you make contact, all parents should have a private appointment with the Head to discuss their son or daughter in more detail. If this cannot be arranged in person the Head is available by telephone or online.

HOW FAR IN ADVANCE DO I NEED TO REGISTER?

We recommend visiting the school, either for an Open Day, or at a time to suit you, at least two years ahead of entry and registering after you have had the opportunity to have a good look round and meet staff and pupils. Registering secures your child’s place in their entry year group. This will be held until the admissions process is complete and an offer accepted.

Places in popular year groups such as Year 9 can be confirmed more than a year in advance, but there may be space available after that time.

HOW MANY PUPILS JOIN IN Year 9?

Year 9 is typically made up of 3 classes of 18 pupils, with a total year group of 54 however in years of significant interest it may be extended to three classes and could reach 72. We usually accept between 10 and 15 pupils into Year 9 from outside of the school.

CAN I REGISTER MY CHILD IF THEIR AGE FALLS OUTSIDE THE CORRECT BAND?

We would normally expect a child to be in their appropriate age group however we are happy to consider children who are either one year above or below the appropriate age band.

DO YOU TAKE PUPILS INTO YEARS 10 AND 11?

Pupils are welcomed into Year 10 so long as there are places available however it is often subject to a waiting list. Applications made after February could find subject choices limited as Year 9 pupils will have selected their options and classes may be full.

Pupils are occasionally admitted into Year 11 but this depends on the fit between the pupil’s current academic programme and our offer.

WHAT IS THE RATIO OF BOYS TO GIRLS?

Since going co-educational in September 2018 approximately one third of the senior school are now  boys, with numbers rising every year. In 2019 we opened Antony House, for boy boarders and currently have 14 boarders ranging from Years 5 to 13.

HOW AND WHY DO YOU ASSESS PROSPECTIVE PUPILS?

Leweston welcomes pupils from a wide range of independent and maintained schools. Our assessments are designed to evaluate core skills in Maths and English and we consider that pupils may have studied different curriculums or be at different stages when assessment takes place.

Whilst Leweston is a non-selective school assessment helps us get to know the pupils before they join us and understand their current level in key areas. There is nothing to prepare or practise for and whilst the assessment is conducted under exam conditions it is always done in a friendly and calm manner.

If you have any questions about assessment or need to make us aware of any individual needs your child has please contact the Admissions Team. Extra time or other special arrangements can be made as long as we have advance warning of the requirement.

WHY DO YOU ASSESS YEAR 9 ENTRANTS TWO YEARS IN ADVANCE?

It is very common for independent senior schools to assess and interview Year 9 candidates when they are in Year 6 or 7. Early assessment allows pupils to enjoy the final years of Prep knowing they have a place at their chosen school. Prep schools will encourage pupils and their families to make senior school choices at this time and can provide help and advice on the process.

IF I HAVE MISSED THE EARLY PROMISE ASSESSMENT CAN I STILL APPLY?

We encourage all Year 9 entrants to go through the Early Promise route but pupils are welcome to apply at any point, as long as places remain available.

DO YOU REQUIRE COMMON ENTRANCE?

Leweston does not require Common Entrance but we are happy to mark any papers your son or daughter is planning to take. The Deputy Head and Admissions Team will work alongside your current school to support this.

WILL YOU REQUEST A REFERENCE FROM MY CURRENT SCHOOL?

We will liaise closely with your current school during the admissions process and require your current Headteacher to provide a confidential report before a place is offered. Towards the end of the summer term before your son or daughter joins us we will also request your child’s school file and last set of school reports.

WHEN WILL WE KNOW IF WE HAVE A PLACE?

A formal offer of a place will be made following the Early Promise Assessment Day or an individual taster if you have applied later. Interest in Leweston is strong and there are times when we have more applicants than places available. If this happens you may be put on a waiting list until a place becomes available or we have a sufficient number of pupils to open a supplementary class. The Admissions Team will remain in close contact with you during this time.

HOW DO WE ACCEPT A PLACE?

To accept an offer, you should return a signed copy of the acceptance form to the Admissions Team. A deposit of £500 per child will be required to secure a place. This deposit is returned to you at the end of your child’s career at the school but is non-refundable should you decide not to take up your place.

Places should be accepted by the first Monday in March in the year preceding entry to support the development of the curriculum and plan class sizes. Places accepted after this date will be subject to availability.

CAN WE APPLY FOR A SCHOLARSHIP?

Leweston has a long tradition of offering scholarships to recognise and encourage pupils with talent and potential. Scholarships are typically offered at 11+, 13+ and for Sixth Form. Each September the Scholarship Guidelines for the following year of entry are published on the school website. All scholarship candidates must be registered to pursue an application.

Scholarship awards vary with the highest award being for academic excellence. Scholarships are not means tested and awards represent the honour rather than a significant monetary value. If you require further financial assistance you may also apply for a bursary.

The scholarship application deadline is usually the first Friday in January. Once all application forms are received the admissions team will devise personalised timetables for all of the candidates. Assessment days are usually held towards the end of January/beginning of February.

Further information is available from the Admissions Team.

IS THERE ANY FINANCIAL SUPPORT AVAILABLE FOR FAMILIES WHO NEED HELP WITH FEES?

Leweston offers a limited number of means tested bursaries every year allow pupils who need financial support.  All bursaries are subject to annual review and pupils must be registered to make an application. More information is available on the Bursaries page.

HOW MANY BOARDERS ARE THERE?

Leweston currently has 66 pupils who board on either a full, weekly or flexi basis. This range of options is designed to suit different family requirements and it is possible for pupils to start boarding on a flexi basis before moving to one of the other options.

DO THE BOARDERS AND DAY PUPILS INTEGRATE WELL?

Yes: the nature of boarding at Leweston means that all of the boarding houses are in the main school building. These means there is no need for boarders to travel back to house during the school day. Pupils spend all day together in lessons, lunch, co-curricular activities and in their common room. In addition, day pupils are welcome to join in with weekend activities and boarders may be invited out for weekends with day pupils.

HOW DO YOU SUPPORT NEW PUPILS?

Every new pupil is assigned a guardian from the year group they are joining, to help them learn how the school works. New pupils are also assigned a peer mentor, a Sixth Form student who has trained to support younger pupils. They will meet regularly over their first term in school but often these relationships last longer and the mentor will continue to be a trusted friend.