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“Thanks to Pennthorpe, I’m ready for anything. I’ve been taught that ‘I can find a way or I can make one’ and this drives me forward.” Year 8 pupil, problem solver and serene role model

Helping parents make the right choices

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Our knowledge of each child makes us experts on them; this coupled with our knowledge of Senior Schools makes us perfectly positioned to advise on the school within which they'll thrive

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We are not linked to any one senior school so can give truly independent advice about the direction that best suits each child

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We collaborate closely with over 39 destination schools, and are seen as trusted advisors

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We are super-fans of each and every one of our pupils, and work tirelessly to enable their successful transition on to Senior Schools

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True Independence

One of the great advantages of Pennthorpe is that we are not linked to any one senior school: we have no path beaten to one particular door which enables pupils to grow and blossom to their full potential in the direction that best suits them.

Pennthorpe’s relations are diverse and we have successfully fed over 39 different destination schools in the last 8 years. While this variety means we can seek schools that are suited to each individual child, it can also make the selection process seem rather daunting. That challenge is now made more difficult by a constantly shifting range of admissions processes and examinations and a perceived need for parents to be considering the next step earlier than they ever have before.

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Parent Partnerships

With our guidance and a strong partnership between parents and school, there is no need for concern and every reason to look forward to the journey ahead. We work alongside parents at every stage and offer many information sessions, both in groups and individually. We especially value the importance of individual meetings and planning for each child’s future. No two children are the same and, for this reason, the process of choosing a future school must be both flexible and bespoke.

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Senior School


Pennthorpe has a great number of talented pupils in a broad range of subjects. Differentiation within the classroom enables pupils’ needs to be sufficiently challenged and extended. Pennthorpe offers many additional opportunities through our Gifted and Talented programme, whereby children can engage in extra enrichment activities to further stretch their capabilities, and prepare for potential Senior School Scholarship applications.

Pennthorpe has an impressive record of Scholarships and awards. Through our unique understanding of our children, including their motivations, capabilities, potential, talents, and characters, we are perfectly positioned to support Scholarship applications. We work tirelessly to help identify the best opportunities, compile the most compelling qualitative and quantitative information about each candidate, as well as prepare our applicants for the scholarship assessments themselves.

The results speak for themselves.

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"Thank you for all your support during this last year and your help with Senior School options. What a wonderful 9 years!" Mr D, parent
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Cutting through


Increased choices and options in choosing a senior school present steep but exciting challenges for Prep Schools. Pennthorpe has carefully built excellent relationships with senior schools; designing a curriculum in the senior years to meet their different admissions needs, without compromising on our excellent academic standards or renowned breadth and creativity.

We want to sustain the joys of a proper childhood as long as we can and reduce the pressure on our young, but we also want to ensure our children are fully prepared both for the various entrance processes and effective transition to their senior schools. This sort of preparation takes time and care and with such an exceptional team to support parents, we are there every step of the way.

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Flourish Years

In the final three years at Pennthorpe, our children flourish and begin to actively, and independently, demonstrate all of the elements that are fundamentally intrinsic within the Pennthorpe ethos. During this time they are encouraged to explore the best version of themselves they can possibly be.

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Class of '22 and '23

Each year the destination of our Year 8 children varies, according to the character, skills and passions of each individual child. In 2022 and 2023 all children secured places at their first choice Senior School, and we know each child has a very exciting future ahead at them, with the next steps being at these great schools.

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"Thanks for all you've done to encourage and support [our daughter], who has grown in confidence and maturity, and is now ready to take on the world!" Mr & Mrs A, parents

Successfully Planning our Pupils Transition


of pupils awarded senior school scholarships each year on average


different destination schools for our leavers over the last five years


of pupils who gained their first choice of senior school this year


of pupils gaining offers of Year 9 places before they complete Year 6

The 13+ Benefits

Prep School education is like a 10 year savings plan. All the real bonuses and benefits are built up in the last two years – leaving at the end of Year 6 is like taking your money out before the policy has matured. You will get back what you have put in, but all the significant benefits come in the last two years.

Today we expect our children to grow up so quickly, childhood is left behind. A range of adult problems are faced by today’s young minds, which still seek guidance, support and love. Children must take their time to grow cognitively, emotionally and psychologically.

It is by no accident that Prep Schools finish at 13. At 13, a child is ready to move on – ‘The bird is ready to fly the nest’. They have the tools and skills ready to face the challenges of senior school with confidence. They have been the oldest in the school; they have risen to the top and have been the ‘big fish’ in a relatively ‘small sea.’ They have been afforded responsibility and leadership, have shown initiative, have been the role models, and have established relationships which will last their lifetimes.

With the majority of senior independent schools opening their doors at 13, this further reinforces the many benefits of pupils being able to enjoy those vulnerable teenage years in a nurturing environment where they are well known and well loved.


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”I am very reluctant to admit boys and girls from good schools like Pennthorpe until they are 13. The final years at Prep School are wonderfully fulfilling, full of the advantages, challenges and responsibilities of being at the top of a school. Like other good schools, we will wait for you!“ Mr. Richard Cairns, Headmaster at Brighton College

The Benefits of our Senior Years

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Our senior pupils benefit from focused leadership and citizen coaching, acquiring skills from privileges that are only attainable to those at the ‘top of the school’

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Rather than avoid examinations, our Year 8 CE is an ideal trial run for the more important GCSE exams in Year 11

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Maturity comes with the opportunity to reflect and develop more confidence in a secure and safe environment; in a place where boys and girls can still be children

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At Pennthorpe what you see is what you get, but some feeder schools disingenuously 'wow' prospective Year 7 pupils with facilities and opportunities that are in fact out of reach until Year 9

Year 8 shows
Advanced learning
Leadership opportunities
Social networking
Time to be big kids!
Drumming with friends
Having fun!
Lasting relationships
Maturing together
Inspiring others
Achieving Scholarships
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Our Year 7 residential was not only great fun, but it also made me feel ready to consider flexiboarding when I go to senior school in Year 9 Year 7 pupil, independent sportswoman