The Journey to starting school
Before starting the admissions process, we highly recommend you join us at one of our visitor events to talk to our team, see our school and learn about life here at Caterham Prep. Our current visitor events can be found here.
You are also welcome to book a Talk and Tour via our Assistant Registrar (Day), Sara Chesterman who can be contacted as below:
Sara Chesterman, Assistant Registrar (Day)
Telephone: 01883 335 058
Email: [email protected].
Joining a school, particularly if it is your child’s first school, can sometimes feel a little daunting. We hope this step by step summary helps to explain what happens at each stage of the journey. Sara is always available and happy to answer any questions that you may have along the way.
The first step is to fill out our application form which can be found here. The application and payment is confirmed to you by email along with a notification that your child has joined the relevant assessment list.
Children join Reception from their fourth birthday, which should fall on or before 31 August in their year of entry. All children applying to join our Reception class are invited to attend an assessment morning. These informal play sessions take place on a week day in the year prior to the September they would begin at school. During the session your child will complete some activities with our teachers in one of the classrooms for about 45 minutes. We ask that parents leave their child/children with us for that short time.
Children joining us at Year 3 are invited to attend a weekday assessment afternoon in November. During their afternoon with us, the children will take literary and numeracy assessments along with a fun practical session in our Innovation Centre.
Children joining us at Year 5 and 6 are invited to attend a weekday assessment afternoon in January. During their afternoon with us, the children will take literary and numeracy assessments along with Verbal and Non Verbal Reasoning tests as well as a fun practical session in our Innovation Centre.
Children who are applying for places in Years 1, 2 and 4 will be invited to an assessment morning or afternoon should a place become available in their year group. The assessment day involves your child learning alongside their peer group and as part of the school day they will take literacy and numeracy assessments.
For all assessment sessions, we ask that parents leave their child/children with us for the entirety of the session and rest assured that with all assessment mornings/afternoons, we strive to make children feel comfortable and the experience enjoyable.
An offer of a place can only be made once all references have been received from your previous school (for places in Years 1 to 6) or the parent and Nursery setting questionnaires have been received (for places in Reception).
We offer places to pupils who will thrive with the challenging pace of learning at our school. Our decisions are truly holistic: we seek to understand your child, their strengths and interests, and the wider picture of their application including their age for their year, and any special educational needs.
We regret that we cannot offer to every applicant, though in some circumstances we invite you to remain on our waiting list.
Offer letters are sent via email.
An offer letter, along with an acceptance form, is sent out by email. Following receipt of the deposit along with the completed acceptance form, the place is confirmed to you by email.
Once a place has been accepted, you will be invited to a number of welcome events where you will be able to find out more about starting school along with meeting other new and existing Caterham families.
Joining forms and all information relating to starting school in September is sent midway through the Summer Term.
first day of school
Children starting School in September will be invited to visit the School in the Summer Term, prior to joining. They will have the opportunity to see their new classroom, meet their class teacher and get to know their peers.
On the first day of school, your child will be met from the car by members of our teaching team. Pupils joining us in Reception will have a slightly later start time on the first couple of days and parents will have the opportunity to bring their child up to the classroom on the first day.
Children joining further up the school will be met from the car by members of our teaching team. The form tutor will ensure that your child is introduced to the school site, where to hang coats and bags, find classrooms, go to lunch, access changing rooms for sports and introductions to friendship groups.