Is your child academic, musical, arty or sporty? Every year a limited number of scholarships are available through the Sompting Abbotts Preparatory School Scholarships Programme. The assisted places scheme was established to help able children achieve their full potential. Scholarships are awarded to suitable applicants only. These may be further subsidised with a discretionary means-tested bursary so that children can benefit notwithstanding family means. 

The scheme is open to pupils from both the state and independent school sectors. All awards are tenable throughout a pupil’s time at Sompting Abbotts. It's a condition of an award, however, that the pupil maintains a high standard of work. In return for demonstrating commitment in their chosen subject area, award-holders will be given many opportunities to stretch themselves and develop their abilities.

scholarships are available at sompting abbotts preparatory school

The aim of the programme is to broaden accessibility and help pupils take full advantage of an independent education whose parents might otherwise have not been able to afford it. The scholarships are financial rewards for excellence and the bursaries are financial rewards for excellence given to those who would not, without monetary help, have the means to attend the school.

This assisted places scheme can offer a pathway for those considering applying for scholarships to senior schools but doesn't assure continuation into a senior school. We will of course employ our knowledge of senior school destinations and children’s abilities to advise parents of future opportunities for the next step of education. 

The aim of the scholarships is to help those pupils who wish to take full advantage of an independent education and whose parents might otherwise have not been able to afford it. The award level is at the discretion of the Bursar, the Principal and the Headmaster. If further financial assistance is needed, parents may also apply for a means-tested Bursary Award, in addition to the Scholarship Award.

Scholarships recognise and support excellence in five categories: Academic; All-rounder; Sports; Music, and Art, at the focus entry points of 7+ (Year 3) or 11+ (Year 6).  However, the Headmaster will consider awarding scholarships to especially able children in other age groups. 

scholarships and bursaries at west sussex independent school sompting abbotts

Scholarships provide a reduction of school fees by a percentage which is retained throughout the pupil’s time at Sompting Abbotts, subject to standards and progression. The award level is at the discretion of the Bursar, the Principal and the Headmaster. If further financial assistance is needed, parents may also apply for a means-tested Bursary Award, in addition to the Scholarship Award.

Academic Scholarship

academic scholarships are available at sompting abbotts preparatory school in west sussex

The school welcomes 'critical thinkers': children who can problem-solve, apply knowledge and have an interest in many aspects of the world. Candidates need to be able to challenge and be challenged based on solid academic foundations, with an enthusiastic and enquiring mind.

  • 7+ Entry:  Any Sompting Abbotts Preparatory School Scholarship award will be based on ability in Reading, Spelling and Mathematics tests. Consideration will be shown for bright children who have specific difficulties with their work.
  • 11+ Entry: Papers are set in English and Mathematics, Non-Verbal and Verbal Reasoning tests and an individual interview with the Headmaster.

All-Rounder Scholarship

All-Rounder Scholarships are aimed at supporting talented children with a range of strengths, particularly sporting and cultural achievements. Candidates are expected to show talent and ability in at least two areas, allied with good academic ability and work ethic. They should also provide suitable references from any external clubs or groups in which they're involved.

Art Scholarship

Art Scholarships are aimed at supporting and developing talented artists who would benefit from, and help to enrich both the Art Department and the school as a whole. The award is made on the basis of artistic potential, as well as achievement. 

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Art Scholars are expected to participate fully in the artistic life of the school. They should be keen to use their own time and willing to work during extra sessions in school time to practice their skills. They gradually become more independent in their work and collect relevant visual information and research other artists’ styles and techniques. This should involve visiting galleries and exhibitions. Their work will be discussed in lessons. They should also be leading and assisting with art exhibitions at school, as well as helping to design school play scenery.

  • 7+ Entry: There's no specific Art Scholarship test at 7+. Any decision will be made on the basis of an informal assessment of work and discussion with the Head of Art Mrs Tewkesbury. Consideration will be given to any young artist whom she considers has genuine artistic potential to achieve a 13+ Scholarship to a senior school.
  • 11+ Entry: All candidates should present and discuss a portfolio of up to 10 pieces of recent work. They will discuss their artistic interests, achievements and ambitions. In addition, candidates will take a drawing test. Candidates are encouraged to consider viewpoint, colour, tone and perspective. Parents and prospective candidates are encouraged to first visit the Art Department and meet with Mrs Tewkesbury who will be happy to give feedback on work and discuss scholarship potential.

Music Scholarship

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Music Scholarships are aimed at supporting talented musicians. The award is made on the basis of potential as well as actual achievement. All recipients are expected to contribute fully in the busy musical life of the school, involving themselves in performances, choirs and ensembles, according to their interests and expertise. 

  • 7+ Entry: This informal audition has four components – instrumental, vocal, ear tests and interview. Children should prepare pieces on any instrument they're offering and will be required to sing a song of choice. A specific standard is not required at 7+, however, children should show natural talent and potential, as well as a conscientious attitude. In addition to performing pieces and responding to aural tests, children will be given the opportunity to talk about themselves and their involvement and interest in music.
  • 11+ Entry: All candidates should be prepared to give a short recital to demonstrate their ability as practical musicians on their chosen instrument (an accompanist can be provided). In addition, candidates must also take aural tests, read at sight and play scales and arpeggios appropriate to their level of experience. Candidates are encouraged to prepare a short song of any level, if this is not one of the studies already offered. As a guide, a playing standard of ABRSM Grade 3 and above is expected on a first instrument and it's recommended that a second instrument (or voice) is offered at a lower grade. If no grades have been taken, a prospective pupil’s potential will be acknowledged. Candidates will be invited to an informal interview with the Director of Music. 

When a Music Scholarship is awarded on the recommendation of Mrs Williamson, the Director of Music, it will be subject to annual review. Parents are welcome to meet and discuss scholarship requirements with the Director of Music, Mrs Williamson.

Sports Scholarship 

sports scholarships are available at sompting abbotts preparatory school in sussex

Sport Scholarships are offered to pupils at 7+ and 11+ entry who demonstrate excellence and potential in their chosen sports. They'll be expected to take part in Sompting Abbotts' weekly fixtures of of inter-school sports. Scholarships may be available to able sports players in the games of Football, Netball, Rugby, Cricket and Rounders.

Candidates will be assessed across a variety of sports under the direction of the Head of Games. All boys and girls who apply must be able to demonstrate:

  • Good fitness levels.
  • Skilled movement across speed, endurance and agility.
  • Good game knowledge in their chosen sports.
  • Motivation to train and play to the best of their ability at all times.
  • Evidence of participation in team sports outside school for which references will be required from clubs and coaches.

How to apply

All scholarship examinations and assessments take place in the second half of the Spring term of the year of entry, with a further round in the Autumn term. The closing date for applications this year is 8th October 2018. Application forms may be obtained via the Principal, Mrs Patricia Sinclair or downloaded above. Please telephone 01903 235960 or email


How to apply

You can download the Scholarships & Bursaries application form here as a Word doc

You can download the Scholarships & Bursaries application form here as a pdf

Please post your completed form to the Principal Mrs Patricia Sinclair, Sompting Abbotts, Church Lane, Sompting, West Sussex, BN15 0AZ or email your form to