As soon as possible. For Reception (age 4) entry, enquiries are taken on a first come, first served basis, with a waiting list based on date of registration. For other year groups, while places are offered subject to assessment and references, date of registration will still be taken into account if a waiting list applies.
As soon as possible! While our website and prospectus aim to convey a true picture of life at Moulsford, nothing compares to a visit. The staff, pupils and parents are what make the Moulsford community so special, and you will only get a real feel for this by visiting. Many a first-time visitor has commented that they wish they’d come sooner as the visit had reassured them or de-bunked myths that they had heard from others. Schools are a very personal choice. Word of Mouth recommendations are enormously important to us, but it is best to come and see for yourself before accepting other people’s judgements.
You are not alone! We have a significant number of families in this position and we totally understand the stress of trying to pull all the decisions and plans together. We try to be as flexible as possible and just ask that you keep communicating with the Registrar during the process. As long as we know you are committed to Moulsford subject to other things falling into place, then we will do what we can to help.
The Registrar has a very good feel for the numbers coming and going from the school and should be able to give you a realistic idea of whether a place is likely to come up in your child’s year group. Please register as soon as possible, and this date will be taken into consideration on the waiting list, subject to assessment and references. It is also worth visiting sooner rather than later, so that you are in a position to make decisions if a place does become available at short notice.
This is difficult to predict, but again, the Registrar will have a good feel for each individual case and it is worth keeping in regular contact for updates. This also ensures that the Registrar knows you are still keen.
We will always try to accommodate siblings, subject to assessment and references. However, in certain situations where a year group is full, this can be difficult to achieve. Open and regular communication with the Registrar is the best way to try to achieve the desired outcome.
Numbers in each year group vary although generally speaking there is one class in Reception, two in Year 1, two in Year 2 and then three in Year 3 and above. So there is flexibility in most year groups to accommodate requests regarding twins. As for all pupils, open dialogue between parents and school to decide the best option for each individual boy is the best way forward.
The most important thing is to visit, whichever type! However, the majority of families find that, by attending both types of visit, they get a really good feel for all angles of the school – pupils, staff, current parents and the Headmaster – and that they have had the chance to discuss their own individual circumstances in detail.
An individual visit involves meeting the Headmaster and having a tour with him during the course of a normal school day, with roughly an hour to discuss your child’s particular needs and circumstances.
Open Days offer an informal opportunity to meet the Headmaster, staff, pupils and current parents. They can be a useful introduction to the school, or an opportunity to bring your child and other family members to familiarise everyone with the surroundings. Families usually spend 1 to 2 hours at the school, which includes a tour from pupils and plenty of time to chat and ask questions. If on a Friday, you will see a normal school day in action. If on a Saturday (in September), activities will be laid on specially.
We fully appreciate the time pressures on parents to fit in school visits around work. However, if you do choose to commit time to visit Moulsford, we want to be sure that your experience is as valuable and informative as possible. With no Saturday school, there is little to see on a Saturday other than the grounds and buildings which do not provide a full picture of our vibrant community. We do have sports fixtures on most Saturdays, and prospective parents are welcome to attend to pick up on that particular vibe if they wish. Please ask the Registrar for details of dates.
We currently offer one open Saturday morning a year, normally in the third week of September, when activities are laid on specially for boys currently in Year 6 and above to demonstrate the school’s facilities. Pre-Prep staff are available to chat and offer crèche facilities and activities for younger visitors, and Prep School staff are either running the activities or available to meet visitors. The Headmaster, current parents and pupils are also available.
Your child will be invited to spend a day with his potential peers, joining in normal school lessons and activities. They will be informally assessed by all the staff who interact with them, both in terms of their learning and social development.
Your child will be invited for a formal assessment day, either as part of a normal school day, or for a specified Saturday morning with other applicants, depending on the time of year that you apply. Whichever style of day he attends, the assessment will consist of Maths and English exercises, as well as involvement in various extra-curricular and PE activities. The aim is to establish how he responds to the set tasks and the environment within his peer group. Moulsford is not overtly academically selective, however we do want to be sure that children will not only cope but thrive here on an academic level.
The Registrar will confirm details to you depending on what activities are happening on the day and the time of year. Generally, children wear their current school uniform, and bring a pencil case and PE kit with them. They may need to bring swimming things (in summer), or rugby/football boots, but this will be confirmed when the assessment day is arranged.
We are sensitive to the fact that families are often considering a move and want to explore options and establish if a place is available before alerting their current school. While we do understand this viewpoint, we are unable to offer a firm place for children in Year 1 and above without a recent reference from your child’s current school. We have good relationships with all of our feeder and competitive schools and would like to maintain this through honest communication that is in the best interests of the child.
We are happy to discuss individual circumstances and will always take on board parents’ views, after all, you know your child best! However, dropping a year is a big decision and can have knock-on effects, so it is worth considering the circumstances in detail during an individual meeting with the Headmaster. Please make the Registrar aware in advance if this is something you would like to consider.
All children are individuals and their surroundings and educational setting can have a big impact on their learning and behaviour. We are happy to consider and discuss all scenarios, taking into account the school’s policies and admissions procedure (eg assessment, references etc). Open dialogue and communication between parents and school are best in all situations, so that there are no surprises for anyone. Early involvement from our Learning Support department at assessment stage is also very helpful.
As many of the senior schools now pre-test in Year 6, it is important that discussions regarding senior schools start in Year 5. This gives parents time to visit senior schools and make decisions prior to the pre-tests. If your son is joining Moulsford after Year 5, the process will need to speed up, so the sooner the better!
Unfortunately, there are no guarantees for any school place. The more academically selective senior schools are extremely popular and the entry process can be very competitive. Your son’s development – both academic and social – may not fit with your firm ideas! However, at Moulsford we strive to help parents select the best fit for their son and their family, based on his academic level and his extra-curricular interests, as well as the needs of siblings etc. Ongoing discussion and open dialogue are the best way to achieve the right outcome.
Moulsford does not currently offer scholarships at any stage of entry. Means-tested financial support (known as a Bursary) may be awarded to eligible families, depending on the financial, compassionate or other pertinent circumstances of applicants. Please refer to the Bursaries page for further information.