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Lower School (11+)

An integral part of St John’s

Our Lower School opened in September 2016 and it forms an integral part of St John’s. It is housed in the refurbished east wing of the main school building and has been redesigned to include common rooms, work areas, multi-media spaces, changing rooms, an outside recreational area, reception and offices. Assemblies and events take place in our beautifully restored Old Chapel, adjacent to the Lower School.

Renowned for outstanding pastoral care

The Head of Lower School, Mr Richard Harvey, is responsible for the running of the Lower School on a day-to-day basis, and is ably supported by a team of experienced tutors, matrons and a receptionist. Every boy and girl has a tutor who they see each morning and afternoon. They act as champion and mentor to each of their tutees. Lower School pupils can board and a separate evening programme accommodates their needs and interests.

The school life section has additional details of the pastoral care in the Lower School.

Academic rigour and a love of learning

Pupils in the Lower School follow an imaginative and dynamic curriculum. At St John's we seek to instil academic rigour and develop a love of learning that the children take with them as they progress through the school.

We offer a curriculum that builds on work undertaken in Year 6 and prepares pupils well for GCSE study and beyond. There is a strong academic core of English, mathematics and the sciences. However, the curriculum is broad and imaginative with an emphasis on choice and creativity.

For academic lessons pupils are split into classes of 18-20, with smaller classes in mathematics and languages. This allows children to be fully supported and challenged in their work.

Pupils are taught in the School’s classroom buildings including our state-of-the art Science Centre.

The academic section has additional details of the Lower School curriculum.

Co-curricular : Activities, Sport, Music, Drama

The Lower School activities programme at St John’s provides pupils with access to a range of opportunities involving sport, music, drama, adventure, trips and links with the community. Achievement is recognised through the award of a Lower School diploma at the end of Upper Third.

St John’s is renowned for its outstanding sport. Lower School pupils enjoy a full sporting programme overseen by Lauren Moors (Director of Sport). All pupils participate in sport on Monday and Wednesday afternoon with full access to the School’s excellent facilities and coaches. Pupils also take part in PE lessons once a week and mixed sport sessions where they can try something new or refine their skills in their top sports.

There is a strong emphasis on competitive team and individual sports. Lower School sports fixtures take place on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings. Pupils are expected to attend these if selected to represent the School.

The Lower School has the same musical opportunities that all of the pupils have in terms of instrumental lessons, singing and playing with the various School orchestras and ensembles.

There is also full opportunity for all Lower School pupils to be involved in performance drama.

The co-curricular section has further details on the Lower School activities programme.

The Lower School Day

For further details of the Lower School day please refer to the sample Lower School pupil timetable

Transport and Bus Services

St John’s is particularly well-placed as far as rail and bus services are concerned; Leatherhead railway station and local bus stops are both a short walk away.

In addition to public transport, the School also operates bus services which are available for Lower School pupils. They depart after prep club finishes at 5.30pm. This enables pupils to complete their prep at school. A limited service runs at 4.30pm.

Further details can be found on Transport and Bus Routes.


All candidates are assessed for entry in January of Year 6. They sit a mathematics, English and abilities test. Every candidate is interviewed and a report is taken from the Head of their current school.

Further details, including sample mathematics and English papers, can be found in the admissions section.


The fees for pupils in the Lower Third and Upper Third are around 80% of the full day fee. The full day fee will continue to be charged for pupils in the Fourth Form and above. Additional fees for boarding and other activities are charged on the same basis as other pupils at the School. 

Find out more

Further details on the Lower School are available in the admissions, academic and school life sections of the website.