Pennthorpe School

West Sussex
Boys (2 - 13)
Girls (2 - 13)

We offer you a warm welcome to Pennthorpe, a school where families grow together.  As a community, it is our desire to provide your children with the very best start in life. Exhilarating sporting triumphs, light bulb moments in maths, whizz-bang Skylab sessions, legendary musical productions and exceedingly muddy waterproofs are all part of the Pennthorpe experience; but this is just the beginning.

About the school

At Pennthorpe, you will also find that elusive yet vital component of a happy childhood: a sense of belonging. To join Pennthorpe is to join a warm and vibrant community, full of friendly and supportive families happily raising their children together and forging friendships that last a lifetime.

The Pennthorpe experience is like no other: truly independent, joyful and exciting. We invite you to visit us and discover it for yourself. We look forward to seeing you here soon.

The Headmaster and school are in membership of IAPS (, the Independent Association of Preparatory Schools.

Pennthorpe has an outstanding record of 13+ Common Entrance success.  Over the last ten years more than a third of Pennthorpe's 13 year old leavers have won academic scholarships or awards for music, art, drama, sport or all-round ability.

Pennthorpe sets out to develop its pupils into well balanced all rounders and it is this outlook, along with the principle of putting the fun into the fundamentals, that drives the school forward.

The majority of pupils leave at 13+ via Common Entrance (CE) or scholarship transfer exams to senior independent schools.  Although Pennthorpe is largely non-selective, over 60 scholarships have been won in just the last five years, with around a third of all 13+ leavers gaining an award. In addition to academic successes, Pennthorpe’s Art & Design, Music and Sports departments all contribute greatly to the school’s strengths, as does ICT:  there are two networked computer suites as well as a mobile laptop trolley, and all classrooms are equipped with interactive SmartBoards. In recent years many outstanding dramatic productions and performing arts events have also established the Pennthorpe as a leader in these fields.  The Performing Arts are part of the curriculum for all, under the direction of a specialist Head of Department. 

Pennthorpe aims to achieve excellence in the broadest possible range of activity and to produce well-balanced, confident all-rounders. This aim is supported by an exceptionally friendly, hardworking and capable team of staff, sound financial management under the guidance of extremely supportive governors, and very good facilities including: a brand-new Pre-prep School, a superb Senior School classroom building (completed in 2002), a Sports & Drama Hall, two ICT suites, a fine Art & Design Centre, an excellent Library, a Dance & Drama Studio, a Music Centre, three netball & tennis courts and a spacious games field. The school is also fortunate in having its own Chapel, and a strong Christian tradition underpins the life of the school community.   

Key Facts

  • Total Pupils: 284

Open Days

No Forthcoming Events

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Admissions Process

A pupil may be accepted for entry into any year group at any time of year provided that a place is available, and provided that we are able to obtain evidence that Pennthorpe should prove a good choice academically and that he or she will be happy here.

We normally gather evidence from four different sources:

  • talking with parents
  • confidential report from previous school
  • internal entry test
  • observation during a preliminary visit

Entrance testing

Our entry tests are non-competitive and designed to assess a pupil's literacy and numeracy skills, along with his or her academic potential, within the context of the Pennthorpe curriculum and of the entrance examination requirements of the senior independent schools to which the majority of our pupils transfer.  We encourage each applicant for entry after the start of Year 1 to spend one whole day with us, typically two terms before entry.  This gives us the opportunity to administer the entry test and to observe the pupil in the classroom setting.  Importantly, it also gives the pupil the opportunity to have a brief experience of the school, to meet his or her future classmates, and so to allay some of the anxieties that inevitably accompany a move to a new school.  A preliminary visit incurs no obligation on either side.


If you would like to enquire about availability of places or book a tour of the school, please contact the Headmaster's Secretary, Mrs Fiona Long  Tel: 01403 822391 x 201.  There is a £100 registration fee per family, regardless of the number of children, which should accompany the registration form, and there is a separate £500 deposit per child payable on confirmation of the place which is payable approximately a term and a half before the start date of your child(ren).

Finding out more

Church Street, Rudgwick, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 3HJ
01403 822391
Email Web

Key Facts

Open Days

No Forthcoming Events