Admissions FAQs

On this page you will find a list of questions asked frequently by prospective parents that we hope you will find useful. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Registrar, Ms Jacqui O’Neill, on her direct line 01483 544973 or by email admissions@rydeshill.com

How can I secure a place for my child at Rydes Hill?

The first step for parents considering the School is to visit us and meet with our Headmistress, Mrs Sarah Norville. You can either arrange a personal tour at a convenient time for you or attend our next Open Day. During this current time, we are offering Personal Virtual Tours with our Headmistress.

If you wish to proceed with registering your child, the next stage in the process is to complete our Registration Form. Once this is returned, together with the non-refundable Registration Fee of £100, your interest will then be registered for a place or your child placed on a waiting list if the class list is full.

If your child is joining our Main School, Mrs Norville may wish to arrange a taster day or morning for your child to experience life at Rydes Hill. Whilst no formal tests are administered the taster day is also a valuable opportunity for informal assessments to be carried out by our teaching staff.

Following your child’s visit we will write to you to ask whether you wish to accept your child’s place on the class list and a deposit of £525 will be requested (for families living overseas, the deposit is one term’s fees). Once the deposit has been received, your child’s place is confirmed.

What age can my child join Rydes Hill?

Children may start in our Nursery from rising three which means they may join us at the beginning of the term in which they turn three. Whilst the main class entry points are Nursery, Kindergarten (Reception) and Lower Preparatory (Year 3), pupils can be accepted into all year groups, places permitting, and at any point in the school year.

What happens if there is no space for my child in their year group?

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.

Does my child have to start at the beginning of the Academic Year?

Although the majority of children do join our main School at the start of the academic year we do understand that a change of house or other circumstances can mean that a family may not be in a position to join us until later on in the year. Therefore, children are welcome to join us at any time during the year.

Do you have to be Catholic to attend Rydes Hill?

Pupils and staff comprise individuals of different faiths and beliefs but the Rydes Hill community aspires to unity within the life of the School based on shared moral values.

Do you offer Scholarships or Bursaries?

We are delighted to offer a Scholarship Scheme for entry into Year 3 for all-round achieving girls who would benefit from our nurturing education. Scholarships are awarded on merit and have a minimum value of 25% reduction in fees for the duration of their time at Rydes Hill. The successful candidates will demonstrate all-round ability across a breadth of subjects including academic (English, Maths, Science), Sport, Music and Drama. The candidate may also excel in one of these areas.

A limited number of bursaries are also available following assessment by an external and independent company. Awards are made at any level up to and including, in exceptional circumstances, 100% fee remission. Further details can be obtained from our Bursary, Mrs Pillar on bursar@rydeshill.com

Does the School participate in the 15 hours free childcare?

Yes, you are able to claim 15 hours of free childcare up until and including the term in which your child turns 5 years. Parents are sent the appropriate paperwork to complete at the beginning of each term. The amount will have already been deducted from the termly fees. Further details are available from Mr Jonathan Parr in our Finance Department (finance@rydeshill.com).

How are new children helped to integrate into school life?

We pride ourselves on enabling children to settle in quickly to our School. Before joining the School, each child spends a day with their new class; this is a chance to become familiar with new routines, meet new teachers and forge friendships with peers. If a child is joining us in September they will be invited to attend our Moving On Afternoon where every child in School “moves up” and spends the afternoon in the classroom and with the class teacher they are going to be with from September. Each child is assigned a buddy to take care of them during their first few weeks of school and there is regular contact between parents and their child’s Class Teacher.

What wrap around care provision do you provide?

We understand that family life can be extremely busy and we aim to provide parents with flexibility at the start and end of the School day, with wrap-around care available from 7.30am to 6pm.

We provide complimentary early-morning supervision for all pupils from 8am in our staff-run Early Bird’s Club. At an additional cost, we offer Breakfast Club from 7.30am serving hot and cold food, fresh fruit, cereals, toast and juices.

After the close of the School day at 3.15pm, we provide complimentary Stay and Play until 3.45pm.

From 3.45pm 6.00pm there is an optional Stay and Play Club at an additional cost where the children enjoy a host of fun and interactive activities such as crafts, Lego, Playdough, gardening, age appropriate exercise games, singing and stories. Children are given a snack at 3.45pm and a light supper at 5pm.

What are the class sizes?

Rydes Hill offers small class sizes to ensure that each child receives high quality individual care. We have a maximum class size of 22 pupils in our Main School.

What extra-curricular activities are on offer?

We are pleased to offer a wide range of extra-curricular activities during lunch break and after school. Activities include Athletics, Gymnastics, Netball, Cross Country, Football, Rugby Tots, Tennis, Art Club, Science Club, Code Club, Ballet, Board Games, Newspaper Club, Speech & Drama and Sewing.

Are you able to arrange additional instrument tuition during the school day?

In addition to class music lessons, we also have a team of dedicated peripatetic teachers to take individual lessons. Tuition is arranged through the music department. Children can be entered for examinations set by the Royal Schools of Music. There are also opportunities for children to perform at music recitals and concerts.

Which sports do the children learn?

From entry to the school in Nursery, children benefit from specialist teaching in Physical Education. Our curriculum encompasses netball, gymnastics, swimming, athletics, team-games, cross country, tennis and dance. Fixtures against other schools take place during games afternoons and are published in advance in the termly calendar.

How do you stimulate children who are able and talented?

Our small class sizes allow us to challenge and support children as necessary and those who have been identified as able and talented are given opportunities within all subject areas and through extra-curricular activities to use and develop their gifts and talents to fulfil their potential.

How do we communicate with parents?

We have an open door policy whereby parents may meet, e-mail or talk by telephone to teachers in order to discuss day-to-day concerns and their child’s progress. Our Headmistress is on the School gates every morning to answer any questions you may have. In addition we offer a weekly newsletter which details key dates and further details such as fixtures or events. Mrs Norville hosts regular class specific coffee mornings giving parents a further opportunity to speak with her. More formal feedback is given through parents’ evenings and detailed, written reports

Do you have a Parent Committee?

Rydes Hill has a very active and enthusiastic “Friends” Committee (FRHPS) of which all parents are automatically members. The Friends organise social events and activities in support of the School; strengthen relationships between parents and with teachers; and raise money to provide special items or facilities for pupils.

Where do the boys go at the end of Upper Transition (Year 2)?

Mrs Norville provides a report as well as help and support as part of the boys’ applications for their senior schools. Popular destinations are Aldro, Cranmore, and Lanesborough.

What are the destination senior schools of your Form One (Year 6) girls?

We are very proud of the achievements of our Form One girls who, despite us being non-selective, are offered places at prestigious senior schools such as: Farnborough Hill, Guildford High School, Prior’s Field, St Catherine’s, St George’s, St Mary’s Ascot, St Teresa’s, Tormead and Worth. A high percentage of our girls obtain scholarships, not just academic but also in drama, music and sport.

Do you offer transport?

We currently offer a morning only minibus service for children from Kindergarten to Form one from East Clandon with various stops en-route to Rydes Hill. This route may change depending on demand. We are always happy to talk to parents about introducing or amending a minibus route if this would help their child’s journey to School.