Alton School

Scholarships and Bursaries

Alton School offers scholarships and awards to recognise excellence and potential. Scholarships are prestigious and scholars benefit from an enrichment programme in their subject area with access to extra-curricular opportunities, workshops and mentoring.

Recipients are required to show strong and ongoing contribution to the life of the school in their particular field, to work hard and to set a good example.

All scholarships and awards are offered following successful performance in the school’s entrance procedures at Year 7, Year 9 or Year 12. Applications for the Catholic Award can be made at any educational stage.

Scholarships and awards are intended to last for the duration of a student’s time at the school, subject to annual review in all cases and to some specific conditions for each award. As subjects are narrowed at A Level, all subject scholarships will be reviewed after GCSEs to ensure that they are still appropriate for pupils’ study choices in the Sixth Form

Most scholarships are worth 10% of school fees unless otherwise stated. If parents do not require the fee remission attached to a scholarship in order to afford the school fees, they are invited to donate part or all of the remission to a designated bursaries fund. Families in need of financial assistance may apply for a means tested bursary in addition to a monetary award. Further information about bursaries can be found at the bottom of this page. Pupils cannot receive more than one monetary award.

The number of awards and bursaries made in any year are at the discretion of the Headmaster.

Prep School

There is one award available in the Prep School:

Catholic Award

Applications can be made for entry at any stage in the Prep School for this award.

This is an external award for Catholic children currently in a maintained primary school applying for a place in the Prep School who would not otherwise seek admission.  It is a means-tested award and parents will be asked to complete a confidential financial assessment.

This award is based on academic potential which is established through an assessment and interview with the Head of Prep.  Parents and pupils will attend an interview with the Headmaster and will be asked for evidence reflecting their commitment to the Catholic Church, including a reference from a Catholic priest.

The award will continue to the end of a pupil’s education at the school, subject to annual review. Recipients will be expected to actively contribute to the spiritual life of the school.

Senior School – entry into Year 7 and Year 9

Scholarships and awards are offered following successful performance in the school’s entrance exam for Year 7 or for Year 9. For the Catholic Award, applications can be made at any stage of entry into the Senior School.

Scholarships and awards available:

  • Academic
  • Art
  • Drama
  • Music
  • Violin
  • Sport
  • Sport Development Award
  • Tennis
  • Equestrian
  • Catholic Award

Academic Scholarship  Year 7 (maximum of 4 awards), Year 9 (maximum of 1 award)

All candidates sitting assessment for entry into Year 7 and Year 9 will automatically be considered for an Academic Scholarship. Candidates who attain a high standard in the entrance exam will receive an invitation to sit scholarship papers in Mathematics and English followed by an interview with a member of the school Governing Body.

Academic Scholars will be expected to attain consistently high academic results throughout their time at the school and be identified as High Potential Learners (HPL). Through the HPL programme, they will be invited to join the Headmaster’s weekly Academy group sessions in Years 8 and 9 and to join the Bilateral Thinking group in Years 10 and 11.

Art Scholarship  Year 7 (maximum of 2 awards), Year 9 (maximum of 1 award)

Candidates will be invited to an interview with the Head of Art and asked to bring in their Art portfolio to talk through. The following factors are considered:

  • contents of portfolio
  • enthusiasm and commitment to the subject
  • extra-curricular clubs attended
  • future ambition

The portfolio should contain up to ten pieces of work covering a range of different processes and techniques and examples produced at home as well as school.  Any type of work is acceptable including photography, 3D work, collages and ceramics but there must be some evidence of painting and drawing. Please bring photographs of large or fragile 3D work.  All pieces should be clearly dated and labelled. Although work can be submitted from any age, work from the previous two years is the most important.  Art Scholars will be expected to study Art or Photography GCSE.

Drama Scholarship  Year 7 (maximum of 2 awards), Year 9 (maximum of 1 award)

Candidates will be invited to an audition and interview with the Head of Drama. For the audition, they should be prepared to perform two contrasting monologues.

Candidates are asked to bring a portfolio detailing past achievements and which can include certificates, notes from teachers and adjudicators, programmes, photographs etc. The following factors are considered:

  • involvement in the Dramatic Arts
  • ambitions and plans for the future
  • involvement in other activities which take place outside of school

Drama Scholars will be expected to:

  • Study Drama GCSE
  • Take part in the School production
  • Perform in the ISA drama competitions
  • Take part in Drama workshops held throughout the year
  • Take LAMDA examinations
  • Keep an up to date performance portfolio

Music Scholarship  Year 7 (maximum of 2 awards), Year 9 (maximum of 1 award)

Candidates should have reached a practical level of Grade 3 or 4 in at least one instrument in Year 6 and at least Grade 5 or 6 in Year 8.  The voice is considered an instrument.  There may be flexibility in levels for candidates playing cello, French horn, bassoon, oboe, trombone or harp.

Candidates will be invited to an audition and interview with the Directors of Music (Prep and Senior). They should be prepared to perform two pieces, the second on a different instrument if applicable. The school can supply an accompanist but please remember to bring the music.

Candidates are asked to bring a portfolio with details of music exams, competitions or public performances.  Certificates, notes from music teachers or adjudicators, programmes, and photographs are all acceptable.

Music Scholars are expected to study Music GCSE. They also will be expected to join appropriate school ensembles such as senior orchestra, band, string quartet, choir and chamber choir, and to attend and perform, either solo and/or ensemble, at all public events involving music.

Music tuition is available at school (at additional cost). However, candidates may continue with their current teacher if desired.

Violin Scholarship  Year 7 (maximum of 2 awards), Year 9 (maximum of 1 award)

This scholarship is for advanced violinists who have a practical level equivalent of at least Grade 4 in Year 6 and Grade 6 in Year 8. Successful candidates will be eligible for a reduction of up to 50% of the school fees.

The application process and the expectations of Violin Scholars are the same as the Music Scholarship. However, proficiency in a second instrument is not required and Violin Scholars will not necessarily be expected to study Music GCSE.

Sport Scholarship  Year 7 (maximum of 2 awards), Year 9 (maximum of 1 award)

This is not awarded for general competence at sport but for outstanding achievement and major potential in one or more sports. Candidates are expected to be performing at a high club level and regularly taking part in competitions.

Candidates will be invited to an assessment day and interview with the Director of Sport and Head of Senior School PE. They will participate in a gym session and a practical sport session. For the interview, candidates will be asked to bring a portfolio which includes 5 to 10 minutes of video evidence of playing and competing in their sport. Please bring this on a memory stick, ipad or laptop. References from coaches or teachers, certificates, badges and competition details would also be useful.

Sports Scholars are expected to attend twice weekly strength and conditioning sessions in the gym before school as well as attend a physiotherapist screening, a nutrition workshop and two mental performance workshops every year.

Sport Development Award  Year 7 (maximum of 2 awards), Year 9 (maximum of 1 award)

Students who love sport, but who wouldn’t necessarily gain a scholarship, are encouraged to apply for a Sports Development Award.  Applicants will be asked to supply a recommendation from at least one sports coach or teacher and may be called for an assessment by our Sports Department.

Sports Development Award recipients are required to actively participate in our sports programme throughout their time at Alton including representing the school in teams and regular involvement in House matches. We expect them to show team spirit and to actively encourage their peers.

Tennis Scholarship

Alton School offers an outstanding tennis scholarship programme which is embedded into the daily school curriculum and is intended for those who aspire to play at the highest level. Each Tennis Scholar receives a tailored tennis programme to fit around their academic lessons. Please see the Full Time Tennis and Education Programme booklet here LINK TO BOOKLET for further details.

Scholars are selected according to athletic ability, willingness to learn and work hard, as well as their technical and tactical tennis ability. A tennis rating and ranking will also be taken into consideration.

Applicants will be invited to a tennis assessment day in January. Scholarships may be worth up to 50% of academic school fees. Tennis coaching fees are an additional expense.

Tennis Scholars are expected to attend twice weekly strength and conditioning sessions in the gym before school as well as attend a physiotherapist screening, a nutrition workshop and two mental performance workshops every year.

Tennis Scholars must prioritise tennis over any other sport. All tennis scholars are expected to be playing in an agreed number of competitions and matches throughout the year outside of school.

Equestrian Scholarship  Year 7 (maximum of 2 awards), Year 9 (maximum of 1 award)

Candidates will be invited to an interview with the Head of Equestrian. They are asked to bring a portfolio which includes around 5 mins of video evidence of their riding style and outlines:

  • details of their horse/ pony and who owns it
  • current trainer
  • the level at which they are currently competing
  • competition history including major achievements, wins, place achievements, and championship qualifications
  • qualifications e.g. Pony Club badges and tests
  • aims and goals for the next competitive season

Knowledge of horse and pony care, attitude and ability will be taken into account in the selection process.

Successful candidates will be invited to attend our school Show Jumping competition in May at Coombelands Equestrian.

Equestrian Scholars are expected to:

  • wear their Alton School kit at all competitions throughout the year (including embroidered numnah, rug, jacket, coat, jumper and cross country gear, at a cost of around £400)
  • attend all school team training sessions (one per term)
  • attend individual coaching sessions as organised by the school at a mutually convenient time
  • represent the school at a minimum of 2 NSEA competitions per term, as well as at every show organised by Alton School
  • attend twice weekly strength and conditioning sessions in the gym
  • uphold a respectable image as an ambassador for the school: demonstrating good sportsmanship, excellent turnout, and a helpful demeanour
  • keep the school up to date with their progress through a short report once a month or following any competitive or training success

Catholic Award

Applications can be made for entry at any stage in the Senior School for this award.

This is an external award for Catholic pupils currently in a maintained primary or secondary school who would not otherwise seek admission. Awards will be given to candidates whose performance in the entrance exam demonstrates high achievement and potential.

Candidates will be invited to an interview with the Headmaster and will be asked to produce a folder of evidence reflecting their achievements in and out of school and evidence reflecting their commitment to the Catholic Church. This folder should include a reference from a Catholic priest.

This is a means-tested award subject to satisfactory academic performance.  Parents will be asked to complete a confidential financial assessment.

The award will continue to the end of a pupil’s education at the school, subject to annual review. Recipients will be expected to actively contribute to the spiritual life of the school.

Sixth Form – entry into Year 12

Scholarships and awards are offered to both external and internal candidates based on their school record and achievements and subject to successful performance at GCSE.

It is expected that all existing Alton School scholarships will continue into the Sixth Form if they are still appropriate. Academic Scholarships will be reviewed following GSCE results and subject awards are dependent on the scholar studying this subject at A Level. All other internal scholarships will be reviewed and confirmed.

As there is a mix of internal and external applications, the number of awards made in in any year are at the discretion of the Headmaster.

Scholarships and awards available:

  • Academic
  • Art
  • Drama
  • Music
  • Sport
  • Tennis
  • Governors’ Award – internal candidates only
  • Catholic Award – external candidates only

All Sixth Form subject scholarships follow the same selection process and criteria as those for entry into Year 7 or Year 9 (see Senior School section above). However, there is a more detailed application process which involves submitting a letter describing relevant achievements, involvement in activities, interests and ambitions.

All subject scholars are required to study their subject for A Level.

Academic: Successful applicants for academic scholarships will be expected to achieve levels 7 to 9 in their GCSE exams.

Music: Applicants for music scholarships should have reached a practical level of Grade 7 or 8 in at least one instrument in Year 11.  The voice is considered an instrument.  There may be flexibility in levels for candidates playing cello, French horn, bassoon, oboe, trombone or harp.

Governors’ Award

Governors’ Awards are available only to internal applicants and are worth 10% of school fees. They are made on the basis of academic performance, service to the school and community, and an interview with the Governors’ selection panel.

The granting of such a prestigious award is conditional on students taking a lead in setting high standards with regard to academic achievement and services to the school.

Applicants for a Governors’ Award should be able to describe their academic achievement, the skills and attributes they can offer and their ambitions for the future.

Bursaries

To be considered for a bursarial award your family income should not exceed £65,000 and there should not be any significant additional assets. Bursaries are awarded to pupils whose parents would otherwise be unable to meet the full financial commitment of the school fees. This is a means-tested award and parents will be asked to complete a confidential financial assessment and supply supporting information.

Means tested bursaries may be considered for pupils following successful performance in the school’s entrance procedures at the point at which they apply.

The bursary is awarded until the end of the pupil’s education at the school. However, continuation of the bursary is subject to annual review, demonstration of need, and subject to satisfactory academic performance.

The number of bursaries made in any year are at the discretion of the Headmaster.

The confidential financial assessment form can be obtained by contacting the Admissions Registrar.