Frequently Asked Questions
Many prospective parents and pupils have questions about life at and admissions to Millfield Prep, before they speak to our Admissions team.
Read the answers to some of our most commonly asked questions below. If you would like to speak to one of our Admissions team about any further queries, please don't hesitate to contact us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
How far is Millfield Prep School from London?
Millfield Prep is based in rural Somerset, which is ideal for young children wanting to run and grow. There is lots of space to play and lots of fresh country air. It’s also perfect for London families, as it’s only an hour and a half from the city on the train! We have a dedicated Travel Office that can provide guidance and a booking service for our pupils at Exeats and end of term. Find out more here.
How many pupils are in a class?
Our average class size is 14.
What time can you drop your child off in the morning?
Staff will be on duty from 8.10am in the Prep School each morning, although a number of clubs run from as early as 7.00/7.30am, for example Swimming Squad, Reading Club and Tennis, to name a few.
What is the latest you can collect your child in the afternoon?
The school day ends at 3.45pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and activities commence at 4.00pm. Tea is available from 5.00pm and day pupils can stay until 6.15pm to complete their prep. Wednesday and Saturday are match days for sport, so finishing times will depend on fixtures and clubs.
Do you offer a school transport service for day pupils?
Millfield has a fantastic minibus service, running across seven routes. Our current advertised routes are flexible to cater for our pupils’ needs. The service is for children age 5 upwards (Year 1), with zonal charging. Each minibus has a capacity for 12 passengers, so early registration of interest is advised. Places are available on a first come, first served basis. For boarders, we sort transport for flights from Heathrow, Gatwick, Bristol and also buses/taxis to London.
Can my child bring their mobile phone/smartphone to school?
Pupils are not allowed to carry mobile telephones/smartphones during the regular school day. The School will not accept any responsibility for mobile devices. Such devices are only permitted in school for boarders on Sunday, if the Director of Boarding authorises it, and when a boarder is going out on Exeat or holiday straight from school. In addition, the taking and sending of photographs and video clips are strictly forbidden and in certain cases may also be illegal. Any pupil discovered using their telephone/smartphone in an inappropriate manner will have the telephone confiscated and it will be returned to parents at the earliest possible convenience. Pupils will also be sanctioned in accordance with the school’s behaviour policy. There are a variety of ways that you can contact your child in their free time. This can be on one of the house landlines, or, more commonly using FaceTime. Please note that any age 13+ apps such as Facebook (including Messenger) are not used at the Prep School.
Can my child have a taster visit before we register?
We encourage taster visits and offer day visits for day pupils and overnight taster visits for those pupils looking to board. Visits form part of the admissions process and can be arranged prior to registration if required.
Do you accept mid-session starts, in January or April?
Yes, subject to availability within the boarding house or class. It is normal for a small number of new pupils to join Millfield Prep in January or April (or on occasions after half-term).
Do all children have to sit entrance assessments?
All pupils are required to sit an assessment and complete an interview prior to entry.
Do you offer individual visits?
Yes, we offer individual visits Monday-Saturday in term time and Monday-Friday during holiday periods. Visits can sometimes be arranged out with these times, if required.
Do you offer scholarships and bursaries?
Scholarships and bursaries are available on entry to Year 6, 7 and 8. You will find further information here.
Do you offer discounts to Forces families?
Yes, we offer Military families a 15% Forces concession, in addition to Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA). Please find further information here. We have a number of Forces families in the Prep School each year.
How many international pupils, from which countries, attend Millfield Prep?
Each year Millfield Prep welcomes around 15% of international pupils from around 15 different countries. Many of our international cohort are fluent in English, so only about half attend English as an Additional Language (EAL) lessons. Our EAL pupils sit the Cambridge Exams and achieve excellent results each year.
Do pupils have to sit an assessment for entry to Millfield Senior School or is entry automatic?
Over 90% of Millfield Prep pupils go on to study at Millfield Senior School in Year 9. Entry is usually automatic, subject to satisfactory behaviour and ability to access the curriculum.
Do Prep pupils sit Common Entrance?
As most Prep pupils move up to Millfield Senior School, Year 8 pupils do not sit Common Entrance, but will sit internal examinations towards the end of the Summer Term. We can assist those pupils requiring Common Entrance.
Is Millfield Prep academically selective?
Millfield Prep caters for a range of academic abilities. All pupils sit an entrance assessment prior to entry to ensure the child is able to access the curriculum and thrive in the environment offered.
How strong are the academic lessons?
We are well-known for sport, but our parents also choose us because they know that their children will also get an outstanding academic programme to set them in good stead to be lifelong learners and to find their passions. Our pupils learn in small class sizes and take part in high level competitions in Mathematics, Computing, Languages and Science, among others. Find out more about our Academic Programme here.
Pupils aged 7-11 work for the majority of their time in the Junior Department. The children study in small classes, headed by a group tutor who is responsible for the pupils' general programme and welfare; they also teach many of the lessons. We believe it is essential that all pupils acquire a good grasp of English and Maths and the Junior staff also teach Science, Humanities and Art, through the inquiry-based International Primary Curriculum. Other subjects such as DT, ICT, Languages, Music, Drama and PE are taught by subject specialists who are experienced in teaching primary-aged pupils. In Year 6, pupils are taught by specialist teachers and some class-based tutors. In Years 6-8, your child will be taught by some further specialist subject teachers and class-based tutors. The programme will continue to be overseen by their group tutor, who will also keep a close and friendly eye on how your child is developing outside the classroom – in Sport, Music and other activities. English and Maths are still central to the curriculum. Pupils also study Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Humanities, Religious Studies, Art, Food Technology, Design and Technology, Computing & ICT, Music, Drama and PE. Language options include French, Spanish and Latin.
How often do pupils get homework?
Pupils will usually have homework (or ‘prep’) on a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Some homework will be required for the following day, on other occasions pupils will be given a few days to complete their homework. Pupils may be given project work over a few weeks and extension work may also be provided for pupils needing stretched academically.
Do you offer support to children with learning needs?
The LDC (Learning Development Centre) is staffed by specialist Dyslexia teachers, in a centre which is right at the heart of the school. Early intervention and tracking procedures enable each pupils’ needs can be met. Understanding of the whole child and their strengths allows the correct interventions and enabling environment, to ensure the best possible pupil outcomes and success. The Learning Development Centre works together with parents, the pupils and the teachers in the school, to ensure that everyone is aware of an individual’s strengths and how to create the best environment for their learning.
What is your sports provision?
Millfield Prep has over 19 different sports to choose from, and we are regularly voted as one of the best schools for Sport in the country. We frequently reach regional and national finals in Rugby, Hockey, Cricket, Trampolining, Netball, Athletics, Football and many other sports. Click here find out more about Sport at Millfield Prep.
Can I watch my child’s matches?
Parents are most welcome at all services, Drama, Music and Sporting events. Directions to away fixtures are available from the school Reception. Alternatively, please use the Fixtures Pro website for postcodes and directions.
How many boarding houses do you have and are they all on site?
We have three boarding houses for boys and two for girls and all houses are on campus at the Prep School. We offer full (most of our boarders are full boarders), flexi (only if we have bed space available, full boarding takes priority) or occasional boarding for your child, making it convenient for parents. Find out what our boarding parents had to say about Millfield Prep’s boarding programme here. Take a look at boarding life in our modern, homely and comfortable houses, which are the perfect places to make lifelong friendships and create lasting memories. View our 360 videos of a girls boarding house and boys boarding house.
Will my child be kept busy at weekends?
Yes! Saturday morning lessons are compulsory from Year 3 upwards for boarders (Year 4 for day pupils), so most Prep pupils are in lessons on a Saturday morning until 12 o’clock. After lessons, pupils either have Sport (matches or practice). If boarders don’t have Sport, they will take part in ‘Multis’, which is a range of different clubs and activities until 3.20pm. Our boarders are never bored when lessons finish in the evenings and at the weekend, with on campus activities circus skills workshops, Segway driving, scuba diving and inflatable fun in the pool. At the weekends, pupils take trips to local attractions such as ice-skating, tobogganing, trampoline park, cinema trips, farm trip, paintballing, laser tag and quad biking. Find out more about our after-school and weekends programme here.
How can I contact my children?
For any general enquiries, parents are provided with a direct line to the boarding house phone. Email addresses are also provided, so there are plenty of ways to get in touch. We encourage you to speak to your children directly on their personal phones, either before school or usually between 6.30-8.00 pm in the evening, depending on where you live around the world. Pupils are not allowed phones during school hours.
What happens if my child is ill?
The staff in Surgery oversee the health and welfare of the children. There are three registered nurses, the school doctor, a partner at the Glastonbury Surgery, sees pupils at the Surgery four lunchtimes a week. A female doctor is available to see any boarder on request. The School Nurses are in Surgery 8.00am-6.00pm Monday-Friday (5.00 pm Saturdays). At night and at the weekends, an out of hours service is available for houseparents and the 111 service can be contacted. When boarding children are ill, they are cared for in their boarding houses, either in their own beds or in the house sick bay, where they are looked after by the houseparents. As part of the medical team, a chartered physiotherapist with a special interest in paediatric musculo-skeletal conditions has a private practice on site. This service is a private arrangement between the physio and parents, who will be invoiced directly. We also have a private podiatrist, who attends approximately twice a month.
Can I send parcels to my children?
Yes! We have a team of stewards here at Millfield Prep who can deliver your post to your children. The address for the house will be in the House Handbook which the Houseparent will have provided you with at the start of term.
Can my child in Millfield Prep meet up with their sibling at Millfield Senior School?
Yes. If you have a sibling at Millfield, they can, on occasion, come and visit their younger sibling at the Prep School (taking a taxi from Millfield, with parents and Houseparents giving their permission). This would usually be on a Sunday, or a time when both pupils have finished their daily commitments.
How many pupils share a room in the boarding houses?
The dorms are mostly four bedded, but there are also rooms with two and three beds.
Do pupils eat my meals in the boarding house?
Prep pupils eat all main meals in the dining room, but have snacks in the boarding house. Food is plentiful, varied and delicious!
How can I best support my child in the first few weeks of term?
It is inevitable that you will miss your children and they will miss you. We recommend that you keep in close contact with your Houseparent and take their advice as to when and how often to phone or visit in the early days of boarding. Be prepared that initially, when talking to your child, to hear their worries. In the first few days of boarding, this is often due to new routines and homesickness, and settles quickly once the school and boarding routines are in place. Always be positive and do encourage them to share with you the many good and exciting things that have happened. Parcels and letters from home always go down well. We recommend that boarders should stay in house on the first two weekends of the school year. They will have a boarding activity on each of these Sundays, and this helps friendships to form with their peers across their year group as well as with other boarders in their respective houses. The third weekend of the Autumn Term is an Exeat weekend. This is a fantastic opportunity for you all to catch up on how the first few weeks have been.
What do they need to bring with them?
A suggested kit list will be provided to you by Admissions. Please feel free to bring some items from home to personalise space in your child’s room. Favourite teddies, blanket, photos and other items all help to make your child’s space feel more like home.
How much pocket money will my child need?
We recommend approximately £50 per term for pocket money. This allows for tuck, snacks and a few treats and shopping trips during term time.
What is the weekday routine?
Boarders will be woken at 7am and take breakfast on campus in the school dining hall from 7.45 am. Those who have early activities such as riding and swimming will have breakfast in house prior to their activity. They can return to house after lessons, games and activities from 5.00pm. Supper is taken between 5.00 and 5.30pm and then homework is between 5.30 and 6.30pm. The best time to contact the children is between 6.30 and 8.15pm, at which point all devices are handed in. The bedtime routine for the younger ones starts at about 8pm, and lights for out for all year groups is by 9:30pm.
What happens at prep time?
With the exception of Year 8, all prep is completed within school. Year 8 can complete their prep in house at their own desk. For all year groups, there is time in house to catch up on any work and prep if needed. There are plenty of staff in hand to monitor and help as necessary.
What chores might my child be expected to do?
Boarders, with help from house staff, will need to keep their bed spaces and working areas tidy and may be asked to help with collecting and handing out laundry and with washing up. More responsibility will be expected from the older ones. This could include assisting house staff with bedtime routines, collecting in devices or becoming a house monitor.
How do I arrange to visit at weekends?
Visits or trips out are easily arranged; but must be booked via your Houseparent. Where possible, please provide details of any weekend visits to your Houseparent by the Thursday before. This allows time for all arrangements to be made and confirmed. Boarders may be collected from school from 12.10pm on a Saturday, or after their school commitments are complete. As a general rule, it is best if they return on a Sunday by 8.00pm. If the children require an evening meal, supper is at 5.00pm, but we will also provide snacks at around 7.30pm. Please let us know if anyone other than yourself will be collecting your child, and we must have your permission before your child is released into the care of another adult.
How often should my child go out at weekends?
Boarding at Millfield Prep is very flexible and as each child and family circumstance is different. We recommend that boarders should stay in house at the very least on the first two weekends of the school year, and on the last weekend of the autumn and summer terms. There are two Long Exeat weekends in the autumn term and one in the spring term. The school organises escorted coach transport stopping at various points on the way to and from London at the beginning and end of every holiday, Long Exeats and at various times in each term. An escorted taxi transport is also available.
What time do I pick up my child for holidays?
All collection times for each Exeat, half term and end of term are published in the School Calendar. They are also on the website and in the weekly school newsletter. Houses are open from about 10.00am on the first day of term for boarders to arrive at house. However, after a short holiday or Exeat weekend, houses reopen at 5.00pm. Pupils can also opt to stay in school for Exeat weekends at an extra charge.
Can possessions be left over the holidays?
Yes, they may be left if you have opted for the Valeting Service or if your child is an overseas boarder. The Valeting Service also includes the sewing of all name tapes on to school kit. There is a small charge for this service.
What electronic equipment is allowed?
Laptops, phones, iPods, Fitbits and iPads. Parents must take responsibility and be aware of the capabilities and contents of such electronic equipment. Software must be age-appropriate.
How much time are children allowed to watch TV or play electronic games?
Houseparent’s monitor these very carefully; particularly how much time is spent on devices, and what is watched after the “watershed”. Playing on electronic equipment can be unsociable and as a general rule, boarders are allowed to spend about half an hour a day playing games as an absolute maximum. Within house, there is also ‘no tech time’ to allow the pupils to be sociable, catch up on chores and prep and interact with each other. The iPad and mobile device access times are displayed in each house for boarders to see.
What if my child has a birthday in term time? You are welcome to bring any party treats at the beginning of, or during the term. However, you can liaise with the Houseparent’s who can organise a birthday party for your child. We recommend £20 will cover the cost of a cake and party snacks for the pupils attending the party. We will make the day special, with birthday banners, cake, party food and of course singing ‘Happy Birthday’!
How do parents keep in touch with each other?
At the end of the Summer Term, we have a New Boarders Introduction day. This is aimed at boarding families who will be joining us in September for the new academic year. Throughout the school year, you will be invited to several school and house events and these are perfect opportunities for you to get to know each other better. Key events throughout the year include House Singing, Harvest Festival, Year group productions, Fireworks, Carol Service at Wells Cathedral, our Easter Service, Sports Day and Prize Giving. In addition, we have a variety of Parents and Friends events that you can also join us for. Details of all our events are included in the school newsletter and are also detailed on the school calendar. You can always exchange personal contact details with other parents at these events.
Do you have compulsory exeat weekends?
Millfield Prep boarders have three Exeats in total each session – two in the Autumn Term and one in the Spring Term. Pupils can stay at school during Exeat weekends for an additional cost.
Please find the Boarding Handbook and Parents Guide to Boarding here.
What is the food like?
The Dining Hall at Millfield Prep is unrivalled in terms of school catering. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, morning and afternoon snacks are all provided for the pupils in our main Dining Hall on-site, with our inhouse catering team, Chartwells. Thursday is usually a ‘Roast Day’ and Friday is usually ‘Fish and Chip Friday’, both of which are favourites for our pupils, with various other options available on the day, including daily vegetarian options. We cater for all types of food allergies and intolerances. In house, there is always fruit, toast and various other options for boarders to eat while in the house.
Are boarders allowed tuck?
Yes, every boarding house has a tuck night each week. Boarders are allowed to have tuck from the in-house tuck shop up to a specified amount. This amount will be deducted from their pocket money account.
Do boarding pupils eat my meals in the boarding house?
Prep pupils eat all main meals in the dining room, but have snacks in the boarding house. Food is plentiful, varied and delicious!
Who will be my first point of contact when my child joins the school?
You should approach your child’s Group Tutor or Houseparent in the first instance and most issues, particularly day-to-day ones, will be dealt with satisfactorily at this level. For more serious issues, the Group Tutor may feel it necessary to involve the Head of Year or Deputy Head, but they will advise you of this. An email is a really good way of making the first contact with tutors.
I want to find out how my child is getting on at school.
Your child’s Group Tutor or Subject Teacher will always be happy to chat with you about his/her progress, but if you want to chat in person, we would appreciate it if you could make an appointment. There are also several points throughout the school year when you will be informed of your child’s progress. These range from informal Parents’ Information Meetings to formal Parent/Tutor Meetings and of course written reports. Parents will receive formal half-termly grades and two full reports per year. A summary of these arrangements is included in the material sent to parents.
What age can a pupil join Pre-Prep?
Two year olds may enter the term after their second birthday. Thereafter, children may enter at most times throughout the academic year, although joining at the start of term or after half-term are the preferred options. Tadpoles (2 year olds) must attend at least two sessions per week on separate days and Frogs (3-4 year olds) must attend at least three sessions per week on separate days, to provide continuity.
What session times do you offer?
We offer Morning Sessions, 8.30am-12noon (excludes lunch), Morning Sessions including lunch, 8.30am-1.30pm and Full Day Sessions, 8.30am-3.15pm.
Do you offer Wrap-Around Care?
Before and after-school care is a valuable resource for our busy parents. Early drop-off from 8.00am and later collection up to 5.15pm for our youngest children and 6.00pm for those over three, is built into the school day. Crèche and a snack is available from 3.15pm-4.15pm and Late Club with a light tea from 4.15pm-5.15pm. Supper Club (for children aged over 3 years) from 5.15pm-6.00pm is an ideal time for older children to do their homework, read or practise times tables after their cooked meal. There are additional costs for after school care.
Do you accept childcare vouchers?
Child Care Vouchers can be accepted for fees and out-of-school care up to compulsory school age, subject to HMRC rules. Please find further details here.
How do I apply?
You can formally apply for a place by completing the online Registration Form (no fee applies for Pre-Prep). If applicable, we will then request a reference from your child’s current school/nursery; on receipt of this, we will invite you to bring your child for a taster day/session. Thereafter, we would hope to formally offer a place.
Can I visit the Pre-Prep for an individual visit?
Parents can visit the Pre-Prep during one of our Open Days or arrange an individual visit to see the school in action (Monday-Friday) at a mutually convenient time. The Admissions staff will be delighted to arrange a visit for you.
Do you offer bursaries in the Pre-Prep?
Bursarial funding is usually available from Year 6.