S. Anselm's

A full boarding and day school for boys and girls from Nursery to 16

Frequently Asked Questions


Entrance to S. Anselm’s College


Will children entering the College be required to sit Common Entrance?

All children in the S. Anselm’s Prep School will take Common Entrance, which provides excellent focus and is a solid starting point for embarking the GCSE syllabi. By reaching this standard, the College can ensure the academic rigour required.  Children entering S. Anselm’s from other schools in Year 7 or 8 will also sit Common Entrance exams.

Applicants wishing to join the College are encouraged to join the school as soon as possible to ensure they have the same academic grounding and experience of Common Entrance as their peers.  Prospective entrants at Year 9 whose school do not offer Common Entrance will still be considered, and entrance will be based on an interview and assessment. 


When should I register my child for the College?

As the College’s reputation grows, so our demand for places increases.  Once you have decided you would like to send your child to S. Anselm’s College, we recommend that you complete a registration as the first stage in securing a place.  Parents may register their children for entry up to three years in advance of their preferred entry date. 


The College day and College life


When does the College day start and finish?

Pupils should arrive in time for registration at 8.25am.  The formal College day ends at 5.00pm, however pupils are encouraged to stay to Prep until 6.00pm.


What transport options are available for getting to and from College?

Six different minibus routes are operated to and from S. Anselm’s from Sheffield, Chesterfield, Matlock, Ashbourne and Buxton, with scheduled stops on route*.  Please refer to the minibus service webpage for the most current information. 

Taking the minibus is an ideal way for College pupils to have more independence.

*additional charges apply.


As a family with children in different parts of S. Anselm’s (Prep School, Pre-Prep or Nursery), how will school times, term dates and logistics coincide?

Term dates, holidays and exeats are the same for the whole school. The College day starts and finishes at the same time as the Prep School, and parents may use the same car park to drop off and pick up their children or use the minibus service.


Will my child be required to attend Prep?

Attendance at Prep is not compulsory, but is very much encouraged as it establishes a good routine and ensures that pupils are able to complete most of their Prep in a focused and supported environment, free from home distractions.


Where do College pupils do Prep?

Daily supervised Prep takes place from 5.00pm until 6.00pm. As well as the teachers on duty, other members of College staff are usually available should a pupil have a particular query regarding the prep they have been set.


What are the lunchtime arrangements for College pupils?

College pupils take lunch in the school dining hall, where they are seated together at a dedicated College table and may choose to take the daily hot meal or select from the fresh salad bar on specific days.

From Year 10, College pupils are permitted to go into Bakewell for lunch once a week.

A supervised Sports Hall session is also held once a week.


What recreation/outside facilities do College pupils have access to?

College pupils enjoy the privilege of a large common room and kitchen, where they are able to make hot drinks and snacks, relax and socialise.

Outside, College pupils have exclusive access to grounds that are out of bounds to Prep School pupils, including the Headmaster’s lawn. 


Does S. Anselm’s College share events with the Prep School, such as Speech Day and Sports Day?

The College has its own Speech Day to celebrate the successes of its pupils, and where the focus and identity is that of the College. 


Are College pupils required to attend Saturday school?

There is no formal Saturday school or standard timetabled commitments, however some visits/tours may extend into the weekend and there may be compulsory Duke of Edinburgh sessions. 

Optional Saturday GCSE revision sessions are offered in Years 10 and 11.


Does the College offer boarding?

Boarding is not offered in the College.  College provision has been specifically designed for local families who are seeking a high quality independent education for their children to GCSE.


The College Curriculum


What GCSE subject options does S. Anselm’s College offer?

All pupils take the following compulsory GCSEs:

  • English Language
  • English Literature
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • A modern language – either French or Spanish
  • Religious Studies (which is usually taken in Year 10)


Pupils then select up to four other options from the following:

  • History
  • Geography
  • French or Spanish
  • Latin
  • Art
  • Textiles
  • Music
  • Drama
  • Physical Education


What extra-curricular activities are offered?

There are four timetabled periods for extra-curricular activities each week.

Activities are timetabled termly and can include:  tennis, dance, gym/personal training, fencing, badminton, scuba diving, sailing, golf, canoeing, windsurfing and orienteering. 

Additional clubs (after school hours) include: LAMDA (drama), debating, music and general interest groups such as the Senior Reading Group.

S. Anselm’s also offers the Duke of Edinburgh scheme, with all pupils taking their Bronze Award in Year 10.  Progression to the Silver Award is an option for pupils in Year 11.


Can my child continue with their peripatetic instrumental lessons and practice?

We encourage each pupil to pursue their strengths and interests throughout the College and so music can be a major focus of choice.  Instrument lessons will be taken in the School of Music, and will be scheduled between 3.30pm and 5.00pm. 

Practice facilities are also available in the School of Music and may be used from 7.30am to 6.00pm.  Pianists above grade 6 are also permitted to book the grand piano in the Hargreaves Hall for practice slots after 5.00pm.


What about competitive team sports?

At S. Anselm’s College, our primary focus is on individual sports that pupils will be able to continue to play thought out their lives, such as tennis, badminton, sailing, scuba diving and windsurfing.

Team sports and fixtures include cricket and mixed hockey, but our sports staff are able to advise pupils and their families about local sports clubs and teams which they may wish to attend at weekends.


Mentoring, support and pastoral care


Who will oversee my child’s progress and wellbeing?

Each pupil is under the care of a form tutor who registers them twice a day, and is available to answer any questions they may have and provide a first point of contact and support.

The Head of College (Mr J Mortimer) and Deputy Head (Mrs A Whawell) are closely involved in the day to day management of all pupil progress, as well as overseeing pastoral care. 

Our excellent teacher-pupil ratio ensures a much higher involvement in each pupil’s progress and development that most secondary schools can offer, meaning that teachers have an intimate knowledge of where pupils currently are in their studies, as well as their strengths and weaknesses and can work with them to set goals and devise strategies to achieve them.  Of course, it also means that teaching staff are on hand to provide support and guidance when needed.

Our School Nurse (Mrs H Seddon), is also closely involved in supporting the wellbeing and health of our pupils – as well as being on hand should a pupil become poorly.


My child has specific learning difficulties. How will these be supported by S. Anselm’s College?

S. Anselm’s has a well-established learning support department, with full time specialist staff and up-to-date awareness of exam regulations and access arrangements (such as extra time).  This department will continue to oversee pupils as they progress into and through the College.

Specific strategies and techniques are shared discreetly with College teaching staff, enabling them to use individual approaches to meet all pupils’ needs inclusively.


My child receives learning support in the Prep School.  Will this continue?

If extra support and/or specialist lessons are required, these can be continued. The added benefit is that as a College pupil, your child can remain with the same specialist teacher who knows their history and individual needs.  Specialist learning support will incur additional charges that can be added to your termly bill.


My child is gifted or talented.  How will they be stretched?

Our excellent pupil to teacher ratio means that every pupil receives individualised teaching and mentoring.  Gifted or talented children can be stimulated and stretched in a way that is carefully managed and appropriate to them.

GCSE subjects are academically set (where appropriate) so that each pupil works in an environment that is supportive, challenging and inclusive.  The College also offers a range of subject specific events, such as STEM days and Mathematics challenges which provide variety and opportunities for extended learning.


What happens after S. Anselm’s College


What careers information, advice and guidance does S. Anselm’s offer?

S. Anselm’s College offers an extensive careers insight and PSHE programme, designed to prepare pupils for life after College and develop a broad awareness of the opportunities available to them available.

Our Careers Insight Series offers an exception series of talks, visits, and workshops which have ranged from allowing pupils to cross examine a barrister and develop their own defence for a plaintiff to visiting a cattle farm and both learning about and witnessing modern breeding techniques. 

Pupils in Year 11 also undertake a work experience placement.


What support is offered in deciding on post 16 destinations?

All pupils are offered a meeting with their parents and the Head of College and Headmaster in Year 10 or 11 to discuss their next school, guidance is given on the choice of school as well as help with the transition and administration process.  Because of S. Anselm’s excellent reputation and relationship with leading independent/public schools UK wide, our pupils are very warmly received in applying for sixth form places.




What is included in the termly College fees?

College fees are inclusive of all core schooling, tuition, use of the College facilities, lunch and snacks provided in school. 

The cost of additional activities and trips are added to the termly extras bill.


What additional costs should be expected, over and above the termly College fees?

Parents are advised that the following are not included in the College fees:

  • Some textbooks/course materials
  • External exam entrance fees
  • Uniform purchase
  • Special learning needs support
  • Peripatetic music tuition
  • Additional clubs
  • Certain activities – dependent upon your child’s choice
  • Duke of Edinburgh
  • Travel, entrance fees and other costs for optional trips/expeditions (e.g. College ski-trip)
  • Use of the daily minibus service to/from school.

Additionally, pupils will require the use of a laptop for use in school and for their wider studies.  This may be rented from the College or parents may prefer to purchase a laptop for their child’s use.  Please refer to the school laptop requirements.


Does S. Anselm’s College offer Scholarships?

Academic, music and art scholarships are available on an annual basis, for which exams are held on the preceding summer term.  Details of the application process and application forms are available from our website at:  http://www.sanselms.co.uk/Scholarships




What is the Show Up and Commendation system?

House points are awarded for excellence in both attainment and effort in College work and other activities, with the focus being on academic work. 

Three house points in one term earn a pupil a Show Up.  Each term, a prize is awarded to the pupil with the highest number of Show Ups.


How is pupil behaviour managed?

We believe that in the College, our pupils should be treated as young people with additional rights commensurate with their growing maturity. It is therefore important that our pupils understand that with greater rights, come greater responsibilities.

The Pupil Rights & Responsibilities are central to the College ethos and are observed in everything we do:  http://www.sanselms.co.uk/Student-Rights-Resps


What is the College’s policy on mobile phones?

Mobile phones or electronic games are not permitted on the College premises, trips or transport.  We believe in fostering social skills and encouraging personal interaction during College time – without the distractions and pressure that these can impose on young people.


Does the College give pupils positions of responsibility?

Yes.  College pupils most deserving of responsibility and recognition may be selected for the positions of Prefects in Year 11.

In Year 11, a Head Boy and Head Girl are selected to be ambassadors for the College.



Should you have any further questions about life at S. Anselm's College that have not been answered above or in these webpages, please do not hesitate to contact The Headmaster at:  headmaster@anselms.co.uk