Top Schools for Sport in South West London and Surrey
TOP SCHOOLS FOR SPORT IN SOUTH WEST LONDON AND SURREY
With dedicated sports directors and state-of-the-art facilities, these schools offer the highest quality training for your child to achieve their sporting potential.
Top image: Cricket at Putney High School.
Words: Imogen Willis
Whether your child is passionate about sport, or already competes at a high level, this list will guide you through the schools in south west London and Surrey which will allow them to excel in their favourite sports or try something new, be that football, rugby, skiing, or equestrian.
SURBITON HIGH SCHOOL
Kingston Upon Thames
This all-girls school centres their sports curriculum around the Super Eight Sports, cricket, football, netball, hockey, gymnastics, rowing, tennis, and skiing, for which they have achieved regional, borough and national success. Pupils are given the opportunity to participate in all sports, with a pathway system from year 10 onwards splitting the year group into three sport pathways based on the sports they excel in: allrounder, competitive and artistic. For students performing to an elite standard, Surbiton High’s SAS programme helps pupils to balance schoolwork with training and competitions, whilst also giving them the opportunity to attend annual trips and conferences and learn about careers in sport from experts and professional athletes.
SHREWSBURY HOUSE SCHOOL
Established in 1865, Shrewsbury House is one of England’s oldest boys’ Preparatory Schools, with a long-standing history of excellence in sport. The school is a member of the IAPS committee for sport in prep schools, with a dedicated and highly qualified department. All students are encouraged to participate in competitions in the three core sports, football, rugby, and cricket, with pre-season sports camps, and the opportunity for annual and biannual overseas trips to Spain, South Africa and St Lucia. Further than the core sports, the programme extends to a wide variety including swimming, rowing, hockey, athletics, tennis, cross-country and judo, with training taking place at their state-of-the-art sport facilities split between the main site and dedicated sports ground at Almshouse Lane.
Winner of the Top School for Sport award by School Sport Magazine in January 2021 and crowned Independent Boys’ School of the Year 2020, Whitgift’s reputation precedes it. With an ethos focusing on ‘Sports for All’ that cherishes inclusion and participation, sports at Whitgift is thriving, with particular excellence emerging from their core sports: rugby, hockey, cricket and football. The school has strong relationships with professional football and rugby academies including Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Harlequins and Saracens. Whitgift alumni are testament to the quality of teaching, with several playing professionally for national sides including footballers Callum Hudson-Odoi and Victor Moses, and rugby player Elliot Daly who represented England in the recent World Cup Final.
This independent boys’ school, with co-educational sixth form, has a 40-acre site home to excellent sports facilities which include 2 outdoor AstroTurfs, rugby and cricket pitches alongside 3 indoor and 3 outdoor tennis courts, a state-of-the-art Indoor Cricket Centre and an indoor Sports Centre with a sports hall, multi-fitness gym and swimming pool. Pupils can engage in a wide variety of sports for fitness or competitively at a range of levels. Reed’s tennis, golf and ski racing academies for pupils who compete to a national or international standard, offer a first-class education alongside tailored training and competition programmes. The RSTA (Reed’s School Tennis Academy) has particular accolade with a rich heritage of producing world class tennis players such as Tim Henman OBE.
PUTNEY HIGH SCHOOL
Putney High prides itself on providing opportunities for girls of all abilities to take part in sports, whether they are a beginner or very talented. With 70 teams across 8 different sports with competitive fixtures throughout the term, everyone has the opportunity to experience being part of a team and enjoy representing the school. For gifted students there is also an Elite Athlete Programme with each student provided with a dedicated mentor to track their progress and help them balance the demands of a busy training schedule with managing their workload.
Epsom College is perfect for pupils who want sports to be at the centre of their school life. There are over 22 sports to participate in, fantastic facilities set in their 85-acre grounds, top coaches, and strong relationships with professional clubs. This is an especially popular choice for those looking to pursue rugby, with strong links to the Harlequins and London Irish Academies that has seen past pupils progress to professional level. There is also a fantastic sports scholarships programme for pupils at 11+, 13+ and 16+ who show real potential or excellence within a sport and are willing to represent Epsom College on a regular basis.
All the major sports are represented at Gordon’s as well as equestrian; golf; karting, rowing and cycling. However, it’s not just the very sporty students that play competitive sport, every one of them is encouraged to have a go at something – whether representing their House or against other schools. In recent weeks, Gordon’s golfers have plundered the county and national trophy cabinets, emerging as one of the strongest teams in the school’s history. And in September 2020, the school welcomed the first clutch of students on the Harlequins DiSE (Diploma in Sporting Excellence) programme, which provides a pathway for talented 16-18 year olds pursuing a professional career in rugby. Scholarships in sport are available to students coming into the Sixth Form at Gordon’s. As part of the scholarship, students follow a four module performance programme involving athletic development such as strength and conditioning; sport nutrition; sport psychology and video analysis.
ST. JOHN’S SCHOOL
Sport is an important part of life at St Johns with students encouraged to take part in school and house sporting competitions which happen throughout the term. Two sessions of sport are offered a week by highly qualified coaches in St John’s outstanding facilities, which include 9 rugby/football pitches, 6 netball courts, 5 hard tennis courts, an athletics track and swimming pool. All students are required to keep their Saturdays free to take part in fixtures both home and away. There are sports scholarships available for students at 11+, 13+, and 16+ entry with elite provision for scholars.
Searching for the right secondary school for your child? Explore this guide by education consultant Charlotte Phillips: