Arnold House School

1 Loudoun Road, London NW8 0LH

Profile: Established in St John’s Wood in 1905, Arnold House is a traditional boys’ preparatory school that is known for academic excellence and stellar exit results. It is not just about academic excellence however, and the school is known to have very good pastoral care and a wide range of opportunities for personal development. It has particular strenghts in music, where 100 pupils successfully passed Associated Board examinations with one in eight gaining distinctions and over a third gaining merits. A small number of boys were selected to sing in the New London Children’s Choir, with others playing instruments with the London Schools’ Symphony Orchestra. It is also very strong in sports such as football and cricket.

Admissions: Unusually, Arnold House does not have a Reception class but admits boys one year later aged 5+ straight into Year 1. It is an extremely oversubscribed school that does favour boys whose fathers attended the school. Beyond this, the emphasis is on academic potential and entry is selective. Arnold House admits two classes of 18-19 boys each year. The entry process is as follows:

“- All registered parents are invited to visit the School on one of three Open Evenings held in April/May, roughly two and a half years prior to the September entry date e.g. April/May 2010 for entry in September 2012.

– Parents wishing to proceed with their application following an Open Evening visit, have the opportunity of meeting the Headmaster for a twenty minute interview to discuss their educational aspirations and to find out more about Arnold House.

– Each boy is then invited to the School for a brief and informal one-to-one assessment lasting between 10 and 15 minutes.  The School will request a confidential reference from a boy’s nursery school prior to the assessment day.

– Information collated from the interview, the boy’s assessment and confidential nursery school report provide the basis on which an offer is made.  Offers are made approximately fifteen months before the proposed September entry date, e.g. June 2011 for entry in September 2012″.

Due to the popularity of the school, early registration before your son’s 2nd birthday is highly recommended.

Exit Results: 

Exit results for Arnold House are outstanding, making it one of the most successful among London preparatory schools. The largest share of pupils (about 15% each) get into St. Paul’s and Westminster, with another 20% going on to other leading North London day schools, such as Highgate, Mill Hill and University College School. A large share of boys continue on at leading boarding schools, with a particular high share moving to Eton, Harrow, Rugby, Winchester and Marlborough. Full results from 2000 – 2010 can be found here.

Further resources:


School reviews on this website express my personal expression, based on web research, school visits and word of mouth between parents. If you have a different experience of the school or would like to add information missing here, or if you have any other helpful hints, please leave a comment below.



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