Scholarships and Bursaries

The Royal Russell Scholarship and Bursary Scheme 

Although the School traces its history back to generous philanthropic donations it no longer enjoys the support of a financial foundation and is dependent on fee income to support scholarship and bursary awards.

What is the difference between a Scholarship and a Bursary?

A scholarship is awarded in recognition of a pupil’s merit and potential and is, as such, highly prized.  Awards are determined by the results in the competitive entrance examination or by performance in assessments and auditions relating to Music, Drama and Sport and are awarded irrespective of financial means.  Pupils may hold more than one type of scholarship and the total financial value of a scholarship may be between 5% and 25%. 

A bursary award is available to a small number of pupils who are offered a place but require financial assistance to be able to afford to accept it.  Every bursary is means-tested and the value of the bursary is related to the income and financial resources of the pupil's family.

A pupil can hold both a bursary and scholarship.

How does the Scholarship Scheme work? 

Royal Russell School offers scholarships from Year 7 and above for excellence in overall Academic performance, Art, Music, Drama and Sport.  Scholarships are awarded in recognition of achievement in these areas and, although the scholarship provides a percentage reduction in the school fees, we believe the financial benefit of a scholarship is secondary to the recognition of the pupil’s potential for success.  The award of a scholarship confers a status upon the holder which will go forward with them in move to higher education.  Scholarship holders are seen as an example to other pupils and are, therefore, expected to demonstrate high standards of work and behaviour in order to maintain their scholarship place.  Scholarships are awarded through to completion of GCSE in Year 11 when re-assessment will take place for posible continuation for Sixth Form.  Scholarships are subject to all normal terms and conditions in relation to the payment of fees.

 

Academic Scholarship

All applicants for Years 7 and 9 are considered for an academic scholarship on the basis of their performance in the entrance examinations at 11+ and 13+.  Academic scholarships will be awarded through to the completion of GCSE in Year 11.

A small number of Sixth Form scholarships are available for new pupils entering Year 12.  Internal Sixth Form academic scholarships are awarded by the school based on achievement at GCSE.

 

Art Scholarship

The Art and Design Department at Royal Russell is housed in newly refurbished studios and rooms in the centre of the School.  All pupils in Years 7 to 9 study Art as part of the curriculum; we offer Fine Art and Photography courses at A level and have a strong history of successfully placing candidates at Art School.

An Art Scholarship entitles the recipient to a percentage reduction in school fees for the period of tenure.  The Art Scholarship is valid throughout the period of tenure provided that:

  • the recipient makes constructive use of their art skills and contributes actively to the School
  • the recipient takes an active role in events organised by the Art Department
  • the recipient would be expected to study Art at GCSE and A level
  • the recipient’s parents adhere to all normal terms in relation to fees being met as usual

Year 7 and 9 Application

Candidates applying for an Art Scholarship at Year 7 and 9 will clearly display a particular aptitude for the subject and will have been involved in Art, Design and Photographic activities through school, clubs and work produced at home.

A portfolio of work will need to be submitted with the application form which will comprise of a series of pieces of the candidate’s own work.  There is no prescribed format or specific requirement regarding content, however the suggested number of pieces is between 10 and 20 from which the Head of Art will consider their skills and potential.  3D work should be photographed.

Selected candidates will be invited to attend a practical assessment to assess their skill set.  The assessment will not require any prior experience or preparation.

Successful candidates will receive a scholarship offer conditional upon their performance in the academic entrance exam.

 

Sixth Form Application

Candidates should complete an application form and submit to Admissions and will then be requested to attend an interview with the Head of Art and should bring a portfolio of work from which the Head of Art will consider their skills and potential.

Candidates will also need to be prepared to discuss the work of a leading artist of their choice.  The final award of an Art Scholarship will be conditional upon GCSE results and will be confirmed in August.

We recognise that children develop at different rates and unsuccessful applicants will be encouraged to reapply when appropriate.

 

Music Scholarship

A Music Scholarship is currently awarded to students showing strong musical ability and potential and entitles the recipient to a percentage reduction in school fees for the period of tenure. Scholarships are intended to assist with the cost of individual music lessons, as provided by the Royal Russell School Visiting Music Staff at school. Pupils are expected to attend a weekly lesson in School with a member of the Royal Russell School Visiting Music Staff unless prior arrangements have been agreed with the Director of Music.

Pupils holding Music Scholarships will be encouraged to maintain their commitment to music throughout their time in the school and we offer a programme of annual reviews with the Director of Music to reflect on musical progress in the past year and to set challenges for the year ahead.

Music Scholarships are available from Year 7 through to the Sixth Form and are reviewed annually. They are valid throughout the candidate’s school career provided that the recipient (‘s):

  • is involved in a continuous regular programme of instrumental/vocal lessons with a member of the Royal Russell Senior School Visiting Music Staff
  • is making constructive use of the lessons provided and a significant level of practice between lessons is apparent
  • is playing an active role in musical events organised by the Music Department.  All instrumentalists are expected to be a regular member of the School Orchestra and attend all related rehearsals and performances as a priority
  • parents are paying for the lessons as charged by the Visiting Music Staff on a termly basis payable in advance
  • parents adhere to all normal terms in relation to fees being met as usual

In the unlikely event of wishing to withdraw pupils from instrumental lessons, parents are requested to give the Head of Music a half term’s written notice or they will be liable for a half term’s fees in lieu. 

By the time of their initial audition, our normal expectations for candidates for a Music Scholarship will be at the following grades on their chosen instrument, or performing pieces to the equivalent standard:

  • for entry in Year 7             Grade 4
  • for entry in Year 9             Grade 5
  • for entry in Year 12           Grade 6

The relevant mark sheets must be provided to support this achievement at the time of the audition. 

How do I apply and what’s the process?

Please complete the Scholarship application form which can be found on our website or requested from the Admissions Office.  Candidates meeting our normal requirements will be required to attend an audition with the Director of Music who will consider their skills and potential. The audition will include a practical performance, sight reading and aural tests.  Candidates must always bring two copies of their music to the audition. One of these copies will be the piano accompaniment if the candidate wishes to be accompanied on the piano. (We are able to provide accompaniment if required.)

Potential candidates who have not obtained the required standard, and still feel they may be worthy of a scholarship, will be required to attend a short pre-audition in order for a member of the School’s music department to decide whether they show enough potential to go through to the main audition.

All applications require supporting documentary evidence including letters from the candidate’s current school and music teachers.  Attendance at audition will not guarantee a successful application.

Following the auditions, successful candidates will receive a scholarship offer conditional upon their performance in the academic entrance exam in January.

We recognise, however, that children develop at different rates and unsuccessful applicants will be encouraged to reapply when appropriate.

 

Drama Scholarship

A Drama Scholarship is awarded to students showing strong ability and potential in drama.

Pupils holding Drama Scholarships will be encouraged to maintain their commitment to drama throughout their time in the school and we offer a programme of annual reviews with the Director of Drama to reflect on participation and progress in the past year and to set challenges for the year ahead.

A Drama Scholarship entitles the recipient to a percentage reduction in school fees for the period of tenure.

Who can apply and how long does a Drama Scholarship last?

Typically a candidate will be actively involved in external drama clubs and organisations and will have had many performance opportunities.

Drama Scholarships are available from Year 7 through to the Sixth Form and are reviewed annually.  The Drama Scholarship is valid throughout the candidate’s school career provided that:

  • the recipient makes constructive use of their drama skills and contributes actively to the school and the department
  • the recipient takes an active role in events and productions organised by the drama department
  • normally the recipient is expected to study Drama at GCSE and A level
  • the recipient’s parents adhere to all normal terms in relation to fees being met as usual

How do I apply and what’s the process?

Candidates will be required to attend a set half-day group audition run by the Director of Drama who will consider their skills and potential.

During the audition, candidates will be asked to take part in drama games and work on an improvisation exercise with other candidates.  Candidates will be asked about their involvement in drama, both at school and with external organisations.  Certificates, awards and achievements should be brought to the audition.  Candidates will also be asked to perform an individual prepared piece.  The prepared piece should be a speech from a play which has been learnt by heart and which should take between two and three minutes to perform.

All applications require supporting documentary evidence including letters from the candidate’s current school and external organisation.

Attendance at audition will not guarantee a successful application. We recognise, however, that children develop at different rates and unsuccessful applicants will be encouraged to reapply when appropriate.

Sport Scholarship

A Sport Scholarship is currently awarded to pupils showing outstanding ability in one or more of our strongest sports: hockey; football and/or netball. A Sport Scholarship entitles the recipient to a percentage reduction in School fees and a unique personal training programme that offers support in their specific sport in order to help scholars achieve the limit of their potential.

An athlete will be supported according to the four corners of Elite Performance: Tactical, Technical, Physical and Social.

Who can apply and how long does a Sport Scholarship last?   We are looking for outstanding applicants to join our programme.  Our normal expectations will be representation at County level and/or at a recognised Academy level or equivalent.

Sport Scholarships are available from Year 7 through to the Sixth Form and are reviewed annually. The Sport Scholarship is valid throughout the candidate’s school career provided that:

  • The recipient makes constructive use of their sport skills and contributes actively to the School.
  • The recipient takes an active role in fixtures, training and House sport that will take priority over external activities, except in the event of a clash through selection for representative teams at county level or above and it is agreed by the Head of Sport.
  • The recipient’s parents adhere to all normal terms in relation to fees being met as usual.

How do I apply and what’s the process?  Please complete the Scholarship application form which can be found on our website or requested from the Admissions Office.

Applications will be pre-screened and not all candidates may be invited to attend the assessment day. Please consider carefully what is included in the personal statement so that it accurately reflects the candidate’s achievements and aspirations. All applications require supporting documentary evidence, including reports from the candidate’s club(s) and current school. In some cases, submission of video evidence may be appropriate.

Pre-screened candidates will be invited to attend a set half-day assessment with the Sport Department who will consider their skills and potential.  During the assessment, candidates will be observed in a number of different activities to include demonstration of set skills and their application in small-sided games, allowing accurate assessment to be made.  Candidates will also participate in fitness tests, for example in speed and agility using speed gates.

Attendance on the assessment day will not guarantee a successful application. We recognise, however, that children develop and mature at different rates and unsuccessful applicants will be encouraged to reapply when appropriate.

Following the auditions, successful candidates will receive a scholarship offer conditional upon their performance in the academic entrance exam in January.

 

How do parents apply for a Scholarship? 

Application forms are available in the relevant sections and general enquiries about scholarships should be directed to the Admissions department on admissions@royalrussell.co.uk

All applicants at Year 7 and Year 9 are considered for an Academic Scholarship on the basis of their performance in the Entrance Exam.  Sixth Form Scholarships are awarded on the basis of success at GCSE.

Those wishing to be considered for Art, Music, Drama and Sports Scholarships should notify Admissions when submitting the Registration form.  Auditions/assessments will be held separately to the entrance tests and candidates will be expected to make arrangements to attend on the set dates.  All applications will require supporting documentary evidence.

 

How does the Bursary Scheme work?

There are two distinct types of bursary, those granted on entry to the school and hardship awards made post entry.  

Bursary awards on entry are normally made at age 11 (Year 7) though we will also consider applications from pupils age 13 (Year 9).  Only in the most exceptional circumstances would bursary assistance be considered in the Junior School.

Hardship bursaries may be awarded to pupils whose families suffer unexpected financial challenges, and are having difficulty meeting the fees. These bursaries are designed to help a pupil complete a phase of education, i.e. to complete GCSEs or A levels, and are normally of a relatively short duration to tide a family over a particular problem.  In the case of pupils lower down the school, bursary awards are intended to provide the parents with the opportunity to reassess and consider alternative schools.

Both forms of bursary are means-tested, are subject to review and may be adjusted.  A bursary may be withdrawn or past payment reclaimed if the school is knowingly or recklessly provided with false information on income or assets.

How many Bursaries are awarded?

Each year there are a small number of bursaries for 100% of the fees (Foundation Bursaries) and these will normally only be considered for pupils from families with a total gross income of less than £20,000 and with no capital assets other than their home.  A number of smaller bursaries are awarded and these may range from 10% to a maximum of 90%, dependant on individual financial circumstances.

All cases are considered on their merits but it is highly unlikely that any significant bursary award would be made to a family with gross income of more than £40,000 per annum.

How do parents apply for a Bursary?

Whilst the decision on a bursary award rests with the Headmaster, enquiries about bursaries, whether on entry or hardship, should in the first instance be directed to the Personal Assistant to the Director of Operations: Mrs Donna Moon: moond@royalrussell.co.uk

Parents wishing to be considered for a bursary on entry at Year 7 or Year 9 must indicate this on their Registration Form and complete a confidential Statement of Financial Circumstances form (SOFC) which will be sent to them by the PA to the Director of Operations.

If the results of the January entrance examination indicate that the pupil has performed strongly enough for consideration of a bursary, the SOFC will be used to assess whether a bursary may be available.  If this is the case, parents will be given an indication of the likely bursary value when the offer of a place is made.  The school may require a meeting with parents to discuss the financial assessment before finalising any offer.  The school reserves the right to require independent verification of the information provided on the form.

Aspects Common to both Scholarships and Bursaries

In order that parents can budget, all scholarships and almost all bursaries are ‘index linked’ in that they are awarded as a percentage of the published fees, so that when the fee increases the scholarship / bursary automatically increases.

All scholarships and bursaries are awarded at the discretion of the Headmaster who is accountable to the Governors for all decisions.

Scholarships and bursaries may be withdrawn at the discretion of the Headmaster in the event of unsatisfactory work or conduct or as a result of the pupil’s annual review.  This action may occur as the culmination of a process of communication and discussion between the school and the parents.

Note

Parents must not assume their child has been, or will be, offered either a bursary or a scholarship until receipt of a formal written offer of a specific award.