Scholarship Criteria

Scholarship Criteria

for Senior School and Sixth Form

Academic, Sport, Music, Art, Chess and Drama Scholarships are available for 11+ and 16+ entry.

Please use the drop downs below to find out more about the Scholarships available.

Academic Scholarship

Our Academic Scholars are motivated to discover and nurture their talents. A comprehensive programme of events is organised throughout the year including:

  • Regular Scholarship meetings for Lower School and Middle School Academic Scholars
  • Scholarship journals for Lower School Scholars
  • Academic Twilight sessions for Lower School Scholars
  • Scholarship trips to events and locations in and around London
  • Scholarship workshops from visiting authors and experts
  • Communication with parents to highlight Scholars’ progress
  • A programme of student-led talks for Middle School Scholars

The Assessment Process

You do not apply for an Academic Scholarship. They are awarded, at the Headmaster’s discretion, to students entering Year 7 or Lower Sixth who excel in our Senior School or Sixth Form entrance examination and interview.

Sport Scholarship

Sport scholarships are available to students who demonstrate exceptional talent and potential in at least one sport, whilst also fulfilling the normal academic requirements for entry into the College. Scholarships are awarded following the appropriate assessment and interview, to those who show potential in one or more of the school’s major sports of Rugby, Hockey, Netball and Cricket. We also welcome applications from students who participate to a high level in additional sports such as Athletics, Chess, Cross Country, Fencing, Football, Golf, Skiing, Swimming, Tennis and Water Polo. Every student who is awarded a sports scholarship will receive the same mentoring and support. This includes access to high-level coaching, links with local clubs and sporting academies as well as the High Performing Athlete Programme (HPAP). We are pleased to see many of our students go on to district, county, regional and international representation. Every student is works with a member of Sports staff who acts as a personal mentor, offering advice and support across each academic year. Scholars will also benefit from a progressive strength and conditioning programme using the newly refurbished gym in the Eric Liddell Sports Centre. Benefits of the Sports Scholarship Programme: 

  • Aim of improving individually and progressing the standard of sport within the school 
  • Regular high quality coaching sessions 
  • One to one sport specific sessions from professional coaches  
  • Regular meetings with a Mentor to receive guidance on lifestyle management, nutrition, psychology and injury prevention 
  • Trips to elite sporting venues and facilities 
  • Seminars and talks from internal and external professionals in specific field 


Sports Scholarships are awarded to candidates who show exceptional potential in at least one core sport. No previous county or club experience is required, but some may already be members of a school, club or a representative team. The Director of Sport is looking for overall coachability, fitness potential, ambition to succeed and resilience.  Once a holder of this award, students must continue to strive to develop their skills, achieve success in sport and be an ambassador for the College. We expect that as a Sports Scholar they will be aspiring to achieve County or equivalent representation.   

Candidates who apply for a scholarship will, if they perform well in the academic entrance examinations, be invited to an assessment day.  


On your application form, please outline your sporting achievements. Students considered must be an outstanding prospect for a Sports Scholarship in one sport or may excel in a range of sporting activities. Please give details of any sporting achievements or any representative honours that you have achieved. If sports, such as swimming or athletics are involved, please give specific details of your personal best performances.  

In order to undertake a detailed assessment, we will invite you to join in with our current sports teams. One of the aims of this assessment is for you to experience the outstanding coaching at Eltham College and to gain a greater understanding of our unique facilities. Candidates who apply for a scholarship will, if they perform well in the academic entrance exam

Music Scholarship

Eltham College offers a number of music scholarships every year to outstanding young musicians who demonstrate a desire not only to contribute to the musical life of the school but also actively to take advantage of the opportunities that we can offer.

The Music Scholarship programme at Eltham offers our Scholars a tailored programme that encourages them to be self-analytical and reflective in order to sustain continued improvement and high-level performance. All of our concerts are professionally recorded, allowing our Scholars to analyse their performances in detail with their teachers and target specific areas on which to focus. Scholars have regular 1-1 conversations with an assigned member of music staff; these encourage pupils to consider the progress that they have made, and how the department can support them in developing further as a performer. Our Scholarship programme also involves regular trips into London to attend masterclasses, concerts, and to visit Music Conservatoires; recent Scholars’ Trips include Steinway Halls and the Royal College of Music.

The Music Department at Eltham College has an extensive concert programme, with roughly 50 music events per year. From fortnightly informal lunchtime concerts to our high-profile Scholars’ Concerts, our musicians are able to gain regular performance experience to ensure that they are ready for any auditions or competitions inside and outside of school. Alongside this, we have an extensive chamber music programme, and our large-scale ensembles such as the Symphony Orchestra and Sinfonia give our scholars the opportunity to gain valuable orchestral experience at prestigious concert venues in London and further afield.

Successful candidates must study Music at GCSE and will aspire to study Music at A level. Music Scholars will be required to participate in a significant number of music ensembles, and it is likely that they will be in the College Choir.

The Music Department may also offer a small number of Music Exhibitions every year. These are awarded to candidates who do not quite meet the Scholarship threshold but who demonstrate clear potential for high-level performance at audition. Music Exhibitions do not come with a financial benefit, but Exhibitioners receive equal access to the Music Scholarship programme and the mentoring that it brings with it, and this may lead to an audition for a 16+ Scholarship when the time comes.


The Assessment Process

Awards are made on the basis of an audition, interview and references. Applicants usually offer at least two instruments (including singing), but applicants who demonstrate exceptional proficiency on one instrument will still be considered. At Eltham, we assess our applicants on a range of factors. Whilst grade levels are a useful guide, we look beyond these, considering musical experiences, passion for performance, an ability to pinpoint areas for future development, and what individual pupils can offer the Music Department. As a guide, however, we would normally expect an applicant for 11+ entry to be performing at a level of Grade 6 standard on the first study and Grade 4 on the second; at 16+, we would expect Grade 8+ on both instruments (as well as a desire to study Music at A level).

As well as assessing an applicant’s current performance standard, the audition is designed to discover an applicant’s musical potential, experiences and interests. If selected for audition, candidates will be required to:

  1. Perform two contrasting pieces on their principal instrument or voice. (An accompanist will be provided by the school, but candidates are welcome to bring their own accompanist if preferred);
  2. Perform one piece on a second/third instrument or voice, if applicable;
  3. Answer a range of short aural tests (this may include sight-reading and questions about music theory;
  4. Talk with the panel about their musical aspirations and their musical experiences so far, as well as what they hope to gain from the Scholarship Programme at Eltham College.

The Director of Music, Mr Sebastian Johns, is always happy to have an informal conversation with potential applicants. He can be contacted on [email protected].

Drama Scholarship

The Drama Department is based in the Antony Barnard Theatre, a purpose built 230 seat theatre with a green room, workshop and prop and costume store. Drama also has access to the Dance Studio in Eric Liddell Sport Centre for rehearsal and clubs.  Recent productions include Guys and Dolls, The History Boys, Oliver!, Les Misérables, Accidental Death of an Anarchist and Assassins.

Once they join the College, opportunities available to them include:

  • Major roles in both the annual musical and drama productions
  • Participation in the Shakespeare Schools Festival
  • Workshops with leading theatre professionals in both performance, production and Arts Management (for example Frantic Assembly, Bill Kenwright Ltd.) Experience in direction for House Drama Competitions and Drama clubs
  • A programme of theatre visits and post production discussions

Previous Drama Scholars have gone on to join the National Youth Theatre and to train professionally at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, Guildford School of Acting and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

A Drama Scholar will be required to support the College’s Drama activities by participating in productions, helping with House Drama and assisting in the running of the Drama Club for younger students.

The Assessment Process

Drama scholarships are awarded to students entering Year 7 and Lower Sixth who demonstrate exceptional talent and commitment.  Those candidates who perform at a high enough level in the entrance examinations will be invited to an audition with the Director of Drama.

At audition 11+ Drama Scholarship candidates will be asked to perform a 2-3 minute monologue from a published play of their choice.  After the performance, all candidates will be asked to re-work their monologue to see how well they can adapt to direction as a performer.  They will also be asked to produce a scrapbook outlining their interest in drama which can include information about their own previous performances as well as productions they have seen that have inspired them.  It should also explain which monologue they will perform and how they have prepared for it.  The scrapbook will be submitted prior to audition and will form the basis of a conversation with the Head of Drama on the day of the audition.

Candidates for Sixth Form entry can apply for a Drama Scholarship in either Acting or Design. The actors are required to perform two monologues, with one being from a published text pre-1800 and the second being post-1800. Each monologue should last no longer than three minutes. Candidates will also be required to answer questions on their choice of text in a discussion with the Director of Drama.

The designers must produce a portfolio showing their design process and/or evidence of their significant involvement with theatre design on either a lighting, set, costume or sound project. This portfolio will form the basis of their discussion with the Director of Drama. Candidates will also be given a short design task to complete on the day.

Art Scholarship

Art Scholars are offered a huge range of opportunities which include life drawing, talks from practising artists, the chance to show their own work in a professional space and the opportunity to curate their examination show. Successful candidates will be expected to study Art at GCSE and A level. An Art Scholar will be required to support the College’s art activities by participating in art events, producing work for exhibitions and attending gallery events.

The Assessment Process

Art Scholarships are awarded to students entering Year 7 and Lower Sixth who demonstrate exceptional talent alongside dedication and a keen passion for the subject.

Those candidates who perform at a high enough level in the entrance examinations will be asked to submit a digital portfolio which must include 10 pieces of exceptional and interesting work, five of which must be drawings. This work should be no more than a year old and some of the work presented should have been produced in the candidate’s own time. If a candidate is taken forward to the assessment interview, they will be asked to discuss their portfolio, inspirations and aspirations. Year 7 candidates will also be given a practical challenge in a workshop setting.

Chess Scholarship

Eltham College offers a small number of Chess scholarships every year to outstanding players applying for entry at 11+ and Lower Sixth.  Chess Scholarships are available to talented chess players playing, or with the potential to play, at national level who demonstrate exceptional talent alongside dedication and a keen passion for the game. For 11+ entry candidates must play to a standard in line with an ECF grading in the region of 1400, and 1700 or higher for entry to Sixth Form. Chess is very popular at Eltham College and the school plays in National Schools Rapid Play competition, the Girls Team Chess Challenge and the ECF British Schools Championship.

The Assessment Process

Those candidates who perform at a high enough level in the entrance examinations will be invited to attend an assessment when they will play a game and have an informal conversation with the Head of Chess.  Supporting references will also be requested.

Once a holder of this award, students must continue to strive to develop their skills, achieve success and be an ambassador for the College. We expect that as a Chess Scholar they will be aspiring to achieve and maintain national representation.

Please note that the maximum Chess scholarship award is 10% of the published tuition fees.

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