St John's College

Primary & Secondary
Post 16

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This school has 3 parent reviews

Grove Road South
+44 (0)23 9281 5118
3 - 18
Other Independent
Mr ofsted
View Report
Independent inspection report
5 A*-C GCSEs (or equivalent) inc. English and maths
Attainment 8 score
Results in 8 core subjects

Secondary Data 2016
Information for parents
Pupils achieving AAB or higher inc. two facilitating subjects
A level average point score
Average A level result
Value added
A level progress score
GCSE to A level
Opening door
Day, Weekly and Full boarding
Boarding Type
Graduation hat
Scholarship Status
Teaching board
Day Fees Per Term
Prep shield NURSERY 3+

Co-educational nursery

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School Description

Situated in the small town of Southsea in the naval city of Portsmouth, St John’s College is a Christian co-educational day and boarding school for ages 2-18 years. We pride ourselves on being a wide-range ability school. Founded in 1908 by a Lasallian community of Catholic Brothers established by John Baptiste De La Salle and we aim to follow his vision in both our academic and pastoral care. We are well-regarded locally for our pastoral ethos and our strong sense of community.

Our prospectus

School Noticeboard

News & events from St John's College

Last update: 24 May 2017

Our next Whole School Open Event is Friday 23 June 2017

We welcome anyone considering independent education to come and see what St John’s has to offer. 

Contact us to book: 023 9281 5118.

Situated in the heart of Southsea with excellent transport links and just a short walk from the Hovercraft, St John’s College is an all age, Christian co-educational day and boarding school for children with a wide range of abilities. As a relatively small school every pupil is involved, appropriately challenged and closely supported.

Our Saturday Open Events include a presentation from the Headmaster, and all events include pupil tours around the campus.  Teaching staff are present to answer any questions you may have about the curriculum or the many extra-curricular activities offered, and our Boarding Houses will be open to view.  There will be lots of activities for all the family too.  Our mid-week events allow parents to see the College during a normal school day.

Mrs Janet Mengham
Telephone: 023 9281 5118
Email:[email protected]

Book a place at our Open Event >>



As Head of St John’s College, it is both a privilege and responsibility to lead such a unique and exceptional school. Founded by John Baptist De La Salle, the Patron Saint of Teachers, St John’s College is a Christian day and boarding school with over 100 years of history.  Today we remain true to our Lasallian values, providing a quality education based on respect for all – those of faith or otherwise.  To a large extent, our well-regarded ethos is a product of our location, heritage and history. As a day school serving and representing the local community, St John’s seeks to provide an accessible education to students of all ages and all abilities.  We are proud also of our international links and as the only boarding school in the Portsmouth area we offer a truly international education experience from which all our students, day and boarding, benefit.

We are an all-age school, taking pupils from age 2 through to 18. All sections of the school share the same campus which adds to the diversity and richness of our community to the benefit of all. We firmly believe that children profit from continuity in their education. Of course, circumstances very often require that pupils join us at different stages in their school careers and so we consider it a strength of our school to be able to offer a complete package, minimising the need for pupils to adjust to new environments and ways of working. As a relatively small school, we are able to ensure that every child and young person is directly involved, appropriately challenged and closely supported.

Our inclusive community is based around our commitment to supporting the individual.  We celebrate differences and we strive to ensure there are new experiences and challenges in each and every school week.  We are rightly proud of our pastoral care and, as a result, we feel secure in being academically ambitious for our pupils.  They are challenged, in a supportive environment.  

There are many special elements to St John’s and you will get a good sense of our academic results, facilities and co-curricular opportunities from our website.  It is my personal view that one of the most special things about the College is the warmth of the welcome here.  The quality of community spirit, based on positive relationships between students and staff, is a vital ingredient of our success.  This can only be truly experienced by visiting the College and seeing the wonderful environment in which students thrive.

Our school motto, Per Laborem Ad Honorem, when translated from Latin to English, means through work to honour. This important message of determination and pride is instilled in our students from the very first day they join us, and when they leave us at the end of the Sixth Form it is with this message they are charged.”

Mr Tim Bayley
Head of College 

More about St John's College >>



At St John's College we are extremely proud of our recent Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) inspection which has confirmed and reinforced our strong reputation as an independent school with a good academic record and an outstanding reputation for pastoral care. The report not only comments on our pupil's excellent attitudes towards learning, they have also highlighted the inclusive and supportive ethos of the College, making note of how supportive and tolerant pupils are of each other – essential in a diverse community such as ours.

The College was inspected between 24 and 26 January 2017 and consisted of two inspections: a Focused Compliance Inspection and an Educational Quality Inspection, both of which are operating under a new framework.

We gained the highest possible achievement in the Focused Compliance Inspection, meeting all eight areas of relevant legislation. The Educational Quality Inspection rated the College ‘Good’ for its academic achievement and 'Excellent' for personal development.

Some highlights from our ISI Report:

‘pupils of all ages develop good knowledge, skills and understanding in accordance with the school’s aims to foster the spirit of endeavour.’ 

‘throughout the school, pupils display excellent attitudes to learning’

‘The education the pupils receive, enables the school to fulfil its aim of offering a fully rounded educational experience in all aspects, including academic, creative, emotional and physical.  This is underpinned by the ethos which celebrates personal success and achievements and urges pupils to strive to reach their potential in all they do.’

‘pupils are very well prepared for the next stage in their education.’ 

‘with the through school ethos, staff work diligently to support individuals as they progress upwards through the school.’  

For the full report is available here >> 





Award-winning writer Jamie Thomson recently visited the Junior School and gave a fanastic talk to Year 5 pupils. The Dark Lord author also ran a session on characterisation and the children loved imitating his evil laugh! The children heard how Jamie, whose books have been acclaimed in the Top 100 Modern Classics by The Sunday Times, first became a writer and his advice for building vocaularly in their own writing.




St John's College Pre-Prep Department (4 to 7 years) and Prep (7 to 11 years), both housed in the main college campus in Southsea. 

Head of the Junior School, Mr Tony Shrubsall, says there is a keen focus on ensuring the transition from Early Years to 'big school' is easy: 

Our new Early Years facility, ‘Little St John’s’, offers our children a newly re-furbished and equipped environment in which to learn and play, with some very attractive outdoor areas for them to explore. With the nursery now located next to our Reception Class in the main school building, there is a lovely sense of continuity for the youngest members of our community. 

Our Prep School >>




A boarding community has been integral to the life of St John’s ever since the School’s foundation in 1908; currently approximately 100 students board with us. Boarders range in age from Year 4 (aged 8/9 years) to Year 13 (aged 17/18 years), and come from a wide variety of backgrounds – including some from overseas and some from service/military families.

The sense of continuity, community and common purpose which characterises the boarding community benefits greatly the boarding school as a whole. In turn, the boarders benefit from their interaction with the day pupils who help to bring something of the local community into school.

In addition to full and weekly boarding, we also offer flexible boarding. 

"My son has very much enjoyed his time at St John's College, specifically the after school and weekend activities.  Staying in West End, he says, was like being at home.  I would like to thank you very much for all your support given to the boarders.  We really think you and your team have done a very good job and we appreciate it very much."
Mr F Marti, Parent 

More about our Boarding Houses >>

Parent reviews

Average Rating:


“You won't be disappointed”
You never really know for certain what a school is like until something goes wrong and then you find out! St John's College gave exceptional pastoral support to my family in a way that was above and beyond what we expected. I believe we would not have received this level of support and understanding anywhere else.
“The right choice”
We found looking around a school was like looking around a new home - it either feels right or it doesn't. SJC simply felt right from the outset. We have been delighted ever since. Our boys have made some terrific friends and have been given some great opportunities. Unlike some Hampshire private schools it is not a sausage factory, but values the individual. The students are happy, confident, well-rounded individuals. A quiet revolution has been taking place at SJC in recent years and the school is picking up a lot of coverage. It is worth looking early to secure a place.
“Hidden gem”
We have found St John's College Portsmouth to be a first-rate private school, providing a tailored education, combined with a supportive pastoral environment. Although some guides suggest it is a Catholic school, which historically it was, it now caters to all faiths. Its modern management continues to develop the College, with the College becoming more select and mainstream in recent years. Class sizes tend to be kept to 20 or less. It offers an extensive sporting programme and a variety of other extra curricular activities which help develop the talents and creativity of its students. Its pastoral care goes beyond the norm, focusing on developing and nurturing the individual, which in turn provides them with both confidence and an appetite for life. Its urban setting sets it apart from many of the main independent Hampshire schools, but don't judge this school by that particular cover, as its well-known alumni may suggest, this school is definitely worth a look.
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Catchment information

This school is independently managed and its admission criteria may be selective. There is no set catchment area as pupils are admitted from a wide variety of postcodes and, in the case of boarding schools, from outside the UK. Contact the school directly or visit their website for more information on Admissions Policy and Procedures.

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