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If you would like to join the vibrant learning community at Varndean School then you will need to apply via the Brighton and Hove application process.

For mid-year admissions please see the 2016-2017 Secondary School Admissions Booklet or for admissions in September 2017 read the 2017-2018 Secondary School Admissions Booklet and you can also apply online.

For admissions in September 2018 please refer to Brighton & Hove City Council's website in September 2017 when the application process begins.

Our Open Evening takes place on Thursday 21st September 2017, 5.30-8.30pm. This is for families of children due to start at secondary school in September 2018.

Varndean School Admissions: September 2017

Welcome to Varndean School and the first step on your child’s journey with us. Our dedicated transition team will be visiting your child’s school during the summer term, chatting to them and their teachers, planning for their future education and getting ready for their visit to Varndean School's taster day in July 2016.

Please see our welcome booklet for new students. The booklet contains lots of important information about daily life at Varndean School as well as welcome messages from some of our students.

Turn me at the corners!

Key dates for your diary


Local Authority notify parents of school allocation
1st March

Complete short survey with your contact details to enable online system set-up
by Friday 17th March

Parent's Welcome to Varndean School event
Wednesday 5th April 9.30-10.30am or 6-7pm

Log in and register your child's details on Varndean PLUS
May 2017

Varndean School teachers visiting primary schools to meet the children and discuss their needs with primary teachers
May 2017

Students’ Taster Day
Friday 7th July 9.15am - 2.30pm. Please drop your child off at the gate.

Induction Evening for Parents
Meet your child's form tutor and help prepare your child for starting at Varndean School.
Monday 10th or Tuesday 11th July 6-7pm

Uniform sales at Varndean School
Saturday 8th July 2 - 6pm and Saturday August 12th 12 - 4pm.

Try and buy! Varndean School uniform is supplied by Khalsa and can be ordered online or purchased on selected days within school.

Please note that use of Varndean School rucksacks is optional.

First Day at Varndean School for Year 7

Monday 4th September 2017.

The welcome address to Year 7 from Headteacher, Mr Deighan.

Good morning Year 7! ('Good morning mumble mumble,' came the retort). I whispered, 'It's Mr Deighan,' and a resounding 'Good morning Mr. Deighan,' got us off to the right start.

Welcome Year 7. Thank you for saying good morning, making good eye contact and smiling as I met you individually at the main door.

I would like to tell you about what you are about to experience. 

We have some of the best teachers there are; experts in their subjects. You will use some of the very best equipment available. You'll have opportunities to think things you never imagined and explore subjects you have never experienced.

In your time with us, you'll get to go camping, a trip abroad, do the Duke of Edinburgh Award where we have the highest number of students who complete on the south coast, including independent schools. You will choose from over 30 courses during enrichment week. 

You'll make new friends, meet new people and learn from new people.

We know that you don't come empty handed. You are already good at lots of things. You will need to show your teachers through your work in books, in the art rooms, on the sports field, in the science lab, in the maths rooms, in the music and drama studios and most importantly, in who you are. How well you work with others, how you discuss and share, how well you listen and how gentle and kind you are. 

You'll hear us talking about having a growth mindset to help you learn from mistakes, trying things out, having a think then trying again - building resilience.

In the first term, you will try activities in our four specialist schools. The School of Leadership, School of Discovery, School of Creativity and School of Expression. From there you will choose an school and an activity that will help explore your gifts for the year.  You'll get to learn a musical instrument in addition to build your musical skills.

What were the three most important things at Varndean that I told you about in July? ... That's right, kindness, kindness and kindness, it’s so important to your success. I must tell you about one thing that really upsets us here at Varndean. It’s a Varndean crime! It is stopping someone else from learning; holding others back. It’s unfair and unkind. Don’t do it!

Can you remember what Challenge and Pride means? That’s right, Challenging yourself to try something new and to work hard, then being proud that you have done your best. Challenge and Pride!

So, if you work hard; a little bit every day, if you are kind and think of others, if you can learn from making mistakes, have a think then try again. You will leave Varndean in five years ready to change the world in your own special and individual, glorious way.

Welcome to Varndean! 


Transition to secondary school

Transition starts early at Varndean. Staff and students visit various year groups at local primaries  as well as welcoming pupils into our school for taster sessions.

In Year 6 our transition team liaise with all the primary schools to ensure a smooth transition for our new students into Year 7.

Students experience a taste of lessons on our taster day on the first Friday in July, and also have the school to themselves on the first day of the Autumn term to help them settle in.

To promote positive relationships with parents we organise an introduction event in April and a workshop in July to allay transition worries.  Parents are also able meet their child's form tutor at the parents’ event in July. In September our relationship continues with a Welcome Evening, with the oppoirtunity to meet other parents.  Finally, we offer an opportunity for parents to attend a “Making the Grade” evening on learning topics unique to Year 7.

Students remain with their form tutor and their School throughout their time at Varndean School. The form tutor and their School base team will provide essential care, guidance and support on both an academic and pastoral level.

If you would like to come to Varndean School then you will need to apply via the Brighton and Hove application process.

Our FAQ page may also be of help – should you have any further queries about your child’s transition to secondary school please do not hesitate to email us:

We look forward to meeting you all and welcoming you to our vibrant school community.