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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 2018-2019 Secondary School Admissions Booklet or for admissions in September 2018 read the 2017-2018 Secondary School Admissions Booklet and you can also apply online.

For admissions in September 2021 please refer to Brighton & Hove City Council's website in September 2020 when the application process begins.

Student Application Form 2020

We ask that if your child is starting with us and they have any serious medical issues to please contact our Medical Officer Caroline Heath


What our parents say about Varndean School


We are writing to thank you for the five superb years that [our son] has experienced at Varndean. We chose the school carefully and know it was the right place for him. We were all thrilled with his GCSE results- he worked hard for them- but these were the icing on the cake to a really positive, all round secondary education. He has been supported and challenged by some amazing staff and we hope you can pass on our sincere gratitude to them; Sandra Knights, Alison Browning, Miss Wenn, Mr Copp, Mr Davies, Mr Roberts and Michelle Asbury. They (and many others over the years) have been tireless, inspirational teachers and mentors not just with academic work but with senior student responsibilities and DofE.
We're looking forward to [our younger son], now in year 9, getting the most out of his time at Varndean.

I am always impressed when I meet teachers and other staff and both my children continue to be happy at school which I know is a great achievement at that age.
Well done and keep up the good work.

Thank you all for such a fantastic sports day. We are again amazed how you manage all these hundreds of kids and make it look so easy and such lots of fun. We do know the amount of organisation that must go into it behind the scenes however you all seem to do it with such panache. We appreciate it so much.

Now for the kids they are just amazing. What a credit to us as parents and the school. They were so enthusiastic and full of joy. Even the competitiveness is in such good humour. Well done to all.

Please can you thank everyone involved for a very informative and well run parents evening yesterday. We came away feeling that the teachers really knew [our son] and were working hard to help him achieve and enjoy his learning. 

I just wanted to email to say thank you to you all for last night's music evening. For an evening like that takes hours and dedication. I as a parent of 2 children in the concert am hugely grateful. I really appreciate the opportunity that you give to such a variety of performers.  From the Yr 7 child at the start of the evening who stands at the mic and sings a song unaccompanied that he has written to the Yr 11 child who is astounding on the piano playing a classical piece.  There is an inclusivity in the music department that shines through the evening.  I can see that children are encouraged to 'give it a go' and supported to be brave.

As our daughter comes to the end of her first term with Varndean - we want to pass on our deep thanks to your team, and  our gratitude to you for your leadership of the school. What really stands out is:

  • the kind and efficient way that her (and our) transition from a small school to Varndean was managed

  • the skill, warmth, hard work and responsiveness of all the staff we have met - Ms Gillham showing a genuine interest in all the children at the meet the form event, Mr Roberts and the Russell Team coordinating big events effectively and with spirit (even though I am sure they are tired), but also being responsive about small details (showing a willingness to really know who she is),

  • Tim Clarke, Tamsyn East and Adrian Lee responding so quickly and well to our email/phone questions

  • the fun, professional, inspiring, big events - The Music performance was amazing - Making the Grade and Talking to Your Teens events were informative and innovative.

Leading and working in teaching is (we imagine) hugely challenging, now more than ever. We want you all to know that we think you are doing a great job - and wish you a restful and happy holiday.

I am always impressed when I meet teachers and other staff and both my children continue to be happy at school which I know is a great achievement at that age.
Well done and keep up the good work.

Varndean School Admissions: September 2020


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 2020.

You must have many questions, so to help with this we've created a handy guide to help point you in the right direction. These are also available as PDFs you can download to look at later, located at the foot of the page.

Key dates for your diary

Local Authority notify parents of school allocation
2nd March 2020

Parent's Welcome to Varndean School event
Tuesday 5th & Thursday 7th May 2020 - 9.30-10.30am

Varndean School teachers visiting primary schools to meet the children and discuss their needs with primary teachers
May/June 2020

Students’ Taster Day
Friday 3rd July 9:30am-2:30pm – please drop off at the school gate.

Uniform sales at Varndean School 200

Dates to be confirmed - we will update families as soon as possible

First Day at Varndean School for Year 7

Thursday 3rd September - 11am start

Last year's 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

Parent's Welcome to Varndean School Event 2019

It was delightful to see so many future Varndean families at our two sessions. For those who were unable to attend we have shared the presentations here so you can access the information presented on the day. 



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 May 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 opportunity 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.