Wilson's School

Football Programme

‘I was very fortunate to have a great coach and teacher as well as a fantastic team that enabled me to play, develop and improve in all areas of my game. The success we had as a team was down to excellent preparation, teamwork and understanding the needs of each individual to ensure we were part of a fully functioning team.’  Andy Scott

Wilson's School is a leading boys’ state grammar school, offering a free education to nearly 1,300 pupils aged 11-18. The Wilson’s School Football Programme seeks applications into Year 7 for boys showing an aptitude for sport. Wilson’s has a long and fine footballing history as well as an outstanding academic record.

From September 2024 we have 9 priority places to offer pupils displaying potential for sport to participate in our Football Programme.

The Wilson’s School Football Programme takes boys with an aptitude for sport and provides a supportive and friendly environment for them to develop their skills and potential within the sport of football, alongside a full and rigorous grammar school education.

Our Football Programme

  • Pupils typically have three set training sessions a week, one for technical ball work, one for strength and conditioning and one for match related practice. They also have a Games Afternoon which can be a match-related practice or a fixture against an opposing school
  • Each Wilson’s A football team has a 30 game season on average, consisting of friendly matches and cup competitions
  • All training sessions and matches are taken by FA qualified PE teachers and coaches
  • Our VEO video camera is used to record matches for performance analysis sessions
  • Pupils receive an Individual Action Plan to provide them with targets which are reviewed every half term

Wilson’s provides an outstanding all-round education for free. We are a selective grammar school for academically able boys.

However, parents regularly tell us that they choose Wilson’s not just for our excellent academic record but because of the broad spectrum of extra-curricular activities we offer. These include many sports clubs, a thriving Combined Cadet Force section, an established Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme and a unique music programme that allows every Year 7 pupil to learn a musical instrument as part of the curriculum.

Our expectations of boys in terms of personal achievement – academic and otherwise – and behaviour are very high. We have an excellent pastoral system that communicates our core values of respect, tolerance, courtesy, cooperation, service to the community, personal achievement and most of all, hard work. Our school motto – Non Sibi Sed Omnibus (not for oneself, but for all) – drives all that we do. In 2015 we opened our Lower School providing a nurturing and supportive environment to help our Year 7 pupils make the challenging transition from primary to secondary school. Most of their lessons are taught in their form room which provides them with the security of their own classroom and the familiarity of surroundings they are used to at primary school.

Our outstanding all-round provision has been recognised in our being awarded the Sunday Times State Secondary School of the Year in 2019, a Sunday Times Top 10 State Secondary School in 2020 and the Sunday Times London State Secondary School of the Decade in 2021. In September 2022, Ofsted rated the school Outstanding.

Wilson’s prides itself on the fact that this is achieved whilst being a state-funded school. This means the education and wider opportunities we provide are free: no fees are payable for any pupil who gains a place at the school.

Football has been at the heart of Wilson’s since the school re-opened in Camberwell in 1880, and remains so to this day.

Wilson’s runs more than 20 teams from U12 to U18 level, playing over 400 matches in total per season. No other state school in the country plays more fixtures, giving our pupils a unique footballing experience. We turn out a strong Saturday morning fixture list, playing against other football playing schools.

Our A teams in each age group play 30 friendly and competitive matches on average each year, including in the Sutton Cup, Surrey Cup, National Cup and National Elite Cup.

We also have a history of entering very successful teams at District and County level. In the 2019/20 season, our U12A team reached the Elite National Cup Quarter Finals, whilst our 1st XI were U18 ESFA National Cup Finalists, both accomplishments we are proud of.

Our footballers have the opportunity to take part in an annual football tour to Europe, alternating each year between the junior and senior pupils. This provides a great opportunity for the boys to experience different styles of football and culture as well as time to bond as a team.

Wilson’s has produced a number of successful footballers at professional and semi-professional levels:

  • Jack Elliott (Philadelphia Union)
  • Niall McManus (Dorking Wanderers)
  • Dubem Eze (Norwich City)
  • Daniel Stratford (former professional player and now coaching)
  • Luke Hackett (Dorking Wanderers)
  • Dom O’Shea (Sutton United)
  • Andy Scott (Sheffield United)

Our extensive grounds are part of the main school site and include:

  • Four 11-a-side grass football pitches
  • Three 9-a-side grass football pitches
  • Two 7-a-side floodlit 4G Astroturf courts
  • Ten 5-a-side floodlit 4G Astroturf courts
  • A fully equipped Fitness Suite

Pupils gaining a place under the Wilson’s School Football Programme scheme are not guaranteed an A team place. Football scholars are expected to commit to representing Wilson’s School in friendly and competitive fixtures, including Saturday fixtures.

Please see our Year 7 admissions criteria here for full details about admissions into Wilson’s School.

Wilson’s is a selective grammar school, selecting on the basis of academic ability. Up to 9 boys, having passed the two-stage entrance test, will be eligible for priority places based upon their aptitude for sport, and these boys will be our Football Scholars.

Football Scholars will be awarded their place by:

  • passing both stages of the two-stage entrance test,
  • their rank order of performance in the Sporting Aptitude Test.

Therefore, of all applicants passing the school’s two-stage entrance test, places will be awarded in this order:

  1. Looked After Children or Previously Looked After Children.
  2. 14 places for boys eligible to receive Free School Meals.
  3. Up to 9 places for boys who have demonstrated aptitude in sport and up to 9 places for boys who have demonstrated aptitude in music.
  4. Remaining places including any unallocated places under criteria 2 and 3 will be allocated to boys according to their position in the rank order of standardised score in the entrance tests.

If your son participates in the Sporting Aptitude Test but is not successful in meeting the required threshold to be considered for one of these places, he can still be considered for a place at the school under the other admission criteria provided he has passed the entrance examinations. Taking part in the Sporting Aptitude Test in no way disadvantages your son in his chances of gaining a place in the school under other of the admission criteria.

On the day of the Sporting Aptitude Test boys will take part in fitness tests and sports related practices. While we appreciate that some boys might feel nervous about taking part in the day, the environment will be relaxed, friendly and supportive. The tests will be administered by our own experienced specialist PE staff and coaches. The Sporting Aptitude Test will take place on Saturday 7 October 2023. If you want your son to be considered for a sporting aptitude place all you need to do is register your son to sit the Selective Eligibility Test (SET) which you can do via the school’s website. If he passes the SET for Wilson’s School you will be given instructions on how to register your son to participate in the Sport Aptitude test.

For more information about the Sport Aptitude Test process please see the Aptitude Places Process page of this website.

Football Programme
Football Programme
Football Programme
Football Programme