Admissions Policy & Procedure
- To ensure compliance with the School's charitable purposes. The School is a Christian foundation and is academically selective for pupils aged 4-18.
- To identify and admit children who will benefit from an academic education and who will contribute to and benefit from the ethos and activities of the School community. We will only admit a child who has met the academic criteria.
We welcome girls from many different ethnic groups, backgrounds and creeds. Human rights and freedoms are respected but must be balanced with the lawful needs and rules of our school community and the rights and freedoms of others. All candidates for admission will be treated equally, irrespective of race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, orientation, birth or other status. All pupils attend assembly.
Disability and Special Education Needs
The School has limited facilities for the disabled but will do all that is reasonable to comply with its legal and moral responsibilities under the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001 in order to accommodate the needs of applicants who have disabilities for which, with reasonable adjustments, the school can cater adequately.
The School needs to be aware of any known disability or special educational need which may affect a child's ability to take full advantage of the education provided at the School. Parents of a child who has any disability or special educational need should provide the School with full written details at registration, or subsequently, before she takes the entrance examination or at interview. The School needs this information so that, in the case of any child with particular needs, we can assess those needs and consult with parents about the adjustments which can reasonably be made to cater adequately for the child's needs both during the admission process and if an offer of a place is made.
Similarly, if special educational needs or a disability become apparent after admission, the School will consult with parents about reasonable adjustments that may allow the child to continue at the School.
Procedures and Entry Tests
Our procedure has four elements:
- Competitive entry tests
- School reference (from 7+)
- Disability assessments (if applicable)
These procedures apply at the main points of entry:
- 4+ Rainbow (Foundation Stage)
- 5+ (Year One)
- 7+ (Year 3)
- 11+ (Senior School)
- 16+ (Sixth Form)
and also to candidates for occasional vacancies in any other year group
All decisions are made on a whole picture basis. The entry tests are as follows:
- At 4+ and 5+ assessments take place in early January of the year of entry. All applicants are invited to a playgroup and then some girls are recalled for a further, one-to-one assessment.
- At 7+ candidates take a series of tests in reading, writing, mathematics and reasoning. Those selected for a second stage are then recalled to attend a morning of activities at school. Parents are asked to come in with their daughters at the second stage to meet the Head of Juniors or a senior member of the Junior School staff.
- At 11+ candidates take an Entrance Examination consisting of written papers in English, Mathematics and verbal reasoning. In English, we are looking for imagination and logical thought, as well as a good vocabulary, effective sentence construction and accurate spelling and punctuation. The paper will test reading and understanding, together with a writing task. The Maths exam is designed to test the ability to think mathematically and logically. It covers addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, with application to fractions, decimals, the metric system of weights and measures, the 12 and 24 hour clock, time problems, and questions involving geometric shapes and bar graphs. The use of calculators is not allowed.
A number of girls are called for interview on the basis of the written examination, and amongst these girls offers of places are made. Girls are not required to bring books, projects or other work with them to interview, but we do ask one or both of a girl's parents or guardians to come also at this time, to meet the Head or one of the senior staff.
- At 16+ external candidates will be asked to sit papers in the subjects they hope to study here, or in related subjects if more appropriate. Girls may also be invited for interview. Applicants are normally expected to be predicted A grades in the subjects they intend to study or those most closely related to them. There is no entry requirement for the VI form for girls already in our Senior School. Applications for entry to the VI form are taken throughout the year.
- For admission to other year groups, the school sets its own tests in certain core/option subjects as appropriate.
The Head of the candidate's current school will be asked to provide a written reference as to the candidate's academic ability, attitude and behaviour, involvement in the School community, talents and interests, and any other special circumstances such as special educational needs, or a disability. The reference may also include the results of tests taken at the school (such as NFER or SATs) and predicted grades at GCSE or A-Level (if appropriate).
Very occasionally we may offer places to pupils one year ahead or behind their standard year group if we consider, as a matter of professional judgement, that this would be in the best interest of the pupil and the School.
We recognise that a candidate's performance may be affected by particular circumstances, for example:
- if she is unwell when taking tests or has had a lengthy absence from her school
- if there are particular family circumstances such as a recent bereavement
- if there is a relevant educational history, for example education outside the British system
- if the candidate has a disability or specific learning difficulties
- if English is not the candidate's first language
Parents should inform the school as soon as possible if any of these apply. Illness on the examination day must be supported by a medical certificate.
In any of these cases, we may request further information such as a medical certificate or Educational Psychologist's report and any associated correspondence or details from the pupil's current school (including samples of work) or any family history of dyslexia, as we consider necessary to make a fair assessment.
All applicants are treated with care and consideration, including girls with Special Educational Needs. We encourage girls to take extra time and/or use a computer for the examination if this is recommended in an Educational Psychologist's report, or in a letter of explanation from a suitably qualified member of staff at her current school. (A copy of the report or the letter from the school should be received by the Admissions Office no later than one week before the date of the examination).
Parents must, as soon as possible, disclose any particular known or suspected circumstances relating to their child's health, allergies, disabilities or learning difficulties.
The School is oversubscribed; every girl must win her place on merit.
- We usually interview the sister of a girl already in the school. Other than that, no special allowances are made
- If we have to decide between two or more candidates who meet our admission requirements equally after all appropriate allowances and special consideration have been given, we may give preference to a child who has a sister in the School
- All girls in the Junior School take the entrance examination for the Senior School at 11+ as usual. In the normal way a Junior School girl will not be interviewed, though we reserve the right to do so if it seems it might be helpful
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