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Joining Habs

Choosing the right school for your daughter is an important decision and we hope that, through our website, you have learnt a little more about us and the Habs family and whether we might be right for you.

To get a real feel for what makes Habs special and to see all that we can offer your daughter please do visit and have a look around. Visit on one of our Open Days and talk to the girls about their school as they take you on a tour, or contact Admissions to organise a separate appointment.

Most girls join at 4+ (Rainbow), 11+ (Year 7) or 16+ (Sixth Form); however a small number join at 7+ (Year 3) and, if we have space, we do occasionally take girls into other year groups. All girls who join us must take competitive entry tests. In addition, there may be one-to-one assessments, interviews and the requirement for a school reference.

Rainbow (4+)

All applicants are invited to an assessed activity session in early January of the year of entry. The second stage involves a selected number of girls, with their parents, meeting the Executive Head and Deputy Head of the Junior School. No school reference is required for entry at 4+. 

Year 3 (7+)

All candidates take a series of tests in reading, writing and mathematics, and take part in a group activity. A selected number of girls are then invited, with their parents, to meet the Executive Head and Deputy Head of the Junior School. 

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 or the results of their baseline testing).

Junior School Admissions - Frequently Asked Questions

What happens in the 4+ process?

First stage: children participate in a play group assessment of about 45 minutes on a weekday between 3 and 9 January. Parents stay on site while this is happening.

 

How are the groups organised?

By the age of the children; those of a similar birth month are grouped together.

 

What are we looking for at 4+?

Children who are displaying many of the characteristics of effective learning, which underpin the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile, who we think will be teachable and responsive to the way we want the girls to learn at Habs.

 

How should parents prepare their daughter for the play group?

Tell her that she is going to have fun playing with other children as she does at her current nursery/setting.

 

Should we have her tutored?

Absolutely not! The best way to support your daughter is to allow her to play, explore and use her imagination like every other 3 or 4 year-old. Reading to your child every day is also fundamental to her development. 

 

What happens after the play group assessments?

Second stage: the parents of children who best meet the criteria assessed during the play group session are invited to come back to school to meet with the Deputy Head and with the Executive Head. The children are expected to accompany their parents at these meetings.  

 

Are these meetings with the Head and Deputy interviews?

No. They are an opportunity for parents to ask questions about the school and to establish whether they think it is the right place to educate their daughter. It is also an opportunity for the school to find out more about the child and the family and to establish whether the parents want the same kind of education that the school is offering and that they are in sympathy with the school’s ethos and values.

 

How and when are offers made?

Offers are made on the basis of the assessment of the child in the play group and on the subsequent meeting with the family.

Offers are posted on Monday 30 January at the same time as those issued by other local independent schools. The date for acceptance is 12 noon on Wednesday 8 February.

 

How many places are there at 4+?

There are 40 places.

 

Why is there no set homework routing in Reception or Year 1?

The girls may, where appropriate, be given opportunities to take examples of activities they have completed during the day home to show their parents and demonstrate, for example, letters they have been drawing or a collage they have made, but there is no prescribed homework coverage as we believe children of this age should be using the time at home to explore and experiment, independently building on the learning experiences offered at school. Homework routines are established for girls in Year 3 upwards with a view to preparing them for life after the Junior School and the opportunity to independently apply what they have learnt during the day.

 

When does homework begin?

Homework starts with some spellings and times tables in Year 2 and increases as the girls progress through the school.

 

What makes Habs different to other primary/prep schools?

  • Child centred approach

  • Broad curriculum, including Forest School, with many specialist teachers

  • Not a hot house or an exam factory: we believe in a holistic approach to education

  • Focus is on learning habits such as problem solving, risk-taking, learning from failure, perseverance, resilience, asking questions, independence, taking responsibility for own learning, creativity, reflection, collaboration, communication

  • Not constrained by a narrow curriculum or an undue focus on tests and the 11+ Entrance Exam

  • All the benefits of a girls only education with the advantage of opportunities for collaborative activities and trips with our neighbours at Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School

  • Shared resources and venues with the Senior school with role-modelling and support from older girls.

 

When do the children start swimming lessons?

Weekly from Year 1 with some taster lessons in the summer term of Reception

 

When can my daughter travel on the school coach?

From Year 3.

 

Are there after-school activities and clubs?

Yes, there is an extensive programme for children from Year 1.

 

When can my daughter learn a musical instrument at school?

From Year 3, before and after school as well as sometimes during the day.

 

Is there wrap-around care?

No but parents can pay for their daughters to be looked after between 3.15 and 4.15pm

 

What happens in the 7+ process?

Stage 1: there is an assessment day on Tuesday 10 January during which girls take a series of tests in reading, writing and mathematics, and take part in a group activity. Their current school is contacted for a reference.

Stage 2: on the basis of this assessment, a selected number of girls and their parents are invited to a meeting with the Executive Head and Deputy Head of the Junior School. This is an opportunity for them to meet the child, and for both the school and the family to exchange relevant information and to establish whether they share the same educational values and priorities.

 

How should I prepare my daughter for the 7+ process?

Everything she is covering in her Year 2 setting should be enough for her to show her potential in our assessment. On no account have your daughter tutored.

 

How many places are there at 7+?

Entry 2017 and 2018: about 6

Entry 2019 onwards: about 10

 

How and when are offers made?

Offers are made on the basis of the assessment day and on the subsequent meeting with the family.

Offers are posted on Monday 30 January 2017 at the same time as those issued by other local independent schools. The date for acceptance is 12 noon on Wednesday 8 February.

 

Is there a sibling policy?

No. Each child is considered for a place individually at all levels of entry.

 

 

 

Year 7 (11+)

All candidates take an Entrance Examination consisting of written papers in English Skills and Mathematics.

The English Skills exam comprises two sections. Section A consists of a selection of reading materials from a range of genres, both fiction and non-fiction. Candidates are asked to respond to a variety of questions to enable us to evaluate their understanding and analytical skills. In section B, candidates are asked to respond to one of a selection of directed writing tasks which will give them an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to write effectively for a specific purpose and audience.

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, percentages, 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 examinations, 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 and one of the senior staff. 

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. 

Sixth Form (16+)

External candidates will be asked to sit examination papers in the subjects they hope to study here, or in related subjects if more appropriate. On the basis of their performance in the examinations, some girls will be invited for interview. Parents are invited to meet a senior member of staff while their daughter is being interviewed. Applicants are normally expected to achieve A* grades in the subjects they intend to study or those most closely related to them. 

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. 

Occasional Places

If you are interested in entry to other year groups, please contact Admissions directly to discuss the possibilities. If places become available in non-standard year groups, the school sets its own tests in certain core/option subjects as appropriate. 

How to Apply

If you think Habs might be the school for your daughter and you would like to make an application, please complete our online Registration Form. 

There is a non refundable charge of £100 for registration (£150 for overseas applications).

What a wonderful school - so many good memories and so many opportunities offered to help girls become whatever they want. Wonderful teachers, wonderful environment. If I have girls, I'd definitely want to send them here. Jo, Class of 2002

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