Here you can find answers to some of our most frequently asked questions about the admissions process at Habs Girls.

 

4+ / 7+ Admissions

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 4+ GROUP ACTIVITY SESSION?

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 IS THE HOMEWORK ROUTINE IN THE JUNIOR SCHOOL?

The pupils 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 in Rainbow or Year 1 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. Reading daily is encouraged throughout the Junior School and beyond.

Homework routines are established for pupils 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.

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.

WHEN DO THE CHILDREN START SWIMMING LESSONS?

The girls start swimming in the Summer Term of Rainbow

WHEN DO THE PUPILS LEARN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE?

All pupils are taught French. In addition, Rainbow and KS1 learn Spanish and KS2 learn German.  Italian is offered as an extra-curricular club.

ARE THERE AFTER-SCHOOL ACTIVITIES AND CLUBS?

Yes, there is an extensive programme for children from Year 1.  You can find out more on the Junior School Extra-Curricular Activities page.

WHEN CAN MY DAUGHTER LEARN A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT AT SCHOOL?

From Year 3.  The lessons will take place either before school, after school or during the school day, on  a rotational basis.

IS THERE WRAP-AROUND CARE?

We offer Breakfast Club from 7.30am for girls in Year 1 upwards* and there are optional after school clubs and Late Room* until 4.15pm.

*Rainbow pupils can attend Breakfast Club and Late Room from the Autumn half term provided they are settled at school.

WHEN CAN MY DAUGHTER TRAVEL ON THE SCHOOL COACH?

From Year 3.  The coach service is shared with the Boys’ School. You can find out more on our Coach Service page.

IS THERE A SIBLING POLICY?

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

WHAT MAKES HABS GIRLS DIFFERENT TO OTHER PRIMARY/PREP SCHOOLS?

  • Our child centred approach
  • The broad curriculum, including Forest School, with many specialist teachers
  • We are not a hot house or an exam factory: we believe in an holistic approach to education
  • The 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
  • We are not constrained by a narrow curriculum or an undue focus on tests and the 11+ Entrance Exam
  • We have all the benefits of a single sex education with the advantage of opportunities for collaborative activities and trips with our neighbours at Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School
  • We benefit from shared resources and venues with the Senior school; with role-modelling and support from older students.

IS THERE ANY FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE IN THE JUNIOR SCHOOL?

No.  However, several of our Year 6 pupils are awarded academic and/or music scholarships as they move into the Senior School.

11+ Admissions

What are you looking for in a Habs Girl?

We are looking for individuals who have the potential to succeed and thrive in an inspiring and academically challenging environment; well-rounded pupils with a genuine interest in learning, who will make the most of all of the opportunities we offer.

What does the assessment consist of?

All applicants are invited to sit written papers in English Skills and Mathematics.  The English Skills paper 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; and to complete a separate writing task so that they can demonstrate their ability to write effectively for a specific purpose and audience.  The Mathematics paper is designed to test their 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.  On the basis of the results from the written examination, a number of candidates will be called for interview.  Offers of places will be made from amongst those called for interview.

My daughter is at a maintained school.  Will she be at a disadvantage?

No. We take roughly equal numbers of girls from maintained and independent schools.  They come with a variety of experience and interest which provides an excellent mix in the school.  We are looking to test potential and the ability to think independently; our paper is based around skills taught within the National Curriculum and no tutoring or preparation, other than the work your daughter is currently doing in school, is required in order to demonstrate this.

Can we see copies of past papers?

We are looking for candidates who think for themselves and are able to respond to what they have been taught in school, so we do not provide past papers.

Will you ask for a report from my daughter’s current school?

We ask all current schools to provide information about the candidate’s academic ability, attitude and behaviour, involvement in the school community, talents and interests, and any other special circumstances such as special education needs, or a disability.  Some maintained Primary or Middle Schools will not provide a reference as a matter of principle but this will not disadvantage your daughter.

What is the religious background of the school?

The School has a Christian tradition but welcomes the richness of different faiths within the community.  Every day begins with the whole school meeting in an assembly or House meeting to explore ideas, and to reinforce the school’s values and its sense of community.

All major world religions are represented.  Once a week separate Assemblies are held: Christian; Hindu, Jain, Sikh and Buddhist; Humanist; Jewish; and Muslim. Everyone is expected to attend with an open mind and a willingness to understand another point of view; differences are celebrated and enjoyed, not merely tolerated.

Does the school offer a Breakfast Club and after school care?

The school day begins with registration at 8.40am, but the Dining Room opens at 7.30am each morning for breakfast, offering a full selection of traditional hot breakfast items and pastries.

Pupils are encouraged to take an active part in one or more of the great many clubs and activities available.  Some take place in the lunch hour and others, including drama and sporting activities, are after school. Everything ends in time for the 5.30pm evening coach service.

Do you have a sibling policy?

No.  Each candidate is considered for a place individually at all levels of entry and must win their place on merit.

I am hoping for financial help with tuition fees.  What is the procedure?

Bursary applicants sit the same examination and have interviews in the same way as all other candidates.  Bursary application forms are available from the Admissions Registrar in the autumn prior to the examination.  Please make sure forms are completed and returned before your daughter sits the exam in January. We will be able to tell you, at interview, the level of financial help you are likely to receive, based on the income declaration forms you have returned.

You can find out more on our Bursaries page

What about Scholarships?

Academic scholarships may be awarded on the basis of outstanding performance in the Examinations and interview.  There is no separate examination paper.

Music Scholarships: Candidates must have reached the required standard for entry in the 11+ examination.  Music Scholarships are offered to candidates who show exceptional potential as musicians, displayed through advanced musical skills and innate musicianship, and whom we believe will act as ambassadors for music amongst their peer group. Music Scholars will asked to demonstrate advanced musical skills and/or potential for further development by means of an audition.  Entry criteria varies according to the level of the award.  You can find out more on our Scholarships page

16+ Admissions

IF I’M NOT SURE OF MY A LEVEL CHOICES WHAT DO I DO IN THE ENTRANCE EXAM?

In the entrance exam you can choose up to 4 subjects to be examined in, even if you are planning to do 3 A Levels, so you can decide later which 3 to do.  Choose the subjects you are interested in and/or good at.  You may be able to change your mind nearer the time of joining, but you may have to come for an additional interview or assessment depending on the subject.

HOW MANY SUBJECTS CAN I TAKE?

You may choose 3 or 4 A Levels with a view to studying them for the full two years.  Approximately 25% of our students choose to study 4 A Levels. The workload for 4 full A Levels is considerable and you will need to be very strong academically to cope with the workload.

I DIDN’T APPLY IN TIME TO SIT THE ENTRANCE EXAM, WILL YOU CONSIDER A LATE APPLICATION?

Late applications will be considered when GCSE results are published in August.  We can only consider late applications from those students who achieve 8/9/A* grades at GCSE.  You must be able to come in and meet with us soon after getting your results and be aware that, at this late stage, we may not have capacity or timetabling flexibility to accommodate your subject choices.

I WANT TO STUDY ECONOMICS AT A LEVEL, BUT I HAVEN’T STUDIED IT AT GCSE – DOES THIS MATTER?

No!  There are a few subjects (psychology, government and politics, philosophy) where the A Level may be a new subject to students.  For the entrance exam in these subjects you will sit a general paper that doesn’t require any specific curriculum knowledge, but which will enable you to demonstrate the skill set needed in order to study the subject.

WHAT DO I DO IN MY NON-CONTACT TIME (FREE PERIODS)?

You definitely have more freedom in the Sixth Form than you will have had before.  You will need to be disciplined with your non-contact time and develop your independent study skills.  Use this time to do homework, research and wider reading.  There are fantastic resources within school to make use of, such as the Learning Resources Centre.  As well as your subject teaching you will cover an Academic Skills programme and take Enrichment options, as well as PE in the Lower 6.

ARE OFFER CONDITIONAL ON GCSE RESULTS?

This will vary from candidate to candidate.  Whatever subjects you study at A Level, there will be a big step up from GCSE and we need to be sure that you will be comfortable with the pace and style of teaching.  Therefore it is important that you have a strong foundation at GCSE.  We typically need you to have a grade 7/A (8/9/A* in sciences and Maths), in order to study a subject at A Level. We will consider individual circumstances carefully if you do not achieve the grade that you were hoping for.

IS THERE ANY FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE WHEN JOINING THE SIXTH FORM?

Means tested bursaries are available – for further information please contact the Admissions department.

Music awards are also available, but there are no academic or sport scholarships.

CAN I STUDY ANY COMBINATION OF SUBJECTS IN THE SIXTH FORM?

We will try our best to accommodate subject choices made by all students.  If staffing and timetabling restrictions permit, we will run a course for 1 student, except for Theatre Studies which requires a minimum of 2 students.

IS IT SENSIBLE TO CHANGE SCHOOLS AT 16?

You should only move school if you want to.  As well as a step up academically from GCSE to A Level you will have a social transition to cope with too.  We do as much as we can to help you such as giving you a buddy in the first instance, plus the Sixth Form staff will check in regularly with you.  We will meet with you and your parents in the first half term to make sure things are on track academically too.

We make offers to students who are prepared to come and throw themselves into Sixth Form life here at Habs, embracing everything there is to offer, so make sure that you’re up for that!  It’s a two way relationship – what you can offer the school as much as what we can offer you.

WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR AT 16+?

We are looking for hardworking students, capable of achieving strong academic results alongside a significant contribution to the extra-curricular life of the school.

IS THERE A SIBLING POLICY?

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

Come to Our Next Open Morning

We encourage anyone interested in joining Habs to visit during one of our School in Action mornings, which take place throughout the year.

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