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Academic Scholarships

Academic Scholarships are offered for entry at 11+ to candidates who have achieved outstanding results in the entrance examination and the subsequent interviews. We do not hold special scholarship examinations and no separate application is necessary. The value of scholarships is usually between 10% and 20% of fees (up to 30% in exceptional circumstances) and the award is valid for the duration of the student’s time at Habs, subject to consistent academic performance and co-curricular participation.

Other Scholarships

Traditionally the school has only offered Music Scholarships in addition to Academic Scholarships but, from September 2022 entry, we are excited to be expanding our offering to include Art, Creative Writing, Drama and Sports scholarships at 11+. The addition of these new awards is in recognition of our commitment to our co-curricular offering, especially in the creative arts and sport, and the outstanding opportunities that are open to all at Habs.

More information about each scholarship, including an indication of what we are looking for and how to apply, can be found further down this page.

Music Scholarships

The Music Department

The atmosphere in the Music Department at Habs is very welcoming and inclusive, with performance at all levels being encouraged and praised. Our motto is ‘Music for All’ and we encourage the highest standards in performance from every group.

Habs has excellent musical facilities in purpose-built buildings. The concert life is rich and varied with major orchestral and choral concerts, jazz concerts, lunchtime recitals, Open Mic concerts, Music Tours and Music Festivals. We have a large team of visiting music teachers with opportunities to learn a wide variety of different instruments and around 100 students enter practical music examinations with the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and Trinity College each term. We run ensembles with specialist tutors to cater for every age and ability.

Singers can take part in Fourth Form Choir and Cantabile Chamber Choir and Senior Choir and St Catherine Singers cater for older, more experienced singers. Choirs sing in school concerts, the annual Carol Service at St Martin-in-the-Fields, and have also performed outside School, at such venues as St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, numerous Cambridge and Oxford Chapels and St Paul’s Cathedral. There are two Jazz Bands as well as a larger Wind Band and Wind Orchestra. Wind Band joins with Repertoire Strings to form a larger Concert Orchestra for our annual Summer Concert. All girls above Grade 5 standard are invited to join our Symphony Orchestra and, as they become more accomplished, can join the Chamber Orchestra, a small string orchestra where the standard of players is about Grade 7 and above.

Musical events run throughout the year, including large concerts in school, the Carol Service at St Martin’s, chamber concerts, a Music Festival and an evening of music from the world of Musical Theatre. There are also more informal opportunities to perform at lunchtime Open Mic concerts and some visiting teachers host concerts given by their own pupils on occasions. The Music and Drama departments work very closely together and there is a significant amount of musical involvement in every Upper and Middle School production, from original songs written by girls, to performances by a chamber choir and string ensemble.

Among the highlights on offer to girls involved in musical groups is the biennial Music Tour. Recent tours have visited Barcelona, Salzburg, Lake Garda and Tuscany. We also collaborate with Habs Boys’ School, whether through jazz workshops, joint Chamber Choirs and other chamber events or, from time to time, putting on a grand gala concert at central London venues such as the Barbican.

What are we looking for in a Music Scholar?

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 demonstrate advanced musical skills and/or potential for further development.  In an audition this is likely to be demonstrated in the following ways:

  • accurate playing
  • stylistic playing
  • control of the instrument
  • ability to ‘perform’ in a communicative way
  • ability to encourage others in their music making

Music Scholarships, Awards and Exhibitions vary in value from a reduction in school fees and free instrumental tuition on one or two instruments to help with fees for individual instrumental lessons. In exceptional circumstances, candidates may be offered up to 50% reduction of school fees.

An additional major Music Scholarship will be awarded at the end of Lower 4 (Year Seven). This will be subject to audition and actual contribution to musical activities during their first year at the school.

Music Scholarship

As a guide, the following criteria should help you decide whether to enter your daughter for consideration for a scholarship:

  • normally two instruments should be offered
  • principal instrument – around Grade 5 standard (Grade 6/7 if piano)
  • second instrument – around Grade 3 standard
  • it is not essential that the actual grade exam has been taken, but the candidate should be playing at this level
  • contribution in school and outside musical ensembles will also be taken into consideration

Music Award

To be considered for a Music Award for a single instrument, Grade 4/5 standard should have been reached.

Music Exhibition

Occasionally candidates who play less common instruments (the ‘rare breeds’ eg. oboe, bassoon, brass instruments) at a lower standard (Grade 3) may be offered Music Exhibitions, but this is dependent upon the requirements of the department from year to year. Music Exhibitions may also be available when students arrive in Year 7 to encourage participation rates in certain instruments.

What is the value of a Music Scholarship?

Scholarships will usually be awarded at a rate of between 25-50% of school fees. Awards and Exhibitions will be offered at a lower rate, which could, for example, be commensurate with the annual cost of music lessons (c. £1000). All types of Music Scholarship may be awarded in conjunction with a Bursary or other Scholarship. Scholarships are held for the duration of a student’s time at the School, subject to sustained levels of performance and participation.

Application Procedure

Stage 1

Applicants should complete this online application form, detailing musical experience by Friday 19 November 2021.

Stage 2

After the 11+ entrance exam, the Director of Music will select candidates, from those who have reached the required academic standard and demonstrated their potential as a Music Scholar, to be invited for an audition, which will be in addition to the usual student and parent interviews.

Art Scholarships

The Art Department

All creative minds are cherished within the Art Department and we provide every student with the opportunity to explore, experiment and expand their imagination using a wide array of media and resources. Students’ artwork is always celebrated through the School’s art displays, awards and competitions.

The Art Department is housed in large, bright, and airy buildings and include 3D sculpture equipment including ceramics and plaster; traditional drawing and painting resources including oil paints; digital photography and photo editing software; textiles including sewing machines and screen printing; CAD software including Photoshop & Illustrator and digital drawing equipment including Apple Pencils. Each teacher brings to the department their own area of interest and expertise and we have specialist teachers in sculpture, ceramics, textiles, painting, drawing, photography, and animation.

Our small class sizes allow for lots of individual discussion and support, developing each student’s own personal creative journey. We offer the Art, Craft & Design GCSE and an A Level specification which allows for each student’s individuality and strengths to flourish.

Students in every year group benefit from our fabulous annual artist-in-residence programme, which sees established artists running workshops, after school talks and individual tutorial sessions. Each visiting artist brings to the school their individual working methods, techniques, inspiration, and media preferences; these residencies are a rich learning opportunity for all. Students are also able to take part in our extensive range of lunchtime and after school art clubs including life drawing, clay club, craft club, and digital drawing club.

We believe in the importance of learning outside of the classroom as seeing artwork up close is an essential tool in supporting our students to understand the artists they study in greater detail. Regular trips to art galleries and museums are an important experience for all students. Residential art trips, which include a varied programme of gallery visits, workshops and working with local artists are regularly planned for GCSE and A Level groups. One of the Art Department’s highlights each year is the formal Art Exhibition which features work from all our GCSE and A Level students. Family and friends are invited to a private view where we are able to celebrate each student’s creativity, dedication and success.

What are we looking for in an Art Scholar?

Art Scholarships are offered to candidates who show a genuine enthusiasm for Art and Design. Art Scholars not only have exceptional technical skills but also use their creative and inquiring minds to find new approaches towards media and techniques.

Candidates should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an exceptional skill level in traditional forms of Art and Design: drawing, painting or sculpture, showing a command of formal elements relating to their area of specialism.
  • Have experience of working away from the classroom, demonstrating a genuine love of learning and the ability to work independently.
  • Critically analyse their own artwork and the artwork of others.

What is the value of an Art Scholarship?

Scholarships will be awarded at a rate of 10% of school fees. Art Scholarships may be awarded in conjunction with a Bursary or other Scholarship. Scholarships are held for the duration of a student’s time at the School, subject to sustained levels of performance and participation.

Application Procedure

Stage 1

Applicants should submit a digitised portfolio with five to seven pieces of artwork that show a variety of media and which have been completed in the last two years. Portfolios may be submitted in a single file (e.g. PDF or Microsoft PowerPoint) or as separate files (e.g. JPEGs). We encourage the submission of ‘works in progress’ as well as completed pieces. Digitised images should be of good quality, ideally presented on a white background. A ruler should be included in the image to show scale. Portfolios should be sent to admissions@habsgirls.org.uk by Friday 19 November 2021.

Stage 2

After the 11+ entrance exam, the Head of Art will select candidates, from those who have reached the required academic standard and demonstrated their potential as an Art Scholar, to be invited for an interview, which will be in addition to the usual student and parent interviews.

Candidates will be asked to bring a physical portfolio of five to ten pieces of artwork; it is likely that this will consist of the pieces submitted in the digitised portfolio as well as any more recent pieces. During the interview the candidate will have the opportunity to discuss their work with a member of the Art Department. Candidates will also undertake a short practical task.

Creative Writing Scholarships

The English Department

In English, students are encouraged to read widely and work creatively, developing an understanding of different literary forms, combined with an ability to appreciate a variety of interpretations.

The English Department runs their own co-curricular reading programme, the Critical Reader Award, which encourages students to read a wide variety of texts. The department also offers a variety of co-curricular clubs and competitions. This includes House competitions such as the House Poetry Competition as well as one-off events throughout the year, such as World Book Day and National Poetry Day. Students in Lower 4 and Upper 4 (Years 7 and 8) take part every year in the Edna Judd Poetry Recital competition and in the national Poetry by Heart competition from Lower 5 (Year 9) upwards.

During the summer holiday, students are encouraged to take part in the Novel Writing competition, for which they write the first ten pages of a Young Adult novel; this competition is judged by a literary agent and students share extracts from their novels in a celebration evening.

Every year the department arranges a writer-in-residence who works with classes and with individual students, offering advice and guidance on their writing. Together with the Library, the department regularly arranges author visits.

What are we looking for in a Creative Writing Scholar?

Scholarships will be awarded to candidates who show exceptional potential as writers, demonstrating the capacity to write with originality and imagination. They will act as ambassadors for English among their peers and will hone their skills by taking part in writing opportunities throughout the school year. These will include:

  • The opportunity to contribute to the school magazine and creative writing club.
  • Workshops with the annual writer-in-residence.
  • Participating in the Novel Writing and House Poetry competitions.
  • Guidance and mentoring with entries for national creative writing competitions.
  • The opportunity to undertake an Arvon writing course later in their writing career.

Successful candidates will demonstrate:

  • Thoughtful and precise use of language.
  • A willingness to experiment creatively.
  • The ability to write in a clear and strong voice.
  • Assured technical ability in the use of punctuation and grammar.

What is the value of a Creative Writing Scholarship?

Scholarships will be awarded at a rate of 10% of school fees. Creative Writing Scholarships may be awarded in conjunction with a Bursary or other Scholarship. Scholarships are held for the duration of a student’s time at the School, subject to sustained levels of performance and participation.

Application Procedure

Stage 1

Applicants should submit a portfolio with three pieces of creative writing. Each piece should be no longer than 750 words. The writing can be of a diverse range of genres (short story, poetry, article, etc).  For each piece of work applicants should also include a supporting commentary of no more than 500 words, explaining creative choices in terms of plot, character, language, structure and form etc. Portfolios should be sent to admissions@habsgirls.org.uk by Friday 19 November 2021.

Stage 2

After the 11+ entrance exam, the Head of English will select candidates, from those who have reached the required academic standard and demonstrated their potential as a Creative Writing Scholar, to be invited for interview, which will be in addition to the usual student and parent interviews.

As part of their interview, candidates will be asked to undertake an additional short writing task.

Drama Scholarships

The Drama Department

Drama at Habs is lively and inclusive, both in terms of the curricular and co-curricular opportunities.  We strive for the highest possible standards with public performance and examination work and encourage as many students as possible to take part in the activities on offer.

Habs has two Drama Studios, one of which is a purpose-built, black-box studio used for teaching and examination shows. We also have a designated Performance Space with tiered auditorium seating and high-quality lighting and sound equipment, which is managed and operated by our in-house Drama Technician. Typically, the department offers a wide range of performance opportunities, which involve taking part in local festivals, being part of the Coram Shakespeare Schools Festival, mounting at least two large-scale productions as well as summer show for the entire of the Lower Four (Year 7).

Taking part in drama productions is a good way to gather experience for the Arts Award qualifications that we offer and as part of the enrichment opportunities. This award presents opportunities for students to develop skills as assistant directors, technicians, designers and as part of the crew in addition to acting.

What are we looking for in a Drama Scholar?

Drama Scholarships are offered to candidates who show exceptional potential as theatre practitioners, displayed through a range of performance skills and experience and whom we believe will act as ambassadors for Drama within the School. Candidates will display high-quality performance skills and/or potential for further development, which is likely to be demonstrated in the following ways:

  • By being a successful member of an ensemble.
  • Demonstrating an ability to take direction.
  • Demonstrating the ability to use a range of performance skills.
  • By being able to share experience of live theatre, either as a member of the audience or company.

Candidates are not expected to have gained any particular level of drama qualification but will have participated both in and out of school in the following ways:

  • Taken part in a range of productions as an actor and/or musical theatre performer.
  • Have a passion and interest in theatre and performance.

What is the value of a Drama Scholarship?

Scholarships will be awarded at a rate of 10% of school fees. Drama Scholarships may be awarded in conjunction with a Bursary or other Scholarship. Scholarships are held for the duration of a student’s time at the School, subject to sustained levels of performance and participation.

Application Procedure

Stage 1

Applicants should complete this online application form, detailing previous theatrical experience by Friday 19 November 2021.

Stage 2

After the 11+ entrance exam, the Head of Drama will select candidates, from those who have reached the required academic standard and demonstrated their potential as a Drama Scholar, to be invited for an audition, which will be in addition to the usual student and parent interviews.

Candidates will be asked to take part in a group ensemble audition and will be asked to prepare a short (two minutes maximum) audition piece in advance of the session. Our Drama staff will also talk to the candidates about their experience of theatre, either as a member of the audience or company.

Sports Scholarships

The PE Department

At Habs Girls we understand that physical exercise is good for the mind, body and spirit. We strive to build confidence, develop character and resilience, and encourage sport as a way of life by improving students’ determination, goal setting and motivation.

We offer an extensive range of co-curricular activities, which include both competitive teams and recreational clubs. The department runs a competitive fixtures programme in sports including lacrosse, netball, gymnastics, trampolining, cross-country, dance, badminton, swimming, athletics, rounders and tennis. We play cricket in the Summer Term with students from the Boys’ School and we are continually looking for ways to develop sporting links with Habs Boys. There is a growing demand for increased football provision and we are in the process of developing an exciting programme for this sport.

Our teams compete exceptionally well at local, regional, and national level and students regularly achieve county and national selection in a range of sports. Fixtures take place after school and at weekends, usually Saturdays.

The school boasts outstanding sports facilities: indoor 25m swimming pool, fitness suite, sports hall, dance studio, two gyms, nine tennis/netball courts and six lacrosse pitches.

What are we looking for in a Sports Scholar?

Sports Scholarships are awarded to candidates in recognition of sustained sporting excellence, talent and future potential. Candidates will be active members of their school sports teams and are likely to be involved in sporting clubs outside of school with representative experience or its equivalent at county level or above.

Award holders will be ambassadors for Sport who will make a full contribution to the sporting life of the School. Scholars will be allocated a mentor, an older student, who will encourage their sporting participation; in time, Sports Scholars will become mentors for younger award holders.

What is the value of a Sports Scholarship?

Scholarships will be awarded at a rate of 10% of school fees. Sports Scholarships may be awarded in conjunction with a Bursary or other Scholarship. Scholarships are held for the duration of a student’s time at the School, subject to sustained levels of performance and participation.

How do I apply?

Candidates must submit a sporting portfolio along with references from 2 of the following: Sports Coach, Headteacher, Director of Sport or PE Teacher. Pupils should complete the online application form providing the additional information requested.

Application Procedure

Stage 1

Applicants should complete this online application form, detailing previous sporting experience by Friday 19 November 2021.

Stage 2

After the 11+ entrance exam, the Directors of Sport will select candidates, from those who have reached the required academic standard and demonstrated their potential as a Sports Scholar, to be invited for a practical session and interview, which will be in addition to the usual student and parent interviews.

The practical session will include a sport aptitude test and as well as participating in activities relating to the candidate’s main sport.

Visit us at our Virtual Open Days

We encourage anyone interested in coming to Habs to find out more at one of our  Virtual Open Days.

Virtual Open Days