The main Entrance Examinations and Assessments for entry in September take place by appointment in January.
The Lower School assessments will take place WC 15th January 2024 and our Senior School Entrance Assessments will take place on Monday 15 January 2024.
Format of the day
Your daughter will be invited to spend approximately one hour with our Early Years specialist staff team to take part in assessments which are designed to be as relaxed and as enjoyable as possible. They are conducted in small groups and consist of fun activities including simple games and puzzles. Our aim is to get to know the girls better and to understand the way in which they learn. Our teachers will be on hand to encourage and support the children throughout the assessment, and to make them feel comfortable.
As we wish to evaluate your daughter’s level of independence, you will not be required to remain in the classroom with her. Instead, you might like the opportunity to meet the Head of Lower School, Miss Iona Carmody and other staff and enjoy some light refreshments. Please rest assured that great care is taken to ensure that girls are relaxed and happy when undertaking assessments.
Years 1 and 2 entry
Places are sometimes available in Years 1 and 2. The usual Infant admissions procedures apply for this entry point (see above).
Key Stage 2 entry (Year 3)
In Year 3, classes are well balanced and teaching groups are small, enabling excellent pupil knowledge and passionate teaching. Entry is determined by performance in mathematics, English and non-verbal reasoning assessments. Your daughter’s ability to grasp new concepts is more important to us than evidence of absolute knowledge. Your daughter’s assessment will be held in a friendly Junior classroom, enabling her to demonstrate her strengths in a supportive and encouraging environment.
Vacancies in other year groups
Vacancies are sometimes available in other year groups (Years 4–6) at the Lower School and individual assessments can take place throughout the year if a place is available.
Format of the morning
Candidates arrive at approximately 8.30am and take the three papers: English, Mathematics and Non-Verbal Reasoning, during the morning with a break for refreshments. Staff are available throughout the morning to help the candidates who should feel free to ask for help at any time.
- The Mathematics Paper is 45 minutes long.
- Calculators are not allowed.
Candidates will be expected to be familiar with various techniques and concepts on how to solve a variety of mathematical problems. These techniques and concepts should have been covered at Key Stage 2, in line with the National Curriculum. We are looking for girls to demonstrate familiarity, knowledge and skills in the following areas:
- the ability to manipulate straightforward arithmetic – addition, subtraction, multiplication and division (although not long division) of whole numbers
- multiplication tables
- simple negative numbers and the equivalence and calculations of fractions, decimals and percentages
- understanding of the 24 hour clock, money and simple timetables;
- simple sequences
- the metric system, estimation of length, area, and mass (in metric and common imperial units)
- knowledge of simple plane (2D) and solid (3D) shapes and calculation of perimeters, areas and volumes of simple shapes
- some elementary graph work may be useful
- knowledge of angles at a point, on a straight line and in a triangle.
- Formal knowledge of algebra is not required although questions may use or require informal use of simple algebra.
- The questions set may be straightforward, testing knowledge or a standard skill, or they may be designed to test reasoning power or response to a simple, but unfamiliar, mathematical idea.
- Candidates should note carefully the instruction to show all working clearly. The examiners are interested in, and may give credit for, working as well as for the answer. Every year candidates lose marks by rubbing out working for which they might have gained credit.
- Candidates should be able to question the reasonableness of an answer.
- The English paper is one hour long.
- It tests comprehension, imagination and accuracy.
- There will be a short prose extract with questions to test reading.
- There will be a mixture of short-answer questions and questions which demand a longer response.
- There will also be an imaginative writing task.
- A planning sheet will be available for this task, but does not have to be used.
Candidates will sit a nonverbal reasoning paper. This is designed to test the ability to understand, interpret and problem-solve, testing logic and intelligence rather than knowledge.
Mathematics: For candidates who are not used to working under test conditions and within a restricted time, suitable practice prior to the examination may be gained by obtaining commercially produced practice papers which usually have tests lasting about half an hour each.
English: We expect candidates to be able to construct sentences, spell and punctuate correctly. If the candidate is not used to working under test conditions, some practice in writing essays to time is advisable.
Specimen papers are available upon request following registration for the examination.
Interviews and offers
As well as the examinations, we interview parents and their daughters. Interviews take the form of an informal chat with the Headmistress or a different senior member of staff. Your daughter may be asked about her responses in the examination papers or she may be asked more general questions about her interests, things she enjoys at school or any other relevant topics. There is no particular ‘type’ of girl we are looking for here, and certainly, there are no ‘correct’ answers to most of the interview questions; the qualities we hope to see are a genuine enthusiasm for learning, a curiosity about the world and an ability to think about issues in depth. These qualities may display themselves in many different ways. We also like to meet with parents; this is not part of the selection procedure but an opportunity for you to ask any unanswered questions.
All applicants are informed of the school's decision via post; the letter will:
- contain an offer of a place, or
- contain an offer of a place on the reserve list, or
- indicate that we are unable to offer a place.
Separate letters will be sent to those who have made enquiries about bursaries and scholarships.