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While all our students share a love of learning and a keen academic curiosity, there is no typical Paulina. Every year, students join us from a range of primary and prep schools. Each student will have their own interests and talents, and all are supported and encouraged to reach their full potential.
St Paul’s is an academically selective school and entry is by competitive examination and interview. The admissions process enables us to get to know students and understand where their strengths lie. The aim is to ensure that those who join us are best suited to flourish and enjoy their time at St Paul’s.
Through our bursary programme, we aim to make it possible for any student with the ability to thrive at St Paul’s to take up her place, regardless of her family’s financial background. Further details can be found on our bursaries page.
The best way to discover St Paul’s and decide if it would be a good fit for your child is to visit us. Information about open days and tours can be found here. We look forward to welcoming you.
We know that selecting a school for your child is an important decision and the Admissions Office is always happy to answer any queries from parents and schools.
Ms Melinda Armitage, Director of Admissions
The application deadline for entry in September 2024 is Friday 10 November 2023.
For entry in September 2025, registrations will open in the late spring term of 2024.
The dates for our entrance process are subject to change dependent on governmental guidance at the time. We will endeavour to give parents and guardians as much notice of any changes as possible.
Submit the completed registration forms together with a copy of the candidate’s passport and the registration fee of £250 (not applicable for those families applying for a bursary only place).
Parents will be able to indicate on the examination entry form (available from August 2023) if they would like to apply for a bursary on the grounds of financial need or apply for a music scholarship.
Late applications will not be accepted.
All candidates will complete an on-screen time-limited cognitive ability test covering verbal ability, mathematics ability and non-verbal ability to identify academic potential. This is an hour-long test and will be taken on site at St Paul’s.
Parents will be informed of the outcome of this stage of the selection process in mid-December. At this time we will also ask for a confidential report from the students’ current schools.
All successful candidates from the computer assessment will be invited to sit our entrance examinations in English, mathematics and comprehension at St Paul’s. We will shortlist students for interview based on these examination results.
Please note that unfortunately we are unable to offer alternative dates for the written examinations.
Following success in the entrance examinations, students are invited back to St Paul’s for an interview over weekends in January. These interviews will last about 15-20 minutes and will focus on the student’s academic potential through interaction with stimulus material.
The final decisions will be sent out to parents.
Acceptances to offers of a place need to be with the school by this deadline, together with a deposit of 50% of a term’s fees, although reduced deposits apply for successful bursary candidates. An additional overseas deposit is required if one or more of the persons who are jointly and severally responsible for paying the fees is resident outside the United Kingdom.
We will send out a pack of information early in the summer term, together with invitations to various summer term events including the new students’ tea in June.
At St Paul’s we are looking for intellectually curious students who will enjoy learning in an academically stimulating environment. Our entrance process is designed to identify natural ability and potential. We want students to be happy once they arrive here, able to balance their academic studies with a rich and enjoyable co-curricular life.
We know that the examination entry procedure can feel daunting, but we aim to make it as clear and straight-forward as possible. The information published here is intended to outline the process and provide examples of possible examination material. However, the sample papers are intended as guidance only and it should be noted that the format of the papers may change year on year.
It is not necessary for students to spend lots of time practising or preparing material for these exams. We are looking for candidates to respond intuitively, and so would encourage students to relax, try their best and enjoy engaging with the material.
The English paper involves the close reading of a passage of literary prose. Candidates are asked to answer up to ten questions on the passage. Some will involve the extraction of information, some will ask for comment on the meaning and effect of individual words and phrases. Although there are no specific marks for technical accuracy, we are always keen to see correct spelling and punctuation. We are particularly interested in signs of genuine enjoyment and engagement, together with careful inference and sensitivity to linguistic effects. Some of the questions will be extended imaginative writing tasks based on the passage. There is no separate creative writing section. Though we like to see evidence of a wide vocabulary, there is no need to learn and use unusual or obscure words.
The mathematics paper comprises of a mixture of questions which are designed to identify potential. The paper has three 25 minute sections. The first section will feature questions that are fairly straight-forward ‘sums’, designed to establish fundamental arithmetic concepts are in place. The second section will cover questions which are more problem-solving in style and the third section may have multi-part questions; these questions will be based on material the students may never have seen before.
The questions will be based upon a range of topics all of which are part of the National Curriculum up to KS2. We are not just testing techniques, but also looking for insight.
It is very important for candidates to show their working out. A wrong answer cannot be given any credit if it is not supported by working. The questions are designed to be interesting and sometimes amusing, and we hope the students find sitting the paper an enjoyable experience.
The comprehension paper is based around a theme and is designed to test comprehension in its broadest sense. This includes the skills of deduction, inference, extraction and organisation of information as well as evaluation, comparison, identification of patterns and links, and logic. No prior knowledge is required, although the KS2 scientific enquiry skills may be needed in the evaluation of material and presentation of data.
We are looking for ability to respond to a range of materials, which could be visual, numerical or written, and through comprehension, be able to draw pertinent conclusions about them. Above all, we are looking for students with the potential to react perceptively to a range of stimuli. Many candidates enjoy this unusual paper very much.
The interview will last approximately 20-25 minutes and will be conducted by one member of senior staff. Candidates will be provided with stimulus material to generate a friendly, informal conversation. We are looking for evidence of creativity, engagement and the capacity for independent thought. Our final decisions will be based on both performance in the entrance examinations as well as the interview.
Q: Does the school offer bursaries and scholarships?
We offer a number of means-tested bursaries per year; the maximum value awarded is the full published fees. Detailed information is available on our bursaries page. We also offer 11+ music scholarships; details are available on our fees and scholarships page.
Q: Is there a limit on how far students can travel to school each day?
Students are required to live within a 50-minute commute of the school and we may decline to pursue an application where, in our opinion, it may require an unrealistically demanding journey for the student. Further details are available in our Admissions Policy.
Q: Are boarding facilities available?
St Paul’s is a day school with no boarding facilities available, which means we are unfortunately unable to accommodate overseas students. It is our school policy that all students must live in London with their parents for the duration of their education. We would expect students to be covered as a dependent on a parent’s visa status as we do not sponsor Tier 4 visas for entrants.
Q: Are school buses available?
Q: Does the school accept overseas applications?
Several pupils join us each year from overseas and your application is most welcome.
For 11+ entry, we can arrange for applicants to sit their assessment overseas at a local British Council office. You simply need to make contact with your local British Council office to confirm that they will invigilate the assessment, and provide us with their contact details. We will then email the papers and instructions to them in order for them to conduct the assessment. The completed papers will then be returned to us for marking.
All interviews will be conducted remotely, and we will try to schedule them to a convenient time for your time zone. Please note that you will not be able to sit the examinations at your current school.