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Life in the Senior School is exciting, offering intellectual freedom and engaging discussion as well as a rich and rewarding co-curricular programme. A warm, relaxed and inclusive environment enables you to forge firm friendships and embrace intellectual risk, developing a personal and academic confidence that will take you far beyond school. As you look towards the future, personalised higher education and careers support will help you achieve your aspirations, whatever they may be.
Every year we welcome new students from a range of backgrounds, including both independent and maintained schools, in the UK and abroad, and including students with SEND. All become an integral part of our lively and dynamic Senior School. If you are currently studying for GCSEs and would like to take your A level courses in a stimulating, academically challenging environment, then we hope you will consider joining us. Our entrance process consists of examinations in November, followed by an interview; please read on for further details.
The best way to discover St Paul’s and decide if it would be a good fit for you is to visit us. Information about open days can be found here. For more information about life in the Senior School, please click here.
We welcome applications from students with SEND. Further information about the school’s learning support department is available here.
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.
This information is designed to give candidates an idea of what to expect in the entrance examinations. Candidates will sit an entrance examination in each of the four subjects (mathematics/further mathematics is considered one subject) for which they wish to be considered. Each examination paper will last 45 minutes. Students may be asked to sit an additional entrance paper in a fifth nominated subject on interview day (advanced notice will be given). Access arrangements, such as rest breaks, extra time, modified papers or access to a computer are available for students with SEND.
There is no examination for art. Candidates are instead requested to bring along working sketchbooks and a portfolio of work which will be viewed by the Director of Art and Design.
This examination is based on GCSE level knowledge and we understand that candidates will not have necessarily studied all topics as they are only part way through Year 11. The examination tests the ability of candidates to analyse and evaluate practical work (in a biological context) and then answer key biological questions in detail by writing an essay. Candidates are able to choose questions based on their interests or expertise.
This examination is based on GCSE level knowledge, and we understand that candidates will not have necessarily studied all topics as they are only part way through Year 11 and therefore there will be some choice of questions within the paper. We will be testing the ability to use and analyse chemical data, explain chemical processes, and handle quantitative chemistry.
This examination is based on GCSE level knowledge and is split into two parts. Section one will assess your skills in analysing performance, technical elements and stage conventions. Section two asks you to consider the theatre director’s role and analyses your ability to interpret text for performance.
The entrance examination for economics will not require any specialist knowledge, though a general awareness of current economic affairs may be helpful in terms of argument construction. We will be testing verbal and non-verbal reasoning skills via a short multiple-choice test, as well as the ability to write logically and clearly, to explain ideas and arguments fully, and to be able to interpret data.
This examination is based on GCSE level skills. We will be testing the ability to analyse poetry or a piece of prose, to develop ideas and arguments with maturity and clarity and to demonstrate a capacity engage with language sensitively and in detail. Candidates will be expected to have read beyond their set texts.
This examination is based on GCSE level knowledge. We understand that candidates will not have necessarily studied all topics as they are only part way through Year 11 and therefore there will be a choice of questions within the paper. We will be testing the ability of candidates to apply their geographical knowledge and skills with confidence to different resources. In addition, we are looking for clear and logical explanations of geographical processes with case study material incorporated to support arguments.
The entrance paper will follow a similar format to the OCR GCSE paper, consisting of unseen translation and comprehension of one or two passages of Greek, alongside a choice between grammar questions on one of the passages and some English into Greek sentences. We understand that candidates may well not have studied all GCSE topics by this stage of the academic year and will assess papers on that basis. We will expect a working knowledge of the more common words in the vocabulary list published for the OCR Unit J292/01 language paper; less common words will be glossed.
The entrance examination for History of Art will not require any specialist knowledge. We will be testing the ability to write logically and clearly, to explain ideas and arguments fully, and to carefully record visual analysis.
There is no set syllabus for this examination. The paper will consist of two questions, each on a separate passage, which will test skills of comprehension, inference, and analysis.
The entrance paper will test GCSE-level knowledge of language and will follow a similar format to the OCR GCSE paper, consisting of unseen translation and comprehension of one or two passages of Latin, alongside a choice between grammar questions on one of the passages and some English into Latin sentences. We understand that candidates will not necessarily have studied all GCSE topics by this stage of the academic year. We will, however, expect a working knowledge of the vocabulary required for the OCR Unit J282/01 language paper.
Mathematics and Further Mathematics
This examination is based on GCSE level knowledge and we understand that candidates will not have necessarily studied all topics as they are only part way through Year 11. A formulae sheet is provided and calculators may be used in this examination. However, you should bear in mind that a significant amount of credit is given for your workings. You will be expected to demonstrate excellent skills in algebraic manipulation and to apply sound logical deductions in constructing equations and solving problems.
These papers are based on GCSE level knowledge and we understand that candidates will not have necessarily studied all topics as they are only part way through Year 11. The examination will test reading comprehension, grammar and writing skills. Dictionaries are not permitted. If called for interview, candidates should expect to have part of their interview conducted in the language.
This examination is based on GCSE level knowledge although some questions will allow candidates to go beyond this. The paper consists of listening questions testing recognition of musical periods, genre, metre, texture, cadences, tonality, harmony, melody and rhythm using multiple choice, short and longer written answers. Candidates will not be asked to perform or compose.
Philosophy and Theology
The entrance examination for Philosophy will not require any specialist knowledge. We will be testing the ability to think logically and to write clearly, as well as the ability to explain ideas and arguments fully.
This examination is based on Level 2 (GCSE or IGCSE) knowledge and skills, although we are aware that most candidates will not yet have covered all the topics in their specification. Approximately one third of the entrance paper will involve a choice of question and candidates may choose to answer the question that tests material with which they are most familiar.
There is no set syllabus for this examination. It will consist of a passage to test comprehension and deduction, followed by an open-ended question that enables candidates to draw on any political knowledge they have.
Q: What bursaries and scholarships are available?
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 16+ scholarships in music, drama and art; further details on fees and scholarships are available here.
Q: Is there a limit on how far students can travel to school each day?
Students are required to live within a reasonable distance 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 16+ 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.
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, her personal statement and the registration fee of £250 (not applicable for those families applying for a bursary only place).
Please indicate on the form if you would like to apply for a bursary on the grounds of financial need, an art scholarship, a drama scholarship or a music scholarship.
Late applications will not be accepted.
All students come to St Paul’s to sit entrance examinations (which take place in the morning only) in the subjects they wish to study. We will shortlist students for interview based on these examination results.
Students must select their four preferred A level subjects, in which they will sit entrance papers, along with a fifth nominated subject. Students may be asked to sit an additional entrance paper in the nominated subject on interview day (advanced notice will be given).
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 interviews and a group activity. These cover their subject academic performance, their wider interests and group participation.
Students may be asked to sit an additional entrance paper in their fifth nominated subject.
The final decisions will be sent out to parents. The offer may include the fifth nominated subject (where an additional entrance paper was sat) as one of the student’s four A levels. The subject combinations included in the offer will be confirmed in the summer term and may be subject to change, dependent upon timetabling. This is rare and all efforts will be made to accommodate a student’s preferred subject choices.
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. Once students have finished their GCSEs, we will invite them to an induction day to meet our staff and some of the current year group.
The application deadline for entry in September 2024 is Friday 13 October 2023.
Applications will be accepted from the autumn term a year prior to the proposed year of entry.
The registration forms for entry to St Paul’s in September 2025 will be available here from August 2024.