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Alleyn's School: a parents' guide to Year 7 entry

School guides
Alleyn's School: a parents' guide to Year 7 entry


Alleyn’s School is a leading independent day school in Dulwich, South London and was founded by Edward Alleyn in 1619. It provides education to boys and girls from the age of 4 to 18.

The school is committed to its holistic approach to education, incorporating academic excellence, an ethos of strong pastoral care and a vibrant co-curricular programme. This consists of 60 weekly sports clubs and more than 180 activities including a school radio station, film and photography, cookery and molecular gastronomy.

Students at Alleyn’s School consistently receive high academic results; in 2019 (when the most recent official formative assessments took place), 72% of all GCSEs were the very top grades of 9 and 8. Meanwhile, 89% of A levels were graded A*–B.

The school’s headteacher, Jane Lunnon, was the 2020 recipient of Tatler Schools’ ‘Best Head of an Independent School’ award.

Key information for Alleyn's School

  • Headteacher: Jane Lunnon

  • Address: Alleyn’s School, Townley Road, London SE22 8SU

  • London Borough: Southwark

  • Admissions contact: Ms Louise Mawer – [email protected], 020 8557 1478

  • Age range and gender: 4–18, co-educational

  • Number of pupils: 1,300

  • Number of places in Year 7: 150 (approximately 100 external applicants and the remaining 50 join from Alleyn’s Junior School)

  • Ratio of applicants to places: undisclosed

  • Open day date: September 2022 (check the school website for further details)

  • Overview of selection procedure for Year 7 entry: school's own written tests, interviews and small group activities

  • Registration deadline: Friday 4th November 202 at midday

  • Assessment date for Year 7 entry: Friday 6th January 2023

  • Scholarship assessment date: 29th and 30th November 2022 (girls' and boys' sports scholarships), January 2023 (all other scholarship assessments and sports scholarship round two)

Alleyn’s School fees and financial assistance

For the academic year 2022-23, the senior school fees are £7,620 per term (£22,860 per year).

Limited bursary funds (of up to 100% of the school fees, depending on need) are available for children who perform well in the entrance assessments. The WJ Smith Trust offers means-tested assistance (also up to 100% of the school fees) to candidates who demonstrate exceptional musical promise at the music scholarship addition.

Alleyn’s School offers non-means-tested scholarships:

  • Academic Scholarships: worth up to £5,000 per year

  • Art Scholarships: worth up to £2,000 per year

  • Design & Technology Scholarships: worth up to £2,000 per year

  • Music Scholarships: worth up to £5,000 per year, plus free tuition on one instrument

  • Sports Scholarships: worth up to £5,000 per year

Alleyn's School term dates

The term dates at Alleyn’s School in 2022-23 are:

  • Autumn term (Advent): 5th September – 14th December 2022

  • Half term: 17th – 28th October 2022

  • Spring term (Lent): 9th January – 31st March 2023

  • Half term: 13th – 20th February 2023

  • Summer term (Trinity): 25th April – 6th July

  • Half term: 29th May – 5th June

The admissions process for Alleyn's School

There are 150 places available in Year 7 at Alleyn’s School. About two-thirds of candidates will come from a wide range of state and independent schools while the remaining one-third of pupils join from Alleyn’s Junior School.

If you are interested in 11 plus entry at Alleyn’s School, you will need to register your child with the school when they begin Year 6. Registration can be completed on the school website. The registration fee is £175 (or £300 for overseas candidates) per child.

If you are in receipt of Universal Credit or your child qualifies for the Pupil Premium, you will not need to pay the registration fee if you can provide written evidence when submitting your child’s registration form.

As of September 2022, Alleyn's School will no longer use the ISEB Common Pre-Test to assess candidates for entry. Instead, all children applying for Year 7 will be invited to attend the school's own written assessments on Friday 6th January 2023. Children who perform well in these exams will then be invited to interviews and small group activities on Saturday 21st January 2023.

Children who are applying for a scholarship will have additional steps in the admissions process:

  • Academic scholarship: all children are automatically considered for an academic scholarship on the basis of their performance in the written tests, the interview, and the small group activity (there is no separate application required). Shortlisted candidates will then be invited to participate in a series of academic scholarship workshops on Saturday 28th January 2023

  • Art scholarship: submission of a digital portfolio by Wednesday 4th January 2023 and a workshop (selected candidates only) on Wednesday 25th January 2023

  • Design & technology scholarship: submission of written work by Wednesday 4th January 2023 and a workshop (selected candidates only) on Monday 23rd January 2023

  • Music scholarship: audition on Monday 9th, Tuesday 10th, or Wednesday 11th January 2023

  • Sports scholarship: first-round assessment days (Tuesday 29th November 2022 for girls, and Wednesday 30th November 2022 for boys), with selected candidates invited to a second round on Thursday 26th January 2023

Alleyn's School entrance exam format

In autumn 2022, Alleyn's School announced that they would no longer be using the ISEB Common Pre-Test to select candidates for entry to Year 7. With the exception of candidates applying from overseas, all children will now take the school's own written tests in January 2023. There are three papers in total:

  • English: 40 minutes. This creative writing paper asks children to continue writing a given passage of prose fiction, with credit given for demonstrating an understanding of the extract, creative flair, and accuracy. Take a look at our creative writing guide for parents and creative writing for kids for top tips.

  • Maths: 30 minutes. Children will be assessed on their knowledge and application of Key Stage 2 maths, including the topics of number, algebra, shape, space, measures, and handling data. The questions towards the end of the paper are more challenging extension questions. Find out everything you need to know about 11 plus maths here.

  • Reasoning: 45 minutes. This is a multiple-choice paper covering verbal, non-verbal, and spatial reasoning. Children will mark their answers on paper on pre-printed multiple-choice answer sheets. For a detailed look at the types of questions your child may be asked, read our 11 plus exam guides to verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning.

How to help your child prepare for the selection process at Alleyn's School

Build foundational knowledge

The 11 plus exam at Alleyn's School will test your child on their knowledge and application of Key Stage 2 English and maths, as well as verbal, non-verbal and spatial reasoning.

Your child can consolidate everything they need to know with Atom Nucleus, with over 90,000 teacher-created questions and helpful learning resources that span the Key Stage 2 curriculum and beyond.

English learning journey on Atom Nucleus

Preparation is key

Familiarisation with the question formats and known styles ahead of the exam is essential to help your child build exam confidence. An exam preparation subscription with Atom Nucleus enables your child to access quality, unlimited practice material with full score breakdowns to help your child feel confident by the time the exam day comes around.

With Atom Nucleus, your child can take multiple timed Year 6 foundation tests in English, maths, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning to get a feel for the exam questions and develop crucial time-management skills.

Verbal reasoning mock test on Atom Nucleus

Access to immediate support

When working through challenging topics, your child will need immediate clarity with any misconceptions so that they feel truly secure in every topic. Atom Nucleus includes video tutorials, help sheets and examples with every question to help your child build confidence and competence across all the areas assessed.

Maths learning journey on Atom Nucleus

Engage with their progress

Celebrate your child’s improvement in areas of challenge together. An accurate and ongoing assessment of their areas of strength and development is helpful.

As an Atom subscriber, you’ll have a parent dashboard which offers data-driven insights into your child’s progress. You can use this effectively to help your child set targets, see a detailed breakdown of their progress by subtopic and set custom practices to target those they find most challenging.

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Get started today

It’s our mission to help your child feel prepared and confident before the exam day. Begin your free 5-day free trial of Nucleus today to help your child succeed.

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We know how crucial this time is, so our team is on hand to support you and your family every step of the way. You can book a call with one of our Education Experts to ask any questions you might have about 11 plus entry to Alleyn's School:

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