Haberdashers’ Boys’ School, commonly referred to as Habs Boys, is an independent day school for boys aged 5–18 that occupies a 100-acre campus in Hertfordshire. The school shares its facilities with its sister school, Habs Girls, to offer the best of single-sex education in a unique co-educational environment. It is the belief of Habs Boys that it has the largest coach network of any UK school – 150 stops span a 30-mile radius, allowing pupils from far and wide to benefit from a Haberdashers’ education.
Pupils at Habs Boys are encouraged to develop a passion for lifelong learning through an exciting academic curriculum. From Year 7, boys study a wide range of subjects alongside the core curriculum, including theology and philosophy and four languages (French, German, Latin and Spanish). The number of subjects available to pursue widens as boys progress through the school with 26 A level choices in the sixth form, while the Aske’s Level – a bespoke independent investigation – is taken as a supplement to A levels and draws from the best elements of the International Baccalaureate (IB).
Habs Boys encourages all pupils to find their niche outside the classroom, with a wide-ranging set of co-curricular activities available in the arts, sport, music, drama and beyond. The Combined Cadet Force (CCF) and Outdoor Leadership programme (OL) give pupils opportunities to develop unique team-building and leadership skills through activities such as sailing, shooting and flying, while the School and Community Service (SCS) programme provides Habs Boys with an opportunity to give something back to the community.
Exam results at Habs Boys are commonly among the best in the country. In 2022, 94.7% of GCSE results were graded A*/A/9/8/7 and 95.9% of A levels were A* to B. Traditionally, every student in the sixth form secures a university offer with a growing interest in US universities; Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, UC Berkeley and UCLA are among recent destinations.
Headmaster: Mr Gus Lock
Address: Haberdashers’ Boys’ School, Butterfly Lane, Elstree, Hertfordshire, WD6 3AF
Admissions contact: Mrs Binnur Rogers – [email protected]
Age range and gender: 5–18 (boys only)
Number of pupils: 1,135
Number of places in Year 7: 100
Open day date: Saturday 8th October 2022
Overview of selection procedure: online exam and interview
Registration opens: currently open – apply on the Habs Boys’ website
Registration closes: Friday 18th November 2022
Assessment date: Thursday 15th and Friday 16th December 2022
The current fees at Habs Boys are £7,553 per term. This does not include the cost of school lunch in the senior school, which is £4.75 per day.
Haberdashers’ Boys’ School is able to offer means-tested financial assistance, known as bursaries, to eligible candidates at 11 plus entry each year. Boys need to qualify for a place at the school as a result of their performance in the 11 plus entrance exam and interview, while their parents must be able to show evidence of financial need. Bursary awards are offered on a sliding scale; as a guide, 100% fee remission (and a subsidiary for the school coach service) may be available for families with a total assessable household gross income of less than £45,000. The ceiling for eligibility for financial support is approximately £85,000 gross.
Habs Boys also provides scholarships (which are not means-tested) to pupils who can demonstrate exceptional talent in a particular area. Academic scholarships provide 10–20% fee-remission, while art, drama, and music scholarships come with a 10% award. Music scholarships provide free tuition on one instrument in addition to fee-remission, while music exhibitions provide free tuition on one instrument instead of fee-remission.
The term dates at Habs Boys for 2022–23 are:
Autumn term: 8th September – 14th December 2022
Half term: 17th–28th October 2022
Spring term: 9th January – 31st March 2023
Half term: 13th–17th February 2023
Summer term: 20th April – 7th July 2023
Half term: 29th May – 2nd June 2023
If you would like to register your son for entry to Year 7 at Habs Boys in 2023, you will need to complete the online registration form and pay the non-refundable registration fee of £150 (UK applicants) before Friday 18th November 2022.
All candidates will be invited to take the school’s entrance exam on either Thursday 15th or Friday 16th December 2022, on school premises. A number of candidates are then called forward for an interview between Wednesday 11th and Wednesday 18th January 2023 based on their performance in this test, with interviews covering questions in English and maths. These shortlisted candidates will also take part in a group task, and parents or guardians have an opportunity to meet with the headmaster or deputy head.
Academic scholarships are awarded to pupils who perform at the highest level in the entrance exam and in the interview (a separate application is not required). If your child has applied for an art, drama or music scholarship, they will undergo separate testing in addition to the main 11 plus entrance exam:
Art scholarships: candidates will first need to submit a portfolio of their work by Friday 18th November 2022. After the 11 plus entrance exam, the head of art will shortlist candidates who have reached the required academic standard and demonstrated their artistic potential through their portfolio to attend an interview and undertake a short practical and written task. This will take place in January 2023.
Drama scholarships: as well as completing the drama scholarship online form by Friday 18th November 2022, candidates will need to send a separate link to a reference from a drama teacher, class teacher, or production director. After the 11 plus entrance exam, the head of drama will shortlist candidates who have reached the required academic standard and who show promise as a drama scholar for an interview. This will take place in January and will involve a practical group workshop, the performance of a two-minute monologue, and a conversation with the drama team.
Music scholarships: the most successful music scholarship candidates are already playing at or above Grade 6 upon application, but Habs Boys has also admitted candidates who have achieved Grade 4 or 5 in a very short space of time in the past. To apply, applicants will need to complete an online form detailing their musical experience by Friday 18th November 2022. After the 11 plus entrance exam, the director of music will shortlist candidates to take part in an audition in January.
The 11 plus entrance exam at Habs Boys is a 90-minute bespoke reasoning test, taken on a computer on the school site. Candidates will be invited to one of four testing sessions on either Thursday 15th or Friday 16th December 2022. The test involves questions in four subjects:
English: an assessment of the child’s understanding and application of the Key Stage 2 English curriculum, with questions in reading comprehension. Find out how to develop your child’s reading comprehension exam skills.
Maths: an assessment of the child’s understanding and application of the Key Stage 2 maths curriculum, covering the main topics of number, measurement, geometry and statistics. Take a look at our guide to 11 plus maths for more details about the topics that will be covered.
Verbal reasoning: an assessment of the child’s ability to reason and solve problems with written information, covering skills such as reading fluency and comprehension, vocabulary knowledge, phonological awareness, logic and problem-solving, the ability to discover and apply rules, and attention to detail. Discover typical verbal reasoning questions in our 11 plus verbal reasoning exam preparation guide.
Non-verbal reasoning: an assessment of the child’s ability to analyse visual information and solve problems using shapes, diagrams and pictures. The common skills assessed include maths skills, logic and problem-solving, spatial awareness, the ability to identify patterns and rules, and overall general intelligence. Read our top tips for success in 11 plus non-verbal reasoning.
The 11 plus exam at Haberdashers' Boys' School assesses candidates’ knowledge and application of the Key Stage 2 national curriculum with questions in English and maths, and beyond anything they may already learn at school with questions in verbal and non-verbal reasoning.
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