Back to blog

James Allen's Girls' School: parents’ guide to Year 7 entry

School guide

Jan 31, 2023, 2:02 PM

James Allen's Girls' School: a parents' guide to Year 7 entry


James Allen’s Girls’ School, known as JAGS, is a day school for girls in South London. Founded in 1741, the school is the oldest independent girls’ school in the capital.

There are over 800 pupils in the senior school, sharing the same 22-acre site as the sixth form and prep school (a pre-prep school for girls aged 4–7 is located nearby). Pupils have access to a state-of-the-art music centre, a purpose-built theatre, an ozone-filtered swimming pool and more.

Pupils at JAGS enjoy an extensive curriculum – alongside traditional subjects, pupils can opt to take Classical Greek or Latin, Computer Science, Italian, Japanese and Russian. Students leave with outstanding exam results – in 2021, 99% of all GCSE results were grades 9, 8 or 7 (A*–A), while 85% of A level students gained at least 3 A* or A grades.

Beyond the classroom, girls at JAGS have the opportunity to engage in trips such as history in China, computing and art in New York and volunteering in Uganda, supporting the school’s AFFCAD charity partner.

Key information for James Allen’s Girls’ School

  • Headteacher: Mrs Alex Hutchinson

  • Address: James Allen’s Girls’ School, 144 East Dulwich Grove, London SE22 8TE

  • London Borough: Southwark

  • Admissions contact: Henrietta Kiezun – [email protected], 020 8613 6335

  • Age range and gender: 4–18 (girls only)

  • Number of pupils: 1,100

  • Number of places in Year 7: approximately 80 (joining pupils moving up from the junior school)

  • Ratio of applicants to places: 10:1

  • Open day date: Wednesday 21st September 2022, Saturday 1st October 2022 and Tuesday 11th October 2022. Book online.

  • Overview of selection procedure for 11 plus entry: ISEB Common Pre-test exam, interview, creative writing task and an interactive group task

  • Registration deadline: Monday 31st October 2022

  • Assessment date for Year 7 entry: Thursday 5th January 2023 (if taken at JAGS)

  • Scholarship assessment date: Tuesday 24th January – Wednesday 1st February 2023

James Allen’s Girls’ School fees and financial assistance

For the academic year 2022-23, the termly tuition fees at James Allen’s Girls’ School are £7,045 for girls in the senior school (age 11 and above).

JAGS provides financial assistance for up to 100% (and a contribution to school uniform, travel, trips and lunches) for talented girls whose families cannot afford the fees. Bursaries cover over 80% of all fees for the 149 families currently receiving them. The deadline for bursary applications is 15th November 2022 (these will be made available on the school website in September).

The school also has scholarships available (the deadline to apply for these is 4pm on 30th November 2022):

  • Academic Scholarships: £1,000 per year

  • Art Scholarships: £1,000 per year

  • Music Scholarships: £1,000 per year (may also involve an additional contribution towards music lessons)

  • Sport Scholarships: £1,000 per year

James Allen’s Girls’ School term dates

The 2022-23 term dates for James Allen’s Girls’ School are:

  • Autumn term: 5th 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: 25th April – 6th July 2023

  • Half term: 29th May – 2nd June 2023

Admissions process for James Allen’s Girls’ School

There are approximately 80 places for external applicants to Year 7 at James Allen’s Girls’ School each year. Successful candidates join the girls who move up from the junior school.

If you would like to register your daughter for Year 7 at JAGS, you will need to complete the registration form by 31st October 2022 on the school website. The fee is £125 per child for UK based applicants (or £200 for overseas applicants). This fee can be waived for applicants who are in receipt of Pupil Premium or Universal Credit.

All 11 plus candidates are assessed at a welcome morning, which takes place during one of ten dates in the autumn term of 2022. These consist of a one-on-one interview with a senior member of staff, a creative writing task and an interactive group task.

All candidates also take the ISEB Common Pre-test, which comprises online multiple-choice tests in English, maths, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning. Girls may sit this test at their current school between early November and Tuesday 11th January 2023 (date dependent on your child’s primary/prep school). Any candidates who cannot sit the ISEB at their current school are invited to take it at James Allen’s Girls’ School on Thursday 5th January 2023.

Scholarships carry an additional assessment process – invitation to a scholarship assessment is dependent on the candidate’s performance in the entrance exam and on their talent in their chosen discipline, as detailed in their application.

  • Academic Scholarships: candidates who are deemed eligible on the basis of their performance in the entrance exam will be invited to an additional assessment day on Wednesday 25th January 2023

  • Art Scholarships: candidates who have been successful in the entrance exam and who have been selected from the preliminary round on the basis of a digital sketchbook will be invited to a final assessment on Saturday 28th January 2023

  • Music Scholarships: a shortlist is made from the application process. Shortlisted candidates are then invited to an audition and interview on Wednesday 1st February 2023

  • Sport Scholarships: candidates will be invited to a first round on Tuesday 24th January 2023 – successful candidates will then be invited to a second round on Tuesday 31st January 2023. Girls will be assessed on a strong all-round ability across a range of sports, physical skills and tactical awareness and either exceptional talent in one specific sport, or a raw potential across a range of sports.

Letters are sent to parents with the outcome of the admissions process on Thursday 9th February 2023. Offers must be accepted by Monday 6th March 2023.

James Allen’s Girls’ School entrance exam format

Applicants for Year 7 at JAGS take the ISEB Common Pre-test. This is an online test that is completely adaptive, meaning the questions become easier or more challenging depending on how your child is performing. Candidates take four papers:

  • English: tests comprehension and spelling, punctuation and grammar

  • Maths: tests children on the Key Stage 2 national curriculum taught up to the end of Year 5. The topics are number, measurement, data, algebra and geometry.

  • Verbal reasoning: tests logic and problem-solving

  • Non-verbal reasoning: tests your child’s ability to understand and analyse visual information

Each child will be given a Standardised Age Score (SAS), which is calculated based on the number of correct and incorrect answers, the level of difficulty in each question and their date of birth in years and months (to prevent younger children from being disadvantaged). The scores will be sent directly to the school you’re applying for.

As a guide, competitive selective schools like James Allen’s Girls’ School will generally require candidates to reach an ISEB Common Pre-test score of 120 or more.

ISEB Common Pre-test: find out everything you need to know

How to help your child prepare for the selection process at James Allen’s Girls’ School

To prepare for the entrance exams at James Allen’s Girls’ School, we suggest starting preparation early – ideally at the end of Year 4 or beginning of Year 5. Break down the different sections of each test into smaller, manageable parts – encourage your child to get familiar with the different exercises, celebrate their progress and work with them to improve any areas they find more challenging.

As James Allen’s Girls’ School exam will include Key Stage 2 National Curriculum content in English and maths, make sure that your child is familiar with everything they have covered in these subject areas at school up until the end of Year 5.

Regular reading time alongside revision will help your child boost their vocabulary and concentration. As the exam day gets closer, we suggest that your child completes online mock tests to help them practice time management. Atom Learning has adaptive mock tests available for the ISEB Common Pre-test:

ISEB mock test on Atom Nucleus

Atom Learning can help

We have over 90,000 teacher-written practice questions, video tutorials, help sheets, live exam preparation courses and unlimited mock tests that mirror the format of the ISEB Common Pre-test. It’s our mission to help your child feel prepared and confident on exam day.

Begin your free 5-day free trial of Nucleus today to unlock success in the classroom, entrance exams and more.

5 day free trial for 11 plus

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 James Allen’s Girls’ School or the ISEB Common Pre-test:

Book a call

If you’re looking for exclusive tips and resources to help your child master key subjects, excel in exams and build academic confidence, join Atom’s email list:

Get expert tips and resources direct to your inbox for Key Stage 2 education and entrance exam prep



Follow Atom Learning

Atom Learning Ltd. is registered and incorporated in England and Wales. Company Registration Number: 10867907 VAT number: 316903508 Copyright Atom Learning Ltd. All rights reserved.