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Old Palace of John Whitgift School: parents' guide to Year 7 entry

School guide

Jan 31, 2023, 2:02 PM

Old Palace of John Whitgift School: a parents' guide to Year 7 entry


Old Palace of John Whitgift School, colloquially referred to as Old Palace, is an independent school for girls aged 3–18 in Croydon, South London. Old Palace incorporates a pre-school, prep school, senior school and sixth form.

The school aims for its students to leave as confident, capable and connected individuals – which they refer to as the 3Cs. Old Palace believes that by delivering an all-girls’ education, students will develop a ‘can-do’ philosophy, will avoid unspoken prejudice about subject choices and will learn the values of genuine equality.

Girls enjoy small class sizes (20 students per class) at Old Palace of John Whitgift School and leave with exceptional exam results. In 2021, 70% of grades were 8 or above at GCSE (equivalent to A*) and 81% of A level results were graded A*–A. Five students successfully gained entry to medicine/dentistry courses at university, with four students gaining places at Oxbridge.

Key information for Old Palace of John Whitgift School

  • Headteacher: Mrs Jane Burton

  • Address: Old Palace of John Whitgift School, Old Palace Road, Croydon, Surrey, CR0 1AX

  • London Borough: Croydon

  • Admissions contact: Mrs Parris and Mrs Grant – [email protected], 020 8688 3863

  • Age range and gender: 3–18 (girls only)

  • Number of pupils: 640

  • Number of places in Year 7: undisclosed

  • Ratio of applicants to places: undisclosed

  • Open day date: Thursday 30th June and Saturday 1st October 2022 – book online

  • Overview of selection procedure for Year 7 entry: Interview, reference and entrance test

  • Registration deadline: Friday 26th November 2021

  • Assessment date for Year 7 entry: Wednesday 4th January 2023

  • Scholarship assessment date: TBC

Old Palace of John Whitgift School fees and financial assistance

For the academic year 2022-23, the annual tuition fees at Old Palace of John Whitgift School are £17,500 for girls in Years 7–13.

Old Palace provides a limited number of bursaries to girls who meet the John Whitgift Foundation bursary criteria and who pass the entrance exam. This may cover up to the entire school fee, dependent on income – usually, pupils whose family income is less than £80,000 a year may be eligible for a bursary. If you think your child may qualify for a bursary, you will need to register your interest on the school website.

Old Palace also offers a large number of scholarships, which are offered to candidates who show outstanding merit and potential (regardless of household income):

  • The Emily Ayckbowm Scholarship and the John Whitgift Scholarship (high-ranking academic scholarships): 50% of the school fees

  • Academic Scholarship: 50% of the school fees

  • Mathematics Award: 18.5% of the school fees

  • English Award: 18.5% of the school fees

  • Reasoning Award: 18.5% of the school fees

  • Head’s Award: 12.5% of the school fees

  • Music Scholarship: 25% of the school fees. A separate application and assessment process is required

  • Music Award: free tuition on one instrument. A separate application and assessment process is required

Old Palace of John Whitgift School term dates

The 2022-23 term dates for Old Palace of John Whitgift School are:

  • Autumn term: 7th September –13th December 2022

  • Half term: 17th – 28th October 2022

  • Spring term: 5th January – 31st March 2023

  • Half term: 13th – 17th February 2023

  • Summer term: 19th April – 6th July 2023

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

Admissions process for Old Palace of John Whitgift School

If you are interested in Old Palace of John Whitgift School for your daughter, you will need to complete the registration form before Friday 26th November 2021. There is a non-refundable registration fee of £100 per child. If you would like your daughter to apply for a Music Scholarship, you will also need to indicate this on the registration form and submit a separate Music Scholarship application by the same date.

All candidates will have a 25-minute interview with a senior member of staff in the second half of the autumn term. Girls will be asked about a piece of work they are particularly proud of and will be invited to talk about it. All girls will then sit the entrance test at Old Palace on Wednesday 4th January 2023. All girls sitting this test will automatically be considered for all of the scholarships and awards available, except for the Music Scholarship and Award – this carries an additional process:

  • Music Scholarships and Award: audition (January 2023) which includes a performance on one or two instruments, a sight-reading test, an aural test and a general interview

Letters with the candidate’s outcome are posted to parents at the start of February. The deadline for acceptance will be in early March.

Old Palace of John Whitgift School entrance exam format

Old Palace of John Whitgift School uses its own entrance exam for Year 7. This includes an online reasoning test and a one-hour paper in both English and maths. The school sends samples of their English and maths papers, as well as a link to a reasoning familiarisation test, to applicants in advance of the test so that they have an idea of what to expect.

The following competencies are assessed in Old Palace’s admissions process:

  • English (written test on 4th January 2023)

  • Maths (written test on 4th January 2023)

  • Reasoning (online test on 4th January 2023)

  • General knowledge (interview)

  • Academic strengths (interview)

  • Creativity (interview)

  • Wider interests (interview)

  • Communication skills (interview)

Take a look at our exam preparation guides to verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning.

How to help your child prepare for the selection process at Old Palace of John Whitgift School

As Old Palace of John Whitgift 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. Atom Nucleus, our online platform for home, covers the entire KS2 core curriculum in an interactive, engaging way:

Maths learning journey on Atom Nucleus

Regular reading time alongside revision will help your child boost her vocabulary and concentration. As the exam day gets closer, we suggest that your daughter completes online mock tests to help practice time management. Atom Learning has 11 plus practice papers available in English, maths and reasoning:

A typical 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 many 11 plus papers. 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 Old Palace of John Whitgift School:

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