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Oxford High School 11 plus guide

By Atom | Aug 21, 2023, 2:37 PM

Oxford High School (Oxfordshire)

Are you considering Oxford High School for your daughter? We've collated everything you need to know about entry to Year 7. Find out about key dates, what's covered on the entrance exam, and how to help your child prepare.

About Oxford High School

Oxford High School (OHS) is a private day school in the city of Oxford for girls aged 4 to 18. It was founded by the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST) in 1875 under headmistress Ada Benson – a pioneer in women’s education. The school has a history of producing notable alumnae, including Dame Maggie Smith, Miriam Margoyles, Dame Cressida Dick, and Dame Josephine Barnes.

Oxford High School provides a world-class education. Students are empowered to develop a love of learning and agile critical-thinking skills. The curriculum includes lessons in computer science, philosophy and ethics, textiles, and six modern languages. Each year, around 20% of university applicants receive offers from Oxford and Cambridge.

Excellent pastoral care is one of the cornerstones of life at Oxford High School. Holistic strategies include a comprehensive PSCHE programme and The Positive Programme. This initiative engages students and staff in conversations about emotional literacy. Students also learn strategies to track their emotions and learn about topics such as exam stress and mindfulness.

  • Headteacher: Mrs Marina Gardiner Legge

  • Address: Belbroughton Road, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX2 6XA

  • County: Oxfordshire

  • Age range and gender: 4–18, girls only

  • Number of pupils: 850+

  • National league table rank (Sunday Times Parent Power): 44

  • A level results: 94.4% A*–B

  • GCSE results: 88.1% 9–7

Key info for Year 7 admissions

  • Admissions contact: [email protected], 01865 478678

  • Open day: Monday 16th January and Friday 3rd February 2023. Register online to attend

  • Overview of selection procedure: online assessments, interview and school reference

  • Registration closes: October in Year 6

  • Assessment date: November in Year 6

Oxford High School fees and financial assistance

The current fees at Oxford High School are £5,852 for children in Year 7 and above. Fees include the cost of textbooks and non-residential, curriculum-based trips during term time. Lunch costs an additional £315 per term and is mandatory for pupils in Years 7 to 11.

Financial assistance

Oxford High School is able to offer GDST bursaries (means-tested financial assistance, assessed by the Fees Office of the Girls’ Day School Trust) to pupils applying for entry in Year 7. Bursaries range from 30% to 100% of school fees. Most higher-value bursaries are awarded to pupils from families with a total income of less than £37,500 per year, who have no capital assets other than their home. Families with an annual income of more than £87,500 are unlikely to receive financial assistance.


Girls applying for entry to Year 7 at Oxford High School can also apply for a scholarship. Scholarships are not means-tested, but awarded based on talent in a particular area. Academic, art (and textiles), drama, music, and sport scholarships are worth 5% of fees each year. Exhibitions are worth £300 per year.

Oxford High School offers a 20% fee reduction for the third or any subsequent daughter who is studying at the same school at the same time.

Oxford High School term dates

The term dates at Oxford High School for 2023–24 are:

  • Autumn term: 7th September – 15th December 2023

  • Half term: 19th–27th October 2023

  • Spring term: 8th January – 22nd March 2024

  • Half term: 12th–16th February 2024

  • Summer term: 15th April – 12th July 2024

  • Half term: 27th–31st May 2024

Oxford High School 11+ admissions process

Oxford High School welcomes between 45 and 50 new pupils into Year 7 each year. New pupils join existing pupils moving up from the prep school.

1. Visit the school

If you are considering Oxford High School for your daughter’s secondary education, it’s a good idea to visit first to find out if the school is a good fit for your child. OHS holds several open events each year, providing you with the opportunity to meet with the head, senior staff and current pupils. Upcoming open events include Monday 16th January and Friday 3rd February 2023, with more events due to be released throughout the spring and summer terms.

Register for an open event on the Oxford High School website.

2. Register for the 11 plus

The formal admissions process for Oxford High School begins when you register your daughter. Early registration is recommended, and all applications for entry to Year 7 need to be submitted by October in Year 6. The registration deadline for entry in 2024 is Sunday 22nd October 2023.

To register your daughter, you will need to complete the online application form and pay a non-refundable registration fee of £100 (or £150 for overseas applicants). If you receive income support, you can contact the admissions office to provide proof and ask for this fee to be waived.

If you would like to apply for a bursary to receive financial assistance with school fees, you will need to tick the box on the registration form or let the admissions team know in writing. You will then be contacted once the GDST’s online bursary application portal opens in October in the year before entry.

3. Oxford High School 11 plus exam

All children who are registered before the deadline will be invited to the Oxford High School admissions day. This takes place on Friday 10th November 2023 for children applying for 2024 entry.

The admissions day consists of computer-based assessments provided by Atom. The test includes two sections:

  • Part 1: English, maths, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning

  • Part 2: Creative comprehension and puzzles & problem-solving

You’ll receive an FAQ sheet before the admissions day, which includes a small familiarisation exercise to help your daughter understand how the assessment will be laid out.

Assessments produced by Atom aim to improve typical entrance exams in English, maths and reasoning by providing an accessible, challenging, and enjoyable experience. Questions are adaptive, meaning they become more difficult or less difficult depending on how your child is performing. This ensures children see questions at the right difficulty level for them, so they are stretched but not to the point where it becomes demotivating.

In addition to the Atom Assessment, your daughter will also have a 30-minute handwritten English task to complete.

4. Interviews

Every child who sits the entrance exam will have an interview with the headteacher, or another member of the senior leadership team. The interview is used to identify whether your child will thrive at Oxford High School, both within and beyond the classroom.

Every school interview is different. However, most schools will take a similar approach to their questioning – you can find out more information in our guide to private school interviews.

5. Offers

Oxford High School will make its offers on the basis of each child’s performance in the entrance exam and interview, and the information provided in the reference from their current school. For entry in 2024, you’ll receive the result of your daughter’s application on Friday 8th December 2023. Bursary awards, academic and head’s scholarship/exhibition awards will also be communicated at the same time.

If your daughter has been offered a place at Oxford High School, you will have until Friday 1st March 2024 to accept. A deposit of £1,000 is payable on the acceptance of a place.

Top tips to prepare for entry to Oxford High School

Oxford High School assesses a variety of subjects for 11 plus entry, including content which is not traditionally taught on the national curriculum. Here are our top tips to help your daughter prepare for the process and feel confident on exam day.

It can be tempting to jump straight into practice papers to prepare for school exams. However, this is not an effective way to learn and can cause children to feel demotivated.

Your child should have a good understanding of the content they’ve been taught in Year 5 before testing their knowledge with practice papers. Using a ‘little and often’ approach when recapping content is key, as our brains encode new information more effectively when dealing with smaller ‘chunks’ of information. Experts recommend study sessions should last no longer than 30 minutes for children aged 10–11.

Exam support & free resources

Looking for more information? Visit the Atom blog to find out more about entrance exams, learn how to develop key skills, and download helpful resources.

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