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Palmers Green High School: a parents’ guide to Year 7 entry

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Palmers Green High School: A Parents' Guide to Year 7 Entry

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Palmers Green High School is an independent girls’ day school in North London. One of Enfield’s top-performing independent schools, it has been ranked first place by the Sunday Times’ Parent Power League Table for Small Independent Schools several years running. The school educates 320 girls aged 3–16 across its nursery, preparatory, junior and senior divisions.

Specialist teaching combined with small classes – an average of only ten pupils per class at GCSE – are instrumental in enriching the girls’ experience. GCSE results are excellent, with 93% achieving grades 7–9 (A–A*) in 2021. There is no sixth form, and former pupils go on to attend sixth form at other local independent schools and then commonly on to Oxbridge and Russell Group universities.

Founded in 1905 by Alice Hum, who belonged to the Society of Friends, Palmers Green High School’s ethos is based on Quaker values, with the motto ‘By Love Serve One Another’. The school is committed to working together to create a safe, supportive environment for children of all backgrounds, cultures and faiths to thrive through mutual respect and understanding. Fostering the development of well-rounded individual students, girls at PGHS can choose from over 80 extra-curricular clubs per week.

Key information for Palmers Green High School

  • Headteacher: Wendy Kempster

  • Address: 104 Hoppers Road, London N21 3LJ

  • London Borough: Enfield

  • Admissions contact: [email protected]

  • Age range and gender: 3–16, girls

  • Number of pupils: 320 (approx.)

  • Number of places in Year 7: Undisclosed

  • Ratio of applicants to places: Undisclosed

  • Open day dates: Open mornings: Wednesday 28th September and Tuesday 11th October 2022 – register here. Taster day: Friday 7th October 2022 – register here

  • Overview of selection procedure for Year 7 entry in 2023: ISEB assessment, interview, reference

  • Registration opens: Summer 2022 – apply online

  • Registration closes: Monday 31st October 2022.

  • Assessment date for Year 7 entry in 2023: Saturday 12th November 2022

  • Interview date for Year 7 entry in 2023: TBC

Palmers Green High School fees and financial assistance

The current fees for Palmers Green High School are £5,700 per term, £17,100 per annum. This includes educational materials.

When accepting a place at the school a deposit of £1,000 is payable, which is retained until the child leaves the school.

What’s not included in the school fees

The fees do not include textbooks and workbooks which are issued for personal use, educational visits, and optional extra-curricular activities. For example, musical instrument and voice lessons are £220 per term.

Palmers Green High School bursaries

Palmers Green High School offers a limited number of bursaries to give assistance towards admission fees in the senior school. To apply for a bursary, you must first register your daughter for a school place, then request a bursary form from the school. You must return your completed bursary form before your daughter sits the entrance exam on Saturday 12th November.

Bursaries are means tested and the school requires both parents to provide proof of their income and assets. The level of support varies according to parental need and the funds available. Before a bursary offer is confirmed, a member of staff may visit the family at their home.

The school reviews bursaries annually and reserves the right to require parents to provide evidence of financial circumstances each year. Being awarded a bursary for the full five years of the senior school depends on continuing merit and satisfactory behaviour judged by the headteacher.

Palmers Green High School scholarships and awards

Academic scholarships and subject awards may be awarded to children who perform well in the entrance exam in maths or English. All pupils sitting the entrance exam will be automatically considered for these scholarships.

In addition, you can apply for art, drama, music or sports scholarships. The deadline for applying for these scholarships is Tuesday 1st November 2022. Interviews and auditions for these scholarships are held in November and December 2022. Details and application forms are available on the school website here.

All scholarships are awarded at a rate of no more than 5% of school fees. They are held for the entirety of your child’s attendance at the school, depending on performance and participation. Your child can be awarded both a bursary and a scholarship at the same time.

Palmers Green High School term dates

The term dates at Palmers Green High School for 2022–23 are:

  • Autumn term: 8th September – 14th December 2022

  • Half term: 20th – 28th October 2022

  • Spring term: 4th January – 31st March 2023

  • Half term: 13th–17th February 2023

  • Summer term: 24th April – 13th July 2023

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

Admissions process for Year 7 entry to Palmers Green High School

1. Visit the school

Register to attend an open morning on Wednesday 28th September or Tuesday 11th October 2022. Led by a senior school pupil, this allows you and your child to see the school facilities and meet the teachers.

Your child can also attend a taster day on Friday 7th October 2022 (register here). This is an opportunity for your child to get to know the school environment by spending a day at the school taking part in different lessons within the school’s specialist departments.

2. Register for the entrance exam

You must now register directly with ISEB for your child to take the entrance exam used by Palmers Green High School. Registration opens in September 2022. You can find more information and sign up for email reminders here.

3. Apply to the school

To register your child for Year 7 entry to Palmers Green High School in 2023, you’ll need to complete the application form before the deadline of Monday 31st October 2022 (while your child is in Year 6). A non-refundable fee of £75 (or £125 for international students) is payable with your registration.

The school will also request a confidential reference from your child’s current school.

If you wish to apply for an art, drama, music or sports scholarship, this application form must be submitted by Tuesday 1st November. If you would like to apply for a bursary, this is also the time to request and submit your bursary application form.

4. Sit the exam

Your child will be invited to sit the ISEB entrance exam on Saturday 12th November 2022. The exam covers English, maths, verbal and non-verbal reasoning, and creative writing. Learn more about how to prepare below.

If your child has applied for an art, drama, music or sports scholarship, their scholarship interview or audition will also take place around this time (November–December).

5. Interviews

If your daughter performs well in the entrance exam, she will be invited back to the school for an interview. The school has not released interview dates or details yet.

6. Offer decision

Based on your daughter’s reference, exam results and interview, the school will make a decision on whether to offer her a place and communicate the outcome with you.

Palmers Green High School admissions criteria includes the following points:

  • Sibling policy: Female siblings of existing pupils are usually invited to join the school. However admission is not automatic and there may be occasions where it is decided that a sibling is likely to thrive better in a different academic environment.

  • Religious beliefs: The school welcomes applications from pupils of all faiths and no faiths, and does not give precedence to families belonging to the Society of Friends.

  • SEND: Applications from pupils with special educational needs and disabilities are welcomed. Parents are invited to discuss their child’s requirements with the school. Suitable adjustments and arrangements will be discussed with parents and the pupil’s professional advisers and previous school where relevant.

  • Overseas applicants: Applications from families who are relocating to London are welcomed, provided the child has permission to reside in the UK or holds a UK, EEA or Swiss passport. The school does not have boarding facilities.

  • English fluency: Pupils must be proficient English speakers to cope with the academic and social demands of the school. The school can advise parents in English as an Additional Language tuition, but this will be arranged at the parent’s own expense and usually offsite and outside school hours.

Palmers Green High School entrance exam

Palmers Green High School uses the ISEB (Independent Schools Examination Board) Common Pre-Test for their entrance exam.

As well as the ISEB Common Pre-Test, pupils will sit a traditional written paper in creative writing.

What is assessed?

  • English (reading comprehension)

  • Maths

  • Verbal reasoning

  • Non-verbal reasoning

  • Creative writing

The ISEB is a multiple choice test, sat entirely online on a computer, and takes about two and a half hours in total. It is an adaptive exam, meaning the questions get harder depending on how your child is performing.

The English and maths sections are based on the Key Stage 2 national curriculum taught up to the end of Year 5. They assess your child's ability to recall what they have been taught and apply this knowledge to solve problems.

Verbal and non-verbal reasoning are designed to test your child’s academic potential through question types that they are not familiar with. They focus on the ability to acquire new information and apply it to new situations.

The creative writing paper is set by Palmers Green High School itself and is unique to the school.

How to prepare for the ISEB Common Pre-Test

Find your full guide to preparing for the ISEB here, including:

  • Exactly which topics are covered in each section

  • The specific exam techniques your child will need to employ

  • Example questions and resources for each subject

How to prepare for the creative writing exam

Take a look at our free resources for preparing for creative writing exams:

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Get in touch

Our Education Experts are on hand to answer any questions you may have about the ISEB or admissions to Palmers Green High School. You can speak with us by tapping the LiveChat icon in the bottom right of your screen, email us, or give us a call on 020 3973 9226.

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