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Sir William Perkins’s School: parents’ guide to Year 7 entry

School guide

Jan 31, 2023, 2:13 PM

Sir William Perkins's School: a parents' guide to Year 7 entry


Sir William Perkins’s School (SWPS) is an independent day school for girls aged 11–18 in Chertsey, Surrey. The school’s vision is to build confidence, integrity and excellence in a caring, innovative and happy community, so that each student leaves equipped with a breadth of skills and sound values, ready to take on the world.

SWPS constantly reviews its curriculum to ensure that it offers the most stimulating educational experience possible. Beyond the traditional timetable, students are stretched and challenged through a series of after-school seminars, which introduce new ideas in philosophy, science, literature, and historical and political trends and theories. Academic achievement is consistently high at the school; in 2022, 87% of GCSE grades were 9–7 and over 91% of A levels were A*–B.

There’s plenty of choice in the co-curricular programme at SWHS. Students have access to over 150 co-curricular activities, including a range of sports (Year 7 get involved in netball, hockey, badminton, gymnastics, dance, athletics, cricket, and tennis), several musical groups and orchestras, the Duke of Edinburgh Award, drama productions and art and design. Students in the sixth form are encouraged to develop leadership skills by taking on roles of responsibility through committees, games and house captains and study buddies, before leaving for a range of higher education destinations including Oxbridge and Russell Group universities.

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Key information for Sir William Perkins's School

  • Head: Mr Chris Muller

  • Address: Sir William Perkins's School, Guildford Road, Chertsey, Surrey, KT16 9BN

  • County: Surrey

  • Admissions contact: Ms R Tocknell – [email protected], 01932 574 900

  • Age range and gender: 11–18, girls only

  • Number of pupils: 585

  • Open day date: Wednesday 15th March, Thursday 4th May and Saturday 1st July 2023. Book a place via the school website

  • Overview of selection procedure: entrance exam and school report

  • Registration closes: 1st October in Year 6

  • Assessment date: November in Year 6

Sir William Perkins's School fees and financial assistance

The current fees at SWPS are £6,246 per term. Lunch is an additional optional cost, ranging from £308 in the summer term to £330.40 in the autumn term.

SWPS is able to offer means-tested financial assistance, known as Perkins Foundation Bursaries, to eligible parents/guardians. These bursaries may be awarded in the form of a discount of up to 100% of the tuition fees, depending on the financial and compassionate needs of the family. For more information, see the bursary policy on the school website.

Children applying for Year 7 entry to SWPS may also apply for scholarships, which are not means-tested. The available scholarships are:

  • Academic scholarships: up to 50% reduction in tuition fees

  • Art & design scholarships: up to 25% reduction

  • Drama: up to 25% reduction

  • Music: up to 25% reduction

  • Sport: up to 25 reduction

Sir William Perkins's School term dates

The term dates at Sir William Perkins's School for 2022–23 are:

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

  • Half term: 17th–28th October 2022

  • Spring term: 3rd January – 31st March 2023

  • Half term: 10th–17th February 2023

  • Summer term: 18th April – 12th July 2023

  • Half term: 30th May – 2nd June 2023

The term dates at Sir William Perkins's School for 2023–24 are:

  • Autumn term: 6th September – 15th December 2023

  • Half term: 16th–27th October 2023

  • Spring term: 9th January – 28th March 2024

  • Half term: 12th–16th February 2024

  • Summer term: 16th April – 12th July 2024

  • Half term: 27th–31st May 2024

Admissions process for Year 7 entry to Sir William Perkins's School

The admissions process for Year 7 entry to Sir William Perkins's School in 2023 is now closed. The next admissions cycle for Year 7 entry to Sir William Perkins's School is for 2024.

If you are considering SWPS for your daughter’s secondary education, you are invited to visit the school through an open event, school production, Year 4 workshop or Year 6 taster day. Refer to the school website for the most up-to-date information.

Once you have decided to continue with your daughter’s application to the school, you will need to complete the online registration form and pay the registration fee of £100. This needs to be submitted by 1st October when your daughter is in Year 6. Once the admissions team have received your application and registration fee, you will be sent advance invitations to relevant events and a full exam information pack.

All candidates will then sit the school entrance exam on a Saturday in November when your child is in Year 6 (see more details about this below). The heads of departments will mark the exam papers by the following Friday, after which the head will be in a position to offer places and academic scholarship interviews.

SWPS aims to post all offer letters within one week after the exam. If your daughter has been offered a place at the school, you will have until March to formally accept. There will be opportunities to revisit the school to help guide your decision.

If your daughter has been successful in securing a place at the school and has applied for a co-curricular scholarship, they will be invited to return to attend a scholarship assessment:

  • Art scholarships: candidates will be required to complete a simple drawing or painting in an assessment lasting just over one hour. They will also be asked to bring a portfolio of their artwork on the day of the assessment.

  • Music scholarships: eligible candidates should be performing at approximately a Grade 5 standard or above. The music department will review your daughter’s application, after which shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend an audition. They will perform two contrasting pieces, have sight-reading and aural tests, and a short interview.

  • Drama scholarships: applicants will be invited to attend an audition at the school. This will consist of a workshop with other candidates, lasting approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes, and a brief chat with a member of the drama department.

  • Sport scholarships: candidates will have their application reviewed by the director of sport, after which shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend a practical assessment at the school.

The 11 plus exam at Sir William Perkins's School

Children who are registered for entry to Year 7 at SWPS will take two tests. These are both internally set and marked:


The English exam takes one hour to complete and consists of two sections:

  • Reading: children will be given one or more short passages and they will be asked to answer questions which test their [reading comprehension] The passages may be fiction, non-fiction or poetry.

  • Writing: children will be asked to write on one topic, from a list of options including imaginative, descriptive and informative writing. This task will assess your child’s creative writing ability, including their ability to express ideas and use language in ways which are interesting, effective, and appropriate. Credit will also be given for accuracy in SPaG (spelling, punctuation and grammar).


The maths exam takes one hour to complete and consists of two sections. Calculators, protractors and compasses are not permitted in either section.

  • General skills: children will be tested in a range of number skills, basic geometry, simple graphs and data-handling tasks. The material covers the Key Stage 2 national curriculum for maths.

  • Problem solving: children will be tested on their ability to solve worded mathematical problems. They will have plenty of space to demonstrate clear solutions to the questions.

How to prepare for entry to Sir William Perkins's School

Build foundational knowledge

If your child is applying for Year 7 entry to Sir William Perkins's School, they will be assessed on their knowledge of the Key Stage 2 national curriculum for English and maths. Atom Nucleus is the perfect resource for your child to consolidate everything they need to know for the exam – they'll have access to over 90,000 interactive teacher-created questions and learning resources spanning Key Stage 2 English, maths, science and reasoning.

English learning journey on Atom Nucleus

Preparation is key

Familiarisation with the question formats and known styles ahead of the exam is essential to help your child build exam confidence.

An exam preparation subscription with Atom Nucleus enables your child to access quality, unlimited practice material with full score breakdowns to help your child feel confident by the time the exam day comes around.

Your child can take mock tests for 11 plus English and maths entrance exams as many times as they like without repeatedly seeing the same questions. Meanwhile, you’ll be able to see their results instantly, including their performance compared to peers and suggested areas for improvement.

11 plus maths mock test on Atom Nucleus

Access to immediate support

When working through challenging topics, your child will need immediate clarity with any misconceptions so that they feel truly secure in every topic. Atom Nucleus includes video tutorials, help sheets and examples with every question to help your child build confidence and competence across all the areas assessed.

A helpsheet available on Atom Nucleus

Engage with their progress

Celebrate your child’s improvement in areas of challenge together. An accurate and ongoing assessment of their areas of strength and development is helpful.

As an Atom subscriber, you’ll have a parent dashboard which offers data-driven insights into your child’s progress. You can use this effectively to help your child set targets, see a detailed breakdown of their progress by subtopic and set custom practices to target those they find most challenging.

Parent dashboard on Atom Nucleus

Get started with Atom Learning

It’s our mission to help your child feel prepared and confident before the exam day. Begin your free 5-day free trial of Nucleus today to help your child succeed.

5 day free trial

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 Sir William Perkins's School:

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