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St Catherine’s, Bramley: parents’ guide to Year 7 entry

School guide

Jan 31, 2023, 2:11 PM

St Catherine's, Bramley: a parents' guide to Year 7 entry


St Catherine’s School – known locally as St Cat’s – is an independent day and boarding school for girls aged 11–18 in Bramley, Surrey. It was founded as a girls’ school in 1885 by a group of local country gentry, including the Rt. Hon George Cubitt (later Lord Ashcombe) – a direct ancestor of Her Majesty The Queen Consort, who became Patron of St Catherine’s in 2015.

The school aims to develop sensible, caring and competent young women through an all-round education suited to life in the 21st century. Girls study a wide range of subjects from Year 7, including home economics, textiles, life matters (PSHE), ICT and computing, and grey matters – a bespoke short course which helps pupils become independent thinkers and learners. The options increase as pupils progress through the school, up to a total of 27 subjects to choose from at A level. While St Catherine’s places emphasis on all-round education, rather than just academic results, exam results are still exceptionally high; in 2022, 95% of A level grades were A*–B and 90% of GCSE grades were 9–7 (equivalent to A*/A).

Extra-curricular activities are of vital importance at St Catherine’s, with a wide selection of activities, clubs and societies available to give girls the chance to try out new things and hone existing skills. Typical enrichment activities include lacrosse, chess, coding club, debating and public speaking, to name a few. An on-site dance school runs classes after school in a wide variety of genres, including ballet, musical theatre, choreography and jazz. Meanwhile, girls in Year 9 have the opportunity to take part in an Australian Exchange, spending the spring term at St Catherine’s School in Melbourne and hosting an Australian pupil in the UK during the summer term.

Directory of private schools in Surrey

Key information for St Catherine's, Bramley

  • Head: Mrs Alice Phillips

  • Address: St Catherine's, Station Road, Bramley, Guildford, Surrey, GU5 0DF

  • County: Surrey

  • Admissions contact: Mrs Clare Woodgates – [email protected], 01483 899609

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

  • Number of pupils: 627

  • Open day date: Tuesday 7th February, Thursday 16th March, Wednesday 10th May and Friday 23rd June 2023. Book a place via the school website

  • Overview of selection procedure: entrance exam

  • Registration closes: October in Year 6

  • Assessment date: November in Year 6

St Catherine's, Bramley fees and financial assistance

The fees at St Catherine’s, Bramley from January 2023 are:

  • Senior school day fees: £6,975 per term (including lunch)

  • Senior school boarding and tuition fees: £11,660 per term

  • Senior school occasional boarding fees: £68 per night (1-4 nights), £425 total for 5–7 nights

St Catherine’s is able to offer means-tested financial assistance, known as bursary awards, to children who meet the school’s entrance requirements, but whose families would otherwise be able to afford the full fees. Help can be provided up to 100% of the fees, in addition to support with essential extras including uniform, iPads, trips, music tuition, and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. More information about bursaries can be found on the school website.

The following scholarships are available for 11 plus applicants to St Catherine’s Bramley:

  • Academic scholarships: 10–20% reduction on school fees

  • Music scholarships: 10––20% on school fees, plus tuition on one instrument

St Catherine's, Bramley term dates

The term dates at St Catherine's, Bramley for 2022–23 are:

  • Autumn term: 8th September – 15th December 2022

  • Half term: 22nd–30th October 2022

  • Spring term: 11th January – 30th March 2023

  • Half term: 11th–19th February 2023

  • Summer term: 26th April – 13th July 2023

  • Half term: 27th May – 4th June 2023

The confirmed term dates at St Catherine's, Bramley for 2023–24 are:

  • Autumn term: 7th September – 14th December 2023

  • Half term: 21st–29th October 2023

  • Spring term: 10th January – 28th March 2024

  • Half term: 10th–18th February 2024

  • Summer term: 24th April – 11th July 2024

  • Half term: 25th May – 2nd June 2024

Admissions process for Year 7 entry to St Catherine's, Bramley

Entry to St Catherine’s, Bramley in 2023 is now closed. The next available admissions cycle is for Year 7 entry in 2024.

St Catherine’s holds an 11 plus taster morning each year in the autumn term to give children a chance to see whether it’s the right school for them. This includes four mini-lessons and the opportunity to chat with current pupils. Girls who are considering boarding will be invited to an online session with the boarding housemistress to find out more about boarding life at St Catherine’s.

Once you have decided to register your daughter for a place, you will need to complete the registration form and return this to the admissions office, complete with a non-refundable registration fee of £150 (UK applicants), before the deadline in October 2023.

All girls who have been registered with the school before the deadline will be invited to the 11 plus entrance exam, which takes place at the school in November of Year 6. Four children will automatically be awarded academic scholarships based on the results of the entrance exam. If your daughter is applying for a music scholarship, you will need to submit the music scholarship application before the published deadline in October. Auditions will take place in November, shortly after the entrance exam.

Offer letters are sent out to families by the end of December in Year 6. If your daughter is successful in securing a place at St Catherine’s, you will have until the first Monday in March to accept.

The 11 plus exam at St Catherine's, Bramley

The 11 plus entrance exam at St Catherine’s consists of four tests. All of these are based on the Key Stage 2 national curriculum:

  • English: your daughter may have tasks in reading comprehension and/or creative writing. She will be assessed on SPaG (spelling, punctuation and grammar).

  • Maths: the key concepts in Key Stage 2 maths are number, measurement, geometry and statistics. Find out more in our guide to 11 plus maths.

  • Science: candidates will see a range of questions covering Key Stage 2 biology, chemistry and physics. Topics include living things and their habitats, animals and humans, properties and changes of materials, earth and space, and forces.

  • Non-verbal reasoning: your daughter will be assessed on her ability to analyse visual information and solve problems using shapes, diagrams and pictures. Typical questions in 11 plus non-verbal reasoning tests test the child’s ability to interpret and manipulate 2D and 3D shapes. This subject is not taught on the Key Stage 2 national curriculum.

How to prepare for entry to St Catherine's, Bramley

Build foundational knowledge

The 11 plus exam at St Catherine’s, Bramley assesses children’s knowledge across the entire Key Stage 2 curriculum, with tests in English, maths and science. Your daughter will also be assessed in non-verbal reasoning, which is not taught at school.

Your child can consolidate everything they need to know with Atom Nucleus. They'll have access to over 90,000 interactive teacher-created questions and learning resources spanning the Key Stage 2 core subjects in addition to verbal and non-verbal reasoning, helping them build the subject mastery they need for success in the exam.

Science 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 that replicate 11 plus 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.

Non-verbal reasoning 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.

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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 St Catherine's, Bramley:

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