By Atom | Jul 5, 2023, 9:43 AM
Are you considering St Catherine's School for your child? We've collated everything you need to know about 11 plus entry. Learn about how to apply, key dates, what's on the entrance exam, and how to help your child prepare.
St Catherine’s School – known locally as St Cat’s – is a private day and boarding school for girls aged 11–18 in Bramley, Surrey. Girls live and learn on a 25-acre campus in the countryside of the Surrey Hills, just 3 miles from Guildford.
The school aims to develop sensible, caring and competent young women through an all-round 21st century education. In addition to traditional subjects, girls study a bespoke short course called 'grey matters' to help them become independent thinkers and learners. While focus is not entirely on academic success, girls' exam results are still outstanding and place the school 12th out of all private girls' schools in the UK.
Students have lots of extracurricular opportunities at St Cat's. Typical enrichment activities include lacrosse, chess, coding club, debating, and public speaking. There's an on-site dance school with lessons in 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.
Head: Mrs Alice Phillips
School type: private day and boarding
Address: St Catherine's, Station Road, Bramley, Guildford, Surrey, GU5 0DF
Age range and gender: 11–18, girls only
Number of pupils: 600+
National league table rank (Sunday Times Parent Power): 39
A level results: 94.5% A*–B
GCSE results: 90.4% 9–7
The current fees at St Cat's are £6,975 per term for day pupils and £11,660 per term for boarding pupils. Occasional boarding is available for £68 per night. Fees include the cost of lunches, whole year-group residential curricular trips, and the annual activities week.
St Catherine’s is able to offer means-tested financial assistance, known as bursaries, to children who meet the school’s entrance requirements, but whose families would not otherwise be able to afford the full fees.
Up to 100% of school fees can be covered in exceptional circumstances, plus 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.
Girls applying for 11 plus entry to St Catherine's can also apply for a scholarship. These awards are not means-tested but based on talent in a particular subject.
Academic scholarships: 10–20% reduction on school fees
Music scholarships: 10––20% on school fees, plus tuition on one instrument
The term dates at St Catherine's School in 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
Most girls join St Catherine's School in Year 7, at 11 plus entry. Both day and boarding places are available.
If you're considering St Catherine's School for your daughter, it's a good idea to attend an open event first. The school holds regular open events and these provide an opportunity to talk to staff and current pupils, see the school facilities (including boarding houses), and find out what activities your daughter could get involved in.
More information about upcoming open events is available on the school website.
If you have visited St Catherine's and decided it would be a good fit for your daughter, you'll need to complete the 11 plus registration form. A non-refundable registration fee of £150 applies (£200 for overseas applicants).
The deadline for submitting the form for entry in 2024 is Friday 13th October 2023. Early registration is encouraged as registered girls will be invited to an 11 plus taster day on Saturday 7th October 2023. This includes the opportunity to talk with current students and attend four mini lessons.
All registered girls will be invited to take the St Catherine's School 11 plus entrance exam on Tuesday 7th November 2023. There are four papers:
The English, maths, and science papers are based on Key Stage 2 national curriculum content. Verbal reasoning is not traditionally taught at school, so some of these questions might be unfamiliar to your child.
We've included some resources below to help you support your child's exam prep.
St Catherine's Bramley will let you know the outcome of your daughter's application by the end of December. If your daughter is offered a place and you would like to accept, you will have until Friday 1st March 2024 to return the acceptance form and pay the deposit.
St Catherine's is a popular girls' school in Surrey, so entry is naturally competitive. Here are our top tips to help your child prepare for the selection process.
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.
Wondering how to make sure your child effectively recaps all the exam content, stays on track with their progress, and gets help when they're stuck? Online learning is a particularly efficient, cost-effective (and fun) way to do this!
Atom Nucleus is the award-winning online learning platform, designed to support families with entry to the UK's leading schools.
We understand how important this next step is for them, and for you. Please don't hesitate to get in touch with any questions you may have about applying to St Catherine's School or other selective schools.