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St James Senior Boys' School 11 plus guide

By Atom | Jun 20, 2023, 4:29 PM

St James Senior Boys' School: a parents' guide to Year 7 entry

St James Senior Boys’ School is an independent day school for boys aged 11 to 18 located on a 32-acre site in Ashford, Surrey. The school is dedicated to helping its pupils become ‘renaissance men’ who leave the school equipped with the strength, courage and sensitivity to make things happen for the benefit of all.

Pupils at St James have a broad and intriguing curriculum from Year 7. In addition to traditional subjects, pupils study design technology, music, singing, drama, PE and the classical languages of Greek, Latin and Sanskrit (the school is a leader in teaching Sanskrit to school-age children). Moving into the sixth form provides even more academic choices, including a BTEC in Business Studies, all facilitated through small classes.

A personal mastery programme is a unique feature of life at St James. Pupils are given opportunities to choose the right behaviour and develop a healthy self-identity through enrichment programmes and residential trips. This includes an 11-week mindfulness course and visits to Oxfordshire and the Lake District for boys in Year 7, walking the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in Spain for boys in Year 9, and developing a resilient mindset and non-violent communication for boys in Year 10. The A level value-added score at the end of the last academic year was 0.34 – the highest for any single-sex boys’ independent school in the UK – which is proof of the beneficial effect St James has on developing pupils’ self-mastery from a young age.

Directory of private schools in Surrey

Key information for St James Senior Boys' School

  • Head: Mr David Brazier

  • Address: St James Senior Boys' School, Church Road, Ashford, Surrey TW15 3DZ

  • County: Surrey

  • Admissions contact: Sarah Harris – [email protected], 01784 266933

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

  • Number of pupils: 399

  • Open day date: school tours throughout the year and an annual open day in October. Find out more and book a place via the school website

  • Overview of admissions process: entrance exams and child and parent interviews

  • Registration closes: November in Year 6

  • Assessment date: January in Year 6

St James Senior Boys' School fees and financial assistance

The current fees at St James are £7,110 per term. Fees include the cost of lunch, pupil personal accident insurance, and the hire of most textbooks, exercise books and other equipment needed for lessons.

St James is also able to provide financial assistance, known as bursaries, to children who would not otherwise be able to afford the school fees. The Bursary Administration Limited (BAL) manages the means-testing process for bursary applicants, which includes assessing verification documents and conducting a home visit. The deadline for bursary applications is the last Friday of November in the year before entry.

The Governors of St James may offer scholarships for sport, drama and music. The headmaster’s scholarship is awarded to candidates who demonstrate an outstanding performance in the entrance exam and interview. Sport, music and drama scholarships can be applied for after the candidate has been offered a place, while candidates will be invited to apply for the headmaster’s scholarship following the entrance interviews.

St James Senior Boys' School term dates

The term dates at St James Senior Boys' School for 2022–23 are:

  • Autumn term: 6th September – 14th December 2022

  • Half term: 17th–28th October 2022

  • Spring term: 5th January – 29th March 2023

  • Half term: 13th–17th February 2023

  • Summer term: 20th April – 7th July 2023

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

The term dates at St James Senior Boys' School for 2023–24 are:

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

  • Half term: 16th–27th October 2023

  • Spring term: 8th January – 27th March 2024

  • Half term: 12th–16th February 2024

  • Summer term: 18th April – 5th July 2024

  • Half term: 27th–31st May 2024

Admissions process for Year 7 entry to St James Senior Boys' School

The admissions cycle for entry to St James Senior Boys' School in 2023 is now closed. The next available entry point is for Year 7 in 2024 – approximately 60 places will be available across three forms.

If you would like your son to be considered for a place in Year 7 at St James, you will need to send a completed registration form to the admissions office before the end of November (exact date in 2023 TBC). You will also need to provide a copy of your child’s recent school report, a copy of his passport, a £125 registration fee and any accompanying information regarding learning support needs or exam arrangements.

Children who have been registered by the deadline will be invited to attend the school’s entrance exams in early January (see more details about these below). All candidates and their parents will also be invited for an interview with a senior member of staff.

St James will make offers of places at the end of January. Priority will be given to children who have a sibling studying at St James Senior Boys’ School, or one of its partner schools, and to the children of alumni.

10 plus pre-test at St James Senior Boys’ School

If you are committed to sending your son to St James, you may be able to apply via the 10 plus pre-test. This option has been provided to relieve the stress of the 11 plus.

If your child is currently in Year 5, they can take the pre-test for entry to St James in Year 7 in 2024. The deadline for application is 30th March 2023 and the tests will be held on Thursday 4th May 2023. Children will sit age-appropriate exams in the same subjects and format as the main 11 plus tests.

Note that 10 plus candidates are not eligible to apply for a bursary or scholarship.

The 11 plus exam at St James Senior Boys' School

Children who are registered for Year 7 entry to St James will take three standardised tests in early January. All three exam papers are administered by GL Assessment:

  • English: the GL English paper consists of a reading comprehension task and questions which will assess your child’s spelling, punctuation and grammar.

  • Maths: GL Assessment 11 plus maths questions are aligned with the Key Stage 2 maths curriculum. They cover number, measurement, data, algebra and geometry.

  • Verbal reasoning: your child will be assessed on his ability to manipulate, connect, and spot patterns with verbal information. This subject is not taught at school, so it can be a good idea to familiarise your child with the different types of verbal reasoning questions at early on in his exam preparation.

How to prepare for entry to St James Senior Boys' School

Build foundational knowledge

The GL Assessment 11 plus exam will assess your child on their knowledge and understanding of Key Stage 2 English and maths, while their logic and problem-solving skills will additionally be assessed through verbal reasoning questions.

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 in every topic covered in the exam.

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 English, maths, and verbal reasoning 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.

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 James Senior Boys' School:

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