Are you considering St Paul’s Girls’ School for your daughter? We’ve collated everything you need to know about applying for a place in Year 7. Find out key dates, learn what’s covered on the entrance exam, and get tips and resources to help your child prepare.
St Paul’s Girls’ School is a private day school in Hammersmith, West London, for girls aged 11 to 18. It was founded in 1904 by John Colet as a sister school to St Paul’s School, which is boys-only.
St Paul’s Girls’ School is consistently ranked within the top schools in England and often tops the league tables based on students’ exam results. While academic results are important, the school has a liberal ideology (there’s no school uniform), and individual research, discussion and debate are encouraged. The education is classical yet forward-thinking, incorporating a ‘real world’ creative research programme and Friday lectures from eminent speakers.
Beyond the classroom, students have extensive co-curricular opportunities to discover new interests, build friendships, and broaden their horizons. There is a range of activities across STEM, music, drama and sport, in addition to outreach programmes, enrichment projects, and educational partnerships.
Address: St Paul’s Girls’ School, Brook Green, Hammersmith W6 7BS
School type: private day, girls aged 11–18
Headteacher: Sarah Fletcher
Number of pupils: 750+
Fees per term: £9,264
National rank (Sunday Times Parent Power): 1
A level results: 99.5% A*–B
GCSE results: 97.9% 9–7
Admissions contact: Ms Melinda Armitage, Director of Admissions – [email protected], 020 7605 4882
Registration deadline: Friday 10th November 2023
Assessment date: week commencing 20th November 2023 (stage 1) and Monday 8th January 2024 (stage 2)
Assessment type: online CEM Select test (stage 1) and written exams (stage 2)
Open days: summer and autumn terms. Register your interest
The fees at St Paul’s Girls’ School in 2022–2023 are £9,264 per term. This includes the cost of teaching, lunch, and personal accident insurance. The fees are reviewed by the school governors every year.
St Paul’s Girls’ School has a bursary scheme (means-tested financial assistance) to support talented students, regardless of their background. Bursaries are determined by the family’s financial situation and are each considered on a case-by-case basis.
Every child receiving a bursary will be given an allowance of £225 per year to cover the cost of textbooks and public exams (such as GCSEs). Children studying on a full bursary (100% assistance) will also receive support with initial starting-school costs, an extra subject (e.g. music or a PE activity), school trips, and travel to and from school.
The total gross household income threshold for a bursary is £140,000. Parents earning a combined total above this are unlikely to be considered for a bursary.
Find out more about bursaries at St Paul’s Girls’ School.
Children applying for 11 plus entry to St Paul’s Girls’ School may also apply for an 11 plus music scholarship. The value of this award is lessons in two instruments/voice and last for five years.
Girls should be playing at least Grade 5 Distinction on their first instrument (or Grade 4 distinction if it’s a less commonly played instrument) as a minimum to be considered for a place. Shortlisted candidates are invited to a musical audition in January in Year 6.
The term dates at St Paul’s Girls’ School for 2023–24 are:
Autumn term: Friday 1st September – Thursday 14th December 2023
Half term: Monday 16th – Friday 27th October 2023
Spring term: Wednesday 10th January – Friday 22nd March 2024
Half term: Monday 12th – Friday 16th February 2024
Summer term: Tuesday 16th April – Friday 5th July 2024
Half term: Monday 27th – Friday 31st May 2024
St Paul’s Girls’ School welcomes approximately 100 children into Year 7 every year from a range of primary and prep schools.
While children are welcomed from both the UK and overseas, students are required to live within a 50-minute commute of the school. This is to ensure that the journey is not unrealistically demanding for the child.
St Paul’s Girls’ School strongly encourages parents and daughters to visit the school in person before making an application.
Open events take place in the spring and autumn terms and include talks from senior staff and a tour led by current students.
If you would like your daughter to be considered for a place at St Paul’s Girls’ School, you will need to complete the online registration form. This must be submitted by 6pm on Friday 10th November 2023 for 11 plus entry in 2024.
You will need to submit a copy of your child’s birth certificate, passport, and a £250 registration fee with the form. The registration fee does not apply if you’re applying for a bursary place.
Your daughter will be invited to St Paul’s Girls’ School during the week commencing 20th November 2023 to take the CEM Select test.
This is an online cognitive ability test which takes one hour to complete. Children work through six sections which test verbal, mathematical, and non-verbal ability:
In mid-December, the school will let you know whether your daughter has been shortlisted for the next stage of the process, based on her performance in the CEM Select test. At the same time, the school will ask for a confidential report on your daughter from her current school.
Read our comprehensive guide to the CEM Select test and download practice questions to support your child’s exam prep.
Girls who have been shortlisted following the CEM Select test will be invited back to St Paul’s Girls’ School for written exams on Monday 8th January 2024.
There are three papers, each lasting 1 hour and 15 minutes:
Children will need to read a passage of text and answer questions to demonstrate their understanding and analysis of what they have read. Some of the questions may be extended creative writing tasks based on the passage.
Questions will assess your child’s ability to:
accurately extract information from the text
comment on the meaning and effect of individual words and phrases
show inference and sensitivity to linguistic effects
apply a wide vocabulary, where appropriate
The paper will be marked as a whole – marks are not awarded for individual questions. Your child will need to read the question carefully and use the space provided for the answer as a guide to how much she should write.
Girls who perform well in the written exams will be shortlisted for interview, which form the third and final stage of the admissions process.
Interviews will be held on Saturday 10th January and Sunday 28th January 2024. The interview will last around 20 minutes and will be held one-on-one with a member of St Paul’s Girls’ School staff.
Your daughter will be provided with stimulus material to generate an informal conversation. The interviewer will be looking for evidence of your child’s creativity, engagement, independent thought, and overall academic potential.
Learn more: how to ace the private school interview
Offers of places will be based on your daughter’s performance in the entrance exams and the interview, in addition to the reference from her current school. The school will send decisions to parents on Friday 9th February 2024.
If your daughter is offered a place at St Paul’s Girls’ School, you will have until early March 2024 to decide whether to accept. The acceptance form needs to be accompanied by a deposit – equivalent to 50% of one term’s fees – although this is reduced if your child is offered a bursary.
After accepting your daughter’s place, you and your child will be offered to various events in the summer term. This will include a new students’ tea in June, where your child will meet teachers and her classmates.
St Paul’s Girls’ School is highly selective and, as one of the top schools in the country, entry is very competitive. The admissions process is designed to identify potential, but it’s worth noting that if there is a tie-break between two or more children, preference might be given to a girl who has a particular talent or special aptitude.
Here are our top tips to help your daughter prepare for the 11 plus selection process.
It can be tempting to jump straight into practice papers to prepare for school entrance 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.
Test your knowledge
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