St Teresa’s is a Roman Catholic day and boarding school for girls aged 5 to 18. With over 640 pupils, St Teresa’s is the largest Catholic independent girls’ school in the UK. In 2019, the creation of the Effingham Schools Trust – a partnership between St Teresa’s and Cranmore (the nearly Catholic independent school for boys) – established a new diamond structure between the two schools.
St Teresa’s is located on a secluded and leafy 55-acre campus just outside the village of Effingham, near Dorking, Surrey. The region has official AONB status (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and is just 30 minutes from London, with excellent transport links to Heathrow and Gatwick international airports.
Girls at St Teresa’s are valued as individuals through a ‘no one size fits all’ approach. The school states that it is not an academic hothouse, but aims to draw out the talents of every child so that she can be the best she can be. While St Teresa’s is based on Catholic traditions, it offers an inclusive environment that welcomes pupils from all backgrounds and values the traits of faith, character, community, compassion, and intellect.
Headmistress: Dr Claire McShane
Address: St Teresa’s Effingham Hill, Dorking, Surrey, RH5 6ST
Admissions contact: Mrs Annabel Charles – [email protected], 01372 750204
Age range and gender: 5–18, girls only
Number of pupils: 629
Open day date: Friday 5th May 2023 – register for a place online
Overview of selection procedure: entrance exam, interview and school reference
Registration opens: currently open for 2023 entry – the form can be found on St Teresa’s website
Registration closes: 10th October 2022
Assessment date: Wednesday 16th November 2022
The current school fees (2022–2023) at St Teresa's are £6,495 for day pupils in Years 7–8, £9,995 for weekly boarders in Years 7–8, and £11,095 for full boarders in Years 7–8. All fees include lunch (including for day pupils) and most books and stationery. Flexi boarding is available at the cost of £58 per night, subject to availability.
St Teresa’s is able to offer means-tested financial assistance, known as bursaries, to children who are eligible for entry but whose families would not otherwise be able to afford the school fees. Bursaries may be up to 50% off school fees and are only applied to the tuition fee – not boarding fees. Scholarships are not means-tested and are available in the areas of academia, art, drama, music, and sport.
A sibling discount is available at St Teresa’s (in cooperation with Cranmore School) when two or more siblings are currently being educated at St Teresa’s and/or Cranmore at the same time. There is a 10% discount on the second child, 15% on the third child, and 20% on the fourth and subsequent children. Bursaries, if applicable, are applied after the sibling discount.
Pupils who have a parent serving in the armed forces are also eligible for a 10% discount on school fees.
The term dates at St Teresa's for 2022–23 are:
Autumn term: 8th September – 16th December 2022
Half term: 15th–30th October 2022
Spring term: 10th January – 31st March 2023
Half term: 11th–19th February 2023
Summer term: 25th April – 8th July 2023
Half term: 27th May – 4th June 2023
The admissions process for St Teresa’s begins at least a year prior to entry. Prospective families are encouraged to attend an open morning, and/or arrange an individual tour of the school and a meeting with the headmistress.
If you would like to register your daughter for entry to St Teresa’s in September 2023, you will need to complete the registration form and pay the non-refundable registration fee of £75.
All registered candidates will be invited to a 10-minute Zoom interview with the headmistress and will need to take the school’s 11 plus entrance exam at St Teresa’s (this will take place on Wednesday 16th November 2022 for 2023 entry). All girls are automatically considered for an academic scholarship on the basis of their performance in the entrance exam.
For candidates who have applied for an extra-curricular scholarship (art, drama, music or sport), there will be additional steps in the admissions process:
Art scholarships: The deadline for an art scholarship application for 2023 entry is 1st November 2022. Candidates will need to submit at least one sketchbook to the admissions registrar by 14th November 2022 and an observational drawing test will take place at the school on 17th November 2022.
Drama scholarships: The deadline for a drama scholarship application for 2023 entry is 1st November 2022. Candidates will need to submit a written record of examination taken (if any), and production involvement both inside and outside of school, to the admissions registrar by 16th November 2022. They will then be invited to a group workshop followed by an individual audition on 17th November 2022.
Music scholarships: Eligible candidates are those who are able to play at Grade 3 standard or above on their first instrument. To apply for an 11 plus music scholarship for 2023 entry, you will need to return the application form by 1st November 2022. Candidates will be invited to an audition on 15th November 2022, where they will perform two contrasting pieces on their first instrument/voice, one piece on their second instrument/voice (if applicable), sight-read, take aural tests, and have a short interview with a member of the music department.
Sports scholarships: The deadline for a sports scholarship application for 2023 entry is 1st November 2022. Candidates will also need to submit an A4 page letter including supporting details and references from PE teachers and sports coaches. The practical assessment for sports scholarships will take place on Friday 18th November 2022. Eligible candidates must be able to demonstrate a high standard in two or more sports, which must include at least one of the school’s main sports of hockey, netball, and swimming.
There are prioritised categories for places at St Teresa’s School. Although there is no fixed weighting or ranking given in relationship between the categories, the more criteria met, the greater the priority for the place. Some of the criteria are:
Children registered as Catholic (and if the parents are sympathetic to the school’s religious values)
Whether the candidate has siblings at either St Teresa’s or Cranmore
The candidate’s academic ability (as demonstrated in the entrance exam)
Whether the school can meet the educational needs of the child, within the context of the resources available
If the candidate’s parents are sympathetic to the school’s aims and ethos, as expressed in the curriculum and the extra-curricular activities provided
If it appears that the child will be happy at St Teresa’s
St Teresa’s will be in touch during the week commencing 28th November 2022 with the outcome of your daughter’s application.
Girls who are registered for Year 7 entry to St Teresa’s will take an entrance exam at the school in November, the year before entry. For 2023 entry, the exam will take place on Wednesday 16th November 2022. Candidates will take three written papers:
Verbal reasoning: 45 minutes. This test will assess your child’s reading fluency and comprehension, vocabulary knowledge, phonological awareness, logic and problem-solving skills, ability to discover and apply rules, and attention to detail. Find out more and take a look at typical verbal reasoning questions in our guide to 11 plus verbal reasoning.
Maths: 50 minutes. Your child will be tested on their knowledge and application of the Key Stage 2 national curriculum for maths, which includes the main topics of number (place value, addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, fractions and decimals), measurement, geometry (including positions of shapes, position, and direction) and basic statistics. Find out more in our guide to 11 plus maths.
English: 1 hour and 10 minutes. This test may include reading comprehension and creative writing. Your daughter will likely be assessed on her spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG), ability to interpret text and general creativity.
The 11 plus exam at St Teresa's Effingham assesses candidates’ knowledge and understanding of the Key Stage 2 national curriculum and beyond, with tests in English, maths, and verbal reasoning.
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