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Walthamstow Hall: a parents' guide to Year 7 entry

School guide
Walthamstow Hall: a parents' guide to Year 7 entry

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Walthamstow Hall is an independent day school in Sevenoaks, Kent for girls aged 2 to 18. It was founded in 1838 in Walthamstow, East London, as a home and school for the daughters of missionaries, before relocating to the purpose-built Arts and Crafts building on the present site in Sevenoaks in 1882. There has been a near-constant programme of improvements and additions to the campus in place since 2003, with recent developments including new creative and performance art spaces, a new sixth form centre and science labs, and new sports and fitness facilities.

Girls at Walthamstow Hall study a curriculum which is designed to offer breadth, choice and flexibility. Pupils study a broad base of subjects in year 7, including Latin, French and 3D design (carpentry, laser cutting, metal and ceramic work), incorporating additional subjects to the timetable as they move up the school. Most pupils study 10 subjects at GCSE or IGCSE, with ‘twilight’ and ‘fast-track’ courses offered to achieve maximum individual choice. Exam results at Walthamstow Hall are consistently high; in 2022, 85.4% of GCSE grades were 9–7 (A*/A equivalent) and 88.2% of A level grades were A*, A or B.

Pupils are encouraged to take advantage of a wide range of co-curricular opportunities at Walthamstow Hall. There are over 50 co-curricular clubs and activities taking place before or after school or during the extended daily lunch break, with all children encouraged to sign up to at least three. In addition to clubs and activities, girls can get involved in many annual drama productions and musical concerts, play for a sports team (netball, swimming, lacrosse, tennis, cross country and rounders), work towards a Duke of Edinburgh Award, or volunteer, keep fit or learn a new skill through the bespoke Active Adventures Award for Years 7 and 8.

Directory of private schools in Kent

Key information for Walthamstow Hall

  • Head: Miss Stephanie Ferro

  • Address: Walthamstow Hall, Holly Bush Lane, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 3UL

  • County: Kent

  • Admissions contact: Mrs Alex Knight – [email protected], 01732 468703

  • Age range and gender: 3–18, girls only

  • Number of pupils: 537

  • Open day date: Thursday 9th March 2023 – book a place online

  • Overview of selection procedure: ISEB Common Pre-Test, interview and a report from the current headteacher

  • Registration closes: October in Year 6

  • Assessment date: November in Year 6

Walthamstow Hall fees and financial assistance

The current fees at Walthamstow Hall are £7,355 per term. Lunch is an additional extra cost of £310 per term. Other optional extras include breakfast, late study and tea, and minibus transport to and from school.

The senior school at Walthamstow Hall offers means-tested bursaries (financial assistance) to enable girls to benefit from its education, irrespective of the family’s financial circumstances. Bursaries are available on a sliding scale depending on the value of a family’s income and assets and offer up to 100% discount on tuition fees.

Everything you need to know about bursaries

Girls applying for Year 7 entry to Walthamstow Hall may also apply for a scholarship. These are financial awards which are given to pupils who show exceptional promise academically or in music and/or sport. There are two types of awards: ‘exhibitions’ are worth up to 10% of tuition fees and ‘scholarships’ are worth between 11% and 20% of tuition fees. Scholarships offering 50% of tuition fees may be offered to pupils who demonstrate exceptional talent.

Walthamstow Hall provides discounted tuition fees for second daughters (5%) and third and subsequent daughters (10%).

Walthamstow Hall term dates

The term dates at Walthamstow Hall for 2022–23 are:

  • Autumn term: 5th September – 15th December 2022

  • Half term: 17th–28th October 2022

  • Spring term: 5th January – 23rd March 2023

  • Half term: 13th–17th February 2023

  • Summer term: 18th April – 6th July 2023

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

The term dates at Walthamstow Hall for 2023–24 are:

  • Autumn term: 5th September – 14th December 2023

  • Half term: 23rd October – 3rd November 2023

  • Spring term: 5th January – 21st March 2024

  • Half term: 12th–16th February 2024

  • Summer term: 17th April – 11th July 2024

  • Half term: 27th–31st May 2024

The provisional autumn term dates for Walthamstow Hall in 2024 are:

  • Autumn term: 5th September – 12th December 2024

  • Half term: 21st October – 1st November 2024

Admissions process for Year 7 entry to Walthamstow Hall

Walthamstow Hall has a three form entry at Year 7 (usually between 50 and 60 pupils). The school receives applications from over 40 schools each year, in both the state and private sector.

1. Visit

If you are considering Walthamstow Hall for your daughter’s secondary education, it’s advised that you visit the school first by attending one of the published open mornings in September and March. You will be able to tour the school site and speak to staff and current pupils.

The next open morning for Year 7 applicants for 2024 and beyond will take place on Thursday 9th March 2023. You can reserve a place via the school website.

2. Registration

The formal admissions process begins when you complete the online application form. Once the school has received your daughter’s application, you will need to make a £150 registration payment.

The closing date for registration to Year 7 at Walthamstow Hall is usually shortly before the October half term when your daughter is in Year 6. The school accepts applications made after this date, but your daughter will not be eligible for a scholarship or award.

3. Test and interview

Between September and November (depending on when you have registered your daughter), your child will be invited to an interview with the headmistress at Walthamstow Hall. This is a holistic part of the admissions process, designed to find out more about your daughter and her interests.

A guide to private school interviews

All girls who are registered will also be invited to take the ISEB Common Pre-Test in the November of Year 6. This is an online, adaptive exam which takes a little over two hours to complete, with questions spanning four subjects:

  • Maths: children will be assessed on the Key Stage 2 maths curriculum taught up to the end of Year 5. The topics include number and place value, calculations, fractions, decimals, percentages, measurement, geometry, and statistics

  • English: children will be tested on their reading comprehension ability, and their accuracy in spelling, punctuation and grammar

  • Non-verbal reasoning: children will be assessed on their ability to analyse 2D figures and diagrams, and manipulate 3D figures and diagrams

  • Verbal reasoning: children will be tested on problem solving techniques, trial and error skills, the ability to work logically and their knowledge of vocabulary and definitions

Your complete guide to the ISEB Common Pre-Test

You will need to register your daughter separately for the test via the ISEB website. Your child will only need to take this test once, regardless of how many schools you are applying for.

Exclusive resource: Best exam techniques for the ISEB. Free download

4. Scholarships

Children who wish to be considered for an academic scholarship will be invited to sit additional scholarship papers in English and maths at the school in the autumn term of Year 6. Children who apply for a music and/or sports scholarship will undergo additional assessments and interviews in the same term:

  • Music exhibitions and scholarships: applicants will be invited to an audition, where they will perform two instruments (one of which can include voice) in front of a panel including an external adjudicator. They will also have short aural and sight-reading tests and they will be interviewed by the panel. Candidates should be performing at a minimum of ABRSM Grade 4 (or equivalent) in their first instrument.

  • Sports exhibitions scholarships: applicants will be invited to attend a sports assessment morning at Walthamstow Hall led by an assessment panel incorporating internal and external adjudicators. This will include a range of activities designed to test leadership skills, teamwork, and sport aptitude and potential. Children will also need to submit references from two sports coaches. Candidates who are shortlisted for a sports award will be invited to a recall interview later in November.

5. Offers

Walthamstow Hall will write to you with the outcome of your daughter’s application by the end of the autumn term in Year 6. Decisions will be based on your daughter’s ISEB Common Pre-Test results, the interview with the headmistress and a report obtained from your child’s current school.

The number of applicants normally exceeds the number of places available. The school operates a waiting list, with firm places offered to those on the waiting list as soon as they become available (often in the spring term in the year of entry). To determine which of two equal candidates should be offered a place, Walthamstow Hall uses the following oversubscription criteria in order:

  1. A daughter of a missionary

  2. A sibling whose sister is in the school at the date of application

  3. The proximity of the child’s home to school

How to prepare for 11 plus entry to Walthamstow Hall

Atom Nucleus

Atom Learning is an all-in-one exam preparation platform which can help your child consolidate everything she needs to know and prepare effectively for success in the Walthamstow Hall admissions process.

Exam preparation with Atom Nucleus

All candidates applying to Walthamstow Hall for Year 7 entry take the ISEB Common Pre-Test. Atom’s online learning platform Atom Nucleus can help your child consolidate everything she needs to know for the exam, with over 90,000 interactive questions in English, maths, science and verbal and non-verbal reasoning, plus unlimited online practice papers that replicate the ISEB Common Pre-Test.

All content is automatically marked, and you’ll get instant score breakdowns and data-led insights to help you track your child’s progress. You can use your parent dashboard to effectively help your child set targets and create exercises to target the content they find more challenging.

See how Atom Nucleus can help your child prepare effectively for the Walthamstow Hall entrance exam – start your free trial today.

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Interview preparation with Atom Tuition

As well as academic tests, all children applying for entry to Walthamstow Hall will have an interview with a member of staff. This is a common practice at independent schools, as it can provide a more holistic insight into your child’s abilities and interests. However, even informal interviews can still be daunting for many 10 and 11-year-olds!

Atom Tuition offers online mock interviews with experienced tutors who are specialists in the private school admissions process. A one-hour session consists of a 30-minute interview, a 10-minute break, 20 minutes of feedback and a follow-up report.

These mock interviews are an ideal opportunity for your child to:

  • Encounter typical private school interview questions

  • Learn and practice techniques that will serve them well in the real interview

  • Develop their conversational skills and storytelling style

  • Demystify the interview process and know what to expect

  • Reduce any anxiety and feel confident for the real interview

One mock interview, including one-to-one feedback and a follow-up report, costs £115 (or book two mock interviews for £200). Book a mock interview today and give your child the benefits of expert guidance and a confidence-building experience.

Book a mock interview with Atom Tuition


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