St Paul’s Girls’ often tops the charts in their exam results with an A/A* attainment of 99.2% at GCSE level. The A-Level grades are similarly impressive and about 32% go on to study at Oxbridge.
With such an outstanding record, it’s not hard to see why St Paul’s remains one of the most competitive at entry level. Applicants need to be intellectually curious and independent, while already demonstrating a strong initial academic background.
Beyond academic subjects, the school offers an impressive range of sports, clubs and societies. Students can also set up their own societies. The sports facilities are impressive, with a large main sports hall, gym and fitness studio on site. They also have a six-lane, twenty-five-metre pool a short walk away. There is additional access to the Fulham Reach Boat House and Tideway Scullers for rowing on the Thames.
At its core, St Paul’s embraces a liberal approach. There is no official uniform, preferring to give the girls the freedom to learn and grow independently. They operate on a tutor system, whereby girls gather in small groups of ten to twelve and meet with their tutors on a daily basis.
The school also provides new students support through their peer system. An older student, who has been trained by an expert counsellor, will listen and help the younger students through whatever problems they may be having. For the new students, this is an important outlet as they go through what could be a difficult transition.
- Located in Brook Green, Hammersmith in West London.
- Independent day school for girls
- Academically competitive
- GCSE results in the high 99.2% for A*/A
- Sports and extracurricular activities
- A lot of students or ‘Paulinas’ go on to Oxbridge, as well as top US universities.
- Explore the website, learn about the school. Develop your interest.
- Attend the open day and find out what you like about the school and whether they offer the things that your child needs/wants.
- Entry at 11 – the first test is a computer-based reasoning test
- Girls who do well in reasoning test will be invited to sit the exams
- Those who do well in the exams will be invited for an interview
- They will also ask for a report from the school
- The computer-based reasoning exam is for verbal and non-verbal reasoning.
- School offers sample papers for English, maths and comprehension. Additionally, there is a good guide for the level of difficulty.
- The maths paper tests not only candidate’s basic understanding but also application of their knowledge to practical, real-life problems.
- Reading exam tests understanding of passage and writing techniques.
- St Paul’s comprehension exam is not a reading comprehension paper. The exam gives candidates stimuli such as articles, graphs and worksheets, requiring girls to understand the material and discuss.
- Application forms must be sent by early November.
Before applying, it’s important to really have a think about whether St Paul’s Girls School is a good fit for your daughter. She should do some research and explore the website in her own time. Attend open days and ask around about what students have to say about the school.
For entry at eleven, there is an initial computer-based verbal and non-verbal reasoning test. Girls should practice these prior to the exam so that they are familiar with the format and types of questions. It’s also important to ensure that your daughter is comfortable answering these questions on a computer, as this can be another factor that catches them off guard on the day. We have encountered this issue before so prepare candidates both on the page and onscreen.
If your daughter passes the reasoning tests, then they will be invited to attend and sit further exams. This is split into maths, reading and comprehension.
The maths exam is split into three sections. Section A mainly tests the knowledge of core mathematics, Section B moves onto the applications of different techniques while Section C provides the girls with more challenging problems and puzzles, which will require them to really think ‘like a mathematician.’
The comprehension exam is quite unique. Candidates are presented with a wide range of material and stimuli. They are then expected to read, understand and form opinions and conclusions from what they have read.
The reading exam focuses on the understanding of a passage and writing techniques. Your daughter is expected to read a passage and comment on the author’s intentions and how they go about achieving the desired effect.
Should your daughter do well enough in these, they will then be invited in for an interview. If they have made it this far, they have done very well and can feel extremely proud! Generic and overprepared answers are not looked upon favourably. Girls should display a genuine interest in the topics they are talking about and show a desire to discuss themes with confidence.
As previously mentioned, getting into St Paul’s Girls’ School is an extremely competitive process. Past papers should be done on a regular basis leading up the exam and there are sample papers from the school itself. Preparation needs to start early and frequently to ensure you give your daughter the best possible chance of attaining a place.