How many applications do you have for year 7 places?
We have around 4 applications per place. We operate a waiting list and places do become available over the summer through relocations and other moves so please do stay in touch with our Registrar if you are not allocated a place initially.
How difficult will the entry exams will be for 11+; do we need a tutor?
No, you do not need a tutor. We firmly believe in assessing what your daughter knows at the point of entry and do not encourage tutors as it may foster a reliance on extra support. If tutors are required to pass an entrance exam, arguably that is not the right school for your daughter – mitigating circumstances aside.
Is it the same entrance exam for all GDST schools?
No, we all have our own procedures. We are not using the ISEB – we only test in maths and English, not verbal/non-verbal reasoning.
Is there any financial assistance available?
We offer means-tested bursaries up to 100% and scholarships which have a smaller financial award of around 10%. More details can be found here.
What is the mix of state and independent school feeder schools?
In year 7 we have a mix of girls from both maintained and independent schools, with the average over the last five years being a 67:33 split.
Is there a school transport service?
We are well connected by TfL rail and bus routes and we encourage walking or cycling to school wherever possible. However, we serve pupils from a wide catchment area and in order to offer parents the most flexibility we can, we currently operate 6 minibus routes. The exact routes are coordinated each summer for the following year, depending on the needs of the pupils and to minimise travel time. Full details of our minibus service can be found here.
How important is pupil wellbeing?
We are incredibly aware of the mental health of all pupils and know that this is not a static thing. We are small enough to know every girl and see when there are shifts in mood and behaviour. Tutors and co-tutors are matched carefully to year groups and pupils know that there is always someone to talk to, be that their tutor, Head of Year, Deputy Head Pastoral, a School Counsellor or a member of the Young Leadership Team or School Council. We are part of the Positive Project, where pupils are empowered to become their best selves. Positive psychology is embedded throughout the school. We are a Girls on Board school, and pupils are taught about the complexities and dynamics of girl friendships and strategies to resolve any issues themselves, empowering girls to make their own solutions where possible. We firmly believe that it is okay not to be okay and the importance of kindness to oneself as well as others.
What is your mobile phone policy?
Mobile phones are allowed but must be switched off and out of sight during the school day. During lockdown, the use of devices increased but school is a safe space and with social media concerns and general level of distraction, we are clear that phones used during the day will be confiscated.
How many pupils are in each class?
The maximum number of girls in a class is 24.
How long is the school day?
Girls are welcome on site from 7.30am but the school day begins at 8.25am and ends at 3.45pm, with clubs running from 4-5pm (except Homework Club which runs until 5.25pm). Currently we have staggered finish times to avoid clusters of pupils, with year 7 exiting the main gate at 3.50pm.
What are your results like?
We have a twin tracked approach of academic rigour and pastoral excellence to ensure that our pupils achieve their potential.Their results are, therefore, excellent. We are so proud of our year 11 and 13s, especially those who were disrupted by the pandemic, and our results at both GCSE and A Level are on an upward trajectory. Further details and statistics can be found here: GCSE 2020 A Level 2020
What are the expectations for uniform?
First impressions count and we have regulations for Prep, Senior and Sixth which we expect pupils to adhere to. We have recently updated the requirements to bring Prep and Senior School inline and reduce the need to purchase different items for the transition to year 7. Full details can be found in the Uniform section.