Senior School Entry Process

This past year has seen challenging and changing times for our young pupils, leading to an inevitable impact on their education. At Surbiton High School, we have always strived to ensure a fair process for all applicants, from all backgrounds and all schools. This year, it is even more appropriate that we consider the well-being of those pupils interested in sitting the Entrance Exam for Surbiton High School for September 2022 entry.

We are currently finalising the details for our Entrance Exam, ensuring fairness to all. We have decided to move the examination date to the Saturday 27 November for 2022 entry. This is to allow for a two-stage process for the Entrance Examination, with an interview forming the second stage for those who have passed the Entrance Exam.

ENTRANCE EXAM

We believe the most appropriate course of action for our registered pupils is to have consistency and as such, we have chosen to remain with our Maths and English papers. Our Maths and English papers are designed to test National Curriculum content from Year 5 and the start of Year 6. These papers have been modified to support pupils during their disrupted Year 5 learning.

INTERVIEW

Further to the Entrance Exam, the admissions process for 2022 entry will include an interview. This will enable us to get to know your daughter better and will consist of a short, friendly conversation with Senior School Staff, providing an opportunity to discuss candidates’ motivations for joining Surbiton High School and their wider interests and hobbies, as well as the opportunity to engage in some friendly academic discussion. Your daughter does not need to prepare for the interview. The interviews will take place at the School in early January and will be offered to those pupils who have been shortlisted from the Entrance Exam.

PREPARATION WORK

Our key priority remains the welfare of our pupils, staff and prospective families and as such, we have compiled Maths and English guidance for pupils and parents to support those registered pupils where school closures have provided a significant impact on learning. These will be sent out once we have confirmed your registration.

ADMISSIONS PROCESS FOR 2022 ENTRY

In order to register your daughter, please follow the steps below:

  • Applications for those wishing to apply for a scholarship for Year 7 2022 entry close at 12.00pm on Tuesday 5 October 2021.
  • Applications for general registration for Year 7 2022 entry close at 12.00pm on Wednesday 3 November 2021.
  • The Entrance Examination will take place on Saturday 27 November 2021 and will comprise two papers: English and Mathematics.
  • We will inform parents and candidates of the initial outcomes from the Entrance Examination prior to Christmas and shortlisted candidates will be invited to take part in the second stage of the process. This will comprise an interview taking place in early January 2022. These sessions will be on a 1:1 basis and will take place in School, led by senior members of staff.
  • We aim to inform all candidates of the outcome of the Entrance Exam, Scholarships and Bursaries as soon as possible. This is typically around the beginning of February.
  • Successful candidates will have the opportunity to take part in one of our virtual taster sessions. These will take place after school hours in February 2022. These interactive sessions do not form part of the assessment process, but allow the girls to find out more about the Senior School by experiencing the teaching, ethos and our approach to learning. These sessions will also aid the transition into Senior School.
  • As part of the admissions process, we will contact your daughter’s current school, as usual, ahead of the Entrance Examination, to request a confidential report on her academic achievements and potential.
  • Parents and successful candidates will also be invited to a ‘Discover More’ event in February 2022, aimed at allowing them to discover more about the educational approach taken at Surbiton High School. Further details on this will be finalised nearer the time.
  • Acceptance paperwork should be returned to the School by 12.00pm on Wednesday 3 March 2022 along with a non-refundable £1,000 deposit paid via BACS.
  • Once the place has been accepted your daughter will become part of the Surbiton High School Community. Further information on induction days and forthcoming events will be sent to you to aid your daughter’s transition into the Senior School.

ENTRY INTO OTHER YEAR GROUPS – OCCASIONAL PLACES

Owing to a small number of families relocating, we occasionally have spaces that become available in other year groups. Please contact the Admissions Department to ascertain the availability in the relevant year group before applying – admissions@surbitonhigh.com. Candidates applying outside of standard entry point at 11+ are required to sit an age-appropriate English and Mathematics paper, and will have an informal interview with a member of the Senior Leadership Team.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT DOES THE ENTRANCE EXAMINATION INVOLVE?

There are two papers, English and Mathematics, plus a short Questionnaire. We offer the girls a break between the papers and refreshments are provided.

English: The examination is 1 hour 15 minutes long. We expect girls to be thoughtful readers and fluent, confident writers. Both the Reading and Writing sections of the entrance exam will be in response to a single unseen text which could be fiction or non-fiction. Candidates are advised that the Writing task will be connected to the unseen text so pre-learned creative writing should not be used.

Mathematics: The examination is 1 hour long. We assume the girls have covered Number, Shape and Space, Measurement and Data Handling and expect them to be able to add, subtract, multiply and divide whole numbers, simple fractions and decimals. We are looking for girls with the ability to reason and apply these basic skills in solving problems including the use of charts, diagrams and tables. Fluency and accuracy and knowledge of multiplication tables are very important and girls will need to be proficient in all of these skills in order to work quickly and accurately without a calculator.

Short Questionnaire: Girls are given 20 minutes to answer a variety of questions in order to provide us with a better understanding of your daughter’s interests, experiences and outlook. There is no need to prepare for these questions in advance. This is not marked, but can help form part of our decision making process.

WHAT HAPPENS IF MY DAUGHTER IS UNWELL ON THE DAY OF THE ENTRANCE EXAM?

If your daughter is unwell on the day of the examination, we will require a medical letter as proof of illness and may be able to arrange an alternative date for her to sit the examination. Please contact admissions@surbitonhigh.com for further information.

WHAT IF MY DAUGHTER IS OVERSEAS DURING THE EXAMINATION?

We may be able to make special arrangements for your daughter to sit the entrance examination at her current school, or at the British Council in your country of residence.

There is an application fee of £150 for overseas candidates and additional costs may be payable direct to the British Council.

Please contact the Admissions Department admissions@surbitonhigh.com for further information.

DO YOU OPERATE A WAITING LIST?

Once we have made our offers, a small number of waiting list places may be available to girls who have reached an appropriate standard in the Entrance Examination. In the event that we still have places available after the acceptance deadline has passed, we will contact pupils who have been notified that they are on our waiting list.

WHICH SCHOOLS DO YOUR PUPILS COME FROM?

Each year, our Year 7 cohort come from a wide range of schools. Under one-third join us from Surbiton High Girls’ Preparatory School. The remaining cohort are usually equally split between local Primary Schools and Independent Preparatory Schools.

ARE PAST PAPERS AVAILABLE?

We do not make past papers or sample papers available to individuals or schools.

WILL MY DAUGHTER GET EXTRA TIME IN THE EXAMINATION IF SHE HAS ADDITIONAL LEARNING NEEDS?

We consider each individual’s learning needs and offer appropriate support for the Entrance Examination where the candidate has been assessed by an Educational or Occupational Psychologist.

If a special arrangement (such as extra time, a laptop, a scribe or reader) exists in order for her to sit examinations,  please let us know when you apply and provide copies of any assessment or report that is available at application. Our Head of Learning Enrichment will then assess her requirements and confirm the support available prior to the Entrance Examination.

HOW WILL I KNOW IF THE SCHOOL IS RIGHT FOR MY CHILD?

Choosing the right school for your child is one of the most important decisions you will make. At Surbiton High School we believe the happiness and success of your child are key foundations upon which their future is built. We are a school which genuinely delights in the individual. We are a place where every child is valued, every child is encouraged to give their very best, and every child has the chance to grow in confidence by participating in a wide range of inspirational learning experiences.

Our approach to education means that Surbiton High School pupils achieve the highest results in external examinations, yet are also compassionate, authentic young people with strong values; keen to make a positive difference in an ever-changing world. We are committed to looking beyond A*s to offer a real breadth of education. We feed our pupils’ minds, but we also care passionately about their character development and happiness.

Staff within the School are inspirational; dedicated to delivering a rich curriculum and programme of activities which challenge your child to explore ideas for themselves. Whether engaged in learning in the classroom, or through musical, artistic, sporting, enterprise or charitable activities, Surbiton High School pupils are constantly encouraged to connect with the wider world, embracing new experiences to build their confidence – a confidence built not on arrogance, but on self-belief and a ‘can do’ attitude. To find out if we are the right school for your child, visit the school to find out more.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF SINGLE-SEX EDUCATION?

Research has shown that pupils attending single-sex schools are less likely to be impacted by gender stereotyping. This is demonstrated by the fact that 60% of our pupils continue on to study STEM subjects at A-level, which is a much higher proportion than girls attending co-educational schools. We inspire and encourage our pupils to be strong, independent individuals, whilst providing a nurturing and supporting environment for them to grow. It is also proven that girls who are educated in a single-sex environment have more self-confidence and are subject to less distractions than their peers in co-educational environments, which is crucial in the climate that today’s teenagers are growing up in. For further reading, please see the following link:  https://www.surbitonhigh.com/news/2020-02-20/The-Merits-of-a-Single-Sex-Education

WHY DO YOU HAVE IPADS?

All pupils in the Senior School are given an iPad. These are useful tools which enhance learning sessions, but do not fully replace more traditional teaching methods. The iPads are monitored and only educational apps are allowed to be downloaded on to them. As pupils move into the Senior School, their textbooks are accessed via their iPads, negating the need to carry numerous heavy books around with them.

SHOULD WE TUTOR OUR DAUGHTER AHEAD OF TAKING THE ENTRANCE EXAMINATION?

We do not support or encourage tutoring prior to the Entrance Examination, nor do we support or endorse any tutor.

DOES THE ENTRANCE EXAMINATION INCLUDE VERBAL OR NON-VERBAL REASONING?

No, the Entrance Examination consists of a Maths paper, an English paper and a personal questionnaire. We do not interview the girls.

HOW MANY EXTERNAL PLACES DO YOU OFFER?

We offer approximately 100 external places.

HOW MANY GIRLS USUALLY SIT THE ENTRANCE EXAMINATION?

We usually have approximately 500 girls that sit the Entrance Examination.

WHEN DO WE GET THE OUTCOME OF THE ENTRANCE EXAMINATION?

We aim to inform all candidates of the outcome of the Entrance Examination typically around the end of January.

HOW MANY FORMS DO YOU INTEND ON HAVING FOR YEAR 7?

We aim to have six forms for Year 7 and a year group of 144 pupils. This made up of six forms of 24 pupils, on average. The majority of girls from our Prep School move up to the Senior School, so we look to recruit around 100 external candidates each year.

WHAT CAN YOU OFFER MY DAUGHTER THAT OTHER SCHOOLS CANNOT? WHAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT?

Surbiton High School places pupils at the heart of everything we do. Our curriculum has been developed to allow every child to acheive their potential and this is carefully balanced with a broad co-curricular provision and a heavy investment in our pupils’ well-being and development of their character. This approach ensures all pupils leave the Senior School as rounded, focused individuals with a braod skillset that prepares them for the life ahead of them. Throughout our pupils’ time at Surbiton High School, we tailor the provision to each pupill allowing them to follow their interests and find their niche.

HOW ARE THE YEAR 7 CLASSES ARRANGED?

On entering Year 7, girls are placed into forms based on their geographical proximity to one another, making it easier to make local friendships. Each form is allocated to one of our six Houses: Austen, Curie, Fonteyn, Nightingale, Theresa and Pankhurst. Girls will remain in their Houses throughout their time at Surbiton High School. The House system plays an important role in school life, encouraging a sense of community within the School, as girls compete in a number of House competitions throughout the year, raising money for their chosen charities as they do so.

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE FEES?

Further information regarding our fees can be found clicking here.

ARE THE CO-CURRICULAR CLUBS PART OF THE SCHOOL FEES?

The majority of Co-curricular clubs are free of charge, however some such as horse riding or skiing has a charge associated with them.

DO YOU HAVE A SCHOOL BUS IN OPERATION?

Yes, we have several routes that run from a variety of areas and details of these can be found by clicking here.

WHEN DO YOU SET THE GIRLS FOR SUBJECTS?

Girls are put into sets for Maths in Year 7 – this enables us to work at different levels with girls who need supporting or stretching and challenges. Similarly French and Spanish are also set in Year 7 as pupils will have had different exposure to these languages based on their previous school experience. English is set at GCSE level.

IF MY DAUGHTER IS DOING AN AFTER SCHOOL CLUB, CAN SHE STILL TAKE THE SCHOOL BUS HOME?

All of our buses depart 15 minutes after the school day finishes and children who attend after school clubs are expected to make their journey home independently. For those continuing with sports clubs at our Hinchley Wood grounds, we provide a coach service which drops the pupils back at Hinchley Wood station, Surbiton station and the main school site. Girls will then be required to make their own arrangements from there.

WHAT ARE THE OPPORTUNITIES IN DRAMA?

At Surbiton High School, the Drama Department strives to unlock and nourish pupils’ potential in the performing arts by providing them with a wide and stimulating curriculum, which is complemented by our diverse Co-curricular programme. Each year, there is a Year 7 Production, a Year 8 and 9 Production, a whole-school Musical which takes place at the New Wimbledon Theatre and there are numerous Co-curricular clubs.

IF MY DAUGHTER IS NOT AWARDED A SPORTS SCHOLARSHIP, HOW WILL YOU CATER FOR HER TO HELP HER DEVELOP?

Your daughter will still get very similar opportunities and be recognised as a performance athlete.

With tailored provision, each pupil is encouraged and empowered to be the best they can be. Coaches give time and thought to pupil development and provide open lines of communication, to help support performance athletes with key decisions, providing insight and managing pinch points in the academic year.

MY DAUGHTER IS PARTICULARLY SPORTY. HOW DO WE ENSURE SHE GETS ACCESS TO SPORT?

Pupils have the opportunity to sign up to Co-curricular clubs in September at the Co-curricular Fair. The Co-curricular timetable is designed so that pupils can participate in a plethora of sports with dedicated coaches and fixtures. Coaches make the effort to get to know their squads, their emerging needs and discuss selection for fixtures openly (always giving constructive and developmental feedback).

THE SCHOOL IS BIG, SO WILL MY DAUGHTER GET ‘LOST’ IN SPORT IF THEY AREN’T ‘AMAZING’?

The department works hard to ensure all pupils participating in sport are given opportunities. Each team has a consistent coach so that the pupils build a positive relationship – our aim is to help pupils enjoy sport and feel valued regardless of level.

HOW OFTEN DO THE GIRLS HAVE SPORT AT THE HINCHLEY WOOD SPORTS SITE AND HOW DO THEY GET THERE?

In Year 7 – pupils have a single lesson every other week and a games afternoon every Friday, where they go to Hinchley Wood if participating in an outdoor sport. Pupils are bussed there and back, returning to School by the end of the school day.

In Years 8 and 9 – pupils have a single lesson every week and a games afternoon.

HOW DOES THE SPORTS CURRICULUM PATHWAY WORK?

During the first games lesson in Year 7, girls are assessed and set according to their sporting prowess, whether this is as a games player, an artistic performer or an all-rounder. The activities in our programme give priority and provide our pupils with exposure to our ‘Super Eight Sports’; cricket, football, gymnastics, hockey, netball, rowing, skiing and tennis. We have recently made the transition from ‘Super Six’ to Eight, bringing football and cricket on board. Although, skiing is a club that pupils take up in Co-curricular time. The girls then follow a programme of study and a pathway (competitive, artistic or all-rounder) best suited to meeting their needs, developing their skills and gaining new experiences.

During their time in Years 8 and 9, girls continue to follow the programme of study with some movement between sets, dependent on their level of progress and achievement. In Year 9, pupils have the opportunity to pursue rowing during a games afternoon and as a Co-curricular club.

In Years 10 and 11, the girls can choose a PE pathway suited to their preferences and strengths. Here, they are offered activity options on a half-termly basis. Those that prefer the non-competitive side of sport have the choice to participate in activities outside of our ‘Super Eight’. We offer a variety of sports and activities which we hope the girls enjoy and take beyond their educational years here at Surbiton High School.

We strive for our Sixth Formers to find that fervour and excitement in a sporting activity of their choice that will serve them far beyond their education. We have begun to offer an expansive range of activities beyond established sports to new activities like basketball, badminton, cheer, dance, climbing, rugby, yoga and gym classes held at Nuffield Health.

WHAT DOES THE PE DEPARTMENT EXCEL AT IN SURBITON HIGH SCHOOL?

We offer a competitive pathway for pupils who wish to move from participation to performance, as well as supporting those pupils who move into the elite stage of performance. All pupils of any ability are encouraged to engage in our ‘Super Eight Sports’ (cricket, football, netball, hockey, gymnastics, rowing, tennis and skiing). Pupils are exposed to activities that we can cater for with the facilities that we have. We offer a tailored provision, whereby pupils are given the opportunity to progress, develop, achieve and flourish. Individual requirements and needs are catered for where possible with regards to training, fixtures and support from specialist staff. We provide a foundation for enjoying sport, which leads to increased participation, making healthy lifestyle choices, and positive relationships. Specialist staff are dedicated to enhancing pupil experience, through their expert and extensive knowledge, understanding and qualifications. Our staff are immersed in their specialist areas and have roles within clubs in the community and beyond, meaning they are at the forefront of the latest developments and initiatives in their sports.

I HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT MY DAUGHTER CROSSING THE ROAD AS THERE ARE SEVERAL SITES FOR LESSONS TO TAKE PLACE. HOW DO YOU ENSURE THE SAFETY OF THE GIRLS?

We have a full-time member of staff on the level crossing throughout the school day.

HOW MANY LANGUAGES WILL MY DAUGHTER STUDY IN YEAR 7 AND WHEN ARE THEY ABLE TO DECREASE THIS?

Pupils study four languages in Year 7; French, German, Latin and Spanish. At the end of Year 7 they choose two of these to take forward into Year 8.

It has been a privilege to see how much my daughter has grown in confidence and ability, both personally and academically at Surbiton High School. The focus on the child as a whole and where they need to be in the future set the school apart from others we considered.

Senior School Parent