James Allen's Girls' School 16+ Interview Questions and Answers

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James Allen's Girls' School Overview

JAGS, as the oldest independent girls’ school in London, boasts a legacy deeply rooted in girls’ education. Today, it continues this tradition by offering a forward-thinking and contemporary education to over 1,100 students aged 4 to 18. The school is characterised by a commitment to academic excellence, a diverse and dynamic community, and a holistic education that extends beyond the classroom. At its core, JAGS values compassion, inclusivity, and the celebration of individuality.

James Allen's Girls' School 16+ Application Process & Interview Format

For students seeking entry to the Sixth Form (16+) at JAGS, the admissions process is composed of several key components. This process is designed to ensure that applicants are well-suited to the school’s rigorous academic environment. The 16+ entrance exam includes assessments in Critical Thinking, comprising both a test and an essay. These evaluations gauge a candidate’s ability to think critically and analytically. The interview is an essential part of the admissions process, and allows the school to understand a candidate’s motivations and aspirations. It is an opportunity for candidates to demonstrate their suitability for the Sixth Form.

The school considers the GCSE results of applicants to assess their academic aptitude and potential to excel in the Sixth Form. Finally, a reference from the candidate’s current school is also part of the assessment process, providing insight into the candidate’s academic and personal qualities.

These assessments and interviews typically take place during the Autumn Term of Year 11. Before applying, it is advisable to ensure that the subjects the applicant wishes to study are offered by the school. A comprehensive Sixth Form booklet, available on the school’s website, can assist in making an informed decision. Offers for Sixth Form entry are typically sent out at the end of the Autumn Term and require acceptance following the Christmas break.

JAGS also offers scholarships for 11+ and 16+ entry. Scholarships include a small fee remission. For 16+ entry, academic scholarships are automatically granted to those achieving the highest GCSE grades. Music and Art scholarships are possible as well, with applications to be made at the time of registration.

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James Allen's Girls' School 16+ Interview Questions and Answers

Why do you want to join JAGS?

I am enthusiastic about joining JAGS because it offers a rich blend of historical tradition and modern, progressive education. As one of the oldest girls’ independent schools in Britain, JAGS has a long-standing reputation for academic excellence. The school’s pioneering spirit, evident in initiatives like the creation of the first school botany gardens and laboratory for botanical study, aligns with my passion for science and innovation. Additionally, the school’s strong emphasis on music and the arts, as highlighted by its connections with renowned composers Ralph Vaughan Williams and Gustav Holst, inspires me. I am also drawn to the school’s commitment to community action and building links with local state schools, which reflects my own values of service and community engagement.

What is the history of JAGS?

James Allen’s Girls’ School (JAGS), founded in the early 18th century, is the second oldest girls’ independent school in Great Britain. The school’s origins can be traced back to 1741 when James Allen, Master of the College of God’s Gift, founded Dulwich Reading School for local children. In the 1800s, it became the Dulwich Free School and later, in 1842, it was established as the Dulwich Girls’ School. In 1878, it was renamed James Allen’s Girls’ School. JAGS moved to its current site in East Dulwich Grove in 1886. The school is notable for its pioneering efforts in science education under Dr Lilian Clarke and its rich musical heritage, with Ralph Vaughan Williams and Gustav Holst having taught there. Throughout the 20th century, the school expanded its academic and extracurricular offerings, emphasising community engagement and the arts.

How does JAGS nurture student interests in arts and sciences?

JAGS has a longstanding tradition of nurturing interests in both arts and sciences. The school’s history includes notable contributions in science education, like the establishment of the first school laboratory dedicated to botanical study under Dr. Lilian Clarke. This reflects JAGS’ innovative approach towards science education. Additionally, the school has a rich musical heritage, with composers Ralph Vaughan Williams and Gustav Holst having served as music teachers. The presence of the Vaughan Williams Auditorium and a purpose-built theatre opened in 1983 highlights the school’s commitment to the arts. This balance of arts and sciences ensures that students at JAGS receive a well-rounded education, encouraging them to explore and excel in diverse fields.

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James Allen's Girls' School 16+ Past Interview Questions

Academic Curiosity and Critical Thinking

  • What subjects do you plan to study at A-Level, and what motivates your choice?
  • Describe a topic or concept in your current studies that you find particularly intriguing.
  • Share an example where you applied critical thinking to solve a complex problem.
  • How do you approach challenging concepts or topics in your studies?

Personal Development and Aspirations

  • Discuss an extracurricular activity or hobby that has significantly contributed to your personal development.
  • Can you describe a book or project that has had a profound impact on your perspective or interests?
  • Where do you see yourself in ten years, and how do JAGS’s academic programs align with these goals?
  • Discuss how you plan to contribute to the JAGS community, considering your interests and skills.

Leadership and Teamwork

  • Describe a situation where you had to lead a team or project. What was your approach, and what were the outcomes?
  • Share an experience where working in a team taught you something valuable.


For more questions like this, all with model answers, see our 16+ Online Course.

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