St Paul's Girls School 16+ Interview Questions and Answers

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St Paul's Girls School Overview

St. Paul’s Girls’ School, situated in the Brook Green area of Hammersmith, West London, is a distinguished private day school exclusively for girls between the ages of 11 and 18. Founded in 1904 under the auspices of the Worshipful Company of Mercers, the school was conceived to complement the boys’ school established by John Colet in the sixteenth century. Governance of the school includes representation from esteemed universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, and London.

The school’s main building was designed by renowned architect Gerald Horsley, son of the celebrated painter John Callcott Horsley. Notably, the school boasts a rich history of esteemed directors of music, with luminaries like Gustav Holst and John Linton Gardner leaving an indelible mark on its musical legacy. Holst, in particular, composed some of his most iconic works, including “The Planets,” during his tenure at St. Paul’s.

Academically, St. Paul’s Girls’ School consistently achieves remarkable results in both GCSEs and A Levels. For instance, in 2016, the school attained its highest-ever A Level results, with an impressive 60.0% of entries securing an A* grade and 93.8% achieving A* or A grades.

The school’s commitment extends beyond academics to encompass music, drama, and a diverse range of co-curricular activities. Notable figures like Gustav Holst and John Gardner have played pivotal roles in nurturing the school’s vibrant music and drama programs.

St Paul's Girls School 16+ Application Process & Interview Format

The application process for prospective students at St. Paul’s Girls’ School for the 16+ age group involves several key steps. Candidates are required to submit completed registration forms, which should include a copy of the candidate’s passport, a personal statement, and a registration fee of £250. However, it’s important to note that this fee is not applicable for families applying for a bursary-only place. Additionally, applicants have the opportunity to indicate their interest in applying for a bursary based on financial need, an art scholarship, a drama scholarship, or a music scholarship.

Once the initial application is submitted, all students are invited to the school to sit entrance examinations in the subjects they wish to study. These examinations take place in the morning and require students to select their four preferred A level subjects, for which they will sit entrance papers. Importantly, students may also be asked to sit an additional entrance paper in a fifth nominated subject on the day of their interview. It’s worth noting that alternative dates for the written examinations are not offered.

Following the entrance examinations, successful candidates, based on their performance, are invited back to St. Paul’s for interviews and a group activity. These interviews cover a range of topics, including subject academic performance, wider interests, and group participation. As part of this process, students may also be required to sit an additional entrance paper in their fifth nominated subject.

Once this stage is completed, the final decisions are communicated to parents in early December. The offer may include the fifth nominated subject (if an additional entrance paper was sat) as one of the student’s four A levels. Subject combinations in the offer are confirmed in the summer term and may be subject to change, although efforts are made to accommodate a student’s preferred subject choices.

Acceptance of offers must be made by mid-December, along with a deposit of 50% of a term’s fees. It’s worth noting that reduced deposits apply for successful bursary candidates, and an additional overseas deposit is required for students residing outside the United Kingdom.

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St Paul's Girls School 16+ Interview Questions and Answers

Why do you want to join St Paul's Girls' School?

I am drawn to St Paul’s Girls’ School because of its exceptional academic reputation and history of nurturing remarkable talent. The school’s commitment to academic excellence is evident in its outstanding GCSE and A-Level results, and its history of famous music directors like Gustav Holst adds a unique cultural richness. I am particularly excited about the opportunities in music and drama, given the school’s strong emphasis on these areas. Furthermore, the school’s ethos of empowering young women aligns with my personal values. I believe that St Paul’s Girls’ School will not only provide me with a top-tier academic education but also foster my personal and artistic growth in a supportive and inspiring environment.

What is the history of St Paul's Girls' School?

St Paul’s Girls’ School was founded in 1904 by the Worshipful Company of Mercers, using part of the endowment of John Colet. It was established to complement the boys’ school founded by Colet in the sixteenth century. The school is known for its beautiful buildings designed by Gerald Horsley and its significant contribution to the field of music, most notably through directors like Gustav Holst and Herbert Howells. Over the years, St Paul’s Girls’ School has maintained a reputation for academic excellence, consistently achieving outstanding exam results. Its progressive and secular beginnings have evolved into a modern and dynamic educational environment, deeply committed to fostering the talents and aspirations of young women.

How does St Paul's Girls' School promote extracurricular engagement and holistic development?

St Paul’s Girls’ School actively promotes extracurricular engagement and holistic development through a diverse range of activities and programs. The school has a strong tradition in music, evidenced by its notable past music directors and the emphasis on orchestral and choral training. Drama also plays a significant role, with the school’s main theatre offering a platform for students to showcase their acting talents. The school’s rowing club provides opportunities for physical development and teamwork, having produced several British champion crews. Additionally, the school encourages community service and outreach, preparing students for active and responsible citizenship. This holistic approach ensures that students at St Paul’s Girls’ School receive a well-rounded education, balancing academic rigour with creative, physical, and social development.

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St Paul's Girls School 16+ Past Interview Questions

Academic Curiosity and Intellectual Engagement

  • Can you describe a topic or subject that you have explored beyond your school curriculum? What drew you to this area?
  • How do you approach learning new concepts that are challenging or unfamiliar to you?
  • Discuss a recent academic project or assignment you particularly enjoyed. What made it interesting for you?

Extracurricular Activities and Personal Development

  • Tell us about an extracurricular activity you are passionate about. How has it contributed to your personal growth?
  • How do you balance your academic responsibilities with your extracurricular interests?
  • Can you give an example of a leadership or teamwork experience you’ve had in an extracurricular setting?

Community Engagement and Social Awareness

  • Have you been involved in any community service or volunteer work? What motivated you to participate in these activities?
  • How do you stay informed about current global issues, and which issue do you find most compelling?
  • Discuss a time when you had to work collaboratively to achieve a community goal. What was your role and what did you learn from the experience?


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