Francis Holland School was founded in 1881 by Francis Holland, the Canon of Canterbury Cathedral, although it was largely the project of his wife, Sibylla Holland. The school is an independent and selective school, with 700 girls aged 4 to 18 in attendance. Of this number, 550 are at the senior school, with 125 in the sixth form. The school’s site is in Belgravia, close to the V&A and the Natural History Museum, amongst other landmarks and cultural institutions. Proximity to Imperial College London offers the school access to support and lectures from leaders in their fields. In recent years the school has been able to develop and refurbish its buildings, with the sixth form in a new purpose-built space called the Old School House, designed to link the sixth form with the local community.
The school puts a great emphasis on its religious foundations and therefore on morality and on ‘social conscience,’ the latter of which it states girls are taught from the ‘moment [they] enter the school. Other core schools that are emphasised include bravery and resilience, no matter how difficult a challenge might appear. The desire to go beyond simple academic excellence is made clear through the school’s values and aims, with the goal of providing ‘an education which not only prepares young women for a fast-changing, technological world, but which enables them to make, and to be, the difference in society.’ The school also encourages pupils to value ‘love, humility, compassion, courage, hope and thankfulness.’
The school’s fees are £7750 per term at the time of writing.
In the most recent available results, just shy of 90% of GCSE grades were A-A* (7,8 or 9). Nearly 70A% of scores were A*s (8 or 9). This puts the school at the top of UK league tables, in the top 30 independent schools.
In Year 7 (First Year of senior school), pupils will study Theology and Philosophy, English, French, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, History, Geography, Art, 3D study, Drama, Music, Physical Education, Computing, Touch-typing, Latin, and Life Skills.
In Year 8, Debating is introduced and pupils will also be able to select a second foreign language, choosing from either German or Spanish.
When pupils reach GCSE, they must take the following compulsory subjects: English Language, English Literature, a modern foreign language (from a choice of French, German or Spanish), Mathematics and the Sciences (from a choice of three separate sciences or Double Award Science). Pupils then select further GCSE subjects from a list of options comprising Art, Classical Civilisation, Classical Greek, Computing, Drama, Geography, German, History, Latin, Music, Physical Education, Theology and Philosophy and Spanish. All pupils have lessons in Physical Education.
Francis Holland is part of the London 11+ Consortium, which from 2023 onwards is introducing a new assessment process designed to ‘discover a child’s potential in creative and critical thinking, analysis, synthesis and problem-solving.’ The test is designed to go beyond testing cognitive skills. It will be 100 minutes in total, and is to be taken in the candidate’s current school. As well as this assessment, all applicants will be invited to Francis Holland for a half day of interviews in mid January, which will assess skills in problem-solving, critical thinking and creativity. The interview is designed to give a ‘more complete picture of your daughter’s unique personality and ability.’
What subjects do you enjoy at school?
How do you calculate the volume of a cube?
How would your teachers at school describe you?
What is 1 squared + 2 squared + 3 squared?
What books do you like?
What subject at school do you find the most difficult?
If you had to describe yourself using one adjective, what would you choose?
Do you think that you’re resilient?
Do you like playing in teams?
Are you a better team player or team leader?
What characteristics do you look for in your friends?
How would your best friend describe you?
What’s your greatest strength?
What do you think is your greatest weakness?