St Paul’s Girls School regularly tops the national rankings. The school was founded in 1904 and was one of the first to emphasise the ‘importance of educating women to fulfil their potential, giving them the skills and confidence to take their place with pride in a modernising and fast-moving world.’ The school emphasises its support network and liberal stance – there’s no uniform, little in the way of rules, and relationships with teachers are relaxed and informal. Students are treated as individuals. Nonetheless, an ‘enthusiasm for academic endeavour lies at the heart of the school.’ This means learning about subjects beyond the curriculum, and engaging in extracurricular activities too. There’s a huge range on offer, including Junior Feminist Society, Improv Club, and Dissection Society. The clubs are aimed at developing resilience, confidence and teamwork. Many are run by the students, rather than the staff.
Students volunteer in the local area and beyond – this includes them spending time helping the homeless, distributing food to those that need it, and helping in care homes.
Music and drama are ‘performed to a very high standard’ and art and sport are also given significant amounts of attention.
Bursaries ensure that the school is becoming ever-more diverse; 11% of students are currently assisted, and this is to grow to 20% in time.
In the most recent available results, GCSE grades were 97.1% A* and 99.8% A* to A. A Level grades were 87.5% A* and 97.9% A* to A. 23 students went to Oxford, 21 to Cambridge, and 19 to America or Canada.
In years 10 and 11, students will take seven subjects which make up the core curriculum: English language, English literature, mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics and a modern foreign language. Additionally, they are able to choose from a list of 18 options, giving a broad range of ‘curriculum growth.’ Students that take art, drama, history of art and music follow a school-directed course, allowing for more detailed study. As well as this, general studies courses ensure that students are able to discuss and learn outside of particular specifications.
St Pauls is highly academically selective, which isn’t surprising given the reputation that it continues to uphold. Students will therefore take an exam and interview as well. The aim of this process is ‘to ensure that those who join us are best suited to flourish and enjoy their time at St Paul’s.’ The first stage of the process is an on-screen cognitive test, which covers verbal ability, mathematics ability and non-verbal ability to identify potential. This is one hour long. Those that perform well in this stage will be invited to sit entrance examinations in English, mathematics and comprehension. From these exams candidates are shortlisted for an interview. The interview takes place at St Paul’s and will take between 20 and 25 minutes. It focuses on students’ academic potential.
If you flip an unbiased coin four times in a row, what is the probability of getting heads, tails, heads, tails?
What can you tell me about this graph? [Provide student with a graph]
What is the factorial of 5?
What is the perimeter of a rectangle of area 80m2, that has one side of length 8m?
You buy a sweatshirt and a pair of shoes for £200. The shoes cost £150 more than the sweatshirt. How much does each item cost?
Can you think of three adjectives that give a cheerful atmosphere, and then three that give a sad atmosphere?
What do you think of this poem? Can you comment on how it is written, and what you think its meaning might be? [Provide the student with a poem]
Can you think of any other languages that you know about that have affected the English language?
General & School
What sources do you use to get your news?
Do you think it’s important that children are aware of politics and current affairs?
Can you tell me about something from popular culture that you particularly like?
What do you think makes you particularly well suited to studying at St Paul’s Girls?