Back to blog

St Paul’s School: a parents’ guide to entry at Year 7 and Year 9

School guides
St Paul's School: a parents' guide to Year 7 and 9 entry

St Paul’s School is one of the UK’s leading independent schools and offers a prestigious education for boys aged 7–18.

St Paul’s was founded in 1590 by John Colet, Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, to educate boys ‘from all nations and countries indifferently.’ The school is located on a 45-acre site by the River Thames in Barnes, South West London, with exceptional facilities including a RIBA award-winning Science building and the new Samuel Pepys Theatre (named after the illustrious alumnus).

St Paul’s School is known for its outstanding academic results. While the school is particularly outspoken about the importance of seeing an education beyond exam results, pupils’ grades are notably outstanding; In 2021, 94% of GCSE grades were 8 or 9 (A* equivalent and above) and 95% of A level results were A* or A.

80% of Paulines (the name given to pupils) go on to the top 12 UK universities and 13% to North American universities (Ivy League or equivalent) each year. The school describes its own pace of life as fast – bright boys thrive in a wide variety of academic pursuits and an unparalleled range of co-curricular activities.

There are five entry points to St Paul’s School. This guide will focus on the admissions points at 11+ (into Year 7 in the Junior School) and 13+ (into Year 9 in the Senior School).

Key information for St Paul’s School

  • High Master: Mrs Sally-Anne Huang

  • Address: St Paul’s School, Lonsdale Road, Barnes, London SW13 9JT

  • London Borough: Richmond-upon-Thames

  • Admissions contact: Nicola Picken (Year 7) – [email protected], Allison Chownsmith (Year 9), [email protected]

  • Age range and gender: 7–18, boys only

  • Number of pupils: 1,482

  • Number of places for external applicants: 36 in Year 7, approximately 90 in Year 9

  • Ratio of applicants to places: Undisclosed

  • Open day date: Virtual tour for Year 7 or 10th September 2022 for Year 9 (register online)

  • Overview of selection procedure for Year 7: ISEB online pre-test, school’s own exams and an interview

  • Overview of selection procedure for Year 9: ISEB online pre-test (Year 6), headteacher’s report, school’s own exams and an interview

  • Registration deadline for Year 7 entry in 2023: Monday 7th November 2022. Register online.

  • Registration deadline for Year 9 entry in 2025: 21st September 2022. Register online.

  • Assessment dates for Year 7 entry: Monday 5th December 2022 and Tuesday 10th January 2023

  • Assessment dates for Year 9 entry: Between 3rd October and 25th November 2022 and January to July 2023

St Paul’s School fees and financial assistance

The school fees at St Paul’s School in 2022–23 are £7,324 per term for Year 7 and £9,162 per term for Year 9. Boarding fees are £13,788 per term.

Each year there are funds available for free and subsidised places at St Paul’s School for all entry points depending on academic merit. Bursaries are awarded on the basis of a means-test form which assesses a family’s financial circumstances. A scheme introduced in 2016 offers support to families with a household income less than £120,000 per annum. For examples of the types of families who may benefit from the St Paul’s School bursary scheme, take a look at the information on the school website.

St Paul’s also offers scholarships in the following areas:

  • Academic Scholarships: 13+ entry only. These are honorary and worth £60

  • Music Scholarships: available at 11+ and 13+ entry. These are honorary and worth £60, plus free tuition on two instruments.

  • Music Exhibitions: available at 11+ and 13+ entry. These are honorary and provide free tuition on one instrument.

St Paul’s School term dates

The 2023–24 term dates at St Paul’s School are:

  • Autumn term: 1st September – 14th December 2023 (no school on Monday 4th December)

  • Half term (remedy): 16th – 27th October 2023

  • Spring term: 10th January – 22nd March 2024

  • Half term (remedy): 12th – 16th February 2024

  • Summer term: 16th April – 5th July 2024

  • Half term (remedy): 27th – 31st May 2024

Admissions process for Year 7 at St Paul’s Junior School in 2023

Eligible candidates for Year 7 entry in 2023 are boys born between 1st September 2011 and 31st August 2012.

Note that you cannot register for both 11 plus and 13 plus entry, and if your son is unsuccessful in the 11 plus application process, he will not be considered for 13 plus entry.

How to register for 11 plus entry

If you would like to register your child for 11 plus entry to Year 7 at St Paul’s Junior School in 2023, you will need to complete the online application form before the deadline of Monday 7th November 2022. You will need to make a non-refundable exam fee of £50; if your son is successful in the selection procedure and offered a place, you will then be required to formally register and pay a registration fee of £125 on acceptance.

Bursary applications begin if your son is invited back for the written exams in January.

Selection procedure for 11 plus entry

There are three main stages to the selection procedure for 11 plus entry to St Paul’s Junior School:

  1. All 11 plus candidates take the ISEB online pre-test on Monday 5th December 2022. Candidates will be registered by St Paul’s Junior School and can sit the test at the school site.

  2. Candidates who are successful in the ISEB pre-test will be invited back to St Paul’s Junior School to sit written exams on Tuesday 10th January 2023. These are: English: comprehension and analysis (45 minutes) and a written composition (45 minutes) Maths: one non-calculator paper (60 minutes) in line with the national curriculum at Key Stage 2

  3. Successful candidates will then be invited back to the school for an interview, beginning two weeks after the exam date. Your son will meet senior members of staff and the head of the Junior School. Offers will be made in February 2023 and the acceptance deadline is Monday 6th March 2023.

For more in-depth details about the second stage exam, take a look at the 11 plus syllabus on the school website.

Music Scholarship applications at 11 plus entry

Music Scholarships and Exhibitions are available to candidates at 11 plus entry. Application for these begins once candidates have received an offer of a place at the school.

Potential candidates should have reached at least Grade 5 on their principal instrument. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to an audition at the school in the spring term of 2023, where they will be required to perform, sight-read, respond to aural tests and answer questions related to their music-making.

Admissions process for Year 9 at St Paul’s School in 2025

Eligible candidates for Year 9 entry in 2025 are boys born between 1st September 2011 and 31st August 2012.

Note that you cannot register for both 11 plus and 13 plus entry, and if your son is unsuccessful in the 13 plus application process, he will not be considered for 11 plus entry.

How to register for 13 plus entry

If you would like to register your child for 13 plus entry to Year 9 at St Paul’s School in 2025, you will need to complete the online application form and submit this before midnight on Wednesday 21st September 2022. You will need to make a non-refundable registration fee of £175 before submitting the form.

Bursary applications begin if your son is invited back for the written exams in January.

Selection procedure for 13 plus entry

The selection process for 13 plus entry to St Paul’s School is as follows:

Stage one

Candidates will take the ISEB online pre-test in October or November 2022 (when your child is in Year 6). St Paul’s School will also request a report from your son’s headteacher.

Stage two

Candidates who demonstrate excellent character, academic strengths and interests in their headteacher’s report and pass the ISEB online pre-test will be invited to the second stage, which takes place between January and July 2023. This consists of two 25-minute papers in English and maths and a 20-minute interview with two senior members of teaching staff. St Paul’s School will write to parents/carers within three weeks of the interview to let you know which of the three outcomes applies to your son:

  1. A place on the main list: your son has been offered a place in Year 9 in 2025. This offer must be accepted by the end of Year 7 (summer 2023).

  2. A place on the reserve list: once the deadline for acceptance of offers on the main list has passed, the reserve list will be reviewed in early Year 8 (autumn 2024). St Paul’s School will request an up-to-date report from your son’s headteacher and your son will need to take written papers in English and maths. Following this, some boys will be offered unconditional places at 13 plus while others may be placed on a small waiting list.

  3. The school is unable to offer your child a place.

Scholarship applications at 13 plus entry

  • Academic Scholarships: About 30 Academic Scholarships are awarded to boys in Year 9 each year at St Paul’s. External candidates who have been made an unconditional main list offer are invited to sit the Academic Scholarship exams which are held in May of the year of entry. Candidates will sit papers in English, Latin, French, history, geography, theology and philosophy, maths and science. There is an optional paper in Greek which candidates are encouraged to take if they have reached a reasonable standard.

  • Music Scholarships: Once an offer of a place has been accepted, suitable boys (those of at least Grade 6 standard on their principal instrument) are invited to apply for a Music Scholarship. The closing date for entries is mid-January in the year of entry and shortlisted candidates are invited to an audition, normally in late January or early February. Candidates will be asked to perform, sight-read, respond to aural tests, complete a 20-minute written paper and answer general questions about their music making.

How to help your child prepare for the selection process at St Paul’s School

Build foundational knowledge

Whether your child is applying for 11 plus or 13 plus entry to St Paul’s School, the entrance exams will assess a huge amount of content. Atom Nucleus takes your child through personalised learning journeys across the entire Key Stage 2 and early Key Stage 3 core curriculum, with over 90,000 teacher-created questions.

Preparation is key

Familiarisation with the question formats and known styles ahead of the exam is absolutely essential. Access to quality, unlimited practice material ensures that your child will feel confident when tackling the test. Atom gives your child access to unlimited mock tests that mirror the content, format and structure of the ISEB Common Pre-test:

Atom Learning has adaptive mock tests available for the ISEB Common Pre-test.

St Paul’s School also provides a syllabus for its 11 plus written papers, which you might find useful to help your child revise.

Access to immediate support

When working through challenging topics, your child will need immediate clarity with any misconceptions so that they feel truly secure in every topic. Atom gives your child access to video tutorials, help sheets and examples for each question to help build confidence and competence across all areas of the Key Stage 2 and early Key Stage 3 core national curriculum.

Maths learning journey on Atom Nucleus

Engage with their progress

Celebrate your child’s improvement in areas of challenge together. An accurate and ongoing assessment of their areas of strength and development is helpful. Atom’s Parent Portal offers data-driven insights into your child’s progress to help you prepare effectively, including targets achieved, a detailed breakdown of progress by subtopic and the ability to set custom practices to target your child’s most challenging subtopics.

Parent Portal.gif


Atom Learning can help

It’s our mission to help your child feel prepared and confident on exam day. Begin your free 5-day free trial of Nucleus today to unlock success in the classroom, entrance exams and more.

5 day free trial for 11 plus

We know how crucial this time is, so our team is on hand to support you and your family every step of the way. You can book a call with one of our Education Experts to ask any questions you might have about the admissions process or applications to St Paul’s School:

Book a call

If you’re looking for exclusive tips and resources to help your child master key subjects, excel in exams and build academic confidence, join Atom’s email list:

Get expert tips and resources direct to your inbox for Key Stage 2 education and entrance exam prep

Atom

Learning

Follow Atom Learning

Atom Learning Ltd. is registered and incorporated in England and Wales. Company Registration Number: 10867907 VAT number: 316903508 Copyright Atom Learning Ltd. All rights reserved.