Since St Paul’s Girls’ School (SPGS) first opened its doors in 1904, the school has provided an ambitious and progressive education. At all stages throughout its history, the school has combined the best elements of a classical education with a commitment to innovation and a forward-looking approach. Their academic attainment has been consistently astounding. The school welcomes all academically eligible girls, regardless of either economic or social circumstances with SPGS committing to offering transformational bursaries to 12 per cent of students, seeking to grow this to 20 per cent.
The school has two main entry points, at 11 plus and 16 plus.
Entering St Paul's Girls' School in Year 7 (11 Plus):
St Paul’s Girls’ accepts 110 girls each year into Year 7.
11 Plus Entrance Process for St Paul’s Girls’ School:
As an academically selective school St Paul’s Girls’ uses entrance exams to select which pupils are suitable to gain a place.
The selection process for St Paul’s Girls’ is made up of 3 stages and is designed to recognise a student’s academic talent as well as their abilities outside of the classroom.
Stage 1 In the November (Year 6), all candidates will complete an on-screen time-limited cognitive ability test covering verbal ability, mathematics ability and non-verbal ability to identify potential. You can get a sense of what the test is like by accessing a familiarisation test here. This is an hour-long test and will be taken on site at St Paul’s. Parents will be informed of the outcome of this stage of the selection process in mid-December.
At this stage, SPGS will also ask for a confidential report from the students’ current schools.
Stage 2 In early January of Year 6, successful candidates from the computer assessment will be invited to sit entrance examinations in English, mathematics and comprehension.
Stage 3 SPGS will shortlist students for interview based on these examination results. Interviews take place in mid-January and will last about 20-25 minutes focusing on the student’s academic potential through interaction with stimulus material.
Decisions are sent out to families in February.
St Paul's Girls' School 11 Plus exam
11 Plus English paper
The English paper involves the close reading of a passage of literary prose.
Candidates are asked to answer up to ten questions on the passage. Some will involve the extraction of information, some will ask for comment on the meaning and effect of individual words and phrases. Although there are no specific marks for technical accuracy, SPGS is always keen to see correct spelling and punctuation.
They are particularly interested in signs of genuine enjoyment and engagement, together with careful inference and sensitivity to linguistic effects. Some of the questions will be extended imaginative writing tasks based on the passage. There is no separate creative writing section. Though they like to see evidence of a wide vocabulary, there is no need to learn and use unusual or obscure words.
11 Plus Mathematics paper
The mathematics paper comprises of a mixture of questions which are designed to identify potential.
The paper has three 25-minute sections.
The first section will feature questions that are straight-forward ‘sums’, designed to establish fundamental arithmetic concepts are in place.
The second section will cover questions which are more problem-solving in style and the third section may have multi-part questions; these questions will be based on material the students may never have seen before.
The questions are based on a range of topics all of which are part of the National Curriculum up to KS2.
SPGS is not just testing techniques, but also looking for insight.
11 Plus Comprehension paper
The comprehension paper is based around a theme and is designed to test comprehension in its broadest sense. This includes the skills of deduction, inference, extraction and organisation of information as well as evaluation, comparison, identification of patterns and links, and logic. No prior knowledge is required, although the KS2 scientific enquiry skills may be needed in the evaluation of material and presentation of data.
SPGS is looking for ability to respond to a range of materials, which could be visual, numerical or written, and through comprehension, be able to draw pertinent conclusions about them. Above all, they are looking for students with the potential to react perceptively to a range of stimuli.
Many candidates enjoy this unusual paper very much.
Entering St Paul's Girls' School in Year 12 (Sixth Form Entry):
St Paul’s Girls’ has an intake of around 20 girls into Year 12.
16 Plus Entrance Process for St Paul's Girls':
The application deadline is mid-October of Year 11.
16 Plus Assessment Day
In November of Year 11, all students will go to St Paul’s to sit entrance examinations in the subjects they wish to study.
SPGS will shortlist students for interview based on these examination results.
Following success in the entrance examinations, students are invited back to St Paul’s for interviews. These interviews cover their subject academic performance and their wider interests.
Read further guidance on the individual subject tests for the 16 Plus Assessment day.
Entering via Academic Scholarship
No academic scholarships are available at St Paul’s.
Is there a 16 Plus scholarship?
Only music, art and drama scholarships are available at 16 Plus.
Does St Paul’s Girls’ School offer any other scholarships?
SPGS offers scholarships in music at 11 Plus and 16 Plus and art and drama at 16 Plus for talented and committed applicants.
What questions does St Paul’s Girls’ School ask at interview?
Like many school interviews the St Paul’s Girls’ School interview seeks to explore the following about each student:
- Family (e.g. What do you like to do on the weekend as a family?)
- School (e.g. What do you most enjoy about your current school?)
- Academic Learning (e.g. What is your favourite subject and why?)
- Reading (e.g. Do you enjoy reading?)
- Extracurricular (e.g. What activities do you get involved in at school outside of the classroom?)
- Hobbies (e.g. What do you do in your spare time at outside of school?)
- St Paul’s Girls’ School (e.g. Why would you like to come to St Paul’s Girls’ School?)
Why is St Paul’s Girls’ School so popular?
St Paul's Girls' School is highly regarded for their academic results and achievements. In 2021, results were awarded through Teacher Assessed Grades with 85% achieving A* or A at A Level and Pre-U. Similarly, at GCSE 96% achieved Grade 8 or 9.
Typically, between a third to a half of girls gain places at Oxbridge and the majority of the rest of the cohort gain places at top Russell group universities, such as UCL, Imperial College London, Durham and Edinburgh. A further 17 per cent go on to US universities.
St Paul's Girls' School attracts parents and students with high academic expectations. In our experience, prospective applicants with the following qualities have been competitive candidates in the school’s admissions process:
- an excellent academic record to date
- an enquiring mind and genuine passion for learning
- an ability to think critically about their learning
- an academic confidence and ability to work independently
Is St Paul’s Girls’ School hard to get into?
Owing to its academic reputation and success, St Paul's Girls' School attracts a lot of applications and a such the entrance process at 11 Plus and 16 Plus are very competitive. Consequently, the school can afford to be highly selective, and we have known of instances where strong applicants do not win places. It is important to go into the entrance process with an open and realistic frame of mind.
Famous Alumni of St Paul's Girls' School
Alexandra Shulman, Zoe de Toledo, Miranda Kaufmann.
Tutors for St Paul’s Girls’ School Entrance
Keystone has over a decade of experience providing tuition to families who wish to send their children to some of the leading UK independent schools including St Paul’s Girls’ School.
For more details on how Keystone can help with preparation for entry to St Paul’s Girls’ School, please call the office for a chat with one of our client managers, or contact us via our request a tutor form.