How many pupils are at St James Senior Girls’ School?
There are currently 268 pupils in the school. Years 7-11 are each made up of 2 classes of about 24 pupils i.e. 48 in each year group.
What are the main entrance points?
Pupils can enter St James aged 11 or 16. Our main intake is at 11+ (Year 7), when we admit approximately 28 girls. We occasionally have places available in Years 8, 9 and 10.
When are your Open Events?
We hold our main Open Morning and Open Evening in the Autumn Term. At these events, prospective parents can have a guided tour of the school given by a current pupil, visit our subject exhibitions and hear addresses from our Headmistress, a Year 7 pupil and some of our Sixth Formers. In addition, each term we hold a ‘School in Action’ morning during which visitors can have a tour of the school and see it on a ‘normal’ working day, as well as hearing presentations from our Headmistress and some pupils. Please click here for information on our Open Events.
All applicants are required to attend an Open Event.
Should I bring my daughter with me when I visit?
Some parents prefer to see the school themselves first before returning for a second tour with their daughter. Others bring the whole family so that everyone is involved in the decision making process. The Autumn Term Open Events are the best ones to bring your daughter to as they provide an opportunity for her to meet and talk to the largest number of St James girls and teachers.
What is the entrance procedure?
We are a member of the London 11+ Consortium. Applicants for Year 7 sit the Consortium exam at any Consortium school of their choice. Girls applying to St James are also required to participate in an activity session which is usually held on the day prior to the Consortium exam. Each candidate will choose from a range of activities including baking, drama, art, maths or science. These activities enable the girls to get a taste of life at St James and to meet other candidates and some current pupils from Year 7.
Almost all candidates are interviewed by our Headmistress, Mrs Labram, or a senior member of staff. There are no trick questions in the interview: we are simply trying to find out more about our candidates and their interests. After meeting the pupil, the interviewer will then meet the girl’s parents. This meeting allows prospective parents to tell us anything they would like the school to know about their daughter and ask any questions they might have about the school.
How can we prepare our daughter for the entrance tests?
There is no specific revision pupils can do for the entrance tests. The best advice is that girls should relax and try to answer all questions to the best of their ability.
What is the ratio of applicants to places available?
This varies year by year. However, for Year 7 entry in September 2018, we had roughly 8 applicants for each place.
What paperwork do we need to provide for the admissions process?
All applicants need to complete and submit:
A Registration Form
A Confidential Pupil Information Form, countersigned by the applicant’s current school
Two recent passport photographs (with your daughter’s name and date of birth written on the reverse)
Registration fee of £125 payable to St James Independent Schools via bank transfer or cheque (this registration fee is non-refundable)
A copy of your daughter’s most recent full school report (this will usually be the end of Summer Term report – grade sheets will not suffice).
If your daughter has been assessed by an Educational Psychologist, has had any specialist assessment during the past 5 years or has a known disability or allergy, you are also required to submit the reports to the school.
If your daughter requires any special arrangements or considerations for her entrance examinations, her medical / Educational Psychologist Report must be less than 2 years’ old
Do you accept pupils who are currently at school overseas?
Yes, we do take students whose families are living and working in another country and are now returning to the UK. However, we are unable to accept overseas pupils who require a Tier 4 Visa.
Do you offer Bursaries / Scholarships?
We do not offer any Scholarships.
We administer a Bursary Fund which is designed to assist children who otherwise would be unable to attend the school. Bursaries are awarded to both existing and new pupils provided financial need can be demonstrated. Applications should be made to the Bursar by the last Friday in November to be considered for awards in respect of the next academic year (we subcontract the evaluation process to an independent company hence the lead time of ten months). Bursary applications for new pupils will only be accepted for those who are registered for admission.
Do you have a sibling policy?
If we have to decide between two or more candidates who meet our admission requirements after all appropriate allowances and special consideration has been given, we may give preference to a child who already has a brother or sister in the school or whose parent is a former pupil.
Do pupils wear uniform?
All pupils in Years 7-11 are required to wear uniform and should have the required kit for sport and dance. Uniform can be purchased from Stevensons Uniform Shop. Contact details and a full uniform list can be found here
Sixth Form pupils are not required to wear uniform but must have a smart suit for formal occasions such as open events, school lectures etc. Sixth Form uniform guidelines can also be found at the above link.
Does St James offer transport?
Our school is served by excellent public transport links and we are further developing our coach route provision for pupils. We look forward to sharing updates on extended coach collection and drop off points for pupils.
What school trips are on offer?
At the end of the academic year, following school and public exams, all year groups spend a week together on a variety of trips in the UK and abroad.
Years 7 visit Little Canada, on the Isle of Wight, where they have great fun taking part in a multi-activity adventure and team building week. Year 8 visit northern France, enjoying French, history and French cultural activities. Year 9 also visit northern France with a trip based around the First and Second World Wars as well as some cultural and physical activities to ensure a balanced and fun week. Year 10 visit the beautiful cities of Florence, Siena and Pisa and Year 11 pupils visit Amsterdam and The Hague.
Years 12 and 13 have the opportunity take part in a community project abroad. This biennial trip involves pupils undertaking a 4 day trek in the Umfolozi National Park, South Africa after carrying out a community service project in a local village, living with families and immersing themselves in local culture.
We also run several trips in the October half term break which run on a rotational basis. In 2017, the history department ran a trip to Berlin. In October 2018, the geography department will take girls to Iceland and in October 2019 there will be a trip to Lanzarote where girls will have the opportunity to obtain their PADI scuba diving qualification.
There is also an annual Sixth Form Art and History of Art trip to Florence or Paris and a trip to Malta for Sanskrit students in Years 11 and 12. Biennially, there is a trip to Pompeii and a ski trip.
In addition to these trips, all year groups are offered cultural enrichment through visits to historic sites, art galleries, theatres and museums.
I have heard that St James offers meditation. What does this involve?
We allocate a short period of 5-10 minutes at the beginning of the day and after lunch to quietude in which pupils may meditate, contemplate or
simply be still. All new pupils are invited to learn a form of mantra meditation – this is entirely voluntary. The method is introduced through the ‘School of Meditation’ in Holland Park and we have Meditation Mentors who can support the pupils’ practice of meditation through termly one-to-one meetings.
Before and after every lesson we also have a pause of one or two minutes which offers an opportunity to let go of what has passed so that pupils are free to meet the next lesson or activity with full attention.
Which languages does St James offer?
All pupils in Year 7 learn French and Latin. We continue to offer Sanskrit, an ancient Indian language, to girls who have come up from our Junior School. All girls who join us in Year 7 have an introductory course in Sanskrit language and culture and these girls can continue with Sanskrit in Years 8 and 9 if they want to (and are good enough); those who don’t want to continue with Sanskrit study Spanish instead. Our most able linguists also study Classical Greek in Years 8 and 9. All these languages are offered as options at GCSE and A Level.
Where do pupils do sport?
We use the playground for break times. Our single PE lessons take place in the playground or the gym. For our double lessons we go by coach to Barn Elms Sports Centre for netball and King’s House Sports Ground for lacrosse in the Autumn and Spring Terms. In the Summer Term, we do athletics at Barn Elms Sports Centre and sometimes walk ten minutes to Holland Park to play rounders.
Do you offer school meals?
Yes, we do and the cost of these is included in our fees. All meals are vegetarian but pupils don’t have to be vegetarian! The food is vegetarian so the school can offer really fresh, good quality meals. Vegetarian food is also eaten by all cultures.
How do I contact the Registrar?
If you require any further information on our admissions process, please email Sue Allen or call 020 7348 1748