The most common questions on admissions can be found below
For 2017 entry we had over 500 external candidates for a planned number of 45 - 50 external places, but as every year, some families will be applying to a number of schools for 11+.
Almost all of our Junior girls – around 40 – transfer to Seniors, having undergone the same entrance procedure as our external candidates.
No; all applicants must sit the entrance examination whatever school they currently attend.
There is no pass mark, per se. We take all the examination results and rank the girls. We refer to notes from our group assessments at this stage and then, taking into consideration the report from a candidate's current school, decisions are made regarding offers.
We test applicants to the school on Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning plus a creative problem-solving writing task. We do not give out details about the creative task in advance - to keep an element of surprise!
Verbal Reasoning tests the ability to understand, analyse and interpret written information. For example: identifying opposites, considering anagrams or logic statements
Non-Verbal Reasoning tests the ability to understand and analyse visual information and solve problems. For example: identifying similarities and differences between shapes and patterns, recognising sequences.
Tutoring is not necessary, nor something we encourage. It has been our experience that many girls are tutored in Maths and English prior to the exam and we are aiming for as level a playing field as possible for all our applicants. We want our entrance tests to assess a child’s ability to learn and not the ability of the parents to pay for tutoring! If your daughter needs tutoring in order to succeed in an entrance examination, you might question whether she will be able to cope positively if she takes up a place in the school.
We do recommend that your daughter practises Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning: some practice in these papers (at home or in school) is necessary to help her become accustomed to the unusual style of the examination. This does not mean completing hundreds of papers! Six or eight, in the weeks leading up to the exams, will be more than adequate to ensure optimum results. Research has shown that any more than this makes no difference to the outcome; that is the way the exams have been designed.
Practice papers are available online and in good bookshops. We do not give more information about the specific tests as we are very keen to ensure as fair a system as possible for testing at 11+.
Our creative problem solving paper is designed so that it challenges girls to think and respond creatively - we do not give out past papers but girls have been very positive about the experience of sitting it!
We are confident that the two tests of Verbal and Non Verbal Reasoning, plus the creative problem solving task and our group assessments, will tell us what we need to know about the intelligence and capabilities of our applicants.
We invite all candidates into school on Wednesday mornings during the course of the autumn term. There will be an observed group activity, which we hope will be a fun and inspiring experience for the girls; this is assessed by one of our senior teachers. However, the exam is the core deciding factor in the application process.
Your daughter will be in a classroom or sectioned off area of our sports hall, with a group of peers, a teacher and two Sixth Formers. We try to create as relaxed an environment as possible, and it helps that the rest of the Seniors are off school that day. A drink and snack are provided between the papers.
If your daughter has an educational psychologist’s report which states that she has a special educational need, you will need to send us a copy of this in advance - do not wait until the days before the exam. This is not adequate in itself to guarantee extra time. The authority which regulates English public examinations (GCSEs and A levels) has recently altered its regulations to state that extra time will only be awarded to SEN students whose Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (or equivalent) scores in Reading, Numerical Attainment, Written Language Attainment, Oral Language Attainment place them on or below the national average. We will apply this criterion in our decision-making at 11+ so that pupils at WHS receive a consistent experience throughout their school career.
Please include on your registration form any medical information, such as problems with eyesight or hearing, which may significantly affect your daughter's performance in the 11+ exam.
We screen all our Year 7s during the course of their first term at WHS so that we can provide the best possible support academically and pastorally. If the screening indicates that there may be an issue, we will recommend to parents that they have their daughter fully assessed by an educational psychologist.
No. We are confident in our selection process and it is our job to get the very best out of your daughter. If there are concerns about her work, or she is having difficulties, she will be supported by her form teacher and others as necessary. The only reason for a girl being asked to leave is poor behaviour or an unwillingness to engage positively with staff who are trying to help her. Both instances are thankfully extremely rare!
She will study French and either Spanish or German. If your daughter is already fluent in one of these languages (e.g.: native speaker), we recommend that she take the other two.
Biology, Chemistry and Physics are taught distinctly in Years 7 and 8. From Year 9, students embark on Biology, Chemistry and Physics material that will be part of their IGCSE courses. The majority of WHS girls choose to take three sciences at GCSE, with Computer Science increasingly popular as an option too.
Training for hockey and netball squads take place one evening after school in the relevant term. Swim squad occurs on Friday afternoons. There is gym squad and rowing training too, and many smaller clubs in different sports. The full co-curricular timetable for the new academic year is published at the end of each summer term.
We do not publish past papers, however, there are many 11+ Verbal and Non-Verbal practice papers widely available from bookshops and stationers. It is advised that candidates have completed a small number of these to familiarise themselves with these tests before they sit the assessment in January.