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Entry into Lower Third (Year 7)


Parents who wish their child to be considered for entry into the Lower School at age 11 should visit St John’s and discuss their choice with their current head whilst he or she is in Year 5, or up until the registration deadline in Year 6.

For those parents wishing to proceed with an application, a registration form, together with £100 registration fee, should be received at St John’s by 1 November at the latest, when a pupil is in Year 6 i.e. 10 months prior to entry.

References and Assessment

Once the closing date is passed, St John’s will request reference reports from a child’s current head, and all candidates will be invited to an assessment session to sit a mathematics, English and abilities test. All candidates will also have a short interview. The assessments for pupils take place in January of Year 6.

For those who have registered for entry to St John’s in September 2019, the assessments will take place on Monday 14 January, Tuesday 15 January and Wednesday 16 January 2019. Parents will be informed by Tuesday 18 December 2018 of a specific day and time when their children should attend.

Based on a satisfactory report and assessment, a guaranteed offer of a place may be made by the Head of St John’s and a closing date given by which a deposit and fee deposit will be requested to accept that place. The deposits are subject to the School's terms and conditions as listed in our parent contract and parent handbook (available on our school policies' page). Parents are requested that, in accepting a place at St John’s, they agree not to accept a place at another senior school.

Sample Assessments

To see sample copies of written assessment papers (for year 6 pupils) please click on the following links:


Candidates will also take an on-line abilities assessment which is used to measure verbal, numerical and non-verbal ability. The allocated time for the assessment sections is just over 50 minutes (for the access-arrangements version it is 25% longer), and the assessment is administered in approximately a one-hour period.  All sections are individually timed and only the very able are expected to complete the section.

Please note that St John’s does not provide practice materials for the Abilities assessment. If a candidate takes the test at more than one school, the abilities test provider (CEM) will share the results of the candidate between the schools in questions.  The name(s) of the other school(s) will not be disclosed.

Progress into Fourth Form (Year 9)

The pupils entering the Lower Third (Year 7) will not have to sit a test to progress into the Fourth Form (Year 9). There is a GCSE related entrance requirement for progression in to the Sixth Form (Years 12 and 13) at St John’s which will continue to apply to all pupils.

Scholarships and Bursaries

Pupils entering the Lower School are able to apply for scholarships in the following areas: all-rounder, art, drama, design & technology, music and sport.

Scholarship candidates are assessed in January or early February of Year 6. Scholarships will normally be awarded at 5%, or exceptionally at 10%, remission of the day fees.

Candidates who perform particularly well in the entry assessments may be invited to return to school for academically challenging interview to be considered for an academic scholarship.

Next steps

Further information about the Lower School can be found on the Lower School page and in the Lower School prospectus.

Further information on how to apply is available on the registration form page.

For any other information on applying for places in the Lower School please contact the School’s Registrar, Mrs Sally Stuart on 01372 373000 or at