The school uses the graduated approach model when supporting children identified as having SEND in
order to remove barriers to learning and to put effective provision in place. This four-part cycle, through
which earlier decisions and actions are revisited, refined and revised, is key to securing good outcomes.
It draws on more detailed approaches, more frequent reviews and more specialist expertise in successive
cycles in order to match interventions to the needs of the pupil.
We offer academic scholarships at 11+, 13+ and 16+. These carry a fee subsidy of up to 20% and are awarded at the discretion of the scholarship awards committee.
11+ candidates are selected based on the results of the Common Entrance examinations and are invited to attend an interview soon after completion of the examination. The 2021 interview date is 25 January 2021.
Internal candidates for 13+ scholarships will be invited to apply at the appropriate time by the deputy head academic. They will be considered alongside candidates from other schools and will be interviewed.
Internal candidates for 16+ scholarships will be invited to apply and are selected based on the results of academic assessments in their intended A level subjects. They will be considered alongside external candidates and will be examined on Saturday 7 November 2020.
13+ UK-based candidates may be put forward by their current school and take the Common Academic Scholarship papers in the February of the year of entry. Overseas-based candidates and late-entry UK-based candidates are selected on the basis of their performance in our own entry papers which are taken in the November of the year prior to entry and may be invited to attend for interview in the February of the year of entry. The 2021 interviews will take place on 22-24 February 2021.
Interview arrangements for 16+ candidates will be confirmed. They will sit academic papers on Saturday 7 November 2020. UK-based candidates will also take cognitive ability tests (overseas-based candidates will have already submitted a UKiset report.
Means-tested awards of up to 100% of tuition fees are available for girls who meet the school’s entrance criteria. All awards are at the discretion of the awards committee and their decision is final.
Candidates for an assisted place follow the same entrance procedure as all other applicants but the standard school registration form should be completed and submitted at the earliest opportunity. Means-tested award applications should be submitted by the 30th September in the year prior to entry. In certain circumstances applications may be considered outside this timescale. For further information and an MTA application form please contact the school office. Guidance as to potential eligibility may be given to parents by the school bursar on 01962 835700.
Decisions regarding the allocation of MTA funds are made when offers are confirmed; for 16+ and 13+ candidates this is in early December and for 11+ candidates this is in late January.
An MTA is intended to be for the duration of a girl’s time at the school. An award is subject to satisfactory educational progress and to an annual financial review. Girls allocated an award are normally expected to complete their education in the school up to and including the sixth form.
At St Swithun’s we are genuinely kind, we work hard to equip our pupils to be independent thinkers and we encourage and celebrate individual interests and talents. An example of this is encouraging pupils to lead assembly. Although the subject matter can sometimes be a little on the edgy side, we try to avoid censorship because when a pupil delivers an assembly of her choosing she is living out our ethos of encouraging individuality.
We see ourselves as ‘appropriately academic’ which means that we have extremely high standards, but we are not academic to the exclusion of all else. Our aim is for our pupils to achieve outstanding results in a low-pressure environment in which everyone has a strong sense of proportion.
Thus, our prevailing ethos is one of every girl striving to break her own personal best rather than competing with her classmates. We want our girls to understand that their ability is not fixed but will change over time when they receive good teaching and when they respond to feedback. They will not do everything perfectly straight away and they will make mistakes, but that is often when the best learning takes place. In the words of Samuel Beckett “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
Being a pupil at St Swithun’s means being part of a vibrant community, one in which I expect girls to question, to take on responsibility, to plough their own furrow, but also to care for others and one that I hope they will seek to improve for the good of all.