Admissions Policy

Sheffield High School for Girls educates girls who are, for the most part, of average and above average ability. The school aims to provide a challenging academic education together with a curriculum which helps to develop its pupils morally, spiritually and creatively.

Sheffield High School for Girls is a fee-paying independent school, but seeks to be as accessible as possible to all able girls, regardless of their parents’ ability to pay by the provision of scholarships and bursaries at 11+ and 16+. Scholarships are awarded based on performance in the entrance examination and bursaries are awarded on a means tested basis. Please see the School’s bursaries and scholarships booklet for full details of the awards available at 11+ and 16+.

The key criterion for admission, in addition to the availability of places, is the girl’s ability to access the curriculum of the school. Usual entry points are at 4+, 7+, 11+, 14+ and 16+, but girls are admitted at other times when vacancies occur. Admission to the school is based on performance in an assessment, on interview with the Head or Head of the Junior School and, if transferring from another school, a report from the previous school.

Equal Opportunities

Our policy is based on the principles within the GDST Equal Opportunities Policy, which states:

The Council of the Girls’ Day School Trust (the “Trust”) is committed to equal opportunities in education and will not unlawfully discriminate against, or treat less favourably, any pupil at, or applicant to, its schools on the grounds of race, nationality, colour, ethnic or national origin, disability, the pupil’s actual or perceived sexual orientation of the pupil’s parents (including guardians and carers), the pupil’s actual or perceived religion or belief (or lack thereof) of the pupil’s parents (including guardians and carers).

GDST Council Policy

Our policy also follows the GDST Council’s policy for admissions which states:

  • The GDST is committed to equal opportunities in education. Admissions to GDST schools will adhere to the GDST’s Equal Opportunities Policy
  • The GDST is firmly committed to offering a single-sex education for girls. In our experience, students in girls’ schools are less constrained in their choice of subjects, show a greater propensity to take risks and innovate, perform better in examinations, have more opportunities to show leadership, and are less likely to conform to gender stereotypes. For these reasons, GDST parents and students choose a predominately single-sex environment over other available options
  • GDST schools are broadly selective. Places are offered to prospective pupils on the basis of their potential to thrive in the educational environment provided
  • Admission is usually dependent on achieving an acceptable standard in an assessment or examination appropriate to the age group and academic pace of the school. Such examinations and assessments are expected to be free of bias, and due consideration will be given to individual needs and prior educational experience in making any decision on the offer of a place
  • The final decision regarding admissions rests with the Head, who reserves the right to decline to offer a place on grounds other than academic potential (e.g. a pupil’s record at a previous school)
  • Within these guidelines schools may determine their own admissions policies, which will set out their individual selection criteria
  • Each GDST school sets out in its registration the age range of students it is legally allowed to make provision for. Major age range changes are subject to approval by Council. Admission will last until the student completes year 13 unless the parent contract comes to an end sooner.
  • In all circumstances, including where a receipt is required for visa purposes, a parent contract (form F7) must be fully completed and submitted to the Fees Department, together with confirmation of the deposit payment (form F30), before the pupil can join the school.

Entrance Assessment

For entry into Junior School, girls will spend either a half day or a full day in school, depending on their age, during which time they will be assessed in the classroom setting. For entry into Years 3 to 6, this will include an assessment in English (reading, comprehension and creative writing) and Maths (based on KS1 or KS2 work). We take great care to ensure that girls find this an enjoyable day. In our selection process, we also take into account a report from the applicant’s current school, where appropriate.

Applicants who have registered for admission into Year 7 are invited to sit the entrance test on a Saturday in January of Year 6. The test comprises two parts: English (comprehension, grammar and extended writing) and Maths (based on National Curriculum KS2 Mathematics and includes number and algebra, shape and measures and data handling). Places are offered approximately two weeks after the test, based on performance in the examination and taking into account a report from the applicant’s current school.

Applicants for available places in Years 8, 9 and 10 are invited into school on a school day to take test papers in English and Mathematics appropriate for that year group. A reference is also requested from the applicant’s current school. Results of the test are usually given within 1-2 working days. Entry to Year 11 would only be considered in exceptional circumstances.

Parents of applicants are asked at the time of application whether their daughters have any special requirements or needs for the selection process, including the entrance test, and we do our best to make reasonable adjustments to meet these needs during the admissions process.

Whilst the school may disclose a candidate’s marks, parents are not entitled to see the actual examination scripts as these are specifically exempt from disclosure under the Data Protection Act 1998.

Entry into Sixth Form

Applicants to the Sixth Form are invited into school for an interview with a member of the Senior Leadership Team or the Head of Sixth Form and to attend the Sixth Form Taster Day. Places are offered based on the candidate obtaining seven GCSEs at grades 4-9, with at least grade 6 in the subjects to be studied at A level (grade 7 for Maths and Science subjects) and a satisfactory reference from the current school. For students applying from international schools, a satisfactory performance in a sixth form entrance test in Mathematics and English is required as well as a reference from the current school.

Sibling Policy

The School has on roll a number of siblings and applications from siblings of current pupils are welcome and are considered on the same basis as applications from all other applicants.

Key Stage Transfers within the School

Continuity of education is anticipated throughout the age range and at the key stages of transfer unless, in the opinion of the Head, the pupil has not attained a sufficiently high standard of work to benefit from continued education at the school. If there is a likelihood that a pupil will not be able to transfer to the next year, a term’s notice of withdrawal will be given.

Transfer from Year 6 to Year 7 (Senior School) is generally automatic. In the rare cases where there are reasons why a pupil in the Junior School would not be well advised to transfer to the Senior School, the Head of Junior School will discuss this with the parents at a much earlier stage and academic targets would be set for achievement by the end of Year 5. Parents should be given clear advice on how the school will support the pupil and monitor progress. The progress of the pupil will continue to be monitored and parents will be informed verbally and in writing by the end of Year 5 if it is unlikely that their daughter would cope with the curriculum of the Senior School.

Transfer from Year 11 to Year 12 (Sixth Form) is generally automatic provided that the pupil achieves the Entrance Requirements for Sixth Form). Parents of girls who are showing cause for concern are advised in writing after the GCSE mock examinations of the entry criteria to the Sixth Form.

Within the Sixth Form, transfer from Y12 to Y13 is dependent on satisfactory performance in the end of year 12 examinations. Usually a minimum of grade E is required to continue with a subject in Y13. An opportunity is given to re-sit the end of year examination if a student does not reach an E grade. If a student does not reach this standard, discussions will be held between the Head / Deputy Head / Head of Sixth Form and the student and her parents to agree on the most appropriate programme of study for the student.

Inter-GDST School Transfers

There is no automatic right of transfer from one GDST school to another; however, the transfer of existing GDST pupils between schools may be arranged subject to the availability of places and the agreement of the Heads.

Please note: A pupil cannot take up her place at the school until parents have signed and returned the Parent Contract Form (Form F7).