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Academic Queries

7+ Admissions

Are there any practice papers available?

There are no practice papers available.  Children who have covered the usual curriculum for Key Stage 1 and are performing well will be prepared for the papers.

Will my daughter be prepared for Bute/the assessment having been at a state school?

Yes, absolutely.  We allow for differences between all different types of schools and encourage applications from state primary schools.

Which schools do you tend to take children from?

We take children from a very wide range of schools: state schools, and independent schools which finish at both Year 2 and Year 6.

Which schools do you tend to send children on to?

The most important thing is to find the right school for every girl.  Girls go on to a wide range of day and boarding schools and occasionally to prep schools which continue to 13+.

Day schools close to Bute House are very popular such as Godolphin & Latymer, Latymer Upper School, St Paul’s Girls’ School, St James’s School, Francis Holland schools and further afield such as North London Collegiate School and City of London School for Girls. 

Popular boarding schools include: Wycombe Abbey, Downe House, St George’s, Ascot, Woldingham School, Queen Anne’s Caversham and Cheltenham Ladies’ College.  Please see the After Bute House section of our website.

How culturally diverse is your school?

We welcome children from a range of ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.

What if my daughter is fluent in Spanish/French/etc and also speaks English?

There is an expectation that girls can read, write and speak English to an age appropriate standard in order to be successful in the assessment. The Modern Foreign Language teachers provide appropriate work for girls who speak French or Spanish as their first language.

What if English is not my daughter’s first language?

Many of our girls have a language other than English as their first language.  Support for girls with English as an additional language is available to any girls who require this.

What if my daughter’s school follows another nation’s curriculum/syllabus?

Please see above.

What if my daughter is very able?

We cater for children across the ability range and all our lessons are differentiated to cater for a range of abilities and learning styles.  In addition, our Learning Enrichment Department ensures we meet the needs of all children.

Should I get a tutor if my daughter is behind/in a state school/at school in another country?

If your daughter cannot speak, read or write English fluently at an age appropriate level, a language tutor to help her to achieve this may be helpful.  Otherwise, we discourage tutoring as we look for academic potential on our assessment days and are interested in a child’s natural aptitude and curiosity.

How does the sporting success fit with your non-competitive academic ethos?

Our non-competitive academic ethos is about ensuring that one girl is not made to feel superior to another girl through setting/streaming/prefect systems etc.   

Sometimes sport is competitive and requires girls to be selected for teams so they can play against other schools’ teams at an appropriate level.  However, girls are given plenty of opportunities to play in matches and to develop their sporting skills in order that they can improve.  Our PE Department is committed to developing the skills of all the girls and to encouraging all girls to find sport fun and exciting.  We offer a wide range of sports so that a girl can find something she especially enjoys.

Will my Reception child get a place?

Entry to Reception is through our ballot.  If your daughter gains a place at 7+ through the assessment, your younger daughter will not necessarily be offered a place as there may not be one available.  Please speak to our Registrar or look on our website at 4+ Admissions for further details.

Will my daughter be pitted against some very clever girls?

Girls of all abilities sit for Bute House and it is their academic potential in which we are interested.  A willingness to give anything a go, curiosity and enthusiasm for learning are also key attributes for us.

What level should she be at to attend the assessment?

As a general guide, she should be working at or beyond the expected level for the year group she is in.

My daughter’s school won’t push the girls until after the assessment – what should we do?

We take girls from all sorts of schools and we take into account the kind of school she has come from in terms of what she may or may not have covered.

What is involved in the assessment?

The girls are put into small groups of 8-10 with four members of staff in a classroom.  The girls spend a very relaxed morning with their groups doing some Maths, an oral comprehension on a one to one basis, some story writing.  They will also go on a tour of the school and engage in an activity with the rest of their group as well as going out to play.  Please see the 7+ Admissions page for further details.  The Head gives a talk in the September preceding the January 7+ assessment for parents to answer any queries about the assessment.

4+ Questions

How long is the waiting list after Reception?

The numbers vary but it is usually in excess of three hundred names.

What if my daughter is not drawn on the list or waiting list?

The girls who have been unsuccessful in the ballot remain on the waiting list for 7+

How often do places become available?

It is relatively rare but sometimes families relocate so it is worth remaining on the list.

How many places are there?

The Reception class has 22-24 pupils.  The number of places varies from year to year depending on the number of sibling places being offered in any one year.

Why are there only 22-24 places?

The school is structured this way and there is not space to expand.

When do we find out?

The ballot is drawn in October in the presence of the Head, the Chair of Governors, one of the school’s lawyers and the Registrar.  You are then informed by letter in late October and come to meet the Head.

What happens next if we haven’t been offered a place?

Your daughter remains on the waiting list and you will be contacted again if a place arises or in advance of the 7+ assessment to ask you to reconfirm your interest in sitting your daughter for the assessment and entry in Year 3.