I’m interested in my child joining STAHS, how do I find out more about the school?
The best way to find out more about STAHS is to visit us to see our school and meet our pupils and staff. You can view and book to join our future open events here.
How do I arrange a visit to STAHS?
We look forward to welcoming you to STAHS! Please complete our event booking form which can be found here.
I can’t attend your Open Event, can I visit at another time?
If you are unable to attend one of our open events, we would be happy to arrange for you to have a private tour of the School – just get in touch with us via Open Apply.
I have specific needs for my visit can you accommodate me?
If you have any specific needs, please get in touch with us either at email@example.com or call 01727 792 509.
How do I apply for a place at STAHS?
To apply to be assessed for a place at STAHS, please complete either our Prep or Senior and Sixth Form online application forms which can be found here.
What are your main entry points?
We admit approximately 40 pupils at Reception, a small number of children through the Prep school, with a larger intake at Year 3, so that the cohort increases to 60 by Year 6. In the Senior School, 130 pupils join us at Year 7 (around one third of who are STAHS Prep School pupils) and up to 20 new pupils at Year 12 (who join the existing cohort of pupils staying at STAHS post-GCSE qualifications).
However, assessment for admission at all other age groups (known as occasional places) may be arranged if places become vacant.
I would like a place for my child but she is not in the usual year group for moving school, do you have places?
The usual points of entry are at Reception (age 4), Year 3 (age 7), Year 7 (age 11), and Year 12 (age 16). However, assessment for admission at all other age groups (known as occasional places) may be arranged if places become vacant. To find out if we have places, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
What is the difference between a bursary and a scholarship?
Bursaries are for students who would otherwise not be in a financial position to be able to come to STAHS and are means tested. Students likely to be awarded a bursary will have a strong academic record.
Scholarships are awarded to those who excel in a particular area, for example, academic, sport, music or drama. They come with a small fee reduction and are awarded based on ability not financial need.
Bursaries and Scholarships are awarded in the Senior School and Sixth Form, but not the Prep School.
How do I apply for a bursary?
If you would like to apply for a bursary, please indicate this when completing our application form for entry at STAHS. You will then be required to complete a more detailed Bursary Application Form by the bursary application deadline. You can find more information about bursaries at STAHS here.
How do I apply for a scholarship?
You can find our information about our scholarships programme here.
What happens next after I’ve applied for a place by completing the application form?
The Admissions Team will be in contact a few weeks ahead of our entry assessment to invite your child to attend. We may also be in touch from time to time with news and information about STAHS, including the opportunity to join our open events.
Do you have a sibling policy?
Many siblings join us at STAHS. However, admission is not automatic and there may be occasions where the School judges that a sibling is likely to thrive better in a different academic environment. Where there are more equally suitable candidates than places available, preference will be given to those candidates who have siblings in the School already.
What are your fees?
Information about our fees can be found here.
Do you have school coaches?
We have an extensive coach service which makes STAHS accessible to students from Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and North London. You can find lots more information about our coaches here.
What is your catchment area?
The School doesn’t have a specific catchment area. Our pupils come from Hertfordshire, North London and Bedfordshire.
What are your school terms called? Where can I find term dates?
Our terms are called Michaelmas (Autumn – September to December), Lent (Spring – January to March/April) and Trinity (Summer – April to July). Term dates can be found on our website here.
Do you accept international students?
We accept applications from international students as long as they have the right to enter, live and study in the UK.
Do you support Child Sponsorship visas for international pupils to attend STAHS?
We do not support Child Sponsorship visas for new international students.
When is the entrance assessment and what happens on the assessment day?
For information regarding assessments for Reception Entry please click here.
For information regarding assessments for Years 3 entry please click here.
For information regarding other year groups please click here.
What happens at your activity sessions for Reception applicants? Are they compulsory and are they part of the assessment process?
Activity sessions are to help children become familiar with STAHS Prep environment before they come for their entrance assessment. The sessions are held in December, just a few weeks before the entrance assessment in January. The activity session is not mandatory and is not part of the assessment process. We invite one parent or carer to stay and take part with each child in the session so that they feel comfortable in our classrooms. During the activity session the children complete some creative and practical activities as well as listening to a story. The session ends with refreshments.
How should I help my child prepare for assessment?
The simple answer is to continue to do all the good things you are doing as a parent/carer to help your child develop and thrive. Talk with them, play with them, read them books and encourage them to count things around them. Bringing your child to visit the Prep ahead of Assessment by joining our Activity Session and Open Events will help her to become familiar with and feel comfortable in our surroundings.
We want our assessment to be an enjoyable experience for all children and our teachers will work hard to ensure the process is a calm, fun and positive experience for all involved.
Years 1 and 2
There are a range of written and practical activities and we want your daughter to shine, therefore the more your daughter is willing to engage, the better a picture we will be able to build about your child and her strengths. Ahead of assessment day, encourage your child to participate fully in all the tasks and to talk to and answer questions from the adult assessing. Bringing your child to visit the Prep ahead of Assessment by joining an Open Event will help her to become familiar with and feel comfortable in our surroundings.
For entry into Years 3-6, most of the assessments will be done on a computer. Children do not need to do any preparation for the online tests in maths and English, and we do not advocate coaching/tutoring prior to the assessment. Ideally, candidates will have used a computer with a mouse beforehand, but this is not a barrier to doing well in these assessments. Along with the invitation to the assessment days, details will be provided about what children should bring and the structure of the day.
Do pupils have an interview?
Assessments for Year 3-6 entry will involve a short informal interview with either our Head of Prep or a member of the Senior Leadership team.
Do parents have an interview?
No parents are not interviewed as part of the assessment process. We have lots of opportunities for parents to ask questions of us and get to know the School and its staff at our Open Events and activity sessions.
How many applicants do you have for each place and how many get offers?
Every year we have many more applications than there are spaces available for each year group. Whilst exact numbers vary year on year, typically we have twice as many applications as we do places for Reception entry.
What is the pass mark?
We have a high number of candidates sitting assessments each year and the process is competitive. Scores need to sit well above the national average for us to make an offer at STAHS Prep.
What does a typical Prep School day look like?
- 07.15-08.00 Breakfast Club
- 08.00-08.30 Outdoor play Co-curricular clubs
- 08.30 Registration
- 08.45 Assembly
- 09.10 Lesson 1
- 10.10 Break
- 10.30 Lesson 2
- 11.30 Lesson 3
- 12.00 Lunchtime Co-curricular clubs
- 13.10 Lesson 4
- 14.15 Lesson 5
- 15.00-15.20 Staggered end to school day
- 15.30 Coaches Depart
- 15.15-18.00 After school care and co-curricular clubs
Is there wrap-around care?
Yes – the day begins with Breakfast Club from 07.15, with after school care available until 18.00. Please click here to find out more.
Do you have school coaches?
Daily coaches run to and from the school from the surrounding area. There is also a coach from the Senior School in the centre of St Albans each morning, returning to the Senior school each afternoon. You can find lots more information about our coaches here.
Which nurseries do pupils join STAHS from?
We receive applications for children at a wide range of nurseries. Typically, our 40 new Reception pupils each year come from more than 20 different nurseries.
When is the entrance examination?
Key dates for the Year 7 entry process can be seen here.
What happens on assessment day?
Assessment Day combines formal testing and a taste of a STAHS school day, with the chance to meet our staff and pupils. Candidates sit the Independent Schools Examinations Board (ISEB) Common Pre-Test, along with a written communications task, experience a taster Senior School lesson and take part in educational team activities. Assessment Day is around the length of a normal school day, with break times, lunch and refreshments provided. Some candidates will be able to take the ISEB Pre-Test at their own school if it acts as an invigilation centre for the Pre-Test; where this happens, children will be with us for around half a day for the other elements of Assessment Day.
Can I see copies of past papers and how should my child prepare for assessment?
Practice tests are not available, but examples and practice questions, where relevant, are provided during the tests so that candidates understand what they must do. A familiarisation test is also available that demonstrates the look and feel of the tests. Further information for candidates is in our STAHS Assessment Guide here.
We also offer two optional 11+ Familiarisation Mornings to help pupils understand what to expect on Assessment Day, take part in a range of activities and get to know the School. Information on how to book these, is sent to those who have completed the Registration Form.
Will my child have an interview?
Pupils who do well in our assessment are invited back to the school for an interview. Interviews are with senior members of staff and no preparation is required. Interview sessions are a relaxed and enjoyable experience, with pupils taking part in stimulating group activities whilst they are with us.
Do you have one-to-one meetings with parents?
Whilst children are being interviewed, parents have the opportunity to meet individually with our Head or one of our Deputy Heads. The meetings are purely for parents’ benefit and form no part of the assessment process for pupils.
What is the pass mark?
We have a high number of candidates sitting assessments each year and the process is competitive. Scores need to sit well above the national average for us to make an offer to join STAHS.
How many applicants do you have for each place and how many get offers?
We have 130 places in our Year 7 and receive up to 400 applications for these places every year.
Which schools do your pupils join STAHS from?
We receive applications from pupils at a wide range of schools. Typically, our 130 new Year 7 pupils each year come from more that 50 different schools, with roughly an even split between state primaries, independent prep schools, and our own STAHS Prep.
What does a typical Senior School day look like?
- 07.30 Co-curricular activities, study, breakfast available
- 08.30-08.40 Registration and Form Time
- 08.50 Assembly Mondays and Fridays
- 08.45-09.25 Lesson 1
- 09.30-10.10 Lesson 2
- 10.10-10.30 Break
- 10.30-11.10 Lesson 3
- 11.15-11.55 Lesson 4
- 12.00-12.40 Lesson 5
- 12.40-13.50 Lunch and co-curricular activities
- 13.50-14.30 Lesson 6
- 14.35-15.15 Lesson 7
- 15.20-16.00 Lesson 8
- 16.10 Coaches depart
- 17.40 Late coach departures
- 16.10-18.00 co-curricular activities and study
Is there provision before and after Senior School?
The School is open from 7.30 and pupils can have breakfast in our Dining Hall if they would like to. After school clubs run from 16.10 until 17.40 when the late coaches depart. Our library is open until 18.00 for those who would like to work there after School.