Fees & FAQs

Fees 2017/18

Frequently Asked Questions



I’m interested in the school. What should I do next?

Contact the school to arrange a visit. This can be an individual meeting with the Headmaster, with a small group of parents, or an open morning – it is up to you.  You can download the prospectus from the web site, email or phone us for a printed copy.  After the visit, you will be able to make an application for your child.


If you would like to visit the school again or meet with the Head again, this is not a problem. We understand just how important the decision is, about where you send your child to school, so we are happy to accommodate further meetings to help you make a final decision.



I’ve seen the school. What do I do next?

For entry to Year 7 in September, applications should be made before 1 December. Telephone our Admissions Registrar, if you have any questions about this (020 7307 8700).  The application form is in the prospectus, as well as on the website. After submitting your application forms, the Admissions Registrar will write to you with the interview date (usually in November or December) and details of the entrance examination in January.



Do you accept overseas students?

Yes. The procedure for entry is the same as for UK pupils.  Occasionally, children may be allowed to sit the entrance examination at their overseas school under teacher supervision. Please contact the admissions registrar for further information about this.



Will my child need to sit an entrance examination?

Yes.  We test students in English and Maths for entry into Year 7 and below. For entry into Year 8 and above, students are also tested in Science.  Each test takes 45 minutes.


Do we need to practise entrance tests?

No. Our entrance exams are based on work that should be familiar to students from their last couple of years in education.  There is no need to do any additional preparation for the entrance tests.


Do you provide past entrance papers?

No - The best preparation for our entrance tests is to ensure that your child focuses, to the best of their ability, on the curriculum that they are currently studying in their school.


What does the entrance examination consist of?

For Year 7 two papers in Mathematics and English to test comprehension, vocabulary and writing. Both last for an hour each.

For Years 8-10 three papers in Mathematics, English and Science.



Apart from the entrance exam, what does my child have to do?

Every child has a 20 to 30 minute interview with a member of our senior teaching staff. We ask them to bring something they have written themselves (e.g. a project, story or exercise book).  After the interview the Head has a brief review meeting with the parents.  Interviews take place in the second half of the Autumn term.  The entrance examination is after Christmas.



How do you put children in sets?

Pupils are taught in sets by ability in Mathematics based on their entrance examination score. In English and Humanities, children are taught in mixed ability classes throughout Year 7 and are set in Year 8.  For science, children follow the same groups as English until the Science department is confident that our judgement of their ability is correct.  This usually happens during the second half of the Autumn term in Year 7.



How do children get to school?

Most of the older children travel by themselves using public transport. Many children in Year 7 are brought to school by their parents at first.  However, once they are familiar with their route to school they will often travel with a group of friends.



Do you provide lunch?

We have no catering facilities on the premises. Most pupils bring lunch with them to eat in the supervised halls.  Many have lunch delivered by a local café with which we have an arrangement.  Further information is available from the school.



What about Security – the school is in the middle of the city?

All pupils in Years 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 are supervised from the start of the day until 3.45pm. They are always escorted by teachers between the buildings and are not allowed out at lunchtime, however we do allow pupils in Years 10 and 11 to leave the premises at lunchtime. Pupils in Years 9, 10 and 11 move between buildings unsupervised.



How do the pupils do sport since you have no playing fields?

Children in years 4, 5 and 6 have sport every day. Children in Years 7, 8 and 9 have sport four days out of five.  In years 10 and 11 pupils have sport three afternoons per fortnight.  Pupils are taken to nearby facilities – either on foot or by minibus.  Regents Park, Seymour Centre, Paddington Recreation Ground and the Oasis Sports Centre are some of the many facilities we use.



My child is dyslexic. Do you have a special needs department?

We have an excellent reputation in providing for the needs of dyslexic pupils. They must be able to work in classes (of around 15 to 20) with non-dyslexic pupils.  Our teachers are sensitive to their needs and adjust their teaching to accommodate them.  They are led in this by the school’s SENDCO, Dr Charlotte Knox-Williams.  A few pupils (perhaps three per year group) may drop one of their modern languages so they can attend a small support group.



What languages do the children learn?

In Years 4, 5 and 6 pupils study one language, usually Spanish. All pupils in Year 7 study one language from French, Spanish and Italian.  This choice is made during the second week of the Autumn Term, after a series of taster lessons in all three languages.  In Years 8 and 9 all pupils continue to study their language choice from Year 7.  In Years 10 and 11 pupils choose between French or Spanish or Italian as their language for GCSE.  Pupils have the opportunity to study more than one language for GCSE.


How much homework do the children get?

Children should expect about 7.5 hours of individual work at home per week. Some may do slightly more because they enjoy it and less if they don’t.  We ask parents to talk to the Head of Year if the time spent is significantly more or less – there may be an underlying problem.


Do you have a school uniform?

Yes. It is supplied for the school by John Lewis. The full list can be found on our website at: http://www.portland-place.co.uk/Uniforms/