St Catherine’s, Bramley

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Founded in 1885 as a day and boarding school for girls aged 4-18, St Catherine’s provides exceptional education. Situated 3 miles south of Guildford in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, ‘St Cat’s’ girls thrive in an environment in which they can grow and develop at their own pace. As a single-sex school, there is no gender stereo-typing in subjects and all the leadership roles are, naturally, filled by girls.

Superb examination results are testament to the quality of teaching and learning where students are not afraid to show enthusiasm and ambition. Girls are prepared for and study at the best universities both in the UK and abroad. This year, we have opened a stunning Sixth Form Study Centre where girls enjoy unparalleled opportunities for independent study. With extensive grounds, leading-edge sports facilities and an auditorium boasting better acoustics for Music and Drama than most London venues, St Catherine’s is always buzzing with life even after the teaching day is over.

Parents also appreciate the flexibility of a school which understands their working day does not finish at 4.00pm. Weekly boarding offers a compelling argument when factoring in the cost of after-school care coupled with the sheer convenience for the whole family of having everything under one roof whether it is ballet, swimming, Mandarin classes or simply the fact that their daughter’s prep. is completed each evening in a calm, supervised environment. Full boarders enjoy a comprehensive and exciting weekend activity programme which weekly boarders are always welcome to take part in too.

Day girls stay on after school to participate in their extra-curricular activities, be it Sport, Music, Art or Drama, completing homework or even sharing supper with boarding friends if necessary.

St Catherine’s is a premier league school offering a successful mix of the modern with the traditional, academic excellence going hand in hand with kindness and consideration, all underpinned by a unique House spirit. In a nutshell, an unforgettable educational experience.

Gifted & Talented

We use the term ‘Very Able Students’, rather than use the words ‘gifted’ and ‘talented’.
Once a student has been identified as a Very Able Student by a teaching department, that department (or departments) is responsible for extending the student as appropriate. We have two guiding principles. The first is to identify and extend students with specific talents, rather than just gifted all-rounders. The second is to offer inclusive opportunities, open to all but likely to be taken up by the most able.
This has resulted in a number of departmental opportunities, including

  • English: Book Club
  • Creative Arts: Culture Vultures
  • Latin Reading Competition
  • Maths Challenges
  • Science: Winchester Symposium
  • Royal Institution Lectures
  • Dicey Conference

Whole school initiatives to support very able pupils and scholars have included:

  • Appointment of an Able Child Co-ordinator
  • Membership of NACE and NAGC
  • Scholars’ teas once a term, with extension activities
  • Scholar mentoring, to set targets, identify issues, help with choices and pass on to departments any ideas on further extension
  • De Bono’s Thinking Skills embedded throughout the curriculum
  • Sixth Form essay competition
  • Sixth Form discussion evenings
SEN

St Catherine’s employs a full-time Study Skills teacher in the Senior School who works with 4 part-time colleagues across both Prep and Senior schools.

Once a student has been identified as having a Specific Learning Difficulty, the Educational Psychology report or Specialist Teacher Report is emailed to Heads of Department so that consideration may be given to the recommendations highlighted.

All students have access to a range of subject clinics. They are encouraged to use their iPads within the classroom to enhance their learning (research and active revision strategies) and for ease of access. For example, taking pictures of notes on a board or being provided with notes from the teacher where appropriate.

Where there are concerns about a student’s progress and/or confidence levels, additional, one to one lessons may be recommended. There is an extra charge for these lessons. Lessons take place once a week and details of the strategies being taught are sent out to Heads of Department so that they may be disseminated to teachers within the department and reinforced in the classroom. A detailed, Study Skills Teaching Plan is emailed to parents so that they are able to see what the teaching program will entail. At the beginning of term, these programs are discussed with the student too in order to ensure that their learning needs are being met.

Bursaries & Scholarships

Scholarships

11+ (Year 7)

There are four Entrance Scholarships available for pupils at age 11. These are awarded on the results of the Entrance Examination. Two scholarships are for 20% of the fees payable and the other two are for 10% of the fees. These run through the Middle School and can be extended through the Sixth Form at the discretion of the Headmistress and in consultation with the teaching staff.

A Music Scholarship of 20% of the fees may be awarded annually upon entry to an 11+ candidate adjudged by the Director of Music and the independent adjudicator to have sufficient musical talent. A second Music Scholarship of 10% of fees can be awarded in years where the field of applicants is particularly strong. Applications are made by December and auditions are in January. Music Awards entitling girls to free music tuition are also available and auditions take place on the same day as the Music Scholarships.

Upper 5 and Sixth Form (Year 11)

The following scholarships are awarded during the Summer Term of the girls’ Lower Fifth year. Selection for the awards is based on the results of the June examinations at the end of the Lower Fifth, performance throughout the Lower Five year, a Scholarship Examination paper, and an interview. Full details are sent to the parents of all members of this year group at the beginning of the Summer Term.

There are 8 internal academic Sixth Form Scholarships:
(i) Margaret Kaye Scholarships – There are three scholarships of 20% of the fees payable to run for three years (through Upper 5 and the Sixth Form).
(ii) Sixth Form Scholarships – There are five scholarships available of 20% of fees. However, this group can be extended by a mix of 20% or 10% awards depending on the performance of the candidates and the recommendations of the awarding panel.

Clare Gregory Scholarship
This is awarded for sports prowess and is for 20% of the day fees in the Sixth Form.

There are up to three external academic scholarships of up to 20% of fees and these are awarded at the discretion of the Headmistress, to new pupils joining the School in the Sixth Form.

Music Scholarship
There is a Music Scholarship for pupils entering the Sixth Form, to the value of 20% of the School Fees. Applications are usually submitted by the end of October. Auditions take place in November.

There is also a Jennifer Bate Organ Scholarship with Guildford Cathedral offered in alternate years to girls who are already advanced organists. This award is typically for 20% of fees payable, but may involve means-tested bursary assistance if appropriate.
Art Scholarship

There is an Art Scholarship for pupils entering the Sixth Form, to the value of 20% of the School Fees. Applications are usually submitted by the end of October.

(NB In each case the fees referred to are the fees payable by the parent for the term in question.)

Senior Music Awards
Further Music Awards are available for free music tuition on a range of musical instruments from chapel organ to piccolo and voice. Some are specifically for those wanting to take up less “popular’’ instruments.

For further information about any of the above Scholarships / Awards, please contact the Senior School Registrar – Mrs Judy Corben – admissions@stcatherines.info

Bursaries / FEES ASSISTANCE

Means-tested bursaries are available to external applicants on entry into to the School in Form One (7+), Upper Three (11+) and the Sixth Form. Awards may be up to the equivalent of 100% of fees and may also cover some essential extras such as uniform, travel, music tuition, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme etc.

Applicants will be asked to complete a detailed submission to the Business Manager and an awarding panel will determine the level of award to be offered subject to the candidate passing the School’s existing Entrance Test.

Priority consideration will be given to Bursary applications submitted by 31st October for entry to the School the following September. Late submissions may be considered by the Awards Committee on a case by case basis at the next scheduled Awards Committee meeting.

For further information about bursaries, please contact business.managerpa@stcatherines.info

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