St Helen and St Katharine

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Founded in 1903, St Helen and St Katharine is an independent day school for girls aged 9–18 in Abingdon, six miles south of Oxford. St Helen’s is a school for bright girls with enquiring minds, a place where success is celebrated but not revered. Our aim is to ensure that every student achieves success as she defines it, so that she can believe in herself, her talents and abilities, and feel prepared and equipped for life beyond school.

Our outstanding academic record makes us one of the leading girls’ schools in the country. Stimulating and challenging teaching reaches beyond the curriculum, enabling our students to become effective and independent learners. Our broad and varied extracurricular programme of 100+ clubs and activities also plays a central role within school life. We actively encourage students to give new things a go, to explore and extend interests and to make friends across age groups.

Students are admitted to the Junior Department at either 9+ or 10+ and to the senior school at 11+, 13+ and 16+. It may be possible to admit students into other years, enquiries should be made to the Admissions Office.

Going Beyond

St Helen’s students learn beyond the curriculum. An extensive range of opportunities for academic enrichment beyond lessons is offered, such as attending lectures and conferences outside school, visiting specialist speakers, discussion groups and dinners, and Oxbridge preparation. Additional opportunities include foreign exchanges to France, Germany, Spain and Canada; residential field trips; visits to museums, theatres and galleries to further enrich the curriculum. All provide students with invaluable first-hand, practical experience of their chosen subjects and a world of discovery beyond the classroom.


On admission to school, assessment procedures are used to assess the individual needs of all pupils in accordance with statutory requirements. Pupils with SEND are monitored carefully to ensure that they can access the curriculum appropriately and be supported in class by subject teachers.

Parents of pupils with SEND will have all the usual opportunities for access to school staff. In addition they have the opportunity for full involvement in the identification, assessment, monitoring and review of their child’s progress.  Parents who have specific concerns about SEND provision for their child are encouraged to liaise with the Head of Learning Support. Extra individual support can be arranged, timetable permitting, for girls who need it. The school has a Head of Learning Support who is responsible for the day to day operation of the SEND Policy and an Education Committee which takes gubernatorial responsibility for SEND.

Bursaries & Scholarships

Scholarships are awarded to recognise excellence, ability and potential in one or more academic or extracurricular area. We offer a range of scholarships at 11+, 13+ and 16+ for academic ability, art, drama, music, sport and an all-rounder award. The financial value of awards is modest and they are not subject to means testing. Students may hold awards in more than one area (the second being of honorary rather than of financial value) but cannot hold two non-academic awards.

Opening up access for families who would not otherwise be able to afford the fees has always been central to our ethos. If a student has the ability, imagination and drive to grasp the opportunities on offer at St Helen’s, we would like to give her that chance. The School offers means tested bursaries of up to 100% of fees, including subject-specific bursaries at A-level.

For full details of the admissions process, scholarships and bursaries, including the application process, please visit the Admissions section of our website

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