Selection criteria

At Gad’s Hill we place as much importance on social development as we do on academic success. We want our pupils to be well qualified and we will work hard with them and their parents to make sure that our children achieve good academic results. However, we recognise that success in life is not solely due to any academic qualifications gained but also often a reflection of personal qualities. Employers value confidence, maturity, self-reliance, team work, the ability to get on with people, communicate effectively and to look the part.

We select children of all abilities and who we believe will work hard, contribute to the life of the school, achieve academic results in excess of their natural ability and to become a good advertisement for the school and all that we stand for. We expect that parents support the school’s aims, objectives and purpose.



There are two ways in which parents may apply for a place at Gad’s Hill.

Most applicants join the school via the main entry points at Nursery (pre-school), Reception, or Year 7. Entry at these ages usually involves a large group of applicants with all of those children selected commencing school at the start of the autumn term.

The second means of entry is that of a casual admission to any year group to fill a vacancy. This may occur at any time during the academic year.

Parents interested in applying for a place should complete the enclosed registration form and send this to the school and pay the appropriate registration fee (this may be done on-line via the website or by contacting the Bursary). Once registered the child will be placed on the school’s appropriate class list for the year of entry and will be invited in to attend a taster/assessment day. The taster/assessment day gives the school the opportunity to assess the pupil’s academic ability, potential and suitability whilst giving the child the opportunity to judge for him/herself whether the school is suitable. For potential Nursery and Reception pupils a member of the Nursery department will visit the child’s current Nursery and/or conduct a home visit. If the Nursery department feel that the child would make progress and we can meet their needs at Gad’s Hill School they will be invited in for a taster session.

Providing both the school and the applicant wish to proceed then an offer of a place will be made in writing. The parents will then be required to read the accompanying terms and conditions of entry before signing the acceptance form (which is a legally binding contract) and to return this to the school together with a deposit before a place is guaranteed.



There are three key entry stages at the school. These are Nursery (KN), Reception and Year 7 (Shell). These age groups attract a large number of applications and therefore the admission arrangements are more formalised.


KN Nursery (Pre-School)

Children may commence KN/Nursery after their 3rd birthday. On occasion, we are able to accept applications for a child to start the term before their 3rd birthday. This will be subject to availability and a successful home or nursery visit as outlined in our admissions policy. Parents are welcome to choose the number of sessions they require to suit their needs. However it is recommended that they attend at least 5 sessions (one session = one morning or one afternoon) per week to ensure sufficient curriculum material is covered. Fees are payable per session (details of current fees are available from the school office and web-site). Parents may register their child at any time from birth up until the start of the academic year of entry.


Early Years Funding

The school makes available places that are funded by the local authority for up to 15 hrs/week. These local authority funded sessions are available each afternoon, Monday to Friday, 12.10 – 3.10pm providing there are vacancies.  All other sessions, including morning sessions, lunches, pre and after school care are outside of the scope of the early years funding scheme and are subject to fees being charged.


KR Reception

Children commence their formal, full-time education at this stage and join Reception in the August before their fifth birthday. Parents may apply for admission at any time from birth until the 31st January the year they are due to start school. Casual applications will be considered throughout the academic year or until all places are full.


Year 7 (Senior School entry)

There are a maximum of 60 places available with three forms of up to approximately 20 pupils. Parents should apply for admission by 31st October for their child to be considered for a place  although casual applications will be considered throughout the academic year or until all places are full.

There are two main channels of application for applicants wishing to apply for a place in Year 7;


Direct Registration

Parents interested in applying for a place in the Senior School for their child can register at any time prior to the academic year of entry.

At the beginning of the autumn term of Year 6 we will invite those candidates who are already registered to attend the Charles Dickens academic scholarship although it is not compulsory. Those not wishing to sit the academic scholarship exam will be invited in for a taster and assessment day.


Academic Scholarships

At the beginning of the autumn term other local Year 6 children will be invited to take the Charles Dickens academic scholarship assessment. Registration for this opens in the summer before. Further details regarding the arrangements will be published on our website.

Each year we will offer a number of scholarships, which will see fees reduced by up to 100%. These scholarships are open to any pupil from any school, independent or public sector. Candidates who register to take the scholarship examination will be required to attend Gad’s Hill School to sit an academic test which will comprise of English, Maths and non-verbal reasoning. Students who show a high academic ability may subsequently be offered a place in Shell (Year 7) here at Gad’s Hill with an accompanying scholarship which will see fees be reduced by up to 100% for the duration of that child’s secondary education here (subject to the usual conditions attached to any scholarship award).

In addition to the academic scholarships, we are happy to welcome candidates wishing to pursue a non-academic scholarship. These are reviewed on an ad-hoc basis and are dependent on a successful academic taster/assessment day, as described in the Direct Registration procedure.

Pupils who apply for admission after the above assessment processes will have their application processed in the same way as described in the Casual Admission process.

Our Admissions Manager, Mrs Tracey Marks, is always happy to provide further information or answer any questions regarding the admissions process and may be contacted via our contact form or by telephone on 01474 822366.