FAQ | Croydon High School

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Croydon High School aims to provide academic challenge, extensive enrichment and a unique education for remarkable girls.

    The school creates a learning experience that is characterised by academic adventure and wide ranging opportunities to excel.

    We aim to achieve that crucial balance between challenge and personalised support, delivered by a passionate and dedicated staff body for whom the girls are always the first priority.

    We work together with a common purpose; to ensure that girls joining Croydon High will leave us as confident, engaged, compassionate and ambitious young women.

    1) Academic excellence and challenge, particularly at the high end – our academic elite is well catered for and highly successful. Our teaching staff is committed to maintaining a strong dialogue about teaching and learning to ensure our methods and resources are relevant, up to date and future-proofed.

    2) Pastorally very strong indeed as our well-deserved reputation will suggest. We know each girl individually and cater to them as such – they are known and understood as learners, as sportswomen / musicians / performers and the support put in place for pupils is highly personalised. This is an incredible strength of the School.

    3) An excellent all-round education with opportunities in every arena. The school provides modern purpose built accommodation with wonderful sports facilities, including floodlit netball and tennis courts, swimming pool and a sports pavilion overlooking the floodlit all-weather surface hockey pitch. Our Drama, Music and Art facilities are equally impressive, with opportunities for the girls to discover passions for these subjects – and much more both within and outside of the curriculum.

    4) Careers’ advice and support – an exceptional programme of support to ensure girls’ make good and sensible choices. Our bi-annual careers event sees over 100 delegates, representing an enormous range of careers, come to the school to give individual advice to the girls. On alternate years, our careers seminar evening sees many of these delegates return to talk to groups of girls on a more formal basis about specific opportunities.

    Girls Inspiring Girls is much more than a hashtag at Croydon High – it is a mantra that resonates with our own girls as they strive to inspire the younger pupils and also through our vibrant alumnae network – The Ivy Link.

    5) Throughout the year, our alumnae come back as guest speakers, offer work experience programmes and provide networking opportunities and truly enriching this aspect of school life.

  • Class sizes are usually around 20 in the Senior school, usually with four or five forms in each year group and much smaller teaching groups in the Sixth Form. We have five form entry in September 2023.

  • We have a specialist Head of Academic Support and Neurodiversity teacher, Helen Sharples, who provides excellent guidance and assistance on a one to one or group basis for any who need any extra support. She also oversees the study skills programme, where girls receive specialist support to help them prepare for examinations and tests.

    If you have any specific questions you would like to ask regarding our provision, please email admissions@cry.gdst.net and your questions will be forwarded to Mrs Sharples.

  • The Entrance test for Year 7 entry in 2024 is on Friday 5 January 2024 and scholarship assessments will take place late November/December 2023.

    We plan to hold an Entrance Test for Year 9 entry in 2024 on Thursday 8 February 2024.

    All dates for Entrance Tests can be found on Visit Us & Key Dates.


  • Full details of the Entrance Test are available in our Senior Admissions Guide for 2024 entry.

    For Year 7 entry no element of the day can be prepared for by candidates (or tutors!) – we want to see girls ‘raw rather than rehearsed’ and find out ‘how they think rather than what they know.’ We enjoy collecting a mixture of qualitative and quantitative data on which to base our offers.

    We take our time evaluating all elements of the assessment process and all applicants will be informed in writing by the end of January 2024 as to whether or not they have been successful.

    The session will include an on-line adaptive test where the test responds to individual answers, getting harder each time an answer is correct. It ensures each experience is personalised and unique and girls are not repeatedly tested on things they clearly do not know but are given the opportunity to showcase what they can do.
    The test assesses ability in numeracy, problem solving and vocabulary; no special preparation is required, and no practice papers are available.

    In addition to the on-line test, the girls will enjoy a discussion-based session within their group after which they will be asked to produce a piece of creative writing.
    All girls are automatically considered for academic scholarships, which are awarded to the girls who perform best in the Entrance Examination.

    There are also Drama, Music, Sports and Art and Design scholarships for which separate applications must be made by 6 November 2023.

  • Our Sixth Form Open Evening is planned for Tuesday 12 October 2023.

    To attend or for more information after this date, please contact our Sixth Form admissions registrar, Clare Macmillan at  sixthform@cry.gdst.net

    Our Deputy Head, with responsibility for Sixth Form, is Anna Gilmour. If you have any specific questions regarding Sixth Form provision, please email sixthform@cry.gdst.net and your questions will be forwarded to Ms Gilmour.

  • Croydon High offers a limited number of scholarships for entry at Year 7, Year 9 and in the Sixth Form.

    These are awarded on the basis of excellence; either academically or in the chosen speciality – for example, Art, Music, Sport and Drama.
    We also award a very limited number of bursaries, offering financial assistance with fees for girls entering Year 7 or Sixth Form only. These are awarded on the basis of academic excellence combined with financial need. All applications for bursaries will be means tested and assessed by the Bursary team at the GDST’s Head Office.

    Managing Expectations
    Every year we receive extremely high numbers of applications for bursary places. It is important to stress that due to very limited numbers, these can only be awarded to the very highest performing candidates academically, whose financial circumstances meet the GDST’s strict criteria. Unfortunately, the vast majority of those who apply, despite being very able academically, will not be awarded a bursary place.

    The GDST is embarking on a major campaign to raise funds that will enable us to extend the number of bursaries we can offer and increase opportunities for bright girls to join us in the future, regardless of their financial circumstances.

    Bursary applications are made on-line to the GDST.


  • All who sit the Year 7 and Year 12 tests are eligible for academic scholarships which are awarded to the top performing girls.

    Year 7 applicants do not need to sit a separate paper – it is part of the examination itself.

    Sixth Form applicants apply for scholarships which will be assessed on Saturday 11 November 2023 – please note this date is provisional and will be confirmed asap.

    • Year 7 scholars join the Sapientia scholarship programme (they move onto the Consilium programme in Year 10).
    • Performance Scholarships are awarded in Art, Music, Drama & Sport in Years 7, 9 and 12 only. See these departments for details – these are competitive & each has a scholarship ‘programme’ for scholars each year.
    •  Scholarships last for the duration of a pupil’s time at school, although her effort and engagement are monitored closely to ensure it meets the high standard expected.
    • Pupils joining from external schools in Year 9 may apply for up to two Academic Plus Scholarships combining academic assessment and assessment in either Music, Art and Design, Drama or Sport.

    Details are available within Seniors Admissions Guide.

  • Exceptional – we are recognised particularly for the quality of our pastoral care. Excellent relationships between teachers and students lies at the heart of it – a staff body that cares and puts girls first (Every Girl, Every Day was born from this premise.) We have a number of school initiatives which are designed to help all of us maintain good mental health details below:

    • Positive Project – A GDST wide undertaking. A clinically driven project aiming to equip us all with ways to understand when and why we experience individual emotions, and what we can do to mitigate the unwanted ones. It encourages students to develop their emotional literacy, giving them tools to intervene.’ Staff centrally trained and we have begun using these tools in Junior and Lower School. The project is being introduced slowly so that it embeds fully.
    • Counselling – we have two services available for pupils. One is linked to CAMHS (Children and Adolescents Mental Health Services), offering a talking based therapy. The other is provided by established school counselling organisation Place2Be, offering a range of predominantly art-based approaches. The latter offers a drop in service for pupils two days a week, and both run longer, scheduled one-one support with the inclusion of parents. For more information, please contact Sharon Smith s.smith@cry.gdst.net who will happily pass on your query in confidence, or arrange a conversation with Mr King, Deputy Head (Pastoral).
    • Our Big Sister buddying programme matches every Year 7 girl with a Year 10 Big Sister who has volunteered for this role and has been trained in mentoring techniques.
  • We have a School Nurse on the school site. If you have any specific questions regarding the health/medical provision we provide for the girls at the school, or if your daughter has a medical or dietary requirements that you wish to discuss before applying to the school, please email your questions (in complete confidence) to admissions@cry.gdst.net

  • Approximately 750 pupils in the school – split roughly 70:30.

  • Most do transfer. We then tend to add the same again which gives us five forms in Year 7. We are becoming increasingly popular and of course, many more apply than we can take.

    It is important to emphasise that there is a complete mix up at Year 7, dozens of feeder schools and many girls arrive not knowing anyone. Our SKERN week of team building, Taster and Induction programmes means we find girls settle very well.

  • Every cohort is different but we consistently achieve excellent results at GCSE and A Level. Results are all on our website.   Last year for example, over half of all grades awarded at GCSE were A* or equivalent (8 and 9). Recent university destinations are included in the prospectus pack.

    League Tables do not always reflect the all-round achievements of our students. Some tables do not recognise IGCSE (see below) so we do not appear.

    Academic rigour is a real focus led by our Deputy Head (Academic), Mr Ben Rew.

  • There is some ‘setting’ in Maths, not in other subjects. Plenty of support and extension is available via clubs as necessary.

    All girls study Triple Science from Year 7, choosing to continue this to GCSE or to move to Double Award Science to enable the choice of more optional subjects.

    GCSE vs IGCSE? We offer a mixture of both and select the best for our students in each subject. The new ‘home grown’ GCSEs are a significantly better offer than those that preceded them and we are seeing a move from the Independent sector to take up more of these over IGCSE. However, in some subjects, the IGCSE (also reformed) is still the best option for our students, as they may offer a better preparation for A level.

  • The school operates a number of minibus routes and we will always endeavour to accommodate new requests within our existing network, or, where significant demand arises to introduce new routes.

    Currently a return journey currently costs £7.21 per day with a single charged at £4.63 and we offer return routes from the following areas:

    • Beckenham
    • Bromley
    • Banstead via Coulsdon
    • Norbury
    • Oxted
    • Shirley Oaks
    • Wallington

    See full details of current routes, and find which route might work best for you.

  • Widely. From Banstead, Wallington, Purley, Beckenham, Westerham, Oxted, Caterham. Increasingly we have interest from the Clapham and Dulwich areas.

  • A Destinations chart is included in the admissions guides; our girls go on to study a wide range of courses at some of the best universities in the country. There is an increasing interest in the apprenticeship route and we are extremely well placed to support girls in this though our outstanding careers and networking initiatives and strong alumnae relations.

  • The school is one of 25 in the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST), the UK’s leading network of independent girls’ schools, educating over 19,000 students. A registered charity, the GDST invests heavily in capital projects and naturally school fees contribute towards a large part of the costs of running the school

  • The school is significantly supported with refurbishment by the GDST who re-invest all profits in to their schools to improve facilities for the pupils. We have a rolling programme of improvements and some areas are currently undergoing extensive improvement, including the Junior School and the creation of an Eco Garden in the central courtyard.

    The school also raises funds via appeals to alumnae and monies raised from this are currently directed to providing additional bursary awards, to increase opportunities for girls to join us.

  • Fees are set centrally, with input from Heads, by the GDST.

  • Two classes in Juniors and four or five forms in Seniors per year is what we are growing towards. This allows us to continue to provide the excellent pastoral care and academic support we pride ourselves on.