Admissions: Senior School

Introduction

We welcome applications from pupils of all faiths and none who have the potential to make the most of the many educational opportunities on offer at OLA.

Our entry process is designed to identify applicants who will thrive from the broad, balanced education that the school provides.

Intake Periods

The main intake of boys and girls is age 11 and Lower Sixth, although pupils may be accepted into any Year Group where there is availability. Admission partway through GCSE and A Level courses is only possible in very exceptional circumstances.

Senior School Selection Criteria

Pupils are selected on the basis of their performance in an Entrance Examination, a short interview with a member of the Leadership Team, and the Report and Reference received from their previous school.

The examination for 11+ entry is held in November for admission the following September, but supplementary examinations are held as needed for late applicants and for places in other year groups if there is availability. If it is not possible to offer a place immediately, a pupil’s name may be placed on a waiting list.

OLA recognises the range of previous educational experiences of its applicants and takes this into account when offering places.

We also recognise the wish of many families for siblings to be educated together. OLA will therefore always offer places to younger brothers and sisters as long as it is able to provide for their needs.

Senior School Admissions Process

We encourage parents to visit our school before registering their children for admission, this provides an opportunity to tour our school and to meet our Principal. Parents are welcome to join us at one of our regular Open Events, or to make an individual appointment through our Admissions Office.

Following the school visit, parents may register their child for admission by completing our Registration Form, Examination Entry Form and Registration Fee. We ask parents to provide a recent school report, and we contact the child’s current school to obtain a reference. The forms for completion are available for download below.

Registered pupils are required to sit the Entrance Examination and short Interview in the November preceding the year of entry. Offer letters are released in November.

Admissions applications made after this date will be considered subject to availability.

Pupils entering Year 7 or Year 9 can apply for a range of scholarships offered through the McAuley Scholarship Programme. Academic, Art, Drama, Music and Sports are available to Year 7 and Year 9 candidates.

Scholarship candidates must complete the relevant application forms and attend the scholarship examinations, interviews and auditions, in November preceding the year of entry. You can find out more about OLA Scholarships on the link below.

Sixth Form Selection Criteria

For entry to the Sixth Form, students are expected to gain at least 5 GCSEs at grades 9 – 6 (A* to B).

Grade 6 (B) or above is normally required in the subjects they wish to study at A Level. This does not, of course, apply for subjects that they have not studied below the Sixth Form.

Students not achieving GCSE Grade 4 (C) in Maths or English Language will be asked to re-sit these subjects.

Sixth Form Admissions Process

We encourage parents and prospective Sixth Form pupils to visit our school before registering for admission. This provides an opportunity to tour our school and to meet key figures including our Principal, our Head of Sixth Form or our A-Level subject leaders. Parents are welcome to join us at one of our regular Open Events, or to make an individual appointment through our Admissions Office.

Parents may register their child for Sixth Form admission by completing our Registration Form and Registration Fee. We ask parents to provide a recent school report and predicted GCSE grades (or equivalent qualifications). We contact the pupil’s current school to obtain a reference. The Registration Form is available for download below.

Sixth Form applicants are required to attend an interview with our Principal. Offers are made subject to interview, school report and reference, and predicted grades. Pupils must provide their final grades once these are available.  

Prospective Sixth Form pupils are encouraged to apply early in order to secure their choice of A Level subjects.

Pupils applying for a Sixth Form Scholarship must complete the relevant application forms and attend the scholarship interviews and auditions, in November preceding the year of entry. To find out more about OLA Scholarships please read the next section.

Scholarships

Each academic year, OLA makes available a range of Scholarship awards under the McAuley Scholarship Programme. The programme, which is named after our school founder, Catherine McAuley, recognises and supports students with exceptional talents, both in academic and extra-curricular activities. 

Fees and Bursaries