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If Alleyn’s School is an option for your child, the following article provides an overview of everything you need to know about the school. Nightingale Tutors has a fantastic track record getting children into Alleyn’s and if you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Alleyn’s School is a co-educational school in Dulwich, London, with a history going back 400 years. The school’s 1,300 pupils (Almost 50:50 boys to girls) thrive in this welcoming and supportive educational environment.

Alleyn’s is one of the most successful co-ed schools in the country with outstanding academic results (14% of leavers go on to study at Oxbridge). It has superb sports facilities over its 26 acres and an impressive range of extra-curricular activities with over 200 weekly clubs. Many of the school’s sports teams go on to win National and Regional competitions.

All of this contributes to make Alleyn’s admission process highly competitive. While Alleyn’s gives priority, wherever possible, to siblings of existing students, it’s conditional on them performing well in the entrance exam and interview.

  • 88% of all GCSE grades in 2019 were Grade 7 or above (A*-A)
  • With a whopping 43% of pupils achieving a Grade 9, 71% achieving a Grade 8 or 9.
  • Almost 25% of pupils achieved at least ten Grade 8s or better.
  • 30% of A-levels in 2019 were awarded an A*.

“Alleyn’s is one of the most successful co-ed schools in the country with outstanding academic results (14% of leavers go on to study at Oxbridge)”

Alleyn’s 11 Plus Admissions Process

Examinations typically take place on one day in early January. Alleyn’s write their own entrance examinations in English and Mathematics which they provide practice papers on to help prepare. A Nightingale tutor will make sure no stone is unturned when practicing and preparing your child for these examinations and offer a range of services alongside your child’s tuition. This includes:

  • Termly progress meetings
  • Guidance on school selection
  • Mock exams
  • Interview preparation
  • Verbal & Non Verbal Reasoning courses
  • Scholarship groups
  • Access to Pastoral consultants

Covid however, has meant things have changed. The ISEB pre-test will be the first stage in the Alleyn’s assessment process for entry in 2022. Alleyn’s written entrance exam will then take place on 7th January 2022. We’ve made it a priority that our tutors are up to speed on the new format and are very well prepared to help your child adapt to it.

The ISEB pre-test is very different from a written exam. Taking approximately two and a half hours, it covers english, mathematics, verbal and non-verbal reasoning. All answers are multiple-choice.

The verbal and non-verbal reasoning tests aim to examine a child’s natural ability and potential, rather than their learned knowledge. Here’s where a good tutor can really come into their own, as reasoning is rarely taught in schools. At Nightingale Tutors, we believe a strong performance in these tests can set a child apart and work hard to prepare our pupils for them. We will continuously expose them to similar questions as well as run courses & workshops on the subject from our classroom space.

The ISEB pre-test takes place online. Unlike a written exam, applicants cannot skip questions and return to them at the end. Your child must get used to this format and pace. These skills do not come naturally, so coaching them to become familiar with this task will pay dividends.

Many schools now offer Atom and Bofa to help children prepare for the new ISEB testing format. Please contact Nightingale Tutors if you would like any assistance here. Children who perform well enough will be invited to the written entrance exam and following that the interview at the end of January.

The Interview

At Alleyn’s, the interview happens after the entrance exam. It should be noted that children should not appear over-rehearsed. Nightingale tutors has a wealth of experience preparing children for the interview and will work to ensure they feel at ease & comfortable before the big day. Interviewers are likely to bring up the topic of current affairs, so you and your tutor can prepare your child by chatting to them about their thoughts and feelings on what’s happening in the world right now.

During the interview, your child may also be asked more open ended questions such as: ‘Can you describe the colour yellow?” or “How many uses can you think of for a paper clip?” These questions do not have “right” answers, but test how well a child thinks and expresses themselves. Your son or daughter will benefit from having dealt with these types of question in advance so they’re not surprised. A tutor will really help here and at Nightingale Tutors we get interview feedback from all of our students on what they were asked and have a long list of up-to-date example questions.

We also recommend your child get a taste of what it’s like to attend Alleyn’s, as well as an opportunity to meet staff and students, by attending an Alleyn’s Open Day event. They’ll be much better prepared for their interview and feel more confident as a result of this visit.

There is also a group assessment where candidates might be asked to “plan a survival trip.” The group will be given a selection of items and be asked to collectively choose what to take with them and what to leave behind. Again, there will be no right or wrong answers as these assessments want to see your child’s ability to work well in a team, how they listen to their peers, follow instructions carefully and argue logically for their own choices. The key is confidence and consistency; Nightingale tutors will coach your child to shine in these tasks, by building their confidence through consistent weekly lessons.

As you can see, successful entrance to Alleyn’s relies on so much more than excellent core subject knowledge. At Nightingale Tutors we pride ourselves on not only being great subject teachers, but mentors, coaches and advisors who look to shape and prepare your child for life at their new school.

“We’ve made it a priority that our tutors are up to speed on the new format and are very well prepared to help your child adapt to it.”

Alleyn's Scholarships

Alleyn’s offer academic scholarships worth up to £5,000 a year. All applicants that excel on the entrance exam and the 11+ are automatically considered. Music scholarships, worth up to £5,000 a year, are available to applicants who have achieved at least Grade V standard on two instruments. They also include free weekly music lessons. Students must attend a separate assessment. Sports scholarships are also worth up to £5,000 per year. Students must attend a separate assessment. Art scholarships are worth up to £2,000 per year. Students must attend a separate assessment.

Alleyn’s currently offers two “exhibitions” alongside their range of scholarships. Music exhibitions include free weekly music lessons and the Sports exhibitions are worth up to £250 per year.

Bursaries are available of up to 100% of the fees, depending on need. There’s considerable competition for these funds which are awarded to children whose performance in their entrance exams indicates that they would benefit the most from an education at Alleyn’s.

Additionally, the WJ Smith Trust offers means-tested bursary assistance (up to 100% of school fees) to children demonstrating exceptional music promise at the music scholarship audition. Scholarships are not means-tested and can also be awarded in conjunction with bursaries. Alleyn’s are making serious attempts to diversify its community; 1 in 10 of Senior School pupils get financial aid and Alleyn’s bursary scheme is regarded as one of the most transformative in the country.

If you are considering Alleyn’s School for your child, please get in touch with Nightingale Tutors to discuss how we can help.


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