St Pauls (Boys)

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St Paul’s Boys’ School is an independent day and boarding school for boys in Barnes, London. With a history going back more than 500 years, the Church of England school’s motto is Fide Et Literis (By Faith and By Learning).

The top boy’s school in the country for academic results, St Paul’s Boys’ is located on 45 acres of green fields bordering the River Thames. It has around 950 boys, aged 7-18.

Competition is fierce to get into the school with around 33% of its leavers going on to study at Oxbridge, and many more going on to other top Russell Group universities. A significant percentage of students will take engineering, medicine, natural science or economics at university.

When it comes to sports facilities, St. Paul’s has it all; its own boathouse, a 25m swimming pool, 11 football/rugby pitches, a new astro-turf pitch, large sports hall, fitness centre, gymnasium, dojo, fencing salle, 6 fives courts, a rackets court, three squash courts, ten tennis courts and a multi use games area. Key sports are rowing, rugby, fencing, football, sailing, water polo, golf and cricket.

The school has a new RIBA award-winning science building and a refurbished drama centre which features the Samuel Pepys theatre.

Sally-Anne Huang became head (‘High Master’) in 2020 making history as the first female in the role. She was formerly head of James Allen’s Girls’ School (JAGs).


  • 96.7% of all GCSE grades in 2019 were Grade 7 or above (A*-A)
  • 80% of A-Levels in 2019 were awarded an A* or A.

“Competition is fierce to get into the school with around 33% of its leavers going on to study at Oxbridge”

St Paul’s Boys’ 11 Plus Admissions Process

Candidates must choose either 11+ entry or 13+ entry; they can’t register for both entry points. It should be noted the deadline for both is at exactly the same time.

St Paul’s admits 36 Year 7 boys coming from state primary and independent schools into its (extended) junior school for two years, who will then move on to St Paul’s School in Year 9. St Paul’s admits 176 boys into Year 9 each year; just under 50% of these will come from its junior school and the rest from state and independents.

The time to register your son for Year 7 or Year 9 entry is in the September of his Year 6. There’s a £50 non-refundable exam fee. Once offered a place, there’s a registration fee of £125.

The job of a Nightingale Tutor can start here, we will happily guide you through this process and advise on any further questions you may have.

St Paul’s Boys’ Exam Content

St Paul’s Boys’ entrance exams take part in two stages. The first stage is a pre assessment. This is an online ISEB pre-test taking place in the October or November of your son’s Year 6. The ISEB pre-test is very different to a traditional exam. Taking approximately two and a half hours, it covers english, mathematics, verbal and non-verbal reasoning. All answers are multiple-choice. 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

Your son’s tutor will have been selected for their knowledge & experience of St. Paul’s entrance process and will work incredibly hard to prepare them for the ISEB. Students can’t skip questions, getting used to multiple choice, learning how to pace themselves; these skills don’t come naturally, but will be built and sharpened over time. Please contact Nightingale Tutors if you would like any assistance here.

The verbal and non-verbal reasoning skills test aims to examine your son’s natural ability and potential, rather than his 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.

St Paul’s school will review the results of this test along with your son’s Head Teacher’s report, to decide which candidates they want to call in for the second stage. This is a combination of two 20 minutes exams and an interview (not the same as ‘the’ interview) on the same day. The exams will be in english and maths. Following the two short exams, candidates meet with two senior members of staff to discuss their studies.

It should be noted that if your son does earn a place at 11, it will be conditional upon his successful passing of further exams in his year of entry and glowing school reports.

St Paul’s Boys’ Interview

If your son performs well in these exams, he will be invited back for ‘the’ interview. Usually no more than fifteen minutes, your son will meet senior members of staff and the Head. The interview is key to getting into St Paul’s Boys’ but it should be noted your child 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.

St Paul’s look for bright, confident boys; naturally curious, ready to learn, confident speakers and and good listeners who can work well with others, particularly their classmates. St Paul’s needs to know that your son will be a good pupil and a good classmate; someone both students and teachers will enjoy having at the school. For this reason, boys should know as much as they can about St Paul’s and the reason they want to attend.

A St. Paul’s interview should be a conversation. Our tutors will ask your son to consider why he wants to attend St Paul’s, what St Paul’s can offer him, and what he can offer St Paul’s. We’ll also encourage him to talk passionately about what interests him; if he can play an instrument, act, dance, bake, sing, play sports, or start a gardening club, he should say so. Nightingale Tutors won’t be preparing your son answers to memorize, just training him to be himself in an interview setting.

Candidates are usually asked to bring in an object related to their interests. This will help spark conversation at the interview.

It has been known for a mental arithmetic or English question to be thrown in at the interview stage and we will make sure to keep your son sharp.

Your son can get a taste of what it’s like to attend St Paul’s, as well as an opportunity to meet staff and students by attending a school Open Day event. He’ll be much better prepared for his interview and feel more confident as a result of this visit. Many open days have not been happening because of the pandemic, however virtual tours are on offer to better acquaint your son with the school.

“A good tutor can really come into their own, as reasoning is rarely taught in schools”

St Paul’s Boys’ Scholarships

  • About 30 academic scholarships are awarded each year. These are honorary and worth £60.
  • Music scholarships and exhibitions are available at 13+. Each Scholarship is honorary, worth £60, plus free tuition on two instruments. Exhibitions are worth free tuition on one instrument.
  • Means-tested bursaries are available at up to 100% of fees at all points of entry, and the school takes great pride in helping families who could otherwise not afford the fees.

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


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