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Junior School 020 8463 8110
Senior School 020 8463 8110

Colfe’s School
Horn Park Lane
SE12 8AW

Senior School FAQs

About the school

How many pupils attend Colfe's?

1300 in total ages 3-18. Approx 850 in the Senior School.

What is the gender balance?

Average is 60/40 to the boys although this can fluctuate. Entry is competitive.

How many pupils in a year group?


How many classes are there?

In most years there are between five and six classes of 20-24, depending on size of cohort.

How many places are there?

Colfe’s Junior School accounts for up to 60 of our places. The rest is made up of external feeder schools. Around 400 external candidates compete for 60-70 places. Applications come from local state primaries and independent prep schools. The state/independent split is usually about 50/50.

How are the classes made up?

Our own Junior School pupils are distributed throughout the Y7 forms and pupils from feeder schools generally kept together. Each form has balanced representation of gender and ability.

How does the pastoral care system work?

All pupils are placed in one of four Houses. There is a Head of Year 7, Assistant Head of Year 7 and a team of form tutors who look after the Year 7 pupils. Pupils in Years 8 – 11 are in mixed age tutor groups in their houses. These are led by Heads of House and overseen by the Director and Assistant Director of Pastoral Care. 

Is there an anti-bullying policy?

Yes. More importantly, it is enforced as and when appropriate. Issues are dealt with sensitively and the problem is usually sorted out at an early stage through discussion, to prevent it becoming more serious.  Form tutors and Sixth Form mentors play a key role in raising concern. Parents are kept informed, depending on the seriousness of the matter.  Everyone has a right to be happy. This was a main observation in our last inspection report ‘Colfe’s is a happy school’. 

How much homework is set?

No homework for first two weeks of Year 7. Then a small amount of homework in the second week rising to about 1 hour per night for the remainder of Year 7. It gradually increases each year up to 2 hours per night in Years 10 and 11.

What were your exam results like this year?

Colfe’s pupils excelled at both GCSE and A-level with outstanding results above the national average:

  • 56% of A-levels were graded at A*/A, rising to 87% at A*/A/B
  • 36% of GCSE grades were graded 9, with 79% attaining 9/8/7

For more information about Colfe’s exam results visit the main school website.

How much are the fees annually?

Currently £6,820 per term in the Senior School (£20,460 annually).

Where do I get the uniform?

From 2023 our uniform (including Sports Kit) will be available from online retailer Stevensons. 

Do I have to buy my child a laptop?

On entry to the school, parents will be asked to purchase a device for their children to use in lessons and for homework.  Parents will be asked to purchase devices via a recommended third-party provider. Means-tested scholarship (bursary) pupils will be assisted with the purchase of their device.

Year 7

What does the Year 7 examination consist of?

We require candidates to spend the day with us. Morning: Examination consisting of two papers: English Comprehension and Creative Writing and Maths – both written in-house. Candidates no longer sit a Reasoning paper and group interview. Afternoon: chance to experience taster lessons in Culture, Arts and STEM.

Is there an interview for Year 7 applicants?

Pupils who do well in the entrance exam and who are in contention for an academic scholarship will be invited for interview with the Headmaster or a senior member of staff in the weeks following the entrance assessment. All other candidates will be interviewed as a part of a group exercise on the assessment day. 

When is the examination?

Friday 5 January 2024.

When do we find out if we have been successful?

Mid to late February and acceptances are due early March.

Is there setting in Year 7?

No setting or streaming initially in Year 7 (although extension work will be provided for demonstrably able pupils and academic scholars). Maths is set in Year 7 from January onwards. This is based on tests and performance over the first term.

Who are the form tutors for Year 7?

An experienced team of tutors who guide and mentor them through the year.

How are pupils helped with the transition from primary school?

They are allocated a Year 13 mentor for the year who they see on a weekly basis or more often if they choose. Form tutor raises awareness of issues (e.g. organisation etc.) in form time throughout the year. Regular meetings with parents. Parents encouraged to use the planner/email to contact staff directly if they have concerns. Induction afternoon in July and early September/late August. 

What languages are studied in Year 7?

Pupils begin their linguistic studies in Year 7 by studying a carousel of languages including Spanish, French and German they then choose two of these from Year 8. GCSE, AS and A-level courses are offered in all three of these languages. 

What sport does Year 7 do?

Games: Rugby, cricket, football athletics and hockey – for girls and boys.

PE: Swimming, gymnastics, basketball, health related fitness, athletics and tennis. We also run early morning and lunchtime swim training for squad members and a lunchtime swim school for those less confident in the water.

Swimming, athletics and cross country underpin the core programme with early morning, lunchtime and after school sessions for squad members (takes place three times a week) and a lunchtime swim school for those less confident in the water. Athletics clubs take place at Sutcliffe Park and cross country club at school. Regular competitions take place throughout the year.

Sixth Form

What do you need to get in to the Sixth Form?

For internal pupils three A/7 grades. Minimum of B/7 grade in the subject you wish to study but for many subjects 8 is essential, especially in Maths and Science. This policy is subject to review. 

Do you have many pupils going to Oxford or Cambridge?

Each year we have students who will receive offers form Oxbridge. In 2020/21, ten Colfe’s students achieved places at either Oxbridge or Cambridge. Oxbridge is not everything, however and it’s not the right choice for everybody. 60% went to Russell group universities and more than 80% got their first choice University. Apprenticeships are an increasingly popular option.

Do you have any plans to introduce the IB (International Baccalaureate)?

Not at present, although the curriculum is subject to regular review. A-level suits our Sixth Formers because it is less prescriptive than the IB and more specialised.


Do you teach separate Sciences?

Pupils in Year 7 and 8 study Science with one teacher. From Year 9 onward they are taught by specialists in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Pupils can choose between Combined and Separate Sciences at GCSE.

What trips are available?

Lots. Highlights are sporting tours (cricket to South Africa, rugby to New Zealand, netball to Singapore) Iceland, China, Madagascar, Italy, Greece and France. Our annual visit to Kotu School in the Gambia is for pupils from Year 11 and Sixth Form, who assist with building and maintenance projects at our partner school, working with their pupils. There are many other academic and field trips run as part of the curriculum.

When do pupils start taking options?

From Year 9 in some subjects (Computer Science, Latin, Greek, DT, Music, Art, Religion & Philosophy and Drama) and then fully in Year 10.  


What clubs are there?

The list is too long to mention but it appears in the school calendar. Favourites are Art, Chess, Choir, Coding, Debating, Technical Theatre and Water Polo.

Do you put on school productions?

Recent productions have included Bugsy Malone, Grease! Into the Woods, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, James and the Giant Peach and School of Rock.

What is Outdoor Education?

Colfe’s is unusual in that it has a dedicated outdoor education department which manages adventure learning from Year 3 to Year 13. These courses develop teamwork, self-discipline, physical and mental courage. All Year 7s attend a week in the Lake District within the first few weeks of arriving at Colfe’s. This is followed by courses in Wales in Year 8 and a Bushcraft course in Year 9. Pupils can then enter the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.  


How do you get an academic scholarship?

This is based on academic performance in the entrance exam and interview.

How do you get a sports scholarship?

You need to perform well in the entrance assessment and selected candidates are invited in for the day to have a skills assessment in sport. Potential is one of the main criteria not just how many clubs etc you attend. Sports scholarships are limited in number and value- a maximum of four such pupils in each year group usually.

How do you get a drama/art/music scholarship?

You must do well in the entrance assessment and selected candidates are invited in for an assessment with the relevant Head of Department. Music scholarship students must be at a minimum of Grade 4. You will need to register your interest on the online application form.

How do you get a bursary (means-tested scholarship)?

At the point of entry to the school, you can be considered for a Bursary if you meet the financial need criteria. Assessed on a case-by-case basis, parents whose annual income exceeds £45,000, or who have considerable investments/property, are unlikely to be eligible. You will need to register your interest on the online application form.