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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 current Year 7, six classes of 20-24 (some years have five classes depending on size of co-hort).

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 Y7. Thereafter three subjects a night in Years 7-9, 30 minutes per subject per night. Longer in Year 10 and above.

What were your exam results like this year (2020)?

Note: 2022 results were best yet for the school and can be directly compared to 2019 – not to 2020/21 (CAGS and TAGS) 

A-level results: 88% of grades awarded were A*-B with 71% A*-A – eighteen students achieved straight A* – 98% will attend their chosen university including Russell Group, other leading competitive universities, Medicine and Oxbridge. 

GCSE: 63% of pupils securing the top 9-8 grades. Despite reports of a national drop in grades 7 and above nationally, over 80% of grades achieved by Colfe’s pupils were 7/8/9, by far the highest proportion in the history of the school. 

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

How much are the fees annually?

Currently £6,375 per term in the Senior School (£19,125 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?

From September 2022 Colfe’s began the rollout of a ‘Pupil Device’ initiative to pupils in Y7 and Y12. On entry to the school, parents will be asked to purchase a device for their children to use in lessons and for homework. The programme will be rolled out to all pupils from September 2023 (except for Year 11). 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. See Deputy Head for more information. 

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?

Wednesday 4 January 2023.

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.

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 currently study Science with one teacher. From Year 9 onward they are taught by specialists in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

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 Y10.  


What clubs are there?

The list is too long to mention but it appears in the school calendar. Favourites are Art, DT, History Magazine, Robotics, Geography, Film Club and Debating.

Do you put on school productions?

Recent productions have included 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 at interview.

How do you get a sports scholarship?

You need to perform well in the entrance exam and selected candidates are invited in for the day to have a skills assessment in sport – this may run to a second round on an additional day depending on the number of applications. Potential is one of the main criteria, not just how many clubs you attend. Sports scholarships are limited in number and value – the process is very competitive.

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

You need to perform well in the entrance exam 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. Being at Grade 4 standards alone does not guarantee selection for interview and depends on application numbers.

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 and exceptional performance in the entrance assessment. Parents whose annual income exceeds £45,000, or who have considerable investments/property, are unlikely to be eligible.