Applying to Our Lady's Abingdon ... The step-by-step process
We recognise that choosing the right school to suit your child’s needs can be a daunting process. Our Admissions team are on hand to help guide you through our admissions process and help to answer any questions that you may have along the way. There are four main entry points to join OLA – Year 3, Year 7, Year 9 and OLA 6th; however, we welcome pupils at other stages if there are spaces available.
Step 1 - Speak to Admissions
Our friendly and experienced Admissions Manager, Laura Purcell, will be pleased to guide you through each stage and arrange a visit to the school or answer any questions you may have regarding life and learning at Our Lady’s Abingdon School.
You may contact Laura by email to email@example.com or call 01235 544808.
Step 2 - Visit our School
OLA hosts open events throughout the academic year, enabling you to experience the school in action on a usual school Wednesday, or a Saturday Open Morning packed full of activities and demonstrations. We also offer a Sixth Form Taster Day and Information Evening. To book onto our next open event, click here.
We also offer a personal tour of the school on a date to suit you and your family, accompanied by our Admissions Manager, Laura Purcell, who will be able to answer any questions and advise you as to what the school can offer in terms of curricular, pastoral, careers and support. Following your tour, you will be invited to meet the Head or a senior member of staff, who can provide more detail about our ethos. To book your personal tour, click here.
Step 3 - Register Your Child
Registering your child will secure a provisional place at OLA, which will be confirmed once their entrance assessment and interview has taken place. Each prospective pupil must be registered before they attend their assessment and interview. Once you have decided to register your interest in our school formally, you will be asked to fill out a registration form and pay a fee of £100. Methods of payment are detailed within the registration form.
We will request a reference and school report from your child’s current school. Please also submit, if relevant, SEN information for a Learning Support evaluation. Your completed registration form and supporting documents should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or posted to Admissions, Our Lady’s Abingdon School, Radley Road, Abingdon-on-Thames, Oxfordshire OX14 3PS.
Step 4 - Book a Taster Day or Experience Day
Making the right decision on the best school for your child is very important for parents. To help, OLA provides Experience Days and Taster Days for children and their parents to experience what a school day at OLA is all about.
At an OLA Year 5 Experience Day, on a Saturday, children can try a wide range of activities, meet our teachers and make new friends. This is for Year 5 children considering entry into Year 7 in our Senior School and does not require the child to be registered with our school.
After Step 3, once your child’s registration has been approved, they are invited to attend an OLA Taster Day, on a normal school day, where children from any year group may join in on actual classes, meet the teachers and make new friends, to find out what a day in the life of an OLA pupil is really like.
To book your child on a Year 5 Experience Day or Any Year Taster Day, click here.
Step 5 - Entrance Assessment & Interview
Following receipt of your registration documents we will evaluate your child’s school report, if relevant any Learning Support requirements and ask any clarifying questions.
Lower School – admission into Year 3, 4, 5 or 6
There are no formal entrance assessments for our Lower School. Our Lower School begins at Key Stage 2 (Year 3). Children in our Lower School benefit from access to many of our Senior School facilities and expert teaching staff in addition to having their own Form Tutor for each Year Group. Progress into Year 7 at OLA for our Lower School pupils is entrance assessment free providing parents and children with a pathway right through to OLA 6th.
The main intake of boys and girls into our Senior School is at age 11 (Year 7) and age 13 (Year 9). However, pupils may be accepted into most Year Groups where there is availability. Admission partway through GCSE and A-level courses is also possible subject to your child’s requirements.
We have developed an assessment process that is kinder to your child whilst yielding in-depth information for our admissions decisions. Our new process uses a test designed to identify each child’s potential and aptitude for learning, not simply their current performance. This gives us a deeper understanding of each individual child. Our move away from formal written assessments in large examination halls provides a kinder and less daunting experience for your child.
Candidates will take a computer-based test of approximately 1-hour duration, followed by an admissions meeting with our Head or one of our senior teachers. The test includes multiple-choice questions assessing verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning and numeracy. Results are calibrated against national norms to yield fair and objective outcomes.
We are confident that our admissions approach will provide all children with a fair and sympathetic path to entry at OLA. 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.
Step 6 - Offer and Acceptance of a Place at OLA
Pupils who fulfil all entry requirements will be offered a place. Parents are sent the acceptance form to complete and should be returned as quickly as possible to Admissions together with the deposit of £500.
Once received we will send out the enrolment forms for completion. We then confirm enrolment and provide a start date.
Step 7 - Induction
Once your child’s place is confirmed you will be sent a joining pack in the term before they start which includes a wealth of information to help you prepare for their start at Our Lady’s Abingdon School.
In addition, we hold a Year 7 Transition Day in July, and an induction day at the start of term, to help all new joiners settle into our community. Depending on the Year they are joining this may be a timed portion of the day.
Lower School – Year 3, 4, 5 or 6
Our Lower School begins at Key Stage 2 (Year 3). Children in our Lower School benefit from access to many of our Senior School facilities and expert teaching staff in addition to having their own Form Tutor for each Year Group. Progress into Year 7 at OLA for our Lower School pupils is entrance examination free providing parents and children with a pathway right through to OLA 6th.
Senior School – Year 7, 8, 9 or 10
The main intake of boys and girls into our Senior School is at age 11 (Year 7) and age 13 (Year 9). However, pupils may be accepted into most Year Groups where there is availability. Admission partway through GCSE and A-level courses is possible subject to the pupil’s circumstances.
We have developed an assessment process that is kinder to your child whilst yielding in-depth information for our admissions decisions. Our new process uses a test designed to identify each child’s potential and aptitude for learning, not simply their current performance. This gives us a deeper understanding of each individual child; whilst also minimising the impact of lost learning due to Covid-19. Our move away from formal written assessments in large examination halls provides a kinder and less daunting experience for your child.
For entry into our Sixth Form (OLA 6th), 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 apply for subjects that they have not studied below the Sixth Form. Students not achieving a minimum of GCSE Grade 4 (C) in Maths or English Language will be asked to re-sit these subjects. Admission partway through A-level courses is possible subject to the pupil’s circumstances.
At OLA, we extend a warm welcome to students who join us from overseas. We are a friendly and inclusive school which celebrates diversity and values learning about other countries and cultures. Though only a small proportion of our community, international pupils settle very quickly into life here. International pupils, and British pupils joining us from overseas education, will undergo a modified assessment process. This allows us to assess pupils’ English language skills and learning levels, and to plan tailored support for each child.