At what ages do you accept pupils?
The majority of pupils join us in our Early Years either the term they turn 3 into our Green Shoots or the September following their 4th birthday into our Reception class. A few children join later up the school, subject to spaces being available.
How early do we need to apply?
We do everything we can to offer places to parents who apply to Reigate St Mary’s, however, places are offered on a first come, first served basis.
What is the ratio of boys to girls in the school?
In the Lower School and Early Years the ratio is 50 per cent boys to 50 per cent girls. In the Upper School the ratio of boys is currently 60 per cent boys to 40 per cent girls, however as the lower school moves up this ratio will inevitably even out.
What about class sizes?
In Reception, classes are no more than 15 pupils with each class having one Reception teacher and a classroom assistant for the whole class. In Years 1 through to 6, class sizes are a maximum of 22. Years 1 and 2 also benefit from a dedicated full time classroom assistant. The upper school has a team of classroom assistants that support classes in the core subjects of English and Maths.
What is the catchment area of Reigate St Mary’s?
As an independent school we don’t have a defined catchment area. The majority of pupils come from the Reigate, Dorking, Redhill, Horley and surrounding areas.
Do Reigate St Mary’s pupils automatically transfer to Reigate Grammar School?
At Reigate St Mary’s we have a comprehensive system of standardised assessments and tracking of pupil progress which enables us to predict, with great accuracy, those who will cope with the pace and breadth of study at Reigate Grammar School and other senior schools. Therefore, pupils in Year 5 who are clearly on track for entry to Reigate Grammar School are made an offer of a place, based on continued strong performance and appropriate application for the remainder of their time at Reigate St Marys. This ‘pre-selection’ is only to be offered to pupils at Reigate St Mary’s as the junior school to Reigate Grammar School.
There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly the pressure that sitting the 11+ puts both children and parents under is not helpful. It is a very tough time for families going through the process, therefore, preventing this pressure is desirable. Secondly, it allows the staff at Reigate St Mary’s to keep the focus on delivering an exciting and challenging curriculum, without getting bogged down with excessive 11+ preparations. There are still the internal SATS assessment at the end of the academic year to retain a final standardised score for leavers, but testing does not determine the schemes of work that are followed, instead this is driven by educational excellence.
The school holds an information evening for Year 3 parents and they are given an indication of whether their child is on track for an early offer of a place to Reigate Grammar School. During the course of Year 4 parents will again be advised as to whether their child continues to make the progress needed for an early offer. In Year 5 final meetings are held with parents and mid-year parents will receive offer letters together with information about scholarships that have been awarded.
Reigate St Mary’s pupils will be able to apply for Scholarships as a part of the early admissions process in the Spring term of Year 5. Academic Scholarships cannot be applied for and are decided upon through consultation between Reigate St Mary’s and Reigate Grammar School senior leadership teams. Information on the criteria required for non-academic scholarships is available on request from the Admissions Secretary at Reigate Grammar School. Non-academic Scholarships are only awarded to a small number of children who have excelled in a particular area and they will be expected to show continued commitment to the Department from which the award has been gained. We encourage parents to talk to us about their aspirations regarding scholarships to avoid unnecessary disappointment for pupils.
Pupils who are not on target for entry to Reigate Grammar School, and do not receive an early offer of a place, are still allowed to sit the same test as children from other schools in the January of Year 6 but it is strongly advised that coaching a child to get into a senior school, beyond what is taught at school, means that they are unlikely to cope with the pace of work in that environment. Well in advance of offers being made, conversations between senior staff at Reigate St Mary’s and parents take place, so that there are no surprises and the right senior school can be chosen.
Not every family who sends their son or daughter to Reigate St Mary’s will be looking to send their son or daughter to Reigate Grammar School and therefore there is no obligation to accept an early offer, nor will any child looking towards another senior school be penalised in any way. They will still receive appropriate support in preparation for their chosen senior school.
Who do I speak to if I have any other questions about admission to the school?
If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact the Bursar at RSM, Victoria Smith: 01737 244880.