Find out a little more about St Columba’s…
How many pupils are there in the Prep/Senior School?
There are approximately 200 students in the Prep School and 600 in the Senior School, including Sixth Form.
How many students are in each class?
There are a maximum of eighteen students in the Lower Prep classes and twenty-two in the Upper Prep classes. Initially, in the Senior School, there are usually twenty-two to twenty-four students in each teaching group. This number reduces considerably when subjects such as English, Maths and Science are set, and then again in GCSE and A Level subjects further up the school.
Is the school divided into Houses?
The Prep School has four Houses, each named after English Catholic martyrs: Alban, Becket, Fisher and More.
The Senior School has six Houses: Charles, Guertin, Joseph, Martin, McClancy and Stanislaus. These are all named after Brothers of the Sacred Heart schools in North America.
You can find out more HERE
What contacts/exchanges are there with schools abroad?
There are close links between St Columba’s College and the North American Schools, described here, with exchanges taking place from time to time. The College also has a successful exchange programme with Chartreux School in Lyon, France, and runs language trips to Spain.
How many teaching members of staff are there?
There are just over thirty members of teaching staff in the Prep School, with specialist leaders for each subject. There are over eighty members of teaching staff in the Senior School, including nine in the Maths Department, six in the English Department, thirteen in the Science Department and four in the Modern Foreign Languages Department.
For a full list of teaching staff see links below:
Do you have a catchment area?
There is no catchment area for the College. Offers of places are made on the results of assessment.
Do you have a sibling policy?
We warmly welcome all applicants who can meet our academic criteria. For families with siblings, we’re delighted to offer a special reduction in tuition fees, ranging from 3% to 5%.
What is the procedure for the admissions process and which subjects are students tested in?
Are sample papers available?
For 11+ and 13+ applicants, a familiarisation tool is available for the CEM online reasoning test: https://plus.cem.org/cemselectfam/. We don’t encourage applicant’s to study for the assessments so instead offer this as a familiarisation tool to help make them feel more at ease.
We do not provide past papers of the interview tasks, however applicants will be sent the English and Maths materials approximately 1 hour before the interview to read and review.
Is there an interview?
11+ and 13+ applicants are interviewed as part of the entrance assessment process. Each interview is conducted by a member of Senior Academic staff, and includes some Maths and English tasks.
Sixth Form applicants, who are successful at the application stage, are invited to attend an interview with the Head of Sixth Form as a final phase of the admissions process.
When is the closing date for applications?
For all application closing dates and deadlines, please see our College Admissions Dates page.
When will I hear if my child has been offered a place?
For all offer dates and acceptance deadlines, please see our College Admissions Dates page.
Is there a waiting list?
After an appropriate number of places have been offered, the College may also offer a small number of waiting list places to students who have reached an appropriate standard in the entrance examinations. In the event that there are still places available after the acceptance deadline has passed, the College will offer a place to those students on the waiting list.
Do you have places available in other year groups?
The main points of entry to the school are Reception (4+), Year 3 (7+), Year 7 (11+), Year 9 (13+) and Sixth Form. Occasionally, places become available in other year groups and prospective pupils can be tested on an ad hoc basis.
Please contact the Admissions Office on 01727 892040 or email@example.com to discuss an application.
We are relocating to the UK, can we apply from overseas?
We welcome applications from overseas candidates. The assessment process may be carried out online depending on year group of entry and circumstances. Alternatively, if you are visiting the UK at an appropriate time, the assessment can be carried out during your visit.
What are the coach routes?
Please visit the ‘Travelling to St Columba’s College‘ page below to find out more information about our coaches and travel and the associated daily costs.
What time do the coaches depart after school?
School coaches will leave later on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 5.00pm. This arrangement will operate in the first half of the Michaelmas Term only, during all of the Lent Term and for the first half of the Trinity Term. This will enable us to take advantage of the extended daylight hours during parts of the year as well as the need to prepare sports teams and to facilitate revision for public examinations in the summer. On Mondays and Fridays, School coaches will leave at 4.00pm. There will no longer be an additional late coach service operating.
What after-school activities are available?
A wide selection of after school activities are available, a small number of which are chargeable. Please see visit our Clubs & Activities page.
What are the fees? Is financial assistance available?
Please visit our Fees, Bursaries & Scholarships page for details of current fees.
What is the school’s policy on bullying?
Bullying is unacceptable at St Columba’s College and is dealt with swiftly and appropriately.
Please see our policies here.
Which sports do you play?
Sports include; rugby, football, basketball, netball, cross country, cricket, athletics and gymnastics. The College also has swimming and golf teams.
Please visit ‘Sports at St Columba’s’ for more information.
Does it matter that my child is not Catholic?
Although St Columba’s is a Catholic school, we welcome families of all faiths and those of no particular persuasion. Students are expected the follow the charism and ethos of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart by respecting and caring for their fellow pupils and teachers.
Will they have to attend services?
All students attend every service as part of the St Columba’s College community. Any student may wish to play an active part by reading a prayer or playing an instrument.
Are students allowed to bring in packed lunches?
Yes, students are allowed to bring in packed lunches.
Which universities do your students go on to?
For a full list of last year’s leavers’ destinations please see our Leavers’ Destinations page.
Do you have provision for SEN?
Those students who have additional learning needs, will be supported by the Academic Support Department and through the in-class teaching strategies provided by all staff. Some additional specialised support is also available. The full policy is on the website and can be accessed for fuller details where learning difficulties are more acute.
View our policies here.
Do you have provision for EAL?
In order to access the full curriculum at the College, students need to have a good mastery of English. The College seeks to assess each individual case where this need is evident given its provision. The College policy for English as an Additional Language, known as EAL, can be found on the website.
View our policies here.
Will you sponsor a pupil under a Tier 4 visa?
No, St Columba’s College and Preparatory School is not registered to sponsor pupils who need a Tier 4 visa in order to study in the UK.
Into which year groups do you accept girls?
The introduction of female students will continue to roll through the school to full co-education in the next few years. Our co-education roll out is under constant review and so may change in the future to involve earlier year groups. For further information on co-education, please see our College Co-education page.