Years 7-11 Admissions

Years 7-11 entry points

Our main entry points are Years 7 and 9. However, it is also possible for students to join us in Year 8 or Year 10 providing we have space in the year group. Our application process is the same regardless of entry point.

"If I were to describe d'Overbroeck's in three words I would say fun, unique and friendly. Everyone is welcome and it's such a nice place to be."

Lola, Year 10

The application process

Our application process is designed for us to get to know you, and for you to get to know us.

Open Events
Start by attending one of our Open Events. These offer you a way to hear about what many of our students and parents say is what makes d’Overbroeck’s special – its environment. They will talk of it having a “friendly, encouraging, unstuffy, family atmosphere” where we are ambitious and celebrate success but want the journey to be as interesting as the destination. We focus on the things that matter and there is a real sense of mutual respect between staff and students – to a degree you won’t find in many other schools.
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Individual visit
The next step would be to arrange for you to visit us on a school day. This visit will begin with a tour of the school which is followed by a meeting with Jane Cockerill, Head of Years 7-11. We would usually expect your son or daughter to come with you though we can arrange an initial parent-only visit if you prefer. To arrange an individual visit, you can make an enquiry using our Enquiry Form or contact our Years 7-11 Register, Rob Barker, directly at or by phoning +44(0) 1865 688 700.
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Make an application
At this point we would ask you to complete an application your child using our Application Form. We normally begin our assessment process in the academic year preceding entry – i.e. students looking at joining in 2022 would be assessed from September 2021 onwards. However, for students applying to join Year 9 via Common Entrance, this can be brought forward if necessary.
Taster day
A taster day usually comes next, which gives your child a chance to experience life as a d’Overbroeck’s student – without doubt the best way to get to know the school. We assign a student ‘buddy’ in the relevant year group (students in Year 6 are looked after by our Year 7s) who will act as a guide throughout the day. The visit will include between five and eight lessons, depending on the timetable, as well as a chance to sample the famous d’Overbroeck’s lunch! We have only one visitor per class at any one time, so each teacher will have time to get to know your child during their visit.
Entrance exams
If the taster day goes well, both from our side and yours, then we would next arrange for your child to sit our entrance assessment. This consists of papers in Maths and English. For entry into Year 10 students will also be asked to sit a Non-Verbal Reasoning paper. Each test is designed to gauge the candidate’s current level of performance and no specific preparation is required. Students applying to join Year 7 will most likely attend one of our group Assessment Days during the Autumn Term. Students looking to join Years 8, 9 or 10 come in on an ad-hoc basis throughout the year. The tests take around two and a half hours to complete.
We will also contact your child’s school to request a reference. Once the taster day and assessment have taken place and the reference has been received, we will decide whether to offer your child a place. All offers are in place for 3-4 weeks to allow you time to respond.
Year 7 Transfer Day
Students who are enrolled to join Year 7 in September will be invited to attend our Transfer Day towards the end of the Summer Term. The aim of this day is to help break the ice and make the first day of term a bit less nerve-wracking for everyone! Students take part in practical classes and have time to begin to get to know one another as individuals and as part of a group. The day ends with a tea party, which parents are warmly invited to attend.
The first day of term
The new academic year begins with a half-day induction session for all students. This gives them a chance to spend time with their Form Tutor and to familiarise themselves with their timetable and the layout of the school.

Entry requirements

We’re often asked about the academic requirements for entry into Years 7-11, and what we are looking for in a potential student in more general terms. Our school runs on openness, honesty and respect, and these are among the personal qualities we look for in a child. A sense of humour goes a long way too!

In terms of our entrance tests, the minimum level we require is roughly equivalent to the national average levels in Maths and English. However, our decisions are made based on much more than exam scores alone, and a child’s personality is just as important to us as their academic performance. We appreciate that visiting a school for the first time will always be a little nerve-wracking and this is why our admissions process takes place over several stages; we want your child to feel comfortable in the school so we can get to know them properly – and vice versa.

Take a virtual tour of Years 7-11: