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St. Albans School Hertfordshire

School rating 5 / 5 by

Abbey Gateway St. Alban Hertfordshire AL3 4HB United Kingdom
Boarding
None to None
Day
6th to Sixth Form
Gender
Boys only

Academic

St. Albans School Hertfordshire review by .

The school tends to keep class sizes to a minimum - up to 20 in the early years when everyone is studying the same subjects, and as low as one-on-one tuition in the final years as students study only three or four A-level subjects to a very high degree. This allows for great flexibility in teaching; those who need more support get it, while those who need challenging can be put through their paces. While obviously paying attention to the requirements of public exams, the school tries to give students the fullest and most in-depth education possible, going beyond the bounds of set syllabus requirements into more developed thinking that leads to its students doing very well at universities: students annually take up places at Oxford and Cambridge for a wide range of subjects - testament to strong teaching across the board - while all end up at the top 20 universities. The school's attitude of expecting a lot of thought and commitment from its students translates into very strong preparation for University, and St Albans students tend to distinguish themselves wherever they go. All students take at least one modern language to GCSE (this is almost unheard at any other school), Latin and Ancient Greek have a very strong following, with annual trips to Athens and Rome proving the teacher's commitment to bringing their subjects to life. Maths is a particular strong point, with over 90% of students in my year taking it up to AS-level, and producing some truly impressive results. In more practical terms, teaching is generally varied as the teachers always try to find the best means to educate their pupils. Discussions are the core of arts subjects, with student presentations commonly getting the students to take a more active role in their learning. Sciences are almost always experiment-based, making them uncommonly popular. Students are typically given three half-hour homework exercises per evening, and usually given at least one week to complete such assignments, meaning they still have plenty of time to get involved in extracurricular activities, which the school whole-heartedly supports.

College Counseling

I cannot describe the pastoral at St Albans as anything other than exceptional. Teachers genuinely....

Sample insights on college counseling

  • They have contacts at most of the major universities and feel perfectly comfortable picking up the phone and advocating for a student to get accepted somewhere they feel is a good fit for that student. However, these counselors are certainly not magic bullets. They cannot guarantee that a student will get into an Ivy League university...
  • For those wishing to move on to Oxford or Cambridge, the provision is second-to-none. In the months running up to application and interview, every subject faculty offers classes (often run by former Oxbridge tutors) exploring further areas of their subject as well as offering advice on personal statements, interview technique and more...

Admissions - Getting Accepted

The admissions process involves written tests in Maths and English, a paper in the Sciences,....

Sample insights on admissions

  • For the interview, dress conservatively. Try to be very clean and put together. Also, I was a tour guide for two years and at the end of every tour, we were asked to evaluate the candidate so if you think the tour is not apart of the process, you are very wrong. Ask questions and be interested. Also, tip for the parents: the kids speak on the tour. Do not ask their questions for them...
  • Most younger siblings have an easy time in the admissions process. I can only think of one case of a younger sibling not being admitted. About half of the students who entered with me had come from public schools. The remainder came from private K-6 schools, or had transferred from other New York private schools The Elizabeth Morrow School and St. Bernard were two of the larger feeder schools...

School Life

Life at St Albans school is particularly rewarding. The cafeteria serves breakfast and hot lunches every day, as well as sandwiches and wraps. The higher years are allowed to go into the town centre to get lunch; this is a particular privilege as St Albans is a beautiful and historic city. Students at St Albans come from a wide range of backgrounds; it really is impossible to sum up the student body in a few words. Anyone can get on at the school, and this is as much due to the welcoming nature of its students as its excellent system of....

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