An Introduction to Scholarships
Scholarships provide three possible benefits to those pupils in receipt of them. Firstly, a scholarship is a public acknowledgement of a pupil’s outstanding ability or talent; so the scholarship brings with it recognition. Secondly, we work hard to ensure that scholarship holders receive, as part of their scholarship, educative experiences that extend and develop their talents. Holding a scholarship brings responsibilities to demonstrate positive attitudes, behaviour and commitment to pursuing excellence. Finally, a scholarship carries some fee remission which is not means tested.
All scholars will receive appropriate support, encouragement and advice to make applications for awards and scholarships into senior schools. There is no guarantee, however that a scholarship won at St Michael’s will definitely lead to a scholarship at senior level.
St Michael’s Prep School offers 6 types of Scholarships, which can be taken for entry into Year 7.
– Academic scholarship
– All-rounder scholarship
– Art scholarship
– Drama scholarship
– Music scholarship
– Sport scholarship
There is no fixed number of each type but the governors’ funding is agreed annually.
Parents interested in applying for a scholarship for their child should look carefully at the descriptions of the likely characteristics of the pupils we expect to win each type of scholarship and then complete the application form on the website. Please see our scholarship booklet here.
Academic Scholarship Holders
An academic scholarship holder will demonstrate high levels of engagement with all aspects of the curriculum. He/she will be inquisitive, quick thinking, able to see the big picture and think creatively “outside the box”. They will write and speak well and construct interesting logical arguments. They will be deeply curious about the way the world works. They will demonstrate the ability to solve complex problems and enjoy the challenges which they present. They will be the type of child who always enjoys and gravitates towards puzzles. They will persevere when setbacks occur.
All-rounder Scholarship Holders
An all-rounder scholarship holder will demonstrate ability across all subjects. In addition he/she will show the potential to make a fine contribution to the school through his/her interpersonal skills, teamwork, leadership potential or social responsibility.
Art Scholarship Holders
Art scholarship holders will demonstrate imagination, creativity, competence and technique in a variety of media. They will have a portfolio of work done inside and outside school. An Art Scholarship holder will be expected to maintain high standards of artistic excellence and to be an ambassador for the subject. He/she will be expected to participate in art activities and other artistic events.
Drama Scholarship Holders
“All the best performers bring to their role something more, something different than what the author put on paper. That’s what makes theatre live. That’s why it persists.” Stephen Sondheim
Pupils with dramatic talent will be convincing and natural when assuming roles, prepare independently and reliably, enjoy performing and seek opportunities to do so, work well in a team when putting on a show. They will demonstrate a love of theatre and have high aspirations, bringing distinction and commitment to the drama department at St Michael’s School. They may have had professional acting work.
The Drama Scholarship programme is designed to stretch pupils, through internal productions, festivals, activities, individual work and taking them to different types of theatres and productions.
Music Scholarship Holders
Music Scholarship Holders will have shown early interest in learning an instrument and gravitate towards music making as a leisure activity at every opportunity. They will practise effectively and make progress quickly compared to their peers. They will be learning two instruments at least already and be at about grade 5 by Year 6 in at least one. They may have sought opportunities to belong to regional and perhaps national music groups.
Sport Scholarship Holders
Candidates will be expected to show exceptional promise in either one sport or all round ability in two or three sports at school team, club or county level. These should be taken from the sports on offer at St Michael’s Prep (hockey, netball, rounders, swimming, football, rugby, cricket, and athletics) but other exceptional sporting talents will be considered.
All sports scholarship holders are expected to be fully committed and make a positive contribution to the annual sporting programme at St Michael’s and will be supported by the Director of Sport in becoming sporting role models at the school.
For All Scholarships:
- All scholarship applicants need to prepare a letter of application explaining why they want to be considered for a scholarship and what difference it would make to them. This is submitted with the application form.
- All applicants take part in a group activity.
- All candidates will take part in a variety of cultural workshops.
- Each scholarship has a combination of tests as detailed below.
- All applicants who reach the expected standards in the tests will be interviewed by the Headteacher.
English Paper: Reading comprehension and writing task
Verbal and Non-Verbal Paper
If successful the candidate will then be interviewed
As for academic scholarships and candidates will also be assessed also in two activities from Art, Drama, Music and Sport.
Candidates will be required to do two practical tests; a still life drawing and a creativity task. All materials will be supplied by the school but candidates are welcome to bring their own equipment.
Candidates will be required to submit a portfolio of art work.
Your child’s portfolio should include a selection of work which demonstrates a variety of skills and reflects his/her ideas, interests and abilities. This should include drawings, paintings, collage, printing, photography or 3D work. We are interested in refinement in the drawing, but also like to see evidence of sketches, ideas, collected images, postcards and notebooks which offer a sense of your child’s own particular visual ideas. Drawings may be shown if they are in progress and unfinished. We encourage interesting sketchbooks rather than neat, mounted and ‘over presented’ work. Please do not worry about mounting or framing as the work will speak for itself.
If they have visited a gallery or have a favourite artist we would welcome any drawings or notes in their sketchbook about this.
Parents must countersign the work as their child’s own unaided pieces.
Candidates will be required to perform a two minute monologue of their choosing. This should incorporate appropriate voice and movement. It must be learnt by heart and not read. They need to show a firm grasp of the character in the scene and be able to justify their interpretation. Candidates should be prepared to talk about their audition piece in the context of the whole play and about why they have chosen it.
Candidates will have to take part in various structured activities, including improvisation and group work.
Candidates will be asked to read a short section of script and talk about how and why they interpreted it in the way they did.
Candidates will perform a piece on at least two instruments and will be given sight reading and aural tests. Evidence of grades obtained to date will be required.
Candidates are required to provide a summary of their sporting achievements to date and references, where appropriate, from coaches.
Candidates will be required to take part in drills and game situations to show evidence of their positional and tactical awareness as well as skill, agility and fitness level.
The scholarship application form asks parents to indicate one of three options:
- You do not wish to seek any fee remission, thus allowing funds to be used for means-tested scholarships
- You wish to apply for a small non means-tested scholarship, which is set at between 10% and 20% for most scholarships.
- You wish to apply for means-tested fee remission, which allows for scholarships greater than 20% to be given based on a family’s financial circumstances, subject to sufficient funds being available see Bursaries below.
Conditions of Scholarships
Scholarships are tenable until the end of Year 8 and are renewed annually. The school reserves the right to withdraw any scholarship if, in the opinion of the Headteacher, the pupil is performing below expectation or failing to meet the terms of their scholarship.
All scholarship candidates will be judged on their apparent merits on the assessment dates and the school reserves the right not to award a scholarship if there are no candidates judged to be of sufficient merit. Assessments take place in Year 6 for entry into Year 7.
Scholarship holders are expected to present themselves as role models within the community and a scholarship will be withdrawn if the scholarship holder’s behaviour at school falls below the standard expected or if their actions detract from other pupils’ learning or bring themselves or the school into disrepute.
Those parents seeking means-tested fee remission are asked to fill out a Statement of Financial Circumstances Form and either return it with their initial application form or return it after a scholarship has been awarded. Those choosing the latter option will then have a further period to wait while the scale of fee remission is determined. The company “Bursary Administration Limited” is responsible for researching and recommending bursary levels. The Fee Remission Committee meet to discuss the nature and extent of scholarships to be made to applicants of means-tested bursaries.
The Fee Remission Committee considers applications from all families for bursarial support according to a family’s financial need and a child’s need for education at St Michael’s. Applications are considered six times a year – once each half-term – and parents can submit a request at any time. However, those applying for means tested scholarships who are unsuccessful are not normally awarded bursaries. This is because we only have limited funds available and those awarded scholarships take priority.
Registration and Entry
For pupils not currently at St Michael’s a completed registration form, obtainable from the Admissions Department, together with the registration fee of £100, should be returned to the Admissions Office with the scholarship application form and application letter written by the child. Applicants cannot be considered for scholarships unless they have registered or are already a pupil at the school. Places are only confirmed once a final deposit has been received. The application deadline for entry in September 2020 is Friday 10th January 2020.