8 plus (8+) Exam – St. Paul’s Juniors (formerly Colet Court) – What you need to know

Entry point Eight plus (8+)

School Name St Paul’s Junior School (formerly known as Colet Court)

Description Boys; day school

Age range 7-13

Size 439 approx.

Fees £6,257 per term

Address Lonsdale Road, Barnes, London, SW13 9JT

Website http://www.stpaulsschool.org.uk/st-pauls-juniors

Telephone (general enquiries): +44 (0)20 8748 3461

Head Ms Maxine Shaw

Director of Admissions Andy Mayfield (for St. Paul’s Juniors and St Paul’s). For information about entry to St. Paul’s Juniors at eight plus contact the school secretary Louise McAlpine at: ccreceptionist@stpaulsschool.org.uk or telephone + + 44 (0)20 8746 2461

Finance director fd@stpaulsschool.org.uk




St Paul’s Junior School (SPJ and formerly known as Colet Court) is an academically selective boys’ school situated in Barnes, greater London and shares this fantastic site with its senior school. Both schools are however physically separate, operating from adjacent modern buildings on the South Bank of the Thames. Shared facilities include: dining hall, sports centre and playing fields.


Boys also enter at 7+ and 11+ by competitive examination. Means tested bursaries are available at all points of entry. It is the expectation that the vast majority of boys go from the junior school to the senior school. The few that do not progress to St Paul’s tend to get places at their first choice schools.


The first entry point is in Year 3, via the 7 plus exam. However, children do not mature academically at the same rate, so 8+ makes more sense for many boys. We see many boys enjoy great success at 8 plus, having not made the cut at 7+. As an all-through school, boys who join SPJ can stay for the full duration of their studies. Providing their academics are up to par, they will be automatically registered for transfer to St Paul’s at 13+. This means they have a place at St Paul’s, conditional upon their academic ability and successful passing of the entrance exam to the senior school. It is not an unconditional offer of a place, only an unconditional offer of registration.


Admissions Process for St Paul’s Junior at Eight Plus (8+)



Applications Boys can be registered from their fourth birthday. The closing date for registration is in October.


Registration the registration form is available to download here.

When registering, the terms and conditions state that St Paul’s ‘must be your first choice for 13+ education’.

Registration fee: £175.


Open Days/Visits: SPJ hosts one main open morning each year usually in November. This is an opportunity for parents and boys to meet the Head, staff and current pupils, and to get a flavour of daily life at SPJ. Eight plus (8+) families are asked to attend in the morning. If you’re unable to make the open morning, then parents are advised to contact the school to make a time for a small group visit.


Entrance Exams: held in the January of the year of entry. Dates to be confirmed and sent to registered candidates in December. Examinations are designed to provide an understanding of current levels and to test potential. About 220 will take the exam. Approx. 40/50 are then called back for interview for 18 places.


All candidates sit papers in mathematics, English and reasoning. SPJ does not release past papers, but you can access a suggested 8 plus (8+) reading list and the maths syllabus.


In previous years, SPJ (formerly known as Colet Court) has followed this exam format and coupled its papers in the following way:


Verbal Reasoning and Spelling (45 minutes)

Short Break (10 mins)

English Writing (composition) (45 minutes)

Long Break (25 minutes)

Reading (comprehension) and Non Verbal Reasoning (45 minutes)

Short Break (10 minutes)

Maths (40 minutes)


  • Previous SPJ eight plus (8+) maths papers have placed an emphasis on extended number problems and mental maths. It is normally split into three sections with the problems coming at the end. Last year they were described as ‘tough’ by some of our most able candidates (who got in!)


  • Last year’s SPJ eight plus (8+) English paper asked the boys to write from a picture prompt of a man with a top hat, in a hot air balloon with parrot on his shoulder.


  • Last year’s SPJ eight plus (8+) reasoning papers contained a mixture of elements including verbal and non-verbal reasoning. VR concentrated on word meanings and appropriate choice of words; NVR concentrated on shapes (2D and 3D), symmetry and sequences.



Recommended Materials:


8+ English practice papers, ideal for St Paul’s Junior School eight plus (8+) exam preparation:

8+ English Pack 1

8+ English Pack 2

8+ English Pack 3

8+ English Pack 4

8+ English: Writing

8+ English: Spelling

8+ English: Punctuation

8+ English: Vocabulary and Grammar


The Complete Guide to 8+ Writing

The Complete Guide to 8+ Comprehension


8+ Maths practice papers, ideal for St Paul’s Junior School eight plus (8+) exam preparation:

8+ Mathematics Pack 1

8+ Mathematics Pack 2

8+ Mathematics Pack 3

8+ Mathematics: Mental Arithmetic

8+ Mathematics: Problem Solving


Reasoning practice papers, ideal for St Paul’s Junior School eight plus (8+) exam preparation:

8+ Reasoning Pack 1

8+ Reasoning Pack 2

8+ Reasoning Pack 3


8+ Listening practice papers, ideal for St. Paul’s Junior School eight plus (8+) exam preparation:

8+ Listening Pack 1

Interviews and Activities:


Approx 40/50 candidates who are successful in the 8 plus exam will be called back for an assessment and a short group interview with the Head or a senior member of staff. In previous years parents are also interviewed by the head – although Ms Shaw may adopt a different approach this year.


As part of the assessment in previous years, boys have been asked to write a short story and answer some complex maths questions. Contact us for more details if you reach this stage.


Destination Schools at 13+:


In most cases boys move on to St Paul’s. However a small minority may transfer to other schools, often as a result of a change in parental circumstances. SPJ  (formerly known as Colet Court) has a good relationship with other senior schools, such as Eton and Winchester, and will support boys with appropriate references and recommendations.




SPJ offers bursaries at all entry points, including 8 plus (8+). Not every school will offer financial support at such a young age as a child’s potential is still relatively unknown.


Bursaries are means-tested and full details of income and capital resources will be requested. Each application is assessed on its own individual merit and offers of financial support, if appropriate, will be made in the November of the year prior to entry.


Bursaries are means-tested each year and may change as a family’s financial situation improves or deteriorates.


Requests for a bursary form should be made after registration.


Scholarships are honorary. Fee remissions are given to families with three or more children at St Paul’s Juniors, St Paul’s School and St Paul’s Girls’ School.


For further information, please click here 


Other Entry Points: 7+, 10+ deferred and 11+



By Exam Papers Plus


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