Scholarship is celebrated at St Helen’s and a range of scholarships are awarded by the Headmistress to recognise excellence, ability and potential in one or more academic or extracurricular areas.

Our scholarship programmes ensure that all awardees have every opportunity to meet their full potential. Mentorship is at the heart of them, and all scholars are allocated to a mentor in their specialist area.

Academic scholars follow a bespoke programme of academic enrichment tailored to suit their own scholarly interests and designed to generate an academic CV that facilitates successful applications to competitive universities.

Art scholars meet regularly as a group to collaborate on technique-focused workshops. Overseen by practising art and craftspeople who provide professional perspectives, insights and skills, these sessions unlock new possibilities and push artistic boundaries. Scholars also enjoy a series of discussions on curation and exhibition management before the annual Art Scholars’ exhibition.

Drama scholars are assigned a mentor who supports them to develop their own practical project. They enjoy a dedicated drama scholars’ theatre trip each year which helps them to develop their creative ideas and to push the boundaries of their theatre practice. Scholars present their own performance piece to the school community, supported by the drama department. Scholars take the lead in their chosen specialist area as performer, director, playwright or a combination of these.

Music scholars are assigned a mentor that suits their area of musical interest who will work closely with them to develop their talent; a rich programme of musical concerts ensures frequent opportunities for scholars to perform.

Sports scholars follow an individualised strength and conditioning training programme specific to their sport overseen by the head of athletic development. The scholars are also provided with physical and well-being monitoring tool that is collated weekly by staff and allocated a sport-specific mentor that helps them to balance their academic and sporting commitments through regular meetings. Athlete education is also provided in terms of trips, visits and theory sessions on elite performance, women’s health, sport psychology and nutrition. These take the form of practical as well as theoretical sessions. There is often the opportunity to have one on one skill sessions dependent on the sport.

In return, scholars are expected to contribute fully the academic and extracurricular life of the school.

The financial value is modest, and scholarships are not subject to means testing. Academic scholarships are valued at £500pa, music scholarships provide free tuition in one instrument and all other scholarships are valued at £300pa. Students may hold awards in more than one area (the second being of honorary rather than of financial value).

How awards are made

All awards for each year group are made in the preceding school year. Awards are made by the Headmistress in conjunction with senior members of staff for subject specific awards. All-rounder awards are at the discretion of the Headmistress and no formal application or assessment is required.

The timing of scholarship awards for external candidates is based on the principle that an offer of a school place would, if successful, be accompanied by either a scholarship offer (11+) or invitation to scholarship interview (13+, 16+).

The timing of scholarship awards for existing students will follow the external candidate assessment process; 11+ awards being made in January, 13+ awards in November and 16+ awards in November of the preceding school year.

All scholarships are open to both internal and external candidates. Further information is available from the Admissions Office at

How to apply for awards

At 11+ all applicants are automatically assessed for academic and all-rounder awards. There are no special papers or procedures.

Music scholarship auditions are held in January and are run as a half-day workshop with other applicants and include individual auditions and interviews. All music candidates must complete an application form.

At 13+ and 16+ assessments for academic and other scholarships vary for internal and external candidates.

Details of how external candidates and existing pupils can apply for scholarships can be found by selecting the appropriate entry level below.

*Music scholarships require attendance at music instrument lessons unless a school activity prohibits this.

Scholarship Programme 2024 summary

StageAwardMonetary valueDuration
11+Academic Scholarship£500pa5 years
Music Scholarship*Free tuition in one instrument7 years
All-rounder Award£300pa5 years
Sport, artistic and/or music ability may be recognised within an All-rounder Award
13+Academic Scholarship£500pa3 years
All-rounder Award£300pa3 years
Sport Scholarship£300pa3 years
Art Scholarship£300pa3 years
Music Scholarship*Free tuition in one instrument5 years
Sport, artistic and/or music ability may be recognised within an All-rounder Award
16+Academic Scholarship£500pa2 years
All-rounder Award£300pa2 years
Art Scholarship£300pa2 years
Drama Scholarship£300pa2 years
Music Scholarship*Free tuition in one instrument2 years
Sport Scholarship£300pa2 years

11+ awards

All scholarships are open to external candidates and existing students.

11+ Academic scholarships

11+ Music scholarships

11+ All-rounder awards

13+ awards

13+ Academic scholarships

13+ Art scholarships

13+ Music scholarships

13+ Sports scholarships

13+ All-rounder awards

16+ awards

Sixth Form represents the bridge between the academic life of school and that of university; it is the point at which students’ interests often become more specialised and our Sixth Form Scholarships recognise this.

The selection process for these scholarships is designed to be both rigorous and engaging, giving applicants the opportunity to show off their prowess in their own specialist area. Successful applicants follow the Scholars’ Programme for their specialism, being allocated a mentor to oversee their progress through the Sixth Form, ensuring they have every opportunity to meet their full potential. In return, scholars are expected to make a full contribution to the academic and extra-curricular life of the school. Applications from internal and external candidates are strongly encouraged.

For more information, visit the Sixth Form scholarships page.

Sixth Form scholarships