Reception: 01235 520173

Admissions: 01235 530593

Executive Assistant to the Headmistress: 01235 546502

Bursary: 01235 520657

Joint Bus Service: 01235 546565

St Helen and St Katharine, Faringdon Road, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 1BE

How to find us

Lower School

Our first priority in the Lower School is to help new students make a smooth and successful transition to senior school – the happiness and well-being of each girl is at the centre of all we do.

When our Year 7 students join us, we make sure that they feel happy, secure and confident in their new environment, so that they settle quickly, form friendships, learn successfully and develop fully their individual talents. Getting to know each student before she joins us is important; during Trinity Term, the Lower School tutor team visit the students in their primary school and we invite them to an Activity Day where they meet their tutor and form group. This helps to create a smooth and successful transition into the Lower School.

The Year 7 and Year 8 form rooms and the Head of Section’s office are all located close together in the Jean Duffield Building, which helps to create a sense of community in Lower School. Students are arranged into four tutor groups of about 24 students and they stay in the same group for two years. The students are taught in their tutor groups for most of their subjects in Lower School. Each tutor group has a form tutor and a support tutor overseen by the Head of Section. Form tutors and support tutors are concerned not only with the academic progress of each students, but with her overall wellbeing. In regular, one to one meetings with their tutors, students are encouraged to discuss their successes both in and beyond the classroom, as well as any concerns they might have.


Students in all year groups are organised into one of four Houses (Benedict, Duffield, Hayward and Paterson) for inter-House competitions and social activities. Named after women who have played a key role in the school’s history, they are led by staff Heads of House and offer leadership roles to the House Prefects. The House system offers opportunities for students from different years to spend more time together, develop skills such as teamwork and leadership and foster a sense of competition throughout the school.

The students participate in a wide range of excursions during their time in Lower School, which help to enrich their learning experience.

“Kilve really made me confident around different people and I achieved many things that I never dreamed I would do.”

In Year 7 the students go on a number of subject-specific trips, for example the Hindu temple, Watford and Southampton Art Gallery. In March they go on a personal development course at Kilve Court Residential centre in Somerset which enables them to get to know each other better and to challenge themselves as individuals.

In Year 8 they visit Kew Gardens, London, We The Curious, Bristol, Lulworth Cove in Dorset and the Black Country Museum, Birmingham. They also have a challenge day, to encourage self-reliance and responsibility, which forms part of the Year 8 Personal Development curriculum.

We invite The Young Film Academy into school to run a One Day Film School.


Entry to Lower School

Open events