The admissions process

We hope that this section of our website will give you an insight into what you can expect if you apply for a place for your child at St. Paul’s School. The admissions process is outlined below, and you can contact our registrar Mrs Sandra Abatepaulo if you have any questions.

Admissions criteria

For all year groups we accept applications from pupils regardless of their religion, race, sex or nationality, provided that there are openings available. We are a school which strives to offer equal opportunities for all.

All applications to the school are considered with care, aiming at accommodating the families' wishes with the available places. Decisions concerning admissions are made by a committee of teachers and senior leaders appointed by the Headmaster, also bearing in mind the following:

  1. Alignment with the community and shared values of the school, its approach to education and with modern British social and educational attitudes
  2. International pupils moving to the city
  3. Children with siblings already attending St. Paul’s School, or with family connections to the United Kingdom or engaged with the British community in Sao Paulo
  4. Academic standards and readiness for school and to study in English and access the school curriculum in a meaningful way.

Entry points

The admissions process will differ according to the year group you are applying for entry into. To check which year group your child would be eligible for, please visit our Which school, which year? page.

We take a full intake of pupils at aged 3 into Pre-Prep 1 (pre-reception in the UK). Children applying for a place in Pre-Prep 1 have to be three years of age by 30th June, our cut-off date, of the year in which they will join the school. So for entry into Pre-Prep 1 for August 2022, their date of birth should be between 1st July 2018 and 30th June 2019. Other than this, there are no additional significant entry points throughout the school. There may be, however, occasional opportunities to join the school at other points when children leave.

Stage 1: The Enquiry

We hope that the information on our website will give you an insight into what life is like at St. Paul’s. You can find specific information on our curriculum for each section of the school in the curriculum and school section of our website. If you are interested in finding out more, and are interested in the possibility of a place for your child at St. Paul’s School, we invite you to fill out the open morning registration form. When filling out the form, you will have the opportunity to sign up to an open morning. The form is not an application form. It is a first point of contact between you and the school, so that the school knows who to expect on each open morning.  

Stage 2: Getting to know St. Paul’s

We offer a number of open mornings throughout the year. These are the best opportunity for you to see the school in action and to meet with pupils and staff to have your questions answered. At these sessions, we will all explain a little more about the admissions process at St. Paul’s. If you are unable to attend the open morning, we will try to arrange an individual visit to the school. All families resident in São Paulo who are applying for a place at St. Paul’s are expected to have visited the school as part of the admissions process. To book a place at an open morning, please complete the open morning registration form.

Stage 3: Application

Once you have visited the school or attended an open morning, and expressed your interest in bringing your child to our school, we will provide you with a password to complete our online application form. When you complete the application form we will ask you to express your firm commitment to proceeding with your application by paying a non-refundable application fee. This fee covers administrative costs of the admission process and its payment does not guarantee enrolment (it is not an assessment fee). Even if the time of entry is deferred to a later date, we will ask you to make this payment so we can move your application forward at a future opportunity.

Stage 4: Assessment/analysis

At this point, if there is a place available, your child will be assessed with tasks and interviews of differing length and style, depending on age. These are not subject specific but measure each child’s cognitive ability in a range of skills and are standardised for age. They cover verbal and quantitative reasoning skills.

Alongside this test, applicants may sit an English paper to assess literacy and competence in written and spoken English. These tests are, in our experience, an excellent way to assess academic potential. Because children come to us from a wide range of schools and indeed, from different educational systems around the world, candidates are not required to be prepared for the tests in a specific way. The results of the tests are valid for the admission point immediately after the assessment only. Admissions points are in August and January each academic year, depending on availability.

Local entry – PP1 (3+) Local entry
– other year groups
Overseas application
Interview with the Head
In the 6 months prior to the assessment date, families of pupils for PP1 entry are invited to come to the school for an interview. This is an opportunity for any further questions to be addressed or concerns to be ironed out.
General assessment day
If a place is available for the year group applied for, prospective pupils are invited to take part in a general assessment day, held twice a year (once each term). Please refer to our admissions calendar.
Reference request and online testing
If your child is overseas and is unable to attend one of our general assessment days, our registrar will contact their current school to request a reference, and to arrange for the testing to take place online.
PP1 assessment day
All PP1 children are assessed in April of the year for entry in August. These assessment days are arranged on Saturdays (please refer to our admissions calendar.) The children are observed in a classroom setting and are assessed for their readiness to learn. This assessment is held in English to ensure that the children will be able to function in an English speaking environment.
Taster day (Prep & Senior)
If your child has passed the stages above, and are applying for entry into a Prep or Senior year group where we have places available, they will be invited to a taster day. This is an opportunity for your child to see what the daily routine and lessons at St. Paul’s are like, and for our staff to assess them in a day to day classroom situation.
Interview with Head of School
If your child passes the online testing, and the reference provided is satisfactory, they will be invited to an interview with the relevant Head of School. For families who are overseas, this interview may be conducted online.
Stage 5: The outcome

Once all the above stages have been completed, we will write to you to let you know the outcome of your application. We often have more applicants than places.

If there are no places currently available for the year group that you have applied for, we will ask you if you would like to be placed on our contact list. If you are on our contact list, we will write to you at the next opportunity to ask you if you would like to join the other candidates in the next round of applications.

If we are able to make you an offer, we will send you the list of documents required for enrolment, as well as detailed financial information, and also request payment of the admission fee.

If you have any questions about the admissions fee or the financial arrangements, please contact our registrar.