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Trainees are worked hard from the off, and quickly come to relish the challenge of rising to professional level standards and deadlines. ‘Before I came to ELAM I knew nothing about making games,’ mused a year 12 student as he showed us an impressive virtual environment he’d created set in a submarine, ‘but it’s hands on here, you’re thrown in at the deep end, it’s about constant improvement.' Wherever we went, trainees were getting together to rehearse songs, practise riffs, do a spot of sequencing, or just strum a guitar and unwind. ‘Everyone’s basically learning from each other in this school...'

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What The Good Schools Guide says


Since July 2020, Matt Sheldon. Previously at Garden International School in Malaysia for five years, where he was assistant head teacher (school culture and partnerships). Studied University of Newcastle and SOAS.


Online application in which students’ creativity and motivation is assessed. If the school is satisfied about these, applicants are invited to an assessment day. This includes a one-to-one interview and a problem-solving group activity with people they’ve never met before – the school here is looking for ‘collaboration, integrity, communication’. Those applying to the music pathway must also do a performance. Once the day is finished, applicants are scored out of five, and only when it’s identified the high scorers does the school look at their academic record and references.

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Please note: Independent schools frequently offer IGCSEs or other qualifications alongside or as an alternative to GCSE. The DfE does not record performance data for these exams so independent school GCSE data is frequently misleading; parents should check the results with the schools.

Interpreting catchment maps

The maps show in colour where the pupils at a school came from*. Red = most pupils to Blue = fewest.

Where the map is not coloured we have no record in the previous three years of any pupils being admitted from that location based on the options chosen.

For help and explanation of our catchment maps see: Catchment maps explained

Further reading

If there are more applicants to a school than it has places for, who gets in is determined by which applicants best fulfil the admissions criteria.

Admissions criteria are often complicated, and may change from year to year. The best source of information is usually the relevant local authority website, but once you have set your sights on a school it is a good idea to ask them how they see things panning out for the year that you are interested in.

Many schools admit children based on distance from the school or a fixed catchment area. For such schools, the cut-off distance will vary from year to year, especially if the school give priority to siblings, and the pattern will be of a central core with outliers (who will mostly be siblings). Schools that admit on the basis of academic or religious selection will have a much more scattered pattern.

*The coloured areas outlined in black are Census Output Areas. These are made up of a group of neighbouring postcodes, which accounts for their odd shapes. These provide an indication, but not a precise map, of the school’s catchment: always refer to local authority and school websites for precise information.

The 'hotter' the colour the more children have been admitted.

Children get into the school from here:

most years
quite often
sometimes, but not in this year

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