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Year 8 (12+) Entry

Girls Playing Cricket

Year 8 or Lower 4 is an exciting year where there are new skills to be learned, experiences to be had and knowledge to be gleaned.

Pupils will be expected to become more independent and responsible.  We expect our Lower 4 pupils to be ambassadors for the school, acting as role models for the younger pupils. We will support them as they develop these skills and as they prepare to move from the Junior School into the Upper School.

We will only accept applications for Year 8 (12+) entry into the school if we have spaces in that year.  Please check with the Admissions Team before registering as the registration fee is non-refundable.

For Year 8 (12+) entry we consider three things:

  • Entrance Assessments in English, Mathematics, General Knowledge and Non-Verbal Reasoning
  • Activities and Interviews: group activities followed by a one-to-one interview
  • a confidential report form your child's current school

Below we set out the process for applying for Year 8 (12+). Click on the arrows next to the headings to find out more about the different aspects of applying to Year 8. If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact the Admissions Team on 01372 822423 or email 

Key Dates for applying for Year 8 (12+)

Date Description
March, May, September and October                                                  Open Events 
15 October (when child is in Year 7)                                                            Deadline to apply
November Online assessments in English, Mathematics, General Knowledge and Non-Verbal Reasoning. We will contact you with a date and time once you have registered.
November- January  We will request a confidential report from current school



Interviews and Activities. Once we have reviewed the exam results, we will invite you in for a two hour slot. There will be two 30-minute interviews: one individual and one group. There will also be a carousel of activities to enjoy.


February (first week) Decision letters are sent 
March (first week) Deadline to accept offers
June Induction Day for all new pupils and welcome evening for new parents
September Start at Freemen's

We want to make the application process as simple as possible. We have a five step journey:

Picture of City of London Freemen's School Admissions Journey


Phase 2: Apply 

The deadline to apply is 15 October when your child is in Year 7.  To apply, complete the online registration form and send in your £100 fee. By completing the online registration, you have automatically entered your child into the Entrance Exams. You can download a Registration Form if you prefer.

Once we have received notification of your registration and fee, we will send you an acknowledgement detailing what happens next, including draft times for the entrance assessments. 

Phase 2: Entrance Assessments 

We are changing the way we do entrance assessments for Year 7 and above. We have contacted anyone who has registered or enquired for a place and we have told local feeder schools.  

The entrance procedure is comprised of three main elements: tests, interviews and confidential report from the Head Teacher of the current school.


Guidance for prospective parents and current teachers

2020 Entrance Examinations

The examinations are scheduled to take place in November each year. Once you have registered, we will allocate you with an exam date and time. We will send more detailed information and confirmation of timings nearer the date, but the day is likely to run as follows:

Arrival and Registration  
Online BUSSATs  Assessments 2 hours
Break (Snack & Drink) 20 minutes
Non-Verbal Reasoning 40 minutes
Break 5 minutes
Written English Exercise 30 minutes
Those students that require additional time will have that factored into their results. If your child is entitled to extra time, or special considerations, or has any Special Educational Needs, please inform us as soon as possible and supply any supporting information.

Coaching for these tests is not encouraged.  


Interviews will take place in January (dates to be confirmed) and will be by invitation only. There will be an hour of group activities where your child will be asked to take part in various task followed by a one-on-one interview to find out more about your child. Questions include things like what they enjoy at school, their hobbies and interests and also some questions to see how they think about things. Interviews for candidates residing overseas can be conducted via Facetime or Skype.

School Report

In the Autumn term, we will request a school report from your child's current school. This school reference and report are an integral part of our assessment for each candidate as they help us get to know your child a little better and to build the wider picture of their academic and non-academic abilities and interests. We may also contact your child’s current Head for more information.

In accordance with HMC Guidelines, Freemen’s will not be able to reach a decision on an application for entry until we have received this report.

Please also be aware that for children attending maintained schools, parents may be charged a fee for this report by their child’s school.

Sitting Overseas

If applicants can sit the papers at Freemen’s, we will invite them to join us for the regular entrance exams in November. Otherwise, we can either arrange for candidates to sit entrance exams at their current school, at their agents’ office, if appropriate, or at a local British Council Office.  If the exams are being taken overseas they will need to take place in November. Interviews can be arranged via Skype or FaceTime. Please make it clear on the Exam Confirmation Form or Registration Form that you intend to sit overseas.

Phase 2: Entrance Examinations Guidelines

English 12+ (Total 60 marks)

Comprehension: Candidates will be asked to read a short extract from a book and then answer a series of multiple-choice questions about what they have read. (32 marks)

Punctuation: They will be given a short paragraph without any punctuation and be asked to correct it with the appropriate punctuation marks. We will only be using the most common ones – Capital Letters, Full Stops, Commas, Apostrophes and Question Marks. (24 marks)

Word Meaning: Many words in English have similar meanings and candidates will be asked to identify various words from a list that mean or do the same thing. (4 marks)


Mathematics 12+ (Total 298 marks)

Number: Operations (multiply, divide, add and subtract), Fractions (simplify, add, subtract, multiply), Decimals (add, subtract, multiply, rounding), Negatives (add, subtract, divide, multiply), Percentages.

Shape: Perimeter, Area (triangles, rectangles), Angles (triangles).

Data: Probability.


General Knowledge 12+ (Total 60 marks)

Questions will be on subjects that an interested, outward-looking student of this age from anywhere in the world could be expected to know about and answer confidently. Subjects covered in this section are History, Geography, Science, Current Affairs and Sport. The questions will cover topics from around the world and will not be based purely on the United Kingdom.

There will also be a short 30 minute written exercise.

We do not have sample papers for Non-Verbal Reasoning. These can be found at most retailers. 

Phase 3: offer 

Decision letters will usually be sent by post the first week of February. In 2020, decision letters will be sent by 1st February 2020

You will receive one of the following decisions:

  • an unconditional offer
  • a place on the waiting list (if your child is offered a place on the waiting list, we will make it clear what this means)
  • a decline (you will be asked if you would like to sit again for a future year (eg Year 9)


We regret, given the large number of applicants, that we are unable to give feedback on examination results. 

Phase 4: Accept and Phase 5: Join

Once we have sent your offer, you will have until the first week of March to make your decision.

When you accept your place, we will ask for a £1,000 deposit: £500 will be held until the final account is due. £500 will be offset against the first term’s fees. We will then send you links to the New Starter Pack, usually in May or June.This has all the information you need before starting with us. 

In June, we will invite all new starters for a taster day, so that they can meet the rest of their class and their teacher. That evening, we also invite all new parents in for a welcome evening and a chance to meet the Head of Year, the class teachers, current parents and the new parents joining that year.

Then you will be ready to start in September. Over the summer, parents usually set up activities and bonding events for you to meet and our parents' association: the Freemen's School Association (FSA) hold a welcome coffee morning on the first day of school once you have dropped your child off.

Admissions Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Admissions FAQs

We know that you will have a lot of questions when choosing a school. We are always happy to answer your questions. You can call us directly on 01372 822423 or you can email  Here are some of the questions we get asked most frequently. (Click on the small red arrows to reveal the answers.)