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The Norwood School

Admissions and Bursaries

The Norwood School is a vibrant, dynamic and ambitious 11-18 mixed secondary school with an innovative and engaging curriculum where students make exceptional progress. The Norwood School is an exciting place to learn, with excellent facilities, a vibrant and flourishing Sixth Form and excellent GCSE and A Level results. The school’s vision is clear: to be a beacon of success and a centre of excellence, benefitting students, parents and the wider community.

We are a small community school where every young person is known, supported and challenged. ‘Teachers attentive care and support ensure students achieve’. Ofsted.

‘The headteacher’s pursuit of excellence permeates to other leaders and all staff’ Ofsted. We continue to be in the top 10% of schools nationally for pupil progress, the value added measure that looks at the progress your child will make between Key Stage 2 and GCSE. We are proud that levels of progress are significantly above national averages. ‘Outcomes for students are impressive’ ‘Students achieve extremely well’. Ofsted.

A personalised and bespoke learning experience:

Our vision to nurture and encourage the interests, abilities and unique qualities of each and every student, is achieved through our personalised approach to learning. Using a variety of distinctive pathways, we recognise student promise and our enthusiastic staff are committed to ensuring each child reaches their full potential during their time at the school. Personalised provision ensures that each individual is known, nurtured and challenged. Staff are passionate and dedicate their time to delivering an outstanding education, providing students with the skills and abilities they need to realise their ambitions. Our relentless focus on student progress enables us to provide opportunities for challenge and flexible support that is tailored to students’ individual needs and encourages success at the earliest opportunity.

An outstanding learning environment:

As a Norwood student your son or daughter will benefit from our state-of-the-art building which has been designed to facilitate and support the sporting, academic and cultural experiences for our students. We provide outstanding resources for them to pursue a wide range of talents and interests and make regular use of our fitness suite, sports halls, new sciences labs, ICT suites and professionally equipped, industry standard theatre.

An outstanding curriculum:

Our outstanding curriculum is designed to meet the needs and abilities of all students, praised as “innovative and engaging” right through to our thriving Sixth Form. At its heart is the overriding importance that we place on developing pupils’ literacy, numeracy and communication skills. Our most able participate in bespoke ‘Journey to A* Programmes’, are inspired by University style teaching delivered by Cambridge, Sussex and Kings College Universities and our innovative Bursary Programme.  Our specialism in Performing and Visual Arts further compliments and enriches our offer by fostering students’ imagination and developing their self confidence. Our specialist status makes an outstanding contribution to the quality of our curriculum and to the engagement and relevance of students’ lessons. Immersion Days, Arts Week and Wonder 7 – our Extra Curricular Programme - provide pupils with life-long memorable experiences that extend, enrich and support their learning We create opportunities for staff to share their passion for their subjects with students and to deliver lessons that stimulate, motivate and excite our young people.

Working together to achieve success:

The school is proud of the extensive opportunities it offers students; with strong partnerships with parents and collaborative initiatives and alliances locally, nationally and internationally. We have established a number of successful partnerships with local primary and secondary schools, community groups, local businesses and international organisations which enrich our curriculum offer. These collaborative partnerships provide a number of opportunities for students to be inspired, expand their knowledge, develop their skills and experience and contribute to their success. The school is committed to ensuring that students leave Norwood as confident and mature young adults with a head start as 21st century citizens. We have long established and very successful links with organisations such as the English National Opera, The Young and Old Vic, The National Theatre and The Rambert Dance Company as well as Greenhouse Basketball, Crystal Palace Football and Surrey County Cricket Clubs.

We have an excellent reputation for the standard of our pastoral care, guidance and support. We know our young people well and pupils and staff are proud to be part of a well ordered, purposeful and safe environment. Students show impeccable attitudes to learning. Our excellent primary to secondary transition programme ensures students settle into school exceptionally well.

Our parents are strongly encouraged to be fully involved in their child’s education and we are committed to ensuring that parents are regularly updated on their child’s progress.

Engagement with parents and their use of a wide range of partnerships contribute to high quality care for the students at Norwood’. Ofsted.

A vibrant Sixth Form:

Our successful and expanding Sixth Form has a 100% pass rate. The post-16 provision, with strong University links and Careers Guidance is engaging and a full and varied range of extra-curricular activities and work experience placements enrich the programme. The curriculum offer at Key Stage 5 provides a natural progression route for students to the top universities as well as high quality apprenticeships. Those in the Sixth Form make a positive contribution to the school by taking on posts of responsibility such as mentoring, sports leaders and student ambassadors.

Performing and Visual Arts Bursaries:

The Norwood School are proud to offer bursaries to students who show a natural aptitude and passion for the Arts. Applicants are invited to attend a Performing Arts audition or a Visual Arts workshop, followed by a short formal interview.

The Norwood School will reserve up to 10% of places as Bursaries offered to pupils who show a particular aptitude for our Specialism in Visual and Performing Arts. 

All children applying for admission to the school in Year 7 will be required to take a Verbal reasoning, Numeracy and a Non Verbal reasoning test. Applicants will be placed in one of five ability bands on the basis of these results.

For the full admissions criteria and policy please visit 


All children applying for admission to The Norwood School in Year 7 will be required to take 3 tests: a Verbal Reasoning test, a Numeracy test and a Non Verbal Reasoning test. The children who have taken the test will receive first priority and be considered for a place at The Norwood School before those who have not taken the test. In cases of continued oversubscription after the full allocation of places, a place will only become available to a child who has not taken the test once all other children remaining on the oversubscription waiting list for places (that have sat the test) have been offered a place.

All applicants will be placed in one of five bands, based on their test score.  Children with an Education, Health and Care Plan that names The Norwood School will, by law, be offered a place first.  The remaining places will be allocated on the basis of the oversubscription criteria detailed below, so that equal numbers of applicants are admitted from each band.

The criteria below is applied to each band individually (including the bursary band)

Criterion 1 Looked after child:

Priority will be given to looked after children and previously looked after children. Previously looked after children are children who were looked after, but ceased to be so because they were adopted (or became subject to a residence order or special guardianship order) immediately following having been looked after.

The School Admissions Code 2014 states that: A 'looked after child' is a child who is (a) in the care of a local authority, or (b) being provided with accommodation by a local authority in the exercise of their social services functions (see the definition in Section 22(1) of the Children Act 1989) at the time of making an application to a school. This includes children who were adopted under the Adoption Act 1976 (see section 12 adoption orders) and children who were adopted under the Adoption and Childrens Act 2002 (see section 46 adoption orders). Child arrangements orders are defined in s.8 of the Children Act 1989, as amended by s.12 of the Children and Families Act 2014. Child arrangements orders replace residence orders and any residence order in force prior to 22 April 2014 is deemed to be a child arrangements order. See Section 14A of the Children Act 1989 which defines a ‘special guardianship order’ as an order appointing one or more individuals to be a child’s special guardian (or special guardians).

Children who are looked after under an agreed series of short-term placements (such as respite) are excluded. All applications under this criterion must be supported by a letter from the relevant Local Authority.

Criterion 2 Siblings: 

Children with a brother or sister who already attends the school, and who will not have left the school at the time of admission. As a result siblings in the nursery or Year 6 of a primary school, or Year 11 at a secondary school will not be regarded as a sibling under this criterion. A sibling is defined as a full/half/step brother or sister (who are living at the same address in all instances) or a child who is living as part of the family by reason of a court order, or a child who has been placed with foster carers at that address as a result of being looked after by the council. However, children who are looked after under an agreed series of short-term placements (such as respite) will not be regarded as siblings under this criterion.

Criterion 3 Children with exceptional medical or social needs: 

Children with a professionally supported medical or social need, whose application identifies a particular school that is especially able to meet that need. This criterion will also take into account where a parent/carer has a physical, mental or social need that is significant and demonstrable for their child to attend a specific school. This does not include childcare arrangements. The decision to prioritise on these grounds will be determined via MEDSOC panel, which is comprised of the council’s senior management as well as senior school staff. Documents from an appropriate professional (e.g. GP, consultant or social worker letter or report, not including general information from a website) must support these applications. However, any supporting evidence does not automatically mean that applicants will gain priority in this criterion as the decision to prioritise under this criterion will solely rest with the MEDSOC panel.

Criterion 4 - Children of staff at the school

Applications for children of staff at the school. A member of staff for the purposes of this criterion must be employed by the said school as a teaching assistant or qualified teacher for a minimum of 0.6fte (16.5 hours teaching staff) and this employment must have been for at least 3 years at the time of submitting the application (i.e. their employment must have started no later than September 2016).

1.    All such applications must be submitted to the MEDSOC Panel via a CAF application submitted to the LA and must be accompanied with the relevant paperwork supporting an application on these grounds. The applicant must take sole responsibility to provide such paperwork. Without the provision of the relevant papers which identify all the above, priority will not be given.

2.    There will be a maximum priority limit of 1 child per form of entry per year group for primary schools/phase (reception to year 6) (i.e. up to 7 children in total in a one form entry school); a maximum priority limit of 4 children per year group for secondary schools/phase (years 7 to 11).

Criterion 5 Distance: 

Priority will be given on the basis of distance between the child’s home and the school, measured by a straight line. This measurement will be done using a computerised mapping system. This measurement will be from a point from the child’s home as identified by the software to a point at the school as profiled in the software.

As a tiebreaker for all criteria, priority will be given to children living closest to the preferred school (measured by a straight-line) in accordance with the measuring information in criterion 5. However, in the case where children have exactly the same distance between their home and the school, Lambeth LA will randomly allocate places as a tiebreaker.