OLA offers exam-free entry for COVID-hit county

Our Lady’s Abingdon has announced that they are cancelling  entrance examination for 2021 and 2022 pupil intake, to support COVID-19 affected families across the Oxfordshire.

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COVID-19 has caused an extended period of lockdown and school closures across 2020 and 2021. During this period, many pupils have missed a significant amount of schooling. In these unprecedented circumstances OLA has taken the decision to adapt its admissions approach to ensure that no child is disadvantaged in applying to the school, due to a loss of education time.

As such, for both 2021 and 2022 entries to OLA Senior School, there will be no written entrance examination. Assessment will instead be based on an online admissions interview, school report and school reference. Pupils currently in our Lower School are already exempt from the entrance examination and will progress seamlessly to the Senior School.

OLA welcome applications from pupils of all faiths and none, who have the potential to make the most of the many educational opportunities on offer. The entry process is designed to identify applicants who will thrive from the broad, balanced education that the school provides.

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‘OLA is renowned for its pastoral care and concern for the individual child. It is in this spirit that we have decided, for the second year running, to run an exams free admissions process. We hope this will help all families whose children have missed out on learning as a result of the pandemic, and enable us to assist these applicants as fairly as possible.’

Mr Prav Karian, Chief Operating Officer

OLA (Our Lady’s Abingdon) is a Catholic independent day school for students aged 7 to 18, offering a highly successful fun and innovative learning experience in a happy and friendly community.

The school’s success comes from a combination of six key factors which create the unique OLA learning adventure:

  1. Small school: With under 400 pupils in total, OLA offers everyone the possibility of representing the school in a wide range of confidence-developing activities, including sport, drama, music, academic competitions and other chances to thrive, such as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
  2. Small classes: We have a very high teacher to pupil ratio, meaning our class sizes are smaller than you will find elsewhere. OLA provides a more individual learning experience that fully nurtures academic potential.
  3. Fun and innovative learning: Helps pupils to be fully engaged in the academic life of the school, leading to exam results that regularly exceed pupil baseline predications. Find out more about  exam results here: https://www.olab.org.uk/about-us/examination-results/
  4. Highly praised pastoral care: Our staff work closely alongside our pupils to encourage, motivate and support each child, helping them to grow as confident, successful and happy individuals.
  5. Family community: OLA encourages an open dialogue between home and school through a range of effective channels.
  6. Catholic Christian ethos: This is the foundation of everything we do, creating the family community so valued by OLA parents. The school accepts children of all faiths and none and helps them aspire to such values as integrity, compassion, openness, forgiveness, reconciliation, co-operation and courage.

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