FAQs

This page answers some of the most common questions that we receive from parents. If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Admissions team.

Does the High School need any other information before making a decision?

In most cases, we will ask the applicant’s current school to send us a report on their progress to date.  This request will usually be made prior to the assessment, and you should notify your child’s current school that we are likely to approach them.

How can I find out more about the School before I make an application or accept a place?

Choosing the right school for your child is an extremely important decision, and we would strongly encourage you to contact the Admissions team if you have any questions about the High School of Dundee.  We would also recommend that you attend our Open Morning, which is a chance to tour the School and speak to staff in the company of a pupil guide.  In addition, we can arrange individual tours of the School.  Individual tours are a chance to see the School in action during a normal day, but please note that the Open Morning offers more opportunities to talk to individual pupils and staff.  We can also arrange meetings with the Head of the Junior or Senior School, so that you can discuss any specific concerns.

No-one in our family has been to an independent school before. Will that make a difference to our application?

Absolutely not.  All applications are considered equally, and entry to the school is decided almost entirely on the basis of academic ability.  A large proportion of our pupils are the first member of their family to attend an independent school, and our community encompasses families from every kind of background.  Our Admissions team is very happy to offer extra help to families who are unfamiliar with the process, to make admission as easy as possible for your child.

What does a Bursary award cover?

The High School of Dundee offers Bursary support from the beginning of Form 1.  Awards are granted on the basis of academic ability and financial need, and can range from 10-100% of the tuition fee, depending on the applicant's circumstances.

A Bursary award is made in respect of the basic tuition fee only.  Additional costs, charges and fees, such as music lessons, lunches and book and uniform costs, must still be met.  However, the School runs some initiatives to reduce the cost of these wherever possible, including an annual second-hand book sale and a Thrift Shop for uniform.  For further information on Bursary support, contact the Admissions team.

What happens at the assessment?

Everyone who applies for a place at the High School of Dundee must sit our own entrance assessment. The assessment allows us to find out whether your child will be happy at the High School of Dundee, and whether we are able to meet your child’s educational needs. The assessment is different for each age group.

For entry to L1 (Primary 1), applicants will be invited to attend for a school readiness assessment. This lasts about twenty minutes and is conducted on a one-to-one basis. It includes games and activities to assess elements such as the child's vocabulary and memory. The assessment does not include a tour of the School.

In L2-L7, applicants are invited to join us in school for the whole day. They will be assigned to a class, and a pupil in the same year will be appointed as their “buddy” for the day. We will give them a school lunch, and we try to make the day as much as possible like a normal day in school. As part of their time with us, we will take them out of the class so that they can sit assessment papers in English and Maths.

In F1 and F2 (Secondary 1 and 2), the assessment consists of a cognitive abilities test, with a verbal Modern Languages assessment for applicants for F2. Applicants may also meet with a senior member of staff. The assessment does not include a tour of the school.

 In F3 and F4, applicants will be asked to select the subjects that they wish to study at Standard Grade / Intermediate 2. The assessment consists of a cognitive abilities test as well as a short interview with the relevant Heads of Department for each subject, an interview with the Rector and Deputy Rectors (Academic & Pastoral). The assessment does not include a tour of the School, although the applicant will see many of the departments during their interviews.

 In F5 and F6, the assessment consists of a cognitive abilities test as well as interviews with the relevant members of staff. Applicants will also be asked to produce copies of their results for Standard Grade / Intermediate 2 and any other relevant qualifications that they may have obtained. Again, the assessment does not include a general tour of the School.

When attending for assessment, smart casual clothes are perfectly acceptable. Many applicants choose to wear their current school uniform. It is not necessary to purchase a new outfit for the assessment! If you are unsure what your child should wear, please contact the Admissions team, who will be happy to assist.

When is the best time for my child to join the School?

Children join the High School in almost every year group, as long as we have spaces available.  Some of the most popular entry points are L1, L6, L7, and F1, but the exact timing should depend on your own circumstances.  In recent years, we have had waiting lists in every year group in the Junior School, so it is advisable to plan ahead if you want your child to join us by a particular age.

In the Senior School, the easiest point for admission, both academically and socially, is at F1.  A number of pupils also join us each year in F3 and F5.  Entry to the upper years is dependent on good performance in the national examinations at the end of F4.

Experience has shown that it is rarely possible for pupils to join us in F4, halfway through the two-year Standard Grade / Intermediate 2 course.  Mid-session entry to F3, F5 or F6 can also pose difficulties.

When will I get the decision about a place?

For entry at the start of session in August, assessments are carried out in January, and we aim to give you our decision by the end of February / early March.  If your child is assessed at a different time of year, we will generally let you know of our decision as quickly as possible, but usually within two weeks.

When will I receive information on book lists and uniform requirements?

Our book lists and equipment lists are updated once a year.  These are held on our online Parent Area, and details of how to access them are issued to all new parents in June once the annual review of the lists has been completed. 

If you require further information on books, uniform and equipment at any stage in your application, please do not hesitate to contact the Admissions team.

A day in the life

  • Img_6094_signpost Calum, F1

    Twelve-year-old Calum is kept busy in his first year of Senior School.

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  • Img_6174_signpost Danny, F6

    Form 6 is the culmination of a pupil's career at the High School, as they make the progression to adult life, University and beyond. Danny takes us through a normal day.

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  • Img_6659_signpost Emily, L6

    Ten-year-old Emily takes us through a day in the life of an L6 pupil, as she helps with the Nativity play and prepares for a History test.

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  • Img_6154_signpost Rachel, F3

    Form 3 pupil Rachel is working towards her first formal qualifications - and finding that her third year of Senior School brings some changes.

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  • Img_6118_signpost William, L1

    Five-year-old William has started his first year at school - and Art is already a favourite subject.

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