Welcome to our Senior School Virtual Open Day

“Thank you for visiting Habs virtually! Naturally, I would have preferred to welcome you to Elstree personally during our annual open day or on a group tour. Whilst this cannot happen this year due to the pandemic, I am delighted that we are able to share this webpage with you, so that you are able to get a sense of Habs and the energy within our extraordinary campus. It truly is a brilliant place to teach and learn. However, do not just take my word for it: please enjoy watching the videos from my colleagues and, importantly, from some of our pupils. I very much look forward to meeting some of you on a live Q&A session via Zoom in the near future.”

Mr Gus Lock 
Headmaster

Virtual Open Day

Sorry we cannot welcome you to our campus. We hope you enjoy our virtual open day. Please direct any questions to admissions@habsboys.org.uk

We also have a bespoke virtual visit for our Pre-Prep (5+) and Prep (7+). Click here to take a look.

Explore our Campus

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Aldenham House

Aldenham House is a former country house in Elstree, which was the seat of the Gibbs family, who were the Barons Aldenham. Aldenham House was home to Lord Aldenham, and was subsequently used by the BBC to broadcast its world service during World War II, well before the School moved to the Elstree site in 1961. The iconic building is now the bustling hub of the School, and comprises the main Reception, School Office, School Chapel and integral support functions, as well as the Headmaster’s Study. Aldenham House is Grade II listed.

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Art and DT

This historic building was used by the BBC to broadcast its world service during World War II. It now houses our exceptional Art and Design Technology departments.

Art and Design

The Art and Design department is well equipped with four studios for drawing, painting, printing, sculpture, digital design, textiles and ceramics, as well a dedicated Sixth Form studio and Art and Design library. Pupils work with a range of media and processes including: screen and lino printing; acrylic, water colour and oil painting; plaster and wire; and Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. A diverse range of artists and designers are studied throughout the key stages, in response to which, pupils learn to successfully develop, record, refine and realise their own ideas.

Design and Technology

The DT department has three large workshops and two multipurpose rooms with computers and CAM facilities. Each workshop is equipped to allow boys to work with a wide variety of resistant materials, together with specialist equipment for computer-aided design, metal working equipment, aluminium casting, vacuum-forming polymers and extensive computer-aided manufacture facilities.

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Aske Building

The Aske Building, named after the founder of the School, Robert Aske (1690), is home to the Sciences and Geography, as well as the Aske Hall. Each floor is devoted to one of the Sciences, with 18 fully-equipped world-class labs, two full-time technicians and specialist prep rooms. Geography, likewise, with its six purpose-built classrooms, is regarded as one of the leading departments in the country.

Biology

In Biology, pupils are introduced to the fundamental skills required to carry out practical work in a laboratory safely, with an emphasis on the employment of monocular and binocular microscopes for examining biological materials, as well as tools for measurement.

Chemistry

In Chemistry, boys are introduced to its aims, its methods and its role in our society. Class practical work is introduced from the outset and by the end of Year 7, pupils should be able to work safely and with a high degree of independence.

Physics

At Habs, pupils are introduced to the broad nature of Physics, the language that is used to communicate knowledge and the basics of both experimental approaches and equipment that are used to investigate it.

Geography

Geography is a popular, dynamic and vital inter-disciplinary subject, which is uniquely placed to understand the issues facing the world today. The department sees its role as to encourage and inspire all age groups within the School to share our interest and passion for this highly relevant subject.

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Astroturf Pitches

The School’s excellent sports facilities include seven Rugby and/or Football pitches, two all-weather Hockey pitches (one floodlit) which become 18 Tennis courts in the summer, three grass Cricket squares, three artificial Cricket wickets (plus grass and artificial Cricket nets), the Solai Indoor Cricket Centre, a double size Sports Hall, Indoor Swimming Pool, Gymnasium, Fitness Suite, 400-metre grass running track with synthetic sprint track and jump/throw areas, and a Shooting Range. Our state-of-the-art indoor sports complex, the Medburn Centre complements outdoor facilities and includes a 25-metre eight-lane Swimming Pool, Fitness Suite Gymnasium, Squash Courts, Multi-Use Space, Climbing Wall, Olympian Suite Conference Room and Joe’s Café.

Physical Education & Games

Physical Education and Games at Habs play an integral part of school life. All pupils are provided with opportunities to participate at some level, encouraging all boys to appreciate the links between regular exercise with both physical and mental health. Involvement in sport and physical activities are seen to be important in creating team spirit, positive relationships and pride in individual and team achievements beyond the classroom.

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Bates

The Bates was opened by HRH Princess Margaret and houses Mathematics and Economics, as well as the Dining Hall and Sixth Form Common Room. The Modern Foreign Languages department is based in its own building, which connects to the Bates.

Mathematics

The Mathematics department aims to give as wide a view of Mathematics as possible, whilst providing the basic skills required by other subjects. Teaching broadly follows the National Curriculum throughout Years 7-11, with core material supplemented by investigations, ICT activities, puzzles and extension work. In-house, tailor-made course notes and interactive whiteboards are used extensively to deliver the curriculum.

Economics

Economics is a social science that approaches the study of choice, living standards and resource allocation in an analytical way. The subject, only available in the Sixth Form, is a popular choice, which allows the boys to understand micro- and macro-economic issues and to evaluate Government policy using the ‘economist’s tool kit’.

Modern Foreign Languages

Our aim is to develop a love of languages and a good grounding in different types of language. In Years 7 and 8, boys study French, German and Spanish, and they subsequently have the chance to pick up Arabic (Year 9) and Russian (Year 10). In addition, we run ab initio courses in Japanese and Italian in the Sixth Form. One Modern Language is a compulsory component of the GCSE curriculum, but many boys do two or even three.

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Bourne

Opened in 1992 by HRH Princess Margaret, the Bourne building is home to the History, Politics, Classics and Computing/ICT departments. The building also houses the grand Bourne Hall and the recently refurbished Senior School library, which is more akin to a learning centre you would find at a leading university.

History

The study of History stimulates knowledgeable and independent reflection, develops high-level literacy, and promotes human understanding and sympathy. Throughout the curriculum, boys are encouraged to articulate their own ideas about the past confidently and persuasively. Pupils are supported so that they can write fluent, organised and increasingly mature analytical responses.

Politics

Politics is a popular Sixth Form-only subject at Habs. Students study how power is wielded, the impact of government and different theories of how political power can be best utilised. We have a strong focus on debate in lessons and encourage students to engage critically but constructive and in an informed manner with different political viewpoints. Students study UK Government and Politics, US and Comparative Politics and Political Ideas as part of their A-Level course.

Computing & ICT

The School places great emphasis on the creative use of technology across the curriculum to support student-centred problem-based learning. The Computing and ICT department is equipped with an extensive network of computers, in large purpose-built classrooms and augmented with laptop trollies for student use throughout the School.

Classics

The Classics department is housed in three specialist rooms with extensive facilities. Latin is taught from Year 7 (initially as part of a language carousel) using the modern and popular Cambridge Latin Course.

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English, Drama and T&P

The English, Drama and Theology and Philosophy departments are located in their own purpose-built space. This block contains the Drama Studio, where the likes of Old Haberdashers Matt Lucas, Jason Isaacs and Sacha Baron Cohen spent much of their time!

English

English at all levels revolves around the key skills of reading, writing and speaking and listening: skills for success in life, rather than merely in examinations. The English department has a long and vibrant history of innovation, creativity and exceptionally high achievement, aiming to inspire and motivate boys by sharing with them a love of the very best literature from around the world. Students study an enormous range of poetry, drama and prose, exploring the parameters of human experience through reading, writing and discussion with teachers who are passionate and imaginative professionals.

Drama

Drama at Habs is about creating a culture and community that overlaps all other aspects of school life. In both academic and co-curricular drama we aim to train students as theatre makers, giving them a safe space to play, explore and take risks, with a strong emphasis on the process, encouraging students to find their own voices and take ownership of the work created. Students have amazing opportunities to work with industry professionals to create interesting, playful, relevant and socially-conscious theatre, in line with other leading Youth Theatre companies. Work ranges from adaptations of graphic novels, to exciting versions of classic texts, to new writing and devising alongside professional writers. At GCSE and A Level, students develop skills in performance, design, direction and devising, along with the critical analysis of live theatre. Alongside the main school productions co-curricular drama offers a wide range of different opportunities to engage as diverse a range of students as possible.

Theology and Philosophy

In Theology and Philosophy at Habs, the aim is to encourage every boy to think about their own ‘Worldview’ and to consider how they might answer the fundamental questions of human existence.

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Medburn Sports Centre

The Medburn Sports Centre was opened in 2016 by Mark Foster, five-time Olympian, World, European and Commonwealth Champion and holder of eight world records.

The School’s excellent sports facilities include seven Rugby and/or Football pitches, two all-weather Hockey pitches (one floodlit) which become 18 Tennis courts in the summer, three grass Cricket squares, three artificial Cricket wickets (plus grass and artificial Cricket nets), the Solai Indoor Cricket Centre, a double size Sports Hall, Indoor Swimming Pool, Gymnasium, Fitness Suite, 400-metre grass running track with synthetic sprint track and jump/throw areas, and a Shooting Range. Our state-of-the-art indoor sports complex, the Medburn Centre complements outdoor facilities and includes a 25-metre eight-lane Swimming Pool, Fitness Suite Gymnasium, Squash Courts, Multi-Use Space, Climbing Wall, Olympian Suite Conference Room and Joe’s Café.

Physical Education and Games

Physical Education and Games at Habs play an integral part of school life. All pupils are provided with opportunities to participate at some level, encouraging all boys to appreciate the links between regular exercise with both physical and mental health. Involvement in sport and physical activities are seen to be important in creating team spirit, positive relationships and pride in individual and team achievements beyond the classroom.

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North Drive

The North Drive is home to the water gardens, Solai Outdoor Classroom, Solai Woodland Walk and CCF obstacle course.

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Pavilion and Sports Pitches

The School’s excellent sports facilities include seven Rugby and/or Football pitches, two all-weather Hockey pitches (one floodlit) which become 18 Tennis courts in the summer, three grass Cricket squares, three artificial Cricket wickets (plus grass and artificial Cricket nets), the Solai Indoor Cricket Centre, a double size Sports Hall, Indoor Swimming Pool, Gymnasium, Fitness Suite, 400-metre grass running track with synthetic sprint track and jump/throw areas, and a Shooting Range. Our state-of-the-art indoor sports complex, the Medburn Centre complements outdoor facilities and includes a 25-metre eight-lane Swimming Pool, Fitness Suite Gymnasium, Squash Courts, Multi-Use Space, Climbing Wall, Olympian Suite Conference Room and Joe’s Café.

Physical Education and Games

Physical Education and Games at Habs play an integral part of school life. All pupils are provided with opportunities to participate at some level, encouraging all boys to appreciate the links between regular exercise with both physical and mental health. Involvement in sport and physical activities are seen to be important in creating team spirit, positive relationships and pride in individual and team achievements beyond the classroom.

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Quad

The Quad is a wonderfully kept space located in the centre of the campus, surrounded by the majority of the teaching blocks. It often plays host to outdoor House charity activities during breaktimes. The School’s Grounds department is rightfully proud of this green space!

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Seldon Music Hall

Music

To give it its proper name, The TW Taylor Music School was named after a pioneering former Headmaster. Dr TW Taylor was instrumental in the School’s relocation to the 100-acre Elstree site we currently occupy. The building comprises specialist music suites, studios and the Seldon Music Hall, where the acoustic diffusers in the ceiling were inspired by the Royal Albert Hall.

Music is taught in these specialist spaces with access to keyboards and sophisticated industry-standard sequencing and notation software. Pupils broaden their musical horizons, learning to analyse and appreciate many different styles of music from a multitude of cultures, through listening, composing and performing.

For a number of pupils, musical involvement extends beyond the classroom through membership of the School’s many orchestras, bands, choirs and other ensembles. Over 40 concerts are held during the academic year, the most prestigious of which are concerts in the Barbican Centre together with Habs Girls.

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Gardens

Located in 100 acres of leafy countryside, the Habs campus is set in an idyllic landscape, providing abundant space in which to learn and grow. The School’s Grounds department works tremendously hard to keep the campus looking spectacular year on year.

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Girls' School

Click here to visit the Haberdashers’ Aske’ School for Girls website. The Girls’ School is located on the same campus, and we are therefore able to share exceptional resources and facilities. We work closely together, offering the best of single-sex education in a co-educational environment.

The Schools recently launched an exciting joint strategy.

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Senior School FAQs

HOW DO I APPLY?

Please click here to register on our website. You can apply for 11+ or 13+. Simply add in the year which you are applying for. If you are applying from overseas, please email admissions@habsboys.org.uk for a different registration form.

HOW MANY PLACES ARE AVAILABLE?

  • 11+ Approximately 100 places are available to external candidates who will be joined by 50 boys coming up from Year 6 in our Prep School.
  • 13+ Approximately 20 places are available.

WHEN ARE THE EXAMS FOR EACH POINT OF ENTRY?

For 2021 Entry

  • 11+ is either Thursday 17 or Friday 18 December 2020
  • 13+ is Thursday 7 January 2021

WHAT DO THE ENTRANCE EXAMS CONSIST OF?

  • 11+ 90-minute computer-based reasoning assessment testing numeracy, verbal and non-verbal skills. Approximately half of all applicants will be called for interviews in January 2021
  • 13+ Examinations in Maths, English, Science (20 mins each of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics), Humanities (source-based paper in Geography, History and Theology and Philosophy), up to 2 language papers out of Latin, French, German or Spanish. These are all written papers. Approximately half of all applicants will be called for interviews in January 2021

WHAT IS THE DEADLINE TO APPLY?

The deadline for all points of entry is 20 November 2020.  You will hear from us again after the deadline date with further details about your son’s examination day.

IS THERE A REGISTRATION FEE?

£100 for UK Applicants and £200 for Overseas Applicants (please email admissions@habsboys.org.uk for an overseas registration form).

HOW DO I APPLY FOR A BURSARY?

Bursaries (fees assistance) are available for 11+ and 13+ boys.

As a guide, free places may be awarded where total assessable household gross income is below £38,000. Where an offer of a free place is made, the costs of coach travel, lunches, support with academic trips and one musical instrument will also be included. The ceiling for eligibility for fee assistance is approximately £80,000 total household gross income. Between these two figures contributions towards fees will be on a sliding scale. Bursaries can be offered in conjunction with an Academic or Music Scholarship.

When you have registered, we will send out a link to the bursary form to every parent. If you wish to apply for a bursary i.e fee assistance, you will need to complete the form by the deadline date which will be indicated in the email you receive. Your son will sit the examination and if he is called back for an interview, this is when you will be called to have a meeting with our Finance team to discuss your fees assistance application. If your son is offered a place at Habs you will be notified of the bursary within your offer letter.  Application for a bursary does not affect your son’s chance of securing a place and it is always better to apply for the bursary by the deadline date.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A BURSARY AND A SCHOLARSHIP?

A bursary is fees assistance.

An academic scholarship is offered to a few top performing candidates in the 11+ and 13+ examinations. There is no separate application. The scholarship is tenable throughout your son’s time at the School, subject to excellent progress and conduct. You will be notified in your offer letter if your son has been awarded an academic scholarship.

IS THERE A MUSIC SCHOLARSHIP AND HOW DO I APPLY?

We do have music scholarships available for boys applying for 11+ and 13+. Every parent will receive a link to the music scholarship application form in the email sent out after the registration deadline date. The form will need to be completed, together with references and certificates by the application deadline date. You will be notified if your son is to be invited to an audition, which will take place after the entrance examinations. The scholarship is tenable throughout the pupil’s time at the School, subject to an excellent annual review of progress and conduct. Further details regarding the music scholarships can be found on our website by clicking here.

CAN I COME AND VISIT THE SCHOOL DURING THE DAY?

Due to the uncertainty of the current health crisis, we are not booking tours at the moment. We are keeping our eye on the situation and will open for tours as soon as we can. We will give priority to boys in Years 6 and 8.

In the meantime, you may book a live Q&A session with our senior staff by clicking here.

HOW ARE YOU MANAGING THE COVID SITUATION?

We are fortunate to have a large campus, enabling all year groups to be in school. Pupils are being taught in year group bubbles.

DO YOU HAVE A COACH SERVICE?

We have a very comprehensive coach service which serves both the Boys’ and Girls’ Schools in a joint service.  There are 55 coaches, 150+ stops from Harpenden (North), St John’s Wood (South), Enfield (East), Berkhamsted (West).  There is one pickup in the morning and two choices in the afternoon 4.15pm and 5.30pm. Tickets can be purchased a term in advance or on an ad hoc basis.

150 stops, including…

HOW DO I OBTAIN A PROSPECTUS?

Click here to request a prospectus.