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St Olave’s Grammar School


Founded in 1571 under the royal charter granted by Queen Elizabeth I, St Olave’s Grammar School is a storied institution in the heart of Orpington, London. It has a rich history spanning over 450 years, making it one of the oldest schools in the United Kingdom. Named after St Olave, the patron saint of Norway, the school is steeped in tradition while being responsive to the educational needs of the modern world. From its modest beginnings, the school has grown exponentially, carving its niche as one of the leading boys’ grammar schools in the country.

School Profile

St Olave’s Grammar School is renowned for its robust academic programme, extracurricular diversity, and emphasis on moral development. The school caters to students aged 11-18, fostering an environment that encourages intellectual curiosity and independent thought. Its vibrant and dynamic curriculum includes a broad range of GCSE and A-Level subjects, coupled with ample opportunities for creative and physical pursuits.

The institution maintains a commitment to nurturing and developing well-rounded individuals. The staff at St Olave’s are passionate about the students’ success and are deeply invested in their academic and personal growth, driving the school’s enduring reputation for excellence.


Admission into St Olave’s Grammar School is highly competitive due to its prestigious status and the high-quality education it provides. Each year, the school offers 124 places in Year 7, attracting an average of over 800 applications annually. Admission is determined through an entrance examination process, primarily focusing on English and Mathematics. The entrance test, known as the Selective Eligibility Test, usually takes place in September of the preceding academic year.

Students Profile

St Olave’s takes pride in its students, a talented, ambitious, and diverse group of young men who consistently perform at high academic standards. The boys are not only academically motivated but are also encouraged to engage in a wide array of extracurricular activities including sports, music, drama, and various clubs and societies. This diverse range of activities promotes a balanced school experience, encouraging personal development alongside academic achievements. St Olave’s students often go on to secure places at top universities in the UK and around the world, testament to the comprehensive preparation they receive at the school.


St Olave’s Grammar School boasts an extensive range of state-of-the-art facilities that complement its curriculum. The school’s campus includes modern classrooms, advanced science and IT laboratories, an expansive library, and specialist rooms for music, art, and design. Sports facilities include a sports hall, gym, athletics track, and extensive playing fields. These exceptional amenities foster a conducive learning environment and provide opportunities for the boys to excel not only academically but also in various other pursuits.