11+ Comprehension, St Paul's Girls' School: Practice Papers & In-Depth Guided Answers: Volume 3

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Are you seeking the perfect exam preparation material for St Paul's Girls' School 11+ entrance exams?

This essential resource -- the third in the series -- includes four bespoke comprehension papers designed to mirror the school's unique exam style. Accompanied by model answers and thorough explanations, students will gain a comprehensive understanding of the skills necessary to excel in these critical assessments.

Accolade Press equips students with the tools and strategies required to secure top marks in the competitive environment of St Paul's Girls' School 11+ exams. Accolade Press ensures students have every tool at their disposal to emulate these point-scoring techniques and tactics.

  • Four comprehension papers crafted to reflect the distinctive style of St Paul's Girls' School, ensuring thorough preparation for exams in 2023, 2024, and 2025.
  • A diverse range of extracts to ensure a range of skills are tested.
  • Comprehensive model answers provided for every question, frequently accompanied by alternative solutions to illustrate how students can achieve high marks through various approaches.
  • Detailed explanations accompany each model answer, not only clarifying how the responses fulfil examiners' expectations but also guiding students through complex concepts and vocabulary found in the answers.
  • Authored by a skilled tutor with an exceptional history of success in 11+ admissions.


Sample Extract:

Paper One

In this passage, set in early 20th-century Sydenham, the eccentric and enigmatic Father Brown encounters a practical joke with unexpected repercussions.

* * *

The day began with a sort of enchanting serenity, painting the streets of Sydenham with a golden light that obscured the mundane charm of the town. The suburb had retained its authentic character, a mix between the remnants of Victorian architecture and the contemporary edifices that sprung up around it. But while many would have simply enjoyed the calm of their uneventful existence, Father Brown had a peculiar penchant for finding the extraordinary in the ordinary.

As he strolled towards St. Bartholomew’s Church, he caught sight of three young men, obviously the purveyors of mischief, huddled together by a lamppost, giggling like a group of schoolgirls. Their laughter was so contagious that the flame of curiosity was ignited within Father Brown, compelling him to saunter closer and unveil the source of their amusement.

The jovial youths had painstakingly suspended a bucket of water atop the partially opened door to the church, hoping to catch an unsuspecting victim off guard. Father Brown concealed his exasperation and braced himself to feign drenched indignation for their juvenile amusement. As they hastily retreated, the tricksters bid him good day, their voices shaking with anticipation. Rolling his eyes imperceptibly, Father Brown pushed the door open and stepped into the path of the falling cascade.

But instead of receiving the anticipated shower, the bucket miraculously adhered to the ceiling, defying gravity before their very eyes. The water inside, rather than crashing over Father Brown, levitated gently, as if held together by invisible bindings. What they had intended as a harmless prank now took on the hue of an unearthly spectacle, leaving the three mischief-makers aghast, their laughter extinguished by slack-jawed astonishment.

Father Brown, however, took no notice of the bizarre turn of events and continued on his way. The befuddled pranksters looked askance one another, exchanging glances to ensure they had all witnessed the same extraordinary occurrence. Confronting such an anomaly, the compulsion to dissect the puzzle gnawed at them like ravenous dogs. They sought out Father Brown, their frivolity momentarily forgotten.

"Father," one of them stammered nervously, "How did you... What happened in there?"

Father Brown, with a knowing smile that seemed to reveal both less and more than one would expect, replied, "Ah, my dear friends, sometimes the most unexpected and inexplicable events are merely the result of the simplest tricks, hiding in the shadows of the ordinary."

He left them with those cryptic words, allowing their imaginations to dream up far-fetched explanations for the astonishing scene that had unfolded before them. And there, on an otherwise unremarkable day in Sydenham, three young men discovered that the boundary between the mundane and the magical can be surprisingly thin, if only one takes the time to look closely.

Extract from "The Sydenham Specter" by Theophilus Quill


1. The passage describes an unexpected prank in early 20th-century Sydenham involving Father Brown. Describe THREE elements that make this prank peculiar. [3]

2. What do you think the writer means when he refers to Father Brown’s ‘penchant for finding the extraordinary within the ordinary’ (paragraph 1)?[4]

3. The word ‘enchanting’ comes from the Latin word ‘incantare,’ which means to sing. What do you think the writer means when he describes the serenity of the day as ‘enchanting’ (paragraph 1)? [4]

4. Re-read the description of the reactions to the prank at the end of paragraph 5: (‘The befuddled pranksters…’ to ‘...forgotten’). Choose a phrase from these sentences that you think describes the reactions particularly well and explain why you chose it. [6]

5. What do you think might have caused the unexpected outcome of the prank as described in paragraph 4? [8]

6. Re-read the description of Father Brown's response to the prank in paragraph 7: (‘Father Brown…’ to ‘...the ordinary’). What do the writer’s choice of words in these sentences suggest about Father Brown’s attitude towards the prank and its outcome? [5]

7. Look at the portrayal of the pranksters in the following sentences within paragraph 8: ‘He left them with those cryptic words…’ to ‘…to look closely’. Do you find it surprising that the pranksters were so willing to accept
Father Brown’s explanation? Give reasons for your answer. [7]

8. Do you think Father Brown had a clear intention behind his handling of the prank? Give reasons for your answer, using details from the passage. [5]


Model Answers:

1. The passage describes an unexpected prank in early 20th-century Sydenham involving Father Brown. Describe THREE elements that make this prank peculiar. [3]

a) Instead of the typical reaction to the prank—being drenched by the falling water—Father Brown managed to cause the water and bucket to defy gravity.

b) The miraculous levitation of the water from the bucket is not a common outcome of such a prank, adding an air of supernatural mystery to the event.

c) Father Brown demonstrated an uncanny awareness of the prankster’s intentions and his reaction suggests he had a plan to turn the prank around.


2. What do you think the writer means when he refers to Father Brown’s ‘penchant for finding the extraordinary within the ordinary’ (paragraph 1) [4]

The writer implies that Father Brown has a knack for discovering hidden or unexpected elements of wonder in seemingly commonplace situations. Despite leading a modest life in Sydenham, he is able to uncover extraordinary occurrences, proving that there might be more depth and intrigue to the town and its residents than meets the eye. In this instance, the simple prank takes an extraordinary turn, reinforcing that Father Brown has a keen eye for such happenings.


3. The word ‘enchanting’ comes from the Latin word ‘incantare,’ which means to sing. What do you think the writer means when he describes the serenity of the day as ‘enchanting’ (paragraph 1)? [4]

By referring to the serenity of the day as "enchanting," the writer is emphasizing the charming, captivating quality of the morning in Sydenham. The word ‘enchanting,’ with its roots in singing, adds musicality and a sense of magic to the scene. The enchanting atmosphere adds an unexpected layer of beauty to the ordinary surroundings and sets the stage for the extraordinary events that are about to happen, as music is often associated with a sense of otherworldliness or escape from reality.

End of Sample

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