School Guidance
School Guidance
School Guidance
School Guidance
 
 

Applying for a place at a Grammar School

There are 164 grammar schools left in England. The counties that have the most grammar schools are Kent (47), Lincolnshire (15) Buckinghamshire (13) and West Midlands (11). To find out where the Grammar schools are in England go to: http://www.ngsa.org.uk/schools.php   

Grammar schools are selective, state secondary schools. They usually take pupils from age 11 to 18. To obtain a place at a grammar school a child has to pass what is called the 11+ test. Grammar schools provide an excellent education for children who thrive in an academic environment. Most of the pupils go on to take degrees at top universities.

Some independent schools have the word “Grammar” in their name. These schools have nothing to do with state grammar schools though may have an historical link with them.

To apply for a place at a grammar school contact its local authority. Your child will need to apply to take the test. This has to be done by a certain date if you are applying for a place in Year 7. You need to put the name of the grammar school on the preference list of your Common Application Form (CAF). 

You can apply for a place at a grammar school in school years other than Year 7. Your child will have to take a test to join any year at a grammar school. If your child fails the test he or she can usually take it again the following year. A child is not allowed to take the test more than once in one school year. Passing the test does not guarantee a place at a grammar school.

FORMAT OF THE TEST

Competition is fierce for places at grammar schools. The local authorities that have grammar schools in their area, and sometimes the individual grammar schools within that area, have their own Selection Tests referred to as the 11+. These tests decide which children have the academic ability to qualify for a place at a grammar school. Pupils in Year 6 usually sit the 11+ some time during the autumn term. The 11+ tests take many different forms including Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning Tests, tests in English, mathematics and writing or a mixture of the above. The format of the test is either standard format or multiple choice. Standard format questions are generally seen as harder than multiple choice as there are no clues as to what the answer might be.

TUTORING

Many parents tutor their children for the 11+ test. This can skew the results and has led parents to fear that if they do not have their children tutored they will be at a disadvantage.

It is possible to tutor your child yourself. Contact your local authority or the school to find out which practice paper booklets you should purchase. There are many resources available which explain clearly how to tackle, for example questions in verbal and non-verbal reasoning tests.

The optimum time to send your child to a tutor or give tutoring at home is during Year 5. It is best to start at least six months before the first test date so that your child has the time to build up confidence. It is important not to place too much emphasis on passing the tests as this may cause panic and could make your child nervous. Nerves, it has been shown account for many lost marks.

STANDARDISED SCORE

Standardisation is a statistical process that is designed to take account of the fact that older children are at an advantage when taking the 11+ test. Standardising the raw score makes it a level playing field for all the children in the year.

The test scores are adjusted to take account of the age of the children at the time they take the 11+. One child taking the test might be born on the first day of the school year (September 1st) while another might be born on the last day (August 31st). With what amounts to a whole year’s difference in their ages, the older child is clearly at an advantage: for example the older child will have an additional year’s worth of vocabulary. As children are exposed to new vocabulary at the rate of more than 1,000 words per year, the difference can be very significant for the 11+ tests. To remove this unfairness, the marks are adjusted to make them “standard” for all children, regardless of their age.

SELECTION APPEALS

If your child does not pass the 11+ you may be in an area which allows Selection Appeals. At a Selection Appeal you can put your case to the panel that your child has the academic ability to go to a grammar school and would have passed the 11+ if it had not been for mitigating circumstances. School Guidance can help you with a Selection Appeal

< Back to top

RELOCATING FROM AMERICA
/
"Thank you so much for your fabulous assistance in finding the right school for Tristan. We are thrilled with the school and he can't wait to start! Your sound advice and guidance was invaluable.
We would not have been successful had it not been for your assistance."
Corporate Client
State School Search in Bedfordshire
 
RELOCATING FROM SOUTH ASIA
/
"We can't thank you enough for your very efficient and friendly service."
A Foreign Office family
posted in South Asia

 
EDUCATION PLAN FOR A NEW AREA
/
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your help in finding schools for my children. Your approach allowed me to focus on what was important in a school for me. As we are moving to an area I know little about, your research allowed me to define which would be the best areas to live in to be near
good Junior and Secondary schools.
Your advice was very clear and logical and the speed of your response has meant that we are finally making progress."
Mr and Mrs Malik
 
RELOCATING FROM SOUTH AFRICA
/
"Again thank you for all of your work and effort on the schools issue. I really feel fortunate to have found a resource such as you who did excellent work in providing the advice I needed as well as conducting the school search that fitted our needs."
Corporate Client
 
 
/
 
 
 
 

 


Penny Bysshe. School Guidance Consultancy
Orchard House, High Road, Cookham, Berkshire SL6 9JT
Tel. +44 (0)1628 810696. Email. consult@school-guidance.co.uk
/
Home - About us - Contact - Enquiries - Directions - Site map
This site is © 2011 School Guidance - No reproduction without permission - Design by EA Design