Getting started with the 11 Plus Exam
Where to Start
Don’t panic! Although the whole process can seem like a test for the parents it can be straightforward. It's an unfortunate fact of life that there are more children hoping to get into a grammar school than there are places available. Firstly, do your homework!
Your local educational authority will be able to give you a list of selective schools in your area. We have links from our site to your LEA. Request prospectuses, make visits (schools hold impressive open days but personal visits can sometimes give you a better insight to the true day to day running), talk to both teachers, pupils and other parents and you should get a ‘gut’ feeling for a school that might suit the individual needs of your child.
Areas to focus on are: support and guidance for pupils' welfare, quality of teaching, attitudes and behaviour, leadership, staffing and resources, attainment and progress, links with the wider community, activities beyond the school day, etc.
For the exam, most schools will also tell you what subjects to focus on, whether they are multiple choice or standard type questions. They may even have past papers you can get familiar with. Do not rely on the school your child is currently at for answers to your questions, primary schools tend to keep a very low profile when it comes to grammar schools and in our experience scant information is available. YOU have to put the legwork in and do the research.
Ensure you start early, it's no good leaving this essential research until a few weeks before the exam, start early, stay focused and have your child start preparing for the different subjects relevant to your school of choice. Not all schools do all subjects, some only do Verbal Reasoning, some do Maths & Verbal Reasoning others different combinations. If you have spoken to the school you will know which areas to focus on.
Information can be found about league table positions on BBC and the Times websites and standards from OFSTED reports.