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City of London School: 11 plus entry guide

School guide

Apr 24, 2023, 10:13 AM

City of London School, London

Are you considering City of London School for your son? We've collated everything you need to know about entry to Year 7. Keep reading to learn about key dates, what's covered on the entrance exam, and how to help your child prepare for success.


About City of London School

City of London School provides a leading private education to boys between the ages of 10 and 18. It's partnered with the City of London School for Girls – with which the school enjoys strong co-curricular links – and the City of London Freemen’s School in Surrey. The school consistently tops national league tables and is currently ranked within the top five boys' schools in the UK.

City of London School is defined by its iconic location – situated on the banks of the River Thames, in the shadow of St Paul’s Cathedral and opposite the Tate Modern. Links with the capital’s cultural, political, educational, business and professional institutions provide pupils with unique and excellent opportunities to prepare for modern life. Students enjoy regular and ongoing partnerships with King’s College London, University College London, London Youth Choir, IntoUniversity, and the City of London Academies.

There is an extensive range of subjects on the curriculum, including Linguistics, Mandarin, Russian, Greek, DC&R (Design Computing and Robotics) and CLaSS (Core Learning and Survival Skills): a course covering organisation, information processing, time management, handwriting, touch typing, study skills and routine. Enrichment opportunities include essay competitions (such as Trinity and Erasmus), science Olympiads, LAMDA qualifications and Model United Nations events.

  • Head: Mr Alan Bird

  • Address: City of London School, 107 Queen Victoria Street, London, EC4V 3AL

  • London borough: City of London

  • Age range and gender: 10–18, boys only

  • Number of pupils: 1,000+

  • National league table rank (Sunday Times Parent Power): 11

  • A level results: 96.6% A*–B

  • GCSE results: 96.8% 9–7

Key info for Year 7 admissions

  • Admissions contact: Mrs Vanessa Haley – [email protected], 020 3680 6300

  • Open day: 28th September and 4th October 2023. Book online

  • Overview of selection procedure: two rounds of written exams, interview and school reference

  • Registration closes: Friday 3rd November 2023

  • Assessment date: Friday 1st December 2023 (round 1), Wednesday 13th December 2023 (round 2)

City of London School term dates

The term dates at City of London School for 2023–24 are:

  • Autumn term: 5th September – 15th December 2023

  • Half term: 16th–27th October 2023

  • Spring term: 9th January – 22nd March 2024

  • Half term: 12th–16th February 2024

  • Summer term: 15th April – 4th July 2024

  • Half term: 27th–31st May 2024

Fees at City of London School

The 2022–2023 termly fees at City of London School are £7,019. School lunch is an additional cost of £307 per term.

City of London School is able to offer bursaries to academically bright pupils who would not otherwise be able to afford the school fees. Bursaries can cover all or part of the tuition fees, depending on the family's financial circumstances. As a guide, families with a joint net income of less than £45,000 would be eligible for a bursary covering 100% of school fees, while families who have a net income of £70,000 may be eligible for a discount of up to 25%.

Find out more about bursaries on the school website.

City of London School admissions process

11 plus (11+) is the largest entry point at City of London School, with boys welcomed from schools all over London. Children who are offered a place at 11 plus entry will start school in the First Form (Year 7).

If you are considering City of London School for your son, it's a good idea to visit the school at one of its open events first. Open events are a great opportunity to explore the school site and facilities, talk to current staff and pupils, and ultimately decide if the school is the right fit for your child.

1. Register for Year 7 entry

The admissions process begins when you register your child with the school. To register your son for entry in the First Form, complete the online application form before Friday 3rd November 2023. You will also need to pay a registration fee of £160, which is non-refundable.

2. Entrance exam

Your child will be invited to take the City of London School entrance exam on Friday 1st December 2023. We've included more details about the format and content of this exam below.

3. Tests for shortlisted candidates

The results from the first entrance exam will be sent to parents by Thursday 7th December 2023. If your child has performed well in this exam, he will be invited to take the school's reasoning tests for shortlisted candidates on Wednesday 13th December.

4. Interview

Shortlisted candidates will also be invited to an interview in January 2024. Interviews last between 15 and 20 minutes and provide a two-way opportunity for the school to find out more about your child, and for your child to learn more about the school.

Find out more about private school interviews

5. Offers

Offers are made on the basis of your child's performance in the two entrance exams and the interview, in addition to a confidential reference from your child's current headteacher.

City of London School will let you know whether your child's application has been successful in mid-February 2024. If your child has been offered a place, you will have until early March to accept.

City of London School entrance exam

There are two 11 plus exams for entry to City of London School. Boys who perform well in the first exam on 1st December 2023 will be shortlisted for the second stage exam on 13th December.

Stage 1

The first entrance exam consists of two written papers:

  • English: a one-hour paper with two sections. Section A assesses reading comprehension and all the questions are multiple-choice. Section B is a creative writing piece; children will be tested on their ability to use accurate sentences, spelling and punctuation as well as the pace, realism and level of engagement of their story.

  • Maths: a one-hour exam with questions based on the Key Stage 2 national curriculum. Your child will be tested on his understanding of number, shape, space, measure, and handling data.

Stage 2

Boys who are shortlisted for the second stage exam will sit written papers in verbal and non-verbal reasoning:

  • Verbal reasoning: a test of your child’s ability to reason and solve problems with written information. This covers skills such as reading fluency and comprehension, vocabulary knowledge, phonological awareness, logic and problem-solving skills, the ability to discover and apply rules, and attention to detail.

  • Non-verbal reasoning: children will be tested on their ability to analyse visual information and solve problems using shapes, diagrams and pictures. This includes skills such as maths skills, logic and problem-solving, spatial awareness, the ability to identify patterns and rules, and overall general intelligence.

How to prepare for entry to City of London School

Here are our top tips for how to best prepare your child for the City of London School 11 plus.

Preparation is key: familiarisation with the question formats and known styles ahead of the exam is essential. Access to quality City of London School practice tests ensures confidence when tackling the exam.

Achieve mastery quickly: school entrance exams are designed to identify the children working at the very top of the ability range in their year group, so they assess a huge amount of content. Atom's adaptive algorithm creates your child's personalised learning journey specific to your target schools, with over 90,000 expert, teacher-created resources to support your child to fully master each topic.

Access to instant support: learners need clarification to address any misconceptions and become truly secure in their understanding of a topic. Access to videos, help sheets and engaging examples for each question builds confidence and competence in all areas covered in the exam.

Engage with their progress: celebrate their improvements in their areas of challenge together! An accurate, ongoing assessment of your child’s strengths and development areas is instrumental for preparing efficiently. Atom's Parent Portal gives you data-driven insights into your child’s areas of strength and development.

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City of London School mock tests

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Personalised support for you

We understand how important this next step is for them, and for you. Please don't hesitate to get in touch with any questions you may have about applying to City of London School or other selective schools.

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