Are you considering applying to grammar school in the London Borough of Barnet? If your child is due to start secondary school in September 2024, we've collated everything you need to know here. Keep reading to learn what to expect from the Barnet application process and the 2023 11 plus exams.
Registration opens: early May 2023 (Queen Elizabeth's School), April 2023 (St Michael's School), 28th April 2023 (Henrietta Barnett School)
Registration closes: mid-July 2023 (Queen Elizabeth's School), 4th July 2023 (St Michael's School), TBC (Henrietta Barnett School)
Exam dates: September 2023 (Queen Elizabeth's School & Henrietta Barnett School), 15th September 2023 (St Michael's School)
Exam board type: GL Assessment and school's own papers
Test results: mid-October 2023
Local authority application form deadline: 31st October 2023
National school offer day: 1st March 2024
Appeals: heard by an independent panel
Dates are subject to change, so always check directly with your target schools.
The 11 plus is an entrance exam used as part of the admissions process by UK grammar schools (selective, state secondary schools). It's used to assess academic potential and decide whether a grammar school environment will suit a child. Children can only take the test once per academic year, in September while they are in Year 6.
There are three grammar schools in the London Borough of Barnet, each with its own separate testing and admissions process.
Queen Elizabeth’s School (boys)
The Henrietta Barnett School (girls)
They are academies or voluntary aided schools, meaning their admissions criteria and appeals process will be different from schools under the local authority.
We recommend familiarising yourself with your target schools' admissions criteria. Distance from your home address to the school is a factor in the admissions process for all three schools.
You will need to register for the schools' entrance exams separately on their websites:
The schools may require you to complete a supplementary information form (SIF) at this time, which you can find on their websites.
Once your child has taken the relevant entrance exams and you have their results, you will be able to decide which schools to include on your local authority application form. Before listing a school on your form, always check its admissions policy and make sure your child is eligible.
The application form must be submitted to your home local council by 31st October 2023.
On 1st March 2024, you will find out which school your child has been allocated a place at. They will be allocated a place at your highest-preferred school for which they meet the entry criteria and which has places available. If no places are available at your preferred schools, they will be offered a place at another school in your area.
If your child is not offered a place at the school of your choice, you have the right to appeal the decision via an independent panel:
The grammar schools in Barnet have separate 11 plus processes. They use the same test provider, but the schools have chosen to use different combinations of papers.
The Queen Elizabeth's School entrance exam is provided by GL Assessment. It is in multiple-choice format and consists of two papers, each lasting about 50 minutes. Children record their answers in a separate answer booklet which is marked electronically.
The two papers are:
GL English and maths papers assess your child's understanding of Key Stage 2 national curriculum content (including Year 6 objectives), and their ability to reason and apply this knowledge accurately.
St Michael's Catholic Grammar School also uses GL Assessment papers. The subjects tested are:
The papers are entirely multiple-choice with a separate answer booklet. The school publishes some familiarisation booklets here.
The Henrietta Barnett School has two rounds to its entrance exams.
The round one papers are multiple-choice GL Assessment papers, as with the other Barnet grammar schools.
The 300 highest-scoring children are invited to take the round two test. This consists of papers written by the school, which assess:
English comprehension and writing
Explore the selection of free preparation resources below.
The scores from the two papers are standardised and combined to give an overall score for each child. Any children who achieve a score of 210 or higher meet the minimum requirement to be considered for a place.
No specific pass mark is named. Instead, scores are standardised and ranked in order, and the top 200 candidates are considered for a place. Other criteria are applied, including whether the child is a baptised Catholic from a practising Catholic family, who has made their First Holy Communion.
If two or more children are of equal ranking under the criteria, then the verbal reasoning test scores will be given the highest weighting, followed by non-verbal reasoning, then English, then maths.
The first round test paper scores are combined and standardised, and the candidates placed in rank order. The top 300 candidates are invited to sit the second round tests. Children's scores from the second round tests are added to their scores from the first round, and placed in rank order.
This ranking is submitted to the local authority, who will offer places to the highest-ranked candidates and apply oversubscription criteria. There are about 100 Year 7 places available each year.
Children's 11 plus scores are standardised to even out any age disadvantage for children born later in the year.
Achieving the required score doesn't guarantee a place at the school of your choice, as the Barnet grammar schools are always oversubscribed with qualified candidates. We always recommend researching the admission policies for your target schools, looking at their oversubscription criterion and their catchment area.
The Barnet grammar schools are more likely to admit a lower-scoring pupil in their priority zones than a higher-scoring child who lives further away. Other criteria are applied – for example, children may be prioritised if they have a sibling at the school, if they have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), or if they are a Looked After Child.
Here are our top tips on how to help your child prepare for the 2023 exam:
The 11 plus assesses a large breadth and depth of learning objectives. Starting at least one year before the test, and using a little-and-often approach, will give your child time to securely build the skills and knowledge they need.
Atom Nucleus is an 11 plus online course which tailors your child's personalised learning journey to cover all elements of the 11 plus. This will help you to avoid the common mistake of over-focusing on the topics your child enjoys, or conversely, the topics they find the most difficult.
Make sure your child is familiar with all styles of questions they will experience in the test. This reduces the potential for stress on the day and will give them confidence to answer the questions to the best of their ability. Access to unlimited local 11 plus test papers will allow your child to build exam technique and feel fully prepared on the day.
Setting regular goals and celebrating achievements will help keep motivation high. Atom offers data-driven insights into your child’s progress towards mastering the 11 plus content, making it easy to see where they need to focus next.
Wondering how to make sure your child covers the depth and breadth of the entire 11 plus curriculum, stays on track with their progress, and gets help when they're stuck? Online learning is a particularly efficient, cost-effective (and fun) way to do this!
Atom Nucleus is the award-winning online 11 plus practice platform that gives your child everything they need to prepare for grammar school exams.
Children work independently through over 90,000 interactive practice questions in English, maths, verbal and non-verbal reasoning. Teacher-created helpsheets and videos help them discover new concepts and consolidate their learning.
Atom's algorithm keeps children on their ideal learning path, tailored to their unique learning style and pace to keep them challenged and motivated.
Atom Nucleus gives children access to unlimited online practice papers tailored to GL 11 plus exams, as well as school-specific papers for Queen Elizabeth's School and The Henrietta Barnett School.
Our online tests are designed to mirror the format and style of real 11 plus questions, so your child will go into the exam knowing exactly what to expect. And what's more, everything is automatically marked for you.
We know how keen you are for your child to do well in the 11 plus, to give them every chance of securing a place at their school of choice. Our dedicated team of Education Experts are on hand to support you and your family every step of the way:
We're happy to help with any questions you may have about admissions processes and helping your child prepare for entry to Barnet grammar schools.
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