By Atom | Jun 20, 2023, 3:46 PM
Are you considering Bishop Vesey's Grammar School for your son? We've collated all the information you need to know about 2024 entry to Year 7. Keep reading to learn about the Grammar Schools in Birmingham admissions process and how to excel in the 11 plus exam.
One of the oldest schools in Britain, Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School (or BVGS) was founded in 1527 by the Bishop of Exeter John Vesey, a friend of Henry VIII and tutor of Queen Mary I. It is now a selective academy for boys aged 11–16 years with a mixed sixth form, and is partnered with the nearby Sutton Coldfield Grammar School for Girls.
The school aims to provide inspiration and excellence to students across the Midlands. It prioritises academic excellence, inspirational teaching, and enrichment opportunities to build leadership, independence and resilience.
Address: Lichfield Road, Sutton Coldfield, B74 2NH
Local authority: Birmingham City Council
School type: boys' grammar
Headteacher: Dominic Robson
Number of pupils: 1,354
National rank (Sunday Times Parent Power): 51
A level results: 86.9% A*–B
GCSE results: 75% 9/8/7
Admissions contact: online contact form
Number of places in Year 7: 192
11 plus registration opens: 9th May 2023
11 plus registration closes: 30th June 2023
Open day: TBC
Exam date: 16th September 2023
Exam type: West Midlands Grammar Schools 11 plus
Common application form (CAF) deadline: 31st October 2023
National school offer day: 1st March 2024
The 2023–2024 term dates at BVGS are:
Michaelmas (autumn) term: 6th September – 21st December 2023
Half term: 27th October – 3rd November 2023
Lent (spring) term: 9th January – 21st March 2024
Half term: 12th–16th February 2024
Summer term: 9th April – 16th July 2024
Half term: 27th–31st May 2024
Bishop Vesey's Grammar School shares a testing process with the seven other grammar schools in Birmingham, as well as the grammar schools in Warwickshire, Shropshire, Walsall and Wolverhampton. You only need to register once to apply to any grammar schools across these areas.
Before registering, speak to your child’s teacher to see if the 11 plus and grammar school is right for them.
When your child is in Year 5, register them for the 11 plus on the West Midlands Grammar Schools portal. Registration opens at 9am on 9th May 2023 and closes at 4pm on 30th June 2023.
Once your child has taken the exam, you will get their results on the 20th October 2023. If your child achieves the qualifying score, you can include grammar schools on your local authority application form.
Before listing BVGS as a preference on your form, check its admissions policy and make sure your child is eligible. As well as your child's exam score, how close you live to a school can be an important factor in whether your child is likely to be offered a place.
The application form must be submitted to your home local council by 31st October 2023.
The 11 plus exam for BVGS takes place on the 16th September 2023.
The West Midlands 11 plus test is provided by GL Assessment. It consists of two papers, each lasting about 60 minutes. A few minutes are allocated at the start of each paper for children to listen to instructions and complete some unmarked practice questions.
Both papers are divided into smaller, individually-timed sections that assess:
The test is entirely multiple-choice format, with no writing sections. Children record their answers in a separate answer booklet which is marked electronically.
The maths and English questions assess your child's understanding of Key Stage 2 national curriculum content, including Year 6 objectives. It tests their ability to reason and apply knowledge accurately.
The reasoning questions assess your child’s logic and problem-solving ability. Verbal and non-verbal reasoning are not typically taught at school. They are intended to measure how well children can spot patterns with, connect and manipulate written and visual information.
Learn more detail about each paper, and get free preparation resources, in our full 11 plus guide:
Qualifying score: In 2022 and 2023, 205 was the minimum score at which a child could be considered for a place at a Birmingham grammar school. Bear in mind that the admissions criteria apply (below).
Cut-off score: In 2022, the cut-off score was 223. This was the score achieved by the child who was offered the final place at BVGS.
Unlike the King Edward VI Birmingham grammar schools, BVGS does not have a priority score.
Scores from recent years above can be used as a guide only. Achieving the qualifying score doesn't guarantee a place at the school, as it's likely to be oversubscribed with qualified candidates. We always recommend researching the admission policies and oversubscription criteria for your target schools.
After your child takes the exam, their scores are age-standardised and combined to give them a total score across all papers. These total scores are ranked in order, and oversubscription criteria are applied.
The planned admission number (PAN) for the school is 192. Children who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) naming BVGS and who achieve the qualifying score are offered a place first. After this, when more children achieve the qualifying score than there are places available (highly likely), places are offered in this order:
Looked-After or previously Looked-After Children who achieve the qualifying score, ranked by order of test score.
Up to 38 children who get free school meals and achieve the qualifying score, ranked by order of test score.
Other children who achieve the qualifying score, ranked by order of test score.
When test scores are equal, children who live nearest the school will be prioritised. Distances are calculated in a straight line from the child's home address to the foot of the steps leading to the main school entrance.
Bishop Vesey's Grammar School no longer has a catchment area. Places are offered based on children's performance in the test. Priority is only given to children living nearest the school when test scores are equal.
Here are our top tips on how to best prepare your child for the Birmingham 11 plus.
The 11 plus assesses a large breadth and depth of learning objectives across the Key Stage 2 national curriculum and beyond.
We recommend that your child starts revising content at least one year before the test. Setting aside study periods using a 'little and often' approach will give them time to build the skills and knowledge they need. When preparing, avoid falling into the trap of over-focusing on either the topics your child enjoys or the topics they find hardest.
Atom Nucleus is an 11 plus online course that tailors your child's personalised learning journey to cover all elements of the Birmingham 11 plus at the right pace for them.
Your child will encounter lots of unfamiliar types of questions in the 11 plus exam. Building exam technique with 11 plus test papers will help your child to feel fully confident with the styles of questions they'll encounter in the exam, reducing the potential for stress on the day.
Setting regular goals and celebrating achievements will help keep motivation high. Atom Nucleus offers data-driven insights into your child’s progress towards mastering the 11 plus curriculum, 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 online practice papers. Our online tests are designed to mirror the format and style of the real BVGS exam, so your child will go into the exam knowing exactly what to expect.
And what's more, everything is automatically marked 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 the 11 plus or grammar schools in Birmingham and Warwickshire.