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Bishops Wordsworth's School 11 plus: parents' guide for 2022

School guide

Jan 31, 2023, 1:41 PM

Bishops Wordsworth's School: a parents' guide for 2022


Bishops Wordsworth’s School is the only grammar school for boys in Wiltshire. Originally known as The Bishop’s School, it was founded in 1890 by the Bishop of Salisbury as an institution for 45 boys. Girls were welcomed from 1902 until 1927, at which point the school split and the girls joined the newly formed South Wilts Grammar School in the city suburbs. The two schools have maintained a close partnership since.

The school occupies a unique position in Salisbury’s iconic medieval Cathedral Close. Notable alumni and previous staff include the actor Ralph Fiennes and novelist and Nobel Prize Winner Sir William Golding.

Bishops Wordsworth’s School’s exam results are consistently strong, with over 32% of all GCSE results graded the top level of 9 in 2021. The school is rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted.

11 plus information for Bishop Wordsworth’s School

  • Address: Bishop Wordsworth’s School, Exeter Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP1 2ED

  • County: Wiltshire

  • Admissions info: [email protected], 01722 333851

  • School type: boys’ grammar (co-ed sixth form)

  • Number of pupils: 1,100

  • Number of Year 7 places: 160

  • Open day: Monday 20th June 2022, 2.50–3.50pm (register here)

  • Registration period: 26th April – 30th June 2022

  • 11 plus exam date: Saturday 17th September 2022

  • Exam board type: CEM

  • Results: Mid-October 2022

  • National school offer day: 1st March 2023

  • Appeals: heard by an independent appeal panel

Bishop Wordsworth’s School term dates

The 2022-23 term dates for Bishop Wordsworth’s School are:

  • Autumn term: 5th September – 16th December

  • Half term: 21st – 28th October

  • Spring term: 9th January – 31st March

  • Half term: 20th – 24th February

  • Summer term: 17th April – 14th July

  • Half term: 29th May – 2nd June

Bishop Wordsworth’s School 11 plus admissions process

To apply for Year 7 entry in 2023 at Bishops Wordsworth’s School, you will need to register your child on the school website once registration opens on 26th April 2022 at 10am and before the deadline of 30th June 2022.

You will also need to complete the Local Authority Common or Secondary Application Form (CAF or SAF), which will be available between 1st September and 31st October 2022. Please see your local council’s website (Wiltshire, Hampshire or Dorset) for this information.

If a boy has education needs, an Education Health Care Plan, speaks EAL or faces any other barrier to learning, the school will allow special access arrangements. The completed form and supporting documents must be received by the school at least 10 school days (two weeks) before the exam.

There is no specific pass mark for the Bishops Wordsworth’s School 11 plus, but historically this has been between 70% and 74%. Passing the exam is not a guarantee of an offer of a place; if more boys pass the exam than the 160 places available, the following oversubscription criteria will be applied in order of priority:

  1. Looked after children and previously looked after children

  2. Boys eligible for free school meals

  3. Boys whose permanent home is in the school’s suggested designated area (see below)

  4. Boys who will be living with a brother or sister already at the school (including fostered, adopted, step or half-sibling) at the time of entry

  5. Boys who, at the time of application, have a parent who has been a member of staff at the school for at least two years

  6. Boys who, at the time of the exam, have been recorded as qualifying for the Service Premium or who have been a Service Child in any of the previous three years

  7. Other applicants who meet the entry requirements

What is the catchment area for Bishop Wordsworth’s School?

The school does not have an official catchment area, but for practical reasons, it is recommended that a pupil’s journey does not exceed one hour. In the case of oversubscription to the school, successful candidates who live closer to the school will be prioritised over successful candidates who live further away.

A map showing the catchment area for Wiltshire's grammar schools

Bishop Wordsworth’s School 11 plus exam format

The 11 plus exam for entry to Bishops Wordsworth’s School is administered by CEM. The exam is approximately two hours total:

  • Paper 1: 50 minutes

  • Paper 2: 50 minutes

Both papers are in multiple-choice format and assess verbal, numerical and non-verbal ability. Applicants will be expected to show their competence in the skills taught in the Key Stage 2 English and maths national curriculum, and to be able to apply these skills creatively. Bishops Wordsworth’s School publishes 11 plus familiarisation booklets on its website.

Applicants’ marks on the two exams will be combined and age-standardised, taking into account the child’s age in years and months on the date of the exam.

How can I help my child prepare for Bishop Wordsworth’s School 11 plus?

Start early. We suggest beginning the 11 plus preparation journey at the end of Year 4 or the beginning of Year 5. Your child should feel comfortable with the curriculum content before beginning targeted exam preparation. Core curriculum programmes are useful to help boost confidence and subject mastery ahead of the exam.

Friendly familiarisation. The 11 plus exam will contain question styles that your child has likely not come across before. With Atom’s Exam Preparation Plus package, your child will be able to take as many Mock Tests as necessary to feel comfortable with the format and style of Bishop Wordsworth’s CEM exam.

Wiltshire Grammar Schools 11 Plus Mock Tests

Read widely. The 11 plus exam will require your child to have an excellent understanding of the English language, including vocabulary, spelling, punctuation and grammar. Reading widely across traditional and contemporary texts will support their exam preparation – find free resources for engaging your child with reading here.

Focus on their needs. Tailor your child’s exam practice to their specific needs to help them stay on track. Atom’s adaptive learning algorithm personalises your child’s optimal learning journey to help them master all the content required to achieve entry to Bishop Wordsworth’s School. Data-driven insights will also give you an in-depth overview of your child’s progress.

Start your free 5-day trial of Atom Nucleus today to see how adaptive learning can empower your child to excel in Bishops Wordsworth’s School’s 11 plus exam.

5 day free trial for 11 plus

We know how crucial this time is, so our team is on hand to support you and your family every step of the way. You can book a call with one of our Education Experts to ask any questions you may have about Bishops Wordsworth’s School or the 11 plus CEM exam:

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