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Bromley Grammar Schools 11 plus: 2024 entry guide

By Atom | Jun 29, 2023, 8:42 AM

Bromley grammar schools 11 plus

Are you considering applying to grammar school in the London Borough of Bromley? 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 Bromley application process and 11 plus exams.

Bromley 11 plus: key info

  • Registration opens: 2nd May 2023 (Newstead Wood School), 12th June 2023 (St Olave's School)

  • Registration closes: 30th June 2023 (Newstead Wood School), 3rd July 2023 (St Olave's School)

  • Register via: Newstead Wood School and St Olave's School

  • Exam dates: 22nd–23rd September 2023 (Newstead Wood School). 22nd September 2023 (St Olave's stage 1), 17th November 2023 (St Olave's stage 2)

  • Exam board type: GL Assessment (Newstead Wood School). School's own papers (St Olave's School)

  • Test results: week commencing 16th October 2023 (Newstead Wood School)

  • Local authority application form deadline: 31st October 2023

  • National school offer day: 1st March 2024

  • Appeals: heard by an independent panel

Dates are sometimes subject to change so always check directly with your target schools.

What is the 11 plus test?

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.

Bromley grammar schools

There are two grammar schools in the London Borough of Bromley, each with its own separate testing and admissions process.

They are both 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 Newstead Wood School.

Test your knowledge

Try answering some 11+ questions

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How to apply to Bromley grammar schools

1. Register for entrance exams

You will need to register for the schools' entrance exams separately. To do this, complete a supplementary information form (SIF) on each of their websites:

2. Apply for school places

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.

3. National school offer day

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. You can appeal the decision via an independent panel.

What's on the 11 plus in Bromley?

The grammar schools in Bromley have separate 11 plus tests.

Newstead Wood School 11 plus

The Newstead Wood 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:

  • Verbal reasoning

  • Non-verbal reasoning

The verbal reasoning paper assesses your child’s ability to connect, spot patterns with, and manipulate verbal information. Verbal reasoning relies on a broad vocabulary base and understanding of word meanings both in and out of context. It can identify pupils whose strengths lie in English, history, languages and the arts.

The non-verbal reasoning paper tests your child's ability to problem-solve using visual information. The test is designed to determine spatial skills, aptitude, and the ability to think logically and recognise patterns. It can identify pupils with strengths in STEM subjects (maths, sciences).

Learn about 11+ topics in depth

Newstead Wood School offers free familiarisation materials for children who receive Pupil Premium. These materials will help your child get a feel for what to expect from the test. If you indicate that your child receives Pupil Premium on your application form, you will be sent a login code.

Newstead's Parents' Association also runs a series of familiarisation tests for children. The 2023 sessions are on 6th May, 20th May, 24th June and 8th July and you can register here.

St Olave's School 11 plus

St Olave's School provides its own 11 plus papers. The exams are split into two stages.

Stage 1

Stage one is known as the Selective Eligibility Test (SET) (not to be confused with the Sutton SET).

The SET consists of about 60 questions, split into four sections. It lasts one hour total. Children are told when to start and finish each section. Calculators are not allowed.

  • Section A: English comprehension

  • Section B: maths

  • Section C: verbal reasoning

  • Section D: non-verbal reasoning

Like the Newstead Wood exam, the SET is entirely multiple-choice. Children have to choose the correct answer from five possible options. Most questions have only one correct answer, but a couple of questions may require two answers and this will be indicated. There is a separate answer sheet where children will record their answers in pencil, marked by a computer.

The verbal and non-verbal reasoning sections are as above. The maths and English sections assess your child's knowledge of Key Stage 2 national curriculum content, and their ability to reason and apply this knowledge accurately.

Stage 2

The top 450 candidates from the SET are invited back to sit the second round of tests in November. The second round consists of:

  • English: 60 minute paper

  • 15-minute break

  • Maths: 60 minute paper

The stage 2 English paper is split into:

  • Section 1: assesses reading and grammar through multiple-choice questions based on fiction or non-fiction passages.

  • Section 2: assesses reading and writing. Part (a) requires children to explain and justify inferences with evidence from a text. Part (b) is a writing task where children will need to write up to one side of A4.

In the written task, examiners will be looking for children to:

  • Choose form and content appropriate to the task

  • Use appropriate syntax and paragraph breaks

  • Use punctuation correctly and expressively

  • Use vocabulary creatively

  • Spell accurately

  • Use handwriting, layout and presentation effectively

Marks are allocated equally between section 1, section 2a and section 2b, so children should spend about the same amount of time on each task.

The stage 2 maths paper is based on national curriculum content, including Year 6 concepts. The questions generally increase in difficulty. Children will need to manipulate and apply Key Stage 2 maths concepts in unfamiliar and challenging situations to test their problem-solving abilities.

The maths topics tested are:


  • Addition and subtraction of whole numbers and decimals

  • Multiplication and division of whole numbers and decimals by whole numbers

  • Calculations involving money, time, metric length and mass

  • Fractions and percentage calculations


  • Types of number: primes, factors, multiples, squares

  • Numerical patterns and sequences

  • Algebra including formulae in words and finding unknown values by logical deduction

  • Co-ordinates

Shape, space and measure:

  • Use of 2D nets to make 3D objects (i.e. nets and cubes)

  • Congruence, line and rotational symmetry

  • Reading scales and selection of appropriate units

  • Perimeter and area

  • Volumes

Handling data:

  • Construct and use simple frequency tables for discrete data

  • Represent and understand data represented using frequency diagrams and line graphs

  • Mode and median of discrete data

  • Simple concepts of probability

St Olave's School publishes some sample questions for stage 1 and 2 here.

What is the pass mark for Bromley 11 plus?

Newstead Wood School pass mark

There are a total of 168 Year 7 places available in 2024. The school's required mark is a standardised score of 210 marks. This is the minimum score at which children can be considered for a place. Scores are ranked in order and first priority criteria are applied:

  1. Currently and previously Looked After Children who score 210 marks or above.

  2. Children who live within 9 miles of the school and receive Pupil Premium or Service Premium who score 210 marks or above.

The rest of the places are then allocated from the rank order list. Children living within 9 miles of the school and children with a parent working at the school are prioritised. The school is heavily oversubscribed so no places have ever been offered to children outside of this criteria.

St Olave's School pass mark

No specific pass mark is named. Instead, stage 1 testing scores are ranked in order and the top 450 candidates are invited back for stage 2. Stage 2 scores are standardised and added to stage 1 scores, to give each candidate a total score. These scores are used to rank the candidates in order.

There are 124 Year 7 places available for 2024. After the school has admitted children with an EHCP naming St Olave's School who meet the standard, the places remaining are offered to candidates from highest to lowest score.

Important information about scoring

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 schools are often oversubscribed with qualified candidates. We always recommend researching the admission policies for your target schools, looking at their oversubscription criterion and their catchment area.

For example, many 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.

How can I help my child prepare for the Bromley 11 plus?

Here are our top tips on how to help your child prepare for the 2023 exam:

Cover all the content

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.

No surprises

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.

Engage with their progress

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.

Personalised 11 plus prep for your child

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.

Bromley 11 plus practice papers

Atom Nucleus gives children access to unlimited online practice papers tailored to the Newstead Wood and St Olave's exams. 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.

Try Atom Nucleus free for 5 days

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Personalised 11 plus support 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:

Ask us anything

We're happy to help with any questions you may have about admissions processes and helping your child prepare for entry to grammar school.

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