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Chigwell School 11 plus guide

By Atom | Nov 28, 2023, 4:07 PM

Chigwell School, London

Considering Chigwell School for your child? We’ve collated everything you need to know about the 11+. Find out how to apply, what’s on the exam, and get top tips to help your child prepare.

About Chigwell School

Chigwell School is a private school for boys and girls aged 4 to 18 in northeast London, founded in 1629. It consists of a pre-prep (ages 4–7), prep (ages 7–11), senior school (ages 11–16) and sixth form (ages 16–18). The school sits on a 100-acre Green Belt side, surrounded by Epping Forest and with views of the London skyline. Sixth form students have the option to board on-site.

Students at Chigwell School are encouraged to develop a lifelong love of learning. Enrichment opportunities exist both inside and outside the classroom. There is a vast co-curricular programme, many educational trips, and frequent visiting speakers. Many students take on positions of responsibility to develop confidence and leadership skills.

Most students leave Chigwell School to pursue higher education at Russell Group universities. In 2023, popular choices included Warwick, Nottingham and Birmingham. An increasing number of students are also taking up degree-level apprenticeships and applying to European universities.

  • Address: High Road, Chigwell, Essex, IG7 6QF

  • County: Essex

  • Type of school: independent day (boarding available in the sixth form)

  • Age range and gender: 4–18, boys and girls

  • Number of pupils: 1,000+

  • Admissions contact: [email protected]

  • 11+ registration deadline: December in Year 6

  • 11+ assessment date: January in Year 6

Chigwell School admissions

Chigwell School welcomes children at ages 4, 7, 11, 13 and 16. 11 plus is the main entry point, with children joining Year 7 in the Lower School.

Chigwell School is academically-selective, which means that children applying for a place need to pass entrance exams. Places are offered to children who can show that they will meet the academic standards of the school and benefit from the wider education on offer.

Chigwell School bursaries and scholarships

Chigwell School is able to offer means-tested financial support, known as bursaries, to children who will thrive at the school but whose families cannot afford the full fees. Bursaries can provide a discount of up to 100% of tuition fees, depending on the family’s financial circumstances.

Children can also apply for a scholarship at Chigwell School. Scholarships are awarded in recognition of merit and are not means-tested. Academic and music scholarships are available at 11+, 13+ and sixth form entry. Art and drama scholarships are available at sixth form entry only.

Chigwell School 11+ exam

The 11+ exam for entry to Chigwell School mainly consists of an online test from Atom Assessments. The assessment is designed to positively challenge and excite children. It assesses a broader range of knowledge and skills than traditional entrance exams.

The online assessment is adaptive, meaning the questions become more difficult depending on how your child is performing. It’s divided into two parts, with six components in total. After completing Parts 1 and 2, your child will have a 30-minute creative writing task to complete, which is taken on paper.

Take a look at the format of the exam below. Subject guides and extra resources are included at the end of this article.

Part 1

Part 1 of an Atom Assessments test is based on the Key Stage 2 national curriculum and lasts 60 minutes.

  • English: 20 minutes

  • Verbal reasoning: 10 minutes

  • Maths: 20 minutes

  • Non-verbal reasoning: 10 minutes

Atom Assessments

Familiarisation test

Have a go at some example questions for Part 1 of the Chigwell School 11+ exam.

Let's go!
Atom Assessments

Part 2

The second part of the exam takes 35 minutes. It consists of two components:

  • Puzzles and problem-solving: 15 minutes

  • Creative comprehension: 20 minutes

How to prepare for the 11+

Chigwell School is a popular choice for many families in northeast London, so entry can be competitive. Here are our top tips to help your child prepare for the 11+ and feel confident on exam day.

Build foundational knowledge

It can be tempting to jump straight into practice papers to prepare for school exams. However, this is not an effective way to learn and can cause children to feel demotivated.

Your child should have a good understanding of the Key Stage 2 curriculum before using practice papers. It's important to learn using a 'little and often' approach by setting regular bitesize practice sessions. This is the most successful way for our brains to encode new information. As a guide, experts recommend that study sessions for ages 10–11 shouldn't exceed 30 minutes.

Read widely

Reading is an important skill for life. It also helps improve lots of skills tested in 11+ exams, such as comprehension, analysis, inference, imagination and vocabulary.

Encourage your child to read regularly and widely. Reading books from different genres and by a diverse range of authors will help them understand different styles, tones and purposes. It can also be useful to keep a vocabulary log. As your child reads, they should add new words and their meanings to their log to help expand their vocabulary and improve their spelling.

Looking for reading inspiration? Check out our Key Stage 2 reading list.

Refine exam technique

When your child feels confident with the topics they’ve learnt in Year 5, they’ll be ready to put their knowledge to the test. We recommend starting with one mock test per month in Year 5. They can build up to two per month over the course of the year, and one per week in the months before the exam.

Mock tests help your child build confidence working under test conditions. With practice, they’ll be able to work through questions quickly and efficiently. They’re also a great way to consolidate learning and highlight knowledge gaps for improvement.

Celebrate progress

Celebrating your child’s progress – no matter how big or small – will help keep their motivation high.

It’s also important to help your child develop a growth mindset. This means making sure to celebrate effort, as well as achievement. When they make mistakes or struggle to understand a particular topic, help them understand that they have the ability to improve through practice. Regular praise will help them build resilience for tackling new and challenging topics.

Encourage curiosity

Studies show that the most curious children tend to perform better in academic tests. You can support your child’s broader learning by encouraging them to ask questions and show an interest in the wider world.

Have open conversations with your child and ask them for their viewpoints. Help inspire an interest in current affairs with child-friendly journalism, such as Newsround and The Week Junior. It’s also a good idea to make sure your child is benefitting from a rich variety of experiences, such as visiting museums, exhibitions and galleries.

11+ exam resources

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