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Chigwell School 11 plus guide

By Atom | Jul 3, 2023, 9:58 AM

Chigwell School, London

Are you considering Chigwell School for your child? We've collated everything you need to know about entry to Year 7, including key dates and what's covered on the entrance exam.

About Chigwell School

Chigwell School is a private school for boys and girls aged 4 to 18 in Chigwell, northeast London. The school occupies a 100-acre site on protected Green Belt land, surrounded by Epping Forest and with views towards the London skyline. Boarding is available for students aged 16 to 18.

Pupils are encouraged to go beyond the syllabus and grade-based results to develop a lifelong love of learning. There is a variety of opportunities for enrichment both inside and outside the classroom, including clubs and societies, competitions, educational visits and visiting speakers. Pupils from Year 8 and above are encouraged to take on a position of responsibility to develop their confidence and leadership skills.

The vast majority of Chigwell School leavers go on to Russell Group universities in the UK, with UCL, Nottingham and Birmingham proving the most popular choices in 2021, while some gain places at prestigious universities and colleges overseas.

  • Headmaster: Mr Damian King

  • School type: private day school (sixth form boarding available)

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

  • County: Essex

  • Age range and gender: 4–18, co-educational

  • Number of pupils: 1,000+

  • National league table rank (Sunday Times Parent Power): 135

  • A level results: 83.8% A*–B

  • GCSE results: 77.4% 9–7

Key info for 11+ admissions

  • Admissions contact: [email protected]

  • Open day: Saturday 30th September 2023 – book online

  • Overview of entry process: interview, entrance exam, and school reference

  • Registration closes: Friday 1st December 2023 at 5pm

  • Assessment date: Saturday 13th January 2024

Chigwell School fees and financial assistance

The fees at Chigwell School are £7,545 per term. Boarding (available in the sixth form only) costs £13,905 per term. Fees include the cost of all tuition, meals (lunch and afternoon tea), textbooks, games, societies, and most clubs.

Financial assistance

Chigwell School offers means-tested financial assistance (bursaries) to pupils whose families cannot afford the full fees. The support can be awarded in a discount of up to 100% on tuition fees, depending on the child's financial circumstances. Bursary applications can be made on the main 11 plus registration form.


Chigwell School also awards academic and music scholarships at 11 plus entry. These are not means-tested but based on talent and potential. If you would like your child to be considered for a scholarship, you should indicate your interest on the registration form – further steps will then become available.

Chigwell School term dates

The term dates at Chigwell School for 2023–24 are:

  • Autumn term (Michaelmas): 6th September – 13th December 2023

  • Half term: 21st October – 5th November 2023

  • Spring term (Lent): 4th January – 28th March 2024

  • Half term: 10th–18th February 2024

  • Summer term (Trinity): 17th April – 10th July 2024

  • Half term: 25th May – 2nd June 2024

Chigwell School 11 plus admissions process

Chigwell School is an academically-selective school and offers places to children who show that they will best reflect the schooll's acadmeic standards, and benefit from its wider education. Chigwell prides itself on a warm and friendly approach and endeavours to make the assessment process as enjoyable and comfortable as possible.

1. Visit the school

If you are considering Chigwell School for your child's secondary education, it's a good idea to visit first. Open events are a great opportunity to meet pupils and staff, and explore the school's 100-acre campus.

The main 11 plus open morning takes place in September. Find out more about upcoming events and book your place on the school website.

2. Register for 11 plus entry

Once you have decided to proceed with your child's application to Chigwell School, you will need to complete the 11 plus registration form. A non-refundable registration fee of £150 applies.

The closing date for submitting the form for entry in 2024 is 5pm on Friday 1st December 2023. However, it's recommended to register as early as possible, as most interviews will be held in November.

3. Interviews

Once your child has been registered, they will be invited to an interview at Chigwell School. Most interviews will be held on Saturday 11th November 2023 or Saturday 18th November 2023, with the final few taking place in early December.

Both parents and children are interviewed at Chigwell School. The process takes 30 minutes and is split into two parts:

  • Parent interview: meeting with a member of staff. Parents will have the opportunity to find out more about life at Chigwell and talk about their child's strengths and interests.

  • Child interview: this takes place separately to the parent interview. Find out more about typical private school interview questions.

4. Chigwell School 11+ entrance exam

All children who are registered for 11 plus entry to Chigwell School will take the entrance exam on Saturday 13th January 2024.

The exam is divided into three parts. Parts 1 and 2 are taken online and are administered by Atom Assessments. Assessments produced by Atom aim to improve typical entrance exams in English, maths and reasoning by providing an accessible, challenging, and enjoyable experience.

Questions are adaptive, meaning they become more difficult or less difficult depending on how your child is performing. This ensures children see questions at the right difficulty level for them, so they are stretched but not to the point where it becomes demotivating.

Part 1

The first part of the online test is based on the Key Stage 2 national curriculum. It takes 60 minutes to complete:

  • English: 20 minutes

  • Verbal reasoning: 10 minutes

  • Maths: 20 minutes

  • Non-verbal reasoning: 10 minutes

Part 2

The second part of the online test takes 35 minutes to complete:

  • Puzzles and problem-solving: 15 minutes

  • Creative comprehension: 20 minutes

Chigwell School 11+ familiarisation

Take a look at the types of questions your child might see in the Chigwell School 11 plus entrance exam.

Let's go!
A non-verbal reasoning question in the Chigwell School 11 plus familiarisation test

Part 3

The final part of the Chigwell School 11 plus exam is a creative writing task. This has a time limit of 30 minutes.

You may find these resources helpful:

Children who perform particularly well in the entrance exam might be called for an academic scholarship interview and assessment. This will take place on either Wednesday 24th or Thursday 25th January 2024. Children will have arts and science-based activities, and individual interviews in English, maths and a general interview.

5. Offers

Chigwell School will let you know whether your child has been successful in the entrance process on Thursday 15th February 2024 (via both email and post). If your child is offered a place and you would like to accept, you will have until 10am on Monday 4th March 2024 to accept.

Top tips to prepare for the Chigwell School 11+ exam

Chigwell School assesses a variety of subjects for 11 plus entry, including content which is not traditionally taught on the national curriculum. Here are our top tips to help your child prepare for the selection process.

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 content they’ve been taught in Year 5 before testing their knowledge with practice papers. Using a ‘little and often’ approach when recapping content is key, as our brains encode new information more effectively when dealing with smaller ‘chunks’ of information. Experts recommend study sessions should last no longer than 30 minutes for children aged 10–11.

Exam support & free resources

Looking for more information? Visit the Atom blog to find out more about entrance exams, learn how to develop key skills, and download helpful resources.

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