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Colchester Royal Grammar School 11 plus guide

By Atom | Jun 20, 2023, 3:57 PM

Colchester Royal Grammar School, Essex (CSSE)

Are you considering Colchester Royal Grammar School for your son's secondary education? We've collated everything you need to know about applying to the school for entry in 2024, including the admissions process, what's on the 11 plus and how to help your child prepare.

About Colchester Royal Grammar School

Founded in 1206 and nestled in the heart of the city of Colchester, Colchester Royal Grammar School (CRGS) was granted Royal Charters from both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. The school is currently ranked the 10th best grammar school in the country, based on exam results in 2022, and is named the East Anglia State School of the Decade by The Sunday Times.

CRGS gives boys aged 11-18 the opportunity to study and learn at the highest level, with a thriving co-educational sixth form. The school values compassion, respect, generosity and support and is praised for its impressive facilities, results and extracurricular programmes. Unusually for state schools, Colchester Royal Grammar School offers boarding for sixth formers (fees are applicable to boarding only), providing young adults with a transitional period of independence before going to university or into a career.

  • Address: Colchester Royal Grammar School, Lexden Road, Colchester, Essex CO3 3ND

  • Local authority: Essex County Council

  • School type: boys' grammar with a mixed sixth form

  • Headteacher: John Russell

  • Number of pupils: 900+

  • National rank (Sunday Times Parent Power): 10

  • A level results: 95.8% A*–B

  • GCSE results: 84% A*/A/9/8/7

Key info for Year 7 admissions

  • Admissions contact: [email protected]

  • Number of places in Year 7: 128

  • Open day date: usually in June – date TBC

  • 11 plus registration opens: Thursday 16th May 2023

  • 11 plus registration closes: 30th June 2023

  • Exam date: Saturday 23rd September 2023

  • Exam type: CSSE 11 plus

  • Results posted: 16th October 2023

  • Common application form (CAF) deadline: 31st October 2023

  • National school offer day: 1st March 2024

Colchester Royal Grammar School term dates

The term dates at Colchester Royal Grammar School in 2023–2024 are:

  • Autumn term: 6th September – 19th December 2023

  • Half term: 23rd–27th October 2023

  • Spring term: 5th January – 28th March 2024

  • Half term: 19th–23rd February 2024

  • Summer term: 15th April – 17th July 2024

  • Half term: 24th–31st May 2024

How to apply to Colchester Royal Grammar School

Colchester Royal Grammar School is a member of the Consortium of Selective Schools in Essex (CSSE). This means that the admissions arrangements are similar at all the grammar schools within the consortium, and all children applying to one of the 10 schools take the same 11 plus test.

If you would like your child to be considered for a place at Colchester Royal Grammar School, you will need to apply by completing two forms:

  • Register for the 11 plus: you will need to register your child to take the CSSE 11 plus exam on the CSSE website. Registration opens on Thursday 16th May 2023 and closes on 30th June 2023.

  • Register for a school place: you will need to submit the common application form (CAF) and name Colchester Royal Grammar School as your preferred school of choice. You will be able to complete the form on the Essex County Council website between 1st September and 31st October 2023.

The 11 plus at Colchester Royal Grammar School

The 11 plus exam takes place on Saturday 23rd September 2023. All of the grammar schools in the CSSE take the same exam, which is created and administered by the CSSE itself.

The CSSE 11 plus consists of two papers:

  • English: one hour, with some additional reading time. It comprises questions that test reading comprehension, grammar, vocabulary and applied literacy and verbal reasoning. There will also be two pieces of creative writing.

  • Maths: one hour. Children will be tested on the Key Stage 2 national curriculum, with additional non-verbal and mathematical reasoning questions.

Find out more in our comprehensive guide to the CSSE 11 plus and access free resources to help your child prepare.

CSSE 11 plus: everything you need to know

What is the pass mark for Colchester Royal Grammar School?

After your child takes the CSSE exam, a team of independent professional markers will double-mark and check the papers. Some scores will be age-standardised and then the results for each school will be ranked in order.

The pass mark can vary from year to year. In 2022, the pass mark at Colchester Royal Grammar School was 338.

The CSSE does not normally make secondary school offers to any child who has scored under a total standardised score of 303. However, some appeals outside of this criteria are successful.

Colchester Royal Grammar School oversubscription criteria

Colchester Royal Grammar School is a very successful and desirable school in Essex. Each year, many more candidates apply for a place at the school than there are places available.

The school operates the following admissions priorities, in order, to rank pupils for places:

  • Admissions Priority 1: up to 12 places are offered to boys who have named CRGS as their preferred school, who qualify under the coordinated admissions arrangements, who achieve a score of 320 or greater in the selection tests, and who are either a Looked After Child, a previously Looked After Child, or are in receipt of the Pupil Premium.

  • Admissions Priority 2: the remaining places are then offered in descending rank order of marks to the boys who have scored highest in the CSSE 11 plus, have named CRGS as their preferred school, and who qualify for a place.

If there are children with an equal ranking competing for the last available place in either of the two admissions priorities, then the school will give preference in this order:

  • A Looked After or previously Looked After child

  • A child in receipt of Pupil Premium

  • The applicant living closest to the school, measured by a straight line

How to help your child prepare for the 11 plus

Here are our top tips on how to best prepare your child for the CSSE 11 plus.

Cover all the content

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 CSSE at the right pace for them.

No surprises

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.

Celebrate their progress

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.

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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 and 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.

CSSE 11 plus practice papers

Atom Nucleus gives children access to unlimited online practice papers. Our online tests are designed to mirror the format and style of the real CSSE 11 plus, so your child will go into the exam knowing exactly what to expect.

And what's more, everything is automatically marked for you.

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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 Essex grammar schools.

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