Are you considering Dr Challoner's Grammar School for your son? We've collated all the information you need to know about 2024 entry to Year 7. Keep reading to learn about key dates, the admissions process, and how to prepare for the Buckinghamshire 11 plus exam.
Dr Challoner's Grammar School is a selective state school for boys aged 11 to 18 with a mixed sixth form in Amersham, Buckinghamshire. It has a well-established reputation dating back to the early 17th century and is widely recognised as one of the leading state grammar schools in the country, and the highest-performing state school in Buckinghamshire.
Students at Dr Challoner's Grammar School are encouraged to become kind, caring, comfortable and open-minded young adults. They learn in an environment full of energy, life and vigour from the best teachers in the area. Beyond the classroom, students get involved in a wide range of co-curricular opportunities, including sports – for which the school is well-known – music, drama, house competitions, the Duke of Edinburgh Award, student leadership, and much more.
Dr Challoner's Grammar School is rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted and has an impressive collection of accolades, including the gold award in the Mind Workplace Wellbeing Awards, the ACE 'School of Character' kitemark and the 'best sporting state school in the country' according to the School Sport magazine.
Address: Dr Challoner’s Grammar School, Chesham Road, Amersham, Buckinghamshire, HP6 5HA
Local authority: Buckinghamshire Council
School type: boys' grammar with mixed sixth form
Headteacher: David Atkinson
Number of pupils: 1,300+
National rank (Sunday Times Parent Power): 23
A level results: 93.6% A*–B
GCSE results: 77.1% 9/8/7
Admissions contact: [email protected], 01494 787500
Number of places in Year 7: 180
Open evening: Thursday 23rd March and Thursday 6th July 2023. Book online
Exam registration opens (out-of-county applications): 5th May 2023
Exam registration closes (out-of-county applications): 16th June 2023
Exam date: 14th September 2023
Exam type: Buckinghamshire Secondary Transfer Test
Common application form (CAF) deadline: 31st October 2023
National school offer day: 1st March 2024
The 2023–2024 term dates at Dr Challoner's Grammar School are:
Autumn term: 6th September – 15th December 2023
Half term: 23rd October – 3rd November 2023
Spring term: 4th January – 28th March 2024
Half term: 12th–16th February 2024
Summer term: 16th April – 19th July 2024
Half term: 25th May – 2nd June 2024
Dr Challoner's Grammar School is a member of The Buckinghamshire Grammar Schools (TBGS). This consortium administers the 11 plus exam (Secondary Transfer Test) for all 13 grammar schools in the county.
Buckinghamshire’s 11 plus registration process is unique as they operate an ‘opt-out’ system. If your child attends a Buckinghamshire primary school, they will automatically be registered to take the test. If your child's primary school is not in Buckinghamshire and you would like to apply for a place at Dr Challoner's Grammar School, you will need to register for the Secondary Transfer Test separately. Registration will be open on the Buckinghamshire Council website between 5th May 2023 and 16th June 2023.
If you would like your son to be considered under Dr Challoner's Grammar School catchment area criteria, you will need to complete a separate Supplementary Information Form (SIF).
You will receive your child's results in the Secondary Transfer Test on 13th October 2023. If your child has achieved the pass mark in the exam, they will be eligible for a place at the school. You will then be able to name Dr Challoner's Grammar School on your common application form.
Before listing Dr Challoner's Grammar School as a preference on your form, check its admissions policy and make sure your child is eligible. Passing the Secondary Transfer Test will not be a guarantee of a place as more children reach the qualifying standard each year than there are places available.
The application form must be submitted to your home local council by 31st October 2023. The form must be completed for your home local authority – i.e. if you live in Buckinghamshire you will need to complete the form on the Buckinghamshire Council website. If you live in a different local authority, make sure to apply through the relevant website for that council.
Boys applying for Year 7 entry to Dr Challoner's Grammar School will take the 11 plus on the school site on Thursday 14th September 2023. The exam consists of two multiple-choice papers, each lasting around one hour:
English and verbal reasoning
Non-verbal reasoning and maths
Learn about the exam in more detail in our full guide to the Buckinghamshire 11 plus:
Your son's test papers in the Buckinghamshire Secondary Transfer Test will be marked and weighted. The English and verbal reasoning test will have a weighting of 50% applied, while the non-verbal reasoning and maths sections will be weighted at 25% each. The total of all scores will then be age-standardised to avoid any potential disadvantage for younger children. This overall mark will be your child's Secondary Transfer Test Score (STTS).
The qualifying score in the Secondary Transfer Test is 121. If your son achieves a score of 121 or higher, he will be eligible for entry to Dr Challoner's Grammar School.
Unlike other grammar schools in the country, children in Buckinghamshire are not ranked in order of their scores. Grammar school entry is entirely dependent on whether or not the child has scored 121, and whether they meet the individual school's admission criteria. We've included the admission criteria for Dr Challoner's Grammar School below.
There are 180 places available in Year 7 at Dr Challoner's Grammar School. Each year, around 500 qualified children list the school as one of their choices on their common application form, and 200 qualified applicants list the school as their first choice. This means that the school is consistently oversubscribed, and not all children who achieve the pass mark will be offered a place.
Children who achieve a standardised score of 121 or higher and who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) which names the school will be allocated places before the admission criteria are applied. When the number of children who meet the pass mark exceeds the number of places available, Dr Challoner's will apply oversubscription criteria in this order:
Boys who are looked after children or previously looked after children
Boys living in the catchment area of the school and who are in receipt of pupil premium
Siblings of students currently at Dr Challoner's Grammar School and who live in the catchment area
Up to 12 places within the 180 places available will be allocated to boys living in the catchment area, who are in receipt of pupil premium or are looked after/previously looked after children, and who have achieved a standardised score of at least 115
Sons of staff at Dr Challoner's Grammar School
Boys living in the catchment area, prioritised by closeness to the school
Siblings of students currently at Dr Challoner's Grammar School who live outside the catchment area
All other places are then offered in distance order
Dr Challoner's Grammar School operates a catchment area to prioritise eligible children living close to the school. This includes the areas of Amersham, Chesham, Chalfont St Giles, Chalfont Common, Gerrards Cross, Great Missenden and Prestwood.
Here are our top tips on how to best prepare your child for the Buckinghamshire Secondary Transfer Test.
The Buckinghamshire Secondary Transfer Test assesses a large breadth and depth of learning objectives across and beyond the Key Stage 2 curriculum.
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 Buckinghamshire Secondary Transfer Test at the right pace for them.
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.
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.
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.
Atom Nucleus gives children access to online practice papers. Our online tests are designed to mirror the format and style of the real Buckinghamshire 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.
Begin your child's journey to Dr Challoner's Grammar School today. Use the full features of Atom Nucleus free for 5 days – cancel anytime.
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:
We're happy to help with any questions you may have about admissions processes and helping your child prepare for entry to Buckinghamshire grammar schools.
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