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John Hampden Grammar School 11+ guide

By Atom | Mar 15, 2024, 11:10 AM

John Hampden Grammar School, Buckinghamshire

Thinking about applying to John Hampden Grammar School? Find out everything you need to know about admissions and how to prepare your child for success in the Buckinghamshire Secondary Transfer Test.

Key information about John Hampden Grammar School

Dates for your diary

  • 11+ registration opens: Friday 3rd May 2024

  • 11+ registration closes: Friday 14th June 2024

  • 11+ exam date: Thursday 12th September 2024

  • 11+ results released: Friday 11th October 2024

  • Secondary school application deadline: 31st October 2024

  • School allocations: 3rd March 2025

About John Hampden Grammar School

John Hampden Grammar School (JHGS) is a selective boys’ school. And it is near Little Marlow, Buckinghamshire. The school provides a challenging academic education. Boys are encouraged to build character, spirit and resilience to create their own future paths.

JHGS is committed to providing its students with a forward-thinking education. Technology is embraced to support and promote learning and personal development. Improvements are always being made to teaching and learning facilities. Recently, the school developed a new Design Technology studio, workshops, and new science labs. A £3.5 million Innovation Hub incorporating IT suits and learning spaces was also built.

Boys at John Hampden Grammar School achieve excellent exam results. These help them to succeed at the best universities in the UK and overseas. They also secure places on competitive apprenticeships with local and global companies. An extensive extracurricular programme helps students develop plenty of new skills and talents. Music and debating are particularly popular. The school has a range of clubs and societies. Among others, the Pratchett Debating Society, Young Magistrates and Politicon.

How to apply to John Hampden Grammar School

John Hampden Grammar School is a selective school. This means that your child will need to take the 11 plus exam to be eligible for a place. In Buckinghamshire, the 11 plus is known as the Buckinghamshire Secondary Transfer Test.

All children who go to a primary school in Buckinghamshire are entered to take the test. This means that you will not need to register your child separately.

If your child goes to a primary school outside of Buckinghamshire, you’ll need to register them to take the test. Registration for the 2024 exam opens on Friday 3rd May 2024 and closes on Friday 14th June 2024.

The Buckinghamshire Secondary Transfer Test will take place on Thursday 12th September 2024. You’ll receive your child’s results on Friday 11th October 2024. You can then use these results to decide whether to apply for a place at John Hampden Grammar School.

To apply, you’ll need to name the school as one of your preferred schools on the secondary school common application form. This will be available on your home council website from early September and must be submitted by Thursday 31st October 2024.

Remember – passing the entrance exam doesn’t guarantee that your child will be allocated a place at your preferred school. Many grammar schools are often oversubscribed with qualified children. Schools and their admissions authorities work through admissions criteria to prioritise children for places. We’ve included the admissions criteria for John Hampden Grammar School below.

What subjects are on the Secondary Transfer Test?

The Secondary Transfer Test consists of two one-hour papers supplied by GL Assessment.

One paper tests verbal skills. This includes English comprehension, technical English, and verbal reasoning.

The other paper tests maths and non-verbal skills. This includes Key Stage 2 maths, non-verbal reasoning and spatial reasoning.

Guide to the Buckinghamshire Secondary Transfer Test

Find out everything you need to know in our complete guide to the Buckinghamshire Secondary Transfer Test. Plus, get access to free 11 plus resources to help your child feel confident for their exam!

Learn more
Verbal reasoning paper

How does place allocation work at John Hampden Grammar School?

Your child’s total score in the entrance exam will be age-standardised and weighted. Find out how this mark is worked out in our guide to the Buckinghamshire Secondary Transfer Test.

The qualifying mark for entry to Buckinghamshire grammar schools is 121. Children are not ranked beyond this point – places are then based on your target school’s admissions criteria.

If more than 180 children applying to John Hampden Grammar School achieve a score of 121 or higher, the school applies oversubscription criteria. Children are prioritised for places in the following order:

  • Looked after boys and previously looked after boys

  • 12 places are ring-fenced for boys who are looked after/previously looked after/in receipt of pupil premium or the service premium, who live in the catchment area and who have scored a mark of 113–120 in the Secondary Transfer Test

  • Other boys who are eligible for the pupil premium or service premium, who have achieved the qualifying mark of 121 or more and who live in the catchment area

  • Brothers of siblings currently attending John Hampden Grammar School

  • Boys who have exceptional medical or social needs which can only be met by the school

  • Sons of staff employed by the school

  • Boys living within Priority Area A

  • Boys living within Priority Area B

All other boys are offered places according to distance order, with boys living closest to the school given priority

John Hampden Grammar School operates a catchment area to prioritise eligible children living close to the school. This is made up of two distinct sections – Priority Areas A and B – which are referred to as the 'catchment area' when combined together.

Priority Area A: this includes the main areas of High Wycombe, Stokenchurch, Marlow, Beaconsfield, and Gerrards Cross Priority Area B: this includes the main areas of Maidenhead, Taplow, Stoke Poges, Iver Heath, and parts of Burnham

A map is available to view here.

How can I help my child prepare for the Buckinghamshire Test?

The Buckinghamshire Secondary Transfer Test is designed to be challenging. Here are our top tips to help your child prepare for the exam in September 2024.

Bitesize learning

It’s important to build a good knowledge base before the 11 plus. Using a ‘little and often’ approach when learning is key – our brains encode new information more effectively when dealing with smaller ‘chunks’ of information. For children aged 10–11, child psychologists recommend regular study sessions of 20–30 minutes.

Atom Home makes learning a more enjoyable process for your child. They'll explore exciting worlds full of interactive questions, earning coins to spend in the Atom shop. Atom adapts to your child, showing them questions at just the right level of difficulty to keep them motivated.

A maths learning journey on Atom Home

Read widely

11 plus exams test your child’s ability to analyse and interpret written information. Regular reading is a great way to help your child build these skills.

Encourage them to read books from different genres and by a diverse range of authors. Increasing the variety of your child’s reading will help them understand different styles, tones and purposes. Meanwhile, reading a little every day will help widen their vocabulary, sharpen their analytical thinking, and enhance their imagination.

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.

Practice tests can help your child develop problem-solving skills and build confidence working under test conditions. They’re also a great way to consolidate learning and highlight knowledge gaps for further improvement.

With Atom Home, you'll unlock online mock tests and printable practice papers. Enjoy automatic marking and progress tracking with the online tests, and help your child get familiar with the real exam experience with printable practice papers.

A non-verbal reasoning question in a Buckinghamshire Secondary Transfer Test mock test on Atom

Celebrate progress

Setting regular, achievable goals and celebrating your child’s progress – no matter how big or small – will help keep their motivation high.

Make sure to encourage a growth mindset. This means celebrating effort, as well as achievement! When your child makes mistakes or struggles to understand a particular topic, help them understand that they’ll improve through practice. Regular praise will help your child improve their resilience when tackling new and challenging topics.

Tailored preparation for the Buckinghamshire Secondary Transfer Test

Wish you could give your child a roadmap to success in the Secondary Transfer Test? You can. Atom Home has everything you need to get prepared, in one package.

You don't need a tutor to get into your top-choice grammar school. You just need Atom. We’ll create a tailored plan for your child and support them along their fun revision journey.

  • Online and printable 11 plus practice papers

  • 90,000+ adaptive questions

  • 500+ hours of on-demand video lessons

  • Automatic marking and instant progress data

Navigate the Buckinghamshire Secondary Transfer Test with confidence.

Start your free trial today. Our local admissions specialists will get to work on your child’s plan. Relax, Secondary Transfer Test prep is sorted.

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Georgie's weekly exam prep plan on Atom Home

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