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Lancashire 11 plus guide

By Atom | Jun 20, 2023, 4:13 PM

Lancashire grammar schools 11 plus: entry guide

Are you considering a grammar school in Lancashire for your child? Find out how to apply and prepare for the Lancashire 11 plus for September 2024 entry. We've collated everything you need to know to ensure you and your child are fully prepared.

Lancashire 11 plus: key info

Dates can vary, so always check with your target schools!

What is the Lancashire 11 plus?

The 11 plus is an entrance exam used by UK grammar schools (state selective secondary schools). It's used to estimate children's academic potential and decide whether a grammar school environment will suit them. Children usually take the test in September while they are in Year 6.

Grammar schools in Lancashire

The four grammar schools in Lancashire share the same 11 plus test. This means that children only need to take one exam to apply to more than one local school.

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How to apply to Lancashire grammar schools

1. Register for the 11 plus test

Before you register you should speak to your child’s teacher to see if the 11 plus and grammar school is right for them.

Register your child for the 11 plus exam by completing the registration form on the websites of each of your target schools:

2. Apply for school places

Once your child has taken the exam, you will get their results in mid-October. You can use the results to decide which schools to include on your local authority application form.

If you live in Lancashire, you can name up to three preferences for secondary schools on your form. Before listing a school on your form, check its admissions policy and make sure your child is eligible.

The application form must be submitted to your home local council by 31st October 2023.

3. National school offer day

On 1st March 2024, you will find out which school your child has been allocated a place at. They will be offered a place at your highest-preferred school for which they meet the entry criteria and which has places available.

If no places are available at your preferred schools, they will be offered a place at another school in your area. You can appeal the decision via an independent panel.

What's on the Lancashire 11 plus test?

The Lancashire 11 plus test is provided by GL Assessment. It consists of three papers, each lasting about 45–50 minutes:

  • Maths

  • English

  • Verbal reasoning

The test is entirely multiple-choice format, with no writing sections. Children record their answers in a separate answer booklet which is marked electronically. They are given instructions by the examiners on how to record their answers.

The maths and English questions assess your child's understanding of Key Stage 2 national curriculum content, including Year 6 objectives. It tests their ability to reason and apply knowledge accurately.

The verbal reasoning questions assess your child’s logic and problem-solving ability using written information. Reasoning topics are not typically taught at school. They are intended to measure how well children can spot patterns with, connect and manipulate words and numbers.

Learn about 11+ topics in depth

How is the Lancashire 11 plus test scored?

Each paper is marked to provide 'raw' scores. Next, the raw scores are standardised to even out any age disadvantage for children born later in the year. An overall score is calculated for each child, and these are ranked in order.

What's the pass mark for the Lancashire 11 plus?

There is no specific pass mark for the 11 plus in Lancashire, but some schools do set target scores in each subject. Successful candidates should ideally reach all three target scores, but a lower score in one subject can be balanced out with a higher score in another.

Lancashire schools do not publish their target scores. They are calculated after the tests have been marked and the standardised scores ranked. This is because they depend on the size and performance of the year group.

Achieving a particular score doesn't guarantee a place at the school of your choice, as schools are often oversubscribed with qualified candidates. We always recommend researching the admission policies for your target schools, looking at their oversubscription criteria and their catchment area.

For example, many schools are more likely to admit a lower-scoring pupil in their priority zones than a higher-scoring child who lives further away. Other criteria are applied – for example, children may be prioritised if they:

  • Have a sibling at the school

  • Are the child of a staff member

  • Receive Pupil Premium

  • Have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

  • Are currently, or were previously, a Looked After Child

How can I help my child prepare for the Lancashire 11 plus test?

Here are our top tips on how to help your child prepare for the 2023–24 exam:

Cover all the content

The 11 plus assesses a large breadth and depth of learning objectives. Starting at least one year before the test, using a little-and-often approach will give your child 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 Home is an 11 plus online course that tailors your child's personalised learning journey to cover all elements of the Lancashire 11 plus test at the right pace for them.

No surprises

Make sure your child is familiar with all styles of questions they will experience in the test. This reduces the potential for stress on the day and will give them confidence to answer the questions to the best of their ability. Building exam technique with 11 plus test papers will help your child to feel fully prepared.

Celebrate their progress

Setting regular goals and celebrating achievements will help keep motivation high. 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.

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 Home 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.

Lancashire 11 plus practice papers

Atom Home gives children access to unlimited online practice papers. Our online tests are designed to mirror the format and style of the real Lancashire 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.

Try Atom Home free for 5 days

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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 Lancashire grammar schools.

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