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The Liverpool Blue Coat School 11+ guide

By Atom | Apr 30, 2024, 2:42 PM

The Blue Coat School Liverpool 11 plus entry guide

Thinking about applying to Croxley Danes School? Find out everything you need to know about admissions in 2024–2025 and how to prepare your child for success in the South West Herts aptitude tests.

Key information for Croxley Danes School

Dates for your diary

  • Monday 8th April 2024: registration opens for the South West Herts Schools Consortium ability tests

  • Friday 14th June 2024: registration closes for the South West Herts Schools Consortium ability tests

  • Friday 5th July 2024: parents receive information about child’s test venue

  • Monday 9th September 2024: South West Herts Schools Consortium music test (first round)

  • Thursday 19th September 2024: parents receive results from the first round music test

  • Saturday 21st September 2024: Croxley Danes School open day

  • Monday 23rd – Friday 27th September 2024: South West Herts Schools Consortium music test (second round)

  • Wednesday 16th October 2024: parents receive results from the second round music test

  • Thursday 31st October 2024: secondary school applications close at 5pm

  • Monday 3rd March 2025: secondary school national offers day

About Croxley Danes School

Croxley Danes School is a partially-selective school in Rickmansworth for boys and girls. It was created in 2017, following the blueprint of local and popular St Clement Danes School, to address a lack of secondary places in the area. Croxley Danes now has around 1,000 students on roll and aims to provide education to over 1,200 children.

Extracurricular activities are an important part of school life at Croxley Danes School. Students are encouraged to get involved to broaden their horizons and develop new skills. The school provides state-of-the-art facilities to help students pursue new hobbies. These include a drama hall, football and rugby pitches, netball and tennis courts, and an all-weather multi-use games area.

How to apply to Croxley Danes School

Croxley Danes School is a partially-selective school. While most places in Year 7 are non-selective, children can be prioritised for a place based on a particular ability. Music aptitude places are available at Croxley Danes School. The tests for these places are run by the South West Herts Schools Consortium.

Registration for the South West Herts Schools Consortium selection tests opens on the Consortium website on Monday 8th April 2024 and closes on Friday 14th June. You’ll also need to complete a Supplementary Information Form (SIF) to apply for a music aptitude place. This is available to download from the Croxley Danes School website.

The first round music test will take place after school on Monday 9th September 2024. You’ll be notified of your child’s test scores around noon on Thursday 19th September 2024. Successful children are invited to the second round music tests, which take place between Monday 23rd September and Friday 27th September. Your child’s final results will be sent to you on Wednesday 16th October 2024.

If your child is successful in the music aptitude test and you would like to apply for a place at the school, you will need to name Croxley Danes School on your 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 musical aptitude test doesn’t guarantee that your child will be allocated a place under the music criterion. Many selective 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 Croxley Danes School below.

What does the musical aptitude test involve?

The first round of the musical aptitude test will take place after school on Monday 9th September 2024. This is a written test that consists of 60 questions played on a CD. The test takes around 45 minutes in total.

The questions will assess your child's understanding of pitch, melody, rhythm and texture.

  • Pitch: children listen to two sounds and have to decide whether the second sound is the same as the first, or whether it is higher or lower. Some of the pitches are less than a semitone apart.

  • Melody: children listen to two tunes consisting of five notes. They have to decide whether the second tune is the same as the first or if one of the notes has been altered. If there is a change, they need to identify which note has been altered by giving the number of the note.

  • Texture: children listen to a chord and must decide whether each chord has two, three or four notes.

  • Rhythm: children listen to two patterns of notes and have to decide whether the second pattern is the same or different from the first, and if there are any differences. Each rhythm is four beats in length.

Children who are successful in the first stage of the test are invited to the second stage. They will be given a slot between Monday 23rd and Friday 27th September 2024. They will need to play or sing a musical piece of their choice for examiners, which includes current and former Directors of Music at South West Herts Consortium schools. Your child will be marked on:

  • accuracy (up to 15 marks)

  • musicality (up to 15 marks)

  • musical communication (up to 15 marks)

Marks are irrespective of the level of the piece. Children do not need to be familiar with musical theory. Marks are not age-standardised.

Guide to the South West Herts Schools Consortium

Learn about the South West Herts Schools Consortium in Atom’s complete guide.

Learn more
Verbal reasoning paper

How are music places allocated at Croxley Danes School?

There are 180 places available in Year 7 at Croxley Danes School. Of these 180 places, up to 10% (18 places) are reserved for children who can demonstrate musical aptitude. This is based on the results of the South West Herts Schools Consortium musical aptitude tests. Children sitting the test are admitted to the school based on the rank order of their test scores.

All places at Croxley Danes School are based on this order of priority:

  1. Looked after and previously looked after children

  2. Children with a brother or sister at Croxley Danes School

  3. Children of staff employed by Croxley Danes School

  4. Up to 10% of places are for students who demonstrate musical aptitude

  5. All other places are allocated based on the child’s distance from the school, measured in a straight line

After all the music places under Criterion 4 have been filled, other children who took the test and have applied for Croxley Danes School will be considered under Criterion 5.

There is no pass mark for the musical aptitude test. Here are the lowest scores for which children taking the test were allocated places at Croxley Danes School in the last few years:

  • 2024: 26

  • 2023: 18

  • 2022: 17

  • 2021: 18

  • 2020: 18

How can I help my child prepare for Croxley Danes School?

Croxley Danes School is an all-ability school, so children don't need to pass an academic exam to apply for a place. However, the transition from Year 6 to Year 7 is a big step up for children. There's no harm in using this time to help your child prepare for Key Stage 3!

Consolidate knowledge

It's important to build a good knowledge base before starting Year 7. By consolidating their knowledge of the Key Stage 2 curriculum, your child will finish Year 6 feeling confident. The two particularly challenging areas we recommend focusing on are:

  • Revising spelling and writing basics

  • Practising the maths learning objectives introduced in Year 6 (such as ratio and proportion, probability, order of operations, and circles)

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

Regular reading is important to help your child build a range of skills. Reading can help:

  • boost imagination

  • expand vocabulary

  • improve concentration

  • aid cognitive development

  • improve communication

  • aid mental wellbeing

Encourage your child 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.

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.

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Help your child shine in class with Atom Home. Build mastery of the Key Stage 2 learning curriculum, practice for Year 6 SATs, and start Year 7 at the top of the class!

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  • Tailored weekly learning plans to help your child meet their goals

  • Over 90,000 interactive questions across the Key Stage 2 core curriculum

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