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London grammar schools 11 plus guide

By Atom | Jun 20, 2023, 4:14 PM

London 11 plus

Looking for information on the 11 plus for London grammar schools? We've collated up-to-date guidance to help you know what to expect, including how to navigate the admissions process and how best to prepare for the 11 plus.

There are 19 grammar schools in London, helping students achieve top-notch exam results without the private school fees (five London grammar schools are among the top 10 selective schools in the country). It’s no wonder they’re popular with parents!

The 11 plus test in London

The 11 plus is an academic exam used by UK grammar schools to select pupils for entry. Children take the test in September while they are in Year 6. The test is designed to be challenging; grammar schools use it to select children working in the top 25% of the ability range in the year group.

All of the grammar schools in London fall within one of seven boroughs. The specifics of the 11 plus test, including the exam board the schools use, varies between schools and boroughs. You'll find more information about the test for each borough and school below.

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Barnet grammar schools

There are three grammar schools within the Barnet (North London) local authority. These schools use a mixture of GL Assessment and school-written materials for their tests, including papers in English, maths, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning.

Registration for the 11 plus in Barnet will be open between April and July 2023. Children will take the exam in September 2023.

Children take two 50-minute papers – one in English and one in maths. Both papers are provided by GL Assessment.

Bexley grammar schools

The local authority of Bexley (South East London) is home to four grammar schools. The 11 plus here is known as the 'Bexley Selection Test'. The papers are set by GL Assessment and test English comprehension, verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning and maths.

Registration for taking the 11 plus in Bexley will be open between May and June 2023. The 11 plus exam will take place during the week commencing 11th September 2023.

Children take two test papers which assess a total of four subjects: verbal and non-verbal reasoning, English comprehension, and maths.

Bromley grammar schools

There are two grammar schools in Bromley, southeast London. These schools use a mixture of GL Assessment 11 plus papers, and papers created by the schools themselves.

Registration for the 11 plus in Bromley will be open between May and July 2023 (check with your target school, as the dates vary). Children will take the 11 plus exam during the weekend of 22nd September 2023, while the second stage test at St Olave's will be held in November.

Children take two 50-minute papers created by GL Assessment. One paper assesses verbal reasoning, and the other assesses non-verbal reasoning.

Enfield grammar school

There is one grammar school within the Enfield local authority. The Latymer School is a mixed grammar school in Edmonton, North London.

Children applying to The Latymer School take verbal reasoning and maths tests created by GL Assessment, and an English comprehension test created by the school.

Guide to The Latymer School

Registration to take the 11 plus for entry to The Latymer School will be open between May and June 2023. Children will take the test at the school in early September.

Kingston upon Thames grammar schools

The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames (South West London) is home to two grammar schools. Both operate a two-stage testing process, using GL Assessment 11 plus papers and their own bespoke tests.

Registration for the 11 plus test in Kingston upon Thames will be open between June and August 2023. The Stage One test will be held in late September or early October, and the Stage Two test will be held in November.

All candidates take the Stage One test, which consists of English and maths papers (both one hour) provided by GL Assessment. The Stage Two tests also assess English and maths, but these papers are written by the school itself.

Redbridge grammar schools

Redbridge (east London) is home to two single-sex grammar schools. Both select pupils for their Year 7 intake based on their performance in GL Assessment 11 plus papers.

11 plus registration in Redbridge is open between 1st May and 30th June 2023. Children will take the exam on Friday 15th September 2023.

Children take two test papers set by GL Assessment. One tests English and verbal reasoning, and the other tests maths and non-verbal reasoning.

Sutton grammar schools

Sutton (South West London) has the most grammar schools out of any borough in London. Five grammar schools are fully-selective, while Greenshaw High School is a partially-selective school with 60 places based on academic ability.

All six schools select pupils based on their performance in a local bespoke 11 plus exam known as the Sutton Selective Eligibility Test (SET). This consists of two multiple-choice papers – one English and one maths – each taking around 40–50 minutes.

The five fully-selective grammar schools operate an additional second stage in their testing process.

Registration for the 11 plus will be open on the school websites between May and August 2023. The Sutton SET will take place in mid-September, and the second-stage exam for the five fully-selective grammar schools will be held in October.

Children applying for the selective stream (60 places) take the Sutton SET.

Wandsworth secondary schools

Five state secondary schools in Wandsworth use GL Assessment 11 plus tests to identify pupils' academic abilities. These five schools are partially-selective, rather than full grammar schools. Children applying for a place at one of these schools take the Wandsworth Test at the end of September in Year 6, with questions in verbal and non-verbal reasoning.

If your child attends a Wandsworth primary school, they will be registered for the Wandsworth Test automatically. If your child attends an independent school or a primary school outside of the Wandsworth local authority area, you will need to register for the test separately. Registration opens in July and closes in September.

All children take the Wandsworth Test. Children will be placed into one of five ability bands based on their test results, with an equal number of places offered across each band.

How can I help my child prepare for entry to a grammar school in London?

Entry to a London grammar school is competitive. Many of the city's grammar schools are among the very best in the country, so there are always far more applicants than places.

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

Cover all the content

The 11 plus assesses a large breadth and depth of learning objectives, including national curriculum content in Year 5 (and early Year 6). Starting revision at least one year before the test, using a little-and-often approach, will give your child the time they need to build necessary skills and knowledge.

Atom Nucleus is an 11 plus online course that tailors your child's personalised learning journey to cover all elements of the 11 plus test at the right pace for them.

No surprises

Ensuring your child is familiar with all the types of questions they might encounter in the test is necessary for reducing stress and building confidence. Developing the right exam techniques with 11 plus test papers will help your child feel fully prepared and ready to focus on the exam day.

Celebrate their progress

Preparing for the 11 plus is a marathon – not a sprint! Setting small but manageable and regular goals, and celebrating your child's achievements, will help them maintain motivation and stay engaged in their learning.

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.

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.

London 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 your target school's real 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 a London school of choice. Our dedicated team of Education Experts are on hand to support you and your family every step of the way:

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We're happy to help with any questions you may have about admissions processes and helping your child prepare for entry to London grammar schools.

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