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Marling School 11 plus: parents' guide for 2023

School guide

Jan 31, 2023, 1:45 PM

Marling School: a parents' guide for 2023


Marling School is a grammar school for boys aged 11-18, with a reputation that has been well-established since 1887. It is situated in Stroud, a hilly town located south of the picturesque Cotswolds and is one of the top secondary schools in Gloucestershire.

In 2021, the school was featured in the Sunday Times’ top-performing list for achievement and is proudly part of the Cotswold Beacon Academy Trust (CBAT).

11 plus exam information for Marling School

Marling School term dates

The term dates for Marling School in 2023–2024 are:

  • Autumn term: 6th September – 22nd December 2023

  • Half term: 26th October – 3rd November 2023

  • Spring term: 8th January – 22nd March 2024

  • Half term: 12th–16th February 2024

  • Summer term: 8th April – 19th July 2024

  • Half term: 27th–31st May 2024

How and when to apply for Marling School

School entrance tests are held for all students wishing to enter the school. School admissions to Marling School are coordinated with Gloucestershire County Coordinated Admissions Scheme.

Parents/carers must complete the Gloucestershire Grammar Schools' Registration Form (usually in the summer term of Year 5) to register their child for the Entrance Test.

For boys who have achieved a qualifying score, Marling School must be listed as one of their choices on the Common Application Form (CAF) which must be submitted by 31 October. Candidates who live outside Gloucestershire can apply; however, parents/carers need to contact their local authority about the Common Application Form.

Gloucestershire Council usually release results in mid-October and the deadline for school applications is usually the end of October.

Marling School 11 plus admissions process

Entrance test candidates will only be considered for admission if they meet the qualifying standard. A confirmation will be sent to Parents/Carers as soon as possible after the Entrance Test date indicating whether or not the required standard was met. Admission will be granted to applicants who have an education, health and care plan (EHCP) and who meet the admission standard; as a result, the admission number will be reduced.

In the event that the number of qualified candidates exceeds the number of places, the following criteria will be applied, in the order set out below:

  • Any 'looked after child' or child who was previously looked after

  • Those who have been registered for free school meals at any point in the six years prior to the test day and who have met the qualifying standard

  • Other candidates who have met the qualifying standard in test rank order

There is no catchment area for Marling school.

In addition, Marling School maintains a waiting list based on the above criteria. For more information, see the Marling School admissions policy.

What is the Marling School 11 plus exam format?

Children will take two tests at Marling School on Saturday 16th September 2023. The two tests take around 2 hours in total to complete:

  • Paper 1: Multiple-choice verbal reasoning, vocabulary and reading comprehension

  • Paper 2: Multiple-choice non-verbal reasoning and maths

Each paper will begin with 15 minutes to read through the instructions and work through examples (non-verbal reasoning only). Children will then have 45 minutes to work through the questions for each test.

For more details, please see our guide to the Gloucestershire 11 plus test.

How to prepare your child for the Marling School 11 plus test

Starting 11 plus preparation towards the end of Year 4 or 5 will provide your child with familiarity with the test process and timed sections, as well as solid knowledge of all Key Stage 2 content.

Your child's school may not yet have covered a number of topics covered in the 11 plus. Verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning are not taught on the primary school curriculum, so practising questions in these subjects will help your child build confidence for the exam.

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  • Over 90,000 interactive questions in Key Stage 2 English, maths, science, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning

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Confused about applying to grammar schools, and not sure what you or your child needs to do? Atom’s friendly and informative Education Experts are on hand to support you and your child every step of the way. Book a call to discuss any questions you have about admissions processes and helping your child prepare for entry to a grammar school.

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