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Queen Mary's Grammar School 11 plus guide

By Atom | Jun 20, 2023, 4:24 PM

Queen Mary's Grammar School 11 plus entry guide

Are you considering Queen Mary's Grammar School for your child? We've collated all the information you need to know about 2024 entry to Year 7. Keep reading to learn about the grammar school admissions process in Walsall and how to help your son excel in the 11 plus exam.

About Queen Mary's Grammar School

Queen Mary's Grammar School is a selective boys' school located just outside Walsall town centre. It is twinned with the girls' school, Queen Mary's High School. It's also part of the Mercian Trust, a group of schools working together to provide the best education and life chances for the children and young people of Walsall.

Founded in 1554 by Mary Tudor, this is one of the oldest schools in the country. It is proud of its traditions and heritage but confident of an exciting future, aiming to shape a new educational landscape with its Mercian Trust partners.

The school is part of the Mandarin Excellence Programme, offering eight hours of Mandarin Chinese language study each week. It has also been nationally recognised for its mental health programme, Change Your Mind, in which students plan and deliver wellbeing workshops to local primary schools.

Queen Mary's is part of the Consortium of Grammar Schools in Shropshire, Walsall and Wolverhampton (SWW Consortium). Children only have to take one test to apply to any of these schools. From 2023, the testing process is also shared with all grammar schools in Birmingham and Warwickshire.

  • Address: Sutton Road, Walsall, WS1 2PG

  • Local authority: Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council

  • School type: boys' grammar

  • Headteacher: Richard Langton

  • Number of pupils: 1,332

  • National rank (Sunday Times Parent Power): 109

  • A level results: 72.1% A*–B

  • GCSE results: 77.4% 9/8/7

Key info for Year 7 admissions

  • Admissions contact: [email protected]

  • Number of places in Year 7: 180

  • 11 plus registration opens: 9th May 2023

  • Open day: 8th June 2023. Virtual tour here

  • 11 plus registration closes: 30th June 2023

  • Exam date: 16th–18th September 2023

  • Exam type: GL Assessment (West Midlands 11 plus)

  • Exam results: mid-October 2023

  • Local authority application form deadline: 31st October 2023

  • National school offer day: 1st March 2024

Queen Mary's Grammar School term dates

The 2023–2024 term dates at Queen Mary's Grammar School are:

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

  • Half term: 30th October – 3rd November 2023

  • Spring term: 9th January – 21st March 2024

  • Half term: 12th–16th February 2024

  • Summer term: 9th April – 16th July 2024

  • Half term: 27th–31st May 2024

How to apply to Queen Mary's Grammar School

1. Register for the 11 plus

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

When your child is in Year 5, register them for the 11 plus on the West Midlands Grammar Schools portal. Registration opens at 9am on 9th May 2023 and closes at 4pm on 30th June 2023.

If your child receives Pupil Premium, you should state this on your registration form and provide evidence. Your child will be prioritised under the school's admissions criteria.

2. Apply for school places

Once your child has taken the exam, you will get their results in mid-October. The letter will tell you if your child has achieved the qualifying score. If this is the case, you can include grammar schools in your school preferences on your local authority application form.

Before listing Queen Mary's Grammar School as a preference 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.

(Quick links for school applications: Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin, Walsall, Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, Birmingham.)

What's on the Queen Mary's Grammar School 11 plus exam?

Queen Mary's Grammar now uses the West Midlands 11 plus test which is provided by GL Assessment. It consists of two papers, each lasting about 60 minutes. A few minutes are allocated at the start of each paper for children to listen to instructions and complete some unmarked practice questions.

Both papers are divided into smaller, individually-timed sections that assess:

  • English comprehension

  • Maths

  • Verbal reasoning

  • Non-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.

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

Learn about 11+ topics in depth

What is the pass mark for Queen Mary's Grammar School?

After your child takes the exam, their scores are age-standardised and combined to give them a total score across all papers. The total scores are ranked in order. Places up to the school's planned admissions number (PAN) of 180 are awarded in order of test performance.

The school sets a qualifying score, which is the lowest score at which children may be considered for a place. For September 2022 entry, the qualifying score was 295. This can be used as a guide only, as the score differs each year depending on the performance of the cohort.

As a general guide, we recommend aiming for a standardised age score of 116–121 when your child is completing practice tests. However, achieving a particular score doesn't guarantee a place at the school, as it is likely to be oversubscribed with qualified candidates. We always recommend researching the admission policies for your target schools and looking at their oversubscription criteria.

Queen Mary's Grammar School oversubscription criteria

When more than 180 children achieve the qualifying score, places are allocated in this order:

  1. Looked After or previously Looked After Children.

  2. Up to 54 boys who receive Pupil Premium, in order of test score, and with priority given to boys who attend a primary school listed in the Walsall Children’s Services Directory.

  3. Other boys who achieve the qualifying score, in rank order of their score.

Queen Mary's Grammar School catchment area

Queen Mary's Grammar School does not have a catchment area. Children do not have to live in the Borough of Walsall to apply.

How to help your child prepare for the 11 plus

Here are our top tips on how to best prepare your child for Queen Mary's Grammar School 11 plus.

Cover all the content

The 11 plus assesses a large breadth and depth of learning objectives across the Key Stage 2 national curriculum and beyond.

We recommend that your child starts revising content at least one year before the test. Setting aside study periods using a 'little and often' approach will give them 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 Nucleus is an 11 plus online course that tailors your child's personalised learning journey to cover all elements of the West Midlands 11 plus at the right pace for them.

No surprises

Your child will encounter lots of unfamiliar types of questions in the 11 plus exam. Building exam technique with 11 plus test papers will help your child to feel fully confident with the styles of questions they'll encounter in the exam, reducing the potential for stress on the day.

Celebrate their progress

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

Test your knowledge

Try answering some 11+ questions

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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 verbal reasoning, English and maths. 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.

Queen Mary's 11 plus practice papers

Atom Nucleus gives children access to online practice papers. Our online tests are continually updated and designed to mirror the format and style of the real West Midlands 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 Nucleus free for 5 days

Begin your child's journey to Queen Mary's Grammar School today. Use the full features of Atom Nucleus free for 5 days – cancel anytime.

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Personalised support for you

We understand how important this next step is for them, and for you. Please don't hesitate to get in touch with any questions you may have about the 11 plus or your local grammar schools.

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