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Reading School 11+ guide

By Atom | Mar 27, 2024, 2:53 PM

Reading School, Berkshire

Thinking about applying to Reading School? Find out everything you need to know about admissions and how to prepare your child for success in the 11 plus.

Key information about Reading School

  • Address: Reading School, Erleigh Road, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 5LW

  • Number of pupils: 1,100+

  • Admissions contact: [email protected]

  • Number of places in Year 7: 150 (138 day places and 12 boarding places)

  • 11+ exam: FSCE 11 plus

  • Catchment area: yes

Dates for your diary

  • Open day: Monday 25th and Tuesday 26th March 2024

  • 11+ registration opens: Monday 1st April 2024

  • 11+ registration closes: Friday 14th June 2024

  • Sporting aptitude assessment: Saturday 31st August 2024

  • 11+ exam date: Wednesday 4th September 2024

  • 11+ results released: mid-October 2024

  • Secondary school application deadline: Thursday 31st October 2024

  • School allocations: Saturday 1st March 2025

About Reading School

Reading School is one of England's oldest and most prestigious grammar schools. It was founded in 1125 and provides a selective state school education to boys. The school's core values are excellence, integrity, leadership and community. In 2017, the Sunday Times named the school 'Southeast Secondary School of the Year'.

Students at Reading School achieve outstanding exam results, placing the school among the best in the country. The curriculum is broad and incorporates choices to champion excellence and character. This includes an innovative 'Electives' programme, which was awarded the National Character Education Kitemark in 2022.

Unusually for a state school, Reading School offers boarding places. These are available at approximately one-third of the cost charged by private schools. Boarding is an integral part of life at Reading School. In their report, Ofsted said that "young people are proud of their progress, which they feel is a result of their boarding experiences".

How to apply to Reading School

Reading School is a selective school. This means that your child will need to take an 11 plus entrance exam to be eligible for a place. The school has at least 138 day places and up to 12 boarding places available in Year 7.

Registration for Reading School opens on Monday 1st April 2024 and closes on Friday 14th June 2024 for entry to Year 7 in 2025. The exam will take place on Wednesday 4th September 2024 and you’ll receive your child’s results in mid-October. You can then use these results to decide whether to apply for a place at Reading School.

Reading School has a Kenwrick Sports Pathway (KSP) which champions sporting excellence and prioritises character development through sport. Up to 10% of Year 7 students joining the school can participate in this programme. Children who demonstrate an aptitude in sport and who live within the catchment area are eligible for a place on this programme. If you would like your child to be considered for one of these places, they will need to take a sporting aptitude assessment.

To apply to Reading School, you’ll need to name the school as one of your preferred schools on the 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 11 plus doesn’t guarantee that your child will be allocated a place at your preferred school. Many grammar 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 Reading School below.

What subjects are on the entrance exam?

Children applying to Reading School take an 11 plus exam provided by Future Stories Community Enterprise (FSCE). This exam board is a subsidiary of Reading School.

The exam consists of three separate paper tests:

  • English: this tests reading comprehension, vocabulary and spelling

  • Maths: your child will be assessed on their knowledge and application of Key Stage 2 maths topics

  • Creative writing: your child will need to produce a piece of original writing, based on a prompt

The question types for English and maths vary and include:

  • Multiple-choice: your child will need to shade the answer they think is correct on their answer sheet

  • Free response: they will need to write their answer in answer boxes. Only one number or letter should go within each box

Guide to the FSCE 11 plus

Find out everything you need to know in our complete guide to the FSCE 11 plus exam. Plus, get access to free 11 plus resources to help your child feel confident for their exam!

Learn more
Verbal reasoning paper

What is the sporting aptitude test at Reading School?

The sporting aptitude assessment is taken by children applying for a place on the Reading School Kenwrick Sports Pathway (KSP). Up to 15 places are available on the pathway.

The sporting aptitude assessment will take place on Saturday 31st August 2024. Children will have the opportunity to demonstrate their sporting potential through a variety of tests and tasks. These are overseen by an independent assessor.

Scores will be awarded for each element of the assessment. When all the assessments are complete, a rank order of applicants for the sporting aptitude places will be produced and a threshold applied.

Please note that children are only eligible for a sporting aptitude place if they:

  • Have achieved eligible scores in the English and maths entrance tests

  • Have achieved the qualifying standard in the creative writing test

  • Have surpassed the threshold for the sporting aptitude assessment

  • Live within the catchment area (day places)

How does place allocation work at Reading School?

Your child’s English and maths papers will be marked electronically and age-standardised. This is a statistical process that takes into account your child’s age in years and months at the time of taking the test. All children’s standardised scores are then ranked in order, from highest to lowest.

Your child will need to meet an ‘eligible score’ to be eligible for a place at Reading School. This includes minimum standards in each part of the test. This isn’t a pre-defined pass mark but reflects your child’s position in the rank order of scores.Children who have achieved an eligible score then have their creative writing paper marked by school staff.

Place allocation for day places

Children who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (ECHP) which names Reading School, and who have met the qualifying standard for entry, are allocated places first. All children who have achieved the eligible score will then be prioritised for places in this order:

  1. ‘Looked after’ and ‘previously looked after’ children. These children must have achieved the cut-off score or no lower than 5 marks below it

  2. Children who live within the school catchment area and receive either the Pupil Premium or Service Premium. These children must have achieved the cut-off score or no lower than 5 marks below it

  3. Up to 15 places are then available for boys who have passed the sporting aptitude assessment and who live within the catchment area. These places are allocated by rank order of performance in the sporting aptitude assessment

  4. Children who live within the school catchment area

  5. Children who do not live within the school catchment area

Place allocation for boarding places

Children applying for a boarding place at Reading School need to meet the eligible score in the entrance test. If more children meet the score than the 15 boarding places available, oversubscription criteria is applied in this order:

  1. ‘Previously looked after’ children and/or children who were previously in care outside of England. These children must have achieved the cut-off score or no lower than 5 marks below it

  2. Children who receive either the Pupil Premium or Service Premium. These children must have achieved the cut-off score or no lower than 5 marks below it

  3. Children with a boarding need

  4. Up to 15 places are then available for boys who have passed the sporting aptitude assessment and who have applied for a boarding place. These places are allocated by rank order of performance in the sporting aptitude assessment

  5. All other children

What is the catchment area for Reading School?

The catchment area for Reading School covers these postcodes:

  • RG1, RG2, RG4, RG5, RG6, RG7, RG8, RG10, RG12, RG18, RG19, RG30, RG31, RG40, RG41, RG42 and RG45

  • RG9 1, RG9 2, RG9 3, RG9 4 and RG9 5

  • RG14 1, RG14 2, RG14 3, RG14 5, RG14 6 and RG14 7

  • RG20 4, RG20 5, RG20 6 and part of RG20 7 (east of A34)

  • RG26 3, RG26 4 and part of RG26 5 (north of A339)

  • RG27 0 and parts of RG27 8 and RG27 9 (north of M3)

  • GU15 1, GU15 2, GU15 3 and GU15 4

  • GU17 0 and GU17 9

  • GU19 5

  • GU46 6 and GU46 7

  • GU47 0, GU47 8 and GU47 9

  • OX10 0, OX10 8, OX10 9 and part of OX10 6 (south of A4130)

  • OX11 9

  • SL4 4

  • SL5 0, SL5 7, SL5 8 and SL5 9

Your child will be considered as living in the catchment area if their permanent address on 31st August 2024 is within one of these postcodes.

Atom’s top tips for 11 plus preparation

The 11 plus is designed to select the most academically able children in the country. Here are our top tips to help you and your child feel confident for exam day!

Bitesize learning

It’s important to build a good knowledge base before the 11 plus. 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

11 plus exams test your child’s ability to analyse and interpret written information. Regular reading is a great way to help your child build these skills.

Encourage them 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. Meanwhile, reading a little every day will help widen their vocabulary, sharpen their analytical thinking, and enhance their imagination.

Refine exam technique

When your child feels confident with the topics they’ve learnt in Year 5, they’ll be ready to put their knowledge to the test.

Practice tests can help your child develop problem-solving skills and build confidence working under test conditions. They’re also a great way to consolidate learning and highlight knowledge gaps for further improvement.

With Atom Home, you'll unlock online mock tests and printable practice papers. Enjoy automatic marking and progress tracking with the online tests, and help your child get familiar with the real exam experience with printable practice papers.

A maths question on a Reading School 11+ mock exam on Atom Home

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.

Tailored preparation for the 11 plus

Wish you could give your child a roadmap to success in the 11 plus? You can. Atom Home has everything you need to get prepared, in one package.

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