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Reading School 11 plus: 2024 entry guide

By Atom | Mar 8, 2023, 11:29 AM

Reading School, Berkshire

Are you considering Reading School for your son? We've collated everything you need to know about entry in 2024. Keep reading to find out about key dates, how to register, what's tested on the 11 plus and how to help your child excel.

About Reading School

Situated in the heart of Berkshire, Reading School (also known as Reading Boys) 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 in an environment strengthened by the core values of excellence, integrity, leadership and community.

Students at Reading School consistently achieve outstanding exam results, placing it 12th out of all grammar schools in the country. In 2017, the Sunday Times named Reading School 'Southeast Secondary School of the Year'. Students study a broad curriculum that incorporates a variety of choices to champion excellence and character, including an innovative 'Electives' programme which was awarded the National Character Education Kitemark in 2022.

Unusually for a state school, Reading School offers boarding at the cost of approximately one-third of the fees charged by private schools. Boarding is an integral part of life at Reading School; Ofsted stated that "young people are proud of their progress, which they feel is a result of their boarding experiences" and that the relationships developed through boarding "enable them to develop as individuals, safe in the knowledge that they are secure, valued and respected".

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

  • Local authority: Reading Borough Council

  • School type: boys' grammar

  • Headteacher: Ashley Robson

  • Number of pupils: 1,100+

  • National rank (Sunday Times Parent Power): 12

  • A level results: 93.3% A*–B

  • GCSE results: 88.7% A*/A/9/8/7

Key info for Year 7 admissions

  • Admissions contact: [email protected], 01189 015600

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

  • Open events: 25th and 26th April 2023. Book a place online

  • 11 plus registration opens: 1st May 2023

  • 11 plus registration closes: 30th June 2023

  • 11 plus exam date: 6th September 2023

  • 11 plus exam type: FSCE 11 plus

  • Common application form (CAF) deadline: 31st October 2023

  • National school offer day: 1st March 2024

Reading School term dates

The term dates at Reading School for 2023–2024 are:

  • Autumn term (Michaelmas): 7th September – 20th December 2023

  • Half term: 23rd–27th October 2023

  • Reading week: 30th October – 3rd November 2023

  • Spring term (Lent): 8th January – 28th March 2024

  • Half term: 12th–16th February 2024

  • Summer term: 15th April – 17th July 2024

  • Half term: 27th–31st May 2024

How to apply to Reading School

Reading School is its own admissions authority and is not a member of a grammar school consortium. This means that if your child is applying to several grammar schools in the area, you will need to apply for the entrance exam at those schools separately.

1. Register for the entrance test

In order for your child to sit the entrance test, you will need to complete an online registration form.

Registration for the Reading School entrance test will open on the school website on 1st May 2023 and will close on 30th June 2023. Late registration will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances beyond the control of the parents.

2. 11 plus exam

Boys applying for a place in Year 7 at Reading School will take the entrance test on Wednesday 6th September 2023.

Reading School uses test papers created by Future Stories Community Enterprise (FSCE). The exam consists of three separate tests:

  • English: reading comprehension, vocabulary and spelling

  • Maths: Key Stage 2 maths

  • Creative writing: original writing based on a prompt

Find out more in our comprehensive guide to the FSCE 11 plus and get free resources to help your child prepare.

3. Apply for school places

Reading School will email you the outcome of your son's performance in the entrance test in mid-October 2023. This email will indicate whether your child has achieved an eligible score to apply for a place. You can use these results to decide whether to name Reading School as one of your preferred schools on your common application form.

Before listing the school as a preference on your form, check its admissions policy – passing the 11 plus will not be a guarantee of a place as more children reach the qualifying standard each year than there are places available.

The application form must be submitted to your home local council by 31st October 2023. The form must be completed for your home local authority – i.e. if Reading Borough Council is your local authority, you will need to complete the common application form on the Reading Council website. If you live in a different local authority, make sure to apply through the relevant website for that council.

Exam guide

FSCE 11 plus: what you need to know

Find out what's assessed, look at example questions, and get free resources to help your child prepare.

Learn more

What is the pass mark for Reading School?

Your son's marks in the English and maths tests will be standardised to even out any age disadvantage for children born later in the school year. If your child achieves an eligible score in the rank order of standardised scores, their creative writing test will be marked. Children who then meet a minimum standard in the creative writing test will be eligible for a place at Reading School.

There is no pre-defined pass mark; the school admissions committee will determine the eligible score based on the rank order of children's marks in that particular cohort, so this can vary each year. For entry in 2023, the eligible score for the English and maths tests was 94, and 89 for looked after and previously looked after children and children receiving pupil premium. The highest total standardised score was 140.5 in English and 135.9 in maths.

However, achieving the pass mark won't guarantee a place, as Reading School is always oversubscribed with qualified candidates. Last year, 968 children took the test and 467 children achieved the eligible score for a place. We always recommend researching the admission policies for your target schools, looking at their oversubscription criteria and their catchment area. We've included the admission criteria for Reading School below.

Reading School admission criteria

Places at Reading School will be offered depending on whether you have included the school as a preferred school on your common application form, the number of children who have achieved the qualifying score, and the application of oversubscription criteria.

When the number of children who achieve the eligible score exceeds the number of places available, the school will apply oversubscription criteria in priority order:

  1. Looked after and previously looked after children

  2. Children who live in the catchment area and receive pupil premium or service premium

  3. Children who live within the catchment area (or for boarding applicants, whether they can demonstrate a boarding need)

  4. Children who do not live within the catchment area

Reading School catchment area

The catchment area for Reading incorporates Bracknell, most of Camberley, Crowthorne, Henley-on-Thames, Hook, most of Newbury, Pangbourne, Reading, Sandhurst, Tadley, Thatcham, Twyford, Wallingford, Wokingham and Yateley.

A full list of the eligible postcodes and a map of the catchment area are available on the school website.

How to help your child prepare for the 11 plus

Here are our top tips on how to best prepare your child for the Reading 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 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.

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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 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.

Reading School 11 plus practice papers

Atom Nucleus gives children access to online 11 plus practice papers. Our online tests are designed to mirror the format and style of the real Reading School 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 their school of choice. Our dedicated team of Education Experts are on hand to support you and your family every step of the way:

Ask us anything

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

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