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Royal Grammar School Newcastle: a parents’ guide to Year 7 entry

School guides
Royal Grammar School Newcastle: a parents' guide to Year 7 entry

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Royal Grammar School Newcastle (also referred to as RGS Newcastle) is an independent day school for boys and girls aged 7–18 located in Newcastle upon Tyne in the northeast of England. It was founded in 1525 by Thomas Horsley – then Mayor of Newcastle upon Tyne – and received a Royal Charter from Queen Elizabeth I. The school’s location opposite Jesmond Metro station allows easy access for pupils from across the northeast region.

The academic curriculum is broad and wide-ranging whilst maintaining an important balance. In addition to the core subjects, pupils study a combined philosophy and religion course in Years 7–9, allowing them to explore spiritual and ethical ideas. All students take at least 10 GCSE exams and there are over 23 subjects to choose from at A level. Exam results are consistently strong; in 2022, 90.2% of A levels were graded A*–B and 51.1% of GCSEs were the very top grade of 9.

Pupils at RGS Newcastle have access to a wide range of extracurricular activities. Pupils regularly succeed at national and regional level for sports, with teams entering competitions including the Natwest Rugby Cup, Rosslyn Park 7s, the Lord Taverners Cricket Cup, the ISFA Football Cup and National Schools’ competitions for hockey and netball. There are also a number of outdoor programmes, including the Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) Award Scheme, World Challenge expeditions (recently including diving in Honduras and Malaysia), Combined Cadet Force (CCF) and a climbing club. Music and the performing arts flourish at the school, with musical tuition available in most instruments, as well as in singing and drama (LAMDA).

Key information for RGS Newcastle

  • Headmaster: Mr Geoffrey Stanford

  • Address: Royal Grammar School, Eskdale Terrace, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear Area, NE2 4DX

  • County: Tyne and Wear

  • Admissions contact: Ali Perry – [email protected], 01912 128968

  • Age range and gender: 7–18, boys and girls

  • Number of pupils: 1,345

  • Number of places in Year 7: 72 external applicants (joining 72 pupils moving up from RGS Junior School)

  • Open day date: Saturday 13th October 2022

  • Overview of selection procedure: online and written tests, informal group activity and school report

  • Registration opens: currently open – apply on the RGS Newcastle website

  • Registration closes: Friday 9th December 2022 (or Wednesday 23rd November 2022 if applying for bursary assistance)

  • Assessment date: Saturday 28th January 2023

RGS Newcastle fees and financial assistance

The tuition fees at RGS Newcastle are £5,123 per term in the senior school (£15,369 per year). School lunches are not included and are charged on a termly basis at the cost of £220–£266 per term (depending on the length of the term).

RGS Newcastle has a long history of providing fee-assisted places and is committed to ensuring that students from a wide range of backgrounds have access to its education. 82 children are currently receiving financial assistance and most have 100% of their school fees paid from the school’s bursary campaign funds. Financial eligibility is calculated based on the family’s household income and assets, outgoings and liabilities, the value and council tax band of the home and the size of the family. If you would like to apply for a bursary for your child for 2023 entry, you will need to complete the registration form by Wednesday 23rd November 2022.

Scholarships are not available at RGS Newcastle.

RGS Newcastle term dates

The term dates at RGS Newcastle for 2022–23 are:

  • Autumn term: 8th September – 16th December 2022

  • Half term: 20th–30th October 2022

  • Spring term: 10th January – 31st March 2023

  • Half term: 17th–26th February 2023

  • Summer term: 17th April – 7th July 2023

  • Half term: 27th May – 5th June 2023

Admissions process for Year 7 entry to RGS Newcastle

Year 7 is the main entry point to RGS Newcastle. There are 72 places for external applicants, with successful candidates joining the 72 pupils who move up from RGS Junior School.

If you would like to register your child for a place in Year 7 at RGS Newcastle in 2023, you will need to complete the online registration form before Friday 9th December 2022 (or Wednesday 23rd November 2022 if you are applying for financial assistance). There is no registration fee.

All candidates will then be invited to take the 11 plus exam on Saturday 28th January 2023. Children who perform well in this will be invited back to RGS Newcastle for an informal group activity, so that the staff at the school can get to know candidates better and decide who is most suitable for a place in Year 7. The school will also request a report from your child’s current school.

Once the admissions staff at RGS Newcastle have combined the results of every candidate’s exam, their performance in the informal group activity and the outcome of their school report, they will email families with the outcome of their child's application. Emails will likely be sent in February 2023.

RGS Newcastle 11 plus exam

Candidates who are registered for Year 7 entry to RGS Newcastle in 2023 will take the school’s entrance exam on Saturday 28th January 2023. This consists of two parts:

  • Online aptitude test: children will be assessed on their logical reasoning or cognitive ability. This may be similar to a CAT4 test – take a look at our guide to the CAT4 test to see what sort of questions this may involve.

  • Written English paper: children will be assessed on their knowledge and understanding of the Key Stage 2 English curriculum. While RGS Newcastle do not release sample papers for this test, you can expect that your child will be assessed on their reading comprehension ability. Take a look at our guide to developing your child’s reading comprehension skills for more support.

How to help your child prepare for the selection process at RGS Newcastle

Build foundational knowledge

The 11 plus exam at RGS Newcastle assesses candidates’ knowledge and understanding of Key Stage 2 English in the written paper, and their cognitive ability in the online aptitude test. Your child can consolidate everything they need to know with Atom Nucleus, with over 90,000 teacher-created questions and helpful learning resources that span Key Stage 2 English and maths in addition to verbal and non-verbal reasoning.

English learning journey on Atom Nucleus

Preparation is key

Familiarisation with the question formats and known styles ahead of the exam is essential to help your child build exam confidence. An exam preparation subscription with Atom Nucleus enables your child to access quality, unlimited practice material with full score breakdowns to help your child feel confident by the time the exam day comes around.

Atom Nucleus has online practice tests that replicate typical aptitude tests, including the CAT4:

An example CAT4 mock test on Atom Nucleus

Access to immediate support

When working through challenging topics, your child will need immediate clarity with any misconceptions so that they feel truly secure in every topic. Atom Nucleus includes video tutorials, help sheets and examples with every question to help your child build confidence and competence across all the areas assessed.

Maths learning journey on Atom Nucleus

Engage with their progress

Celebrate your child’s improvement in areas of challenge together. An accurate and ongoing assessment of their areas of strength and development is helpful.

As an Atom subscriber, you’ll have a parent dashboard which offers data-driven insights into your child’s progress. You can use this effectively to help your child set targets, see a detailed breakdown of their progress by subtopic and set custom practices to target those they find most challenging.

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Get started with Atom Learning

It’s our mission to help your child feel prepared and confident before the exam day. Begin your free 5-day free trial of Nucleus today to help your child succeed.

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We know how crucial this time is, so our team is on hand to support you and your family every step of the way. You can book a call with one of our Education Experts to ask any questions you might have about 11 plus entry to RGS Newcastle:

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If you’re looking for exclusive tips and resources to help your child master key subjects, excel in exams and build academic confidence, join Atom’s email list:

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Parent WhatsApp groups

Preparing for entrance exams in 2023? Why not join our Exam Preparation group on WhatsApp? Get access to free resources and advice, and ask our Education Experts any questions you have about the admissions process and your child's upcoming exams.

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