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Slough Consortium of Grammar Schools 11 plus guide

By Atom | Apr 16, 2024, 10:51 AM

Slough 11 plus

Are you considering a grammar school in Slough for your child? We’ve collated everything you need to know about admissions in 2024–2025. Keep reading to:

  • Find out more about the Slough Consortium of Grammar Schools

  • Learn about the Slough 11+ exam

  • Discover which subjects your child will be tested on

  • Plus, get exclusive resources to help your child prepare!

What is the Slough Consortium of Grammar Schools?

The Slough Consortium of Grammar Schools is a group of four grammar schools in the Slough local authority area. These schools have joined together to provide the same 11 plus entrance exam. This means that children applying to any of these schools will only need to take the test once.

All of these schools are co-educational (teach boys and girls together):

Dates for your diary

  • Wednesday 1st May 2024: Slough 11+ registration opens

  • Monday 12th June 2024: Slough 11+ registration closes

  • Saturday 21st September 2024: Slough Consortium 11+ entrance test

  • Mid-October 2024: parents receive test results

  • Thursday 31st October 2024: secondary school applications close at 5pm

  • Monday 3rd March 2025: secondary school national offers day

Dates can vary, so always check with your target schools!

What is the Slough Consortium 11 plus?

The Slough Consortium 11 plus exam is an academic entrance test used by the four grammar schools in Slough. Grammar schools use the 11 plus to select children working in the top ability range in their year group. Children who are within the top 25% of their year group are normally well-suited for grammar school.

The 11 plus exam takes place in September, when your child is in Year 6. Children who were born between 1st September 2013 and 31st August 2014 will take the Slough Consortium 11 plus on Saturday 21st September 2024 for Year 7 entry in September 2025.

What's on the Slough Consortium 11 plus?

The Slough Consortium 11 plus exam consists of two papers provided by GL Assessment. Most grammar schools in the UK use 11 plus papers provided by GL Assessment.

Each test lasts around one hour. This includes time for instructions, some worked (unmarked) example questions, and the real test questions. Your child will take both tests on the same day. There is a short break between the two papers.

One paper tests verbal skills and the other paper tests non-verbal skills.

Verbal skills

The verbal skills paper includes questions which cover:

  • English comprehension: how well your child can understand and analyse written text

  • Technical English: grammar, punctuation and spelling – all based on Key Stage 2 national curriculum content

  • Verbal reasoning: using logic and reasoning to solve problems with written information, like letters, words and numbers

Non-verbal skills

The questions on the non-verbal skills paper cover:

  • Non-verbal reasoning: using logic and reasoning to solve problems with visual information, like shapes, diagrams and pictures

  • Maths: covers key topics taught on the Key Stage 2 maths curriculum. This includes the areas of number, algebra, measures, shape and space, and handling data.

The questions in each paper have a range of answer formats. Your child will have separate answer sheets which they will use to mark their answers. These are marked electronically.

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Verbal reasoning paper

How is the Slough Consortium 11 plus scored?

After the test, your child’s answer sheets are marked using Optical Mark Recognition (OMR). This technology picks up the marks your child has made to indicate which answers they think are correct. Your child receives a mark for every correct answer.

Your child’s raw scores are then age-standardised. This is a common practice in 11 plus scoring to make the exam fair for children born throughout the academic year. Standardisation takes into account how well your child has performed compared with the average performance of all children who took that particular test. It also shows how your child has performed compared with children of a similar age (e.g. born in the same month and year).

You’ll receive your child’s result in mid-October 2024. If your child meets your target school’s qualifying standard, you can then apply for a place at the school.

What's the pass mark for the Slough Consortium 11 plus?

Children who achieve a total standardised score of 111 in the Slough Consortium 11 plus will be considered eligible for a place at a Slough grammar school. Achieving this score places your child within the top 35% of the cohort taking the test.

Bear in mind that achieving this score doesn’t guarantee that your child will be allocated a place at your target school. Many grammar schools are oversubscribed with children who meet the qualifying score. This data for Slough admissions in 2023 gives an idea of how the number of eligible applications can exceed the number of places:

  • Herschel Grammar School: 1,187 children applied, and 855 children were eligible for 150 places. 18% of children who passed the exam were offered a place.

  • Langley Grammar School: 1,099 children applied, and 745 children were eligible for 180 places. 24% of children who passed the exam were offered a place.

  • St Bernard’s Catholic Grammar School: 812 children applied, and 531 children were eligible for 150 places. 28% of children who passed the exam were offered a place.

  • Upton Court Grammar School: 1,322 children applied, and 980 children were eligible for 165 places. 17% of children who passed the exam were offered a place.

When there are more eligible applicants to a school than the number of places, the school applies oversubscription criteria to prioritise places. We’ve included this information in each of our school guides:

How to apply to grammar schools in Slough

If you're considering a grammar school in Slough for your child, it's a good idea to speak to your child's teacher first.

Grammar schools are academically-selective and select children working towards the top of their year group. Your child's teacher will be able to indicate whether they think your child will be able to keep up with the pace in a grammar school.

1. Register for the Slough Consortium 11 plus

If you would like your child to be considered for a place at a grammar school in Slough, you’ll need to register them to take the Slough Consortium 11 plus exam.

Registration for the 2024 exam will open on Wednesday 1st May 2024. To start your child’s application, visit the Slough Consortium of Grammar Schools’ application portal and follow the instructions. The portal will close on Monday 12th June 2024.

2. Apply for school places

In October 2024, you’ll find out if your child has achieved the minimum score necessary for admission to your target school(s).

You can use these results to decide which schools to name on your secondary school common application form. You should only name grammar schools for which your child has met the eligible score. Before listing a school 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 5pm on Tuesday 31st October 2024.

3. National school offer day

On 3rd March 2025, you will find out which school your child has been allocated a place at. They will be allocated a place at your highest-preferred school for which they meet the entry criteria and which has places available.

If no places are available at your preferred schools, they will be offered a place at another school in your area. You can appeal via an independent panel. Information about how to appeal will be sent to you by your local authority along with your school offer on National Offers Day.

How can I help my child prepare for the Slough Consortium 11 plus?

The 11 plus exam is designed to be challenging. Here are our top tips to help your child prepare for the Slough Consortium 11 plus in September 2024.

Bitesize learning

It’s important to build a good knowledge base before the exam. 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 for the Slough Consortium 11 plus exam. 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 non-verbal reasoning question on a Slough 11 plus mock test 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 Slough 11 plus

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

You don't need a tutor to get into your top-choice grammar school. You just need Atom. We’ll create a tailored plan for your child and support them along their fun revision journey.

  • Online and printable Slough 11 plus practice papers

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Georgie's weekly exam prep plan on Atom Home

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