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South Wilts Grammar School 11 plus guide

By Atom | Jun 20, 2023, 4:27 PM

South Wilts Grammar School, Wiltshire

Are you considering South Wilts Grammar School in Salisbury for your daughter? We've collated all the information you need to know about 2024 entry to Year 7. Keep reading to learn about key dates, the admissions process, and how to excel in the 11 plus exam.

About South Wilts Grammar School

South Wilts Grammar School is the only selective school for girls in Wiltshire. Founded in 1927 as the girls’ equivalent to Bishops Wordsworth's School (with which South Wilts Grammar School maintains close links), the school was girls-only until 2020, at which point male students were welcomed into the sixth form.

South Wilts Grammar School has specialist status in mathematics and computing and won the International School Award in 2010. There is an extensive curriculum at A level, with an offering of 26 subjects including Computer Science, Environmental Science, Psychology and the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).

The school is located in the medieval cathedral city of Salisbury. Situated in the city’s leafy suburbs, pupils enjoy extensive facilities that include a learning resources centre, a theatre and drama studio, and an all-weather running track.

  • Address: South Wilts Grammar School, Stratford Road, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP1 3JJ

  • Local authority: Wiltshire Council

  • School type: girls' grammar with mixed sixth form

  • Headteacher: Michele Chilcott

  • Number of pupils: 1,100+

  • National rank (Sunday Times Parent Power): 108

  • A level results: 71.7% A*–B

  • GCSE results: 78.5% A*/A/9/8/7

Key info for Year 7 admissions

  • Admissions contact: [email protected], 01722 323326

  • Number of places in Year 7: 160

  • Year 5 open afternoons: 26th June, 3rd July, 6th July, 7th July and 12th July 2023

  • 11 plus registration opens: June 2023

  • 11 plus registration closes: 1st September 2023

  • Exam date: 23rd September 2023

  • Exam type: GL Assessment

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

  • National school offer day: 1st March 2024

South Wilts Grammar School term dates

The 2023–2024 term dates at South Wilts Grammar School are:

  • Autumn term: 6th September – 20th December 2023

  • Half term: 23rd–27th October 2023

  • Spring term: 4th January – 27th March 2024

  • Half term: 12th–16th February 2024

  • Summer term: 15th April – 19th July 2024

  • Half term: 27th–31st May 2024

How to apply to South Wilts 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. The 11 plus exam is a challenging exam, designed to select the children working within the top 25% of their year group.

You will need to complete a test registration form to register your daughter for the 11 plus test. This is essential for the school's administration of the test and will be used for oversubscription criteria (see below).

The registration form will be available to complete online or download from the school website in June 2023.

2. Apply for school places

You will receive your daughter's results in the 11 plus in a letter posted by the school on 6th October 2023. You can use the results to decide which schools to include on your local authority secondary application form. You must complete the form for your home local authority:

If your daughter has met the score necessary to be eligible for a place at South Wilts Grammar School, you will be able to name the school as a preference on the form. However, make sure to check the school's oversubscription criteria first; in the likely event that more children achieve the qualifying score than there are places available, the school will need to apply oversubscription criteria to prioritise places.

The application form must be submitted to your home local council by 31st October 2023.

What's on the South Wilts Grammar School 11 plus exam?

The 11 plus exam for entry to South Wilts Grammar School will take place on Saturday 23rd September 2023. The school will also hold a familiarisation session the week before, on Saturday 16th September 2023.

Children will take three test papers administered by GL Assessment:

  • English

  • Maths

  • Verbal reasoning

Learn more and get free 11 plus preparation resources in our guide to the 11 plus in Wiltshire:

Wiltshire 11 plus

What is the pass mark for South Wilts Grammar School?

Your daughter's scores in the English, maths and verbal reasoning tests are age-standardised by statisticians at GL Assessment to even out age disadvantage and to give the three tests equal weighting. The three standardised scores will then be added together to give a final mark.

The pass mark is usually set at 71%. Children whose combined scores in the three tests reach the standardised pass mark will be regarded as having passed the test. A letter with your child's scores will be posted to you on Friday 6th October 2023, giving details of the score and whether your daughter has met the required standard.

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, looking at their oversubscription criteria and their catchment area.

Historical pass marks at South Wilts Grammar School

In the last five years, the pass mark has consistently been set at 71%. There are typically 325–350 candidates each year, applying for 160 places.

  • 2022: 53% passed the exam. The furthest distance among places offered was 33.9 miles.

  • 2021: 55% passed the exam. The furthest distance among places offered was 20.8 miles.

  • 2020: 54% passed the exam. The furthest distance among places offered was 17.6 miles.

  • 2019: 56% passed the exam. The furthest distance among places offered was 16.3 miles.

  • 2018: 58% passed the exam. The furthest distance among places offered was 17.9 miles.

South Wilts Grammar School admissions criteria

The planned admission number (PAN) for Year 7 is 160. If more children reach the standardised pass mark than there are places available, places are allocated in this order:

  1. Looked After or previously Looked After Children

  2. Children who are eligible for the Pupil Premium or Service Premium

  3. Children who live within the school's catchment area

  4. Children who live with at least one parent who has been employed by the school for a minimum of two years

  5. Children who have a sibling at the school and who live closest to the school (ranked in order by a straight line distance)

  6. Children who live closest to the school (ranked in order by a straight line distance)

South Wilts Grammar School catchment area

The catchment area for South Wilts Grammar School extends to Winterbourne Stoke in the north, Middle Winterslow in the east, Downton in the south and Teffont Magna in the west. The south and east borders of the catchment area are the Wiltshire/Hampshire county borders.

A catchment map is 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 South Wilts 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 South Wilts Grammar School 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.

South Wilts Grammar School 11 plus practice papers

Atom Nucleus gives children access to online practice papers. Our online tests are designed to mirror the format and style of the real South Wilts Grammar 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 grammar school.

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