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St Bernard's Catholic Grammar School 11+ guide

Jun 20, 2023, 4:28 PM

St Bernard's Catholic Grammar School, Slough (Berkshire)

Are you considering St Bernard's Catholic Grammar School for your child? 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 Slough 11 plus and how to help your child excel.

About St Bernard's Catholic Grammar School

Founded in 1897 in Slough, St Bernard’s Catholic Grammar School is a mixed grammar school for Years 7 to 13. As well as encouraging academic performance, the school aims to promote spiritual life and a sense of belonging to the Catholic Church.

Pupils at St Bernard's develop positive relations with all members of the school community. Prayer life, everyday actions and words support each individual's spiritual, moral and cultural development. The school is committed to the community in every dimension (be it locally, nationally or internationally), supporting Catholic charities and organisations to help the poor and disadvantaged, and is proud of its partnership with Sinethemba School in South Africa.

St Bernard's has a distinguished tradition of achieving academic excellence and provides a curriculum that allows pupils to choose subjects reflecting their own strengths. There is a range of traditional and contemporary subjects on offer, including five languages (French, Spanish, Latin, Japanese, and Ancient History).

  • Address: St Bernard's Catholic Grammar School, 1 Langley Road, Slough, Berkshire SL3 7AF

  • Local authority: Slough Borough Council

  • School type: mixed grammar

  • Headteacher: Paul Kassapian

  • Number of pupils: 1,000+

  • National rank (Sunday Times Parent Power): 151

  • A level results: 68.9% A*–B

  • GCSE results: 72.7% A*/A/9/8/7

Key info for Year 7 admissions

  • Admissions contact: [email protected], 01753 527020

  • Number of places in Year 7: 150

  • Information evening: Tuesday 25th April 2023

  • 11 plus registration opens: Thursday 27th April 2023

  • 11 plus registration closes: Monday 12th June 2023 at 10am

  • 11 plus exam date: Saturday 16th September 2023

  • 11 plus exam type: Slough Consortium 11 plus – GL Assessment

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

  • National school offer day: 1st March 2024

St Bernard's Catholic Grammar School term dates

The term dates at St Bernard's for 2023–2024 are:

  • Autumn term: 4th September – 19th December 2023

  • Half term: 23rd–27th October 2023

  • Spring term: 3rd January – 27th March 2024

  • Half term: 12th–16th February 2024

  • Summer term: 15th April – 22nd July 2024

  • Half term: 27th–31st May 2024

How to apply to St Bernard's Catholic Grammar School

1. Register for the Slough Consortium 11 plus

St Bernard's Catholic Grammar School is a member of the Slough Consortium, along with three other grammar schools in the Slough area. If your child is applying for any of the grammar schools within the Consortium, they will only need to take the 11 plus exam once.

You will need to register your child to take the Slough Consortium 11 plus test through the portal, accessed via any of the grammar school websites within the consortium. Registration will be open from Thursday 27th April 2023 to 10am on Monday 12th June 2023.

2. Apply for a school place

You will receive your child's results in the Slough 11 plus in mid-October 2023. If your child has achieved the pass mark, they will be eligible for a grammar school place. You can then name St Bernard's Catholic Grammar 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 and make sure your child is eligible. 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 Slough Borough Council is your local authority, you will need to complete the common application form on the Slough Council website. If you live in a different local authority, make sure to apply through the relevant website for that council.

What's on the Slough 11 plus?

Children applying for a place in Year 7 at St Bernard's Catholic Grammar School will take the Slough 11 plus test on Saturday 16th September 2023.

The Slough 11 plus consists of two multiple-choice papers, both created by GL Assessment. Questions assess a range of topics across four subjects:

  • English

  • Maths

  • Verbal reasoning

  • Non-verbal reasoning

Find out more in our comprehensive guide to the Slough Consortium 11 plus and access free resources to help your child prepare.

Slough Consortium 11 plus guide

What is the pass mark for St Bernard's Catholic Grammar School?

Your child's answer booklets will be marked by computer and their 'raw' scores will be provided. These raw scores are then standardised to even out any age disadvantage for children born later in the year. A total score is calculated for each child, and these are ranked in order. All marking and standardisation are carried out by GL Assessment.

Children will need a standardised mark of 111 to be eligible for a grammar school in Slough. This represents approximately the top 35% of the cohort.

However, achieving a particular score won't guarantee a place at a grammar school, as schools are usually oversubscribed with qualified candidates. 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 St Bernard's Catholic Grammar School below.

St Bernard's Catholic Grammar School admission criteria

There are 150 places available in Year 7 at St Bernard's. The school aims to provide a Catholic education and expects that parents applying for a school place will accept and uphold the school's Catholic character and ethos. However, all beliefs are accepted and children are welcomed from all denominations and faith backgrounds, with provision for the study of different faiths in the school's religious education programme.

Children who have qualified for entry to St Bernard's and who have either a Statement of Special Educational Need or an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) naming the school will be allocated a place automatically. The planned admission number will then be reduced accordingly.

If the number of children who have qualified for St Bernard's Catholic Grammar School exceeds the number of places available, the school will prioritise places in the following order:

  1. Looked after children and previously looked after children

  2. Practising Baptised Catholic children who have a Priest's reference or a Certificate of Catholic Practice

  3. Other Baptised Catholic children

  4. Baptised or Dedicated Children of other Christian Churches, supported with a reference from a religious leader

  5. Baptised or Dedicated Children of other Christian Churches

  6. Children from other faiths who attend a Slough Catholic primary school within St Peter's Pastoral Area and live permanently in Slough

  7. Children of other faiths who attend a Slough primary school within St Peter's Pastoral Area

  8. Children of other faiths with a reference from a religious leader

  9. Children of other faiths

  10. Other children

St Bernard's Catholic Grammar School catchment area

The catchment area for St Bernard's Catholic Grammar School covers the pastoral area of St Peter's. This incorporates the following primary schools:

  • Holy Family Catholic Primary School

  • Our Lady of Peace Catholic Primary School

  • St Anthony's Catholic Primary School

  • St Ethelburt's Catholic Primary School

How to help your child prepare for the 11 plus

Here are our top tips on how to best prepare your child for the Slough 11 plus.

Cover all the content

The Slough 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 Slough 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.

Test your knowledge

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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.

Slough 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 Slough 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 Slough grammar schools.

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