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St Olave's Grammar School 11 plus guide

By Atom | Jun 20, 2023, 4:29 PM

St Olave's Grammar School, Bromley

Are you considering St Olave's Grammar School in Bromley for your son? 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 prepare for the 11 plus exam.

About St Olave's Grammar School

St Olave's Grammar School was founded in 1561 and provides a selective education to boys aged 11 to 18 and girls aged 16 to 18. It's one of the UK's highest-achieving state schools, currently ranked within the top 10 grammar schools in the country and within the top 5 grammar schools in London.

The school has a richly diverse student population, inclusive of all faiths and backgrounds, where students have a strong sense of pride and loyalty. Every student's success, be it academic, sporting, cultural or moral, is celebrated and encouraged in an environment which provides excellent co-curricular opportunities.

Olavians consistently achieve outstanding levels of performance and are challenged to reach their full potential through the Individual Pupil Mentoring Scheme. Virtually all students leave the sixth form for higher education, with more than 100 places secured at Oxford and Cambridge universities in the last five years.

  • Address: St Olave's Grammar School, Goddington Lane, Orpington, BR6 9SH

  • Local authority: London Borough of Bromley

  • School type: boys' grammar with mixed sixth form

  • Headteacher: Andrew Rees

  • Number of pupils: 1,050+

  • National rank (Sunday Times Parent Power): 7

  • A level results: 96.4% A*–B

  • GCSE results: 91% 9/8/7

Key info for Year 7 admissions

  • Admissions contact: [email protected]

  • Number of places in Year 7: 124

  • Open evening: Thursday 29th June 2023

  • 11 plus registration opens: 12th June 2023 2023

  • 11 plus registration closes: 3rd July 2023

  • Exam date: 22nd September 2023 (Stage 1), 17th November 2023 (Stage 2)

  • Exam type: St Olave's SET

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

  • National school offer day: 1st March 2024

St Olave's Grammar School term dates

The 2023–2024 term dates at St Olave's Grammar School are:

  • Autumn term: 30th August – 19th December 2023

  • Half term: 16th–27th October 2023

  • Spring term: 4th January – 28th March 2024

  • Half term: 12th–16th February 2024

  • Summer term: 15th April – 23rd July 2024

  • Half term: 27th–31st May 2024

How to apply to St Olave's Grammar School

1. Register for the Selective Eligibility Test

St Olave's Grammar School admits pupils based on their performance in the Selective Eligibility Test (SET). This is a two-round 11 plus process, designed to select children who are working at the very top of the academic ability range for their year group. Before registering for the exam, speak to your child's teacher to see if the 11 plus and a grammar school education is right for them.

To register for the St Olave's Grammar School SET, you will need to complete the school's Supplementary Information Form (SIF). This will be available on the school website from 9am on Monday 12th June 2023. The deadline for submitting the form is midday on Monday 3rd July 2023.

2. Apply for a school place

St Olave's Grammar School will write to you with your son's Stage 1 results in mid-October 2023. If your child is one of approximately 450 boys invited back to take the Stage 2 test in November, you will be able to name the school as one of your options on your common application form.

Before listing St Olave's Grammar School as a preference on your form, check its admissions policy and make sure your child is eligible. Passing the second stage of the assessment will still not be a guarantee of a place as more boys 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 you live in Bromley you will need to complete the form on the Bromley 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 St Olave's 11 plus exam?

All boys applying for St Olave's Grammar School will take Stage 1 of the Selective Eligibility Test (SET) on Friday 22nd September 2023. This is a one-hour exam, consisting solely of multiple-choice questions in the following subjects:

  • English comprehension

  • Maths

  • Verbal reasoning

  • Non-verbal reasoning

The 450 boys with the highest results will then be shortlisted for Stage 2. This exam will take place on Friday 17th November 2023 and boys will sit two written papers:

  • English: one hour, assessing both reading and creative writing. The reading section is multiple-choice

  • Maths: one hour, based on Year 5 and Year 6 key concepts

Learn about the exam in more detail in our full guide to the Bromley 11 plus:

Bromley 11 plus exam guide

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

There is no specific pass mark for either stage of the St Olave's Selective Eligibility Test. Children's scores in Stage 1 will be placed in rank order and the 450 boys with the highest results will be invited back to Stage 2. Following the second stage, scores will be age-standardised and aggregated, together with the first stage results, to create a final ranking.

Passing both stages of the St Olave's Grammar School 11 plus process doesn't guarantee a place at the school. St Olave's is a popular school and is heavily oversubscribed, with up to 12 applications for every available place. We always recommend researching the admission policies for your target schools, looking at their oversubscription criteria and their catchment area.

St Olave's Grammar School admissions criteria

St Olave's Grammar School has a planned admission number (PAN) of 124. Boys who achieve the required standard and who have an Education, Health and Care Plan which names the school will be admitted as a priority. The remaining places will then be allocated to children who have passed both stages of the 11 plus in the following order of priority:

  1. Looked after and previously looked after children

  2. Boys in receipt of pupil premium, in rank order (up to 10 places available)

  3. The remaining places will be allocated in rank order

Places will also be offered in accordance with the parental preference on the common application form (i.e. families who have named St Olave's Grammar School as their most preferred school will be prioritised). If there is a tie for two or more candidates, the final rank order will be determined in this order:

  1. Results in the Stage 2 maths paper

  2. Results in the Stage 2 English writing paper

  3. Results in the Stage 2 English reading paper

  4. Results in the Stage 1 SET test

  5. If there is a final tie-break, the remaining place(s) will be allocated using a computerised random number generator

There is no catchment area at St Olave's Grammar School. The school welcomes applications from all boys, irrespective of their home address, and does not take location into account when applying oversubscription criteria.

How to help your child prepare for the 11 plus

Here are our top tips on how to best prepare your child for the St Olave's Grammar School 11 plus.

Cover all the content

The selection tests for St Olave's Grammar School are academically rigorous, and assess a large breadth and depth of learning objectives across and beyond the Key Stage 2 curriculum.

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 St Olave's 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.

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.

St Olave's 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 St Olave's 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:

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