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St Olave's Grammar School 11+ guide

By Atom | Feb 13, 2024, 11:47 AM

St Olave's Grammar School, Bromley

Thinking about applying to St Olave's Grammar School? Find out everything you need to know about admissions and how to prepare your child for success in the 11 plus.

Key information about St Olave's Grammar School

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

  • Number of pupils: 1,050+

  • Admissions contact: [email protected]

  • Number of places in Year 7: 128

  • 11+ exam: school’s own two-stage entrance exam

  • Catchment area: no

Dates for your diary

  • 11+ registration opens: Monday 10th June 2024

  • 11+ registration closes: Monday 1st July 2024

  • 11+ exam date: Friday 20th September 2024 (Stage 1 SET), Friday 15th November 2024 (Stage 2)

  • 11+ results released: mid-October 2024

  • Secondary school application deadline: 31st October 2024

  • School allocations: 3rd March 2025

About St Olave's Grammar School

St Olave's Grammar School was founded in 1561. It provides a high-quality selective education to boys aged 11–18 and girls aged 16–18. The student community is diverse and inclusive of all faiths and backgrounds. Every success is celebrated and encouraged – be it academic, sport, cultural or moral.

Students at St Olave's achieve some of the best exam results in the country. Nearly all students go on to university, with more than 100 students going on to Oxbridge in the last five years.

How to apply to St Olave's Grammar School

St Olave's Grammar School is a selective school. This means that your child will need to take the 11 plus exam to be eligible for a place.

There is a two-stage entrance exam at St Olave’s Grammar School. All children take the school’s Selective Eligibility Test (SET). Children with the highest scores are then invited back to take the second-stage exam.

The deadline to register for the SET at St Olave's Grammar School is Monday 1st July 2024. The SET will take place on Friday 20th September 2024. You’ll find out if your child has been shortlisted for the second-stage exam in mid-October 2024. You can then decide whether to continue with your child’s application to St Olave’s by naming the school on your common application form.

To apply, you’ll need to name the school as one of your preferred schools on the secondary school common application form. This will be available on your home council website from early September and must be submitted by 31st October.

Remember – passing the second stage exam doesn’t guarantee that your child will be allocated a place. Many grammar schools are often oversubscribed with qualified children. Schools and their admissions authorities work through admissions criteria to prioritise children for places. We’ve included the admissions criteria for St Olave's Grammar School below.

What subjects are on the entrance exam?

The entry process for St Olave’s Grammar School consists of two stages:

St Olave’s Grammar School SET (Stage 1)

All boys who have completed the St Olave’s SIF by the deadline take the school’s Selective Eligibility Test (SET). This will be held on the school site on Friday 20th September 2024 for 2025 entry.

The SET has a time limit of one hour. It consists of approximately 60 questions split across four sections. Your child will be told when to start and finish each section.

Your child will have a question booklet and separate answer sheets. All the questions in the test are multiple-choice, so your child needs to mark the answer options they think are correct on the answer sheets.

St Olave’s Grammar School Stage 2

The 450 boys with the highest scores from the SET are invited back to the school for the second stage tests. These will take place on Friday 15th November 2024 for 2025 entry.

Stage 2 consists of two one-hour papers. These are taken on the same day, with a 15 minute break in between.

One paper is an English test which assesses reading and writing. This is split into two sections:

  • Section One: your child will read a passage of fiction or non-fiction text and will answer multiple-choice questions to show their understanding of it.

  • Section Two: this section has two parts. In Part (a), your child will need to explain and justify inferences with evidence from a text, such as a poem. Part (b) is a creative writing task. Your child will be assessed on syntax, paragraphing, punctuation, vocabulary, spelling, handwriting, layout and presentation.

The other paper is a maths test which assesses your child’s understanding of Key Stage 2 concepts including Level 4 standard. This includes number, algebra, shape, space and measure, and handling data. However, the questions might be more challenging than your child is used to and test how they solve problems with unfamiliar situations. This paper is not multiple-choice.

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Verbal reasoning paper

How does place allocation work at St Olave's Grammar School?

First, the SET test papers are marked and put into a rank order. The 450 children with the highest scores are invited back to take the Stage 2 exam.

The English and maths scores in the Stage 2 exam are then age-standardised and aggregated with the SET marks to create a new ranking order. Offers of places will be based on this final ranking order.

All children who are looked after or previously looked after and who have been placed in the initial 450 and taken the subsequent second-stage exam are admitted to the school. St Olave’s also reserves up to 10 places for boys who receive Pupil Premium, allocated in rank order.

There is no catchment area for St Olave’s Grammar School.

Atom’s top tips for 11 plus preparation

The 11 plus is designed to select the most academically able children in the country. Here are our top tips to help you and your child feel confident for exam day!

Bitesize learning

It’s important to build a good knowledge base before the 11 plus. 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. 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.

St Olave's SET 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 St Olave's Grammar School SET

Wish you could give your child a roadmap to success in the St Olave's Grammar School SET? 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 11 plus practice papers

  • 90,000+ adaptive questions

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Navigate the St Olave's Grammar School SET with confidence.

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