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St Thomas More High School 11+ guide

By Atom | Mar 11, 2024, 11:42 AM

St Thomas More High School, Essex (CSSE)

Thinking about applying to St Thomas More High 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 Thomas More High School

  • Address: St Thomas More High School, Kenilworth Gardens, Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, SS0 0BW

  • Number of pupils: 1,200+

  • Admissions contact: [email protected]

  • Number of places in Year 7: 180 (including 30 selective places)

  • 11+ exam: CSSE 11+

  • Catchment area: yes

Dates for your diary

  • 11+ registration opens: Tuesday 14th May 2024

  • 11+ registration closes: Friday 28th June 2024

  • 11+ exam date: Saturday 21st September 2024

  • 11+ results released: mid-October 2024

  • Secondary school application deadline: 31st October 2024

  • School allocations: 1st March 2025

About St Thomas More High School

St Thomas More High School is a Catholic bilateral school for boys with a mixed sixth form in Westcliff-on-Sea. While the school is predominantly non-selective, 30 'selective' places are reserved each year for boys who pass the 11 plus exam.

The school aims to provide a disciplined, caring and stable environment. St Thomas More produces confident young people who are ready to make a difference in the wider world. Ofsted states that "pupils are supported to become active, mature, articulate and responsible young citizens in society; that is the measure of a Tommy More boy."

How to apply to St Thomas More High School

St Thomas More High School is a bilateral school. This means that only a proportion of places are academically-selective. These places are reserved for children who pass the 11 plus entrance exam.

St Thomas More is a member of the Consortium of Selective Schools in Essex (CSSE). All 10 schools in the CSSE use the same 11 plus exam. This means that your child will only need to take the exam once – even if they’re applying to other schools in the consortium.

The deadline to register for the CSSE 11 plus exam is Friday 28th June 2024. The exam will take place on Saturday 21st September 2024 and you’ll receive your child’s results in mid-October. You can then use these results to decide whether to apply for a place at St Thomas More High School.

Regardless of whether you intend to apply for a selective or non-selective place at St Thomas More, 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 entrance exam doesn’t guarantee that your child will be allocated a selective place. Many 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 Thomas More High School below.

What subjects are on the entrance exam?

The CSSE 11 plus exam consists of two papers. Each paper lasts around one hour.

  1. English: this consists of reading comprehension and creative writing

  2. Maths: questions are based on the Key Stage 2 maths curriculum

Guide to the CSSE 11 plus

Find out everything you need to know in our complete guide to the CSSE 11 plus. Plus, get access to free 11 plus resources to help your child feel confident for their exam!

Learn more
Verbal reasoning paper

How does place allocation work at St Thomas More High School?

Each of the two CSSE papers are worth up to 60 marks (120 in total). Your child’s final marks will be standardised and weighted.

Each school in the CSSE sets its own qualifying score, and this varies from year to year. St Thomas More High School only allocates selective places to children who live within the catchment area and who achieve a standardised score of at least 303. In 2023, no selective places were offered to any children applying to St Thomas More High School.

If more children apply to St Thomas More High School than there are places available, the school applies oversubscription criteria in the order below. Priority is always given in each group to Catholic children.

  1. Up to 30 places for boys who pass the CSSE 11 plus and who live within the catchment area

  2. ‘Looked after’ and ‘previously looked after’ boys from Catholic families

  3. Baptised Catholic boys living within the named parishes (see below)

  4. Baptised Catholic boys

  5. Boys who attend an Assisi Catholic Trust primary school (see below)

  6. Other ‘looked after’ and ‘previously looked after’ boys

  7. Catechumens and members of an Eastern Christian Church

  8. Children of other Christian denominations whose membership has been evidenced by a religious minister

  9. Any other children whose families wish them to receive a Catholic education

What is the catchment area for St Thomas More High School?

The catchment area for St Thomas More High School covers the postcode areas SS0, SS1, SS2, SS3, SS4, SS5, SS6, SS7, SS8 and SS9. Selective places are only available for children who live within these postcode areas.

What are the named parishes for St Thomas More High School?

Baptised Catholic boys who live within one of the following parishes are prioritised for places at St Thomas More High School under criterion 3:

Our Lady of Lourdes, Leigh on Sea; St. Helen’s, Westcliff on Sea; Sacred Heart, Southend on Sea; St. Georges, Shoebury; St. Peter’s, Eastwood; St. John Fisher, Prittlewell; St. Teresa’s, Rochford; Holy Family, South Benfleet; Our Lady of Ransom, Rayleigh and Our Lady of Canvey, Canvey Island.

What are the feeder schools for St Thomas More High School?

Boys who attend an Assisi Catholic Trust Primary School are prioritised for places at St Thomas More High School under criterion 5. These namely cover Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary School and Nursery, Leigh on Sea; St. Helen’s Catholic Primary School, Westcliff on Sea; Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School and Nursery, Southend on Sea; St. George's Catholic Primary School, Shoeburyness; St. Teresa’s Catholic Primary School, Rochford; Holy Family Catholic Primary School, South Benfleet; Our Lady of Ransom Catholic Primary School, Rayleigh and St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Canvey Island.

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.

A maths question on an Atom Home mock test

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 CSSE 11 plus

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

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  • Online and printable 11 plus practice papers

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