By Atom | Jun 20, 2023, 4:35 PM
Are you considering Watford Grammar School for Boys for your son? We've collated everything you need to know about Year 7 entry in 2024. Keep reading to learn about the school application process in South West Hertfordshire and how to help your child excel in the 11 plus exam.
Watford Grammar School for Boys is a partially-selective state school in Hertfordshire for boys aged 11 to 18. It originates from the Free School – a charity school founded by Dame Elizabeth Fuller in 1704 for 60 pupils in the local parish – and moved to its present site in 1912.
The school prides itself on its strong sense of community, where academic commitment and success are celebrated alongside self-discovery, self-expression and developing a sense of personal worth. While the school accepts children of all abilities, students achieve high standards in academic study, sports, music, drama and many other activities.
Watford Grammar School was lasted visited by Ofsted in 2021 and judged to be 'outstanding'. Inspectors described it as a "remarkably friendly and welcoming school", where pupils exhibit "superb" behaviour and receive an "exceptional" education.
Address: Watford Grammar School for Boys, Rickmansworth Road, Watford, WD18 7JF
Local authority: Hertfordshire County Council
School type: boys-only partially-selective school
Headteacher: Ian Cooksey
Number of pupils: 1,500+
National rank (Sunday Times Parent Power): 161
A level results: 72.5% A*–B
GCSE results: 59.3% A*/A/9/8/7
Admissions contact: [email protected]
Number of places in Year 7: 224 (of which 56 places are allocated based on academic ability)
Open day date: Saturday 7th October 2023
11 plus registration opens: 11th April 2023
11 plus registration closes: 16th June 2023
Exam date: 9th September 2023 (academic test)
Exam type: SWH Consortium – GL Assessment
Common application form (CAF) deadline: 31st October 2023
National school offer day: 1st March 2024
The 2023–2024 term dates at Watford Grammar School for Boys are:
Autumn term: 4th September – 15th December 2023
Half term: 20th–29th October 2023
Spring term: 2nd January – 28th March 2024
Half term: 17th–25th February 2024
Summer term: 15th April – 19th July 2024
Half term: 25th May – 2nd June 2024
If you would like your child to be considered for a place in Year 7 at Watford Grammar School for Boys, you will need to complete the common application form for your local authority.
If you would like your child to be considered for a place under the academic criterion, you will also need to register for them to take the academic ability test with the SW Herts Consortium. This group of grammar and partially-selective schools all administer the same academic tests, so if your child is applying for an academic place in any of the schools in the consortium, they will only need to take the academic tests once.
If you are thinking about registering your child for the academic criterion at Watford Grammar School for Boys, it's a good idea to speak to your child's teacher first to see if the 11 plus and a selective education is right for them. The 11 plus is a challenging exam, designed to select the children working within the top 25% of their year group.
You will need to register your child with the SW Herts Consortium between Tuesday 11th April 2023 and Friday 16th June 2023. You will then be notified of your child's test venue on Friday 7th July 2023.
You will be notified of your child's scores in the academic test via your parent portal on the SWH Consortium website on Wednesday 19th October 2023. You can use your child's results to decide whether to apply for a place at Watford Grammar School for Boys.
To apply for a school place, you will need to name Watford Grammar School for Boys on your common application form. You must complete the form for your home local authority:
Buckinghamshire residents: Buckinghamshire Council
Hertfordshire residents: Hertfordshire County Council
London Borough of Barnet residents: Barnet Council
London Borough of Enfield residents: Enfield Council
London Borough of Harrow residents: Harrow Council
London Borough of Hillingdon residents: Hillingdon Council
Before completing your common application form, 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.
Watford Grammar School for Boys is a member of the SW Herts Consortium. All of the schools in the consortium use the same academic test to assess children for selective places (with the exception of Croxley Danes School, which only has a music criterion). This means that if your child is applying for an academic place at any of these schools, they will only need to take the test once. You will be informed of the test venue on 7th July 2023 – this may be any of the schools in the consortium and is not related to your school preference or final selection.
Children will take two multiple-choice papers set by GL Assessment on Saturday 9th September 2023 during either a morning or afternoon session. The subjects tested are:
Maths: 50 minutes
Verbal reasoning: 50 minutes
Learn more about the academic 11 plus in South West Hertfordshire and get free preparation resources in our local guide:
Your child's scores in the academic ability test will be age-standardised to ensure that children born later in the school year aren't disadvantaged. Scores will then be combined to give a total score across both papers, which is then placed in rank order with all the other children who took the exam. The range for the combined score is between 140 and 272.
There is no minimum score required – the 56 children with the highest scores will be eligible for a place. However, in previous years the minimum score required for an academic ability place at Watford Grammar School for Boys was 215 (2022), 211 (2021) and 218 (2020). These figures may be useful as a guide when helping your child prepare for the test.
Achieving a particular score doesn't guarantee a place at the school, as it may be oversubscribed with qualified candidates. We always recommend researching the admission policies for your target schools and looking at their oversubscription criteria.
56 places in Year 7 (25% of the total places available) are reserved for boys who demonstrate academic ability in the SW Herts 11 plus test. Of these places, 34 are reserved for boys who live within the Watford area. This comprises the following postcodes:
WD17 1, WD17 2, WD17 3, WD17 4
WD18 0, WD18 6, WD18 7, WD18 8, WD18 9
WD19 4, WD19 5, WD19 6, WD19 7
WD23 1, WD23 2, WD23 3, WD23 4, WD23 5, WD23 6, WD23 7, WD23 9
WD25 0, WD25 5, WD25 7, WD25 8, WD25 9
Other oversubscription criteria apply to boys applying for a community place. This includes priority groups such as looked after and previously looked after children, siblings of current students and sons of school staff. Further information is available on the school admission policy.
Here are our top tips on how to best prepare your child for the academic tests at Watford Grammar School for Boys.
The 11 plus assesses a large breadth and depth of learning objectives across the Key Stage 2 national 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 SW Herts 11 plus at the right pace for them.
Your child may 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.
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.
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.
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 SW Herts 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.
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:
We're happy to help with any questions you may have about admissions processes and helping your child prepare for entry to selective schools in Hertfordshire.
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