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Westcliff High School for Boys 11 plus guide

By Atom | Jun 20, 2023, 4:36 PM

Westcliff High School for Boys, Essex (CSSE)

Are you interested in registering your son for entry to Westcliff High School for Boys in 2024? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about the admissions process, the content of the 11 plus exam and how to help your child prepare.

About Westcliff High School for Boys

Westcliff High School for Boys is a selective state grammar school and academy for boys in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex. Founded in 1920, it strives to offer ‘an excellent education for [its] pupils, supporting them in their journey to adulthood by developing character and intellect within a happy and scholarly community’.

Beyond the classroom, the school is committed to building moral values and a sense of community. Sport is intrinsic to the school life due to its ability to build character, leadership and teamwork skills.

  • Address: Westcliff High School for Boys, Kenilworth Gardens, Westcliff-on-Sea, SS0 0BP

  • Local authority: Essex County Council

  • School type: boys' grammar with a mixed sixth form

  • Headteacher: Michael Skelly

  • Number of pupils: 1,200+

  • National rank (Sunday Times Parent Power): 53

  • A level results: 83.1% A*–B

  • GCSE results: 82.2% A*/A/9/8/7

Key info for Year 7 admissions

  • Admissions contact: [email protected], 01702 475443

  • Number of places in Year 7: 185

  • Open evening: Tuesday 27th June 2023 from 5pm. A virtual tour is also available online

  • 11 plus registration opens: Thursday 16th May 2023

  • 11 plus registration closes: 30th June 2023

  • Exam date: Saturday 23rd September 2023

  • Exam type: CSSE 11 plus

  • Results posted: 16th October 2023

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

  • National school offer day: 1st March 2024

Westcliff High School for Boys term dates

The term dates at Westcliff High School for Boys in 2023–2024 are:

  • Autumn term: 4th September – 20th December 2023

  • Half term: 23rd–27th October 2023

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

  • Half term: 19th–23rd February 2024

  • Summer term: 15th April – 19th July 2024

  • Half term: 27th–31st May 2024

How to apply to Westcliff High School for Boys

Westcliff High School for Boys is a member of the Consortium of Selective Schools in Essex (CSSE). This means that the admissions arrangements are similar at all the grammar schools within the consortium, and all children applying to one of the 10 schools take the same 11 plus test.

If you would like your child to be considered for a place at Westcliff High School for Boys you will need to apply by completing two forms:

  • Register for the 11 plus: you will need to register your child to take the CSSE 11 plus exam on the CSSE website. Registration opens on Thursday 16th May 2023 and closes on 30th June 2023.

  • Register for a school place: you will need to submit the common application form (CAF) and name Westcliff High School for Boys as your preferred school of choice. You will be able to complete the form on the Essex County Council website between 1st September and 31st October 2023.

The 11 plus at Westcliff High School for Boys

The 11 plus exam takes place on Saturday 23rd September 2023. All of the grammar schools in the CSSE take the same exam, which is created and administered by the CSSE itself.

The CSSE 11 plus consists of two papers:

  • English: one hour, with some additional reading time. It comprises questions that test reading comprehension, grammar, vocabulary and applied literacy and verbal reasoning. There will also be two pieces of creative writing.

  • Maths: one hour. Children will be tested on the Key Stage 2 national curriculum, with additional non-verbal and mathematical reasoning questions.

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

CSSE 11 plus: everything you need to know

What is the pass mark for Westcliff High School for Boys?

After your child takes the CSSE exam, a team of independent professional markers will double-mark and check the papers. Some scores will be age-standardised and then the results for each school will be ranked in order.

The pass mark can vary from year to year. In 2022, the pass mark at Westcliff High School for Boys was 303 for children living within the priority area, and 349 for children living outside the priority area. Once the pass mark has been set, no pupil with a lower mark will be admitted to Westcliff High School for Boys.

Westcliff High School for Boys order of priority

Westcliff High School for Boys determines which children to give places to in the following order of priority:

  1. Looked After and previously Looked After children who have met the 11 plus pass mark.

  2. Children who live within the school catchment area and who have passed the test. Up to 80% of the 184 places are reserved for children in this category, and up to 15 places are designated for children within the catchment area who are entitled to preferential consideration.

  3. Children who live outside the school catchment area and who have passed the test. Up to 4 places are reserved for children in this criterion who are entitled to preferential consideration.

  4. All remaining places are allocated, in rank order of marks, to any children applying from outside the catchment area who have exceeded the pass mark, until 184 places are filled.

Preferential consideration is always given to Looked After and previously Looked After Children, and children who are in receipt of the Pupil Premium or Free School Meals.

Westcliff High School for Boys catchment area

The catchment area for Westcliff High School for Boys covers the postcode areas SS0, SS1, SS2, SS3, SS4, SS5, SS6, SS7, SS8 and SS9. If your child's primary residence is within one of these postcodes, they will be a priority applicant to the 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 CSSE 11 plus.

Cover all the content

The 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 Home is an 11 plus online course that tailors your child's personalised learning journey to cover all elements of the CSSE 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 Home 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.

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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 Home 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.

CSSE 11 plus practice papers

Atom Home gives children access to unlimited online practice papers. Our online tests are designed to mirror the format and style of the real CSSE 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.

Try Atom Home free for 5 days

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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 Essex grammar schools.

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