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Wilson's School 11+ guide

By Atom | Mar 12, 2024, 4:51 PM

Wilson's School 11 plus entry guide

Thinking about applying to Wilson's School? Find out everything you need to know about admissions and how to prepare your child for success in the Sutton Selective Eligibility Test.

Key information about Wilson's School

Dates for your diary

  • Sutton SET registration opens: Wednesday 1st May 2024

  • Deadline for requests for special adjustments: Friday 14th June 2024

  • Open evening: June 2024

  • Sutton SET registration closes: Friday 2nd August 2024

  • Sutton Selective Eligibility Test: Tuesday 17th September 2024

  • Sutton SET results released: week of 23rd September 2024

  • Second stage entrance exam: Saturday 5th October 2024

  • Second stage results released: mid-October 2024

  • Secondary school application deadline: Thursday 31st October 2024

  • School allocations: Saturday 1st March 2025

About Wilson's School

Wilson's School is a boys' grammar school in Wallington, on the border of southwest London and Surrey. It was founded in 1615 and is known as one of the best grammar schools in the country. Students' exam results in 2023 have placed the school top out of all state schools in the UK, and it was named 'Secondary School of the Year' by the Sunday Times.

Ofsted describes Wilson's School as 'outstanding' and praises the school's exceptional education. The recent inspection also notes how all students contribute to the whole school community and rise to the challenge of the motto 'Not for self, but for all'.

Wilson’s School offers a music programme and a football programme to children applying for a place in Year 7. The school has a long footballing history and is dedicated to music and the arts. Music scholars receive free instrumental tuition, while football scholars have set training sessions, individual action plans and performance analyses.

How to apply to Wilson's School

Wilson's School is a selective school. This means that your child will need to take the 11 plus exam to be eligible for a place. In Sutton, the 11 plus is known as the Sutton Selective Eligibility Test (SET). All of the grammar schools in Sutton (and one partially-selective school) use the Sutton SET.

Children applying to Wilson's School also take a second stage exam to qualify for a place. This exam is shared with the other boys’ grammar schools in Sutton – Wallington County Grammar School and Sutton Grammar School. Only children who meet the qualifying standard in the Sutton SET are shortlisted for the second stage entrance exam.

Registration for the 2024 Sutton Selective Eligibility Test opens on Wednesday 1st May 2024 and closes on Friday 2nd August 2024. The Sutton SET takes place on Tuesday 17th September 2024. You’ll find out whether your child has qualified for the second stage the following week.

The shared second stage exam takes place on Saturday 5th October 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 Wilson's School.

If your child is talented in music or football, you might also want to consider registering your child for the music aptitude test or sporting aptitude test. These tests take place after the Sutton SET.

  • Music aptitude test: children who pass this test may be offered a place on the Wilson’s Music Programme. The test gives children the opportunity to demonstrate their potential in any instrument or voice.

  • Sporting aptitude test: children who pass this test may be offered a place on the Wilson’s Football Programme. The test gives children the opportunity to demonstrate their ability and potential in football and is overseen by an independent assessor.

To apply to Wilson’s School, 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 Thursday 31st October 2024.

Remember – passing the entrance exam doesn’t guarantee that your child will be allocated a place at your preferred school. 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 Wilson's School below.

What subjects are on the Sutton Selective Eligibility Test?

The Sutton Selective Eligibility Test consists of two multiple-choice papers. Each paper takes about 40–50 minutes to complete.

  • English: this paper is split into four sections. One assesses Key Stage 2 spelling and the other three test reading comprehension skills.

  • Maths: questions cover the Key Stage 2 maths topics. These include number and place value, the four operations, fractions, decimals and percentages, measurement, geometry and statistics.

The second stage exam also tests English and maths, but these papers are not multiple-choice. The English test is a one-hour extended writing task and the maths test is a standard 45-minute maths paper.

Guide to the Sutton Selective Eligibility Test

Find out everything you need to know in our complete guide to the Sutton Selective Eligibility Test. 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 Wilson's School?

After the second stage entrance exam has been marked, Wilson’s School combines the scores of this test with the scores of the Sutton SET. Children must pass both the English and maths papers from the second stage exam to be eligible for a place at the school.

The rank order of entrance exams is decided on the basis of the total scores of the SET and the two elements of the second stage entrance exam (English and maths) in the ratio 1:2:2. Children are then placed in rank order depending on this final score, and Wilson’s School sets a required standard.

Boys of selective ability and who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) naming Wilson’s School are offered places first. Places are then offered in this order:

  1. ‘Looked after’ and ‘previously looked after’ children by rank order of score

  2. 14 places are available for boys who receive Free School Meals, allocated by rank order of score

  3. 9 sporting aptitude places are available for boys who scored above the benchmark threshold in the Sporting Aptitude Test (allocated by rank order of score)

  4. 9 musical aptitude places are available for boys who scored above the benchmark threshold in the Music Aptitude Test (allocated by rank order of score)

  5. Remaining places are allocated to boys according to their position in the rank order of scores

If any children have the same rank order under any of these criteria, places are first allocated to children who live within the London Borough of Sutton. Boys living closest to the school are prioritised.

Atom’s top tips for Sutton SET preparation

The Sutton SET and second stage exams are designed to select the most academically able children in the Sutton area. 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 exam. 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

The Sutton Selective Eligibility Test assesses 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 a Sutton 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 Sutton SET

Wish you could give your child a roadmap to success in the Sutton Selective Eligibility Test? 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

  • 500+ hours of on-demand video lessons

  • Automatic marking and instant progress data

Atom Home

Navigate the Sutton SET with confidence.

Start your free trial today. Our local admissions specialists will get to work on your child’s plan. Relax, Sutton SET prep is sorted.

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