Category: 11 Plus Tuition
The Best Independent and Grammar Schools in North London
One of the most difficult decisions to make about your child’s education will be deciding what school your child will attend after their primary education. Choosing the right secondary school will impact your child GCSE grades, their A level grades and ultimately what university your child plans to apply to; selecting the right secondary schools will be not only selecting their learning environment for the next 7 years but choosing the foundations for their future.
State, Grammar or Independent? What’s the difference?
State, grammar and independent schools, are terms that are commonly used to classify different schools and it’s important to understand the difference between them to ensure that you are selecting the right school for your child.
Independent: Independent schools otherwise referred to as private schools. They are institutions that are not funded buy the state. They receive their funding via gifts, endowments and mostly through tuition fees. Students that attend independent schools will be required to pay termly tuition fees which vary from school to school, but on average these can range from 10,000 to 20,000 per year. Not all independent schools are selective schools, but the majority are. This would mean that there is an entrance exam which must be passed in order to enrol. Despite the large fees that often come with private education, independent schools remain as a popular option amongst parents in North London, as they often produce students who enter the UK’s best Universities, as over 60% of Oxford and Cambridge University Students are from independent or grammar schools. (Bulman, The Independent)
Grammar: Grammar schools are selective secondary schools, that have a strong focus on academics. Students are selected for entry based on the results of the 11 Plus exam, which is taken in the final year of primary school. In the UK, there are a total of 164 grammar schools which is an incredibly small amount when considering that there are over 24,000 secondary schools in the UK. Grammar schools are a popular choice for parents, due to the strong academic focus, however, due to the scarcity, the application process is incredibly competitive. Most grammar schools receive 10 times the number of applications than the places they have available. It is also important to note that grammar schools are funded by the state and therefore do not require students to pay tuition fees.
State: A state school receives it’s funding entirely from the state and therefore do not require tuition fees and are provide free educations for their students. The majority of children in the UK will attend a state school and while results may vary from school to school, state schools will still follow the national curriculum.
The best independent schools in North London
North London Collegiate School
The North London Collegiate School was originally founded in Camden in 1850, now the school is in Edgware, Northeast London.
North London Collegiate School remains one of the best independent schools in London with students achieving 96.29% grades A-A* at GCSE in 2019.
The private school offers a friendly and warm atmosphere, glorious facilities and extensive extra-curricular activities. Each girl is given complete support during her time at North London Collegiate School.
Address: Canons Dr, Edgware HA8 7RJ
County: London Borough of Harrow, North London
Gender of Entry: Girls
Admissions policy: Selective
Haileybury And Imperial Service College
Haileybury is an independent school near Hertford in England. It is a member of the Rugby Group and though originally a major boys’ public school in the Victorian Era, it is now co-educational, enrolling pupils at 11+, 13+ and 16+ stages of education. Over 880 pupils attend Haileybury, of whom more than 550 board.
In 2019, 38% of Haileybury pupils scored A*/A for their A Levels examination. 65% of students scored A*/A for their GCSE examination while IB students scored an average of 36.4 points.
Address: Hertford Heath, Hertfordshire, SG13 7NU England
County: London Borough of Hertfordshire
Gender of Entry: Mixed
Admissions Policy: Selective
The best Grammar schools in North London
The Latymer School
This selective, mixed grammar school was judged as an “outstanding” by Ofsted for both school and sixth form.
The Latymer School is popular for providing a high quality education for both boys and girls, and is known as one of the best grammar schools in the UK.
Address: Haselbury Road, London, N9 9TN
County: London Borough of Enfield
Gender of Entry: Mixed
Admissions Policy: Selective
Henrietta Barnett School is a prestigious grammar school for girls aged 11 to 18. Founded in 1911, the school sits perfectly in the serene surroundings of Hampstead Garden Suburb.
The school has been known as “one of the best academic state schools in the country, providing a gentle, inspiring education in a wonderful setting for very clever girls,” according to Good Schools Guide.
In 2005, The Henrietta Barnett School was also among the ‘best of the best’ and ‘outstanding’ schools in the annual report by England’s education watchdog Ofsted.
100% of the candidates from The Henrietta Barnett School got 5 or more A*-C GCSEs including English and maths, and 95.33% entries were graded A*/A.
Address: Henrietta Barnett School, Central Square, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London NW 11 7BN.
County: London Borough of Barnet, North London
Gender of Entry: Girls
Admissions policy: Selective
Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School for Boys
In the market town of North London is the prestigious grammar school for boys Queen Elizabeth’s School. This reputable academy was founded in 1573 by, as the name implies, Queen Elizabeth I, and has consistently been one of the most successful grammar schools in England.
In 2007 and 2008, QE was consistently among the A-Level state schools. In 2008, 37 of QE students were able to enter in Oxford and Cambridge Universities.
Address: Queen’s Road, Barnet, Hertfordshire, EN5 4DQ
County: London Borough of Barnet
Gender of Entry: Boys
Admissions Policy: Selective
Dame Alice Owens
Dame Alice Owen founded the school in 1613 in Islington; initially a boys’ school, it followed the addition of a girls’ school in 1886 and became co-educational after the move to the present site.
At Dame Alice Owens, outstanding results are attained by the majority of the students with 93% of all Year 11 students secured 5 or more 9-4 grades including English and Maths in 2019.
(96% in 2018, 96% in 2017, 95% in 2016, 92% in 2015, 95% in 2014)
Address: Dugdale Hill Ln, Potters Bar EN6 2DU
County: London Borough of Enfield
Gender of Entry: Mixed
Admissions Policy: Partially Selective
If you need further advice on what school to choose for your child, please click the links below for further insight:
The 11+ guide: https://www.11plusguide.com/grammar-school-test-areas/
The good schools guide: https://www.goodschoolsguide.co.uk/
Each of these websites provide comprehensive information to help you pick the right school for your child.
If you are looking to apply to a grammar or independent school and need help preparing your child for the 11 Plus exam, inTuition Clubs are here to help. Whether joining in Year 3, 4 or 5, our tutors help children develop skills and knowledge not only the exam, but for life, practice exam technique, stay motivated and give parents regular insights and updates on their readiness and suitability for the 11 Plus exam. Our 11 Plus tuition course is a unique learning programme, fostering a positive and encouraging online learning environment, balancing digital learning tools and small group tuition, all designed to help children become ’11-Plus Ready’. Intuition tutors are dedicated to helping students pass their exams with a pass rate of 89%. Preparing for the 11 Plus has never been a more enjoyable experience.
Book your free academic evaluation with inTuition Clubs below and receive comprehensive feedback on your child’s level and their aptitude for the 11 Plus exam.
Across the UK, parents try to secure a place at the best schools, and the best universities for their children. There has been an increase in parents opting to send their children to grammar and independent schools, in order to increase the chance of their children to achieve the best GCSE and A level results possible, to enter the top universities. However, to enter a grammar or some independent secondary schools, 11 Plus exams must be sat by the child which contains various types of content not taught in the primary school curriculum.
Children usually start to prepare for the 11 Plus exams from the age of 8 (Year 3), until they sit the exam in Year 6. This is because it can take years to build the skills as well as vocabulary needed, to enhance their analytical thinking necessary for the exams. Therefore, the earlier they start, the more prepared they will be for these exams. While the 11 Plus exam is rewarding, it is equally as vigorous to prepare for. As applying for grammar and independent secondary schools and sitting these exams are not compulsory, if you are unsure about your child embarking on the 11 Plus exam journey, you can take our short quiz:
1 Do you receive positive feedback in your child’s school reports?
2 Are your child’s test results above average?
3 Is your child a high achiever academically?
4 Does your child like to be challenged in school?
5 Has your child’s teacher recommended grammar or independent schools for your child?
6 Is your child an enthusiastic learner, who is keen to explore different subjects?
If you answered mostly ‘yes’ to the questions above your child may be a strong candidate for the 11 Plus exam.
If you have decided that you want your child to enter your child into a grammar or independent school, and thus undertake the 11 Plus exam, it is important to know which exam, exactly, that your child will be taking. There are two main exam boards used for the 11 Plus exam: CEM and GL. The exam that your child takes will depend on the school that they are applying for. Often, independent schools chose to create their own test papers using material in the same style of the CEM and GL exam papers. GL and CEM both generally cover the main 4 topic areas of the 11+: Verbal Reasoning Non-Verbal Reasoning, Mathematics and Numerical Reasoning and English. But, what is the difference between the two? There are four key differences between the two:
1) Subjects taught: GL covers English, Maths, Verbal and Non-verbal reasoning. CEM covers verbal, non-verbal, and numerical reasoning.
2) Exam length: The GL exam usually last 45 minutes long, however, there has been some variation throughout the years. Whereas, the CEM exam does not have a standard format and so, the exam length will vary from year to year.
3) Skills assessed: GL exams are far broader in the terms of the material they cover. Meanwhile, the CEM exams would require students to build a larger bank of vocabulary. And, the CEM exams tend to closely follow the KS2 curriculum particularly in the style of the exam questions.
4) Exam paper style: The GL exam splits their papers by subject so there would be four papers in total, while the CEM exam will combine Maths and Non- Verbal Reasoning into a single paper likewise with English and Verbal Reasoning.
IThere are 4 key areas within the exam that students will prepare for:
1) Mathematics and Numerical reasoning:
This topic builds on the mathematics that primary school children are taught and attempts to test the child’s reasoning skills rather than their knowledge. This is done through mathematical problems that require application of taught methods. Common topics include: Algebra, Geometry, and Probability.
This topic assesses a child’s verbal ability, how they recognize links and trends between words. This is an important skill to build, because not only is it relevant for the 11 Plus exams, but these skills are sort after by both universities and employers. For 11 Plus exam success in verbal reasoning, building your child’s vocabulary is of upmost importance. The average 11-year-old is expected to have a vocabulary of 2,000 words but the vocabulary for an 11 Plus student is expected to be over 3,000 words.
3) Non-Verbal and Spatial Reasoning:
This is the most abstract topic as it is not taught in the national curriculum. This topic assesses the child’s ability to make connections which are not overt. It heavily tests and grows their logical reasoning capabilities, which relates to their IQ, which can be developed. Non-Verbal Reasoning requires students to utilize their problem-solving using pictures and diagrams. It tests their ability to analyze visual information and solve problems based on visual reasoning.
English is another important topic. Being able to write with purpose, at a high level is an essential skill, that is best developed starting from a young age. It is useful and relevant for all types of professions, and also encapsulates the other three topics. This topic is often assessed through an essay style exam and contains early secondary school content. This is a special topic, as there is no limit as to how much of it can be taught.
Where can I find a good Grammar school?
There are many ways to choose which grammar and/or independent school to apply to for your child. However, it can be an arduous process for parents to try and the perfect fit. If you are looking for a state sponsored grammar school, with no fees, these schools can be found in the counties listed below:
Berkshire, Bexley, Birmingham, Buckinghamshire, Cumbria, Devon, Dorset, Essex, Gloucestershire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, London, Lincolnshire, Medway, Shropshire, Trafford, Wiltshire, Walsall, Warwickshire, Wirral, Wolverhampton and Yorkshire.
For parents looking in London in particular, here is the list of all the boroughs that have state funded grammar schools: Barnet, Redbridge, Sutton, Kingston upon Thames, Enfield, Bromley, Bexley
The 11 Plus timeline
Grammar schools work to a strict timeline and in order to ensure that you are successful in applying to the school of your choice, it’s important to be aware of the key dates. Below we have outlined some general time periods which will be very important on your child’s 11 Plus journey:
- April: Schools will open their registration in April or May and set a deadline around June or July for parents to register their child for the 11 Plus exam. There is some variability, so please check the dates of the particular schools of interest.
- September: For the majority of grammar schools, the 11 Plus exam will occur during the first two weeks of September 2021.
- October: The 11 Plus results will be posted in mid-October 2021 for grammar schools
- March (The following year): School allocations are confirmed on 01 March 2022.
*please note that these dates may not apply to every grammar and independent school.
Will Tuition help your child pass the 11 Plus exam?
Fundamentally, the 11 Plus exams are used by grammar schools to help promising young minds reach their full potential, and tuition can support your child on the way to this exam. The 11 Plus exam is known for their level of difficulty, in both the depth and breadth of material, that students are expected to cover; a tutor can ease a child into the wealth of information that they will need learn over the years and facilitate their learning to ensure that their exam preparation is a smooth and stress-free process. inTuition tutors are dedicated to helping students pass their exams with a pass rate of 89%. Preparing for the 11 Plus has never been a more enjoyable experience.
Book your free academic evaluation with inTuition Clubs below and receive comprehensive feedback on your child’s level and their aptitude for the 11+ exam.
Life is all about preparation and as adults, we know how vital it is to be prepared for certain challenges that we face. However, children don’t have that life experience and so, preparing for their 11+ exams relies on parents to guide them in the right direction, ensuring that they are adequately prepared.
Exams can prove extremely stressful, even for younger children. So, imagine how they would feel going into an exam without any prior preparation. They’ll feel frightened, alone, scared and even experience the feelings that come with potential failure. Negative feelings at this point in their life will have a negative impact in the future but that can be avoided.
As an adult, we have all heard of the saying “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail” but we can step in and help our children in a positive way. We can give them the encouragement, skills and ability to take the 11+ exams with confidence and self-belief.
So When Should You Begin Preparing?
There is no hard or fast rule here but taking your time is always a smart move. Every child is different and some learn quickly and are better at absorbing information in readiness for using that information quickly while others take time to store that information. However, in most cases, slow and steady gives your children the ability to learn at a pace that is free from pressure and worry. Gradually, it’s possible to enhance their learning and prepare them in a way that leaves them feeling confident.
Preparing for 11+exams can prove daunting but the sooner you begin the process, the more beneficial it will be.
There is no such thing as starting too soon, so don’t be afraid to begin the process when your child is in year three. It’s about creating a steady and consistent flow of learning that does not pin your child down to a few months leading up to the exams. They’ll embrace the process better and get more from it.
Children might have a superb ability to retain information but that doesn’t mean that they can learn everything in a matter of weeks or months. They have to be given time to familiarise themselves with the questions they are going to be asked and the subjects that will be covered. They are going to need to improve their vocabulary and widen it considerably but this is not about memorising but about instilling it in them so they can recall it when required during the exam. This is a process that cannot take place overnight but instead requires time. The more time they have, the better they will learn.
The learning process involves a lot of learning materials.
Just seeing the sheer volume in one go can prove daunting and frightening. So, by taking more time and spreading the learning process over a longer period, it is possible to create a timetable and a structure that works. The material can be introduced, studied and the information retained in a way that is stress-free. It also provides more time to cover areas that take longer to learn. The more time you take, allows you to find natural gaps for breaks without feeling as though it all has to be crammed in.
With time and the right structure, preparing for 11+ exams does not have to be a challenge for both you and your child.
Find out more about our 11 Plus Tuition Programmes, or read more about helping your child pass the 11+ Exam on our blog.
One of the first significant challenges your child will face in school is the 11 plus exam. Of course, school presents certain challenges from the moment they start school but an exam is a different kind of challenge and is one that requires the correct approach.
As a parent, you are going to want your child to do well but how can you help them to pass the exam?
Take Things Slowly
The aim is to not push your child into preparing and learning for their exam in a short period of time. This can leave them feeling lost, rushed and it can cause them to lose confidence. Therefore, it is important that you understand their ability and then begin to prepare for the exam in advance.
Just a small amount of work each day, such as 10-15 minutes, is enough to get them focused without putting too much of a strain on them. Large blocks of learning might mean that they forget things or are unable to process all of the information efficiently.
One of the most important things that parents can do is to encourage their children. Parents want their child to do well and children want to do their parents proud, but as adults, it is vital that you find that right balance. You want to encourage them to do their best and so, when they do well, encourage them. It will give them the confidence they need. However, if they are struggling, don’t be too hard on them and try to help them find a solution.
Cover All Aspects of the Exam
It does not matter what exam board administers the exam, they will be tested on the same subjects and that will consist of mainly English, Maths, Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning. As a result, you should try to make sure that they have a schedule that covers as many topics as possible without it being too full on. As part of the English exam, they will be testing on the following:
● Sentence structure
Consider Both Question Formats
The exam will consist of two question formats known as multiple choice and standard. Multiple choice questions will require your child to choose the right answer from a number of options while the standard question will require your child to create a written response. Too often, the focus is put on the standard questions but in reality, both formats should be practised. Despite multiple-choice questions providing the answer, they still require a certain set of skills to identify the right answer. Therefore, it is important that both formats are practised.
Private Tuition Provides Focus
Private tuition is a great option for those parents who feel that their child can benefit from it or for those parents who think that they are unable to prepare their child correctly. However, private tuition will provide children with a structured learning experience that will identify their strengths and weaknesses before providing them with the correct level of learning. It is not forced or pressured but delivered in a way that can help them enter the exam with confidence.