Tag: Schools Guide

22 Sep

The Ultimate Guide for Applying to Secondary Schools

Anthony Lee Tips and Advice, Tuition Centre Tags: 0 Comments

The transition from primary education to secondary education can be daunting for both students and parents. The decisions made will impact not only your child’s education, but life for at least the next 5 years, and it’s important to have all the information you need. This guide will comprehensively cover everything you need to know about applying to secondary schools, including:
– Choosing your school5
– Admissions Criteria
–  Applications
– Application Support

inTuition Clubs are here to help you make the best choice for your child!

How to choose the best schools for your child?

As a parent, it’s important to research your prospective schools as closely as you can, but with such a large number of options in each borough, it can be difficult. Below we have listed our recommended tools to help you make the best choice. When using any tool, it’s important to consider what criteria is most important to you, whether it be: academic results, OFSTED ratings, distance or extracurricular opportunities offered by the school.

With the ‘Good School’s Guide’ search tool: Good School Guide you will be able to compare schools in your borough by their exam results, reports from OFSTED and read independent reviews from a range of sources.

To see school details the government website: Compare School UK provides a comprehensive tool for comparison which allows you to see school results from across England. Parents can see different school types, gender types and OFSTED reports.

If your main focus is academic performance, an alternative place to check would be the Best Schools Top 100 schools by GCSE list: Top 100 Schools – Best Schools
This tool is also useful for parents who are considering private secondary schools rather than state funded. The list provided by best schools is unique, in that it contains an average termly school fee for the relevant schools and it will also provide a comparison of the percentage of As and A* received in the current and previous academic year.

Once you have completed your research, you will need to create a list of choices. The amount of schools in this list can vary depending on your location. Asides from checking rankings and comparison sites, it is also recommended to visit the school on their open days. The dates for these will vary from school to school, but you can usually find this information on their website. It’s also important to have an open conversation with your child to understand what they might be looking for. This might be certain clubs or subjects that appeal to their interest. This is important to know as it will engage them in their learning and lead to the best environment to prepare them for their GCSE exams. Ultimately, as a parent you will have the best insight to which school will be the best fit for your child and trust your own instincts when making this choice.

Admissions Criteria

All schools in London will have admissions criteria to decide which students will receive a place for their studies. For most institutions, the criteria will be set by the local council, particularly if it is a state funded school. However, it is important to note that the criteria may vary from school to school, and it is important to check with the local council or contact the school itself to find out the exact criteria. Please see our list below for general criteria that is applicable to most state funded schools:

General Criteria

Preference will usually be given to students:

Who live close to the school

Who have a brother or sister at the school already. Siblings generally – but not always – take priority.

Who went to a particular primary school (a ‘feeder school’)

Who are eligible for the pupil premium or the service pupil premium

Whose parent has worked at the school for 2 years or more

There are two notable exceptions, one being a faith schools, which can give priority to students based on religious ground. However, they can do so only if they are oversubscribed. Roman Catholic or Church of England schools may ask for proof that your child has been baptized or a confirmation letter from your priest confirmation your religious practice and attendance at your respective place of worship. Within London there are other options available with regards to faith schools including Hinduism, Sikhism and Jewish based schools, although these schools are quite rare in comparison.

The second exception would be grammar schools and private schools, which would require students to pass an entrance exam. These schools are commonly referred to as selective schools and the most common exam is the 11 Plus exam. Passing this exam would allow entry to all grammar schools and most private schools, however some private schools will have their own internal examination in particular subjects that need to be taken before entry.

Students will start preparing to sit the 11 Plus exams from the age of 8 (Year 3) until they sit the exam in Year 6. The 11 Plus exam is used to assess a child’s capabilities on their application for grammar school. It is based on various types of content which are not taught in the current primary school curriculum.

For more detail on the 11+ exam including Key dates and types of material covered please read our 11+ guide below.

inTuition Clubs 11+ guide

If you are interested in study tips for the 11+ exam and how to best prepare your child, please see our Exam Preparation Blog written with tips from our own 11+ tutors who have been helping students pass their 11+ exams since 2018.

11+ Exam Tips

The Application

The application for secondary schools can be found on the website of your local authority and must be submitted before October 31st. In London, the application will ask you to provide six school options for your child, as many schools within the city are often oversubscribed. It is important to select at least one school that you feel confident in receiving a place at. This is to ensure that your child will be sent to a school of your choice. If all the schools of your choice, are oversubscribed, you could run the risk of the council having to allocate a school to you that may not be the preference for you or your child. It’s very important to use all six options provided to you in the form. Leaving the form incomplete will simply reduce your chances of entering a school of your choice and you may end up receiving a place at schools that are unpopular in the brough.

It is very important that you read the form carefully, not only entering the correct information but also providing the necessary supporting documents. This form will be key to ensuring your child’s place at certain schools, and faith-based schools, as these schools in particular have strict deadlines with regards to their supporting information forms (SIF).

If you would like support through your child’s admission exams or if you would be looking to get your child prepared in advance for entry into Year 7, inTuition Clubs are to help. At inTuition Clubs we provide an intensive 11 Plus programme which can be tailored to the school in which you plan to apply for. Our 11 Plus course caters for both private and grammar school nationally, tackling verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning, English and maths for the GL and CEM examinations. Alternatively, if you were looking for extra support for your child during Year 6, we offer an online and in-centre transition course, to help support your child through their transition into Year 7. In this transition course the tutors will support your child for their SATs exams with our workshops and understand the importance of this time as it will determine their academic sets in Year 7. Our highly qualified and passionate tutors are ready to help your child today!

Book a free Academic Evaluation with our Educational Lead and let inTuition Clubs guide your child to success!

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20 Sep

11+ Schools Guide

Anthony Lee 11 Plus Tuition Tags: , 0 Comments

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.

General Information

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.

General Information

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.

General Information

Address: Haselbury Road, London, N9 9TN

County: London Borough of Enfield

Gender of Entry: Mixed

Admissions Policy: Selective


Henrietta Barnet

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.

General Information

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.

General Information

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)

General Information

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/

11 + help: https://www.11plusehelp.co.uk/top-100-independent-schools

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.