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What Parents Need to Know: to Get Their Child Into a Selective School

If you are hoping to get your child into a private, independent or selective school, then finding the right support is all-important. No matter how bright your child may be, learning how to pass entrance exams is the key to getting in.

Competition for places can be fierce. In some areas there can be dozens of children chasing every place. Schools are testing for a certain type of intelligence that fits their way of teaching, not to see if your child is clever enough for the school…remember that the test is also to check whether the school is right for your child.

Grammar and selective schools can leave spaces empty if not enough children pass. Some schools offer some selective places and others factor in address or other criteria (such as siblings, musical or sports ability may be given consideration - so check with each school).

Passing school entrance exams requires subject specific knowledge in maths, comprehension and/or composition skills, and also: 

  • Verbal and non-verbal reasoning ability - every school offers an entrance exam test in one or both components.
  • Exam taking skills - exam technique (learning how to take the tests) is at least equally as important as subject knowledge.
  • Potential to do well at an interview - for independent school selection, being confident and learning how to small talk skilfully is vital to get into some schools; less important for others.

Leaders are Readers 11+ Programme is designed to high standards, developing skills, knowledge, understanding and practice relevant to the 11+ examination. To pass entrance exams, tutors must have much more than expertise in specific subject areas. Leaders are Readers help your child do well in verbal and non-verbal reasoning tests, build your child’s confidence, and practise specific subjects, also helping your child master the art of exam technique - helping them feel relaxed and confident to take the entrance exams.

We have over ten years of experience and proven record helping pupils get into schools including Henrietta Barnett; North London Collegiate; Colet Court (St Paul's): Haberdashers; Queen Elizabeth's School for Boys; Latymer and others.

Winter School

The law of diminishing returns works on the premise that the longer and harder your child practises, the less they will take on board. A knock-on effect of this could be that during the examination, they may not apply themselves fully because they see this as just another boring exercise.

Leaders are Readers keep learning fun and to the point to engage your child's mind. Our Winter School offers a 5-day course designed for children who are sitting entrance exams in January or February. Our primary aims are to:

  • Provide exam candidates with the grounding they need through practice in exam papers under timed exam conditions
  • Daily review individual performance and provide feedback and corrections to students 
  • Apply all knowledge taught during the 7+ programme or the 11+ programme to the Winter School course
  • Get 7+ and 11+ exam candidates ready for their entrance exams in January or February

If your child doesn’t get in, it means they’re more suited to a different type of school and will have just as much chance of achieving good grades if they continue to work hard.


Updated: 16/10/13

11 + Exams Involved Parents



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