Buckinghamshire 11+ and Grammar schools
Buckinghamshire boasts some of the highest performing Grammar Schools in the country and this article will outline how the 11+ entry system works in the Buckinghamshire region. The 11+ is often referred to as the ‘Secondary Transfer Test’ on any formal documentation but we call it the 11+ as it determines the school that your child will go to after the age of eleven.
How do I enter my child for the 11+ in Buckinghamshire?
If your child or student goes to a state primary school in Bucks, also known as a Local Authority School, they'll automatically be registered for the 11+ grammar school entry exam. That’s one thing that you don’t need to worry about! The 11+ in Bucks is an opt-out exam, which means you have to write a letter to your child’s school asking to withdraw your child if you don’t want them to sit the test.
If your child attends an independent school or a school situated outside of the county borders, including those in Milton Keynes, you'll need to apply for your child to sit the Bucks 11+. These schools are listed as ‘Partner Schools’ on the Bucks County Council website. You can head here to find out if your child goes to a partner school.
If your child goes to one of these partner schools and you would like to register for the Grammar School entrance exam you must do so by the June before your child sits the exam. Here's the link to register online, you don’t have to pay for anything.
When is the 11+ sat in Buckinghamshire?
The 11+ (Secondary Transfer Test) is sat at the very beginning of year 6, roughly in the second week of the Autumn term. Right after the summer holidays, yay! The test is often taken on a Thursday and on the Tuesday before, students take a practice test at school to get used to listening to a tape recording and filling in the answer booklet. Your child will also be given a familiarisation booklet to work through at home over the summer so that they can try out some of the question types and get used to the layout of the test.
The results for the test come out in mid-October and the deadline for applying for Secondary schools is the end of October. This gives you time to base your secondary school application on your child’s 11+ results.
The Buckinghamshire 11+ Exam Board
All children taking the 11+ in Buckinghamshire for grammar school entry will sit a test written by the GL exam board. It is important to note, this exam board if you buy any practice papers or workbooks for your child, as you want the front cover to reference ‘GL Assessment’.
The GL exam is made up of two test papers, which involve English, maths, verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning and spatial reasoning questions. More information can be found about the GL exam and what it contains here.
The Buckinghamshire Grammar Schools
As it's such a large county, Buckinghamshire comprises 13 grammar schools in total. These schools are known as The Buckinghamshire Grammar Schools (TBGS). The schools are listed below, alongside their location, some key facts and a link to each school’s website.
Aylesbury Grammar School is a boys’ school with an outstanding Ofsted rating. There are around 1,300 students at the school, which progresses to year 13, preparing young men for their futures.
Aylesbury High School is a girls’ grammar school with a broad range of curriculum subjects, encouraging girls to take part in sports and the arts in addition to the formal curriculum. This school progresses to year 13 and has 1200 students.
Beaconsfield High School is a girls’ grammar school recognised as an exceptional school with high teaching standards. There are around 1,100 pupils at this school, which goes up to year 13.
Burnham Grammar School is a mixed gender (co-educational) grammar school which encourages its pupils to embrace challenges. The school has approximately 900 pupils and also has a sixth form.
Chesham Grammar School is a mixed gender (co-educational) grammar school with an outstanding Ofsted rating. There are just over 1200 students at this school with excellent exam results, leading to many students attending Oxford and Cambridge.
Dr Challoner’s Grammar School is a boys’ school that is recognised as one of the leading state grammar schools in the country. The school has 1300 students and has a co-educational (mixed gender) sixth form.
Dr Challoner’s High School provides a broad range of opportunities for girls to empower them in the 21st Century. This school has often featured in the top 50 schools in the state school performance tables. The school has around 1,100 pupils and also progresses to year 13.
John Hampden is an outstanding grammar school for boys promoting excellence across academics, sports and leadership. The school has a sixth form and has around 1000 pupils in total.
The Royal Grammar School, often referred to as RGS is a leading grammar school that also offers weekly and termly boarding for its pupils, although most pupils are ‘day boys’. The school has a sixth form and has just under 1,400 students.
The Royal Latin school (RLS) is a mixed gender (co-educational) grammar school with high academic standards and a strong motivation to ensure all pupils are happy. The school has a sixth form and offers a wide variety of subjects. There are just under 1,300 students at RLS.
Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School is an Ofsted rated outstanding co-educational grammar school which boosts academic performance whilst encouraging pupils to become well-rounded individuals. The school has around 1,200 pupils and also has a sixth form.
Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School, often referred to as ‘Borlase’ is a leading co-educational grammar school that encourages performance in and out of the classroom. The school has a sixth form and has just under 1,100 pupils.
Wycombe High provides high-quality education for girls and has an excellent reputation. Ofsted has rated the school as outstanding and the school are keen to encourage girls in sports and the arts outside of the classroom. The school has just over 1,300 pupils and also has a sixth form.
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If you have any more questions on how the 11+ operates in Bucks, please use the Buckinghamshire County Council website and read their information on Grammar Schools and Secondary Transfer Testing.