Preparing for 11+

The Reading area is lucky to be served by a large number of extremely good senior independent and grammar schools, which select pupils through the 11+ entrance exam taken in Year 6. Our aim is to ensure that our leavers go on to their first choice of senior school.

We have a programme that starts right at the bottom of the school, a curriculum that is carefully planned, resources chosen and staff selected purely with the aim of helping our pupils develop and thrive. This focus leads to excellent results at 11+, and our pupils routinely win places at the region’s leading grammar, independent and state schools. 

Our pupils’ success at securing places to Reading School is particularly noteworthy, given the extremely competitive entry process. Grammar school is not for everyone, however, and our pupils also gain places at the region’s top selective independent schools, often with scholarships. 

Find out where our pupils go next

For pupils 

The preparation starts earlier than the children are aware. With excellent timetable allocation to English and Maths, a strong phonics programme and lots of fun learning opportunities in the core subjects, the children get a brilliant foundation in Key Stage 1 and early Key Stage 2.  

In Year 4 the programme starts with specific 11+ lessons on the curriculum, which supplement the English and Maths curriculum by teaching children about non-verbal and verbal reasoning, mathematical reasoning and vocabulary building, which are all part of the different 11+ exams our children sit for.  

By the time our pupils reach the upper years, they are already keen, enthusiastic, independent learners.  

We have access to some of the best resources and are proud of our use of Atom Learning – a specialist senior school preparation learning platform.  

The children sit practice tests in school and for homework. They then sit formal exams at the end of Year 4 and 5.  

Our English and Maths team are experts in getting the balance right for pupils. Children have fun in lessons by improving their skills through interesting interactive activities, as well as being prepared for the more serious side of things. 

We help them develop the right mindset so they are in a good place on the day. We take them through practice tests and work on their exam technique to make sure no simple mistakes are made. By the end of it all, our pupils are confident and prepared.  

Children who sit the real exams feel a sense of achievement and find the test challenging but manageable. We think this is the perfect balance.  

See what our pupils say 

This year 50% of the class passed the Reading Boys exam. This is exceptional as over 1,500 children compete for just 150 places. But don’t take our word for it – hear from the pupils about their own experience in this video. 

For parents 

Our advice service for parents is excellent. Our Director of Academics and Senior School Coordinator runs information evenings for parents, holds individual meetings and supports parents in choosing the right school for their child. We’re here to help you understand the entry requirements for different schools, covering all the local grammar and independents. 

Our pupils sit two external assessments each year that help us monitor their progress and compare our children to those across the country. Our pupils do very well in these standardised tests and we communicate these results and explain them to parents to help them understand where their child is in relation to different school’s entry requirements.     

We are always here for you and we are always happy to have a meeting to discuss academic results to support children and parents through this complicated process.