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Stickney Church of England Primary School and Pre-School

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FAQ about 11+

What is the 11+?

The 11+ is a selective exam which children can take in Year 6 in some areas of the country. It is used by grammar schools to determine which children are eligible to attend their schools.


Do all children take the 11+?

No, in the 1970s, all children took the exam in their final year of primary school but this is no longer the case. Children do not take the 11+ in areas where the grammar school system has been discontinued.


Lincolnshire is the only authority within the East Midlands which operates a grammar school system. The decision to register for the 11+ is an important and private choice which only the family can make.


Which schools require children to take the 11+?

There are a number of grammar schools in the surrounding areas:

Boston High School (girls)

Boston Grammar School (boys)

Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Horncastle (mixed)

Skegness Grammar School (mixed)


The grammar schools are your first point of contact and have information on their websites about registration. Information for parents of Year 5 and 6 pupils is also sent to primary schools for distribution in September and is also available on the Lincolnshire County Council website.


How should children be prepared for the 11+?

Responsibility for preparation lies with parents and carers and it is certainly important to be prepared. Practice papers are available to purchase through dedicated websites. Some families are able to opt for private tuition while others prefer to support their child themselves, at home. Private tuition is not an affordable option for many and changes to the tests, in recent years, were made to try and level the playing field so that no child would be placed at a disadvantage. We advise children to practise different types of questions to become familiar with the techniques and then to practise at greater speed.


What will schools do to help?

For those pupils who have been registered for the 11+, the grammar schools provide a practice paper which they ask primary schools to administer to familiarise pupils with the test. The practice test is administered under the same conditions as the 11+ test.


When should children start preparing for the 11+?

Again, this is ultimately for the parents and carers to decide. Many families ask us about it in Year 4 and we know that several children begin to familiarise themselves with the techniques at this stage. We are aware that, for many, the preparations become more regular in Year 5.


When do the children take the test?

The test is taken in September when the children are in Year 6. It is taken in two parts on consecutive Friday mornings.


How do we know which is the right school for our child?

Secondary school transition is a very important time and we are fortunate to have a choice of schools in the local area. Our advice would be to visit as many schools as possible by attending their open day/evening events or it may be possible to make a private appointment to view the school. If pupils are there to show you around, talk to them about their school. Most of these events are aimed at Year 5 families but younger pupils can also attend.


What do the scores mean?

Your child’s results are delivered to your home by post. Some grammar schools provide a breakdown of the scores for each paper but others just provide the overall score. A total score of 220 or above identifies a level of ability equivalent to that accepted in recent years by Lincolnshire, as appropriate for grammar school entry.


Does the 11+ have anything to do with the Y6 SATs?

No, these are separate and unrelated tests. All children in Y6, except in exceptional circumstances, will complete their SATs in May. These tests assess whether pupils are working at the expected standard in Reading, Maths and Spelling, Puncutation and Grammar.

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