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Questions to Ask Locally

Important questions for school research when moving from primary to secondary school. 11 Plus preparation, selection process, and local insights

Why Research Local Schools and Their Policies?

While most state schools follow national policies, grammar schools have unique policies that can differ significantly between regions and individual schools. Researching local schools and their policies can help ensure a seamless transition from primary to secondary education for your child.

Questions for Your Child's Primary School:

  • Does the school undertake any specific preparation for the 11-Plus?
  • Does the school automatically enter all children into the 11-Plus?
  • If the school does not automatically enter children into the 11-Plus then what is the process for parents to do so?
  • How many children attend the primary school?
  • How many children take the 11 Plus each year, and how many secure grammar school places?
  • Which secondary schools in the area use the 11-Plus as a method of student selection?
  • What subjects are used by the schools in the selection process?
  • Questions pertinent to your child's particular emotional or physical needs

Potential Secondary Schools – General Questions:

  • How many students are at the school?
  • How many students are girls, and how many are boys?
  • Does the school hold 'Open Days' or 'Open Evenings'? When are they?
  • Can you provide information about the school's recent academic performance and exam results?
  • What extracurricular activities are available to students?
  • What is the school's approach to preparing students for the transition to secondary education?
  • Are there any specific policies regarding attendance, punctuality, and uniform that we should be aware of?
  • How does the school handle behavior management and discipline?
  • What is the school's approach to homework, assessment, and feedback?
  • Can you share details about the school's resources, such as libraries, technology, and facilities?
  • How does the school handle bullying or conflicts among students?
  • What opportunities are there for parental involvement and engagement with the school?
  • Questions pertinent to your child's particular emotional or physical needs

Potential Secondary Schools – Selection Process Questions:

  • What subjects are used in 11 Plus test papers?
  • Are there any recent changes or planned updates to the 11 Plus exam format or content?
  • Which organization sets the 11 Plus tests for the school?
  • Does the school give preference to children who have siblings at the school?
  • Does the school give preference to children who live within a given radius of the school?
  • Are extracurricular activities part of the selection process?
  • Are interviews used as part of the selection process?
  • How fierce is the competition for places?
  • How many children apply for places each year, and how many are successful?
  • Does the school have a sample report that helps understand how they use the 11-Plus results in admissions decisions?

Local LEA (Local Education Authority) Questions:

  • Which schools in their area use the 11-Plus for student selection?
  • How do I register?
  • What are the registration deadlines?
  • What are the dates for the exams?
  • Is there a registration fee?
  • Are Sample Reports available to see how Local Schools Use the 11-Plus?

Questions for Local Parents:

  • Which secondary school does your child attend, and what's their experience like?
  • What do you like most about your child's current school?
  • Any notable strengths or weaknesses in the school's academics?
  • How does the school support diverse learners?
  • Are there extracurricular opportunities for students?
  • How's parent-school communication and updates on your child's progress?
  • Can you describe the school's homework and assessment approach?
  • Any noteworthy policies on student conduct and discipline?
  • How does the school handle issues like bullying?
  • Are there specific concerns or challenges at your child's school I should know about?
  • What's the school's reputation in the local community?
  • How does the school prepare students for future education and careers?
  • Are there unique features or standout programs at the school?
  • How does the school ensure student safety and well-being?
  • Did you consider other nearby schools, and what influenced your choice of this one?

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