Where to Start
Don’t panic! Although the whole process can seem like a test for the
parents it can be straightforward. It's an unfortunate fact of life that
there are more children hoping to get into a grammar school than there
are places available. Firstly, do your homework!
Your local educational authority will be able to give you a list of selective schools in your area. We have links from our site to your LEA.
Request prospectuses, make visits (schools hold impressive open days
but personal visits can sometimes give you a better insight to the true
day to day running), talk to both teachers, pupils and other parents and
you should get a ‘gut’ feeling for a school that might suit the
individual needs of your child.
Areas to focus on are: support and guidance for pupils' welfare, quality
of teaching, attitudes and behaviour, leadership, staffing and
resources, attainment and progress, links with the wider community,
activities beyond the school day, etc.
For the exam, most schools will also tell you what subjects to focus on,
whether they are multiple choice or standard type questions. They may
even have past papers you can get familiar with. Do not rely on the
school your child is currently at for answers to your questions, primary
schools tend to keep a very low profile when it comes to grammar
schools and in our experience scant information is available. YOU have
to put the legwork in and do the research.
Ensure you start early, it's no good leaving this essential research
until a few weeks before the exam, start early, stay focused and have
your child start preparing for the different subjects relevant to your
school of choice. Not all schools do all subjects, some only do Verbal
Reasoning, some do Maths & Verbal Reasoning others different
combinations. If you have spoken to the school you will know which areas
to focus on.
Information can be found about league table positions on BBC and the Times websites and standards from OFSTED reports.