Preparing for the 11 Plus – Entrance to Independent Schools in London

Year 4 Checklist

  • When your child is in Year 4 go and look at schools, visit their open days. Go on these visits without your child where possible so you can make a parental decision on what you do or don’t like. 
  •  Narrow down your number of schools to 5 or 6.
  • Talk to your head teacher to see which schools they suggest you visit. 
  • Ensure your child has been introduced to comprehensions, story writing, verbal and non-verbal reasoning by the end of Year 4. 
  • Ensure your child is introduced to some Maths problem solving questions where they can apply their knowledge. Singapore Maths books in word problem solving is great for this.
  • Begin to investigate possible tutors. Ivy Education and Simply Learning Tuition.
  • Begin to practice non-verbal and verbal reasoning Bond books.
  • Begin to practice 10 minute tests in Maths and English. Letts and Bond books.
  • At the end of Year 4, it may be useful to have your child assessed to see their potential. 
  • Creative writing workshops can help with enthusing learning and building on the skills needed for the exams.
  •  Handwriting – for the rest of your child’s school life they will need to hand write exams. Ensure they can write comfortable, have the correct pencil grip and can write quickly and legibly in joined up writing. 
  • An assessment at this stage is well worth the investment to ensure your child is on the right track. 

Year 5 Checklist

  • By the summer of Year 5 take your child to visit your choice of schools. Watch closing dates for registrations. Register at those schools you really like.
  • Liaise with your head teacher as to your schools list and ask if they have any further suggestions, find out if they are realistic options. 
  • If you are going down the tuition route, choose a tutor by January of Year 5. You then have a year to prepare your child for the exams. You also have time to ensure you find the right tutor for your child.
  • Summer term of Year 5, your child should be completing an exam paper in Maths and English each week. The paper should be marked with your child and look at where they can make improvements. 
  • Exam papers can be purchased through Yellowbird Education and Exam Papers Plus for more difficult papers.
  • Begin to practice bofa11plus online,
  • Creative writing, work on description and adding in a variety of grammar in to their stories. Complete short descriptive pieces to get creativity flowing. Complete discursive pieces of writing – for some schools.
  •  Word of the day – think of a new word that you can explore each day, improve vocabulary and spelling. Mrs Wordsmith is good for this. 
  • Continue to work through 10 minutes tests in English and Maths, both Bond books and Letts are useful resources. 
  • Singapore Maths also has some excellent problem-solving books, mental maths and general support. 
  • Galore Park have some excellent resources in all four areas. Maths, English, Verbal and non-verbal reasoning. 
  • Summer courses in exam techniques and enjoying learning are useful. Having fun is also important! Also educating your child in the world around them is also important for topics of conversation, visit museums, exhibitions, focus on their interests. 
  • Keep your child working over the summer, 4 mornings a week, juts an hour each day, is good covering the 4 subjects, Maths, English, Verbal and non-verbal reasoning. 

Year 6 Checklist

  • Ensure you register at your preferred schools by October/November, check the registration dates of each school. Some schools require registration before (Emanuel School is one). 
  • Continue to practice exam papers each week and give your child feedback. Look carefully at exam techniques and skills. 
  • Touch base with your class teacher and head teacher about your school choices. 
  • Visit school open days with your child to enthuse your child to work hard to gain entry. But be realistic in your choice of schools so that they are not disappointed.
  • Attend Mock Exams in new environments with new children and people. This is also a good way for you to keep up with how your child is progressing. 
  • Comprehension, creative writing and maths workshops are good to enhance skills and to give confidence. 
  • Interview practice is important towards the end of the Autumn term of Year 6, depending on when the school completes their interviews. Each school is different. Some will interview before exams, some will only interview after the exam has been passed. Most schools interview regardless. 
  • It is best not to go away over the October and Christmas breaks. Keep your child well and relaxed, but keep working and keep the momentum going. Do ensure your child has a break, just as you would need. But don’t do a holiday where he/she can break an arm, get an ear infection etc.
  • Continue with workshops over the break to build on their exam techniques and skills. 

Janie Richardson's London School List

We have prepared a list of schools ranking from hardest to easiest, although no London schools are easy to gain entry in to. Many schools in the top tier are of equal level to gain entry in to.

Tier One
St Paul’s School
St Paul’s Girls’ School
City of London for Girls
City of London for Boys
Latymer Upper
Goldophin and Latymer
South Hampstead High School GDST
Kings College, Wimbledon
James Allen’s Girls’ School – JAGS
Lady Eleanor Holles School
Wimbledon High School GDST
Putney High School GDST
Notting Hill and Ealing School GDST
Dulwich College

Tier Two
Ibstock Place
Wetherby Senior School
Francis Holland – Regents Park
Francis Holland – Graham Tce
Emanuel School
Mill Hill School
Kew House
Radnor House
Queens College
Queens Gate
King Alfred School
St Benedict’s School
St James Senior Girls’ School
St James Senior Boys’ School
St Catherine’s

Tier Three
North Bridge House
Marymount International School
More House
Hampton Court House
Portland Place School

New schools
Eaton Square Secondary School
Fulham Senior School
Kensington Park School

Preparing to gain entry into any independent school in London requires a great deal of time, energy and dedication. It can be a very stressful time for many families. Janie Richardson School Search and Placement can help you and your family avoid unnecessary stress by getting to know your child's individual needs, providing you with a shortlist of best-fit schools, and helping your child to pass the entrance examinations and interviews. We are here to support and guide you through the entire process. Find out more.