The 11+: Choosing the Right School

The 11+: Choosing the Right School

Choosing the right school for your child is a big decision. Of course, you want to find a great school, but it must be right for your child. There are lots of different aspects of schools that you need to take into consideration, and these are all dependent on your child and their academic ability and interests.

Make sure the list of schools your child is applying to has the following: a back-up school (one which your child should easily get into); a realistic school (one which your child should get into, but may have to work hard in preparation); as well as a challenge school (one which will be a challenge, but yet they would still fit in to, if they did get in). Use advice from head teachers, teachers and tutors to base this list on.

Be realistic! 
A child who is less academic will be much happier in the top half of a less or non-selective school than struggling to keep their head above water at a league table topper school.
It is vital you decide what is important to you and your child, and make a list for yourself which records everything you want for your child. This may include the following:

  • location – are you wanting local or somewhere with proximity to public transport
  • highly academic or relaxed and creative
  • a nurturing environment
  • before and after school care
  • a traditional approach or a relaxed outlook
  • beauty of architecture
  • state-of-the-art facilities
  • a stepping stone to a top-notch senior school or university
  • curriculum flexibility
  • offers particular languages
  • offers particular sports
  • choirs, orchestras and ensembles
  • sport for all or top class coaching for high fliers
  • help with special educational needs and disabilities
  • support for gifted, talented and able
  • awards and scholarships/bursaries
  • religious ethos
  • parental involvement
  • the pupils – do you see your child sitting amongst them?
  • gut instinct – does the school excite you and your child?

Whichever school your child gets a place at, make sure that they feel a success!


NB: Whilst we can offer you advice from an academic perspective, we cannot give you advice about the application process and you should contact the school directly.

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