Choosing the right school

Choosing the best secondary school for your son or daughter can be one of the most important decisions that you have to make as a parent. According to recent figures, more parents are choosing to send their children to a selective secondary school than ever before, thus making the system even more competitive.

Bright Light Education can help make this transition from primary to secondary school as smooth as possible.

What are the 11+ Examinations for Independent Secondary Schools?

The 11+ examinations are examinations that your child may take in year 6 for entry into an independent secondary school.

The examinations are usually in January and February when your child is in year 6. If your child passes the exams for the specific school, they may then be called in for an interview. Some schools interview all the children who sit the examinations, and some schools interview the children before the written examinations.

Schools, in general, create their own examination papers. In some cases, schools have joined together to create a consortium which means that a group of schools will have the same examination paper (e.g. The North London Independent Girls’ Schools).

Your child’s primary school may do some preparation for these examinations but often parents choose to have their child tutored to extend the learning done in the classroom and to ensure that their child feels confident and well-prepared in all areas.

What is tested?

The content varies from school to school, but on the whole, the testing will include English and maths and with some schools choosing to test verbal and non-verbal reasoning. Please be aware that from January 2019, the North London Girls’ School Consortium have changed their application process.

When do the examinations take place?

The examinations for independent schools usually take place at the start of the Spring term in Year 6 for entry into Year 7 the following September.

What is NFER, GL Assessment, CEM and ISEB?

GL Assessment, CEM and ISEB are the main examining boards for the 11+ examinations and NFER is the previous name for GL Assessment. It is a good idea to check which examining board the school that you are interested in uses, so that you can prepare your child accordingly.
In London, most schools use the GL Assessment board, testing the children on mathematics and English, and sometimes verbal and non-verbal reasoning. In recent years, some schools have also added in a ‘Creative Task’ which can involve a group activity.

CEM is used by some of the grammar schools.

ISEB produce the Common Entrance at 11+ examinations and they have practice papers which you can order from their website.

Your child’s primary school may do some preparation for these examinations but often parents choose to have their child tutored to extend the learning done in the classroom and to ensure that their child feels confident and well-prepared in all areas.


How can Bright Light Education help?

The 11+ examinations are incredibly competitive, particularly in London and our tutors are able to help guide your child through the key skills they need in order to reach their full potential during the exams. We also aim to boost confidence and self-esteem to give them the best chance of passing their exams. We can provide you with a tutor who is highly experienced in preparing children for the 11+ examinations, most of whom have been through the process themselves many years ago! We are highly qualified to help your child with English, maths, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning in order to tackle the examinations confidently. We also offer interview practice too. We have our own Creative Writing Skills book which we have designed carefully to work alongside our lessons.

We can also help to guide parents in which schools would be suitable for their child. We are passionate about ensuring children are suited to the schools they are applying for. In our opinion, there is no point tutoring children to an inch of their lives in order to get into an unrealistic school which, when there, will be continually trying to keep their head above the water. We want children to attend schools where they flourish.

We offer 1:1 tuition, small group weekly sessions and workshops.  We also have a huge library of past papers for many of the schools and we will work through these, helping children to be able to answer all types of questions. Furthermore, we offer a marking servicewhich can be incredibly beneficial for helping you as parents work with your children at home.

Bright Light Education have helped children gain entry to the following schools:

Arts Ed School

Francis Holland School Regent Street

Francis Holland Sloane Square
Godolphin and Latymer School
Hampton School

Ibstock Place School
Kew House School
Kingston Grammar School
Lady Eleanor Holles School (academic scholarship)
Latymer Upper School (academic scholarship)

More House
Notting Hill & Ealing High School (academic scholarship)

Putney High School

Queens College
St Augustine’s Priory

St Benedict’s School
St James’ School
St Paul’s School
Thorpe House

Which schools should I consider?

We strongly recommend that you select and consider a range of schools. It is vital that your child feels enthusiastic about a handful of schools to ensure that he or she is happy with the outcome.

Our ‘Secondary Schools Guide‘ is an excellent place for you and your child to start the journey. Included in the Guide are introductions to schools in and around the West London area. They are also schools that we know from experience are popular with children living in West London.

Useful Links

Reducing the stress of the 11+ examinations
Preparing for the 11+ interviews
What is the 11+ London Consortium?
Practising past papers
Bright Light Education Kids dazzle once again at the 11+!
The 11+: Choosing the Right School
How to prepare your child for the 11+ at home
Bright Light Education Kids dazzle at the 11+!

The Bright Light Education Secondary School Guide

The London 11+ Consortium

Please contact Bright Light Education to ensure that your child receives the best possible preparation for the 11+ examinations.