How Do I Know if My Child is Suitable For Grammar School?

how do i know if my child is suitable for grammar school
how do i know if my child is suitable for grammar school

Grammar schools frequently stand out as a wise choice when parents and students are looking to enroll their children in a secondary school. As difficult as it seems to see a good grammar school, it’s important to know if your child is suitable for grammar school

These schools select students based on their intellectual potential, thus they have high standards for how well their students score on tests. The decision to send your child to a grammar school comes with both advantages and disadvantages.

It goes without saying that the secondary school your child attends will affect both their life and who they are as a person. 

Grammar schools can be a fantastic option for intelligent, capable kids, but every kid reacts to pressure differently. The peculiarities of the particular school and the particular child are frequently extremely important factors in suitability.

When making such a difficult choice, there are several things to take into account. Learn more about grammar schools and whether your child is a good fit for one by reading on.

Is grammar school right for your child?

If your child is doing very well in primary school, they will benefit from attending a secondary school with a strong academic focus. Even if your child receives a good enough 11 Plus score, attending a grammar school might not be the best option for them. You should consider their temperament and social skills.

Even if they rank among their class’ top students, a sensitive child may not do well in a competitive environment. Due to social demands, a quiet or sensitive child may likely require more time to succeed in grammar school. 

Consider your child’s performance in their current classroom and compare it to that of the students at the grammar schools you are considering.

The pace of the lessons at a grammar school is frequently faster than at a non-selective school, therefore the student will need to be motivated and concentrated to keep up.  

In taking up the bigger needs of your family such as those of your other children and the requirements of the daily school run, you might need to consider this if the grammar school you’re contemplating is farther distant from you than your neighborhood comprehensive school.

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What are the benefits of grammar schools?

The excellent academic outcomes are what primarily entices individuals to grammar schools. For instance, according to this Guardian story, the GCSE achievement gap between grammar and comprehensive schools have gotten up to 48%.

This isn’t just because more bright kids are chosen; grammar schools provide supportive settings that encourage pupils to achieve their academic potential.

You may expect your child to take their education seriously if you enroll them in a grammar school. Students are encouraged to exert a lot of effort because they observe many of their peers doing so.

Grammar schools, like comprehensive schools, are free to attend. This means that they can help children from disadvantaged backgrounds to make the most of their talents.

What are the drawbacks of grammar schools?

Grammar schools will, in some ways, increase the demands placed on students. There will be some amount of expectation to perform well because every student will be thought of as an intellectual person.

This occasionally causes significant stress or even mental health problems. Due to the competitive environment, students could feel unworthy. Also, it may cause students to have a distorted perception of their talents or low self-esteem.

Additionally, children from privileged households may receive individual tutoring to prepare for the 11 Plus exam.

The issue is that this gives children from wealthy families an edge over those from poorer families in terms of finding housing, which isn’t exactly reducing inequality.

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How should your child prepare for the 11 Plus?

The 11 Plus preparation process doesn’t have to be very difficult or time-consuming. In the months before the exam, it can be done in tiny doses.

There are several resources available for studying for the various parts of the 11 Plus exam, both online and in workbooks.

Some parents could decide to enroll their child in a group tutoring session or employ a private tutor. There is a limit to how much work your child should be doing, even though some tutoring may be a wonderful idea if you’re prepared to pay for it.

Your child’s revision process will probably be more laid back if they are intelligent enough to succeed in grammar school.

It is more than sufficient to simply go through how the test operates and what each section entails and complete one or two practice papers.

Interestingly, you may not need to engage a tutor to help your child with this; you may do it on your own with ease.

How Can You Choose a Grammar School For Your Child?

It’s a major decision to choose a grammar school for your child because they’ll be there for at least five years and there are 164 of them in England. Regrettably, selecting a grammar school is more difficult than simply applying.

The choice becomes even more crucial when we take into account that your child’s 11 Plus exam results will be a deciding element in their alternatives.

We will walk you through the process of selecting a grammar school for your child in this post.

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Research Schools in Your Local Area

Find out what schools are nearby before looking at your child’s grammar school options. This also applies to state comprehensive schools, as you must be aware of your options outside of grammar school.

Find out where your friends and neighbors who have older children attended school and get their feedback on the quality of the instruction they got.

You can make an informed choice if you are aware of the schools that other kids in your neighborhood attend. Or, you’ll probably have a few options if you reside in one of the larger grammar school districts.  

However, your options may be severely constrained if you reside outside of a grammar school district, so boarding would be something to think about.

You must plan for the logistics of your child attending a school in a different local authority because if you don’t, commute time, costs, and other factors can rapidly turn into “issues.”

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Consider Whether Your Child Would Qualify for a Bursary

Many parents don’t think about applying to fee-paying independent schools, yet some of them have scholarship and bursary programs.

Additionally, if your child excels in a topic like art, theatre, sport, or music, fee-paying schools may be an option to consider. Scholarships for extracurricular activities are offered by several schools.

Read Reviews of Each School

Making a shortlist after making a long list of potential colleges is the next step. You should include quality as one of your shortlist’s criteria. Reading reviews from current and previous students, parents, and teaching staff is the greatest approach to assessing a school’s potential quality. 

The school’s website is a good place to start. What would they say about themselves? What programs and services do they provide?

Have they received honors in any specific fields? The school’s self-perception is a crucial factor to take into account.

Look for impartial sources like The Good Schools Guide and School Guide for reviews of the grammar schools on your shortlist. These websites typically have someone from the website visit the schools being reviewed in person, thus the reviews are typically a first-hand account.

For a fuller understanding of each school’s performance, you should also read the OFSTED reports. On the surface, it’s simple to form judgments about a school, but if you look at its statistics, you’ll get a much clearer picture of how the school is.

League tables for secondary schools are another crucial factor to take into account, particularly if your child has a choice of numerous institutions.

The standing of a school in the league tables frequently reflects the caliber of instruction provided there. The SEN policies of the school should also be reviewed if your child has support needs.

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Check the Admissions Policies of Each School

The majority of institutions base student admissions on their 11 Plus exam scores. However, there are frequently additional requirements for admission, such as the results of a face-to-face interview and a school report from the applicant’s present institution.

To ascertain whether your child has a possibility of being admitted, you must know each school’s admissions requirements.

We’d also suggest getting in touch with the school’s admissions office to learn more about how to apply.

Arrange a Visit to Your Short-Listed Schools

Online recommendations from other people are one thing, but visiting the school is quite another. Most schools provide parents and students interested in applying for a spot with guided tours. 

These visits allow you to tour the school and meet the present students, teachers, and frequently the headmaster. Grammar schools also often have open days where all prospective students’ parents are invited to stop by and meet the faculty.

You can gain an understanding of what a normal school day is like and get a sense of the area by physically visiting a grammar school.

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Discuss the Options with Your Child

In your quest to know if your child is suitable for grammar school, you and your child may need to talk about their alternatives. The more you do, the more you’re able to determine which school would be the best fit for them.

At first, your child might not have any strong views about one school over another. But, you might wish to think about the following with your child:

  • The services and activities available
  • The location of the campus of the school
  • Initial perceptions of the school by your child
  • The separation between home and school
  • How your youngster feel about the faculty and students
  • The academic prowess and shortcomings of your child
  • The social skills of your child

Find out why your youngster prefers one school over another when you are discussing your choices with them.

In the beginning, do your best to keep your opinions to yourself to avoid swaying their decision. This is because when you disagree with your child too soon, they may become even more adamant about sticking with their choice.  

Rank Your Preferred Schools in Order

After discussing all your options, the last step is to rate your child’s top schools. It’s crucial to have a backup plan in case your child doesn’t get into their top choice of schools, whether you have a list of 8 or just 2.

Don’t put too much pressure on your child to do well in the 11 Plus examinations; instead, attempt to set their expectations for getting into their desired school.

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FAQs – How do I know if my child is suitable for grammar school

Should your child take the 11 Plus?

All children who want a place at a grammar school must first take the 11 Plus exam. It is up to the student to decide whether to sit the 11 Plus exam, but it is compulsory. Some children may not be ready to take a formal test, so parents should consider this.

What is the 11 Plus exam?

The 11 Plus is taken by children aged 10 or 11. Your child will be allocated a specific school/center to take the exam depending on where you live. The 11 Plus consists of four different sections: English, Maths, non-verbal reasoning, and verbal reasoning. These four individual tests are each between 45 to 60 minutes long, with approximately 50 questions per test.

Is grammar school the same as grade school?

An elementary school is a school for little kids – where they learn elementary facts and subjects. We normally call those “Primary Schools”, for ages five to eleven. A grammar school is a subset of secondary school, for ages eleven to sixteen of eighteen.

What is the advantage of grammar school?

Consistently Strong Exam Results
Because grammar pupils are generally of the same ability, it’s argued that teachers can progress lessons more effectively than at a comprehensive level. As such, grammar schools are the highest performing schools in local and national league tables.

When should I start grammar tuition?

Although a long-term approach is recommended, they can start the 11+ tuition preparation process at any stage. However, leaving less than 12 weeks to prepare could be challenging for some children so we always recommend starting as early as possible when they start primary school.


It’s crucial to remember that kids who worry about circumstances like tests will probably become quite tense either before or during the 11 Plus. The 11 Plus exam is typically given in a large classroom with many other pupils, which can quickly overwhelm many kids.

Your child’s fears mustn’t prevent them from getting the outcomes they deserve unless they have especially poor mental health.

Despite any anxiety, as a parent, you should encourage your child to face their concerns and give it their all.  Therefore, I hope this article answers your questions on how to know if my child is suitable for grammar school.



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