Dr Challoner’s High School: Your 11 Plus (11+) Entry Guide 2025

Are you considering Dr Challoner’s High School for your daughter? If so, here’s all the information you need about the school, its admissions process and deadlines, 11 Plus exam papers and how to prepare.

Dr Challoner’s High School, situated in Little Chalfont, Buckinghamshire, is a highly esteemed grammar school for girls. It admits around 180 pupils each year and is renowned for its academic excellence and holistic education. 

Due to understandably high demand, competition for places is intense. To help you and your child prepare, here’s your comprehensive guide to the application process, test format and tips for success.

A Brief Introduction to Dr Challoner’s High School

Founded in 1962, Dr Challoner’s High School is home to just under 1,300 girls between 11 and 18 years old. In the Headmaster’s welcome to the school, he states their mission is “to provide the best possible education for girls”.

Regularly ranking among the top thirty state schools and the best in Buckinghamshire for academic progress, there’s no surprise Dr Challoner’s is so popular among parents and students alike. It’s judged as “outstanding” by Ofsted. The school is also only the ninth institution in the entire country to receive the “Exceptional Schools Award”.

This excellence translates into remarkable exam results. In 2023, 54% of A Levels grades were A* or A. Almost all students go to university, including Russell Group institutions and Oxbridge.

At the heart of the school is a tightly-knit community that prioritises compassion and commitment as well as a “strong instinct for the fun, creative and clever”. They promote learning for its own sake and gently encourage girls to achieve their full academic potential.

What’s the application process for Dr Challoner’s High School?

Dr Challoner’s High School is a selective grammar school. In short, this means your daughter must take (and excel in) their 11 Plus exams to be considered for a place. We’ll go into more detail below, but the 11 Plus for Dr Challoner’s High School is known as the Buckinghamshire Secondary Transfer Test. 

If your child goes to primary school in the county, they’re automatically entered for the Buckinghamshire Secondary Transfer Test. If not, you’ll need to register with Buckinghamshire Council.

Here are the key dates to know:

  • 11 Plus registration opens: 3 May 2024
  • 11 Plus registration deadline: 14 June 2024
  • Dr Challoner’s Open Morning: 4 July 2024
  • 11 Plus test date: 12 September 2024
  • Dr Challoner’s Open Morning: 24 September 2024
  • 11 Plus results published: 11 October 2024
  • Dr Challoner’s Open Morning: 17 October 2024
  • Secondary application deadline: 31 October 2024
  • Secondary allocations: 3 March 2025

After they’ve sat exams, you’ll receive your child’s 11 Plus results near the start of October. If your daughter’s score meets the threshold for Dr Challoner’s, you can decide whether to apply for a place. You’ll need to list it as a “preferred school” on the secondary school “common application form” (or CAF). Final choices must be submitted by the end of October.

It’s important to know that passing the 11 Plus doesn’t necessarily mean your daughter will gain a place at Dr Challoner’s. When allocating places, the school also considers other admissions factors such as whether you live in their catchment area, receive pupil premium, whether any siblings already attend and more.

For 11 Plus application deadlines and exam dates across the country, read our complete list of key dates.

What’s the format of the Dr Challoner’s High School test?

The Dr Challoner’s High School 11 Plus exam is known as the Buckinghamshire Secondary Transfer Test. GL Assessment creates and manages these exams. They consist of two-hour-long papers.

This includes:

  • English and Verbal Reasoning: Featuring comprehension questions, technical English (like spelling, punctuation and grammar) and verbal reasoning.
  • Maths and Non-Verbal Reasoning: With questions on Key Stage 2 Maths topics, as well as spatial and non-verbal problem solving using pictures and diagrams.

Students sit both papers in one sitting, with a break in between.

The exact question types and exam structure vary each year, so it’s best to familiarise your child with a range of sample papers. There’s also a shorter practice test taken two days before the real thing, which will help improve your child’s confidence.

Your daughter’s scores in both papers are age-standardised and then ranked. The combined scores determine each candidate’s overall result.

What’s the pass mark for Dr Challoner’s High School entrance paper?

Your daughter will need a score of 121 or higher to be eligible for a place at Dr Challoner’s High School. Unlike some other grammar schools, scores aren’t ranked beyond this level. So if more than 180 children achieve 121 or more (which is highly likely), the school’s other admissions criteria come into play.

For anyone who’s scored 121 or above, factors influencing admissions include:

  • Priority is given to “looked after”, internationally adopted, and previously looked after girls.
  • Those in receipt of pupil premium.
  • Whether you live in the catchment area.
  • Daughters of staff members.
  • Sisters of girls currently attending Dr Challoner’s.
  • Girls with exceptional medical and social needs that can only be met at Dr Challoner’s.

Does Dr Challoner’s High School have a catchment area?

Yes, Dr Challoner’s High School has a catchment area. This means you must live within this zone to be eligible for a place. It includes the areas surrounding Amersham, Chalfont St Giles, Chalfont Common, Chesham, Gerrards Cross, Prestwood and Great Missenden. 

If there’s a tie-break between girls meeting other admissions criteria, those living closest to the school receive priority. There’s a catchment map and more details on the school’s admissions pages.

Who creates the test for Dr Challoner’s High School?

GL Assessment develops the test materials and papers for Dr Challoner’s High School.

GL Assessment is a leading provider of educational assessments. They focus on a range of skills, including numerical ability, critical thinking, and problem-solving. Their tests are designed to be fair and unbiased, ensuring equal opportunity for all students.

Where can I find Dr Challoner’s High School sample test papers?

Although Dr Challoner’s High School does not release past papers, GL Assessment provides free familiarisation papers.

You can also find similar papers (great for helping your child with a wide variety of skills and question types) online and at most bookstores from Bond 11+ and CGP.

To help your child ace the 11 Plus, one of the best things you can do is use a variety of past papers. Start by regularly going through these papers together. This way, your child will feel familiar with the exam format and more relaxed when the big day comes. 

Consistency is key. As you work through the papers, you’ll be able to spot any tricky areas (like specific topics or time management) they struggle with. This lets you build your daughter’s confidence and boost their performance.

Does Dr Challoner’s High School charge fees?

No, Dr Challoner’s High School is state-funded and does not charge tuition fees.

It’s one of 163 state-funded grammar schools across England that select students based on academic entrance tests.

To find top grammar schools near you, explore our lists of the best grammars in Slough, Kent, Hertfordshire, Barnet, London and the whole UK. If you’re considering options further afield, don’t miss our complete guide to grammar schools without a catchment area.

Is Dr Challoner’s High School part of a consortium?

No, Dr Challoner’s High School is not part of a formal consortium. The entrance test and admissions process are managed independently by the school. 

However, it is a member of The Buckinghamshire Grammar Schools (TBGS), an organisation formed by the thirteen grammar schools in Buckinghamshire to manage the Buckinghamshire Secondary Transfer Test.

While each grammar school operates as an independent academy with its own admissions process, they work together through TBGS to maintain a coordinated selection system. 

This system uses a shared 11 Plus test (instead of 13 separate exams!), preventing a time-consuming and stressful admissions process for parents and pupils alike.

How can I help my child prepare for the Dr Challoner’s High School 11+ exam?

Here are some tips to incorporate into your daily routine, to help your child prepare for the Dr Challoner’s High School 11 Plus exams. 

  • Consistent learning: Make studying a regular part of your child’s routine with short, daily sessions of 20-30 minutes. This “little and often” approach helps their brain absorb information better. Turn study time into a fun activity with colourful flashcards, educational games or apps that make learning interactive and enjoyable.
  • Reading: Encourage your child to read a wide range of books. Mix it up with different genres and authors to expose them to various writing styles and vocabularies. You can create a reading challenge with rewards for finishing books or set aside family reading time to make it a shared experience. Discuss the stories together to enhance their comprehension and analytical skills.
  • Practice tests: Once your child feels comfortable with the material, start incorporating practice tests. This helps them get used to the exam format and timing. Help your child concentrate by setting up a mock exam environment at home, complete with a timer and a quiet space. You could also consider mock tests from independent providers (like us at Achieve Learning!).
  • Celebrate progress: Set small, achievable goals and celebrate each milestone. This could be as simple as a small treat or a fun outing. Encourage a growth mindset by praising their effort and improvement, not just their achievements. Remind them that making mistakes is part of learning and that persistence will pay off.
  • Maths and English skills: For Maths, practice problem-solving with real-life examples, like calculating change during shopping or measuring ingredients for a recipe. Use workbooks and online resources for timed tests and exercises to improve speed and accuracy. For English, promote regular reading and descriptive writing activities. Encourage your child to keep a journal, write stories, or summarise their favourite books to strengthen their SPaG and comprehension skills.
  • Professional tutoring: If your child needs extra help, consider professional tutoring. A tutor will provide personalised attention, feedback and tips. They’ll tailor lessons to your child’s needs, ensuring they’re well-prepared for 11 Plus exams.

If you’re thinking about 11 Plus exams for your child, get in touch with our expert team at Achieve Learning today. With personalised 11 Plus tuition and support, mock tests and academic consultancy – we’ll give your family the tools to succeed.