Grammar Schools in Barnet: 11 Plus Exams Guide 2024

There’s no doubt. If you want your child to receive the best possible education and a supportive school environment, grammar schools are a natural choice. They’re famed for impressive academic results and university admissions.

It’s unsurprising these schools are enduringly popular among parents and students alike. But as you’ll probably know, entry is based on the 11 Plus exam.

These tests usually involve some elements of Maths, English, Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning. They test a student’s academic suitability for a grammar school environment – and are designed to be challenging. So if you want your child to have the best chance of acceptance to one of Barnet’s grammar schools… early preparation is essential.

In this article, we introduce the various grammar schools in Barnet as well as top tips on how to help your child prepare effectively and positively.

Let’s get started.

Grammar Schools in Barnet: A Brief Introduction

There are three grammar schools in Barnet, all famed for their exceptional academic results, high-quality student care and expert teaching. These are:

  • Queen Elizabeth’s School
  • Henrietta Barnett School
  • St Michael’s Catholic Grammar School

Here’s a very brief introduction to each school.

Queen Elizabeth’s School

In 2023, Queen Elizabeth’s School celebrates its 450th anniversary. It was founded in 1573 after Queen Elizabeth I announced a charter for a “free grammar school” for the “education, bringing up and instruction of boys”.

From humble beginnings (housing just 60-90 boys), the school now provides an excellent education to over 1,300 students. It’s regularly recognised as one of the UK’s leading secondary schools across both independent and state sectors.

  • Address: Queen’s Road, Barnet, Hertfordshire, EN5 4DQ.
  • Year 7 places: Approximately 180 places.
  • Results and rankings: Ofsted rated Queen Elizabeth’s School as “outstanding” in all areas. The school consistently achieves excellent academic results. They recently enjoyed their best ever year for A Levels and GCSEs with 92% of A Level results at A*-A and 85% of GCSEs awarded level 8 or 9 grades.
  • 11 Plus test format: Queen Elizabeth’s School uses tests set by GL Assessment, a leading provider of 11 Plus exams. The exam consists of two multiple-choice exams in Maths and English. Each test lasts about 50 minutes, but the exact question types and exam format changes from year to year.
  • Familiarisation papers: Although Queen Elizabeth’s doesn’t provide past papers, you can find a variety of familiarisation papers on the GL Assessment website.
  • Exam registration dates: Registration opens on 1 May 2023 and closes on 14 July 2023.
  • Admissions information: Admissions information, including parent guidance, school policies and the history of the school is available on the Queen Elizabeth’s website.

We’ve previously written an in-depth guide to 2024 entry at Queen Elizabeth’s School (covering fees, the application process, sample papers and more), so have a read if you’re considering applying.

Henrietta Barnett School

Established in 1911, Henrietta Barnett is a leading girls’ grammar school that consistently ranks among the top schools in the country. Founded by the social reformer Dame Henrietta Octavia Weston Barnett, it was a central part of ambitious plans for the model Garden Suburb community in Hampstead, London.

Today, the school provides an excellent education for 800 girls. It remains well-known for its beautiful campus and historic buildings, as well as a pioneering attitude to social responsibility and community service.

  • Address: Central Square, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, NW11 7BN.
  • Year 7 places: There are approximately 90-100 Year 7 places.
  • Results and rankings: Henrietta Barnett consistently ranks as one of the top-performing schools in the country. It’s rated “good” by Ofsted and named as the top state school in the Parent Power 2023 In summer 2022, more than 97% of A-Level grades were A* to B and 94% of GCSE grades were 8 or 9.
  • 11 Plus test format: Like Queen Elizabeth’s School, Henrietta Barnett uses tests provided by GL Assessment. The first round of tests usually covers a range of English, Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning papers. If your child performs well in this first-round of exams, they’re invited for a second round of testing which includes a Maths and English exam.
  • Familiarisation papers: Henrietta Barnett doesn’t provide sample past papers, but you can find similar question types and paper styles on the GL Assessment website.
  • Exam registration dates: Applications for September 2024 open on 28 April 2023 and close on 11 July 2023.
  • Admissions information: Visit Henrietta Barnett School’s admissions pages for more information on academic criteria and school policies.

If you’re applying to Henrietta Barnett School, read our in-depth guide for 2024 entry. You’ll find more crucial information about the school and its application process, exam formats and catchment area.

St Michael’s Catholic Grammar School

Established in 1908, St Michael’s Catholic Grammar School is a well-respected girl’s grammar school in North Finchley. From 2009 onwards, boys were also admitted for sixth form entry.

With trusteeship under the control of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Poor Child Jesus, the school dedicates itself to forming responsible and committed citizens. Although pupils of other faiths (and no faith) are also accepted, the school encourages academic attainment and social responsibility within a specifically Catholic environment.

  • Address: Nether Street, North Finchley, London, N12 7NJ.
  • Year 7 places: Approximately 240 places.
  • Results and rankings: Ofsted ranked St Michael’s as “outstanding” in every single category. In the latestschool performance information, A Level grades average A- (a point score of 45.94) and 100% of GCSE pupils achieved Grade 5 or above in English and Maths.
  • 11 Plus test format: Tests are provided by GL Assessment and consist of multiple-choice papers in verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning and maths.
  • Familiarisation papers: Like most grammar schools, St Michael’s don’t provide sample past papers. Nonetheless, they provide links to GL Assessment familiarisation papers on their website.
  • Exam registration dates: Registration is already open for September 2024 entry and closes on 4 July 2023.
  • Admissions information: Further information on entry requirements and admissions policies are available on the St Michael’s website.

Are there any partially selective schools near Barnet?

In addition to these three grammar schools, there’s one partially selective school in Barnet.

This is Mill Hill County School, which is ranked “good” in all areas by Ofsted, with a strong academic record. Indeed,47% of GCSE grades were at 7 or above (far higher than the national average of 26%) with an average attainment score of 40.7 at A Level (equivalent to a B grade).

Like the grammar schools we’ve discussed above, GL Assessment provides 11 Plus exams for Mill Hill County School. You can find more information on entry policies and procedures on the school’s admission pages.

If you’re searching for other leading schools in the local area, you might consider the South West Hertfordshire Consortium. This group of seven partially selective (and highly sought-after) schools also use 11 Plus exams as part of their admission criteria. You can find more information on 2024 entry in our Parents’ Guide to South West Herts Consortium Schools.

How to prepare your child for 11 Plus exams: Top Tips

At Achieve Learning, we know preparing your child for 11 Plus exams (no matter what school you’re applying to!) can be a daunting task. But the good news is there are lots of different ways to help your child succeed.

So if you’re applying to  grammar schools in Barnet, here are a few key tips.

  • Understand the exam format: The exact format of 11 Plus exams varies from school to school, so it’s essential to understand the requirements of the school you’re applying to. This includes the types of questions (for instance, getting confident with verbal reasoning), time limits for each section and paper, and your child’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Practice, practice, practice: Practice is key to success in 11 Plus exams. Your child should prepare as much as possible, particularly in areas they need improvement. This includes working on Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning, Maths and English. Familiarisation papers are an excellent resource, giving your child insights into various exam formats and question types.
  • Find a personal tutor: A dedicated personal tutor (like us at Achieve Learning!) can be invaluable for helping your child prepare for 11 Plus exams. A tutor can provide one-to-one support and help your child develop the skills they need to succeed. They can also provide guidance on exam techniques and strategies, as well as identify areas where extra help is needed.
  • Set a regular study routine: Setting a regular study routine can help your child stay focused and motivated. This includes setting aside time each day for practice and revision, as well as ensuring they have plenty of breaks and time for rest.
  • Make it fun: Learning doesn’t have to be boring! Making study and revision fun can help your child stay engaged and motivated. This includes playing games that develop the skills they need for the 11 Plus exam, such as verbal and non-verbal reasoning games. Word games like Boggle, Bananagrams and Scrabble as well as logic games like Crosswords and Sudoku are all fantastic.
  • Stay positive: It’s important to stay positive and supportive throughout the 11 Plus preparation process. Encourage your child, celebrate their successes, and provide support when they face challenges. A positive attitude can go a long way towards helping your child succeed in the exam.

Discover how Achieve Learning can help your child excel in their 11 Plus exams. With over 18 years’ experience providing one-to-one assistance and academic support, we offer numerous practice papers, mock exams and specialised revision courses to help your child get ready.

Book a free assessment to speak with one of our expert personal tutors, and get your child’s 11 Plus preparation off to the best possible start.