11+ Prep

Helping Transition to Secondary School

At Sherborne House, we place great importance on helping to prepare your child for the move to senior school.

As children progress up the school, they are given increasing amounts of responsibility and encouraged to develop their self-confidence in order to ensure a smooth transition to senior schools. We sustain our emphasis on breadth and balance, ensuring that children enjoy their learning, whilst being mindful of the necessity to prepare them for the important senior school entrance exams they take in Year 6.

11+ Exams

The preparation towards 11+ is gradual and supportive, placing our knowledge of the individual child at the heart of the process. It does not involve non-stop cramming and coaching; instead, children are taught the ability to use and apply knowledge and to have well-honed exam technique through exposure to a variety of practice papers. We aim to develop happy young people who have the confidence and learning skills to cope with the demands of whichever senior school they move on to.

Part of our preparation for Senior School includes preparing our pupils for interviews. This will include doing mock interviews with pupils as well as helping pupils prepare answers and questions. In order to further help pupils and parents at home, we have put together a short document for parents to use to help prepare their children for interviews.

Choosing a Senior School

The choice of senior school is taken very seriously by Sherborne House, and teachers will meet with parents personally to discuss this important next step, considering all aspects of potential schools from academic achievement to size, location and culture.

We hold a Senior Schools Information Evening where local senior schools come to Sherborne House and present to parents, and we have developed close relationships with all local schools. We also offer further guidance and support to parents of children in Years 4 to 6 about choosing and transferring to secondary schools, via information sessions and individual meetings with parents on request.

Timeline for 11+ Applications and entry


Autumn Term


  • Senior School Information Evening

Summer Term


  • Contact schools for prospectus packs and information
  • Draw up ‘long list’ of possible schools


Autumn Term

September – December

  • Attend ‘Open Days’ of long list schools
  • Senior School Information Evening

Spring Term

  • Begin to narrow down senior school options
  • Support available from school – Head Teacher and SLT

Summer Term

May – July

  • Mock preparation for entrance examinations at school
  • Inform school of any intended scholarships – for example Art (a portfolio will need to be provided)
  • Complete application form for Maintained Grammar School Test South Wilts
  • Grammar (girls) Bishops Wordsworth (boys) – (advanced preparation is required)


Autumn Term

September – December

  • Attend ‘Open Days’ of short list schools
  • Continuation of mock preparation for entrance examinations at school


  • Maintained Grammar School Tests take place in September – South Wilts Grammar (girls) Bishops Wordsworth (boys) – (advanced preparation is required)


  • Complete Hampshire and Southampton transfer form for secondary school 31st
  • Notification of 11+ examination scores
  • Parents Evening


  • Interview practice and support provided in school
  • Closing dates for Independent Senior Schools
  • Spring Term


  • Complete and return ‘All About Me’ form – school uses this information for reports sent to senior school
  • Interviews for some senior schools before January entry examinations
  • Senior school examination period – Saturday mornings in Jan/Feb


  • Notification to parents of senior school examination results and offer of places


  • Offers for a place in Maintained Schools
  • Final decisions need to be made with regards to secondary school choice and schools notified

Destination Schools

Our children go on to achieve places and scholarships in a range of schools locally.