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Getting Into Grammar School in Bucks – Catchment is key

Grammar Schools in Bucks are going from strength to strength. Their results are continuing to impress and applications to take the 11+ Transfer Test are soaring – from inside and outside Buckinghamshire. What has been of note this year, is that the catchment areas around the desirable grammar schools is reducing.

In many cases the catchment has reduced by half in just two years but in the case of Dr Challoner’s High School the catchment has reduced from 8.25 miles for 2017 entry to 1.963 miles for 2019 entry and Wycombe High School has reduced from 24.584 miles in 2017 to 7.406 miles for 2019 entry.

Bucks is home to thirteen grammar schools which draw a huge number of families to the county.

Where are the grammar schools in Bucks?

Aylesbury Grammar School (boys)
Aylesbury High School (girls)
Beaconsfield High School (girls)
Burnham Grammar School (co-ed)
Chesham Grammar School (co-ed)
Dr Challoner’s Grammar School in Amersham (boys)
Dr Challoner’s High School in Little Chalfont (girls)
John Hampden Grammar School in High Wycombe (boys)
Royal Grammar School in High Wycombe (boys)
Royal Latin School in Buckingham (co-ed)
Sir Henry Floyd Grammar in Aylesbury (mixed)
Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School in Marlow (co-ed)
Wycombe High School (girls)

GCSE RESULTS red Rubber Stamp over a white background.Results
The results achieved by children at grammar schools continue to impress and often rival the leading independent schools. With the government now setting targets for grammar schools to place greater importance on producing ‘rounded and grounded’ pupils the grammar schools are not just achieving excellent exam results but also providing a wider based curriculum.

For example, Beaconsfield High School not only achieved outstanding exam results in 2018 but was recently named joint second best grammar school in the whole of the country for progress, see report here.

Exam
a pencil sitting on a test bubble sheetThere is the small matter of passing the 11+ exam in order to gain a place at one of the coveted grammar schools. This specialised exam covers a range of skills including maths, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning and is taken in the September prior to the year of entry. Grammar schools will also offer a 12+ exam and 13+ exam offering places subject to availability. Many children are tutored for the exam however the content is changeable and the exam providers focus is on setting an exam which is non-tutorable in order to try and make the system as fair as possible.

Catchment
If your child is successful in the exam the next criteria is catchment area. Given the increasing desire for places, you can no longer feel secure that you live within catchment based on previous years’ data. In order to be sure of being within catchment you need to consult the Bucks County Council catchment maps but also take note of the changing landscape as detailed above. The closer you are to the school the better your chances.

With such favourable – and free – schooling on offer it is no wonder that so many families are drawn towards Bucks in the hope of benefiting from the ‘grammar effect’.

If you would like further information about finding a house within catchment of one of the Bucks grammars call Chiltern Relocation on 01494 672086 or email enquiries@chilternrelocation.com and we will be pleased to help.

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Sharon Hewitt

Sharon Hewitt

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