How do we at Falcons prepare our pupils for the 11+ exams


There are lots of benefits for a child that passes the 11+ exams. They have several different opportunities to attend their first grammar or private school choice.

This article will look at an overview of how we at Falcons prepare our children for the 11+ exams.

What are the 11+ exams?

The 11+ exams refer to a selective entrance examination for secondary schools. These are used by both state-funded grammar schools and several different private schools. These aid in identifying able academic children.

The exams take place during the academic year for Year 6 pupils, although many are in January and February.

What do the 11+ exams test?

What children are tested on can vary in different parts of the country and even from school to school but many will have exams on the following:

Non-verbal reasoning

Verbal reasoning



While it is easy to coach for English and mathematics tests, it is important to be wary that this is trickier for non-verbal and verbal reasoning as these test a child’s ‘natural’ intelligence.

We help our pupils with 11 plus tips for preparation

Children need a lot of time to prepare in order to feel confident to achieve highly in 11+ exams. This requires development and understanding in verbal and non-verbal reasoning from a younger age, which is why we incorporate this into our curriculum from Year 3. We also recommend that you create a study plan in Year 5 so your child gets used to working on their 11+ preparation long before the exams arrive.

We appreciate it is vital not to overwork and overwhelm children at such a vital time in their education. This is why at Falcons, we provide them with the opportunity to develop their understanding of 11+ subjects in smaller chunks that are easier to digest. This would aid in reducing the rate at which children would be overwhelmed. Closer to their exams, we also take time to offer one-to-one support to ensure they feel prepared and ready to take on the 11+.


How is English covered at Falcons?

Your child may get tested on a combination of the following topics:

Literacy, Vocabulary, Grammar, Sentence Structure, Comprehension, Punctuation, and Spelling. As part of our curriculum, English is covered five days a week from Year 4, providing the opportunity for our children to thrive in reading and writing.

What about non-verbal and verbal reasoning?

In non-verbal reasoning, children may get tested on spatial awareness and shapes. We also look at mirror images that work on subtraction and addition using maths games and objects, which are all great ways to help your child prepare for non-verbal reasoning questions.

For insights into different question types, which are asked in non-verbal reasoning sections, there are lots of ways we can help your children. Our school helps children learn by taking them out to explore the world so that their knowledge extends beyond the classroom.

Verbal reasoning focuses more on a child’s understanding of text and their level of language, using logic and comprehension to answer questions. We make use of practice papers to assess verbal reasoning skills.

For the mathematics part of these exams, questions may relate to any area of Key Stage Two maths curriculum. Mathematics forms a huge part of our timetable, with girls partaking in maths lessons daily throughout the week to ensure they are equipped with a well-rounded knowledge of the subject.

Does my child have to take 11+ exams?

The 11+ exams are not compulsory. It entirely depends on you and if you decide for your child to apply to a state grammar or private school.

In some counties like Buckinghamshire, children are automatically registered for a Transfer Test (previously known as the 11+ exams) and this exam is to check whether they are of grammar school ability.

If you are not sure about the registration process is in your area, check your local authority website.

Welcome to Falcons School for Girls

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Rated ‘Excellent’ by ISI in March 2020

“Pupils display outstanding levels of self-confidence and self-esteem”

“Pupils display exceptional attitudes towards learning”

Click here to read the full ISI report

11+ Results and Destinations

Read about the outstanding 11+ results achieved by Falcons Girls in 2021 here.