Entrance Examinations/Assessment Procedures

Preparatory School
Nursery (3-5 year olds)

Children spend a half-day in the Nursery and are informally assessed during this time.

There is a separate Admissions Policy for the Nursery, available upon request, owing to the complexity of Nursery provision and the educational needs of individual children.  Under normal circumstances, Nursery children transfer to the Preparatory School.  Where such transfer is deemed inappropriate (for example, where it is felt that that child will not thrive given the curriculum provided), the Head of Nursery, in conjunction with the Headmaster, will notify the parents with at least six months’ notice.

Preparatory School (5-11 year olds)

Years 1-3: children spend a whole day in School and, during this time, have assessments in English and Mathematics.

Years 4-6: children spend a whole day in School and, during this time, take examination papers in English, Mathematics and Non-Verbal Reasoning.

An additional form of entry is admitted at 7+ and 9+; a day in School, to include the entrance examinations, is held on a School day in the first half of the spring term prior to entry in September.

Overseas families, wishing to enter at Preparatory School age must visit the School, in person, and their child be interviewed on a face to face basis. The assessment can then, also, be carried out under our supervision.

Senior School (11-18 year olds)

Entry is normally at 11+ and 13+ (when an additional form of entry is admitted) and to the Sixth Form, but a small number of places may be available for entry to other years if there are vacancies.

11+, 12+, 13+, 14+ entrance examinations are held on a Saturday morning in the first half of the spring term prior to entry in September.  Papers are set in English, Mathematics, Non-Verbal Reasoning and Science, for some Year Groups. For candidates applying for 13+ entry from independent preparatory schools, entry can also be by Common Entrance examinations, held in the Summer Term prior to entry in September.

Sixth Form

In general, applicants will be interviewed and entry will also be based on successful performance in GCSE (or equivalent examinations).

Applicants should obtain at least six GCSE passes at grade B/level 5 or better including English and Mathematics.  For any subject to be studied in the Sixth Form, applicants should have at least GCSE grade B/level 5 in that subject (or, for subjects not taken at GCSE, at least grade B/level 5 in related GCSE subjects).  Further to this, GCSE grade A/ A* or level 7-9 is normally required in order to study the following subjects in the Sixth Form: Mathematics, Sciences, Languages and English Literature.

Specimen copies of the 11+, 12+, 13+, 14+ papers are available on request from the Registrar.  There are no sample Non-Verbal Reasoning papers, but examples can be purchased from High Street stationers.

Non-Native Speakers of English from Overseas

It is strongly recommended that overseas applicants should provide an IELTS or ESOL examination certificate to confirm their ability in English language. In addition, students  may be tested in subjects such as Mathematics and Science. Please contact the Registrar, for further details (registrar@ratcliffe.leics.sch.uk).