11+ and Transition to Senior School

St Mary’s Lower School equips girls for the next stage of their education. The majority of Year 6 girls transfer to Year 7 at St Mary’s Senior School, where they have a guaranteed place, while several girls each year achieve places at grammar schools.

11+ preparation

In Year 3, St Mary’s girls begin preparation for the CSSE (Consortium of Selective Schools in Essex) 11+ exam for potential entry to state selective (grammar) schools. This takes the form of weekly lessons in reasoning skills, which serves to enhance their English and Mathematics. The CSSE 11+ examination consists of two papers and candidates are expected to be working at Mastery level of the National Curriculum. The paper comprises:

  • English Paper (1 hour): Comprehension, Grammar and Vocabulary; Creative Writing; Applied Reasoning (literacy/verbal)
  • Mathematics Paper (1 hour): questions consistent with KS2 National Curriculum; Applied Reasoning (mathematical/non-verbal)

All of these elements are taught within the St Mary’s Lower School curriculum. Year 5 pupils attend a series of additional 11+ preparation sessions, held in the summer term before the exam in the autumn. It is parents’ responsibility to enter their daughters for the 11+ and the school passes on any relevant information as soon as it is received.

Transfer to St Mary’s Year 7

Pupils of St Mary’s Lower School are assured of a place at the Senior School. All girls take the Senior School Entrance Assessment, which provides academic benchmarking, and take part in a short meeting with a senior member of staff.

St Mary’s Lower School girls have a good record of achieving Senior School Scholarships, which offer girls recognition as well as opportunities for extension and a fee remission. Girls in Year 5 receive the Senior School Scholarships booklet which gives full information on the available Scholarships and how to apply for them. Lower School teaching staff are happy to advise on Scholarship applications. Further information can be found on our website.

Our Locations