How to Get Into a Good Secondary School in England

Four Parts:September - OctoberGrammar SchoolsOctoberWaiting...

Whether you're in Year 6 or Year 8, soon you'll be moving up in the school ladder and joining secondary school. If you live in England, this is where you'll be spending the next few years and will complete GCSE examinations. If you want to get into a good secondary school, there are a few steps you can follow. But remember––you need to do your own research to be absolutely certain.

Part 1
September - October

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    Prepare by learning about the schools. Around September to October of the year before you hope to join the new school, you'll want to go to Open Evenings or Open Days. These are evenings where the school is opened especially for prospective students to visit the school and take a look around.
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    Attend as many of the Open Evenings as you can. Make sure you organise the dates and get to the evenings with plenty of time to look around - you don't want to be rushed. Take time to look around different subjects and look at course content and previous student's work.
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    Try to attend the Headteacher speeches. Make sure you bring your parents along and pay close attention to what the Head tells you about the school.
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    Try to have a clear idea of what a 'good' secondary school means to you. This could be good grades at GCSE; the extra-curricular activities they offer or which school is closest to you. Make sure to compare the different schools.

Part 2
Grammar Schools

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    Study for the exams. If you've decided you want to get into a Grammar School (this is a school in which you have to pass exams to attend) make sure you have prepared for the exams. This could be doing practice tests with your parents or revising things such as verbal reasoning or maths.
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    Make sure you have applied for the exam. You'll need to ask your parents or legal guardians to do this for you.
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    Be ready for the exam date and do the best you can.

Part 3
October

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    Apply to a secondary school by the 31st of October in the UK. You'll need to apply to at least three different schools. Ensure that you meet any relevant residential requirements.
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    Make sure you apply as soon as you can. Check with your local council to find out when applications open. Ask your parent/guardian to do this.
    • The earlier you apply, the more likely you'll get your first choice of secondary school.

Part 4
Waiting...

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    Wait until March to find out which school you got into. Remember that it isn't just about which school you go to. If you want to achieve, you'll need to put in effort yourself. You can go to what is considered a 'worse' school and do better than somebody who goes to what is considered a 'good' school but slacks off. If you try your hardest, you will succeed.

Tips

  • It's not the end of the world if you don't get into your first choice.
  • Make sure you have researched all possible schools in your local area.
  • Look at the school's admission criteria to see where you are placed.
  • Check Ofsted reports and school league tables to compare various schools. These are accessed easily online.
  • Make sure to visit any potential schools. It is important to experience the atmosphere.
  • Don't go somewhere just because your friends are; make sure the school is the right choice for you.


Article Info

Categories: School Stuff