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11 Plus Preparation

Every year hundreds of children apply for and sit 11 plus Entrance Exams across the country. There is high competition for grammar school places and a growing number of students each year seek tuition to support them through this process.


Preparing for the exam can seem overwhelming, in Trafford alone there are three different exams for the state grammar schools and parents can sometimes feel lost with where to start and how to best prepare for the exams. For this reason, we run a course that runs throughout the year for Year 5 children, we structure our course carefully starting with securing the skills and knowledge before moving to the application of this knowledge and teaching specific examination technique within the context of the 11 plus exams.

Although we have a curriculum to follow, much like schools, our course is completely bespoke; the content and approaches that we take are determined by the children that we are working with and the professional judgements that we have made with regards to their strengths and development areas.Unlike many tuition companies we offer a course that is personal to your child, our teaching is tailored and flexible to their needs. Our course is taught by experienced, qualified teachers who work in both primary and secondary schools and have a wealth of knowledge on the content of the 11+ exam. Our teachers are highly skilled and are constantly assessing children’s learning informally and adapting the teaching to meet their needs.


To support home preparations further, parents are given access to a range of materials throughout the year that we will provide at regular intervals.


For information, help and support with the 11 plus please do not hesitate to contact us; we have a wealth of free information and resources that we share with parents to help them with their decisions and at home preparations – please contact us and we will be happy to share these materials with you.

"Helping children to prepare for the 11 plus with confidence"

"... a course that is personal to your child..."

11 Plus Preparation

  • What do we offer?
    For 11 plus we offer a bespoke programme of tuition that runs throughout Year 4 and 5 to prepare children specifically for the Trafford Grammar School exams as well as for the Independent School exams. Our course is led, planned and taught only by experienced and qualified teachers - it is not a set programme of study but learning that is planned and delivered by our qualified and experienced teachers in response to the needs of the children that we are working with.
  • Why prepare for the 11 plus?
    In the same way that you or I would expect to prepare for an exam or interview in order to do our best, the same is true of success in the 11 plus. Being prepared helps children to become familiar, comfortable and confident in the process, enabling them to perform at their best of their ability in the exam.
  • What do you mean by a bespoke 11 plus course?
    Many tutors and companies offer tuition and 11 plus preparation, face to face and online. Many of these companies offer set programmes of study and pre-written courses that are rolled out year on year. Our course (and our tuition service) is not like that, we offer a course that is flexible – it is planned individually for the children we are working with and is responsive to their needs. Research proves that teaching is most effective when it is responsive to children’s needs, all our tuition works on that basis; although we have a curriculum to follow, our teachers are responsive to the children’s needs – adjusting time spent on different areas, the teaching methods and approaches, providing additional resources to support areas that we have identified as areas of need. This is teaching and why we only provide tuition with qualified, experienced teachers. A set programme of study would be similar to buying a pre-written textbook or computer programme and working through it page by page irrespective of children’s starting points and the progress they are making (or not) along the way. This may, or may not, be delivered by a qualified teacher pending the tuition company, but the principle is the same – it does not cater for pupils’ personalised learning needs and is usually inflexible and less effective in supporting learning. Many computer programmes claim to be able to use algorithms to identify and respond to children’s needs, but until teachers are replaced by computers, I think it’s safe to say that learning happens best with a skilled teacher who builds strong working relationships with children and responds to their needs through their planning and teaching strategies in the classroom.
  • Who is the 11 plus course suitable for?
    Our course is designed for Year 5 students who are considering taking the 11 plus Entrance Exams for Trafford Schools. These children will work with us for a whole year. Occasionally children join us later in the year and we can always do our best to accommodate this but we recommend enrolling for the year. We offer separate tuition for younger children who may be considering 11 plus in the future.
  • When should my child begin preparing for the 11 plus?
    Specific examination practice need not take place too soon, in fact, it can be counterproductive. However, all investment that is made in children’s learning from day one counts! Not to be misunderstood, we are talking about supporting children’s learning through speech, play, discussion, reading widely and avidly with them, helping them to become confident and resilient learners who enjoy learning. Formal preparations introduced too soon can do more damage than good, but children can certainly never read too many books – that is certain!
  • Do we assess the children?
    We are constantly assessing the children in our lessons informally as teachers do. We are gaging children’s confidence and success with the knowledge and skills and using our assessments to plan for their needs in subsequent lessons as well as the at home work and additional support that we incorporate as part of the course. We do not, however, assess formally them to grant them access to our course. We are not a company who will only work with children that pass an assessment or one that takes students to protect and publish a pass rate. If you and your child have decided that you would like to try the 11 plus then we are more than happy to support you towards that goal.
  • How does the course work?
    In the first 4-6 months we build on children’s strengths and needs in key areas of their school learning – their reading, literacy and numerical knowledge and skills. Throughout we gradually weave in the exam content before focusing on the application of knowledge and skills with specific examination techniques and practice.
  • Why groups?
    In groups children learn together, they enjoy their learning and bounce off one another; the pace of learning is improved and children cover a lot more ground than they would on their own. Preparing for the 11 plus can feel sometimes lonely and isolating and in groups children connect with others going through the same process as them and support each other, building comradery and friendship. Learning in our classroom too makes the world of difference – children are more switched on to learning, raise their game and respond well to the classroom environment which improves the overall experience and effectiveness of the learning. In addition to the set group times, we do accommodate children who wish to work in pairs or small friendship groups at a time that is preferable to them, subject to teacher availability.
  • How many children are in a group?
    We enrol up to 4-6 children in a group.
  • How much is group tuition?
    To secure your child’s place, we recommend advance half-termly bookings in which, lessons are offered at a discount rate of £18 p/lesson and are non-refundable. If you prefer to PAYG, lessons are £22 p/lesson, but we regret that we cannot guarantee your child’s place should the group be full.
  • When and where does the course run?
    Currently, we run our 11 plus course at our Altrincham classroom which is located on Manchester Road by the Altrincham Retail Park.
  • Can my child be tutored one-to-one for 11 plus?
    We do not usually offer one-to-one tuition for 11 plus unless in exceptional circumstances where it would be ineffective or difficult for a particular child to access our group course and this is only where availability can allow. However, we are a company that prides ourselves on offering bespoke solutions and as such we do work with individual requests and do what we can to meet those needs. We also regularly accommodate children who wish to work in pairs or small friendship groups at a time that is preferable to them, subject to teacher availability.
  • What other courses do you offer?
    Currently, we offer a weekly Year 4 Curriculum Group which is ideal for children considering 11 plus preparation and for those looking to consolidate and extend school learning and build confidence and achievement in school. In addition, we run a weekly group to support students in Year 6 with SATs preparations. To keep updated about new group learning and other news you can join our mailing list.
  • How can I find out more?
    We are a friendly team and we are always happy to be contacted to discuss any questions you may have. To discuss further, or for access to our preparation guides and materials please contact us either by email:, or, call Helen on 07969691121 who will be delighted to help you. To keep updated and receive all the latest news and free resources you can join our mailing list.
11+ FAQs

11 Plus Summer School

The 11 Plus exams in Trafford take place in the September of Year 6. During the Summer of Year 5 we run our Summer School to support students’ preparations during the holidays. 

  • Review and secure knowledge and skills

  • Exam technique and practice

  • Supporting children’s wellbeing

For more information and to secure your place please contact us.

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