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City of London School: a parents’ guide to Year 7 entry

School guides
City of London School: a parents’ guide to Year 7 entry

City of London School provides a leading independent education to boys between the ages of 10 and 18. It is partnered with the City of London School for Girls – with which City of London School enjoys strong co-curricular links – and the City of London Freemen’s School (a co-educational independent school in Surrey). All three receive funding from the City’s Cash and City Livery Companies.

City of London School is defined by its iconic location – situated on the banks of the River Thames, in the shadow of St Paul’s Cathedral and opposite the Tate Modern. The school’s links with the capital’s cultural, political, educational, business and professional institutions enable pupils unique and excellent opportunities to prepare for modern life. Students enjoy regular and ongoing partnerships between City of London School and King’s College London, University College London, London Youth Choir, IntoUniversity, City of London School for Girls and the City of London Academies.

There are many academic opportunities for boys to engage in, including essay competitions (such as Trinity and Erasmus), science Olympiads, LAMDA qualifications and Model United Nations events. There is an extensive range of subjects on the curriculum, including Linguistics, Mandarin, Russian, Greek, DC&R (Design Computing and Robotics) and CLaSS (Core Learning and Survival Skills): a course covering organisation, information processing, time management, handwriting, touch typing, study skills and routine.

The school describes itself as ‘grounded and unpretentious, but ambitious nonetheless’; this ambition is evident in pupils’ exam results, with 95% 9–7 grades at GCSE and 82% A*/A at A level. In 2021, 22 pupils secured places at Oxbridge, 87 at Russell Group universities and 9 at institutions overseas, including Bocconi (Italy), KAIST (South Korea) and Stanford, Berkeley and Toronto (North America).

Key information for City of London School

  • Head: Mr Alan Bird

  • Address: City of London School, 107 Queen Victoria Street, London, EC4V 3AL

  • London Borough: City of London

  • Admissions contact: Mrs Vanessa Haley – [email protected], 020 3680 6300

  • Age range and gender: 10–18, boys only

  • Number of pupils: 1,018

  • Number of places in Year 7: 75

  • Ratio of applicants to places: 13:1

  • Open day date: Thursday 29th September and Sunday 2nd October 2022 – book a place online

  • Overview of selection procedure: Initial exam, shortlisted exam, interview and reference

  • Registration opens: Currently open – apply online

  • Registration closes: Friday 4th November 2022

  • Assessment date: Friday 2nd December 2022 (first stage), week commencing 12th December 2022 (second stage)

  • Scholarship assessment date: TBC

City of London School fees and financial assistance

The current fees at City of London School are £6,665 per term. School lunch is provided at an additional cost of £292 per term.

The school offers bursaries (means-tested financial assistance) to the families of academically bright pupils who otherwise could not afford private education. These can cover part or all of a pupil’s tuition fees, depending on the family’s financial circumstances. As a guide, a family on a joint net income of less than £45,000 per annum (with limited assets) would be eligible to be considered for a 100% bursary. At the other end of the scale, a family with a net household income of £70,000 per annum (with limited assets) may be eligible for a 25% bursary. More information about City of London School bursaries is available online.

City of London School also offers the following scholarships at 11 plus entry:

  • Academic Scholarships: £250

  • Music Scholarships: £250, plus free tuition on two instruments

  • Sports Scholarships: £250, plus funding to support personal and team sporting development

City of London School term dates

The term dates at City of London School for 2022–23 are:

  • Autumn term: 2nd September – 15th December 2022

  • Half term: 17th–28th October 2022

  • Spring term: 10th January – 24th March 2023

  • Half term: 13th–17th February 2023

  • Summer term: 17th April – 4th July 2023

  • Half term: 29th May – 2nd June 2023

The provisional term dates at City of London School for 2023–24 are:

  • Autumn term: 5th September – 15th December 2023

  • Half term: 16th–27th October 2023

  • Spring term: 9th January – 22nd March 2024

  • Half term: 12th–16th February 2024

  • Summer term: 15th April – 4th July 2024

  • Half term: 27th–31st May 2024

Admissions process for Year 7 entry to City of London School

If you would like your son to be considered for Year 7 entry to City of London School in 2023, you are advised to visit the school on one of its two open days in autumn 2022. If you then decide to enter the 11 plus admissions process, you will need to complete the online application form and pay the non-refundable registration fee of £160 before the deadline on Friday 4th November 2022.

All children who have been registered by the deadline will be invited to the first of two assessment stages on Friday 2nd December 2022. Candidates who perform well in this written exam will be invited back to the school during the week commencing 12th December 2022 to sit further papers, followed by an interview in January 2023. Interviews last around 20 minutes and are designed to get to know your child holistically – as well as giving the candidate the opportunity to find out more about City of London School.

If your child is applying for a scholarship, there will be additional processes:

  • Academic Scholarship: candidates are selected based on their performance in the entrance exams and the interview – there is no need to apply separately.

  • Music Scholarship: candidates are selected based on their performance in an audition and interview. All singers must play an instrument (voice cannot be offered as a first study) and the minimum requirement on piano and strings is Grade 5.

  • Sports Scholarships: candidates are selected based on their performance in a sports trial. Successful candidates will make a contribution to at least two of the major team sports (especially football).

Offers are made on the basis of performance in the two entrance exams and the interview, in addition to a confidential reference from the headteacher of your child’s current school. Offers will be emailed to families of candidates on Friday 10th February 2023 and will need to be accepted by 9am on Friday 3rd March.

City of London School 11 plus exam

There are two stages to the 11 plus exam at City of London School.

Stage one

All registered candidates for Year 7 entry will be invited to the first 11 plus exam on Friday 2nd December 2022. There are two written papers:

  • English: Approximately one hour with two sections. Section A assesses reading comprehension and all the questions are multiple-choice. Section B is a creative writing piece, with candidates assessed on their ability to use accurate sentences, spelling and punctuation as well as the pace, realism and level of engagement of their story.

  • Maths: Approximately one hour with around 60 questions. Candidates are assessed on their knowledge of the Year 5 maths national curriculum. This includes the topics of number, shape, space and measures, and handling data. A helpful checklist of the topics tested is available on City of London School’s website.

Stage two

Candidates who perform well in the first exam will be invited back to the second stage during the week commencing 12th December 2022. There will be two further written papers:

  • Verbal reasoning: a test of your child’s ability to reason and solve problems with written information. Candidates will be tested on their reading fluency and comprehension, vocabulary knowledge, phonological awareness, logic and problem-solving skills, ability to discover and apply rules, and attention to detail. Find out more in our 11 plus verbal reasoning exam preparation guide.

  • Non-verbal reasoning: children will be tested on their ability to analyse visual information and solve problems using shapes, diagrams and pictures. They will be assessed on their maths skills, logic and problem-solving, spatial awareness, ability to identify patterns and rules, and overall general intelligence. Get top tips for success in 11 plus non-verbal reasoning.

How to help your child prepare for the selection process at City of London School

Build foundational knowledge

The 11 plus exam at City of London School assesses candidates’ knowledge and understanding of Key Stage 2 English and maths for all candidates – in addition to verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning (which typically aren’t taught in school) for shortlisted candidates.

Your child can consolidate everything they know with Atom Nucleus, with over 90,000 teacher-created questions and helpful learning resources that span English, maths, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning.

Verbal reasoning learning journey on Atom Nucleus

Preparation is key

Familiarisation with the question formats and known styles ahead of the exam is essential to help your child build exam confidence.

An exam preparation subscription with Atom Nucleus enables your child to access quality, unlimited practice material with full score breakdowns to help your child feel confident by the time the exam day comes around. We have online replicas of first stage exams at City of London School (English and maths) in addition to Year 6 foundation tests in verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning.

11 plus maths mock test for City of London School

Access to immediate support

When working through challenging topics, your child will need immediate clarity with any misconceptions so that they feel truly secure in the exam.

Atom Nucleus includes video tutorials, help sheets and examples with every question to help your child build confidence and competence across all the areas assessed.

Maths learning journey on Atom Nucleus

Engage with their progress

Celebrate your child’s improvement in areas of challenge together. An accurate and ongoing assessment of their areas of strength and development is helpful.

As an Atom subscriber, you’ll have a parent dashboard which offers data-driven insights into your child’s progress. You can use this effectively to help your child set targets, see a detailed breakdown of their progress by subtopic and set custom practices to target those they find most challenging.

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Get started with Atom Learning

It’s our mission to help your child feel prepared and confident before the exam day. Begin your free 5-day free trial of Nucleus today to help your child succeed.

5 day free trial for 11 plus

We know how crucial this time is, so our team is on hand to support you and your family every step of the way. You can book a call with one of our Education Experts to ask any questions you might have about 11 plus entry to City of London School:

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