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In Year Admissions

What is an "In-Year admission"?

An "In-Year admission" is an application received for Years 7 – 11 at any time other than normal secondary transfer.

Does St Bernard’s Catholic Grammar School accept In-Year admissions?

Most of our students join at the start of Year 7, having achieved the eligibility score in the 11+ entrance examination.  However, there may be reasons why parents may wish to apply for place at another time, for example if they have moved into the area.

St Bernard’s Catholic Grammar School is a popular school and is normally over-subscribed.  However, places do sometimes become available as families move away from the area, and we are able to consider new applications for admission. As we are a selective school, applicants must sit an entrance assessment before a place can be considered.

Children will therefore only be admitted other than at the start of Year 7 if there are available places and they are (a) transferring from another grammar school in the Slough consortium, or (b) successful in the school’s entrance assessment for their proposed year of entry.

Applicants who have previously sat the Slough Consortium 11+ examination for entry into Year 7, but who did not achieve a standardised score of at least 111, will not be considered for In-Year entry into Year 7.

Applications from external candidates applying to join our Sixth Form, to begin A-Level studies at the beginning of the academic year in Year 12, are administered through the separate Sixth Form Admissions Process.

How do I submit an In-Year application?

Requests for admission into the school, other than at the start of Year 7, should be made by completing the Application for In-Year admission which may be submitted at any time during the school year.

If you would like your child to be considered for assessment for possible admission to St Bernard’s Catholic Grammar School, please complete the In-Year application form which can be completed on the school website.

Please note that the next application form will be available to complete after the Christmas holidays.

Please do not complete and return this form if your child is transferring from primary to secondary school as part of normal admissions process at age 11.

When we receive an In-Year application, we will

  • respond in writing within 15 school days, and
  • invite the applicant to the next available date for the entrance assessment.

Please note that if your child left a previous school as a result of permanent exclusion, you must declare this on the admissions form.

What are the assessment arrangements?

Assessments for In-Year admission will be held three times each academic year; in the second half of the Autumn Term, the second half of the Spring Term and in the second half of the Summer Term.

The dates for the entrance assessments in 2022-2023 are:

23rd November 2022

(Please note - this testing session is now full - applications will open again after the Christmas holidays).

28th March 2023

29th June 2023

The purpose of the entrance assessment procedure is to determine whether the applicant’s ability is comparable to the other students in the year group for which they are applying for entry. If the assessment shows that this is the case, then the applicant would be regarded as eligible for consideration for a place should one be available. However, eligibility is not a guarantee of a place in the school. 

Before offering a place, we would usually also request a copy of the most recent school report from the applicant's current school.

Information about the Test

No revision or preparation is needed for any aspect of these tests and all questions are multiple choice.  The entrance examination we are using are administered by GL – Assessment and are widely used throughout the country.  A short guide has been put together here:

https://support.gl-assessment.co.uk/knowledge-base/assessments/cat4-support/information-for-parents/information-for-parents/ 

The tests will be taken using an online portal and will comprise of three parts, each of which has subsections within them.

The questions are a mixture of:

Verbal Reasoning

Non-verbal Reasoning

Math skills appropriate for the age group.

Although the tests will be completed on a computer, candidates should bring a pen or pencil for any working out (paper will be provided).

Please may we also ask that your son/daughter brings with them a set of headphones.  The headphones just need to be ordinary 3.5mm jack plug headphones.

Students will be successful if they achieve a CAT score which is congruent with that of the Year group they are applying to enter.

What happens if there are more applicants than available places?

If we are considering more than one in-year application at the same time and there are not enough places to accept all eligible applicants, we will apply the following over-subscription criteria in the order shown. 

1.   Looked after Children and Previously Looked after Children. 

2.   Practising Baptised Catholic children with a Priest’s reference. 

3.   Other Baptised Catholic children.

4.   Baptised or Dedicated Children of other Christian Churches with a religious      leader’s reference.

5.   Baptised or Dedicated Children of other Christian Churches

6.   Children from Other Faiths [see note e] who attend a Slough Catholic Primary      School within St Peter’s Pastoral Area, (Holy Family Catholic Primary School, Our  Lady of Peace Catholic Primary School, St Anthony’s Catholic Primary School and St  Ethelbert’s Catholic Primary School) and live in Slough with a permanent home  address. 

7.   Children from Other Faiths who attend a Slough Primary School within St Peter’s Pastoral Area Holy Family Catholic Primary School, Our Lady of Peace Catholic Primary School, St Anthony’s Catholic Primary School and St Ethelbert’s Catholic Primary School).

8.    Children of other faiths with a religious leader’s reference.

9.    Children of other faiths

10.  Any other children.

If necessary, the Governing Body will determine an order of priority within the above categories based on the following criteria in this order of priority:

  1. Children currently in receipt of the Pupil Premium.
  2. On the child’s score in the Selective Tests.

In the event of one or more eligible pupils being tied for the final place or places at the school, priority will be decided by proximity to the school.

If the school has no available places, the application will be refused.

Parents can request that their child’s name is kept on the waiting list for the rest of the academic year following refusal.

Applicants who have not been allocated a place have their name added to the waiting list, which is ranked in order of eligibility. Each time an application is received, and a new applicant child added, the list will be ranked again. If a place becomes available, candidates on the waiting list are reviewed, and the place is allocated in accordance with the above In-Year oversubscription criteria.

Can I appeal if my child's application is refused?

If your child has sat our in-year entrance assessment but their application has been refused, you have the right to appeal against this decision. 

You can request an in-year appeal form from the Clerk.  You should write to the Clerk to the Appeals Panel, PO Box 4235, Slough, Berkshire SL3 3FP, requesting an in-year appeal form within 2 weeks of receipt of your child's result letter.  Your completed appeal form, and evidence must be returned to the Clerk.  Your appeal will be heard by the Independent Appeals Panel within 30 school days from receipt of the completed appeal form.

Slough Borough Council Admissions

If you are a Slough resident, the Admissions Department at Slough Borough Council will be able to assist you with finding a school place.  They can be contacted by the follow means:

The Admissions Team, Slough Borough Council, Observatory House, 25 Windsor Road, Slough SL1 2EL

Telephone: 01753 875728 (Telephone opening hours: 10am - 4.30pm, Monday to Friday)

Email:            admissionshelpline@slough.gov.uk

Website:        www.slough.gov.uk/admissions

Please note that owing to the number of applications we are now at capacity for testing on 6th July 2022 and the In-Year application Form will open again in September 2022 with testing scheduled for the Autumn term.

 

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