Frequently Asked Questions
Please read the Admission Policy carefully in conjunction with the frequently asked questions.
How will my child be selected?
What does the entrance exam entail?
How can I prepare my child for the test?
What is the music oversubscription criteria?
What is Pupil Premium?
How many places are available in Year 7?
How many applications does the school receive?
Does it matter where we live?
What is a looked-after child?
Do I need to make the school first preference on the LA common application form?
If I make HGS my first preference could this affect my application to another school?
What if my child has special needs?
What if my child is ill on the day of the examination?
What if I apply late?
Please note that the school is selective and admission is based on the results of an entrance test. Please take time to carefully read the separate admissions policy, which can be found on the school website. The normal ages of entrance are eleven and sixteen (for the sixth form). In special circumstances, for example when families move into the area, an in-year application form may be requested from the Admissions Officer and returned to the school. However, for a child to be admitted in-year, a vacancy would have had to arise, and this is a rare occurrence. For more information about in-year applications please click here.
Children take an entrance examination early in the Autumn term preceding the September of entry. Papers will test a range of reasoning skills in a variety of contexts and they are designed to be predictors of likely future performance. The results from each paper will be standardised, age-weighted and combined into a total standardised age score. The outcome of the test is communicated to parents in mid-October, prior to the deadline for submission of the common application form (CAF) to the local authority. This does not necessarily constitute the formal offer of a place since, in recent years, there have been more children reaching the required standard than there are places available. The formal offer of a place will be communicated via the Local Authority in early March.
There are many different ways you can help your child prepare for the test and you will know what will work best for your child. Amongst other activities you could try, we recommend that you help your child with reading. Ask them to explain the meaning of a passage they are reading. You could also point to a word and ask them to explain its meaning, give a synonym, or give you a word with an opposite meaning. You could give your child the meaning of a word and they have to find that word in the text they are reading. Another suggestion could be to give your child a time limit to find as many words belonging to a particular word group as they can, such as nouns or adjectives. Practising doing mental maths or literacy tasks under time constraints will also help boost confidence for the test.Familiarisation Guide – Word Choice Familiarisation Guide – Maths Familiarisation Guide – Comprehension Familiarisation Guide – Pictures
If, as expected, more children reach the required standard in the entrance exam than there are places available, then the oversubscription criteria will be invoked in the order they appear in the admissions policy. If a student has passed a nationally recognised music exam at grade 2 by the date of the entrance exam, then priority will be given to such a student. This must be indicated on the registration form for the entrance examination.
There are three separate eligibility criteria for the Pupil Premium funding (payable to the school).
- Children who are eligible for free school meals, or have ever been eligible in the last 6 years.
- Children who are, or have ever been, looked after in local authority care.
- Children for whom one of their parents is in the armed forces, or has been, in the last 6 years.
The admission number for the school is 180.
Typically, over 1000 pupils register for the entrance examination each year.
The majority of places are taken up by students who live outside of the catchment area; in a typical year, over three-quarters of the places have been offered to children from outside of the catchment area. However, students who reside within the catchment area have to pass the test to exactly the same standard as all the other students, but if the school is oversubscribed, places will be offered to catchment area students as a priority. The place of residence will be taken as the child’s permanent address on the date of the entrance exam. Please see the admissions policy for a prioritised list of the oversubscription criteria. A map of the catchment area is available on our Admissions Policies page.
A looked-after child is a child who is in public care or has previously been in public care. (Children previously in public care are children who were in public care and ceased to be so because they were adopted or became subject to a residence order or special guardianship order). Looked-after children are dealt with as criterion 1 with stage (ii) of the application process.
If parents wish for their child to attend HGS, they are strongly advised to make the school their first preference on the LA common application form. If your child meets the admission criteria for more than one of your chosen three schools, the LA will allocate your child to the school of highest preference. If HGS is not made first preference your child may not receive the offer of a place even if they pass the entrance examination.
No, the order of preference on the application form is not used as an admission criterion by any Kirklees school or schools in neighbouring authorities.
If your child has a Statement of Special Educational Needs / Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan, or is receiving external agency support for any additional needs, please contact the school to discuss this. Special consideration may be given by Heckmondwike Grammar School during the examination.
If you feel your child is so unwell they can’t take the examination you should inform the Admissions Officer at the school immediately. You should then take your child to your GP and provide a medical note to the school. If appropriate, it may be possible for your child to sit the examination on an alternative date. If your child is unwell during the test and you feel the illness has affected their performance, then you should take your child to your GP immediately and provide a medical note to the school.
It is essential for applicants to sit the entrance test according to the admissions schedule so that the outcome can be communicated to parents in time to nominate the school on the CAF where appropriate. Applicants whose registration with the school is later than the test deadline, and those who do not nominate the school on the CAF by the local authority deadline, will be considered after the initial round of waiting list places on 31st March. It is highly unlikely that places will be available at this stage and parents who think they may wish to pursue a place at the school are strongly advised both to register on time for the test and to nominate Heckmondwike Grammar School on the CAF in the first instance.