Frequently Asked Questions
Please read the Admission Policy carefully in conjunction with the frequently asked questions.
How will my child be selected?
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, or is available on request from the admissions secretary at the school. 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 secretary 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.
What is the entrance exam comprised of?
Eleven-year-olds 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.
What are the physical fitness/agility and music oversubscription criteria?
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. Children who successfully reach the required standard in the entrance exam will be eligible to undertake a Physical Fitness/Agility test which will be held in school at a date to be arranged in October after the communication to parents of the entrance exam results. The test will involve a number of activities to test stamina, speed and agility. Those children wishing to take this test must indicate their intention on the registration form. Children who pass the Physical Fitness/Agility test will then be given priority.
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.
How many places are available in Year 7?
The admission number for the school is 180.
How many applications does the school receive?
Typically, over 800 pupils register for the entrance examination each year.
Does it matter where we live?
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 request from the Admission Secretary.
What is a looked-after child?
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.
Do I need to make the school first preference on the LA common application form?
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.
If I make HGS my first preference could this affect my application to another school?
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.
What if my child has special needs?
If your child has a Statement of Special Educational Needs / Education Health 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.
What if my child is ill on the day of the examination?
If you feel your child is so unwell they can’t take the examination you should inform the Admissions Secretary 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.
What if I apply late?
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.