Orchard Primary School
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Bexley Selection Test and Selecting Secondary School


Children born between 1 September 2007 and 31 August 2008 can sit the Bexley selection test in September 2018 when they are in Year 6 of primary school.
  • register your child online between 1 May and 8 July 2018
  • this includes all children who attend primary schools in Bexley
  • the link to the online registration site will be on this page from Tuesday 1 May
  • test sessions will be on Tuesday 11 or Wednesday 12 September 2018
  • all registered children who attend a primary school in Bexley will sit the test on the morning of 12 September, either in their own school or in a test centre
  • all other children will be invited to one morning or afternoon test session on either 11 or 12 September at a secondary school in Bexley
  • you can apply for special arrangements if your child has a disability or special need

There will be two test papers containing a mixture of questions on verbal reasoning and comprehension, non-verbal reasoning and mathematical reasoning.
Each paper will be divided into timed sections, and instructions will be given on an audio soundtrack. Most questions are multiple choice, and all answers are marked on a separate machine-readable answer sheet. There will be a short break between the two test papers.
All parents who register their child for the test will be sent a link to practice questions.

The test provider, CEM, does not sell past papers or practice books.

Format of the tests
  • Each test lasts 45 –50 minutes plus time for instructions
  • Separately timed sections of questions
  • Examples at the start of each section
  • Audio soundtrack with instructions on what to do and time warnings
  • Question booklet + OMR answer sheet
  • Most questions in multiple choice format. Some Maths questions
    are not multiple choice
  • Rough working can be done on question booklets

Test content
  • Comprehension
  • Verbal ability (including vocabulary)
  • Numerical reasoning
  • Non-verbal reasoning
  • CEM Entrance assessments are intended to provide as fair an
    assessment of ability as possible.
  • Assessing a broad range of abilities will provide a fairer selection
    process than a test that only assesses one area of ability
  • 50% of marks for verbal ability and comprehension, 25% for
    numerical reasoning, 25% for non-verbal reasoning
  • One age-standardised score covering both test papers

Getting ready for the tests
  • Coaching and tutoring are not needed
  • Test questions will be based on what children are learning in school
  • Some of the questions will be quite difficult
  • CEM does not sell practice books or papers
  • Encourage your child to read widely
  • Link to practice questions sent in registration acknowledgement
  • Schools may go through practice questions with pupils

How to apply for a secondary school place
  • Read the ‘Admission to Secondary Schools in Bexley’ booklet and get details about any schools in Greenwich, Bromley, Kent etc that you are interested in.
  • Decide on your preferred schools and make sure that your child meets the admission criteria
  • Complete a Common Application Form (CAF), either online or paper. Apply to your home Council regardless of where your preferred schools are
  • Apply online if possible: www.eadmissions.org.uk or visit: www.bexley.gov.uk/admissions for the link to the e-Admissions site
  • Paper forms available from primary schools and Council offices. Residents of other boroughs should get a form from their home Council.
  • Bexley residents can list up to six preferences for any type of school in any area, in order from 1 to 6. You don’t have to list 6 schools, but the more you list, the greater the likelihood of being offered a school that you would be happy with. All preferences are equal –schools do not know where you have placed them on your application form

How to apply
  • Include evidence for medical conditions or other requests for priority with your application. If you mention something on the form, you must provide evidence to support it
  • You must provide evidence of your address and your child’s date of birth.
  • Scan and upload evidence with online applications, or take copies to your primary school for checking. See the ‘Admission to Secondary Schools in Bexley’ booklet for full details
  • Supplementary Information Forms must be completed for some schools. In Bexley these are the three faith Academies: St Catherine’s, St Columba’s and Trinity. Check closing dates for SIFs as they may be different from the CAF closing date
  • Make sure you have provided all the information requested
  • Return paper forms to your primary school before it closes for half term, or send to the School Admissions Team

Banding
  • Schools that divide applicants into ability bands before allocating places will ask children to sit a Non Verbal Reasoning test in November or December. In Bexley, these will be Hurstmere and Erith Schools, Harris Academy Falconwood, Haberdashers’ Aske’s Crayford Academy and the Business Academy Bexley.
  • One test for both Erith and Hurstmere Schools, and one test for Harris and Haberdashers’ Academies
  • Banding is not a pass or fail test but ensures that the school admits a balanced intake of children of all abilities
  • Check each school’s oversubscription criteria to see how many bands there are and how places are allocated in each band. Children living quite close to a school may not get a place if their band is full with others living even closer, or the school uses random allocation to offer places (Harris Academy Falconwood). Some schools do not give priority to siblings or for medical reasons.

The offer process
  • All the secondary schools in Bexley are Academies and decide who offers will be made to. They must use the criteria published in the admissions booklet
  • The School Admissions Team exchanges information with the schools in Bexley and other local authorities
  • Schools put all applicants into rank order according to the school’s oversubscription criteria (eg children in care, medical and social needs, siblings, home to school distance)
  • If a child can be offered a place at more than one school, the one that is listed highest on the CAF will be offered. The other places can then be offered to children lower on the list for that school
  • The offer of a place will come from the local authority where you live, even if you being offered a school in another area
  • One offer only. You cannot hold offers of more than one place

Offers of places
  • If you complete the CAF online, you will be sent an email with the name of the school your child is being offered.
  • If you apply online and are offered your first preference school, you will not be sent a letter, only the email
  • If you apply on a paper form, you will be sent a letter with details of the school offered
  • If you apply online but are not offered your first preference school, you will also receive a letter with details of waiting lists and how to appeal
  • You will be asked to accept or decline the offer either online or by returning a paper slip
  • If we can’t offer one of your preferred schools, a place will be offered at the nearest school to home with a vacancy
  • You can ask for your child to be put on waiting lists for higher preference schools than the one offered.
  • Parents have the right to appeal if a school is not offered – contact the school for details


Online tips

  • Site is easy to use and very quick
  • You can apply right up to the deadline
  • You can go back in and change details up to the deadline  BUT Remember to complete all the fields
  • Add full name and date of birth of siblings in the correct field
  • Add any requests for priority on the correct field. Scan and upload supporting evidence or send copies to the School Admissions Team clearly marked with your application reference number
  • You will get an email receipt if the application has been submitted correctly. Without the receipt, the application may not be valid
  • If you do change anything, make sure that all application details are still correct before re-submitting.
   

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Orchard Primary School, Oxford Road, Sidcup, Kent, DA14 6LW
Tel: 0208 300 4878         E-mail: admin@orchard.bexley.sch.uk
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