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Grammar Schools in Liverpool and Wirral: Complete Guide

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

About Liverpool and Wirral Grammar Schools

Making the right choice between different grammar schools can be a tough decision for parents. Whilst all grammar schools offer great starts for children, it is often challenging to find comprehensive information concerning the schools available and the best options for your children. 

This guide aims to provide clear and concise information regarding the grammar schools in Liverpool and Wirral. There are six fully-selective grammar schools in Wirral and one in Liverpool that use the 11+ as their entrance exam: Calday Grange Grammar School, West Kirby Grammar School, Wirral Grammar School for Girls, Wirral Grammar School for Boys, St Anselm’s College, Upton Hall School, and The Blue Coat School (Liverpool). 

There are also three partially selective schools (15% of places go to children based on musical or academic ability) in Liverpool: King David High School, St Hilda’s CofE High School, and St Margaret’s CofE High School. This article will not go into detail about these schools; however, you can follow the links attached to learn more about each school. 

Four of the grammar schools in Wirral share the same admission procedure and entrance test known as the Wirral Admissions Test (Calday Grange, West Kirby, and both Wirral Grammar Schools). The other two Wirral grammar schools (St Anselm’s and Upton Hall) and The Blue Coat School in Liverpool each set their own 11 Plus papers. 

In the coming sections of this article, the below listed key terms mean the following:

  • CAF: Common Application Form, the form you must submit to your local authority listing the schools of your choice in order of preference 
  • PAN: Published Admission Number, the number of places available for Year 7 entry in 2024 at 11 plus (11+) level
  • EHCP: Education, Health and Care Plan, a legal document that describes a person’s special educational needs
  • Pupil Premium: a grant that improves educational outcomes for disadvantaged pupils
  • PLAC: (previously) looked after children

Key information for 2024 entry into Liverpool and Wirral Grammar Schools at 11 plus (11+)

Important dates:

 

Admissions information:

  • Scoring: scores are age-standardised and ranked- the 180 candidates with the highest scores are automatically considered the priority group for their chosen school
  • Eligibility criteria: Year 6, within the cut-off distance
  • Priority criteria: (dependent on the school) 
  • Appeals: Reviewed by an independent panel

Exam format for the Liverpool and Wirral 11 plus (11+) entrance exam

The Wirral Admissions Test is used by Calday Grange Grammar School, West Kirby Grammar School, Wirral Grammar School for Boys and Wirral Grammar School for Girls. For 2024 entry to these schools, the test will take place on 18th September 2023. 

This exam is provided by GL Assessment. The test consists of two multiple-choice papers, each lasting 60 minutes. Children are given time at the beginning of each paper to read through the instructions and complete some practice questions. Children must record their answers in a separate answer booklet, which is then marked electronically. 

The subjects covered in these papers are:

  • Maths
  • Verbal reasoning
  • Non-verbal reasoning 

 

The St Anselm’s College 11+ entrance exam consists of three written papers, each lasting 60 minutes: 

  • Maths 
  • English 
  • Verbal reasoning 

 

For 2024 entry into Year 7, this exam will take place on 22 September 2023. You will receive further details about this exam once you have registered. 

The Upton Hall School’s 11+ test consists of two verbal reasoning papers. Each paper will last 50 minutes, with a short break in between. This exam is provided by the National Foundation of Educational Research (NFER). 

For 2024 entry into Year 7, this exam will take place on 16 September 2023. 

The Blue Coat School 11+ entrance exam consists of two papers, each lasting 50 minutes:

  • Maths 
  • English

This exam will take place  on 23 September 2023. 

The maths questions, in these entrance exams, are based on the Key Stage 2 National Curriculum objectives for Years 5 and 6. 

Verbal reasoning assesses your child’s language-based problem-solving abilities by testing their vocabulary, spelling, arithmetic, and pattern recognition skills.

Non-verbal reasoning tests your child’s visual problem-solving abilities through sequential pattern recognition as well as logical and spatial thinking.

There is no single pass mark for the Liverpool and Wirral 11+ exams, as the it depends on the year of entry and the individual school’s criteria. The test scores are standardised to avoid any age disadvantage. 

Calday Grange Grammar School

calday grange grammar school 777072383
Image property of Liverpool Echo, www.liverpoolecho.co.uk

School type: boys’ grammar

Number of pupils: 1,602

Ages: 11-18

PAN: 210

The Sunday Times Parent Power National Rank: 170

Headteacher: Stephen Gray 

Address: Grammar School Lane, West Kirby, CH48 8GG

Catchment area: this school does not have a defined catchment area

Priority criteria in rank order: PLAC; children with a valid medical reason to be admitted to the school; max. 15 places for children who receive free schools meals and achieve the qualifying score; children who have a sibling at the school; children who live the closest to the school

2022 Results: GCSE: 56.6% of students achieved grades 9-7, A Level: 72.7% of students achieved grades A*-B

Ofsted ranking: Good

School’s contact details: 0151 625 2727, [email protected], www.calday.co.uk

West Kirby Grammar School

wgs
Image property of Liverpool Echo, www.liverpoolecho.co.uk

School type: girls’ grammar (mixed sixth form)

Number of pupils: 1,262

Ages: 11-18

PAN: 180

The Sunday Times Parent Power National Rank: 193

Headteacher: Simeon Clarke

Address: Graham Road , West Kirby, CH48 5DP

Catchment area: this school does not have a defined catchment area

Priority criteria in rank order: PLAC; children with a valid medical reason to be admitted to the school; max. 15 places for children who receive free schools meals and achieve the qualifying score; children who have a sibling at the school; children who live the closest to the school

2022 Results: GCSE: 59.4% of students achieved grades 9-7, A Level: 68.4% of students achieved grades A*-B

Ofsted ranking: Good

School’s contact details: 0151 632 3449, [email protected], www.wkgs.org

Wirral Grammar School for Girls

Wirral Grammar School for Girls
Image property of Liverpool Echo, www.liverpoolecho.co.uk

School type: girls’ grammar

Number of pupils: 1,193

Ages: 11-18

PAN: 180

The Sunday Times Parent Power National Rank: 93

Headteacher: Jennifer Ogunmyiwa

Address: Heath Road, Bebington , CH63 3AF

Catchment area: this school does not have a defined catchment area

Priority criteria in rank order: PLAC; children with valid medical reason to be admitted to the school; children who have a sibling at the school; children of permanent staff members; children who live the closest

2022 Results: GCSE: 75.2% of students achieved grades 9-7, A Level: 75.2% of students achieved grades A*-B

Ofsted ranking: Outstanding

School’s contact details: 0151 644 8282, [email protected], www.wirralgirls.co.uk

Wirral Grammar School for Boys

WGSB 1200x900 1
Image property of Birkenhead News, www.birkenhead.news

School type: boys’ grammar

Number of pupils: 1,055

Ages: 11-18

PAN: 155

The Sunday Times Parent Power National Rank: 238

Headteacher: Simon Ascroft

Address: Cross Lane, Bebington , CH63 3AQ

Catchment area: this school does not have a defined catchment area

Priority criteria in rank order: PLAC; children with valid medical reason to be admitted to the school; children who have a sibling at the school; children of permanent staff members; children who live the closest

2022 Results: GCSE: 51.8% of students achieved grades 9-7, A Level: 66.5% of students achieved grades A*-B

Ofsted ranking: Good

School’s contact details: 0151 644 0908, [email protected], www.wirralgrammarboys.com

St Anselm’s College

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Image property of Wirral Globe, www.wirralglobe.co.uk

School type: boys grammar

Number of pupils: 950

Ages: 11-18

PAN: 156

The Sunday Times Parent Power National Rank: 390

Headteacher: Simon Duggan

Address: Manor Hill, Prenton, Birkenhead, CH43 1UQ

Catchment area: this school has a ‘relevant area’ which it uses in its priority criteria- this is defined as any area within five miles of the school

Priority criteria in rank order: Catholic PLAC and baptised Catholic children who live within five miles of the school; baptised Christian PLAC and non-Catholic boys living within five miles of the school; PLAC who are not baptised Christians but whose parents wish them to have a Catholic education

2022 Results: GCSE: 37% of students achieved grades 9-7, A Level: 53% of students achieved grades A*-B

Ofsted ranking: Good

School’s contact details: 0151 652 1408, [email protected], www.st-anselms.com

Upton Hall School

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Image property of Upton Hall School, www.uptonhallschool.co.uk

School type: girls’ grammar

Ages: 11-18

PAN: 156

Headteacher: Andrea Gaunt

Address: Saughall Massie Lane, Upton, CH49 6LJ

Catchment area: this school does not have a defined catchment area

Priority criteria in rank order: baptised Roman Catholic children; children who have not been baptised but whose parents wish them to have a Catholic education

School’s contact details: 0151 677 7696, [email protected], www.uptonhallschool.co.uk

The Blue Coat School

bluecoat 20190723180734637 web
Image property of The Church Times, www.churchtimes.co.uk

School type: mixed grammar

Number of pupils: 1,257

Ages: 11-18

PAN: 180

The Sunday Times Parent Power National Rank: 32

Headteacher: Scilla Yates

Address: Church Road, Wavertree, Liverpool, L15 9EE

Catchment area: there is no defined catchment area for this school

Priority criteria in rank order: max. 27 places for children who score the highest in the entrance exam and recieve free school meals; the remaining places are offered to the children who score the highest in the entrance exam 

2022 Results: GCSE: 81.4% of students achieved grades 9-7, A Level: 88.2% of students achieved grades A*-B

Ofsted ranking: Good

School’s contact details: 0151 733 1407, [email protected], www.bluecoatschoolliverpool.org.uk

Examberry Papers

The most effective way to prepare for the Liverpool and Wirral 11+ entrance exams is to use practice tests written by experts.

Each of our practice tests:

For Liverpool and Wirral 11+ preparation, we recommend the following packs:

Liverpool and Wirral 11+ Practice Tests

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