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Entrance Examinations

When he went for the exam all the teachers were very polite, kind and reassuring, because they could tell an 11-year-old would be nervous, and they put us at ease.

A prospective 11+ parent after Entrance Exam day


The admissions process at John Lyon tests each pupil academically, as well as containing elements we use to learn about their character and to give us an insight into a pupil’s ‘teachability’.

Our tests do not contain ‘trick’ questions and we aim to create a level playing field to allow future John Lyon pupils to shine.

Offers are made based on a combination of the testing and interviews, as well as a reference from the applicant’s current school. We use the entrance tests to identify potential Academic Scholars.

11+ selection is based upon performance in our entrance examinations, school reports, interview and group activity. 13+ selection is based upon performance in our entrance examinations, school reports and an interview. We are an academically selective school and potential and achievement in at least one major academic area is required of all successful applicants.


Exam Dates

Wednesday 16th November 2022
Monday 21st November 2022
Wednesday 23rd November 2022
Monday 28th November 2022
11+ examination dates for entry in September 2023
Monday 5th December 202213+ examination date for entry in September 2023
January 2023 (dates tbc)Scholarship entrance exams for entry in September 2023

11+ Examinations

The entrance examination is in three parts:

  • English examination
  • Mathematics examination
  • Group activity and discussion

English
We focus attention on the basic spelling and grammar skills of entrants alongside comprehension and creativity. The format is typically a comprehension passage followed by a creative writing element. This might be either non-fiction or fiction and pupils should be prepared for either. The content of the comprehension is aimed at the level of a confident Year 6 pupil. Students are expected to be able to offer comments on the effect of choices made by the writers and questions are graduated in complexity.

We are looking to assess prospective pupils based on their current level; but we are also looking at their potential, especially in the creative writing element of the examination.

Mathematics
The 11+ Mathematics examination requires knowledge of all topics from the Mathematics Key Stage 2 National Curriculum. Candidates will encounter problems that test these topics across a range of difficulty levels in both familiar and unfamiliar contexts. Calculators are not permitted.

We will be assessing the Mathematics level of prospective candidates but will also look at their potential, specifically in the problem-solving section of the paper. The best candidates will show complete working to support their answers; we are looking for pupils who can develop clear and concise solutions rather than just those who can reach the correct answer.

Group Activities
As part of the entrance examinations day, pupils will take part in a group activity. These are not academic tests, but an opportunity for us to see how prospective pupils respond to different problems and how they work in practical circumstances. As a school that values potential, we observe these activities to judge the ‘teachability’ of potential Lyonians and what they will add to the whole School community.

Interview/Discussion
Applicants are not formally interviewed but will be asked to discuss a topic within a group. The topic may be academic, based on current affairs or similar. It is an opportunity for a pupil to tell us more about his/her interests and aspirations, ask us questions; this should be an enjoyable experience for candidates. Our experience is that many pupils enjoy our interviews and leave us smiling. No explicit preparation is required for the interview.

School Reference
We will contact your child’s current school to request a confidential reference request.


13+ Examinations

Written papers
The 13+ examinations consist of four compulsory papers:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • French
  • Science

An optional Latin/Language paper can also be taken.

Interview
All applicants will take part in a group discussion about a specific topic. The topic may be academic, based on current affairs or similar. It is an opportunity for a pupil to tell us more about his/her interests and aspirations, ask us questions and this should be an enjoyable experience for candidates. Our experience is that many pupils enjoy our interviews and leave us smiling. No explicit preparation is required for the interview.

 


Sixth Form (16+) Entry

For those interested in Sixth Form Entry we hold an Open Evening in the Autumn term. This offers the opportunity to meet the Head of Sixth Form, Department Heads and the Head of Higher Education and of Oxbridge provision. Those interested are also invited to join our current Year 11 pupils for their A-Level options talks in January.

The closing date for 16+ applications can be found on our website. Interviews for 16+ entry will be held at the beginning of March. A completed registration form and confirmation of predicted GCSE grades are required. We will also write to the candidate’s current school requesting a reference.

16+ candidates are invited to school to meet the Head of Sixth Form to discuss the subjects they would like to take for A-Level. Conditional Offers are made based on interview, predicted grades and GCSE results.

To automatically proceed into the Sixth Form, it is necessary for a candidate to achieve six GCSE passes at 9-6, including grade 7s in the subjects they wish to study in the Lower Sixth with the exception of Mathematics, which requires a grade 8.  For applicants to the Sixth Form there is a minimum requirement of grade 6s in Mathematics and either English Literature or English Language. Any offers are conditional upon examination grades and further discussion about his options may be required once a candidate receives his results.

More information about John Lyon’s unique Sixth Form is here.


Additional Information

Summer-born applicants
We do not formally ‘weight’ results for summer-born applicants, but we do take note of those pupils who are significantly younger than their peers within the application process and when making our offers.

Extra time and the use of laptops in entrance examinations
Parents are required to declare in a letter attached to their registration application, any medical condition or learning difficulty which may affect performance in the examinations. In some circumstances we may be able to arrange additional time for completion of at least some papers in the entrance examination. We may also be able to arrange for the use of a word processor for the 13+ English paper should this be judged appropriate. In such cases notification, supported by a report from the candidate’s educational psychologist, is required well in advance of the entrance exam day.

Registration and confirmation of entrance fees
When registering your son or daughter a fee of £125 is payable. The registration fee is payment towards the administration of your child’s application to the school and his entrance examinations. This fee is non-refundable.

Once a place has been offered and confirmed we require payment of £750 for UK pupils and £3,000 for overseas pupils. The fee is refundable at the end of the School career, less any outstanding charges. Full terms and conditions are set out in the Parent Contract and Annual Update of Fees and Optional Extras, which are both available on request from the School’s Admissions Office.