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Secondary School Transfer / 11+ info

We understand that applying to secondary schools, the offer process and the Secondary Transfer Test (11+) are areas that can cause confusion and worry for our parents. The information on this page has been designed to support you through the process and explain how TGMS support both the parents and pupils through these processes.


The below documents and links published by Buckinghamshire Council provide the information and key dates for parents to help them.

A Guide for Parents on how to apply for a school place

How do we support pupils and parents at TGMS?


Primary schools that undertake testing on behalf of the grammar schools are asked not to tutor or coach the children in their school prior to the test over and above enabling the children to follow the national curriculum relevant for their age. The Secondary Transfer Test (11+) is designed to enable all children to demonstrate their academic potential without the need for excessive preparation, and the wider curriculum we deliver at TGMS certainly contributes to their success.


However, we understand how important the Secondary Transfer Test is to many of our pupils and parents and we, therefore, choose to support them in the following ways:


  • In Autumn Term, Y4, 5 and 6 pupils sit the CAT4 test. The CAT4 is based on years of research and is very similar to an IQ test for adults. The results help determine a child’s potential capability and future academic success, and links very well to the style of the Secondary Transfer Test. The test provides information about the pupils in the following areas:
    • Non-Verbal Reasoning questions test a child’s ability to think about shapes and patterns.
    • Verbal Reasoning questions test for the ability to understand text and connect concepts and words.
    • Quantitative Reasoning is all about numbers and number patterns and provides insight into a child’s ability to identify numerical relationships.
    • Spatial Ability questions use shapes to help understand how well a child can generate and transform visual images.
  • The school shares the report from the CAT4 tests with parents which helps inform them how to support their child with this style of test and more generally. The child's scores in the CAT4 mean the following:
  • The teachers are able to support parents (and pupils) with the areas of the test that link with our curriculum and are happy to discuss these matters in our parent consultations.
  • Even though this test is designed to be as 'un-coachable' as possible, research shows the child will be at a serious disadvantage if this is the first time the child is doing these types of “puzzle” questions. A pupil who has done similar tests in the past will almost certainly be able to save some valuable seconds to understand the questions. Therefore, we recommend practice books that are readily available in bookshops and to buy second-hand from parents who have been through this process.
  • Every year, around April, we hold a meeting with Y5 parents where we go through the whole process of application and the Secondary Transfer Test. Parent feedback has always indicated this is beneficial.


The following links are for Y5 parents who wish to make a special access arrangement for their child to support them when taking the Secondary Transfer Test. Such support could be additional time or testing in their own room and is subject to their individual needs and approval from the Special Access Panel.