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Buckinghamshire Transfer Test: How to Choose the Right Senior School for Your Daughter

25th April 23

Choosing the right senior school for your daughter can be a daunting task. With so many options available, it can be difficult to decide which is best for her. If you’re located in Buckinghamshire, your daughter will be eligible to take the Bucks Transfer Test, which can help you narrow down your search for the perfect senior school. Within Buckinghamshire and the surrounding counties we have some of the best Independent Senior Schools and Grammar Schools in the UK and we are here to help you navigate the 11 plus journey.

What is the Buckinghamshire Transfer Test and 11 plus?

The Buckinghamshire Transfer Test is an entrance exam that is required to gain entry into Buckinghamshire Grammar Schools. The test comprises of two separate papers, each lasting 45 minutes. It focuses on numerical reasoning as well as verbal and non-verbal reasoning. The test is used to determine a student’s suitability for entrance to a grammar school.

At the same time, you may wish to enter your daughters into entrance exams for many of the exceptional Independent Senior Schools in our region. These exams can depend on the individual schools, typically with exams in maths, English, science and verbal/non-verbal reasoning in the January of the year of entry.

Independent senior schools often are interested in more than just academics, so your daughter may be invited for interview. During an interview, she is likely to be asked about her interests as well as current affairs and news. Scholarship options may be suitable for your daughter too and we would recommend a chat with the Headmistress in Year 5. This will help you to help you to decide the best pathway for your daughter.

Choosing the right school can be a difficult task, but it can also be rewarding. With the right school, your daughter will have the best chance of success both academically and in life.

Why is it important to choose the right school?

Choosing the right school for your daughter is an important decision. It can have a major impact on her academic success and overall future. Grammar schools can be very well suited to your daughter if they love learning and are confident in their academic abilities. The pace of lessons can be fast so she will need to be focused and motivated to keep up.

At private school,  your daughter will have teachers who have the time to get to know them as individuals and to nurture their abilities and talents. Your daughter will not need to compete for resources or struggle for books or computers. Similar to Maltman’s your daughter will be in an environment that places a high value on manners, good behaviour and hard work. They will gain experiences over and above those available in a state school, whether that’s travel, sport, or extra-curricular opportunities.

What’s most important though is not whether to go grammar or independent, but whether school A is more suited to you than school B. When selecting the right school for your daughter, you must consider all factors including the school’s curriculum, its teachers and staff, and its environment.

A quality girls’ senior school should provide a comprehensive curriculum that encourages exploration, creativity, and personal growth. The teachers should be experienced and dedicated to helping each student reach their potential. The environment should be one of respect and support to help each student achieve success at GCSE, A – Level and beyond.

To decide which school is the best fit for your daughter we would advise you to visit the schools, take a tour and try taster days if available.

Where do I start – Checklist?

What is key, is to find out which school would suit your child. There are multiple options to consider… Day or boarding? Single-sex or co-ed? Large or small? Independent or state? Reputation and recommendations. Specialisms, distance from home and league tables.

  • The best place to start is to visit the schools, not just on open days but insist on a private tour.
  • Once you have a short list, then register – you have to do this for each one.
  • Make a note of all the relevant deadlines by checking each school’s website.
  • If your preference is grammar, then plan for a backup school and make this a positive option for your daughter. You may need to register for an independent school before getting the results of the Bucks Transfer Test.
  • Register for the Buckinghamshire Transfer Test in early May (of Year 5).

What are some good questions to ask when touring a school?

Choosing the right school for your daughter is a huge decision and touring a school can help you make the right choice. If you are looking for a senior school  there are certain questions you should ask when touring the school.
First impressions are important. Are the children well-presented and polite and do they respond when asked a question? Are the facilities well maintained? Will the size of the school suit your daughter?

Be sure to ask some key questions:

  • What the exam results are like?
  • How do they assess a childs progress?
  • Ask if they offer any special learning programs such as gifted and talented or gifted language programs.
  • Enquire about their extra-curricular activities, such as sports, art, music, drama and other activities that will enrich your daughter’s life.
  • Ask what kind of support they provide to pupils who may be struggling academically.
  • Find out about the school’s approach to discipline and how they handle different types of behavior.
  • It is important to understand how the school communicates with parents and if there are any opportunities for parent involvement in the school.
  • Finally, ask about their admission process and what their criteria for acceptance is.

By asking these questions, you can be sure that you are making the right decision for your daughter when selecting a senior school.

How does Maltman’s Green Prepare your daughter?

There is always a great deal you can do to support your daughters in this process, many girls will do external tutoring in preparation for the exams for example, but here at Maltman’s we are in a unique position to support your daughter. Unlike most schools in Buckinghamshire, we have opted out of being a partner school for the Bucks Transfer Test. Your daughter will therefore take the exam outside of the school grounds, but still together with all her friends. Being outside of the partner school scheme is hugely beneficial for our girls as it means we are allowed to provide additional support to your daughters in school, over and above what she does outside of school, regardless of which route you choose for her. This includes:

  • Weekly timetables lessons in VR and non-VR in Years 4 and 5.
  • Current affairs lessons from Year 4.
  • Regular interview skills and critical thinking lessons in Autumn Year 6 with Headmistress and formal 1:1 mock interview.
  • Small group tutorials for academic scholars.
  • Support with scholarship application preparation for art, sport, music and drama.

For more information on our 2023 BTT results and senior school offers, click here.
To visit Maltmans’s Green and see how we can help your daughter prepare for life after primary school, click here.

For more info on the Buckinghamshire Transfer Test from Buckinghamshire Council, click here.