Poole Grammar School, Gravel Hill, Poole, Dorset, BH17 9JU | Tel: 01202 692132 | Fax: 01202 606500 | Email: pgsoffice@poolegrammar.com

FAQ Sheet – Admissions

How is my son assessed?

Three Granada Learning / GL Assessment / NFER tests (Maths, English and Verbal Reasoning) will be sat. Each component has an equal weighting and is out of 141 marks. The marks are age weighted using NFER tables to ensure that there is no bias towards late births within the year.  The total for the three papers is taken and this is the score that is used to assess your son.

Does it matter whether my son is an early or late birthday when he takes the tests, i.e. are older pupils advantaged?

No. The tests used are National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) tests which are tried and tested over time. The results are age weighted, hence it doesn’t matter if a pupil is a September or an August birth as the results are standardised to take this into account by NFER.

What is the standard of entry?

Approximately the top 16% of the school population.

This is equivalent to roughly 4a Teacher assessments at the start of Year 6.

What if my son has a statement or has special needs?

Please refer to the guidance on ‘Access arrangements for entrance test applicants who have special educational needs, disabilities or temporary conditions’ and complete an ‘Application for Access Arrangements’ form if you think your son is likely to qualify for adjustments. Please contact the school SENCo if you would like to discuss SEN issues relating to the Entrance Exam or accommodation of special needs in school.

What if my son’s first language is not English?

The tests are set in English and as such cannot be translated as part of the test is cognitive understanding of English it would not be possible to mark the tests to the same set of criteria which would be classed as discriminatory.

How do I apply for testing?

Apply for testing using the common Poole/Bournemouth Grammar form available on the school website or from the school office.


Apply to the Borough of Poole on the official form or use the on-line facilities through Poole and Parent Support by 31st October  2016. After that date the application becomes a late entrant and will only be considered after the main application round has been completed.  Non-Poole residents need to apply to their Local Authority also by the deadline of 31st October 2016.

When is my son tested?

Saturday 24th September 2016.

When is the deadline for test applications?

12.00 noon on Friday 9th September 2016.

When are results of tests sent out?

By post on Friday 14th October 2016.

What if my son is ill on the test day?

Please ring and we will arrange for him to be tested on an alternative date. We may need formal evidence (e.g. Doctor’s note) to allow late testing. If there are other longer term illnesses then we would need to discuss.

Can I take the test twice in one year?


Can I take the test at both Poole and Bournemouth Grammar?

No.  Both schools are using the same tests and test date and an applicant’s score can be used to apply for either school.  The choice of test venue does not affect your chance of a successful application to either school.

Can I have copies of his exam papers?

No.  As part of our agreement with NFER all papers are returned to NFER for pulping.

On what grounds may I appeal if a place is not offered?

Any grounds you feel which illustrate a case that the process or the outcomes of the tests unfairly treats/reflects your son. Details of the appeals process are sent with all letters in which a place has not been offered.

Will the system be the same in subsequent years?

Possibly, possibly not, as the DfE reviews admissions periodically this may lead to the rewriting of our admission policy to comply with any new guidance.

When will I know if my son has been successful?

Approximately 2nd March 2017 as letters are sent from the Borough of Poole on 1st March.

Where can I get practice papers?

Poole Grammar School, WHSmiths, Amazon and other leading bookstores.

How many places are available?

180 is the Pupil Admissions Number determined by the Borough and the School.

How are the places determined?

As per the over-subscription criteria.

  1. Eligible (1) boys who are classed as ”Looked After” or have previously been ‘Looked After’(2)
  2. Eligible boys who live within the Borough of Poole who currently (31st October 2016) receive Pupil Premium (3)
  3. Eligible boys who currently (31st October 2016) live within the Borough of Poole and who do not receive Pupil Premium
  4. Eligible boys who are the sons of current members of staff where the member of staff has been employed at Poole Grammar for two or more years at the time when the application for admission to the school is made.
  5. Eligible boys who live outside the Borough of Poole, who currently (31st October 2016) receive Pupil Premium in rank order of the entrance test scores
  6. Eligible boys who live outside the Borough of Poole who do not receive Pupil Premium, in rank order of the entrance test scores

In the event of a tie for the last place, priority will be given to the boy whose domicile is nearest to PGS as determined by the Poole LEA GIS system.

How many places are available to pupils who don’t live in Poole?

I cannot answer this as I do not know how many pupils will sit the entrance exam from Poole, nor do I know how many will pass the test and be of the required standard and hence be eligible and then go on to apply for a place.

When does the waiting list end?

On the 31st August 2017. However if appeals have been successful then the waiting list can become redundant at the point when the admissions panel have concluded their decision-making process.