Year 7 Admissions to Sir Thomas Rich's School (2017 Entry)

Transfer to secondary education in September 2017

Sir Thomas Rich’s is part of the Local Authority (LA) co-ordinated scheme. This means that all offers of places at Sir Thomas Rich’s will be offered by the LA on 1 March 2017.

After 1 March, but BY Friday 10 March 2017, you have the opportunity to request that your child be placed on a waiting list for your preferred school(s) by completing the Gloucestershire County Council ‘waiting list request online reply form’. Only candidates who have met the qualifying standard for Sir Thomas Rich’s can be added to the waiting list.

For candidates who live outside Gloucestershire, in addition to liaising with your own Local Authority, it is advisable to download the ‘waiting list request online reply form’ via the Gloucestershire County Council website, and email the completed form to school.admissions@gloucestershire.gov.uk.

Parents of candidates who missed the grammar school entrance test in September, but are still interested in applying for a place at Sir Thomas Rich’s, should contact Mrs S Bain, Registrar (Admissions) - srb@strs.org.uk.

What sort of school is Sir Thomas Rich’s?

Sir Thomas Rich’s is a secondary, selective school for boys, which has Academy status and is state funded. To find out more you are welcome to contact or visit Sir Thomas Rich's, simply telephone to confirm a suitable day and time.

However, we will be holding an Open Day and Open Evening on Tuesday 27 September 2016. On each of these events, parents and children are welcome to visit at their convenience. The school may be seen ‘at work’ from 8.40am, starting with morning assembly, to 1.05pm, and from 2.15pm to 3.30pm. Open Evening starts at 6.00pm with the Headmaster giving a presentation in the Hall at 6.30pm, repeated at 7.30pm.

School prospectuses will be issued on each of the above occasions.

How does my son gain admission to Sir Thomas Rich’s?

Sir Thomas Rich’s is a selective school. To gain a place your son must first sit the Admissions Test in September of Year 6. The test will be held on Saturday 10 September 2016 at 8.45am. To be eligible for a place, your son must achieve the qualifying standard in the Admissions Test. Where there are more than 120 qualified students, the LA will offer places according to a student’s position in the rank order of Admissions Test scores and the school preferences made by parents (see also section on How will the successful pupils be selected.)

How do I apply for entry?

Sir Thomas Rich’s operates its admission procedures in line with the LA’s co-ordinated arrangements. To apply for Sir Thomas Rich’s, you must first complete the Grammar Test Online Registration Form which must be received by the school by 4pm on Friday 1 July 2016. Registration opens on 1 June 2016. The Grammar Test Online Registration Form can be found on the home page of the school’s website (www.strschool.co.uk) - from 1 June 2016. A paper copy of the form is also available from the school and must be returned by the same deadline. We would encourage parents to use the online form as an email reply will be sent to confirm the registration has been received. The confirmation email will include an Identity Form for you to complete (a photograph of your child is required) and print. Your child should bring this form with them on the day of the test.

Parents are not obliged to apply for a grammar school, but DO need to complete the Registration Form if they wish their child to take the test. It is the responsibility of parents to ensure that the Registration Form is received by the school before the deadline. This form provides all the information needed to organise the Admissions Test and for us to send you further information about the test. Unless we receive this form by the deadline, your son will not be able to sit the Admissions Test here on 10 September.

Is there a special catchment area?

There is no catchment area, pupils from anywhere in the county and beyond are considered equally, and there is no priority for siblings. In essence, admission depends solely upon performance in the tests. It is up to parents to decide if the journey is acceptable, the school cannot take responsibility for organising transport. There are buses, operated commercially, which bring pupils from the Forest of Dean, Tewkesbury, Stroud, Swindon (via Cirencester) and from Cheltenham. The Council's conditions regarding eligibility for free transport are set out in their Transfer to Secondary School booklet.

What happens if I am interested in more than one Grammar School?

If you are also considering Marling, Pate’s or The Crypt School you must include this information on your registration form but indicate at which school you wish to take the test. This should be at the school which is likely to be your highest ranked preference. All four schools sit the same test at exactly the same time. The test results will be shared between schools and your son will be included at the appropriate place in the rank order for each school, irrespective of where your son has taken the test.

What happens if my son is ill on the day of the test?

An alternative date is set aside (during the following week) for children whom the school is assured were ill on 10 September. We may ask you to provide a letter from your Doctor. Please telephone the school if you son is ill and we will advise you of alternative arrangements.

Will I know how my son performed in the Admissions Test?

Yes. Parents will be informed of the result by email after the tests have been taken (from 3.30pm on Friday 7 October and by the end of Monday 10 October at the latest), and before the LA Common Application Form needs to be submitted. However, achieving a qualifying standard does not guarantee a place. We will tell you whereabouts in the rank order your son is placed. After you have received this information, it is then necessary to complete the LA Common Application Form.

LA Common Application Form 

This form is available from Gloucestershire County Council. Having received the result of the Admissions Test, you must state your ranked preferences for four secondary schools on this form. In order to gain a place at a grammar school it must be included in this list - so Sir Thomas Rich’s must be included as one of those preferences if your son is to gain admission to the school. This must be returned to the LA by 31 October 2016.

How many places will be available?

Our standard admission number is 120.

How will the successful pupils be selected?

To be eligible for admission at Sir Thomas Rich’s, a student must achieve the qualifying standard or above in the Admissions Test. Please note that the ranking will only apply to Sir Thomas Rich’s.

The school will provide a rank ordered list of all qualifying boys to the LA. The LA then takes account of the preferences made by parents on their Common Application Form. The LA is required to offer a place at the highest ranked school for which a student has qualified. Places will be offered to the 120 qualified students who rank the highest in the Admissions Test for whom Sir Thomas Rich’s is the highest ranked in the list of parental preferences.

Full details of the admissions criteria are in the Transfer to Secondary School booklet.

Does this mean that I have to make Sir Thomas Rich's my first preference school?

The decision must be yours. The LA will offer you only one school place. This will normally be the highest placed of your preferences for which your son has qualified. All schools are now equal ranked which means that if you are not successful at gaining a place at your first choice school, the highest ranked of your other preferences, for you which you fulfil the admission criteria, will be elevated to become your first choice.

When will I be notified if my son has gained a place?

The LA will make the offer of one school by letter on 1 March 2017. This will be the highest ranked preference for which your son has qualified. If your son does not qualify for any of the schools you ranked as your preferences, the LA will offer your son a place at the nearest school at which there are places available.

What options are available if my son is not offered a place at Sir Thomas Rich’s?

If your son met the qualifying standard but was not offered a place at Sir Thomas Rich’s, your son’s name can be placed on the Sir Thomas Rich’s Waiting List, again strictly in Admissions Test rank order. The Waiting List is held by the Local Authority until the end of July, at which point it is transferred to Sir Thomas Rich’s. You can write to the Local Authority to ask for a place on the Waiting List even if you were allocated your first preference school in March. If places then do become available at Sir Thomas Rich’s, parents will be contacted strictly in Waiting List order. The Waiting List for admission to Year 7 in September 2017 will be held until the end of the academic year. Any parent/carer wishing their child to remain on the Waiting List after this period must contact the school.

Can I make a formal appeal?

Yes, if you are dissatisfied with the way the admissions procedure was operated, or if you believe extenuating circumstances may have affected your son’s performance on the day of the tests, you have the right to appeal to an Independent Appeals Panel. Details of how to appeal are available from the school after 1 March.

What will the Admissions Test involve?

On the morning of 10 September 2016, there will be two papers each lasting 45 to 50 minutes, with additional time for instructions and some worked examples. There will be a break between the papers. Pupils are encouraged to bring a small drink and snack to eat during this break. Pupils sit the test in classrooms with approximately 15 boys in each group – pupils from the same primary schools are placed together, wherever possible.

The Admissions Test is designed by Durham University (CEM). CEM design their tests to enable all children to demonstrate their academic potential without excessive preparation. The tests consist of multiple choice style questions on verbal ability (comprehension, vocabulary and verbal reasoning), numerical reasoning and non-verbal reasoning. The answers are completed on separate sheets which are marked by computer. Pupils can do any working out on the question booklet.

Is it possible to obtain some practice beforehand?

Familiarisation material is available on our school website (in the Admissions section) which gives guidance on the style of questions used in the test. CEM does not produce commercially available practice materials. Please be aware that materials sold on the internet or provided by tutors, other than CEM familiarisation and practice materials, are not genuine CEM samples. Beyond the familiarisation material, the best preparation for the tests is to read books and to practise mathematics on a regular basis.

When will I be notified about the arrangements for the test?

As soon as all the registration forms have been received and processed, we will be able to finalise the exact arrangements for the day. We will send you the Test Day information on/before 2 September 2016.

Can anything else be taken into consideration beside the test score?

No – places are allocated taking into account the rank and the preferences. However, please let us know in good time of any circumstances (for example, bereavement or serious illness) which may affect your son’s performance on the day of the test. Such notification should be in writing and if possible sent to the school before 10 September. If any special circumstances become apparent on the day of the test please notify the school as soon as possible, preferably within a week of taking the test. Wherever possible such letters should be supported by expert opinion in writing e.g. a note from the doctor or Primary Headteacher. This information may be relevant in the event of an appeal but will not have any bearing on your son’s score.

What if my son has Special Needs?

Parents/carers must provide details of any Special Educational Needs or Disabilities on the Registration Form. Supporting evidence will be required by the registration closing date 1 July 2016. If parents/carers do not provide suitable evidence by the deadline it may not be possible to put special testing arrangements in place. Your child’s primary school may be approached to provide further information.

A panel, consisting of representatives from all seven Gloucestershire grammar schools will meet (after the closing date for registrations and before the test day) to agree appropriate access arrangements (e.g. extra time, large print, etc.) for each individual case. Parents/carers will be notified of the panel’s decision.

Sir Thomas Rich’s is committed to providing mobility and access arrangements in compliance with the DDA and Equal Opportunities. Please ensure you inform us of any particular arrangements that may be required for your child e.g. wheelchair access.

How can I find out more?

If you have any questions regarding the application for, and allocation of, school places, please contact the Access to Education Team (0-16) at Shire Hall, Gloucester, GL1 2TP, telephone 01452 425407.

For queries regarding the testing process, please contact the Mrs Sue Bain, Registrar (Admissions) at Sir Thomas Rich’s (telephone: 01452 338400, e-mail: srb@strs.org.uk).