South West Consortium Schools: Other test criteria

Access to school places in the Bushey Meads or Queens’ schools can be achieved using their unique entry criteria if your child has the particular aptitudes needed. Queens’ School is a specialist sports college and therefore allocates some places to those with excellent sporting potential. Bushey Meads is a specialist technology college so uses this criterion to allocate some places.

Sporting Aptitude Test

There are 13 places available at Queens’ School for prospective pupils with sporting aptitude. Each year, the test includes a range of activities to assess candidates cover movement skills. Guidance provided by Queens’ school clearly outlines how the tests are conducted and scored. In summary these are:

  • Sit-ups: 30 seconds of sit-ups to test trunk strength. The score is the number of correctly completed sit-ups.

  • Endurance run: This is an 8 minute long run around a circuit. The score achieved is the distance run in 8 minutes. Each lap is 44m long and partial laps are included.

  • Shuttle run: This is a test of speed and agility. The candidate must complete 5 repeats of a run to cross a line 5m away with both feet and return. Each time both feet must cross the line before turning. In total the distance covered will be 50 metres. The score is the time taken in seconds to one decimal place multiplied by 10.

  • Sit and reach: This is a test of flexibility. The candidate must sit on the floor with their feet touching a box and then slowly stretch as far as possible over the box. The score is the furthest distance reached in two trials.

  • Standing broad jump: This is essentially a standing, two-footed jump. The score is the best of two trials measured in centimetres.

  • Plate tapping: This is a test of limb movement. Whilst holding a central position with one hand, the candidate has to tap a disc on either side 25 times each. The score is the time that it takes to achieve this multiplied by 10.

  • Flamingo test: This tests balance using a single legged pose. The candidate must maintain this pose for as long as possible up to one minute of time. The score recorded is how many attempts it takes before the candidate can hold the pose for one minute without falling. If they don’t lose balance at all for one minute, this would score 1. If they managed to balance for one minute after three attempts, the score would be 3. If the candidate loses balance 15 times within the first 30 seconds then they will have failed the test.

There are many applicants for the Sport Aptitude test each year, far more than the available number of places. Queens’ school advises that those outside of their priority catchment postcodes are very unlikely to be awarded a place under this criterion so it’s worth checking if you qualify under this criteria first.

Technology test

Bushey Meads is the only school in the South West Consortium to allocate places for technological aptitude. They allocate 17 places under this criterion each year, selecting from the highest scoring candidates who take the technology test. This test is based on non-verbal reasoning and consists of two papers. The questions on these test focus on analysing relationships between image and pattern, which is shown to be related to technological ability.

The questions may include:

  • Determining the movement of a shape and applying the same movement to a new shape.

  • Finding shapes hidden within images

  • Identifying and then applying a link between a letter code and symbols or pictures

  • Identifying the way in which an image is being modified and continue this onto the next step

  • Finding the odd one out from a set of images

  • Analysing an image to determine how it would look from a different angle

Increasing familiarity with these types of questions can definitely boost a child’s confidence and therefore is likely to increase their score in the test. In addition, learning how to rotate and reflect, translated and enlarged shapes would increase understanding of movement in shapes. Practise identifying known shapes in designs and buildings to increase analytical skills.

Whichever criteria you access a school place through, knowing what your child will be asked to do will make a big difference to the result. Once they know what the questions will look like and experience success at answering similar questions or completing the tasks with a good score they will feel more confident.

You may feel that you need support to help your child develop this confidence and fulfil their potential. At Bright Young Things we can tailor our support to match your child’s needs through private tutoring. Contact us on 02077230506 or email [email protected] to discuss how we can help.