In Autumn 2013 we are changing the method of testing used to select girls for admission to Year 7 at Chelmsford County High School from 2014 onwards. The tests used will be different from those used by The Consortium of Selective Schools in Essex (CSSE).
For some years we have been concerned that many parents have associated entry to this school with the need to invest in intensive coaching for their daughter. We have aimed, therefore, to introduce a set of tests which assess a broad range of abilities and provide a level playing field for every girl regardless of her family circumstances.
We shall be using CEM 11+ Entrance Tests. CEM, based at Durham university, is internationally recognised for its pioneering work in developing monitoring systems for schools and colleges. It is a global leader in the design, development and supply of assessments and the largest educational research unit in a UK university. All tests used are extensively trialled and schools and local authorities who have adopted the test have reported that they select appropriate cohorts of children for a grammar school education.
The tests are specifically designed to be reliable and valid testing instruments, appropriate for assessing children at the beginning of the Autumn term in Year 6 of the English school system. The results are age weighted by CEM and will be communicated to parents prior to application for a place at the School. No practice papers are available other than a familiarisation paper which will be available to parents on application to sit the tests. The tests are designed using a range of paradigms to measure comprehension, vocabulary, verbal ability, non-verbal ability and numerical ability. They are administered in two 45-50 minute papers.
We believe that not only will the new tests provide a more accurate reflection of each girl's innate ability but also be consistent with the School’s fundamental policy of being transparently open to all girls who meet the academic standards required to thrive in a selective school.