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11+ School Entrance

11+ School Entrance Exams

Watford Grammar School for Boys & Watford Grammar School for Girls: Specialist music places

Many piano students in Pinner, Northwood and Hatch End apply for specialist music places at the Watford Grammar Schools.

In September 2012 one of my pupils, Paul from Pinner, achieved full marks in the musical aptitude test (listening) and full marks in the practical test (playing) for Watford Boys Grammar School and took up his place there in September 2013.

Image of Paul practising piano in Pinner

Paul playing piano at my studio in Pinner

10% of the total admissions are awarded to children with excellent musical ability: 19 specialist music places are awarded to boys applying to Watford Grammar School for boys, and 18 to girls applying to Watford Grammar School for Girls.

The music admissions test consists of two stages. Stage 1, the music aptitude test, which takes place in September – one year before the year of entry.  This test, also known as the Bentley test, consists of 60 written questions on pitch, melody, texture and rhythm. There is a minimum pass mark necessary to progress to Stage 2, the practical assessment. Successful candidates will be notified and called back to audition in September – they are required to perform one piece on their instrument lasting no longer than 3 minutes. There is no necessity to have reached a certain grade in order to audition.

Parents are generally not encouraged to prepare their children for the musical aptitude test, as the test is designed to assess musical ability, but I have found that familiarity and experience with the type of question is very helpful in order to increase the child’s confidence. Contact me if you would like to book some lessons in preparation for the test. The Hofnote website is helpful for aural training – www.hofnote.co.uk

Here is a student of mine who attended Watford Girls Grammar School and fully involved herself in the musical life of the school. In 2013 she became a senior prefect and was also appointed Music Lead.

Image of Suzanna at school

Suzanna wearing her prefect’s hat

In September 2015 another of my students, Elena from Pinner, commenced her duties on the Head Girl Team as Music Lead at Watford Girls Grammar School. Well done Elena!


Elena, Music Lead, 2015-16, Watford Girls Grammar School

© Aisling Greally 2011-2016