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A Parent's advice on Open days

The following blog was kindly written by a parent

When my son was in Year 4 a couple of years ago I do remember being unsure about what my next steps should be to give him a good chance of passing the 11 plus entrance exams. At the time we were lucky to find a tuition group to help him prepare and as we now wait for his results two years later we are confident he will get into the school of our choice. Living in Bexley, my husband and I had three grammar schools to choose from in Bexley alone (Beths, Bexley Grammar and Chislehurst & Sidcup) as well as St Olave’s and several of the Kent Grammar Schools within easy reach.

With all of these options available, it can be very confusing when it comes to having to fill in the CAF, so, my recommendation to all you parents is to visit the schools during their open days (

We visited a few last year when my son was in Year 5 and the rest we'll be visiting this year. It's really worth getting a feel for each school, speaking to teachers and listening to the Headmaster’s speech. All the Bexley and Kent Grammar open days are during October, with the exception of a few like St Olave's which had its Open day back in June(!) so it’s a busy month, (hence the recommendation to visit a few in Year 5!). As you are investing all that hard work in your son or daughter to get through the 11 plus exam, its worth the effort to take the time out to visit the schools so you can assess which will be best suited to them. You should have also visited your local comprehensive schools' open days that were held in September, to ensure you have your backup should things not go to plan.

But with high hopes I am going to sit back and wait for the results..... Good luck to everyone!

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