Reading School

Reading School

About Reading School

Situated in the heart of Berkshire, Reading School (also known as Reading Boys) is one of England’s oldest and most prestigious grammar schools. It was founded in 1125 and provides a selective state school education to boys in an environment strengthened by the core values of excellence, integrity, leadership and community.

Students at Reading School consistently achieve outstanding exam results, placing it 12th out of all grammar schools in the country. In 2017, the Sunday Times named Reading School 'Southeast Secondary School of the Year'. Students study a broad curriculum that incorporates a variety of choices to champion excellence and character, including an innovative 'Electives' programme which was awarded the National Character Education Kitemark in 2022.

Unusually for a state school, Reading School offers boarding at the cost of approximately one-third of the fees charged by private schools. Boarding is an integral part of life at Reading School; Ofsted stated that "young people are proud of their progress, which they feel is a result of their boarding experiences" and that the relationships developed through boarding "enable them to develop as individuals, safe in the knowledge that they are secure, valued and respected".

  • Address: Reading School, Erleigh Road, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 5LW
  • Local authority: Reading Borough Council
  • School type: boys' grammar
  • Headteacher: Ashley Robson
  • Number of pupils: 1,100+
  • National rank (Sunday Times Parent Power): 12
  • A level results: 93.3% A*–B
  • GCSE results: 88.7% A*/A/9/8/7

Reading School term dates

The term dates at Reading School for 2023–2024 are:

Autumn term (Michaelmas): 7th September – 20th December 2023

Half term: 23rd–27th October 2023

Reading week: 30th October – 3rd November 2023

Spring term (Lent): 8th January – 28th March 2024

Half term: 12th–16th February 2024

Summer term: 15th April – 17th July 2024

Half term: 27th–31st May 2024

How to apply to Reading School

Reading School is its own admissions authority and is not a member of a grammar school consortium. This means that if your child is applying to several grammar schools in the area, you will need to apply for the entrance exam at those schools separately.

1. Register for the entrance test

In order for your child to sit the entrance test, you will need to complete an online registration form.

Registration for the Reading School entrance test will open on the school website on 1st May 2023 and will close on 30th June 2023. Late registration will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances beyond the control of the parents.

2. 11 plus exam

Boys applying for a place in Year 7 at Reading School will take the entrance test on Wednesday 6th September 2023.

Reading School uses test papers created by Future Stories Community Enterprise (FSCE). The exam consists of three separate tests:

English: reading comprehension, vocabulary and spelling

Maths: Key Stage 2 maths

Creative writing: original writing based on a prompt

Find out more in our comprehensive guide to the FSCE 11 plus and get free resources to help your child prepare.

3. Apply for school places

Reading School will email you the outcome of your son's performance in the entrance test in mid-October 2023. This email will indicate whether your child has achieved an eligible score to apply for a place. You can use these results to decide whether to name Reading School as one of your preferred schools on your common application form.

Before listing the school as a preference on your form, check its admissions policy – passing the 11 plus will not be a guarantee of a place as more children reach the qualifying standard each year than there are places available.

The application form must be submitted to your home local council by 31st October 2023. The form must be completed for your home local authority – i.e. if Reading Borough Council is your local authority, you will need to complete the common application form on the Reading Council website. If you live in a different local authority, make sure to apply through the relevant website for that council.

What's on the Reading School 11 plus?

What is the pass mark for Reading School?

Your son's marks in the English and maths tests will be standardised to even out any age disadvantage for children born later in the school year. If your child achieves an eligible score in the rank order of standardised scores, their creative writing test will be marked. Children who then meet a minimum standard in the creative writing test will be eligible for a place at Reading School.

There is no pre-defined pass mark; the school admissions committee will determine the eligible score based on the rank order of children's marks in that particular cohort, so this can vary each year. For entry in 2023, the eligible score for the English and maths tests was 94, and 89 for looked after and previously looked after children and children receiving pupil premium. The highest total standardised score was 140.5 in English and 135.9 in maths.

However, achieving the pass mark won't guarantee a place, as Reading School is always oversubscribed with qualified candidates. Last year, 968 children took the test and 467 children achieved the eligible score for a place. We always recommend researching the admission policies for your target schools, looking at their oversubscription criteria and their catchment area. We've included the admission criteria for Reading School below.

Reading School admission criteria

Places at Reading School will be offered depending on whether you have included the school as a preferred school on your common application form, the number of children who have achieved the qualifying score, and the application of oversubscription criteria.

When the number of children who achieve the eligible score exceeds the number of places available, the school will apply oversubscription criteria in priority order:

1. Looked after and previously looked after children

2. Children who live in the catchment area and receive pupil premium or service premium

3. Children who live within the catchment area (or for boarding applicants, whether they can demonstrate a boarding need)

4. Children who do not live within the catchment area

Reading School catchment area

The catchment area for Reading incorporates Bracknell, most of Camberley, Crowthorne, Henley-on-Thames, Hook, most of Newbury, Pangbourne, Reading, Sandhurst, Tadley, Thatcham, Twyford, Wallingford, Wokingham and Yateley.

A full list of the eligible postcodes and a map of the catchment area are available on the school website.

School Details

Type of School Grammar
Address Erleigh Road Reading RG1 5LW
Phone 01189075600
Email [email protected]
Region Berkshire


Admission Year Sept 2024
Gender in YEAR 7 Boys


Open Days 24/4/2023 - 25/4/2023
Allocation Day 1/3/2024
Registration 1/5/2023 - 30/6/2023

Academic Selection

Number of Places 150
Standardised No
Age Standardised Yes
Total Number of Exams 3
Number of Rounds 1
Admission Policy View

Exam Boards

  • Other (OTHER)

Exam Styles

  • Mixed (MC & STD)

Sample Papers

Name Document or Link Subjects
Familiarisation booklet View Mixed Subjects

Find answers to our frequently asked questions about Reading School

  • What is Reading School’s fee?
    Reading School is a state-funded selective grammar school, it is not a fee-paying school. Therefore, it is free for your boy to attend this school.
  • What is the pass mark for the Selective Eligibility Test?
    It is not possible to state a pass mark in advance of the test. The pass mark will be decided by the participating schools after the test has been marked. Each School may determine its own pass mark.
  • Can I get specimen papers or sample questions for the Selective Eligibility Test?
    They do not provide specimens or past papers. The content of the Maths and English tests is broadly based on the Key Stage 2 curriculum. Examples of the sorts of questions asked for both the English and Maths Selective Eligibility Tests will be available shortly. You can also access further 11 plus exam resources below: