Colchester Royal Grammar School

Colchester Royal Grammar School

About Colchester Royal Grammar School

Founded in 1206 and nestled in the heart of the city of Colchester, Colchester Royal Grammar School (CRGS) was granted Royal Charters from both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. The school is currently ranked the 10th best grammar school in the country, based on exam results in 2022, and is named the East Anglia State School of the Decade by The Sunday Times.

CRGS gives boys aged 11-18 the opportunity to study and learn at the highest level, with a thriving co-educational sixth form. The school values compassion, respect, generosity and support and is praised for its impressive facilities, results and extracurricular programmes. Unusually for state schools, Colchester Royal Grammar School offers boarding for sixth formers (fees are applicable to boarding only), providing young adults with a transitional period of independence before going to university or into a career.

  • Address: Colchester Royal Grammar School, Lexden Road, Colchester, Essex CO3 3ND
  • Local authority: Essex County Council
  • School type: boys' grammar with a mixed sixth form
  • Headteacher: John Russell
  • Number of pupils: 900+
  • National rank (Sunday Times Parent Power): 10
  • A level results: 95.8% A*–B
  • GCSE results: 84% A*/A/9/8/7

Colchester Royal Grammar School term dates

The term dates at Colchester Royal Grammar School in 2023–2024 are:

  • Autumn term: 6th September – 19th December 2023
  • Half term: 23rd–27th October 2023
  • Spring term: 5th January – 28th March 2024
  • Half term: 19th–23rd February 2024
  • Summer term: 15th April – 17th July 2024
  • Half term: 24th–31st May 2024

How to apply to Colchester Royal Grammar School

Colchester Royal Grammar School is a member of the Consortium of Selective Schools in Essex (CSSE). This means that the admissions arrangements are similar at all the grammar schools within the consortium, and all children applying to one of the 10 schools take the same 11 plus test.

If you would like your child to be considered for a place at Colchester Royal Grammar School, you will need to apply by completing two forms:

  • Register for the 11 plus: you will need to register your child to take the CSSE 11 plus exam on the CSSE website. Registration opens on Thursday 16th May 2023 and closes on 30th June 2023.
  • Register for a school place: you will need to submit the common application form (CAF) and name Colchester Royal Grammar School as your preferred school of choice. You will be able to complete the form on the Essex County Council website between 1st September and 31st October 2023.

What's on the Colchester Royal Grammar School 11 plus?

The 11 plus exam takes place on Saturday 23rd September 2023. All of the grammar schools in the CSSE take the same exam, which is created and administered by the CSSE itself.

The CSSE 11 plus consists of two papers:

  • English: one hour, with some additional reading time. It comprises questions that test reading comprehension, grammar, vocabulary and applied literacy and verbal reasoning. There will also be two pieces of creative writing.
  • Maths: one hour. Children will be tested on the Key Stage 2 national curriculum, with additional non-verbal and mathematical reasoning questions.

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

What is the pass mark for Colchester Royal Grammar School?

After your child takes the CSSE exam, a team of independent professional markers will double-mark and check the papers. Some scores will be age-standardised and then the results for each school will be ranked in order.

The pass mark can vary from year to year. In 2022, the pass mark at Colchester Royal Grammar School was 338.

The CSSE does not normally make secondary school offers to any child who has scored under a total standardised score of 303. However, some appeals outside of this criteria are successful.

Colchester Royal Grammar School admission criteria

Colchester Royal Grammar School is a very successful and desirable school in Essex. Each year, many more candidates apply for a place at the school than there are places available.

The school operates the following admissions priorities, in order, to rank pupils for places:

  • Admissions Priority 1: up to 12 places are offered to boys who have named CRGS as their preferred school, who qualify under the coordinated admissions arrangements, who achieve a score of 320 or greater in the selection tests, and who are either a Looked After Child, a previously Looked After Child, or are in receipt of the Pupil Premium.
  • Admissions Priority 2: the remaining places are then offered in descending rank order of marks to the boys who have scored highest in the CSSE 11 plus, have named CRGS as their preferred school, and who qualify for a place.

If there are children with an equal ranking competing for the last available place in either of the two admissions priorities, then the school will give preference in this order:

  • A Looked After or previously Looked After child
  • A child in receipt of Pupil Premium
  • The applicant living closest to the school, measured by a straight line

School Details

Type of School Grammar
Address 6 Lexden Road Colchester CO3 3ND
Phone 01206509100
Email [email protected]
Region Essex


Admission Year Sept 2024
Gender in YEAR 7 Boys


Registration 15/5/2023 More details
Academic Exam 22/9/2023
Allocation Day 1/3/2024
CAF form 31/10/2023

Academic Selection

Number of Places 128
Standardised No
Age Standardised Yes
Total Number of Exams 2
Number of Rounds 1
Qualifying Score 320
Admission Policy View

Exam Boards

  • Consortium (CONSORTIUM)

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 Colchester Royal Grammar School

  • What is the admission process for children in independent schools within Essex?
    Parents of children attending independent schools in Essex should submit an application for testing to the Testing Administrator and notify their home Local Authority of their school preference before the annual closing date set by the Local Authority.
  • Are there specific resources available to prepare for the Essex 11 Plus CSSE exam?
    Yes, the school provides guidance and resources to prepare for the Essex 11 Plus CSSE exam. Additionally, external guides and mock exams can be useful for focused preparation.