St Thomas More High School

St Thomas More High School

About St Thomas More High School

St Thomas More High School is a Roman Catholic bilateral school for boys with a mixed sixth form in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex. While the school is predominantly non-selective, a certain number of places are reserved each year for girls who have passed the 11 plus exam.

The school's aim is to provide a disciplined, caring and stable environment that produces confident young people who are prepared to make a difference in the wider world. Ofsted, who ranked the school as ‘Good’, supported this with their assessment that ‘pupils are supported to become active, mature, articulate and responsible young citizens in society; that is the measure of a Tommy More boy.'

  • Address: St Thomas More High School, Kenilworth Gardens, Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, SS0 0BW
  • Local authority: Essex County Council
  • School type: bilateral Catholic boys' school with a mixed sixth form
  • Headteacher: Mrs G Ackred
  • Number of pupils: 1,200+

St Thomas More High School term dates

The term dates for St Thomas More High School in 2023–2024 are:

  • Autumn term: 5th September – 20th December 2023
  • Half term: 23rd–27th October 2023
  • Spring term: 8th January – 28th March 2024
  • Half term: 19th–23rd February 2024
  • Summer term: 15th April – 19th July 2024
  • Half term: 27th–31st May 2024

How to apply to St Thomas More High School

St Thomas More High School is a bilateral school. This means that only a proportion of places are academically-selective and reserved for children who pass the 11 plus exam. There are 180 places available in Year 7 overall, of which 30 are selective places.

Regardless of the type of place you are applying for, you will need to register for a school place by 31st October 2023. Registration is carried out on the Essex County Council website and you will need to submit the local authority common application form, and the school's supplementary information form (SIF). Where appropriate, your SIF should be supported by a Certificate of Catholic Practice obtained from your Parish Priest.

If you would like your child to be considered for one of the selective places, you will also need to register them to take the 11 plus exam. This is administered by the Consortium of Selective Schools in Essex (CCSE); registration opens on the CSSE website on Thursday 16th May 2023 and closes on 30th June 2023.

What's on the St Thomas More High School 11 plus?

Boys who are registered for a selective place at St Thomas More High School take the 11 plus exam 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 St Thomas More High 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 St Thomas More High School was 303. Selective places are only offered to children who live within the catchment area (see below).

St Thomas More High School admission criteria

Up to 30 places will be offered to boys who have passed the CSSE 11 plus and who live within the school priority area. If two or more boys tie for the final selective place, then oversubscription criteria will be applied:

1. Looked After or previously Looked After children from Catholic families

2. Baptised and practising Catholic boys living in the parishes of Our Lady of Lourdes, Leigh on Sea; St. Helen’s, Westcliff on Sea; Sacred Heart, Southend on Sea; St. Georges, Shoebury; St. Peter’s, Eastwood; St. John Fisher, Prittlewell; St. Teresa’s, Rochford; Holy Family, South Benfleet; Our Lady of Ransom, Rayleigh and Our Lady of Canvey, and Canvey Island

3. Other baptised and practising Catholic boys

4. Baptised Catholic boys

5. Other boys who are Looked After or previously Looked After

6. Practising Christian boys attending Catholic primary schools (priority is given to children whose applications are supported by their Minister)

Practising Christian boys whose parents wish for them to have a Catholic education (priority is given to children whose applications are supported by their Minister)

8. Families who desire a Catholic education for their son

St Thomas More High School catchment area

The catchment area at St Thomas More High School covers the postcodes SS0, SS1, SS2, SS3, SS4, SS5, SS6, SS7, SS8 and SS9.

School Details

Type of School Grammar
Address Kenilworth Gardens Westcliff-on-Sea SS0 0BP
Phone 01702344933
Email [email protected]
Region Essex


Admission Year Sept 2024
Gender in YEAR 7 Boys


Registration 15/5/2023 4-7pm
Academic Exam 22/9/2023
CAF form 31/10/2023
Allocation Day 1/3/2024

Academic Selection

Number of Places 150
Standardised No
Age Standardised Yes
Total Number of Exams 2
Number of Rounds 1
Admission Policy View

Exam Boards

  • Consortium (CONSORTIUM)

Exam Styles

  • Mixed (MC & STD)

Sample Papers

Name Document or Link Subjects
Multiple Papers View English, Maths

Find answers to our frequently asked questions about St Thomas More High School

  • When can a student find time to study within the school day?
    Students have ample time during the traditional school day to study. They will be able to find time during the designated community time after the first-period class on block days, during their required study hall period, and their 50 minute lunchtime period. It is important to note that students have the opportunity to request passes during their study halls to work in the LEC or visit one of the specialists there. During community time, they also have the opportunity to visit with their teachers or go to the LEC to study, which is also open before or after school.
  • How are students placed in advanced or AP courses?
    Students are placed in different levels of coursework in a variety of ways. At St. Thomas, we individualize the curriculum based on the individual student. Our goal is to place the student in the level of coursework that will allow him to be challenged academically but also in a position to succeed. Freshman students are placed in English and World Geography classes based on the middle school records, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, and ISEE scores submitted with their admissions application. Student are placed in Math (Algebra 1, Advanced Algebra 1, Advanced Geometry, or Algebra II/Trigonometry), Biology, and a World Language (French, Latin, Mandarin, or Spanish) based on placement tests taken in the spring of their 8th-grade year. No matter where students are placed their freshman year, they are reevaluated each year to determine academic placement. Each student has the ability to be placed in advanced-level courses or AP classes as he progresses through St. Thomas. Being placed in an advanced placement or advanced-level course is determined individually based upon the course’s prerequisites and the student’s performance in previous courses. Generally, a student must excel in his coursework and receive a recommendation from his current teacher in order to qualify for these classes.
  • What is the difference between college preparatory courses, advanced courses, and advanced placement (AP) courses?
    St. Thomas is a college preparatory school, so every course a student takes at St. Thomas is designed to prepare them for the next academic level. An advanced level course is a course designed to prepare students for the rigors of our AP or dual credit courses. They move at a faster pace, dive deeper into the content, and use additional resources within the curriculum. AP courses are classes that are developed and created by the College Board. The goal for these classes is to prepare the students to pass the end-of-year AP test for possible college credit.