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Grosvenor Grammar School

Grosvenor Grammar School


11plus exam content.

Subjects Tested:  The AQE Transfer Test - English and mathematics

Entrance criteria.

Due to Covid-19 The Transfer Test did not take place in 2020 and special criteria where used that year.

These  criteria were used for pupils joining the school in September 2021 and may change for future years.


The Board of Governors delegates the selection of pupils for admission to the School Transfer Committee, consisting of the Chairman (or Deputy Chair) of the Board, two other Governors, the Principal (or her appointed Deputy) and one other member of the School’s Senior Leadership Team. 




As a result of the AQE Common Entrance Assessments being cancelled in their entirety due to Covid-19, and of AQE being unable to furnish the School with a score to allow all applicants to be rank ordered, the School will apply the following criteria for this academic year only. 




1 General 

1.1 When considering which children should be selected for admission, the Board of Governors will only take into account information which is detailed on or uploaded with the Transfer Application.  It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to make sure that all information pertaining to their child and relevant to the School’s admissions criteria, as outlined below, is stated legibly on or uploaded with the Transfer Application.   

1.2 Where applicable, ‘sibling’ is defined as another child of the family as defined in Article 2(2) of the Children (NI) Order 1995, save that foster children will also be included.


1.3 In relation to Eldest Child, twins (or other multiples) will be treated as joint eldest. 


2  If the School is over-subscribed, the following criteria for entry will apply, in the order stated.  


2.1 The Board of Governors will consider children who are resident in Northern Ireland at the time of their proposed admission to the School before those who are not. 

2.2     The Board of Governors will then consider children who have been entered for the Common Entrance Assessment (CEA) administered by the Association for Quality Education (AQE).  The AQE candidate number should be entered on the Transfer Application.  Children who were not entered for the CEA, because they would have been entitled to apply for Special Provisions as set out below, will also be considered.


2.3 Place(s) will be allocated using the following sub-criteria which will be applied in the order in which they are set out until the point where the admissions number is reached.  


(i) children who have a sibling currently in the School, or who had a sibling attend the School [state name(s), date and Registration Group(s)]. 

(ii) children who are the eldest child in the family to be eligible to transfer to a mainstream Post-Primary School. 

(iii) children who currently attend one of the following named primary schools: 


Andrews Memorial PS (Comber)   Killinchy PS (Comber) 

Braniel PS (Belfast)     Knockbreda PS (Belfast) 

Brooklands PS (Belfast)    Leadhill PS (Belfast)     

 Cairnshill PS (Belfast)    Lisnasharragh PS (Belfast) 

 Carrickmannon PS (Ballygowan)   Loughview Integrated PS (Belfast)  Comber PS      Moneyrea PS  Cregagh PS (Belfast)     Nettlefield PS (Belfast)  Dundonald PS     Orangefield PS (Belfast)  Elmgrove PS (Belfast)    Rosetta PS (Belfast) 

 Euston Street PS (Belfast)    St Joseph’s PS (Holland Drive, Belfast)  Forge Integrated PS (Belfast)   Strandtown PS (Belfast)  Gilnahirk PS (Belfast)    Victoria Park PS (Belfast) 

 Harding Memorial PS (Belfast) 

(iv)     children will be ranked in the order of preference as it appears on their Transfer Application, with first preferences being admitted before second preferences, and so on.   

(v)      Tie-breaker 


If there are places remaining after the application of sub-criteria 2.3 (i)-(iv) above, those remaining places will be determined using a random tie-breaker as follows: 


Applicants will be ranked for acceptance on the basis of a computer-based process which will make use of the names of applicants as shown on their Transfer Application. 


The process is carried out by means of a computer program which, for each applicant, generates a ranking number using the details from the Transfer Application as the seed for a random number generator.  The outcome, for any given applicant, is dependent only on the applicant’s name (as stated on the Transfer Application) and is not affected by the details of any other applicant.  

Although the process is repeatable, and the results may therefore be subsequently verified, it is not possible to predict, in advance of running the program, what the result will be for any given set of details.  

Applicants with the lowest ranking numbers will be given places up to the number of places available.  Further details may be obtained from the Principal. 


3.0 If there are still places available after consideration of all the children who are eligible under 2.2 above, the School will consider for admission any children who were not eligible under 2.2 above. Such children will be allocated to the remaining place(s) up to the School’s Admissions Number using the criteria listed in section 2.3 in the order set out. 




Special Provisions will only apply to children who have not entered for the CEA because they took up residence in Northern Ireland after 9 October 2020, or received more than half of their primary education outside Northern Ireland.  


Parents/guardians who wish to apply to the School under Special Provisions should complete Form SP20, obtainable from the AQE website or from the School, stating the precise reason why they believe the child is eligible for consideration under Special Provisions and upload it with appropriate evidence with the Transfer Application.  Parents/Guardians who are applying for Special Provisions must do so by 16 March 2021. Using the information provided the Board of Governors will determine whether Special Provisions applies. If it does, those children whom the Board of Governors considers to be eligible will be included under Criterion 2.2 of the Admissions Criteria. 




The Board of Governors reserves the right to require such supplementary evidence as it may determine to support or verify information on any applicant’s Transfer Application.  Parents should note that the information contained within an application that qualifies the child for admission may require to be verified.  If the requested evidence is not provided to the Board of Governors by the deadline specified by the Board of Governors, this will result in the withdrawal of an offer of a place.  Similarly, if information is supplied which appears to be false or misleading in any material way, the offer of a place will be withdrawn.   




Grosvenor Grammar School operates a separate waiting list for each year group.  For Year 8, all applications for admission to Year 8 that were initially refused will be automatically added to the waiting list. New applications and applications where new information has been provided will also be added to the waiting list.  The Year 8 waiting list will be in place until the 30 June 2022.  Please contact the School if you wish your child’s name to be removed from the list. 


Should a vacancy arise after 18 June 2021 and should there be more applications than places available, the procedure outlined in the Contingency Admissions Criteria for entry of children to Year 8 will be followed.  The School will contact you in writing if your child gains a place in the School by this method. 


Contact details.

Grosvenor Grammar School

Marina Park,


County Antrim


Telephone:  028 9070 2777


Type of Exam:  The Transfer Test in English and maths.

School website.

School history.

School history

Grosvenor Grammar School was founded (as Grosvenor High School) in 1945 by the Belfast Corporation to cope with the increase in demand for grammar school education in the area.

It was sited in Roden Street, off the Grosvenor Road, and remained there until 1958, when the present location was secured at Cameronian Drive in the east of the city. 112 pupils were enrolled in Grosvenor in January 1945. 

Numbers were increasing, especially after the introduction of the Qualifying Examination in 1947, so that by 1950 when the first Upper Sixth was established, all the year groups were complete and approximately 750 pupils attended instead of the anticipated maximum of 480.  

As a result, from 1948-50 a branch of the school housing 150 boys and 5 members of staff was opened in Orangefield Primary School.  Sketches for the new school in Cameronian Drive, Orangefield, were seen for the first time in 1952 but progress was slow and it wasn’t until June 1958 that the move was made.  

Entry to the new state-of-the-art building (which cost £250,000 to build and furnish) in September 1958 was an adventure for many of the pupils who travelled on two buses across the city to get there.  On arrival at school, outdoor shoes had to be removed to be replaced by school regulation sandals in order to protect the new floor surfaces.  

In the mid 1960s a new Science Block was added and a Sixth Form Centre erected, providing tutorial rooms, a study area, a lecture/drama room and a common room with kitchen/coffee bar; this building became the prototype for sixth form provision in Northern Ireland.

The catchment area of the school continued to expand to include most of Greater Belfast and North and Mid-Down and in order to avoid confusion with other non-grammar ‘High Schools’, the Board of Governors changed the name of the school to Grosvenor Grammar School in 1993.  

As the decades wore on, however, and with the growth in pupil numbers, the expansion of the curriculum and the advance of technology, the lack of adequate and up-to-date accommodation became increasingly noticeable. The opening of the £4.5m Ken Reid Science & Technology block in November 1999 addressed the shortcomings to some extent but it was never going to be enough.  

As Phase 1 of a multi-phase plan, the new building was only a step on the path, a path which changed completely, however, when it was announced in 2004 that Grosvenor would be part of a major Public-Private-Partnership school-building project in Belfast.  

Finally, after many years of wrangling and negotiating, the new £18.5m (with a further £1.2m for Furniture and Equipment) Grosvenor Grammar School opened on 12 April 2010 on our 34 acre site off Marina Park. 

Under the leadership of its five Principals (Mr William Moles 1945-1972, Mr Ken Reid 1972-1993, Mr John Lockett 1993-2008, Mr Robin McLoughlin 2008-2014 and currently Dr Frances Vasey) the School has earned a well deserved reputation for very high standards of achievement, pastoral care, innovation in education and providing a wide range of opportunities for pupils from all backgrounds, the vast majority of whom pass on to universities throughout the British Isles.

** This information is provided for guidance only and while the content is, to the best of our knowledge, accurate we cannot be held in any way responsible for any errors or omissions that it may contain. Please contact your LA or chosen grammar school for all admission and elevenplus exam queries.**

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