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Barnard Castle Preparatory School 8 Plus (8+) Entrance Exam Information – Key Details


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Basic information: Barnard Castle School is a co-ed independent day and boarding school in the market town of Barnard Castle, Durham. Founded in 1883, it occupies a beautiful 50-acre campus and has educated an impressive number of notable alumni, including authors, historians, professional sportsmen and a Victoria Cross recipient. [1]


Curriculum: Fully invested in providing children with quality education, staff deliver engaging lessons for English, mathematics, science and humanities, among others. Classes are a place where pupils can partake in discussions and explorations of various phenomena, and thus grow in confidence and develop character. 


Co-curricular: The comprehensive education on offer also allows children to discover new areas of interest. The broad co-curricular programme extends across a wide range of activities, including choir, rugby, coding, Taekwondo, gardening and cookery, maximising pupils’ appetites for skills acquisition alongside their ability to retain knowledge. [2]


Pastoral care: The school’s pastoral system broadly addresses the emotional and health-related needs of everybody on campus. For this purpose, each child is appointed to one of the four houses, named after famous Elizabethan explorers, where they can develop their perception on matters such as identity and character in a very broad sense. [3]


The Barney ethos is at the heart of the unpretentious learning environment, where both individual and collaborative efforts are celebrated in the attempt to maximise the quality of pupils’ academic achievements. Preparing them for the ever-changing world beyond the gates, the school provides children with a respectful atmosphere that facilitates independent thought and perseverance, as well as many other essentials of success.


Barnard Castle Preparatory School 8 Plus (8+) Exam Information


Address: Westwick Road, Barnard Castle DL12 8UW

County: Durham

Admissions info: or +44 (0)1833 696 030

School type: Independent, co-ed day and boarding school

Open days: March

8+ Exam date: Throughout the year


Open Events for Barnard Castle Preparatory School 8 Plus (8+) Entry


Barnard Castle wholeheartedly welcomes families on campus for a range of Open Event activities. Starting with a speech from the Head and proceeding with guided tours of campus, the events programme aims to provide prospective families with first-hand knowledge about the school’s provision. Please click here to learn more. 


Barnard Castle Preparatory School 8 Plus (8+) Admissions


In order for your child to be considered for 8+ entry, you should complete this registration form and send it to the school. Barnard Castle does not set a deadline for applications. 


As part of the admissions process, your child’s skills will be formally assessed. Their school reports and references will also be taken into consideration. 


The acceptance deposit for day pupils is £250, while for boarding pupils it is £400. 


Barnard Castle Prep School 8 Plus (8+) Scholarships and Bursaries


Scholarships and bursaries are not available to 8+ applicants. 


Barnard Castle Prep School 8 Plus (8+) Exam Format


The Barnard Castle Prep School 8 Plus (8+) exam consists of the following assessments:


  • English 
  • Mathematics
  • Non-Verbal Reasoning 


The English assessment examines comprehension and writing skills, including spelling, punctuation and grammar, as well as the fluency of your child’s reading and oral skills.   


The Maths exam assesses problem-solving abilities and arithmetic skills, including your child’s knowledge of times tables.


The Non-Verbal Reasoning exam measures the ability to understand, interpret and problem-solve, testing logic and intelligence rather than knowledge. 


Please see below for further details and recommendations on how to prepare for the Barnard Castle Prep School 8 Plus entrance examination.


How to Prepare for the Barnard Castle Prep School 8 Plus (8+) Entrance Assessment 


One of the best ways to prepare for a competitive entrance exam is to use our practice tests. Getting to know the types of questions and the format of the actual exam will help boost your child’s confidence.


Aside from becoming familiarised with the exam format, our practice tests will ensure that your child responds to the questions in an efficient and effective manner. 


They also provide an excellent opportunity for your child to practise working under time pressure. Whilst doing the tests under timed conditions, children can get used to answering questions quickly, with a close attention to detail.


The majority of our 8+ resources are accompanied by detailed step-by-step video tutorials for every question. These are available for free with all purchases. It’s like having a world-class tutor explain each question to your child at no extra cost!


Our practice tests are used successfully every year by tens of thousands of students targeting schools with a competitive entrance exam. They are age-appropriate, reflecting the demands of the actual exam.


Our recommendations to help your child prepare for the Barnard Castle Prep School 8 Plus entrance exam can be found below.


Barnard Castle Prep School 8 Plus (8+) Exam Practice Papers


Recommendations for each section of the Barnard Castle Prep School 8 Plus exam can be found below:




We highly recommend the following packs to prepare successfully for the Barnard Castle Prep School 8 Plus English assessment. They will help improve your child’s comprehension and writing skills:


Full Practice Tests


8+ English Pack 1

8+ English Pack 2

8+ English Pack 3

8+ English Pack 4

8+ English Pack 5


Comprehension Skills


8+ Reading Workbook

8+ English: Comprehension Pack 1

8+ English: Inference Skills

8+ English: Vocabulary and Grammar


The Complete Guide to 8+ Comprehension


Writing Skills


8+ English: Writing

8+ English: Rewrite & Improve

8+ English: Spelling

8+ English: Punctuation

8+ English: Dictation


The Complete Guide to 8+ Writing


If you’d like to have your child’s writing assessed and marked, you may be interested in our Writing Marking Service. Please click here to learn more.




We highly recommend the use of the following packs to help develop your child’s arithmetic and problem-solving skills within the examination context of the Barnard Castle Prep School 8 Plus maths test:


Full Practice Tests


8+ Mathematics Pack 1

8+ Mathematics Pack 2

8+ Mathematics Pack 3

8+ Mathematics Pack 4

8+ Mathematics Pack 5


Targeted Skill Development


8+ Mathematics: Mental Arithmetic

8+ Mathematics: Problem Solving


Non-Verbal Reasoning (NVR)


The following packs will significantly boost your child’s Reasoning abilities ahead of the Barnard Castle Prep School 8 Plus Non-Verbal Reasoning test:


8+ Reasoning Pack 1 (NVR sections only)

8+ Reasoning Pack 2 (NVR sections only)

8+ Reasoning Pack 3 (NVR sections only)

8+ Reasoning Pack 4 (NVR sections only)

8+ Reasoning Pack 5 (NVR sections only)




The following pack is ideal for developing listening skills ahead of the Barnard Castle Prep School 8 Plus entrance exam:


8+ Listening Pack 1



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Our practice tests aim to show what sort of questions were included in Barnard Castle Preparatory School 8+ past papers. The information provided about Barnard Castle Preparatory School was believed to be correct at the time of publishing. However, please be aware of future changes. We advise you to contact the school directly if you are unsure of anything. School contact details are provided within the post.


Other entry points for Barnard Castle Preparatory School:


Click here to learn about Year 3 entry via the 7 Plus (7+) Exam

Click here to learn about Year 7 entry via the 11 Plus (11+) Exam


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