Durham School 11 Plus (11+) Entrance Exam Information – Key Details





Durham School is an independent boarding and day school in Durham, North East England. Founded in 1414, the school first started admitting girls in 1985 and became fully coeducational in 1998. It is the city’s oldest educational institution.


Pupils at Durham School study mathematics, English, French, science, history, geography, religious studies, music, art, drama, design and technology, ICT and PE. 


The co-curricular programme offers a vast timetable of activities. Those run by members of staff are usually free of charge, whilst those offered by an outside provider are charged and payment for them is made direct to the provider.


On a weekly basis, pupils take part in a wide range of clubs, such as Bushcraft Club, Ceramics Club, Chess Club, Design Club, Debating Club, Drama Club, ICT Club Model and many more.


Nurturing a Christian ethos whilst being respectful of the beliefs of others, Durham School enhances pupils’ learning by encouraging them to succeed through the continuous provision of an outstanding education. 



11 Plus (11+) Information for Durham School



Address: Quarryheads Lane, Durham DH1 4SZ

County: Durham

Admissions info: admissions@durhamschool.co.uk or +44 (0)191 731 9270

School Type: Coeducational independent day and boarding school

Number of Students: 530 (approx.)

11+ Open Day: March

11+ Exam Date: January of Year 6

11+ Exam Type / Board: School’s own 



Open Events for Durham School 11 plus (11+) Entry



The whole school Open Morning is set in March. To receive an invitation for the open event, reach out to the Admissions office or complete the form on the website.


The school offers Taster days to prospective pupils, during which they attend all lessons and other activities held on that particular day. They will be assisted by a hand-picked guide whilst staff members keep a friendly and watchful eye on them.


Taster days can be organised at any time of the school year and require a small but important amount of paperwork. For this reason, you should give the school at least a week’s notice prior to your child attending.


Individual visits consist of a meeting with the Headmaster and a pupil-guided tour of the school, as well as a meeting with a Housemaster or Housemistress and a tour of a House. Each visit can be tailored in accordance with your child’s particular interests and can include a meeting with the Head of Music or the Head of Art or any other relevant member of staff. To arrange one, contact the Admissions Office or fill in the online form available on the website.



Durham School 11 Plus (11+) Admissions



Admissions are considered at any stage of a child’s education from nursery through to sixth form. However, the majority of pupils join the school in Year 7, Year 9 or Year 12.


Entrance and Scholarship Examinations for 11+ entry are held at the end of January each year, following registration of the child and receipt of a deposit of £50 or £100 (if registering for the Peter Lee Scholarship). The examinations assess your child’s skills in English, mathematics, Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning.


Note that admission greatly depends on the reference from your child’s current school. 


The school’s financial assistance comes in the form of scholarships and bursaries.


The Headmaster’s Scholarship, worth 100% of school fees, is awarded to one outstanding boy or girl on entry at 11+ and is based on talent across a number of areas, including academic ability and the capacity for an all-round contribution to the school’s community. 


King’s Scholarships are awarded on the basis of performance in the entrance assessments plus an interview with the Headmaster. The scholarship is available for the entirety of a pupil’s education and is worth up to 50% of the day fee, subject to appropriate means testing.


Peter Lee Scholarships are funded by a bequest from Peter Lee OD. They are ONLY available for academically and musically elite pupils of Chinese ancestry and allow up to 100% funding for the top performing candidate. 


For more information about the scholarships and bursaries on offer, visit the school’s website or contact the Admissions Office.



Durham School 11 Plus (11+) Exam Format



The entrance assessment for candidates applying to join Year 7 (11+) consists of 4 papers:


  • English 
  • Mathematics 
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Non-Verbal Reasoning


The English paper examines comprehension and writing skills, whilst the maths paper tests problem-solving abilities and arithmetic skills.


The Verbal Reasoning paper is primarily designed to test and assess your child’s logical thinking, use of English language and vocabulary. The Non-Verbal Reasoning paper is designed to test 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 Durham School 11+ entrance examinations.



How to Prepare for the Durham School 11 Plus (11+) Exam



One of the best ways to prepare for a competitive entrance exam is to use our practice testsGetting 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.


Our 11+ practice tests are thoroughly researched and up to date. They are designed to reflect the demands of a competitive entrance exam and are successfully used by tens of thousands of students every year.


They are available for immediate download, print and use after purchase. Please see below our recommended packs to help prepare your child for the Durham School 11+ entrance exam.



Durham School 11 Plus (11+) Exam Practice Papers


Recommendations for each part of the Durham School 11+ exam can be found below:




The following practice papers are highly recommended for successful preparation for the Durham School 11+ English paper. They will help improve your child’s comprehension and writing skills, including spelling, vocabulary and inference:




11+ English Pack 1


11+ English Pack 2


11+ English Pack 3


11+ English Pack 4


11+ English Pack 5


11+ Inference Skills


11+ Complete Comprehension Guide


11+ Reading Workbook




11+ Complete Writing Guide


11+ Writing Prompts


11+ Spelling Pack 1


11+ Spelling Pack 2




We highly recommend the use of the following packs to help develop your child’s problem-solving skills within the examination context of the Durham School’s 11+ maths test:


Full Practice Tests


11+ Mathematics Pack 1


11+ Mathematics Pack 2


11+ Mathematics Pack 3


11+ Mathematics Pack 4


Skill Specific Practice


11+ Problem Solving


11+ Mental Arithmetic 


11+ Algebra


11+ Angles & Degrees




11+ Estimation & Place Value


11+ Factors & Multiples


11+ Fractions, Decimals & Percentages


11+ Measurements


11+ Operations


11+ Perimeter, Area & Volume


11+ Position & Direction


11+ Probability


11+ Properties of Shapes


11+ Ratio & Proportion


11+ Reflection, Rotation & Symmetry


11+ Sequences


11+ Special Numbers


11+ Speed, Distance & Time


11+ Statistics


Non-Verbal Reasoning + Verbal Reasoning


To further develop your son’s Reasoning abilities ahead of the Durham School 11+ entrance examination, we suggest that you make use of the following packs:


Non-Verbal Reasoning: Practice tests


11+ Non-Verbal Reasoning Pack 1


11+ Non-Verbal Reasoning Pack 2


11+ Non-Verbal Reasoning Pack 3


11+ Non-Verbal Reasoning Pack 4


Verbal Reasoning: Practice tests 


11+ Verbal Reasoning Pack 1


11+ Verbal Reasoning Pack 2


11+ Verbal Reasoning Pack 3


11+ Verbal Reasoning Pack 4


Verbal Reasoning: Skill specific practice


11+ Verbal Reasoning: Anagrams


11+ Verbal Reasoning: Analogies


11+ Verbal Reasoning: Codes


11+ Verbal Reasoning: Compound Words


11+ Verbal Reasoning: Embedded Words


11+ Verbal Reasoning: Form a Word


11+ Verbal Reasoning: Insert a Letter


11+ Verbal Reasoning: Letter Analogies


11+ Verbal Reasoning: Letter Calculations


11+ Verbal Reasoning: Letter Codes


11+ Verbal Reasoning: Letter Sequences


11+ Verbal Reasoning: Move a Letter


11+ Verbal Reasoning: Number Analogies


11+ Verbal Reasoning: Number Calculations


11+ Verbal Reasoning: Number Sequences


11+ Verbal Reasoning: Shuffled Sentences


11+ Verbal Reasoning: Synonyms


11+ Verbal Reasoning: Word Completion


11+ Verbal Reasoning: Word Match


11+ Verbal Reasoning: Word Opposites


11+ Verbal Reasoning: Word Pairs


11+ Verbal Reasoning: Word Puzzles


11+ Verbal Reasoning: Word Relationships




11+ Interviews – The Complete Guide



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Our practice tests aim to show what sort of questions were included in Durham School 11+ exam past papers. The information provided about Durham 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.


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