Year 8 Admissions
Admissions to RSD
The majority of pupils enter RSD in Year 8 having sat the Common Entrance Assessment (CEA) in Primary 7. Some pupils join the school in Years 9, 10 and 11 if places are available. Entry to Sixth Form is also possible and there is a separate admissions process for pupils seeking places in Year 13.
RSD is usually oversubscribed so it is important to contact the school as early as possible if you are seeking a place. This is particularly important for Boarding places, the majority of which are allocated around 10-12 months in advance of a boarder joining the school. RSD operates a Waiting List and we keep in contact with prospective pupils’ families to help guide applicants through the process.
If you would like to apply for a place at RSD and need some help with the admissions process, then feel free to contact us. We will be glad to help.
Helping you with Admissions
RSD uses the Common Entrance Assessment, administered by AQE, as a transfer test for pupils seeking to join the school in Year 8.
Full details can be viewed on their website.
The information below is provided to help guide parents and pupils through the transfer process. If you need help with any aspect of the admissions process, then please feel free to contact us for further guidance.
Key Dates 2019-20
Familiarisation Day – Saturday 12 October 10am
Test 1 – Saturday 9 November
Test 2 – Saturday 23 November
Test 3 – Saturday 30 November
- Wed 22, Thur 23 & Fri 24 January – P7 Open Mornings in RSD
- Saturday 25 January 2020 – AQE sends CEA results to families
- February – P7 parents submit transfer form to the Education Authority
- Wednesday 12 February – P6 Open Evening for pupils applying for Sept 2021 entry
- March – RSD Admissions Committee awards places and informs Education Authority
Saturday 30th May – RSD sends admissions letters to pupils joining RSD in Year 8
- Monday 15 June – induction day for P7 pupils joining RSD
- August – induction day for new Year 8 pupils
- September – welcome to RSD!
P6 Open Evening
The P6 Open Evening is held in February each year and the event begins with everyone together in the Assembly Hall to hear from the Headmaster and some RSD pupils about their school experiences. Parents and pupils are then taken on guided tours of the school, led by RSD staff and prefects, and this is a chance to see school facilities and to meet staff and pupils in various subject settings. They will try to give you a taster of the activities they undertake together daily so that you have some idea of what lessons are like at RSD. The evening concludes with refreshments in the Assembly Hall and a chance to talk to staff and ask questions.
RSD’s P6 summer school
We hope that you like what you see at the Open Evening and decide to make RSD your choice after primary school. That means getting ready for the transfer test of course, officially known as the Common Entrance Assessment or CEA. Many pupils choose to do this each year and primary schools often help with clubs and support materials. We like to help also so RSD runs a summer school each June, aimed at helping pupils in P6 to familiarise themselves with the CEA and to practise some of the literacy and numeracy questions. RSD provides everything – the primary school teacher, the workbooks and the juice and biscuits! All you have to do is ring RSD and book a place.
P7 Familiarisation Morning
Each year, on a Saturday morning in October of your P7 year, we run a Familiarisation Morning to help parents and pupils understand the transfer process and test, the CEA. The Examinations Officer explains the mechanics of how the test works and the Headmaster guides parents through the admissions process, including the key dates and how to fill in the transfer form. The boys and girls have a dry run of going to the rooms where the tests are held and they learn what the test paper will look like and how to approach completing their paper (though there is no test of course!). The whole event lasts around an hour, running from 10.00 – 11.00 am, the same timing as the actual test days. By the end of our morning together parents and pupils usually feel at ease with the process.
The information provided at this year’s Familiarisation morning can be viewed here: Notes from Familiarisation Day 2019.
RSD’s P7 autumn workshop
In September/October of P7 we run workshops for all the pupils signed up to take the CEA with us. This is organised with the primary schools and takes place at RSD after school. As with the summer school, RSD provides a primary school teacher, the workbooks and the juice and biscuits but the focus for these workshops is on some of the trickier topics in the CEA. Set alongside your own preparations and the work done in your primary school, the autumn workshops should put you in a good position to approach the CEA days in November/December with real confidence.
CEA Transfer Test Mornings
The dates of the CEA transfer tests are given above and the most important “dos and don’ts” will be explained on the Familiarisation Morning and in the notes given to you then. The key things to remember are:
- Get here early – by 9.30 am at the latest
- Have your AQE card, 2 pencils and a rubber with you
- Go to the toilet before the test starts – you won’t be given additional time if you leave the test room for a few minutes
One thing that parents are sometimes concerned about is, “what will we do if something happens at the time of the test?” The most typical scenario is a pupil taking ill. There is a straightforward process to deal with this and you will receive full details at the Familiarisation Morning but the best advice is make sure you act at the time – gather evidence of what has happened (e.g. doctor’s note) and present this to RSD when applying. The RSD Admissions Committee looks at all such evidence and always tries to be as understanding and helpful as possible.
P7 Open Mornings
Towards the end of January, we will invite parents and P7 pupils to come into RSD during the morning and to see the real school in operation. Unlike the P6 Open Evening, where there are lots of activities put on just for you, this is where you get to see what being a pupil at RSD is really like. The Headmaster will speak to parents and pupils for a short time and then you will be taken around the school by some of our current Year 8 pupils and prefects. You will be in small groups so you really do get a chance to see the school in action and what lessons are like day-to-day. We finish the morning together with refreshments and the opportunity for final questions ahead of receiving your test result and completing your transfer form. We hope you like what you see and choose RSD to be your next school!
Year 8 Admissions Criteria
YEAR 8 ADMISSIONS CRITERIA 2020/21
APPLICATIONS AND ADMISSIONS TO YEAR 8
Total Applications All Preferences
* Includes supernumerary pupils
To Parents/Guardians naming the Royal School Dungannon as a Preference on your child’s Transfer Form
Entrance Test Results
The Royal School Dungannon intends to use the score awarded to pupils completing the Common Entrance Assessment (‘the CEA’) provided by the Association for Quality Education (AQE) as specified by the School. Parents should record their child’s candidate number and CEA score on the Transfer Form and attach the statement of results.
Parents who wish to apply to the School claiming Special Circumstances should complete Form SC 19 (obtainable from the School or AQE) or otherwise apply in writing and attach the application with appropriate documentary evidence, as detailed below, to the Transfer Form.
Parents who wish to apply to the School under Special Provisions should contact the School as soon as possible. In addition, they should complete Form SC 19(obtainable from the School or AQE) or otherwise in writing and state the precise reason why they believe the pupil is eligible for consideration under Special Provisions. This should be sent to the School with appropriate evidence. A copy ofForm SC 19 and all the documentary evidence should be attached to the Transfer Form. For those pupils whose parents wish them to transfer from schools outside Northern Ireland, applications for Special Provision should be received by the School by 3rd April 2020.
Open morning visits for P7 parents and pupils will be held during the week of 22-24 January 2020.
An open evening for P6 parents and pupils will be held on 12 February 2020 at 7.15 pm.
ADMISSIONS CRITERIA FOR ENTRY OF PUPILS TO YEAR 8 IN SEPTEMBER 2020
The Royal School Dungannon (‘the School’) is a voluntary grammar and boarding school for boys and girls offering a broad curriculum of academic courses and a strong commitment to extra-curricular activities. The Board of Governors of the School has delegated to its Admissions Committee, including the Principal, the responsibility of applying its admissions criteria to identify which children are to be admitted to the School in Year 8.
The Admissions Committee will initially consider applications for boarding. All boarding applications should be made direct to the School, which will be the main information point for parents regarding boarding applications and procedures. The Admissions Committee will then consider only those pupils who have taken the Common Entrance Assessment (‘the CEA’) provided by the Association for Quality Education (AQE) and who have been awarded a score in the CEA, including pupils whose score has been determined under the arrangements for Special Circumstances and Special Provisions.
The Admissions Committee will not use as a criterion the position of preference given to the school by the applicant on the Transfer Form. For example, a pupil who has chosen the Royal School Dungannon as a second, third or fourth preference school will be considered in the same manner as a pupil who has chosen the school as his or her first preference.
The Royal School Dungannon has an Admissions number of 93 pupils. Up to a maximum of 8 of these places will be available each year for boarding pupils.
In selecting children for admission for places, children who are resident in Northern Ireland at the time of their proposed admission to the School will be selected for admission before any child not so resident.
The Admissions Committee of the Board of Governors reserves the right to require additional information or evidence, for example educational information, to determine, support or verify information on the Transfer Form or matters appended to it. The provision of false or incorrect information or the failure to provide verifying documents according to the required deadline may result in either the withdrawal of a place or the inability of the School to offer a place. On the issue of verification of information, the School will apply Departmental Guidance (see note f).
From September 1990 parents of all pupils admitted to the Royal School Dungannon (except in the case of pupils who are not resident in Northern Ireland and who are not E.U. nationals) will not be required to pay tuition fees. Capital and Consolidation fees still apply. A Capital Fee (currently £70.00 per annum) and a Consolidated Charge, known as the School Fund (currently £80.00 per annum for the first child and £40.00 for a second child and with no charge for other siblings), are charged in regard to all pupils, with the exception of pupils who are entitled to Free School Meals and who are thus exempt from these fees.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES, SPECIAL PROVISIONS & SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS
The purpose of a claim for Special Circumstances and/or Special Provisions is so that a child can be assigned a score equivalent to that which he or she would have obtained in the AQE CEA under normal conditions. Consideration of a claim for Special Circumstances and/or Special Provisions consists of two parts: the first requires the consideration of whether there is sufficient evidence to permit a child to be considered as having Special Circumstances or attracting Special Provisions, or both; if so, the second part of the consideration requires an educational judgement to be made on the totality of the evidence presented to the school so that a mark equivalent to that which the child would have obtained in the AQE CEA under normal conditions can be awarded.
It is for parents to present all such material as they consider will assist the school in performing both parts of the consideration described above. It should be noted by parents that both parts of the consideration referred to involve an exercise in judgement and not precise calculation. Evidence provided by parents shall always be considered by the Admissions Committee in reaching its judgements.
The School will admit pupils on the basis of the standardised score awarded by AQE, subject to the consideration of medical or other problems which may have affected performance in the CEA and which are supported by documentary evidence of a medical or other appropriate nature. These ‘medical or other problems’ are commonly referred to as ‘Special Circumstances’.
If a claim for the consideration of Special Circumstances is made in respect of matters for which Special Access arrangements were granted for a pupil, the Admissions Committee will take into account the fact that the pupil was granted Special Access arrangements for those matters.
Parents who wish to apply to the School claiming Special Circumstances should complete Form SC 19(obtainable from the School or AQE) or otherwise apply in writing and attach the application with appropriate documentary evidence, as detailed below, to the Transfer Form.
Details of Medical or Other Problems
Where it is claimed that a pupil’s performance in the CEA has been affected by a medical or other problem, it is the responsibility of the parents to set out in Form SC 19 or otherwise the precise details of the problem and to append any evidence they consider will assist the Admissions Committee in reaching a judgement.
Where the problem is of a non-medical nature the parents should set out in Form SC 19 or otherwise the precise details of the problem and append appropriate evidence.
Details of Educational Evidence
The score achieved in the Common Entrance Assessment.
Sufficient documentary evidence must be provided by the parents and accompany the Transfer Form so as to enable the Admissions Committee to reach a decision. This evidence should include, where they exist, the results for the pupil of any standardised tests conducted in Year 5, Year 6 and Year 7 and the results in any end of year tests in English and Mathematics.
Parents should also seek comparative information from the Primary school, using the format shown in Form SC 19 or otherwise.
The Admissions Committee will consider the application for Special Circumstances. Where Special Circumstances are accepted, they will determine, on the basis of the information available, an appropriate score for the pupil. Such pupils will then be considered with all other pupils who have received a CEA score and the Admissions Criteria applied.
Special provisions may apply for:
- Pupils whose parents wish them to transfer to the School from a school outside Northern Ireland;
- Pupils who have received more than half their primary education outside Northern Ireland;
- Pupils, entered for the AQE Common Entrance Assessment, who because of unforeseen and serious medical or other problems were unable to participate in any of the assessments.
Parents who wish to apply to the School under Special Provisions should contact the School as soon as possible. In addition, they should complete Form SC 19 or otherwise in writing and state the precise reason why they believe the pupil is eligible for consideration under Special Provisions. This should be sent to the School with appropriate evidence. A copy of Form SC 19 and all the documentary evidence should be attached to the Transfer Form.
For those pupils whose parents wish them to transfer from schools outside Northern Ireland, applications for Special Provision should be received by the School by 3rd April 2020.
The Admissions Committee will consider the application for Special Provisions. Where Special Provisions are accepted, the following procedure will apply:
a.The Admissions Committee will consider any educational evidence, including information provided by the Primary school.
b. The Admissions Committee will determine, on the basis of all the available educational evidence, an appropriate score for the pupil. The pupil will then be considered with all other pupils who have received a CEA score and the Admissions Criteria applied.
Special Educational Needs
The procedures for allocating a school place to pupils with a Statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) operate outside the open enrolment procedures so as to ensure that such children are provided with the most appropriate school placement and their needs are met. Please contact the Education Authority for information.
RESPECTIVE FUNCTIONS OF THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS AND PRINCIPAL IN RELATION TO ADMISSIONS TO THE SCHOOL
The Board of Governors of the School has delegated to its Admissions Committee, including the Principal, the responsibility of applying its Admissions Criteria to identify which children are to be admitted to the School in Year 8.
APPLICATION OF THE ADMISSIONS CRITERIA
The Admissions Criteria will be applied in the order listed below until all places for entry into Year 8 have been allocated. Decisions taken about how Admissions Criterion 1 should be applied to each child will be taken solely on the basis of the information provided to the School. Decisions taken about how Admissions Criteria 2-4 should be applied to each child will be taken solely on the basis of the information provided on, or attached to, the Transfer Form. Parents are advised to record the Age Standardised Score awarded by AQE and the AQE Candidate Number in Section C of the Transfer Form and to attach the statement of result.
- Up to a maximum of 8 boarding places will be allocated from the admissions total of 93. All pupils applying for a boarding place must be resident at the time of their admission to the School. All pupils applying for a boarding place must provide appropriate evidence to the Admissions Committee in order to establish his or her suitability to benefit from a grammar school education in a boarding environment. Pupils applying for a boarding place should indicate such on the green Transfer Form. The Admissions Committee shall review the educational evidence provided and, if satisfied that the applicant would benefit from a grammar school education in a boarding environment, an offer of admission will be made (subject to residency).
- The remaining places from the Admissions total of 93 will be allocated to pupils on the basis of the rank order of their respective scores in the CEA (or awarded as a result of Special Circumstances or Special Provision) with those achieving higher scores being allocated places before those with lower scores up to the Admissions number of 93. If more than one child is eligible for the last remaining place(s) because they have equal scores, then the final place(s) will be allocated using the Additional Considerations as set out in criterion 4 below and in the order stated.
- If, following the application of Admissions Criteria 1 and 2, all the available places have not been filled then the School will consider for admission any pupils who have not taken the CEA. In the event that the number of such pupils exceeds the number of remaining places, allocation of the remaining places will be made by applying the Additional Considerations as set out in criterion 4 below and in the order stated.
- Additional Considerations
The Additional Considerations will be applied in the order stated below.
(i) Pupils who have a child of the family, at the time of application, currently attending or who previously attended the school (details to be supplied); or pupils who are the eldest child in the family eligible to apply for admission to Year 8 (see definition at Note c).
(ii) Pupils who are entitled to Free School Meals (see note g)
(iii) Pupils with a parent or guardian who is a former pupil of the Royal School Dungannon or the former Dungannon High School for Girls (name and date of attendance to be supplied)
(iv) Pupils ranked by the initial letter of surname (and if necessary, subsequent letters), as entered on the birth certificate, in the order set out below:
H X R G A Z N I E M C J U B D P S K V L O W Q F T Y
- Children will be selected for admission on the basis of the initial letter of the surname as it appears on the birth certificate.
- Where surnames begin with the same letter, the second and, if necessary, subsequent letters will be used to establish relative priority for admission.
- Where children have the same surname, the initial letter of the first forename as it appears on the birth certificate will be used for admission.
- Where the first forenames begin with the same letter, the second and, if necessary, subsequent letters will be used to establish relative priority for admission.
- Where no priority can be established by means of this comparison the child with the shorter first forename will be prioritised for admission.
- In the event that two or more children have identical surnames and forenames then the oldest pupil shall be admitted first (established by date of birth as entered on the birth certificate).
(v) The School wishes to continue its tradition of accepting children from a wide catchment area, irrespective of the proximity of their homes from the School. If, however, after criteria 4(i) to 4(iv) have been exhausted it becomes necessary to make a final selection, priority will be given to the child whose home is closer to the School. Distance will be measured in a straight line using an Ordnance Survey web distance measurement tool from the child’s home to the front entrance of the School’s main administrative building. Home will be taken to mean the child’s address appearing at the commencement of the Transfer Application Form.
a. The School emphasises that it is the responsibility of the applicants to notify the School on the Transfer Form where the above criteria apply, including Special Circumstances and Special Provisions, and to furnish all relevant details.
b. The Admissions Committee will consist of the Chairman, Vice-Chairman and up to four other members of the Board of Governors, the Headmaster and up to two members of the School’s Senior Leadership Team.
c. The definition of “child of the family” in 4(i) is that of the Department of Education for Northern Ireland (DE) which includes, for example, half-brothers and sisters, and children who are fostered or adopted. The definition of “eldest” in 4(i) includes ‘only’ children and twins and other multiples who are considered as joint eldest. A pupil will be considered as the eldest child if, at the date of his or her application, he or she is, in the opinion of the Board of Governors, the eldest child of the family eligible to apply for admission to the school, including: in cases where a child is more than 7 years younger than their next sibling; cases where a family has moved residence; or cases where an older sibling is not in mainstream education (for example attends a special school).
d. The definition of “previously attended the school” in 4(i) is for a minimum of one full academic year at secondary level.
e. The definition of “former pupil” in 4(iii) is a pupil who attended either the Royal School Dungannon or the former Dungannon High School for Girls for a minimum of one full academic year at secondary level.
f. Department of Education guidance is found in Circular 2013/24.
g. The definition of “entitled to Free School Meals” is children who are listed on the Education Authority register as entitled to Free School Meals at the date on which their parent or guardian has signed their post-primary Transfer Form, or at any date up to the final date of application for FSM published by the Department of Education (NI).
h. 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. All applications will be treated equally and the published Year 8 criteria applied. This waiting list will operate after placement letters have been received by parents/pupils until the end of the following academic year, that is, the end of Year 8. Please contact the school if you wish your child’s name to be removed from the list. Should a place become available for your child by this method, the school will contact you. Waiting lists are also maintained for other Years and applications should be made in writing using the application form available on the school website or from reception.
The School places a strong emphasis on a pupil’s willingness to participate in the broader life of the School, such as sports (including Saturday games), music, drama and a large number of clubs and societies and all those applying for admission should be willing to support the School’s ethos of active involvement in the life of the School.