Guidelines for applying to year 7 2020

We advise you to read the frequently asked questions about our admissions process as well as the admission arrangements 2020/21 before submitting an application for Bristol Cathedral Choir School.

How do I apply to Year 7 at Bristol Cathedral Choir School?

Simply complete the Common Application Form (CAF) provided and administered by your home local authority. (This will be where you pay your Council Tax).

The CAF normally opens mid-September on your local authority website and must be submitted by 31st October 2019. Please make sure you name Bristol Cathedral Choir School as a preference of secondary school on this form.

Is there any sort of test or entrance exam?

Bristol Cathedral Choir School no longer holds the Non Verbal Reasoning Test as part of its admissions process for general admission. The only test is the music aptitude assessment test for those applicants seeking a Music Specialism place.

Will Bristol Cathedral Choir School know my preference choices on my Common Application Form?

No. We will not know parents/carers’ preference choices, including where parents/carers have placed BCCS on the form.  Only the local authority is aware of parents/carers’ preference choices.

We consider all applications for places against the published oversubscription criteria, in order of priority. The local authority will endeavour to offer you a secondary school place at your highest preference where there is a place available. Note that your highest preference where there is a place available may not be your first preference.

Do you need to attend Church to apply to Bristol Cathedral Choir School?

No. The school is a Church of England faith school but we accept applications from families of all faiths and none. Faith is not an oversubscription criterion for the School.

What is the catchment or priority area for Bristol Cathedral Choir School?

Distance to school or ease of journey is not taken into consideration.

All applications are considered against the published oversubscription criteria, in order of priority, as set out in the admission arrangements 2020/21 including random allocation from the Bristol postcode areas BS1 to BS16.

When will I know if my child has been offered a place?

Offers for September 2020 entry will be made by your home local authority not the school on the first working day on or after 1st March 2020. This is the national offer date.

How do I apply for a Music Specialism place for my child at Bristol Cathedral Choir School?

You will need to complete the music specialism application form via the school website by 9am on Monday 23rd September 2019. 

Following the outcome of the music aptitude assessment test if you wish to select BCCS as a preference of secondary school you must also complete the Common Application Form (CAF) provided and administered by your local authority. The secondary school application deadline is 31st October 2019.

What happens after I submit the Music Specialism application form to the School?

Your child will be invited to attend the music aptitude assessment test. Details will be sent to you via email during the week commencing 23rd September 2019.

When and where will the Music Aptitude Assessment Test be held?

On Monday 30th September 2019 from 5pm at the Cresswell Centre, Bristol Cathedral Choir School.

Please note due to the high number of applicants there are likely to be 2 sittings during the evening. We will email details confirming the time your child should attend during the week commencing 23rd September 2019.

What does the Music Aptitude Assessment Test involve?

The test will involve listening to a CD and answering a multiple-choice paper on pitch, melody, texture and rhythm.

There are 50 questions of varying difficulty and the test will last about 45 minutes.

Please note applicants are not required to play a musical instrument or sing.

How does my child prepare for the test?

Please remember the assessment test is for aptitude* in music, not ability, therefore no preparation is necessary. The test is unique to the school and there are no practice papers available.

*Aptitude measures potential whereas ability measures attainment or what has already been achieved and the two should not be confused.

In order to ensure equal opportunities for all music applicants, we will not take into consideration any teacher references or music certificates.

Will my child be given extra time if they have SEN needs?

No. Each section of the test is clearly explained and there is adequate time between each question. Staff will provide support and guidance as required.

How will I know whether my child has been successful in the first Music Aptitude Assessment Test?

If your child achieves the score required, which is normally 40 out of 50 or above, then he/she will be invited to attend the second music aptitude assessment test, during the week commencing 7th October 2019.

We will email details confirming the time and date your child should attend.

If my child has been unsuccessful in the first Music Aptitude Assessment test can they still be considered for a place?

Yes. Provided you select BCCS as a preference of secondary school on your CAF, your child will be considered for general admission against the oversubscription criteria, in order of priority, including the random allocation process, as set out in the determined admission arrangements 2020/21. 

What does the second Music Aptitude Assessment Test involve?

The second assessment test will be on a one-to-one basis with a member of the Music Department and will last approximately 10 - 15 minutes. 

It will be a further opportunity to demonstrate aptitude in music; applicants will have to respond to various aural tests, which might include clapping back a rhythm and repetition of a melody.

Applicants are not required to play or sing a prepared piece but may be required to sing back notes played on the piano/keyboard.

Will my child have to play a musical instrument or sing in the second Music Aptitude Assessment Test?

No. Applicants will not be required to play a musical instrument or sing a piece of their choice. In order to ensure equal opportunities for all music applicants, we will not take into consideration any teacher references or music examinations achieved.

How will I know if my child has been successful in gaining a Music Specialism place?

It is our aim to take all reasonable steps to inform parents/carers of the outcome before the closing date for secondary school applications on 31st October 2019. Parents/carers will be informed whether their child qualifies as one of the successful 10% under the music specialism oversubscription criterion.

This information allows parents/carers time to make an informed choice of secondary school on their local authority common application form. This information does not, however, equate to a guarantee of a place at Bristol Cathedral Choir School. 

What happens if my child does not qualify for one of the 10% of Music Specialism places?

If your child does not qualify as one of the successful 10%, they will be ranked on the music specialism waiting list according to their scores from both music aptitude tests.

They will also be considered for a place for general admission in line with the oversubscription criteria, in order of priority, including random allocation, as set out in the determined admission arrangements 2020/21.

When will I know if my child has been offered a place?

Offers will be made by your home local authority, not the school, on the national offer date, 1st March 2020 or nearest working day.