Frequently Asked Questions

Please find below a list of questions that you may, or may not, have thought about asking us.  If we haven't answered your question below, please email and we will endeavour to respond.  We will then add your questions to the bottom of this page.

My son has passed the Kent Test, but not the Bexley, will he still be offered a place?

Unfortunately, Kent County Council sit a different test to Bexley and we only offer places to those deemed selective from the Bexley tests.


When are the Bexley tests sat and what do they consist of?

The test will be sat during week commencing Monday 2 November, for September 2021 entry.  Bexley Local Authority notify parents about the dates and, if you are an out of borough resident, which test centre your child will sit the test.

There are two test papers with a mixture of questions in each, covering verbal ability and comprehension, numerical ability and non-verbal reasoning.  Children sit both test papers on the same morning or afternoon, with a short break in between.


Help! I think we live too far away from Beths to be given a place for my son.

We offer places to 192 boys and measure the distance a child lives from the school ‘as the crow flies’.  All boys who are placed within the top 180 and put Beths onto their common application form (CAF) are guaranteed a place at the school, irrespective of how far they live from us.  Likewise, any boys with a sibling currently at the school is also highly likely to be offered a place.  The majority of boys are offered on the distance criteria.  This distance varies from year to year.  In recent years we have gone out to around 8 miles, but this doesn’t mean that this will be the case this year.


Do you have an early entry GCSE policy?

Students at Beths no longer do early entry through the school.  The rationale behind this is that we find that students traditionally do better in their exams, in Year 11 and the new GCSE’s are harder.


Do you set?

We set in Maths, English and Science from Year 8 onwards, with the average group size of 24.  Options (GCSE) are not set.  Please note that all setting in Year 7 and Year 8 have been postponed temporarily this year due to the ongoing situation.


How do you support high or low achievers?

We support all students through a supportive, differentiated curriculum that challenges everyone.


Where are your students going at the end of their secondary school career?

The majority of our students leave Beths to attend university. At the end of the last academic year, of those who made an application, 90% of Year 13 students went on to begin their undergraduate studies at universities, all around the country, including over 40% attending Russell Group Universities and Oxbridge.

Naturally, some students decided that university was not the right next step for them and this choice was fully supported by the school. A small number of our students chose to move straight into the workplace and, in some cases, onto a degree apprenticeship.

We aim to encourage all of our students to aspire to the best courses and universities for their chosen avenues of study.


How do you settle students if they get lost or seem unhappy? 

A map is available for new students but following procedures currently put in place due to Covid-19, students are within year group bubbles and this is something we will be looking to continue, post Covid-19.

We have a fantastic pastoral team for all students, with their Head of Year, Form Tutor and Key Stage Manager all available and an Individual Educational Needs Department.


Are there clubs, before and after school? 

The school’s week is usually filled with a variety of different lunchtime and afterschool clubs, including Chess, Woodwork, STEM, Creative Writing, Robotics, Warhammer, Gardening and Big Band, to name but a few.  Unfortunately, this academic year we have been unable to run most of these clubs but we have started (October 2020) to run our Basketball and Football clubs for a few year groups.  Our hope is that by the time your son joins us in September, we will be able to get back to a full extra-curricular calendar.


What's the school lunch like?

Our school lunches are provided by Independent Catering and they provide a mix of themed meals and snacks for our students, ranging from Curry Tuesday’s to Fish Friday’s.  We have three areas where students can generally buy food: the school canteen, the Pod and the Snack Shack.  Although currently, each of these areas are being used for certain Year group bubbles.  Payment for food is via the student’s very own sQuid, which is used so students do not need to carry any cash.


What’s your take on bullying?

Please take a look at our Anti-Bullying Policy.  We do not condone any form of bullying at Beths Grammar and will apply the severest of sanctions to those proven to be doing so. 


How can parents get involved in school life?

The school have a Parents Association who are always after new members.  The Parents Association aims to raise funds to enhance the facilities for current and future students. At the same time, it enables parents to socialise through the school events that it organises throughout the year.  During the school year you will receive emails from them, sent via the school.  These emails will contain updates from the Parents Association, but do also keep an eye on our webpage on the school’s website, along with their page on the weekly school Blog.

The PA organises social events such as quiz nights and fundraising through fairs.  They are also reliant on the generosity and support of parents and carers to make donations and to buy monthly draw tickets, raffle tickets, or refreshments at these and other school events.


What is the ethnic mix of students and staff at the school?

We have a rich and diverse cultural blend of ethnicities here at Beths, which make our community unique.


How is technology used to support teaching and learning at this school?

All students are provided with a Netbook, free of charge, and encouraged to use it. 


How do the arts fit into the curriculum? Is there a school choir, band or orchestra? A school production? Art classes?

We celebrate Arts throughout each academic year, with a school orchestra and band where they perform in our bi-yearly musical concerts and in the Church during our Christmas service.  Last year students were invited to perform at the London Jazz Festival, held at London’s South Bank. 

We have a yearly school production with previous years shows being Oliver!, The Wizard of Oz and The Lord of the Flies.  These are wonderful productions put on by both the Drama and Music Department, with help from the Art Department, to create the sets.

Our Art Department has won awards at the Hall Place Art Show and also showcases their work in our summer Art Show, held at the school.


How do children travel to school? Is there a bus service?

There are a variety of ways for students to travel to and from school.  If they are local enough, they can walk or cycle, and put their bike in our safe, locked bike sheds.  Alternatively there are a number of buses which stop at the bottom of Hartford Road, 132, B12, 492, 229 and the local school bus, 601.  If you are living in Orpington and the surrounding areas, we have, this year, started to run a coach service.  Details of this can be found here.

We are a five minute walk from Bexley Train Station which is on the Dartford line via Sidcup, connecting us with Lee, Eltham, Mottingham and Lewisham areas.


How does the school support students who have academic, social or emotional difficulties? Does the school have a well-staffed learning support department?

We have a fantastic IEN Department who would be happy to help with any queries you may have.


How does the school keep parents informed of news and information regarding the school faculty?

For parents of student within the school, we issue a weekly blog, every Friday.  This includes any important information that you need to know for the week ahead.  We also share what has been going on throughout the school that week, along with fixtures and results of sports games and articles from students themselves.


How much homework per day do students get?

Homework is given regularly to help develop self-reliance and the ability to work alone.  It also provides the repetition and reinforcement which is indispensable in the acquisition of skills.

A Homework timetable for Years 7-11 details the number of times each subject is expected to set homework each week.

Year 7: up to 90 minutes per subject per week

Year 8: up to 90 minutes per subject per week

Year 9: up to 90 minutes per subject per week

Year 10: up to 120 minutes per subject per week

Year 11: up to 120 minutes per subject per week


What happens on wet days?

Currently, due to the year group bubbles and split breaks and lunchtimes, should the weather be extremely wet, students will go into their designated indoor areas which is either their form class, Sports Hall or Main Hall.


How many trips a year do students go on?

Traditionally, our students would be given the opportunity to go on a variety of school trips, whether it be to London to see a West End performance, or even abroad as part of a sports team.  In Year 8, all students are invited to our infamous Camp, where they learn life skills, leadership skills and make more friends.

Unfortunately, just like the rest of the year, Year 8 Camp 2020 wasn’t able to happen – the first time in its 41 year history!