Year 8

Antrim Grammar School's Year 8 Entrance Criteria for the academic Year 2021/21 is now available below. We appreciate this has been, and continues to be a difficult time for P7 pupils and their families. We thank you for your patience as we continue to navigate the changing landscape in which we find ourselves.

Entrance Criteria

 Transfer Information

AQE Key Dates and Information

AQE Update – 14 May 2021

AQE Ltd would like to inform you that the 2021/2022 Common Entrance Assessment (“CEA”) will take place on the following dates:

Assessment 1 – Saturday 20th November 2021

Assessment 2 – Saturday 27th November 2021

Assessment 3 – Saturday 4th December 2021

Guidance Notes for applying online for the Common Entrance Assessment 2021/2022 can be found here.

Applications for Registration to AQE (Terms and Conditions) can be found here.

GL Key Dates and Information

The Post Primary Transfer Consortium (PPTC) announced on 10 May 2021 details of its Entrance Assessment for pupils who will transfer to post-primary schools in September 2022.

The Entrance Assessment will, as in all past years, consist of an English paper and a Mathematics paper with Gaeilge versions available. It will be held on Saturday 13th November 2021 and the registration period for the Entrance Assessment will open on Tuesday 1st June 2021.

The English and the Mathematics papers will be significantly modified to take account of the disruption to formal education experienced by pupils and the desire expressed by parents and teachers that the Assessment be held around November time rather than in January 2022.

You can read the statement from the PPTC in relation to the 2021-22 Entrance Assessment here.

A spokesperson for PPTC added that, “Over the past weeks and months PPTC has engaged with parents, primary school principals, its own members, its test provider GL Assessment  and other stakeholders to help shape and finalise plans for the Entrance Assessment.”

PPTC confirmed that parents and teachers were very strongly of the view that the “tests” should be based on English and Mathematics, should be held during the normal time period after Halloween and before the Christmas break and should be adapted to reflect the disruption to schooling experienced by pupils who will sit the Assessment. A number of ways in which the traditional Entrance Assessment might be adapted to suit the 2021-22 situation have been suggested. PPTC has been working closely with GL Assessment to incorporate key changes.

Specification guides will be available on the PPTC website ( in the week beginning 17th May 2021 (has been changed to w/b 15th June). For English these will set out specific steps that have been taken to reduce the overall demand of the Assessment - for example, by reducing the number of comprehension passages from 3 to 2. For Mathematics the specification will show that the overall demand of the Assessment has also been reduced – for example, by limiting both the topic areas which will be assessed and the content within some topic areas.

The spokesperson added that, “PPTC was made aware that many parents would prefer the Assessments to be held in the pupils’ own primary schools; however, there was an equally clearly articulated view from primary principals and from a teaching union that the “tests” should continue to be held in PPTC schools. To ensure that all pupils have the same experience, the Entrance Assessment will continue to be held in PPTC Centres, with appropriate Covid safeguards in place.”

A list of the PPTC schools which will host the 2021-22 Entrance Assessment is available on the PPTC website.

Answers to the PPTC Entrance Assessment 2021-22 Frequently Asked Questions can be found here.

Dates and information

Below are important dates for those children preparing to sit the GL Assessment to gain entry to Year 8 in September 2022:

Friday 24th September 2021 – Deadline (2.00pm) for receipt of completed Registration Forms.

Saturday 13th November 2021 – Entrance Assessment.

Monday 22nd November 2021 – Deadline (2.00pm) for receipt of Supplementary Entrance Assessment requests.

Saturday 11th December 2021  Supplementary Entrance Assessment

Wednesday 15th December 2021 – Deadline (2.00 pm) for registering claims for Special Circumstances.

Friday 4th February 2022 - Results of the Entrance Assessment posted (first class) to pupils’ homes.

Tuesday 22nd February 2022 - Deadline (2.00 pm) for receipt of Entrance Assessment re-mark requests.

Antrim Grammar School considers applications from pupils who have taken the entrance assessments anywhere in Northern Ireland provided by the Association for Quality Education (AQE) or GL Assessment (GLA).  The school will host both AQE and GLA tests.

All documentation relating to the GL tests, including access arrangements, special circumstances and special provision applications can be found at the PPTC website

Familiarisation Documents will be available from week beginning 15th June 2021 on the PPTCNI website.


Starting a new school is a very exciting time for pupils and at Antrim Grammar School we aim to provide a supportive and informative Induction Programme as we welcome you into the school community. This includes an Induction afternoon in June when parents and pupils are invited into school and pupils are given the opportunity to meet the other members of their class, as well as their Class Tutors and Year Tutors, encouraging friendships and relationships to grow.

We also have an Induction Event in the Autumn term. For parents, this consists of an information session detailing the school's strong emphasis on academic achievement, assessment and reporting and extra-curricular activities. Pupils will be with their classes taking part in some teambuilding activities and getting a tour of the school.

Throughout these induction activities, pupils are nurtured and supported by the experienced and committed pastoral team. Miss Moore and Dr Finlay, the Year Tutors for Year 8, work hard to ensure that pupils needs are met and that any worries are addressed. 

Click here for the Induction Presentation from 15th June 2021.

Click here to view the Induction Booklet for September 2021.

Click here to view the School Calendar for 2021/22.

Click here for the Equipment List for September 2021.

Click here for sample menus from The Hot Plate' for September 2021.

Click here to view the A Guide for Parents and Carers' EA Leaflet.


This year all Year 8 pupils are challenged to ‘Be Awesome, Go Big’. There will be so many opportunities for all pupils to be awesome and to go big throughout the school year. In preparation for September, this area of the website is designed to motivate, help and support pupils and parents so that you feel equipped for the journey ahead. 

Are you getting ready to Go Big?

In preparation for September we would like you to: 

  • Complete the ‘Be Awesome, Go Big’ workbook before you start in September
  • Complete as many of the activities on the ‘Getting Ready to Go Big’ activity sheet. You can send pictures of you doing any of the challenges to
  • Be a Wild World Hero and start reading books from our Reading List
  • Read Matthew Burton’s book, ‘Go Big’ which will be delivered to your house over the coming weeks
  • Read our 5 Steps to Transition to help with your mental health and wellbeing and think about each of these as you make the change to secondary school


We appreciate your support at home to make the transition from primary school to secondary school as smooth as possible for your child. We would appreciate it if you could ensure that your child completes the preparation work outlined as it will be the foundation for their ‘Character’ and ‘English’ classes. In addition, please take time to read the Parent Information section as it is designed to help you as you make the transition from primary school to secondary school alongside your child.

Parent Information

Please click below to read our guides to help you make the transition from primary school to secondary school alongside your child.:

Help your child make the change from primary school

Help your child with the transition to Antrim Grammar School

Help your child make good habits

Help your child develop a Growth Mindset

Help your child build resilience