Reading to Help Pass


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Podcasts to help with school entrance exams

Podcasts are a great way of getting some breadth while in a relaxing zone. The breadth aspect is absolutely key for passing the 11 Plus as it underpins the English section and the interview. No need for screen time with podcasts. They offer a way of accessing information normally only available in books. This is not only helpful for children who have a more aural acquisition style, it also reinforces all children’s learning.

little boy sitting on a sofa smiling at his iPad as he listens to a podcast

Good 11 Plus preparation sees a variety of different styles. Our top podcasts for broader knowledge acquisition knowledge for entrance exams are:

1. The Unexplained Disappearance of Mars Patel

This is Peabody Award-winning mystery series similar to Stranger Things for tweens. With a voice cast of actual kids and a suspenseful plot this story about an 11-year-old searching for his missing friends will keep tweens hooked for hours. A great podcast for creativity which is so key to the English paper.

2. History Storytime – for Kids

This charming podcast for kids is unusual in that it a co hosted production by Sophie (age 7), Ellie (age 5) and their father. While the children are young, the podcast is extensively used by schools to support KS2 and cover some pretty grown up topics. The girls mostly tell the stories which are all important moments in history. There are lots of sound effects and songs and funny moments. Episodes are just ten minutes long so nice and bite sized. A great podcast for giving the sort of breadth that you need for the entrance interview.

3. Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls

This is a spin off of the best selling book of the same name. The podcast champions women from all parts of life. Epsiodes are ten minutes longs and are read by an extraordinary woman – telling the story of another extraordinary woman.  

4. Brain On

This podcasts takes questions from kids on science and then has experts answers them. It also has a kid co-host. The questions are tricky the answers complex so it’s suitable for older children. Questions include “Why are smartphones so hard to put down?”, “Why is it so hard to break a habit?” and “Why do we have crushes?. However, the show is still fun and silly. The 11+ really tests curiosity and this podcast plays to all that.

5. Houston We have a Podcast

This is not specifically targeted at kids. However, kids love it. This is produced by NASA and gives updates on the NASA missions, outlines NASA’s future plans and explores some of the mysteries of space. The exam requires you to have a view of the world – but why not have a view beyond this world?

6. Eleanor Amplified

This is like stepping back into the old days of radio with a serial podcast follows a brave journalist who goes on adventures looking for her big scoop. Outrageous sound effects and a fun scripts make it a great choice when you have some time.

Don’t forget to check out all of our reading recommendations for your child as they prepare for their entrance exam.


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