Preparation for Senior School Entry

Posted: 6th September 2019

Whilst preparatory school builds on the foundation of Key Stage One, there is also a longer game at play.

The aim of Surbiton High Boys’ Preparatory School is to ensure our boys ultimately progress into senior school equipped with the necessary skills, both personal and academic, to flourish. Preparatory school provides the groundwork in so many areas of the curriculum and becomes the launchpad for a child to move on and develop into an adult.

In recent years, many of the London and Home Counties day schools have moved to an 11 plus entry point at Year 7, rather than the traditional 13+ for boys’ schools. This entry point is aligned at Surbiton High Boys’ Preparatory School and our expertise in educating boys leads us to passionately believe that they should move on to that next stage of education at age 11.

What are some of the merits of moving at this age?

  1. Most senior schools use the 11+ entry exam, which is bespoke to their school as their entrance process. Years ago schools would offer a pupil a place based on the condition that they pass Common Entrance. This is no longer the case for most senior schools. The result of the 11+ process, plus an interview is the deciding factor as to whether a pupil receives an offer, irrespective of whether they continue to 13 and learn the Common Entrance syllabus
  2. Teaching for the 13+ Common Entrance Exam requires a considerable amount of teaching time. Time that, in our view, can be better spent providing a broader, holistic education. At Surbiton High Boys’ Preparatory School, we have the freedom to create a bespoke curriculum, igniting passions and interests amongst a varied range of topics and subjects
  3. The entrance process for senior schools at 11+ provides pupils with a bigger break in the cycle of examinations and tests that ‘must’ be passed to secure the next level of schooling. 13+ entry only provides a one-year breather before pupils start their GCSE years
  4. Many of the day schools within London and the Home Counties have a larger intake at Year 7 than Year 9. Starting with everyone else, in that big melting pot in Year 7, can make navigating senior school, forging friendships and settling in easier when the whole cohort is in the same position
  5. New sports teams are formed from the outset in Year 7 and become established with their routines and playing positions. The pupils have a much greater opportunity to be chosen for specific teams on entry at 11+
  6. Joining in Year 7 allows pupils to settle in and firmly establish themselves within their new school and routines as well as explore broad ranging co-curricular opportunities long before the reality of the GCSE years set in
  7. One of the myths that surrounds the 13+ process is that it allows those younger, perhaps less mature children to have longer to flourish. If that were the case it would definitely be a strength, but the fact is the boys have to sit the same exams at 11+ as their peers and cohort. The do not have further opportunities to sit in Year 7 and 8. Therefore they are having to achieve exactly the same results as their counterparts in other schools at 11.

If you would like to discuss more about Surbiton High Boys’ Preparatory School, the benefits of a private school education and how we prepare our boys for entrance examinations taken in Year 6, please get in contact to arrange a meeting or visit.

Categories: Boys' Prep School