At Essendene Lodge we encourage our pupils to be independent, responsible and confident individuals and this is supported by the many opportunities on offer for our Prep pupils to hold positions of responsibility and to be role models to the rest of the school. Children can be selected as Head Boy and Girl, House and Sport Captains or Senior Prefects. Our Year 5 and 6 pupils are also invited to attend our termly Open Days to tour prospective families and this really develops their social skills and is excellent preparation for the 11+ process.
We want our children to take the transition to senior school in their stride. A meeting with our Head, Mrs. Ali takes place for Year 5 parents so that choices of senior schools can be discussed and expectations made clear early on. Our parents are kept well informed of the process of selecting a senior school with a ‘Next Steps Meeting’ when their children are in Year 5. Parents are encouraged and supported throughout the process with regular contact from our Headteacher and Year 6 teacher to choose the right school for their child.
During the Spring term in Year 5, the children are introduced to 11+ preparation in the form of weekly preparation sessions, involving practice papers and guidance to improve examination technique. The children become familiar with the style and expectations of the papers and these are embedded into their weekly learning, with any marks and general feedback going home to parents. Interview preparations also begin, with the children seen by both the Headteacher and Year 6 teacher. Following these discussions, pupils receive personalised advice and guidance which they can work on in preparation for individual interviews.
Once in Year 6, the children have weekly exam preparation sessions in English, Mathematics and Reasoning; the papers and the marks are shared with parents so that progress can be tracked. Every Friday afternoon we also hold exam sessions where the children can explore questions and topics in more detail and work on their individual targets. They will also continue to be called for individual or small group interview sessions during this time with various members of staff.
The majority of 11+ entrance exams begin in the Autumn Term of Year 6 by which point our pupils are very well prepared. They will continue to have weekly English, Maths and Reasoning exam practice, as well as individual or small group interview practice until their final exam takes place. Many of our children also sit scholarship exams in art, drama, music and sport and preparation for these are interwoven into the 11+ process. Identification of potential scholarship children tends to happen in Year 3 and 4 with specialist teachers identifying individual talents and discussions being held with parents on how to develop this talent further. Children are then supported in applying for a scholarship by our specialist teachers and their applications and accompanying work is regularly reviewed and discussed. Recommendation letters written by our specialist staff support any applications submitted.
As a result of this gradual yet thorough preparation, our pupils go into their exams confident and self-assured and our senior school successes speak for themselves.
We enjoy a good relationship with the following schools and often children consistently secure places and scholarships at the school of their choice:
•Tonbridge Grammar School
•Weald of Kent Grammar School
•Box Hill School
•Croydon High School
•Wallington High School for Girls
•Wallington County Grammar School
•St Bede’s School
•Wilson’s Grammar School
•Reigate Grammar School
•de Stafford School
•Royal Alexander and Albert
•Royal Russell School