Senior School Preparation
Many of our popular Senior Schools are now testing children during Year 6 or 7 and allocating a place for Year 9 based on that performance. How the schools assess the children varies enormously but the disciplines covered are some or all of: Maths, English, Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning and Interviews.
The vast majority of schools do not share past papers with prospective candidates. Equally, the Independent Schools Examinations Board (ISEB) does not provide samples of their common pre-test currently used by a large number of schools. Specific preparation in English and Maths is, therefore, almost impossible. However, please speak directly with your child’s teachers. Although we cannot run extra lessons every time a child approaches pre-assessment, your teacher will be able to highlight areas of weakness and will be able to recommend books for further practice at home.
All children have interview practice before a senior school assessment. They will also sit their CAT tests early in Y6 so they are familiar with online assessment. Children in Y6 are also given some Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning practice so they are familiar with these styles of test.
Whilst this may not be an exact match with the particular assessment they are faced with, it should mean the children are able to show their best by being confident and comfortable. Schools are universally trying to assess innate ability.
11+ Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning material is also available to purchase from the School Office. It is also available online from providers such as Bond Online.
If your child is entered for Portsmouth Grammar School, they will send you a pack of sample questions in November in preparation for their January assessment days. Please complete these as quickly as possible and bring them to the relevant teacher for discussion.
Whatever school you choose, please make sure you inform the School Office of your intentions as early as possible.
If you have any further questions, please contact Tim James firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior School Information & Examinations
The Independent Schools Examinations Board (ISEB) produces both Common Entrance and Common Academic Scholarship papers. Timetables for future exam sittings can be found here.
If you are considering purchasing past papers, can we please request that you do not do so without first checking with the subject teacher to ensure that they are not being used in our next round of exams. It is important, for the purpose of tracking your child's progress that these exam papers have not previously been seen at home.
Information is listed on the document below to show the general entry requirements of the main Senior Schools that we feed, including dates for pre-tests etc. You should always check a particular school's website for the most up to date information about school entry, or telephone the admissions office, as entry requirements as well as waiting lists can alter quite rapidly. The school hosts an evening with the Head of a prominent feeder school to help parents make their choice each September, but general advice would encourage you to ask questions around whether boarding/flexi boarding is for you, how far you might like to travel and if a co-educational or single sex school is the preferred choice. This will quite quickly narrow down your choice!
Parents should start to visit Senior Schools in Year 5 ideally, either through an open day or private visit, and then look to speak to the Headmaster at Westbourne House in order to gauge which school may be most appropriate. It is the responsibility of parents to register and make applications to Senior Schools, although we are here to help and advise at any point. It would therefore be much appreciated if you would keep the Headmaster's PA up to date with your intentions.
Please ensure the School are aware of forthcoming Assessment Days so your child can have a practice interview. If the Senior School provide specimen papers your child should meet their relevant subject teacher for feedback and discussion.