By Sarah Segrave, Headmistress of Eaton House The Manor Prep School
I hope that Common Entrance at 13+ has a good future because any academic Prep School worth its salt will be feeding up to 20 senior schools, and these schools want pupils to come up to the same standard. The joy of the word ‘common’ is that it is a universal standard and a universality about what children study at Prep School. It is a strong base from which to build.
Table of contents:
- Common Entrance at 13+ can help with GSCE choices
- We need exciting learning with plenty of context!
- For Common Entrance at 13+ we need the best teachers to engage the students
- Does Common Entrance at 13+ have a future?
- Further information
Common Entrance at 13+ can help with GSCE choices
Parents should bear in mind that their children will soon be making their GCSE choices, and the rigour of Common Entrance at 13+ examinations in subjects like the Humanities and Languages can really help them there, not only to guide them to make informed choices but to better prepare them when they do.
We need exciting learning with plenty of context!
Of course, we should not be stuck in the dark ages with children jumping through hoops in a joyless way purely to pass Common Entrance at 13+. We need to understand those exciting ways of learning, and placing learning in context, are not in opposition to essay writing, debating skills, memory skills, mathematical skills and some of the harder skills demanded by these exams.
Soft skills are also very important, and they are best taught with a level of context. Exams are not the only thing on our agenda. We do have a responsibility to turn our pupils into good citizens, too.
For Common Entrance at 13+ we need the best teachers to engage the students
There is another point that is rarely made. To get the best teachers from the best universities, we need those teachers to play a proper part in the Eaton House The Manor Prep School timetable, and they can do that by engaging with Common Entrance at 13+.
Does the 13+ Common Entrance have a future?
Unless Eton, Radley and all those other schools are going to drop their entrance to 11, then of course it does. They have traditionally, for the most part, taken boys at 13+. That has been good for them from a pastoral point of view because from the ages of 11-13. The boys receive secondary level education with a primary level of pastoral care. In my opinion, 11-year-old boys are better at rubbing shoulders with 13-year-old boys rather than 18-year-old boys.
For all these reasons, I have to say that I am a fan.
Find out more about 13+ Common Entrance, examination syllabus and papers.
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