written by
Sarah Segrave

What is the Future of the Common Entrance at 13+?

Thought Leadership 2 min read , June 7, 2021
Common Entrance at 13+
An Eaton House The Manor Prep pupil studying Latin for Common Entrance at 13+

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

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.

Common Entrance at 13+
Classroom time can be fun and exciting while studying for the 13+ Common Entrance

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.

At Eaton House The Manor Prep, we also play a lot of sport and have fun 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+.

Common Entrance at 13+
For Common Entrance at 13+, the ability to debate and think are crucial

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.

Common entrance at 13+
Eton Photographer: Annie Spratt | Source: Unsplash

Further information

Find out more about 13+ Common Entrance, examination syllabus and papers.

Eaton House Schools - if you are interested in finding out more about our schools for your child, please contact Miss Sam Feilding, Head of Admissions, on 0203 917 5050 or by email at sfeilding@eatonhouseschools.com if you have a general enquiry, please contact us at enquiries@eatonhouseschools.com.

Education 13+ Common Entrance Exam