Admissions to other year groups

Admissions into other year groups and immediate (in-year) admissions

Places in all other year groups are sometimes available and subject to a successful assessment, which will take place during the academic year prior to entry in September. If you are looking for an immediate (in-year) place for your son in any year group, including Reception, this is also subject to availability and following a successful assessment day with us.

Please contact Ms Alex Penny, Headmaster’s PA & Admissions for more details.

There are occasional financial bursaries for entry at 7+/8+, for more information please contact the School’s Bursar. All bursary applications are made in the strictest confidence.

Many of the boys looking to join us later than Reception are coming from local state primary schools. We often get asked the following questions about the assessment process and hope that you will find the answers useful and will reassure you about the day.

What does the assessment day involve?

The boys are invited in for a day, spending most of the time in the classroom with boys of their own age. During the day they will take an age appropriate assessment either on their own or in a small group.

For boys looking to enter into Years 3 to 5 the assessment is as follows:

  1. An English comprehension at a level consistent with the average boy in the relevant year group at The Mall. This may be taken from one of the school text books or could have been used in a previous exam, depending on the time of year the pupil comes in for assessment (e.g. those who come in for an individual assessment in the summer term).
  2. A piece of independent writing. Some oral instruction is given, along with regular prompts regarding possible content, but no guidance is given on grammar, punctuation or spelling.
  3. A mental maths test, again at a level consistent with the average boy in the relevant year group at The Mall. This will be in line with expectations of the year group at the time.
  4. A written maths test, using questions either taken from Testbase (i.e. using old NC levels and getting progressively more difficult) or those used in a previous exam, depending on the time of year the pupil comes in for assessment (e.g. those who come in for an individual assessment in the summer term).

We use a testing system called InCAS, a computer-adaptive assessment that helps us identify and diagnose learning needs. The tests you son will take are in General Maths and Reading. These tests will produce a standardised score and are similar to scoring systems used in state schools.  This score will help us to identify the areas your son is strongest at and those he may need support with.

Please be assured that the content of the reading and maths tests will be familiar to your son and manageable. The test will be read to your son via headphones and the interface is very child friendly. A member of our teaching staff will support your son through the process and we have found in the past that boys tend to enjoy the test and are not daunted by it.

The class based activities will follow the curriculum for the year group and a typical day will include maths and English. Depending on the day it will also include several of the following: history, geography, science, PE, music, IT and French. We also hear each boy read individually.

How can I prepare my son for the assessment day?

You may feel under pressure to engage a tutor ahead assessments into Years 3 and upwards. We just want to spend some time with your son finding out what his current levels of ability are and what his future potential may be so we encourage you not to tutor your son. You might want to come along to the 7+/8+ open morning with your son ahead of the assessment day so he is familiar with the environment but our teachers are very experienced at making boys feel welcome.

Talking through what is going to happen on the day is a useful way of preparing your son for what is going to happen – remember the test only forms a small part of the day and ultimately we want him to enjoy the day and make new friends. We also would love to hear about what you son does outside of school and what interests he has so be sure to encourage him to tell us.

What level of academic ability are you expecting from my son?

At  7+ we would expect a boy to be attaining above age related expectations (state schools) or with a standardised score of 112+ if these are used in an independent pre-prep. Part of the reason we invite boys in for the day is so we can get a balanced picture of an individual pupil. For example, a boy may be nervous in the tests and not perform particularly strongly, but shows active participation and good knowledge / ability in the class based activities.

At 8+ and 9+ the assessment process would be similar to that above, considering a boy’s current attainment and tests in line with those given to boys in class.

We also look at school reports from the current school which may identify a particular aptitude in a subject.

What other information will you need from us prior to the assessment?

In advance of the assessment day you will need to:

  • provide us with a copy of your son’s most recent school report
  • completed registration form
  • payment of registration fee

All of these steps need to be completed in order for your son to sit the assessment on the agreed date.

Amazing, highly academic and valuing each pupil’s individual talents.

Parent Exit Survey 2019

It’s a great school! My son never complains about going, it’s academic but not unduly so and there is a friendliness about the approach to pupils and parents.

RSAcademics Parent Survey 2019

Beyond the classroom