How we instil the skills required to embrace the 11+ process

Elmhurst School for Boys

27th April 2018 | Headmaster's Blog

At Elmhurst we are very proud of our record of 11+ successes. I believe that we are one of the only Preparatory Schools in the area that has a keen focus on preparing the boys for 11+ examinations. The curriculum lends itself to the process of preparing for 11+ and our ‘booster’ classes delivered by the specialist teachers in the Upper School, support and consolidate the learning in the classroom. The mock examination at Old Whitgiftians is designed to replicate the experience that the boys will have when they go off for their exams and consequently the boys feel ready and confident when they are faced with the prospect and pressure of the Eligibility and consequent 11+ examinations.

However, there are certain characteristics that we work to instill in our boys which also prepare them for the 11+ process. We are fully aware of the high levels of pressure that both boys and parents are under during this period of time. So, what are the characteristics required to cope and how are they developed?

I was particularly pleased with the feedback from secondary schools this year around how our boys are able to solve problems and think critically. This is certainly reflective of the skills being developed in Snap Science and Inspire Maths, as well as our vision of promoting the 4Cs in all of our lessons, in preparing boys for the 21st century. However, Forest School, House Sports and Music, inter school competitions through the ISA and Croydon Schools programmes, drama productions including the Performance Poetry evening in Year 5, as well as Mindfulness in PSHE lessons, are all preparing boys for the 11+ exams, as they are experiences that will develop resilience, grit, determination, presentation skills and coping strategies.

When Elmhurst boys are faced with the pressures of the 11+ examinations, they are not only prepared extremely well academically, but the Elmhurst experiences they have had, prepare them physically and mentally also, enabling them to take on the challenge with confidence.

- AJ Padfield

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