With 11+ exams focussing on core subjects of Maths and English as well as non verbal and verbal reasoning, we prepare our boys and girls for these key skills using a mix of physical and virtual materials. With the increasing capability of adaptive technologies, we promote these for use to support the curriculum where appropriate, working with parents to develop the partnership at home.
The Maths mastery approach is supported with a framework built on Singapore Mathematics introduced in key stage 1. Reasoning and explanation capability is therefore developed in tandem with key calculation capabilities.
Follow the link here to view our timeline for 11+ exam and secondary preparation, provided to our pupils from Year 3 onwards.
In Year 4, pupils work with their own chromebook for the first time to support their learning and develop their independence. The devices are theirs and are expected to charge the device at home and bring it to lessons every day. Whilst not all lessons will rely on the device, we are working to build digital literacy skills that ensure technology is an enhancement to their curriculum experience and not a distraction.
With many of our feeder schools moving towards 1 to 1 devices for their pupils, the chromebooks provide an optimal intermediary step. The tablets are flexible tools which can be folded and used as tablets or provide laptop capability as needed.
Learning beyond the core skills
In recent years, selection at 11+ has broadened in focus with schools placing increased importance on pupils able to demonstrate critical thinking, communication and creativity as well as the ability to collaborate. At Elmhurst, these have been key features of our education for a number of years and we continue to promote them through our ‘superheroes’. Pupils learn the value of such approaches from their youngest years with us and are taught to develop each skill and focus their achievements through participation in the Elmhurst All Rounder Award.
Oracy skills play an increasingly important role in our offer, with pupils asked to deliver a public speaking presentation, poetry performance and lively reading of a book as part of the curriculum. Lambda lessons are available as an extracurricular club and boys are prepared for debating competitions in collaboration with experts in the field. This year we are working with acclaimed providers Noisy Classrooms and our Y6 debating team won second place in the inaugural Bellevue prep schools debating competition.
School council roles for all pupils from Year 1 upwards provide an important insight into school decision making and give children a voice. Additionally, through our entrepreneurial programme of study, pupils can develop their leadership and teamwork in designing and creating products to sell at a profit. In Year 6, these experiences throughout the years are brought together working with a formal half term workshop programme and pupils work collaboratively in groups to operate as a business.
Critical Thinking and Creativity
Our integrated curriculum deepens the opportunities for critical thinking and creativity and our extra curricular provision provides further chances to broaden pupils’ exposure to the value of both. We promote a growth mindset approach throughout the school with brave, curious and determined behaviours being at the heart of our school values.
Moreover, our oldest pupils are given Prefect responsibilities and paired up with the youngest pupils in the school in our buddy system. This is to the benefit of both the youngest and the oldest pupils, as the youngest gain another friend and mentor, and the Year 6 are instilled with a greater sense of maturity, responsibility and respect.
When boys and girls move on from Elmhurst we wave goodbye knowing they are well prepared for the rigors of senior school both intellectually and emotionally.