Scholarship & Common Entrance Routes

Our final two years (Years 7 & 8) see our boys follow two exam routes:

  • Common Entrance
  • Scholarship

Scholarship Route

Should it be felt that boys would benefit from, and can access, the kind of work, pace and thinking demanded of Scholarship, are strong across all subjects and have an appropriate attitude and work ethic, then those boys will be invited into 7S (Scholarship) for that year. This class is timetabled apart and starts to follow a different syllabus and style in terms of intensity, content and pace, to be able to prepare boys for the rigours of scholarship papers in Year 8.

Common Entrance (CE) Route

Common Entrance is a very robust examination route, with an exit/entrance exam written at the end of Year 8. It is an excellent preparation for the rigours of senior school and GCSE. Common Entrance prepares the boys particularly well and we retain a depth and breadth of study throughout. There are many bright boys who sit Common Entrance rather than Scholarship, and both routes are discussed with the boys and their parents to ascertain the best route for them.

In Year 8, boys may be invited to join 8S (final year of Scholarship) should we feel that in relation to their school choices which have been finalised, and the challenging nature of those papers, the boys will be able to thrive. Many boys will follow the Common Entrance route where they excel equally and are often awarded subject prizes by senior schools (see Leavers’ Destinations and Awards and Scholarships). 

There are many opportunities for boys to thrive and accelerate right from Year 3, regardless of whether they find themselves in Scholarship or Common Entrance routes in Year 7 and 8.  Academically, our final two years are about academic and curriculum extension and acceleration, polish and leadership opportunities at such an important time in boys’ physical, mental, emotional and intellectual development.

We look for the best possible route for the boys to enjoy themselves, be stretched academically, thrive and achieve the results entering their senior school in Year 9, of which we know they are capable. Boys’ well-being is also a significant factor in the choice of exam routes in our final two years and we wish to ensure that each boy is best placed to access what is best for him and that he enjoys the process.