White shirts. Prefects. House Captains. Colours and awards. Scholarship and Common Entrance preparation. Buddy system. And more…
While every year is really important at Shrewsbury House, with each successive year building on the previous, we have to acknowledge that we also do something pretty special in our final two years in Years 7 & 8.
These years put the roof onto an already impressive building, without which it would simply be incomplete.
Isn’t is better to start in Year 7 at our chosen senior school?
We recognise that boys develop at such different rates both emotionally and physically right until age 13. Senior school options should be kept available beyond Year 6 to enable exactly the right school to be selected for each boy. Because boys develop differently (and also significantly later than girls) it is key for our young men that the doors of opportunity are kept open much longer, so that the senior schools can see boys at their best as they develop and change.
Shrewsbury House is a Prep School with both a primary and secondary component to our school. So, instead of our boys in Years 7 & 8 being a small fish in a large pond in a senior school in Year 7, where the focus is decidedly geared towards GCSE and A-levels, our boys are nearing the end of their time at Shrewsbury House. Senior tutor groups are purposely small, with only 10 or 11 boys within a tutor group. This allows tutors to provide the support and guidance that the boys need at this age. Likewise, the boys also continue to have small class sizes in Years 7 & 8 and the attention they need to thrive.
The boys are trusted to lead others, and look after the younger boys, and we take these positions of responsibility seriously as part of our emphasis on character development. Year 8 is really special for them. What better opportunity to foster leadership skills, and prepare for the rigours of GCSE through the various Common Entrance and Scholarship assessments, in an environment which boys understand, and where our provision keeps the options completely open for them, while their bodies and minds are changing?
In Years 7 and 8, a boy’s own choices may change and what he wants from his senior school can change too and parents are often grateful that they have the ‘time’ to think about choices. Our boys develop at this rate, surrounded by the familiar, and with exceptional, well-qualified and very experienced teachers, keen to make these years special. These two years are almost a rite of passage as the young men enter adolescence, complete their Prep School years and head off into senior schools at 13. It is something quite special to be part of.
There is some thinking that it is easier to get into a senior school at 11+, because there are more places on offer. That might appear to be the case. However, look closely at the number of pupils applying against the number of places on offer, and it may well become clear that the inverse is true and that 13+ statistically, provides more opportunity of a place. In addition, schools release more places in Year 7 and 8, for a variety of reasons. It often pays to wait.