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Preparation for Senior Schools

At Parkgate House we encourage our pupils to be independent, responsible and confident individuals and this is supported by the many opportunities on offer for our Prep pupils to hold positions of responsibility and to be role models to the rest of the school. Children can be elected as members of our School Council, as Peer Mentors, House and Vice Captains, as Sport Captain and as Head Boy or Girl. Our Prep 5 and 6 pupils are also invited to attend our Open Mornings to give tours to prospective families.  This really helps to develop their social and communication skills and is excellent preparation for the 11+ process. 

We want our children to take the transition to senior school in their stride and our preparations start in Prep 4 when we encourage parents to meet with our Headmaster in order to discuss potential schools. These meetings provide the opportunity to reflect on the strengths and interests of the individual pupils so that we can make suggestions tailored to them and select schools where we believe they will continue to flourish and succeed. We have strong and long-standing relationships with a wide range of prestigious senior schools and Parkgate House is highly regarded. Parents are encouraged and supported throughout the 11+ process with regular contact from our Headmaster to choose the right school for their child. 

Once the pupils reach the end of the Spring term in Prep 5, 11+ examination questions are introduced in English and maths lessons. The children become familiar with the style and expectations of the papers and these are embedded into their weekly lessons, with any marks and general feedback going home at the end of the year. Interview preparations also begin, with the children splitting into smaller groups and are seen by either the Principal or Headmaster. Following these group interviews, pupils receive personalised advice and guidance which they can work on in preparation for individual interviews. 

Our pupils also create a portfolio as part of the 11+ process which they can use in interviews to help them share their interests, passions and all their achievements to date. On the front of each portfolio is a self portrait and the children work on these in Prep 5 with our Head of Art and take part in a self portrait workshop. Over the summer holidays the children complete their portfolios with details on any particular achievements, interests and hobbies and these portfolios are used in individual interview practice in the Autumn term of Prep 6. 

Once in Prep 6, the children have weekly papers in English and maths and the papers and the marks are shared with parents so that progress can be tracked. Every Tuesday afternoon we also hold exam sessions where the children can explore questions and topics in more detail and work on their individual targets. They will also continue to be called for individual or small group interview sessions during this time. 

In November we hold a mock exam at an external location to provide the children with an opportunity to sit papers in a different environment to their classroom with an invigilator running the session. Results from the mock exam are shared with parents and children find the experience extremely valuable as part of the overall process and preparation. The majority of 11+ entrance exams begin at the end of November by which time the pupils are as prepared as they can be. The ISEB and Consortium exams are held at Parkgate during this month which allows the children to perform at their best due to the familiar environment and the amount of practice they will have had by this point. Pupils continue to have weekly English and maths exams, as well as individual or small group interview practice sessions, until their final exam or interview takes place. 

As a result of this gradual yet thorough preparation, our pupils go into their exams feeling confident and self-assured, and our senior school successes speak for themselves. 

Our 11+ results can be found here

Pupils in Prep 6 also have a specific Personal Development lesson each week as part of their curriculum.  This is used to prepare the children emotionally for senior school exams, interviews and then for transfer to senior school itself.  Further information can be found here.

“The Headmaster, Mr Mckinlay, genuinely cares. He is welcoming and greets the children (and parents) at school every single morning (the Principal and Deputy Head are often there, too). This informal interaction means we have a regular opportunity to connect and whenever I have raised an issue, no matter how small, Mr Mckinlay always remembers and addresses it quickly. His door is also open for longer and more formal discussions if ever needed, too.”

Parkgate parent 
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