An Education Timeline – Understanding the British School System
The Telegraph, 3 May 2016 – Read the article in full here.
By Vivienne Durham
The examination season is almost upon us. But how can parents know which is which – and which are more important than others?
The standard exam entrance points for most academically selective independent schools are 4+, 7+, 8+, 11+, 13+ and 16+. Entrance exams for academically selective state schools are normally held at 11+ and 16+.
Here is the lowdown on the hoops a child might be made to jump through during his or her school life.
For selective pre-prep schools in the independent sector: an opportunity to understand how your child learns, their potential and how they interact with other children. More academic schools will test basic numeracy and literacy skills so it’s useful for your child to be able to write his/her name and be familiar with numbers 1-20.
7+ Assessments: Year 2
If seeking to move your son or daughter at 7+, consider how they are performing in Year 1. 7+ assessment tests are held in Year 2 – often in January. Not all schools require them.
In the independent sector, processes vary, but you can expect your child to be tested in maths and English and, sometimes, verbal and non-verbal reasoning.
He or she – and often the parents – will also have short interviews. The exams usually total around three hours. Many schools also will request a confidential reference from your child’s current school.
8+ Assessments: Year 3
If you don’t think your child is ready to face the 7+ tests, the 8+ might be more suitable. The exams tend to be early in January – an assessment in maths, English, verbal and non-verbal reasoning and usually an interview.
Standardised Assessment Tests (SATs): Year 6
Taken in state primaries and some independent schools, the Year 6 SATs are based on Key Stage 2 curriculum and are taken in the summer term.
This year for the first time, SATs will test the new national primary curriculum, covering reading, maths and grammar. Sample papers for the 2016 SATs are available from the Department of Education website.