Applying to secondary schools without any guidance can be a difficult and confusing process and the build up to taking competitive examinations is sometimes quite overwhelming for both parents and children. We aim to keep a sensible balance between examination preparation and normal school activities so that children do not feel daunted. Having time for music, sport, relaxation, hobbies and friends is vital during the preparation period. We also encourage children to learn to manage their emotions so that they are able to keep calm and relaxed and are able to perform at their best.
With realistic expectations and good preparation, children can go into examinations feeling confident and we invest a great deal of time in making sure that children feel they are sufficiently prepared for the examinations.
The Lyceum has devised a programme that will give each pupil the best chance to fulfil their potential at 11+. We also ensure that parents have a comprehensive overview of the steps. In Year 5, each family is invited to a 11+ information workshop and ‘Meet the Heads’ event in the Spring Term. The workshop will outline the steps involved in the 11+ process and will also set out how your child will be prepared at school. The ‘Meet the Heads’ event is an evening where secondary school heads and registrars are invited to The Lyceum to give information about their schools.
Different schools use different styles of past paper. Some are multiple choice, some are computerised, and some are written. From Year 5 and throughout the Autumn Term of Year 6, children will be presented with a variety of 11+ past papers. This gives the children plenty of time to gain experience and confidence in taking the type of papers they may encounter. It also helps to provide a reliable indicator as to where they might stand in relation to any offer of a place.
Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning will be taught from Year 3 onwards and Planet Bofa is introduced in Key Stage 2. The software gives our pupils access to a large database of questions in subject areas which will be covered in the school entrance examinations. It provides tailored teaching and practice questions in Maths, English and Reasoning and generates reports detailing each pupil’s strengths and weaknesses, tailoring their programme of study accordingly.
From Years 3-6, CAT testing, as well as Maths and Comprehension assessments, take place in the first few weeks of each term. The results of these tests inform us in our planning for your child and also help us to manage expectations in terms of senior school choices. These tests also expose the children to the type of test they might expect if sitting computerised examinations.
During the Summer Term of Year 5 and Autumn Term of Year 6, children are invited to attend optional ‘Booster’ classes run by a member of the Year 5/6 team or a member of the Senior Leadership Team. These before or after school classes are free of charge and focus on a range of skills that children will require for the school entry process. Information about Booster classes are emailed to parents before the start of term.
Public speaking opportunities increase from Year 5 upwards. Pupils are invited to help lead assemblies with Mrs Wyatt, talk at Open Morning events and tour prospective parents and pupils around the school. Year 6 students attend weekly Tea and Toast sessions with Mrs Wyatt where they discuss current affairs and school issues. These meetings also provide the opportunity to discuss how they are feeling and share ways in which they can manage their stress levels.
From Year 3 onwards, pupils may take up LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts) lessons which focus on presentation and public speaking skills.
In the Summer Term, Year 5 pupils are invited to apply for Year 6 positions of responsibility. These roles include Head Boy/Head Girl to Sports Captain, Choir Captain and Office Monitor. Pupils submit applications and personal statements and are interviewed to assess their suitability for the posts.
Please take a look at our 11+ booklet below