The Common Entrance system for boys, whereby boys sit a common exam at the end of Year 8 to confirm entry into a senior school, has been established practice for decades. However it is important to realise that the boys will take pre-test exams in Year 6 or sometimes in Year 7 for entry to Senior School in Year 9.
Twickenham Prep is committed to this system for several reasons.
Firstly, the school is organised into subject specialist departments because of the Common Entrance programme for boys. Secondary subject based teachers are not usually prepared to teach in 11+ schools but are prepared to teach in academic Prep schools where there is sufficient academic challenge to make the most of their skills.
Secondly, there is a greater choice of senior schools for boys. Many excellent schools locally and further afield only have an intake at 13. For example Hampton design their 11+ entry for state schools and their 13+ entry for Prep schools. Schools such as Epsom College, King’s College, Wimbledon and St Paul’s as well as many boarding schools only have an entry at 13.
Thirdly girls are usually much more mature at 11 than boys and transferring at 13 makes much more sense for boys by which time they are ready and much better equipped to meet the challenges of senior school.
Finally, we are able to provide outstanding teaching in small groups, particularly in English and Mathematics where two teachers are timetabled for the Common Entrance groupings. This contrasts with groups and class sizes of up to 24 or more at secondary independent senior schools.
There is a meeting for boys’ parents in the Autumn Term of Year 4 when the procedure for Common Entrance is outlined.
There is an award system available for TPS boys and external candidates entering Year 7. Details will be sent to all parents of boys in Year 6.