The secret to preparing your child for 11-plus exam success

PUBLISHED: 11:35 13 February 2020 | UPDATED: 12:03 13 February 2020

Headteacher Mrs Leyshon with Oxford House School pupils. Photo: Adam Watts

Headteacher Mrs Leyshon with Oxford House School pupils. Photo: Adam Watts

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Primary school is an integral part of a child's life; more so for those pupils wishing to go to a grammar school who must pass an entrance exam.

The arts help pupils to develop creative problem-solving skills and express their feelings. Photo: Adam Watts.The arts help pupils to develop creative problem-solving skills and express their feelings. Photo: Adam Watts.

How do you ensure your child is successful, without piling on the pressure? Mrs Leyshon, headteacher at Oxford House School, tells us about the school's approach to the 11-plus exams.

How is preparation for the exams built into the curriculum?

Skills for 11-plus exam success are built into the curriculum from a very early stage. Our Nursery children are given one to one support every day to become confident readers and quickly gain mathematical skills using practical Montessori equipment.

Once in Reception, pupils are taught to read to retrieve, not just to decode, which helps build comprehension skills. Verbal Reasoning skills are introduced in year 2, providing not just exam competence, but skills for life. An enhanced curriculum throughout the school ensures children are ahead of what is expected for their age groups.

What is differentiated learning and how does this help towards the 11-plus exams?

Small class sizes enable teachers to plan accordingly for each pupil. This targeted technique allows pupils to realise their own potential, giving them the best chance of passing their 11-plus exams.

An enhanced curriculum throughout the school ensures children are ahead of what is expected for their age groups. Photo: Adam WattsAn enhanced curriculum throughout the school ensures children are ahead of what is expected for their age groups. Photo: Adam Watts

Do you offer any extra-curricular activities that would benefit the students?

The arts (Dance, Drama, Art and Music) are embedded into the curriculum here. Not only do they help pupils to develop creative problem-solving skills, they also allow them to express their feelings and ideas, forming an essential part of their personal development.

How do you manage the children's wellbeing?

Year 6 pupils have classes in relaxation to help them manage stress, while the younger children take part in "rainbow yoga". Our children benefit from an enhanced PSHE curriculum and the school boasts its own multi-sensory wellbeing room. As much as we help children reach their potential and get into their dream school, it's important that children enjoy their education and leave as confident, articulate and well-rounded individuals.

Oxford House School is a private preparatory school for children between the ages of 2 and 11 in Colchester, Essex. According to the school they are "unrivalled for 11-plus exam results in the area" and for the last 10 years, the majority of its school leavers have gone onto local grammar schools.

Learn more about Oxford House School and how they can prepare your child for grammar school at www.oxfordhouseschool.net or contact them on 01206 576686 or via info@oxfordhouseschool.net.

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