Evaluating the vast array of schools available to choose for your child can be a daunting task. To make matters more complicated there are a number of different stages of school entry (4+, 7+, 10+ 11+, 13+, and 16+) that also need consideration when planning your child’s future. This page is dedicated to providing informative and impartial advice for parents who have decided to opt for the independent school, either day or boarding, and selective state schools routes.
Choosing the right school
There are many variables within the decision making process for your child’s future educational career. A school’s ethos, academic performance, facilities and location are the primary factors worth considering when deciding on which schools to apply for. One overriding factor that is probably high on the agenda would be your child’s happiness. A child who is struggling to keep up at the most academic school is unlikely to be happy, likewise an exceptionally bright child who is not challenged by the teachers at their school and finds the curriculum easy and boring is also unlikely to enjoy school. There are a reasonable number of very good day and boarding schools and grammar schools within close reach of London and in London itself, making it likely you will find the right fit.
If you are finding the volume of choices overwhelming, we can help you assess your options. We can provide impartial feedback on schools or help you identify schools with specific strengths that will suit your child's needs and interests.
For instance if your son or daughter has a passion for music, languages, or a sport we can provide guidance that will help you identify the best schools for their talents.
Open days, open evenings, and action mornings are an excellent way to get to know a school, meet some of the teachers and pupils, and get a general feel for a school’s ethos.
Today, you will find the admissions sections of most school websites very useful with information about the open days, and key dates for registering your child at the school, the dates of the tests and the interviews.
When considering school choices, do speak with the head teacher at your child’s current school to discuss the options. In the event that you are still uncertain of the right school for your child, seeking advice from an independent body and undertaking an academic assessment for your child would be a worthwhile consideration.
At the point of registration for, say, the 7+ or 11+ it would also be wise to inform your school. The head teacher will also be requested for a reference at some point during the admissions process.
Preparing your child for the tests is something you can help with at home, and most schools would certainly be able to ensure that your child is reaching the expected attainment (providing that suitable school choices have been agreed with the primary or prep school) once they are informed of your intention to embark on entry tests. If you have not seen a 7+, 10+, 11+, or 13+ test before, familiarize yourself with our exam papers page. A very good tutor will use these plus additional past papers and a wide range of learning resources to prepare the students for their exams. Additionally trying to anticipate what sort of exam one school will be setting is unwise.
Many parents do employ tutors to help with the preparation for the exams. A good tutor can not only help with the preparation but will also be able to provide an independent assessment and guide you on the entry process for the various schools.
The schools vary in how and when they conduct the interview process. Interviews are normally after the tests but there are a number of schools that hold their interviews months before. There are many stages to the interview, for example there will probably be a chance to meet the head teacher, then there will be subject specific interviews, and even group interviews. Again some parents do embark on coaching for the interview and this may help to settle nerves but the schools are trying to find out the real person inside the boy or girl being assessed.
A further resource that many parents find useful is the league tables on our News feed page. The league tables should be used only as a guide, but do provide useful information on examination success rates. Some schools such as Eton and St Paul’s no longer submit their results for publishing so are not included in the tables.
Hampstead & Frognal Tutors have an extensive knowledge of the entrance exam system, and considerable experience preparing students for the Maths, English, verbal and non-verbal reasoning tests. Our tutors are professional and passionate about their subjects, and dedicated to helping your son or daughter achieve their full potential, so contact us today because your child comes first.
A brief summary of the criteria for each of the stages of entry are set out below.
4+ entry (reception) The process for 4+ entry can vary but schools tend to keep the first visit to the school informal to see how your child interacts in a social environment within the classroom. A teacher will provide the prospective children with activities, and an assessment of how the children respond and communicate with the teacher and the other children.
School entry at 7+ and 8+ is as much about identifying potential as it is about a student’s current academic strength. Our tutors can help nurture an enthusiasm for learning that will help your child shine in the exam and interview process.
During the last academic year, 7 out of 10 of our students gained entry to their first choice school.
Helping our young students develop literacy and numeracy skills, as well as imbuing them with the confidence to succeed, is a passion for our tutors. If your son or daughter is preparing for the 7+ in Year 2, a tutor could help not only develop academic skills, but also help students feel comfortable with the somewhat daunting and unfamiliar task ahead.
11+ entry (year 7)
The 11+ can be overwhelming. With so many schools to choose from, and so much information to digest, it can be hard to make heads or tails of your options.
At Hampstead & Frognal Tutors, we have extensive experience guiding families through the 11+ process.
We can provide information and assistance gleaned from years of success with pupils. Our tutors, can help you make sense of the academic material and exam structures, as well as provide useful notes about different schools’ entry procedures.
In London, school entry is becoming increasingly competitive, and our tutors can help your child gain an academic edge, as well as foster confidence in their abilities. During the last academic year, 100% of Hampstead & Frognal students gained entry to either their first or second choice school with the help of a tutor.
If your child is in Years 4, 5, or 6, and is preparing for the 11+, contact us today to learn about how we can help support them!
13+ entry (year 9)
At the 13+ level, students are expected to demonstrate strong academic achievement and capabilities across a wide range of subjects, and the most successful students can demonstrate to schools their passion for learning, their ability to pursue study independently, and a variety of interests.
Hampstead & Frognal Tutors have had great success not just at helping improve subject knowledge and performance, but also at helping students develop study skills, which are key to success as students progress.
Last year, 85% of Hampstead & Frognal students gained entry into their first or second choice school, with some students gaining offers from prestigious schools including Eton, Harrow, St. Paul’s, Westminster (Scholarship), and Cheltenham Ladies College.
If you believe that your son or daughter could benefit from the extra guidance and expertise that our tutors can offer, contact us today!
16+ entry (years 12 and 13 sixth form) Interviews and assessments are held during the the autumn term when your child is in year 11. The assessments vary from subject specific, mathematics and English compulsory, to tests involving crtitical thinking, reasoning and problem solving. As with all entry levels it is vital to check the admissions process for each school and visit on open days with your son or daughter to get a feel for the school's ethos.
Our tutors' students have succesfully obtained offers from the following schools:-
City of London Boys' School
City of London Girls' School (CLGS)
Colchester Grammar School
Dame Alice Owen's
North London Collegiate School (NLCS)
Haberdashers Aske's Boys'
Haberdashers Aske's Girls'
Henrietta Barnett (HB)
Queen's College School
Queen's Gate School
Queen Elizabeth Boys' Barnet (QE)
Langley Grammar School
The Perse School Cambridge
South Hampstead High School
St. Paul's Boys
St. Paul's Girls
Watford Grammar Schools
Do acquaint yourself with our useful exam papers page which has examples of past papers from some of these schools that our tutors use in addition to the back catalogue of other papers we have going back over 20 years.
Hampstead & Frognal tutors have extensive experience in preparing students for the entrance exams, and a good knowledge of the schools that many of our past and present clients have applied to. Our tutors can help your son or daughter thoroughly prepare for the entrance exams. Contact us today to book your first lessons and assessment because your child comes first.
Contact us today to book your son or daughters place.