We are in close contact with many of the schools our students are considering, and are following government guidelines carefully, so that we can provide the most appropriate support for each child. We are receiving updates all the time, as each school tries to navigate the ever-changing circumstances driven by the pandemic. We’ve included some details below to demonstrate the various approaches being adopted, but we urge you to be in constant contact with the relevant schools directly, to ensure you receive the latest guidance.
It’s worth noting that some of the schools that are adopting the ISEB Common Pre-test are working together to ensure students that are applying to multiple schools only need to sit the test once. You should check with your prospective schools if this can be accommodated, to help reduce exam stress as much as possible.
City of London: students will sit English and maths in December, at a scheduled time designed to facilitate social distancing, and keep children from the same school together as far as possible. Shortlisted candidates will return to CLS in January 2021 for verbal and non-verbal reasoning papers, as well as an interview.
Francis Holland Regent’s Park: the school is asking applicants to sit the ISEB Common Pre-test this year, on or before 12th December 2020. Applicants can sit the test in their own schools.
King’s College School: the school is adopting the ISEB Common Pre-test this year, and while boys are encouraged to sit this in their own schools, King’s is offering two dates in November for those candidates who cannot take it elsewhere. Interviews will take place in January and February, either at King’s or remotely.
Latymer Upper: children will sit the ISEB Common Pre-test in November/December. This can be taken at students’ current schools or at Latymer Upper on two set dates. Successful candidates will be invited for an interview in January.
St Paul’s Girls’ School: tests will continue at the scheduled date and time, but girls can take exams at their current school. Interviews will be conducted remotely.
The Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School: initial testing will take place at the school in December, rather than January, and boys will only sit the computer-based reasoning test. Maths and English skills will be covered in slightly longer interviews in January, for those who are successful in the first round.
We know the 11-Plus can be mentally and emotionally challenging, at the best of times. And with every school now taking their own slightly different approach, this is likely to be an anxious time for many. So while it’s important to keep up momentum with targeted practice, we recommend taking a more flexible approach to learning over the coming weeks. Build in revision little and often so that the pressure doesn’t build up. And try to introduce different ways of studying – for example, off- and online – to boost resilience and give children the confidence to face exams, however and whenever they take place.
It’s unlikely we will return to any sense of ‘normal’ this academic year, so flexibility will be key for students of all ages. Most A-level and GCSE exams in England will be delayed by at least three weeks in 2021, but there are further updates on back-up plans to come later this year. We’ll be focusing on this in our next newsletter, but all students should begin preparations as early as possible to allow for further disruption. Our academic assessments can be a helpful way to identify areas to focus on, and we have a dedicated team of tutors and assessors for those children sitting the 11-Plus this winter.
We will keep you informed as the situation evolves, but in the meantime, please do get in touch with any questions – or find out more about our expert 11-Plus assessments here.