How to Prepare for Entrance Assessments
January signals the start of S1 entrance assessments throughout independent schools across Edinburgh. These assessments are designed to allow the school to place your child in the right environment for their abilities and to also enable the child to decide if the school is the right fit for them.
Although an entrance assessment can sound quite intimidating, in reality, it is nothing more than a way for us to get to know your child on a personal level and allow them to experience a taste of day-to-day life at St George’s. In this blog, we’ll explain what the S1 entrance assessment involves and how you and your child can get the most out of the experience.
Do Your Research
Before you go about registering your child to attend an entrance assessment, make sure you do some prior research into the school and its offer; look at the subjects, public examination choices for later years, after-school activities on offer and think about whether these are right for your child.
Above all, your child’s happiness is the most important factor when considering a new school, so the school must represent their interests and the areas they thrive in and enjoy the most. Every school has a distinct ethos and values, which are usually well represented on their website.
Even though it’s called an entrance assessment, we don’t consider it as an overly formal exam at St George’s. There is no need for your child to do any significant level of preparation, as they will already have covered so much through prior learning. If the child wishes to do a bit of groundwork, they could look back over their previous work in Mathematics and English, and perhaps set a task to do a rough plan of a short story that could be written in 30 minutes.
We have found that students usually don’t struggle with the assessment, and some of them even find it quite a fun exercise!
Not Just an Assessment
The written assessment is just one part of a wider experience that we have designed to give a flavour of life at St George’s. After the initial assessment in the morning, candidates will have the chance to meet with and ask questions of our teaching staff so that we can get to know prospective students, and they can get to know us.
They will then experience a tour of the school, get the chance to participate in a sporting activity of their choice and they will also attend a taster lesson to get a flavour of the teaching here. This will be followed by afternoon tea, an opportunity to attend one of our after school clubs and the girls can also have supper in the boarding house if they wish to experience the sense of family and community spirit we take pride in at St George’s.
We find this form of taster day works brilliantly, as it gives potential pupils the chance to meet our teachers, older pupils and the other girls who might be in their classes upon starting S1. It also allows us to gain an insight into each applicant as an individual, so we can make the best possible provision for getting the most out of their education.
S1 entrance assessment events take place on 21 and 28 January 2020. Candidates are invited to sit the entrance assessments in the morning and have a taster session in the afternoon.