The Pointer School considers the process of secondary transition very seriously. In order to gain entry into independent schools, students are interviewed and must pass a set of examinations. Our preparation process can be summarised under the following distinct phases.

Year 5

  • A Secondary Information evening is held which provides parents with information about secondary school open days and the transition and examination process.
  • The key examination components of ‘Verbal Reasoning’ and ‘Non-verbal Reasoning’ are introduced in class lessons and pupils are taught the techniques and strategies required for success. This is a core skill required for the 11+ examination for grammar schools.
  • Mathematics and English lessons become more examination focused.
  • Pupils are invited to sit a mock examination in the school on a Saturday morning in the Spring Term. This consists of one English paper and one Mathematics paper.
  • Parents are then invited for a discussion which will involve a Year 6 teacher and the child’s current Year 5 teacher. The pupil’s exam performance is analysed and parents at this stage should have a set of three or four desired secondary school destinations.

Year 6 (Autumn 1st Half Term)

  • All Mathematics and English lessons are entirely geared towards Secondary Entrance examinations.
  • Full hour long mathematics exams are set on weekly basis. These consist of carefully selected questions taken from past entrance papers. Each pupil’s paper is analysed and dissected and then sent home for parents to see.
  • Examination technique is taught and discussed in great detail and applied personally to the pupils’ specific psychological make-up.
  • English comprehension papers and a scattering of reasoning papers form much of the evening homework.

Year 6 (Autumn 2nd Half Term)

  • Weekly Mathematics exams continue and at this stage are complete, unmodified past school papers.
  • Weekly English and reasoning tests are practised at this stage. These are given the same analysis and dissection as mathematics papers.
  • Interview technique is taught, discussed and practised with members of staff unfamiliar to Year 6 pupils.

Year 6 (Spring and Summer Terms)

  • Advanced level work is introduced so that pupils will have a ‘head start’ once they arrive in Year 7 at their new schools.
  • Pupils are mentally and socially prepared to attend new, larger and potentially intimidating secondary schools.