By definition, the role of a ‘preparatory school’ is to prepare pupils for the next stage of their education at their senior schools. Our successful entry to the very best senior schools – both day and boarding – testifies to the fact that our pupils are very capable and such schools will only enhance their academic potential and offer them wide-ranging extra-curricular opportunities.
At Durston a dedicated team helps to prepare boys. The Headmaster’s office and the Director of Studies are in regular contact with senior schools regarding admission. The Studies Manager deals with the practical administration of pre-tests, mock examinations and senior school entrance examinations.
Being a school that prepares pupils for transfer at 13+, we prepare them for the Common Entrance Examination, a school’s own entrance examination, or via the school’s Scholarship Examination. Each year one or two pupils seek entry to senior schools where admission is at 11+. Although we do not prepare boys specifically for entrance examinations prior to 11+, increasingly schools are introducing individual pre-tests at this stage to determine who should be offered places at 13+. During the Autumn Term in Year 6, the concentration of work is relevant to both pre-tests and 11+ entry tests, including a mock test practice.
We offer a number of opportunities for boys to think about their preparation for senior school interview. During the Autumn Term we hold an Interview and Confidence Coaching morning for Year 6 pupils. The Headmaster follows this up with specific practice, as he does with Year 8 boys, conducting interviews with them, where interests are discussed with a view to presentation. From these and information garnered from parents, comprehensive pupil profiles are made about boys which feed the Common Transfer Forms that are required by all senior schools.
Advice with regard to future schools is always available to parents when necessary. A telephone call or meeting with the Headmaster is sometimes all that is needed to ease an anxiety or to provide up-to-date information that may be required.