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Prep School

Preparing for Senior School

Moving up to Key Stage 3 and our Senior School environment is an exciting step in every child’s education. We ensure that this change is as seamless as possible, and that the children feel confident and fully prepared to meet the new academic challenges and embrace the wide range of opportunities that await them.

Does a Prep School child automatically have a place in the Senior School?

Embley is an all through school from the age of two to 18. Pupils in Year 6 will, subject to their progress and academic achievement, move up into Year 7.

How do you prepare children for the Senior School?

Our dedicated teachers across the school works together to ensure children settle quickly. During Year 6, our transition programme sees pupils involved in a wide range of academic initiatives and co-curricular activities within the Senior School, enabling them to become acquainted with our older pupils, members of staff, tutors and Heads of Year. This includes subject specific initiatives, house competitions, sleepovers in the boarding house as well as other co-curricular and sporting events.

Do Prep School children sit the Senior School entrance assessments?

As part of our transition process to Senior School, all Year 6 pupils sit our Year 7 entrance assessments. This enables us to have a comprehensive picture about our new Year 7 cohort (current Embley pupils and new children to the school) so that we can benchmark pupil attainment and deploy our teaching expertise in a targeted manner.

Current Embley pupils do not attend our Saturday Assessment Morning held in mid-January. Instead, the tests are completed in the familiar environment of their classrooms and as part of lessons at the Prep.

What do the Senior School entrance assessments involve?

The tests comprise an English written paper and a computer-based cognitive ability test. The cognitive ability test measures how a child can think in areas known to make a difference in achievement and learning. The test is split into four sections: verbal reasoning (words), quantitative reasoning (numbers), non-verbal reasoning (shapes) and spatial ability (objects and space).

Will my child attend an interview?

Only children applying for Year 7 scholarships will be asked to interview. Academic scholarship applicants are interviewed by the Headmaster. Applicants for scholarships in Art & Design, Drama, Music and Sport are interviewed and assessed by our Heads of Department during our interview week. Click here to read more about our scholarships. 

What happens if my child does not meet the required academic criteria to move up to Year 7?

Our teaching staff are in regular dialogue with parents both face-to-face and by academic reporting, to make sure every child is intellectually challenged but at an appropriate pace and scope for his/her skill set. If we identify any areas of focus or development for a child, or have concerns about their suitability for our Senior School environment, then we will always discuss this with parents at the earliest stage and well in advance of the assessments.

Does the school day differ at Senior School?

We follow the same schedule across the school so registration, lessons, break, lunch and the end of the school day are the same. Every child has a form tutor and form room where they will register every morning and afternoon. Our co-curricular programme runs to the same times across the school, at lunchtimes and on Monday to Thursday between 15:40 and 16:45.

What is the role of the tutor?

The form tutor is a child’s first point of contact for any questions but every child’s subject teachers, our Year 7 Head of Year and our prefects are all here to help. The form tutor is a key part of the settling in process, helping your child adjust to the expectations of the Senior School and looking after their wellbeing and overseeing their academic progress. If a child wishes to confide in someone who is not a teacher, our Matrons and school counsellor are also available. Our Matrons are always available if a child is feeling unwell.

How much homework do children get in Year 7?

All pupils receive a homework timetable at the start of the new academic year. They will get up to three lots of 20 minutes each night. This can be completed at lunchtime or in homework club twice a week (15:40 to 16:45).

Is there a buddy system at the Senior School?

At the end of Year 6 we will match up a pupil from the Prep School with a new pupil joining the school so your child can make new friends before they start in Year 7. At the Senior School, there will also be a Sixth Form student who is the Year 7 Year Group Leader and they will also support the transition process.

At what age can children start boarding at Embley?

Boarding at Embley opens up a wide range of exciting experiences and academic opportunities. Pupils are able to board with us – either flexi, weekly or full time – from Year 7. We provide our boarders with a space they can call home; where they feel safe, happy and content; where they learn and develop a sense of purpose and themselves; and where they build life-long friendships. Click here to find out more about boarding life at Embley. 

Does the House system differ between Prep and Senior?

Our House system operates from Reception to Year 13 so your child will continue to represent his/her current house – be it Austen, Chichester, Nightingale or Palmerston. There are lots of opportunities to compete in Senior School competitions such as the annual House Music, Masterchef and ‘Embley’s Got Talent’. Alongside these, some smaller competitions are run each term. Past events have included pumpkin carving, spelling, public speaking and photography as well as a variety of sports’ tournaments.

Senior School at Embley