Common Entrance for 11+ and 13+

One of the principal academic tasks of the school is to prepare children for entry into independent schools at 11+ and 13+ through scholarships and Common Entrance examinations.

The demands of these exams are taken into consideration within Schemes of Work so that their requirements, as well as those of the National Curriculum, are met. The extra requirements of Scholarship exams are carefully monitored, particularly in Years 7 and 8.

The school follows both the National Curriculum and the ISEB syllabi. Common Entrance has served traditionally in prep schools as a framework for the curriculum during the top two years.

Common Entrance

  • Provides a selection or qualifying exam in a uniform process throughout independent schools
  • is an aid to senior schools in arranging setting of incoming pupils
  • is evidence of coverage of a prescriptive syllabus agreed between prep and senior schools
  • is a firm foundation and point of departure for more advanced scholarship work
  • is the servant of those who use it, in that schools use it differently. Standards and marking procedures vary amongst the Public Schools. Some of them can ask for pupils to take examinations in the core subjects (English, Mathematics, and Science) only

The Common Entrance Board continues to bring its examinations streadily into line with National Curriculum requirements. The CE exam at 11+ correlates approximately with NC level 4 and 13+ with Level 6. The Common Entrance Board has stated that none of its syllabuses will in future contain material which does not feature in the National Curriculum Orders.

CE makes no routine provision for testing of knowledge and skills in Design and Technology and Information Technology, or of attainment in Art, Music, PE. Full reports on these subjects may accompany CE papers to the senior school where a senior school has requested them.

CE continues to examine Latin, Greek and Religious Studies, all of which are not included in the NC core or foundation subjects.

It is the school’s policy to follow the National Curriculum but not to participate in national testing at Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. Following the National Curriculum allows us to ease the transfer of pupils to and from maintained schools.

Common Entrance continues to provide a formal assessment at 11+ and 13+, supported by teachers’ assessments contained in reports and the Pupil Record File. We are ready to respond to changes in both Common Entrance syllabuses and National Curriculum orders. Individual requirements of particular senior independent schools will continue to guide us in the preparation of candidates for their scholarship and/or entrance examinations.

However, traditional values will not be abandoned. We still place considerable stress on the “Three R’s” and on the importance of such basic skills as learning multiplication tables; spelling and vocabulary lists, and so on.

Pupils will be prepared for any examination that they may have to take for entry into another school.

The children are prepared for the following examinations:

  • ISEB Examinations at 11+ and 13+
  • Public School Scholarship Examinations at 11+ and 13+ for academic performance, art, music, sports and all-rounder awards
  • Grammar School Entry Examinations at 11+ and 13+
  • Internal Examinations in the Summer Term and Mock Examinations for external examinations as these occur.
  • The Foundation Stage Profile is completed at the end of the Foundation Stage

Examination Timetables


  • Interview Practice for all Year 6 – 8 pupils as needed


  • ISEB Common pre-tests (Year 6 or 7 depending on the school)
  • Year 6 pupils’ Mock 11+ Common Entrance
  • Year 8 Girls’ Entrance Exams
  • Year 8 Mock Scholarship Examinations


  • Year 6 Girls’ 11+ Common Entrance
  • Remainder of Y6 CE 11+ Common Entrance as a mid-year assessment
  • Year 8 Mock Common Entrance Examinations


  • Year 8 Common Academic Scholarship Examinations


  • Year 8 ISEB 13+ Common Entrance
  • Year 3 Internal Examinations in core subjects
  • Year 4-7 Internal Examinations in all subjects
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Summer Camp

Our Summer Camp is perfect for children between the ages of 4 – 14, and offers an action-packed adventure week, utilising our whole school site and facilities, including our indoor swimming pool.  Our very own dedicated OPS staff team will be on hand to inspire all our children and ensure they are always supported with everything they need throughout the week.

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