Read

How to be an education expert at the school gates

Posted on by Beyond Bespoke

Do you know your Pre-tests from your Pre-Us? The world of education and independent schools in particular is often a confusing environment with its own lingo to try and navigate. Kate Shand from Enjoy Education guides you through to those key terms you might hear thrown around at dinner parties. Now you can be the education expert at the school gate…

A is for…
Admissions tests: A phrase that can start conjuring up anxiety in families – the admissions tests are exams set by schools to see whether pupils are of the academic level required by that school. See Common Entrance for more details.

B is for…
Beaks: At Eton, Harrow and Charterhouse, boys address their teachers as Beaks, whether male or female. The term derives from the beak-like mortar boards that masters used to wear.

C is for…
Common Entrance: A set of exams that both boys and girls take to enter their independent secondary school of choice, either the 11+ in Year 6 or the 13+ in Year 8. For pupils taking the 11+ they will sit examinations in English, Mathematics and Science. Those taking the 13+ in Year 8 will sit examinations from a wide range of humanities, languages and classical subjects. For both exams, the senior school marks the papers.

E is for…
Exeat: From the Latin, ‘he/she may leave’. Exeat signifies an approved absence from school and is a term often used in boarding schools for when pupils are allowed home for a weekend during term.

F is for…
Flexi-boarding: An increasingly popular option for many busy parents. Pupils can board for a night or week here and there and parents are billed by the night. An increasing number of schools are offering this option, useful for students who have rehearsals or extra-curricular sporting commitments.

G is for…
Grammar Schools: Although there are only 164 traditional grammar schools left in England they are an important part of the traditional British school system. Grammar schools are academically selective and funded by the government. The admissions test is traditionally the Eleven Plus, particularly popular in the Kent and Medway area.

H is for…
Housemaster: In boarding schools, the housemaster, in the parents’ absence, takes responsibility of each child in his or her House. The holistic education and welfare of the children falls under their remit so it’s important that parents get to meet the Housemasters when they look around the schools.

I is for…
International Baccalaureate: The International Baccalaureate, or the IB, is one of the fastest growing and most demanding qualifications in the world. More than 4,000 schools worldwide run IB programmes for 16-19 year olds and 124 in the UK. It is offered as an alternative to GCSEs and A levels.

L is for…
League Tables: Each year, the school league tables are published in the national papers for A Levels and GCSEs. These tables receive a lot of attention and are a good place to start when thinking about which schools to apply for. However, they are not the be-all and end-all, not every schools chooses to be in every league table (Eton and Harrow don’t appear in the GCSE tables) and the holistic environment of a school is just as important as the percentage of pupils receiving A*s so make sure that this is just one part of your decision for finding the right school.

M is for…
Michaelmas term: The Autumn term. Used in many independent schools and at both Oxford and Cambridge.

O is for…
Oxbridge: A wonderful portmanteau and informal description of Oxford University and Cambridge University together.

P is for…
Pre tests: Pre-tests are used by some of the top schools as part of their admissions process for entry at age 13. Applicants are assessed by the school at the age of 10 or 11 (in Year 6 or early in Year 7) and if successful, offered a conditional place. To secure their place, they will then need to pass the 13+ Common Entrance Exams which are taken in the summer term of Year 8. Online and adaptive, the assessment covers Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning, English and Maths.

Pre-U: Available in 25 subjects, the Cambridge Pre-U is a post-16 qualification designed to equip students with the skills they will need to succeed at university. It is possible to take one subject as a Cambridge Pre-U and other subjects as A levels depending on what the school teaches. The course lasts for two years with exams taking place at the end of the two-year programme. Increasing recognition abroad has meant it’s a popular choice for those looking to study at university in America and Hong Kong.

S is for…
SAT: Not to be mixed up with SATs, the SAT is one of two admission tests often needed to apply for American Universities. The SAT Reasoning test lasts for three hours and 45 minutes (no mean feat) and covers Critical Reading, Maths and Writing.

Shells: The new boys (Year 9) at Harrow School. Once they move into their second year they become a Remove boy.

U is for…
UCAS: The central organisation for the admissions process into university. The deadline for UCAS applications is, for the majority of universities, in the second week of January for entry the following September. However, the Oxbridge application deadline falls much earlier in mid-October with interviews taking place in December.

Kate Shand is Founder and MD of Enjoy Education, one of the largest and most established schools advice and tutoring companies in the UK, offering a complete educational service including schools advice, international relocation, revision courses and tutoring

 

The post How to be an education expert at the school gates appeared first on Beyond Bespoke.