The school has a fine record in preparing scholars and has gained many awards to senior schools, both in academic and non-academic fields.
The most gifted and talented pupils are the potential ‘scholars’ of the school. In any one year it is usual for a number of pupils to be considered for scholarship attempts to senior schools.
Academic awards have been gained in recent years to Benenden, Canford, Dauntsey’s, Downe House, King’s Canterbury, Roedean, Tonbridge, Winchester and Wycombe Abbey. All other pupils entered for academic scholarships have gained entry to their chosen schools by virtue of their performance in scholarship papers.
In the non-academic field a whole variety of scholarships have been gained, e.g. in Music, DT, Sport and as an All-Rounder. Successes in recent years have been gained at Benenden, Downe House, Cranleigh, Dauntsey’s, Hurstpierpoint, King’s Canterbury, Lancing, Marlborough, Millfield, Milton Abbey, St. Bedes, St. Columba’s Dublin, Radley, Sutton Valance, Uppingham, Warminster and Wellington.
The potential academic scholars are grouped in Form 6. Pupils from this Form and from other Forms might attempt a variety of other, non-academic scholarships. Academic scholars are prepared through study within their academic lessons and in ‘master-classes’ as thought appropriate. Preparations for other scholarships are covered by the appropriate specialist staff in lessons, games sessions etc. and opportunities are found to focus on the required extra parts of such scholarship attempts.
The curriculum for potential academic scholars is usually based on the appropriate ISEB 13+ syllabuses but in a number of subjects scholarship work goes into greater depth and can include additional topics. As Form 6 pupils attempt scholarships to a wide range of schools, and often sit papers earlier in the academic year, the topics are covered more rapidly with extra tuition sessions being available in break times, after lunch etc.
Teaching within the group can be based more on individual learning plans with the staff working hard to support the varying demands. Pupils are encouraged to do more ‘private study’, such as reading around a topic and gaining a better awareness of current affairs issues. Pupils also complete a variety of past scholarship papers. These papers require a greater depth of treatment, greater analysis and application of knowledge, well-reasoned arguments and at times, novel thought.
Form 6 pupils studying for academic scholarships may have different levels of experience in subjects. Some will have studied in their correct age group in their time in the school and are now strong candidates in their final year.
Others will have been identified as potential scholars further down the school and have been ‘fast-tracked’, i.e. they have been moved one year above their age group. These latter pupils benefit from having two years in Form 6, so enabling the completion of a full Form 6 cycle before entering the shortened year of their scholarship attempt. The strength of this system is the experience a pupil in their second year of Form 6 study can share with the other pupils in the Form. All the pupils will receive the grounding necessary to make a scholarship attempt.