Years 7 and 8

Years 7 and 8 are a crucial stage of a child’s development, not only personally and socially but also academically. Pupils need a challenging and creative curriculum with a clear goal at the end to give them focus and motivation to work to the best of their ability.

At Handcross Park, our pupils work towards their Common Entrance and Scholarship examinations at the end of Year 8. These examinations work well for children of varying abilities who are prepared to work hard to do their best in exams. These two years are very good preparation for GCSEs and A Levels. By learning to approach examinations and building up the resilience to cope with pressure, in a supportive and nurturing environment, our pupils are not only equipped for life at Senior School, but also for life in general. Common Entrance also provides external validation of the work of both pupils and teachers at Handcross Park. We are so proud of our 100% pass rate in these examinations.

Academic excellence is at the heart of a Handcross Park education

The Week Schools Guide

Some of the other benefits of spending Years 7 and 8 at Handcross Park include:

  • There are smaller class sizes - we have 3-form entry in Year 7 and 8, with an academic scholarship set
  • Pupils remain in a familiar environment, with teachers who know them well, where children can still be children, away from social media and expectations of older children and young adults
  • It permits our Year 8 pupils to experience the leadership opportunities at the ‘top of the school’. This is hugely beneficial as it allows our pupils to develop an understanding of Rights and Responsibilities at an early age, making them more sympathetic, caring and kind individuals in their teenage years
  • By following the Common Entrance and Scholarship curriculum, our pupils are exposed to an education that gets them up to lower GCSE levels. This allows their Senior School to promote “value added” to their potential, gaining significantly higher grades
  • The staff here at Handcross Park teaching year 7 and 8 are experienced subject specialists, so they understand the complex needs of this age-group
  • There are a greater number of teaching hours in the core subjects vs other schools;
  • For those interested in boarding, there is a smaller and more nurturing environment and excellent pastoral care. This provides very good preparation for Senior School boarding at 13
  • There is a vast array of incredible enrichment activities for our Upper School pupils, such as the Poetry Competition, the Spanish trip to Andalusia, the Leadership programme, and a wonderful selection of guest speakers
  • Children face the onset of adolescence in a familiar environment, rather than having to tackle these hormonal changes alongside starting a new school filled with much older pupils
  • Pupils get to participate in the highly anticipated Leavers' Programme

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