Posted: 1 December, 2017

Don’t be non-plussed by the 11+

Blog, Suzie Longstaff

Next week we will open the doors of Putney High School to the hundreds of girls who have expressed interest in joining the senior school. The simple fact that we like to meet and chat with every girl who has applied, before she comes for the exam, is a logistical exercise in itself, but we wouldn’t miss it for the world, as it gives us a real chance to meet your daughter before the January entrance exams.

We’re often asked for our advice on how to make the process less daunting. Here are our top tips!

The interview

1. Be prepared.
Avoid last minute panics by making sure you are familiar with your best transport options. Consider it a dry run of how your daughter would travel to school, and allow plenty of time for unforeseen hold-ups.

2. Take a deep breath.

Calm parents mean calm children. Our interviews are friendly and informal and we like to think that we’re experts at putting 10 and 11 year olds at their ease, even the seemingly most reticent ones.

3. Be down to earth.
We are looking for girls who will be happy here, and we are as interested to hear them chat confidently about a favourite pet, or a rain-soaked camping holiday, as about an impressive list of hobbies and achievements.

4. Interested is interesting.
Being able to communicate a spirit of curiosity and an interest not only in our school, but also in the world around, is a great place to start.

The exam

1. No surprises.
And no gimmicks! Our exams focus simply on English and Maths – familiar topics that your children will already have been learning at school. The English paper allows children to show us their creative thought and writing ability. The Mathematics paper assesses core skills learned across the curriculum at prep and primary schools.

And finally

1. Keep things in perspective.
We truly believe that the right child and the best school, tend to find one another. If your daughter is inquisitive, keen to learn and has the spirit to succeed, there is a very good chance that she will!

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