Year 7 is a transition year in the state school sector in the UK and also for many London based prep schools that end in Year 6, so it is a natural time for a move in schools.
Primary schools end in Year 6, so the next stage of their education at the age of 11 is at a senior school where they will be for the next five years until the end of GCSEs in Year 11. At many London Prep schools, parents need to consider what to do for Years 7 and 8 before moving on to an Independent Senior School, which start in Year 9.
In this post we explore the reasons why joining a prep school in Year 7 can be a great choice for your child. We asked David Guthrie, Millfield Prep School’s Head of Year 7, what the benefits of joining the school in Year 7 are.
Keeping our children younger for longer
Educating pupils in a Preparatory school allows children to stay that bit younger for longer. At this point, many pupils across the country will be making the daunting step up to secondary school; new faces, a new routine, a new campus and going from the oldest in the school to the youngest of 5 school years that range from age 11 to 16. At Millfield Prep, children who join us in Year 7 benefit from experiencing a big campus but within a smaller school setting. This is a great stepping-stone for pupils to familiarise themselves with the busy schedules that Millfield pupils lead, alongside learning a curriculum that smoothly runs into Year 9 at Millfield.
Adjusting to boarding school life
For most pupils, boarding life will be something they have never experienced before arriving at Millfield Prep. Pupils are gently introduced into the routines and ways of boarding life in a small scale and within smaller family boarding houses. Integration into the boarding community early, if the intention is for a child to board in Year 9, only exhibits benefits. Children are cared for and nurtured in a more child friendly environment before they need to become more independent at a bigger school and have increased responsibilities. They will gradually get used to their new and busy boarding schedules, whilst being introduced to many new sports and activities, and the children will have time to gently adjust to becoming a boarder before moving into a larger school environment for Year 9.
Carl Bingham, Director of Boarding at Millfield Prep School says: “For many at Millfield Prep, boarding is an entirely new experience. Becoming a boarder in Year 7 gets them used to their new lifestyle in smaller houses and our boarding programme gives the children new experiences. Our house parents are so encouraging of the children and are fully immersed in the pupils school schedules as well as their ongoing pastoral and emotional needs.”
Easy transition to senior schools
Independent schools that have a prep and senior school tend to work closely across both schools to ensure a smooth and easy transition from Year 8 to Year 9. Last year, 97% of Millfield Prep pupils moved up to the Senior school. Senior school staff get to know each child’s personality and pastoral needs much quicker with the passing on of knowledge. Pastoral teams across both sites meet and discuss each pupil to ensure a smooth transition, which allows those pupils the time to immerse themselves in their new school with the comfort of having many friends already around them and being cared for by staff that have prior knowledge of them. Having already boarded for two years, they are used to being away from home during term time and can focus on settling in academically and socially without having the potential apprehension about being new to boarding to deal with too. Tracey Hazell, Millfield Prep’s Deputy Head Pastoral, works closely with the Nine@Millfield team at Millfield to ensure a successful and happy move.
Tracey says - “Pupil care is at the heart of everything we do at Millfield Prep School and we make sure nothing is missed when transitioning them to the Senior school. Our in-depth knowledge of every pupil is passed on to the pastoral team, who share our same, holistic approach to the children’s care, allowing a smooth transition into Senior school life.”
No exam pressure to enter senior school
Enrolling at Millfield Prep in Year 7 takes the pressure off looking for education post Year 8 when places at popular schools can be very competitive. Pupils at Millfield Prep are automatically allocated a place at the Senior school with no re-entry examinations or tests. Children can be entirely focused on their education without the daunting prospect of examinations to gain a place into the Senior school.
A part of the Millfield community
Being an active and positive part of the Millfield community is extremely important to us. Our values are instilled in the children from a young age and, by joining the community in Year 7, the children start to exhibit these skills whilst evolving into independent and curious learners. The Millfield community encourages all pupils to Be Challengers, Be Curious, Be Kind, Be You and Be Brilliant, all values that are essential in the development of young learners.
Millfield provides seamless pastoral care across all year groups. Entry into Year 7 not only keeps children younger for longer but allows them to discover their individual brilliance in an encouraging environment before choosing what they wish to pursue at Millfield in their future education.
At Millfield Prep School pupils are both challenged and supported in their academic studies, whilst valuing the importance of a rich and varied co-curricular programme of activities. Year 7 is a great time to join as pupils start to take responsibility for managing their own activity programmes, whilst developing impressive levels of independence and self-confidence, with the support of group tutors and house parents. It is such a pleasure to see pupils walking into school genuinely excited to start a school day.
Find out more about joining Millfield Prep School in Year 7 here or contact our admissions team for a virtual meeting or visit on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scholarships are available for entry to Year 7 for Art, Academic, Sport, Music and All-Rounders. Click here to find out more about Scholarships and Bursaries.