Eton - 6th year entry(24 Posts)
Not wanting to start a debate.... looking for general information.
My son is only 8 years old and we are considering boarding school for his 6th year only. He attends a great private school in Scotland and I have no intention of moving him to boarding school yet (at this stage). We are keen however for his last school year to possible be at Eton/Westminster/harrow.
Would anyone be able to give me any information in regards to entry to these schools at your final year.
Sounds as though you need to acquire a better understanding of the English education system! There's no equivalent of Scottish sixth year; school finishes with A levels which are a two year course. There are a very few places at Eton for boys joining at that stage, for two years: see
Since there's some additional difficulty resulting from the articulation between systems, I guess your son would need to be even a bit more exceptional than someone who had done GCSEs. However, no harm in trying!
Sorry do you mean last year of primary or 6th form to do A levels?
Eton2017 I mean sixth form entrants as I was told by the lady in admissions and that's what she called it. Being in Scotland I automatically say 'year'.
In Scotland we have 7 years of primary and 6 years of secondary.
Exceptional in the academics we can cope with however i suppose I'm asking more about the extra curricular requirements that we should/could prepare for.
Honestly I don't think it makes sense to plan for an eight year old to go to Eton for sixth form (don't know about the other schools you mention, but I doubt it's very different). This year there will be 9 scholarship places and up to 4 paying places and that's all. It's not about meeting a standard, it's about winning a competition.
What is it about the idea that attracts you? Maybe there are more reliable ways to get it? Or maybe consider applying for 13+ entry? (When my DS was 8, I did not imagine he'd be ready or keen for boarding at 13, but a lot can change in five years!)
NB the 6th form scholarship places are only open to those in UK state schools, so actually they're irrelevant to your DS.
Westminster take relatively few boys for sixth form. Roughly 10 out of the 70 strong intake. From observation they are quite a mix, some from overseas, some from state, sometimes one or two from Eton/Winchester, some from other private schools in London or outside. Of these 10, probably only 3-4 will be boarders.
And then within the group there will be a mix of humanities students and scientists, some are very very clever, others have real charisma, others are the sorts of kids who engage well in school life.
In short, other than those who are truly outstanding academically, it is possible but a long shot.
What helps is that the big intake of girls loosens up friendship groups so new boys seem to integrate well. Both my DC had a least a couple of good friends who started at this stage.
My DD loved her two years at Westminster, giving meaning to the phrase "having the time of your life". I am not sure that you need specific extra-curricular, though music, drama and debating are all excellent, and some of the sport can be very good. More important, I think, is a willingness to take advantage of all the school has to offer, whether it is Latin prayers, expeditions or whatever. The academic bar is high so there is no need simply to import "results". Instead they seem to like those who contribute inside and outside the classroom.
Needmoresleep thank you for that! My cousin went to Westminster and absolutely loved it.
Eton2017 you have hit the nail on the head... it's more me not thinking he would be ready for boarding at that age.
If you wouldn't completely rule it out if he turned out to like the idea, might be worth keeping the option open. At 8, my DS was not ready even for one night away from home, although he was at a prep school with boarding and from which many children went on to boarding school. We never pushed it, and in fact even after he changed his mind we made sure we had a definite day school plan as well as a boarding school plan so he (and we) were not making a commitment to boarding, just exploring the idea. I think DS was 10 when he started to say that he thought he might one day want to go to boarding school; he started to board one night a week at his prep school. Then quite suddenly - over a few months in which he watched the CBBC programmes about Eton (The most famous school in the world) and visited Eton - he was very keen. For some time after that I had serious doubts, even though he didn't! Now, though, with a teenager less than a year away from starting there, I find it easy to believe he'll settle easily and be happy.
Thank you for that eton2017 and I am sure you are right!
I might look into it a bit further, apply regardless and see how he is.
Is your son starting this coming august? Wish him all the best!
Thanks, yes - well, September, because England. Scholarship exams to get through first! But his allocated house would be fine and he's benefitting from the preparation whether or not he gets a KS, so trying to be relaxed.
The admissions process for Eton has recently changed again, but I think the key decision point is still when your son is 10.5 as he must be registered by then, so maybe think about visiting in a year or so?
Eton 6th Form isn't going to be much different from a Scottish public school''s sixth form, especially somewhere like Merchiston Castle School, which is boys only.
The main thing is that an English sixth form is two years, i.e. 5th and 6th year under the Scottish system. Many Scottish independent schools will follow this system. It will be an easy transition from IGSCEs to A-level.
It's not very clear as to the educational system that an 8 year old will encounter in 8 years time, bit iGSCEs are about the most predictable thing you will get.
Gosh you really are thinking ahead (assuming I've understood this correctly). It's very easy to look at an 8 yr old and not be able to imagine him happily trotting off to boarding school at 13. My advise find a good prep perhaps with a mixture of boarding and day, and with a well established reputation for sending pupils to a variety of schools including Eton and others, listen to the advice of the head, both of you get used to the idea of boarding and go from there. The only problem might be your location I'm not familiar with Scottish preps you might have to consider boarding from an early age to find the right one.
We are vaguely thinking about 6th form boarding for DS1 now year 9. It is very competitive. If he achieves his predicted grades (7-9), plus continues with his sports to a high level (rugby and fencing) and other extra curricular he stands a chance. We are under no illusions how few places there are and that you have a lot to offer.
I don't think you can tell at 8 what will be right at 16. What I would say is if your child is interested in this option when they get older then they need to work hard up to GCSE to stand a chance. The added bonus being even if they don't move schools the hard work is not wasted if it pushes them up a grade or two.
Eton2017 is right, the Eton sixth form scholarships are for state school boys only.
8 is the right time to start thinking about this, but you don't have to make any decisions yet, and I agree with happy that boys change hugely between the age of 11, when they take the assessment, and when they start at 13.
Although it is such a long way away, Eton's links with Scotland are strong - St Andrews Day is one of their two big annual celebrations - and there are loads of Hectors, Anguses and Geordies there.
Good luck to your DS in September Eton2017. Mine is in B block now, and is ready to move on, but he told me this holiday how much he has loved being at Eton .
That's not strictly true, MrsBB. About eligibility to Eton's Sixth Form scholarship:
"Very occasionally applicants from fee-paying UK schools with no affiliated sixth form are considered. These applicants would already be in receipt of a significant bursary from their current school."
Maybe I've missed something on the thread, but I'm sure there are sixth form places at Eton for boys from private schools - the son of some friends of ours went for sixth form. They would have to pay the full fees though so they wouldn't be scholarships.
Thank you for all the info. I know it seems far away however for any school with such high expectations it's never too early to start the planning! Thank you everyone
There are usually a couple of full fees places as well as the scholarships but the numbers aren't guaranteed
Chaz - yes, I suppose each year the number of sixth form places available depend on how many boys leave or are sacked by the end of GCSE year.
If you are serious about accessing Eton/Harrow etc and you are in Edinburgh you would be better to consider Cargilfield Prep and look at going from 13+. As said above, there are very few places at 6th form in these schools. Harrow only take 20 new boys each year into 6th form (equivalent to 5th and 6th in Scotland) and each boy must have something outstanding to add to the school not just a fist full of A* GCSEs. i assume the other schools are the same from the previous comments. Changing to a prep now would give time for preparation for either Scholarship or Common Entrance at 13+ without having to board at the moment. however, your DS is only 8 at the moment and it is difficult to tell at this stage how he would feel about leaving to go down South at 16 especially if he has been in a 3-18 all through school and will be leaving all of his friends behind. The benefit of doing this through a prep at 13+ is that it is a normal and expected transition that is managed brilliantly by the school so all the children know they will all be going their separate ways at 13.
however for any school with such high expectations it's never too early to start the planning
Putting into place long term plans for your DS to achieve sixth form entry at any of these schools would be IMO more likely to set him up to feel as though he is disappointing you if he does n't want to go or does not get a place. You would have to be very careful to not place a burden of expectation on him.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now »
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.