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When yrs 7 and 8 are part of the junior school- positives and negatives?

(19 Posts)
reallifegetsintheway Sat 28-Jul-18 19:12:46

Hi I'm looking at a private school for DS with year 7 and 8 still part of the junior school, not the senior school. The 'real deal' starts in Year 9 IYSWIM. A friend has put my off saying they are like 'holding years'. It is best to go to a school where Year 7 are at the bottom of a school that goes from 7-13. Any thoughts appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
ReservoirDogs Sat 28-Jul-18 19:20:32

My son went to a school years 3-8

Positive (in my opinion) is that it kept him "younger" for a couple of extra years.

There was still interaction with the Senior School - years 9-13 - same school on nearby site.

That when they became year 8 they really were more responsible as prefects and Heads of Houses etc rather than it be an honorary title.

He then actually moved to another school at year 9 (which did start at year 7) and then year 7s really did look tiny compared to the strapping yrs11-13 year olds.

jhb2013 Sat 28-Jul-18 19:23:21

I’ve taught in both and think it depends entirely on your child. As a general observation I would say that Prep schools keep them s bit younger for longer and thug do fantastic year 8 end of year trips/shows/concerts which is great if your child is into extra curricular stuff. They also tend to give positions of responsibility to year 8 pupils (Head Boy/Girl) and they’re more able to enjoy these positions than a year 6 pupil might.
I think it depends on your next step: following year 8 (the end of Prep school) would your child go to the follow on Senior School or to a year 7-13 school? If it’s the latter then it’s hard to be new in year 9.

reallifegetsintheway Sat 28-Jul-18 19:27:22

Thanks both - to clarify- the entry is at 11+ but the Year 7 and 8 are put in with the juniors that goes from years 3-7, then automatically onto Year 9 in the adjoining building of the same school. In my eyes, would prefer 7 and 8 to be part of senior sch.

OP’s posts: |
reallifegetsintheway Sat 28-Jul-18 19:27:44

*both not but

OP’s posts: |
MollyHuaCha Sat 28-Jul-18 19:32:27

I went to a school with Y8 as the top year. So did DCs. I think it's a great system and yes, it keeps the children 'younger' in the nicest of ways.

Much better than putting 11 year olds in with 18 year olds.

reallifegetsintheway Sat 28-Jul-18 19:35:56

I think it might have been different if DS had started at Year 3 - he's at a state school. I think he wants to feel that he is starting high school. It was the one negative he raised about the school; he didn't like the younger years. I think I am answering my own question! But years 7/8 are cheaper and the results at GCSE/ A level are very good.

OP’s posts: |
Penisbeakerismyfavethread Sat 28-Jul-18 19:42:31

You’re talking about middle and high schools then?
I think they are advantageous in many ways and having 3 stages instead of primary and secondary really allows for Personal and social development

reallifegetsintheway Sat 28-Jul-18 19:51:53

The school divides itself into junior and senior schools with entry at 7+, 11+, 13+ and 16+. I guess 'same meat, different gravy' re middle/high.
I can only think about starting 'high school' at year 7 only- I don't think I can get my head around going into a 'junior school' at 11+ but that is because it's not what I did/understand.

OP’s posts: |
SuitedandBooted Sat 28-Jul-18 20:25:29

My children go to a Prep School (eldest has now progressed to seniors). I really like the system. They joined from a State Primary, at the end of Year 6.

As PP say, it does keep them "younger" but in a really positive way. The school is very anti-phones etc during schools hours, so they play a lot more games - school has climbing frames/walls & skateboards etc. It doesn't feel like marking time at Juniors as they are very much the "top" of the school, so have responsibilities, and also have to knuckle down work wise, as the 13+ is looming! Your son won't be expected to play tag with 8 year olds, he will have his own group of friends from his year group. In my kids school Years 7 and 8 do quite a lot of things which are separate from the rest of the school - theatre and music productions, visiting lecturers aimed at just them etc

IME, your son will be in a Tutor Group, which will probably meet every day, and this help to from like-minded friendships. DD's group formed a very keen card school, and developed it into a full-on Bridge and poker club!

I know it will seem odd if you are used to secondary starting at Year 6 (mine did), but it really is a step-up and a distinct change, and certainly prepares them well for Year 9. Your son will be fine, don't over-think it smile

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 29-Jul-18 07:16:19

Even in private senior schools that run year7 to 13 it is really common for years 7 and 8 to be classed as the 'lower school'. They are very much the bottom of the pile and year 8 does seem to be a marking time year they are not new, not choosing GCSEs and the children often perceive that no one is interested in them. The year 8 bottom out is really common, so year 8 being top of juniors can really help this.
Having just been through the lower school of seniors with my DD in a right through private school I wish years 7 and 8 had been in the junior school. Moving to the 'upper school' in year 9 was definitely a big improvement and she pulled her socks up and is now ready for GCSEs.

anotherangel2 Sun 29-Jul-18 07:52:36


LucheroTena Sun 29-Jul-18 08:24:03

Ours does this. I think on the whole it’s been a good thing. They have their classs in the senior school but their form room is in the juniors. Break times they have their own area so are away from the big kids and the little kids. They hold positions of responsibility in year 8 and a graduation ceremony and bbq. I think it helped them gain confidence and better able to cope / hold their own when they mix in year 9. The downside is they are really ready to move up now and have matured beyond the ‘rules’ and babyish events of the prep.

ChocolateWombat Sun 29-Jul-18 14:40:01

Everyone in Yr9 will be new to the Senior School - no-one will have done Yr 7 and 8 in the Senior school, but presumably in the Junior/Prep part as yours will, or possibly elsewhere for 13+ entry, so in that sense no-one is disadvantaged. If this is one of the big public schools, this approach is very common and 11+ entrants join the Prep for 2 years.

As everyone starts Yr 9 new I can't see any disadvantages. The difference to soending Yr 7 and 8 in Prep probably is more afternoons of games per week, more leadership opportunities, possibly more trips.

Do they prepare to do Common Entrance or have they scrapped this? If not following a CE curriculum, what is the curriculum? How large is the year group compared to what it will be in Yr9?

Many public schools only start in Yr 9 so all children have to be elsewhere beforehand for Yr 7 and 8. Most will be in Preps, either having been in the Prep since 4 or 7 or having joined at 11, or in a few cases, have spent Yr 7 and 8 at a state secondary. So what you describe is entirely normal for this kind of school and soending yr 7-8 in the senior part, just not part of that system.

There is a move for some independents to lower the entry age to 11, but this is usually if there is no feeder/owned Prep and is a way to avoid pupils going elsewhere,N when even for 13+ entry, most testing is now done in Yr6 via 11+ deferred entry.

DentistWimp Sun 12-Aug-18 07:13:16

I don't understand the problem if it's a through school and all on the same site.

Friendship wise, it's better to start them all off at age 11.

Malbecfan Sun 12-Aug-18 12:43:21

From a teacher perspective, I can tell which kids came from a standard primary school (up to year 6) and those who moved at the end of year 6 but their school went on further. Those who had been top of the school in year 6 are much more responsible and able to think for themselves. Those who have never had to be top of a school are much more immature in terms of personal organisation and in my experience have been far more attention-seeking.

I have taught in 2 prep schools and spent over 20 years in secondary schools so have experience of both. In secondary schools, the teachers are subject specialists and in my current place of work, teach up to A level. Can you say the same about people in a prep situation? I also loathe the way that year 8 are placed on some kind of pedestal as head boy/girl. They seem to have a far greater sense of self-importance than those who held similar positions in year 6. It may be that I have worked in particularly bad prep schools, but I much prefer the 11-18 model.

To the poster who said year 8 was a wasted year, with the reformed GCSEs, more schools than ever are getting kids to choose their GCSE options in year 8. Mine certainly take it seriously.

trojanhorse2 Sun 12-Aug-18 22:38:00

Two of my DC attend a school which is 7-18 and the junior school extends to yr8. They started in yr 7 and to be honest I was concerned about them being in junior school at yr 7 when they would be in the senior school at most other schools (and would have friends in these schools). A number of public schools locally now start at yr 7 (having co-ed they found girls prefer an 11plus transition) and some preps are either stopping at yr 6 or going through to yr 11 in response. However, we have found it really positive and for my dc who was lacking confidence, it was great. It has meant a gradual transition to lessons outside the form room, time with a brilliant head of junior school and lots of extracurricular activities. They have prefects, house captains etc.

OVienna Tue 14-Aug-18 09:14:36

DD1's school does this. They didn't seem to do much with the younger children anyway in Year 7 and 8. No sense that the curriculum in Year 7 and 8 was off the pace in terms of GCSE prep. No Head Boy/Girl either (she joined at 11plus.) I can understand why you're reflecting on it as I did a bit too but my concerns were overblown. I am wondering if you are in East London and I know the school...

Rudi44 Tue 14-Aug-18 22:36:13

Yep, our Yr 7 and 8 are lower school. They do have more interaction via houses with middle and upper than juniors. I like that the 7 and 8’s are more of a self contained unit. It’s a bit less daunting

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