For parents grappling with the age-old question of 11+ or 13+ entry, we spoke to Marlborough House School in Kent who have a new solution: an individualised enrichment programme for Years 7 and 8. A more bespoke path and greater variety at the top of the school will enable pupils to follow their own passions and interests, complementing the school’s skills-based approach to the curriculum, the Pre-Senior Baccalaureate (PSB). To support their enhanced programme and in light of the current climate, Marlborough House are offering a 30% reduction on fees for Years 7 and 8, available from September 2023.

Let’s start at the beginning…

What is a 13+ Prep School?

A 13+ Prep School provides an education to age 13, rather than age 11, preparing children for senior school entry at Year 9. Prep Schools traditionally end at 13 and this is no accident; it is the age when children have developed the skills and confidence needed to equip them fully for senior school.

What are the benefits of 13+?

The advantages of staying on at Prep School till 13 are many and varied. Childhood can be valued, giving pupils a chance to stay children for longer, while this tricky phase of growing up can be negotiated in a warm and nurturing environment. While opportunities for leadership and responsibility, important milestones for pupils as they reach the top of the school, can enable children to grow in confidence and independence.

With entry assessment for senior schools completed in Year 6, children can be really well prepared for senior school transition in Years 7 and 8, giving them the personal and academic skills needed to thrive in a bigger and older environment.

The Marlborough House difference in Years 7 and 8

With the PSB well established, we already offer a varied and skills-based approach to learning in the top two years of the Prep School. While maintaining rigour and covering the same content, children learn more relevant skills that will serve them well in later life: how to present and communicate, how to be a leader, how to collaborate, how to debate and how to research independently. This sits alongside our emphasis on educating characters as well as young minds, helping children to develop practical wisdom, joy of learning and self-belief that will support them long after they leave us for senior school. At Marlborough House, we call this ‘Enjoying Today, Educating for Tomorrow’.

From September 2023, we are extending this provision by individualising our learning approach. We want the children to be able to follow their interests and strengths more frequently, stepping away from the constraints of the timetable – drama rather than a fourth games session in a week might be exactly what’s needed for some. Trips to senior schools for an afternoon to benefit from their expertise, guest speakers or a themed day off-timetable – these are things that pupils will remember and learn from alongside their regular lessons. All pupils will benefit from extra preparation for senior school entrance or scholarships, building on the success that can already be seen year in, year out in the scholarships and first choice places that our pupils secure. Finally, who wouldn’t want to be part of our Year 8 Leadership Programme, full of trips and challenges – a chance to reach the top of the school and finish in style!

To find out more about Years 7 and 8 at Marlborough House please click here. Or to get in touch with their Registrar to book a private tour or a spot on their 8th March 2023 Open Day, please click here.

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