Within Reason – the ‘Next School’ debate

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It would not be unreasonable to suggest people have different experiences and views on education. The range of views regarding teaching, curriculums, subjects and the value of exams are all topics discussed and analysed in great detail. Education is shaped by political views, cultural developments and popular beliefs that often translate into established expectations. Education, like life, is a movable feast and nothing is set in stone.

The recent decision by both Epsom College and St John’s Leatherhead to admit pupils at Year 7 has been a topic of concern locally in respect of the impact of this decision on pupil places. The notion is that admitting pupils in Year 7 hastens the need to change schools at this juncture. On Monday April 27 representatives from both schools came to Kingswood House to discuss their decisions and its impact on pupil admittance at Year 9 after the end of Preparatory schooling.

Both schools were keen to explain their expansion as a move to accommodate a demand in the locality, specifically attracting girls from the private sector whose schools finish at Year 6 and pupils from the state sector. However the bulk of the intake would continue to be at Year 9 in order to retain the traditional transition for most pupils, in particular boys, at Preparatory School.

The reason for upholding and retaining the Preparatory School tradition was of mutual benefit to the different senior schools as it enabled a period of growth for boys. Enabling them to move schools with a greater degree of maturity and surety. The evidence overwhelming supports the period of senior status at prep school as key to personal growth leading to better personal performance at senior school level.

All parents were able to ask questions of Epsom College and St John’s regarding the number of pupils being admitted in Year 7 (60), the pre test (11+ exam) with a deferred place offer and how the schools would set the curriculum in years 7 and 8 at their establishments. The emphasis was on how key the links are with the team at Kingswood House at identifying the correct option for a boy choosing their senior school. St John’s and Epsom College stressed the issue of children sitting too many tests at differing senior schools due to parents trying to cover all options and bases.

The key message from the senior schools, to attending parents, was that, as Headmaster at Kingswood House, I am the person to discuss which is the best next school option for your son. It is a partnership decision with the emphasis on Kingswood House having the knowledge and relationships with the senior schools to get the right school for every boy.

Do pick up our prepared ‘Next School’ guide for Parents and read through to understand the reality of the impacts in the changing admissions for some senior schools. It is important, within reason, to keep an open mind about the next steps for your son academically and speak to me about where your son is going to flourish and be happy after his senior years at Kingswood House.

Peter Brooks


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Welcome to the Head

Matthew Bryan

“It’s a huge privilege to be coming in as Head at Kingswood House, particularly in this its 125th year. KHS is an exciting, kind, progressive and ambitious school and I’m looking forward to building on the foundations laid by my predecessors to take the school from strength to strength”.