Year 5 & 6
Growing skills, independence and ambition
Progressing toward 11+
With your child’s journey further through Prep, thoughts turn to the 11+ examination, Years 7 and 8 and senior school.
There is no doubt that your child’s natural desire for responsibility, independence and adventure will be more than catered for in Years 5 and 6. In this age group, our children have a stronger awareness of what is required from them, both as students and members of a community. The realisation of the differentiation between work and play becomes stronger, accompanied by greater adaptability to different situations, environments and needs, and increased ability to learn independently. However, we never forget that children are children, that they thrive on the confidence of progression and achievement as well as the added challenge of a wider curriculum.
The end of Year 6 sees many children move up to our final years of Prep – Years 7 and 8 – and preparation for Common Entrance and the opportunities and responsibilities that lie at the top of the school. Other families will have made the decision for their children to attend other senior schools. Whichever is the case, all children will be amply equipped for the next stage of their education.
Year 5 and 6 Curriculum
Each year group in Years 5 and 6 comprises of three separate classes with a maximum size of 21. In Year 5 and 6 children continue to be set for English and Maths, this is extended to French from Year 5 and Latin and Science from Year 6. This helps us to provide personalised teaching in terms of both content and the most suitable pace of learning for your child.
At this point in your child’s school journey all subjects are taken by specialist teachers across the curriculum which comprises of English, Maths, Science, French, History, Geography, TPR (Theology, Philosophy & Religion), Art, ICT, Design & Technology, Music, Drama, outdoor learning and PSHCE (Personal, Social, Health & Citizenship Education). Lessons also continue from Year 4 in verbal and non-verbal reasoning ensuring readiness for the 11+ examination. A new experience for Year 5 children is Latin, the most traditional of academic subjects which maintains total relevance and context to many European languages.
We continue with our STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics) curriculum. This not only teaches these individual but interconnected elements, but immerses the children in a fascinating new world which is also highly relevant to their future education and potentially, chosen career. Naturally, STEAM teaching is partly classroom-based, but it also takes advantage of our inspirational Hoe Bridge surroundings as well as nearby facilities, such as our awayday at Chessington World of Adventures – a highlight in the Year 5 course. The children spend the preceding week exploring the context of the day with what they are learning, such as velocity, friction and motion forces of roller coasters, how many trees have been sacrificed to build the park, and the importance of the triangle in structural strength. The day itself is eagerly awaited and always enjoyed, then it’s back to school to reflect on the day and use tools such as Microsoft PowerPoint and other apps to present their data and other findings.
Other day and residential trips reflect the current term’s topic, incorporating life skills development and reinforcing concepts such as sustainability and appreciation of other cultures. For Year 6, these culminate in a wonderful five-day trip to a specialist residential centre on the South Coast. A specialist, age-based programme of outdoor team pursuits, exercises and tasks is designed to reinforce the building of friendships, relationships, responsibility, initiative and problem solving, leadership and wellbeing.
Our specialist classrooms and learning suites are complemented by inspirational outdoor learning facilities, which form an integral part of Prep life, with fields, woods, meadow, river, pond and the Hideout – a unique outdoor classroom under a parachute canopy. And all the while, exercise, healthy lifestyles and competition continue to be reinforced, supporting our focus on developing the whole child.
As in earlier Prep years, informal assessments take place throughout the year, with formal exams being set at the end of both years.
Toward 11+ together
The strong relationship and consistent communication with our families ensures effective results as well as a happy child. Understanding, absorption and application of knowledge are critical to success in lessons, as well as regular assessments and different kinds of exams.
At the beginning of Year 5, we will help you in considering your child’s roadmap beyond 11+. This involves engaging you in a process of ongoing consultation on matching your child’s ability, needs and aspirations with the wide range of independent senior schools available. For your child, a series of CAT (Cognitive Abilities Tests), PIM (Progress in Maths) and PIE (Progress in English) tests produce the data we require to support our informed decisions. The beginning of Year 6 sees a further consultation between parents and Headmaster on school choice and mutual suitability, followed by mock 11+ exams and further formal assessments.
Our Headmaster is in regular contact with all our local independent senior schools to monitor and discuss their constantly evolving requirements and assessment methods.
Our children go on to a wide range of senior school and we have an excellent track record of achieving scholarships to the top-rated schools in the area. Please click HERE for more information on our results.
Rewards and competitions
The Hoe Bridge system of gains established in Year 3 continues throughout Years 5 and 6, and indeed to the end of your child’s time with us. This ‘points system’ – which applies to schoolwork, attitude, courtesy and behaviour – is proven to encourage and incentivise whilst reflecting the rewards and penalties we all encounter and accept throughout life as part of wider citizenship.
Gains are collated throughout the year and count towards individual bronze, silver and gold certificates. The points tally also goes towards house totals, further fostering belonging, teamwork, better performance and positive behaviours.
Children can earn distinctions for outstanding work, and Headmaster Commendations provide further formal recognition of exceptional performance and good deeds, as do termly Star and Form prizes. All of these are celebrated in assembly.
Extending the day at Hoe Bridge
Many of our Prep families take advantage of our breakfast or after school activities or both.
Both provide excellent opportunities for your child, whether for socialising, developing engaging interests or hobbies. For parents, they ease the burden of busy schedules, heavy traffic and other circumstances which can bring unwanted pressure.
Breakfast Club operates every day from 7:30am until commencement of registration at 8:15am. The menu is tempting and nutritious, comprising a hot breakfast, cereal and toast. What an excellent start to the school day.
On completion of the class day at 4:15pm, children attend prep, where they can complete homework under the supervision and guidance of teaching staff. Prep for Year 5 finishes at 5:00pm and Year 6 at 5:30pm. Children can then enjoy an after school activity, of which there is a wide choice, covering many interests and hobbies. We encourage children to try new activities to maintain and broaden their interests and enjoyment. After school activities finish at 5:45pm for Year 5 and 6:30pm for Year 6.