Any assessment we undertake at St John's College School is to ensure your child will be comfortable with their peers and that they will be able to thrive in our School.
Assessments for places are usually taken once parents have looked round and registered, and depend on the age of each child:
Year 1 (T1) and Year 2 (T2) – we ask that each child visits us for a short time so that we can see whether they are suitable for St John's College School. We will see where they are in relation to their cohort and see how they are in the classroom situation. It is also an opportunity for them to experience the School.
Year 3 (Form 1), Year 4 (Form 2) and Year 5 (Form 3) – we invite children who are applying to join us in these year groups to an assessment morning on a Saturday in January prior to the September of entry to the School. A report is requested from the child’s current school to help us to understand a child’s background in making our own assessment.
The assessment morning is designed to be as much like a normal morning at school as possible. Children are divided into small groups and are in the pastoral care of one teacher throughout the morning. In the course of the morning they will have Maths, English, Drama & Music, Art and possibly PE - all of which are specialist taught and are observed by at least two teachers. The children are never left without support and we help them over any difficulty. Our hope is that they should very much have enjoyed their time with us and, while this is a valuable aim in itself, it also allows us to observe them in circumstances where they feel they can be themselves. Any anxiety about the occasion will most probably have been felt much more by parents than by their children!
In the English and Maths papers, while we note what children have achieved, we also look very much for potential. Drama/Music, Art, and possibly PE, are all assessed, as is a child’s reading age. Where a learning difficulty has been reported prior to the assessment, or where a possible learning difficulty becomes apparent during assessment, our Learning Support specialists produce notes as appropriate.
Year 6 (Form 4), Year 7 (Form 5) – children are invited to spend a morning or afternoon at Senior House. We ask them to undertake an assessment in Maths and English so we can determine where they are academically in relation to our cohort in the relevant year group. They will also be interviewed by the Director of Studies and we will observe them in the classroom.
Year 8 (Form 6) – this is the final year group at St John's College School, and we receive few applications at this stage. If parents are interested in a place at this point, we will undertake an assessment in the same way as for children who would come into Year 6 or Year 7.
Virtual visits and online arrangements
Where visits in person are not possible, due to location or other circumstances, information and short films are available on our website that will provide you an introduction to St John's College School. Additionally, virtual meetings can be set up to enable a prospective family to meet staff; this may include the Head, Head of the Junior Department (Byron House), Deputy Head of Byron House and the Director of Studies. Similarly, where visits to the school are not possible, online assessments will be administered for pupils in Years 3 to 6.
If a prospective pupil has Special Educational Needs, Disabilities or English as an Additional Language (EAL), reasonable adjustments will be made to the ensure that the child is able to access all elements of the assessment process, in line with our Individual Needs Policy and EAL Policy.
Where possible, feedback is offered to parents of pupils who have been unsuccessful in gaining a place after an assessment. There is no recourse to appeal against the decision with regards to the offer of a place.