Our emphasis in the Lower School is to make sure that each child enjoys the care, support and attention they need to learn, develop and flourish and to achieve their full potential. For our most able pupils, this includes providing support both inside the classroom and in extra-curricular 11 plus preparation classes to prepare them to sit the entrance exams into local Essex Grammar Schools.
Inside the Classroom
The curriculum at Colchester High School prepares children from the Early Years onwards to benefit from a head start in their learning, for example the huge majority of our pupils are one year ahead of their chronological reading age by the end of Reception. The curriculum followed has continuity across the Lower School, so that when the children enter the Junior School, in Year 3, they are already reading and are well-grounded in Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling, Writing and Mathematics.
From Year 3 our lessons include Mathematics and English lessons that focus on the particular needs of the pupils when undertaking the 11 plus exam. Regular assessment is in place as part of a rigorous pupil progress tracking system, which enables us to focus on deepening children’s understanding and planning teaching and learning that enables children to be well-prepared for 11 plus entrance examinations, which take place at the beginning of Year 6.
In Year 4 and 5 the pupils have an hour a week for a designated 11+ preparation lesson. During this time the children will look at 11+ style questions and delve deeper into the specific skills required for the 11+ examination.
A considerable focus is placed on reading which supports vocabulary development. We offer varied and structured activities to enhance and broaden vocabulary. We also offer activities to encourage thinking skills, debate and a broader appreciation of the world.
In Mathematics, we offer a solid number foundation which includes a progressive development of problem solving and using & applying.
Pupils at Colchester High School are taught by teachers who know the individual needs and potential of each child – this ensures that all children can make excellent progress.
Our aim is to support and stretch pupils, developing an environment in which children strive to improve and where the most able pupils achieve at high attainment levels.
Additional 11+ Preparation and Extension Activities
Colchester High School offers the following extension groups for support with the 11 plus Examination.
|4||11+ preparation lesson||During school day||Class Teacher|
|5||11+ Club||After-school||Year 6 Teacher|
|11+ preparation lesson||During school day||Class Teacher|
|Mathematics Extension Class||During school day||Senior School Head of Department|
|English Extension Class||During school day|
|Science Extension Class||During school day|
Mathematics, English and Science Extension Classes are also offered to our Year 6 pupils as part of their ongoing academic development.
Should Your Child Take the 11 Plus Examination?
Our extra-curricular 11 Plus Provision is available to all pupils who the school have assessed in consultation with the parents, to have the potential to succeed at the 11 Plus examination.
The purpose of the 11 Plus examination is to select the children who have the potential to thrive in an environment which provides a highly academic curriculum and a range of challenging pursuits. We would therefore be looking for pupils that demonstrate some of the following:
- curiosity, enjoyment of learning and problem solving
- perseverance and completion of challenging tasks
- understanding of all concepts taught at primary school
- enjoyment of a wide range of literature including non-fiction texts
- creativity in sustained writing
- ability to make connections between various areas of knowledge
- good memory
- imagination and original ideas
- ability to work at pace and assimilate information quickly.
About the 11 Plus Examination
A CSSE 11+ information pack is distributed to all Year 5 pupils during the Summer Term. If your child takes the examination, they will take two separate tests, one in English and one in Mathematics.
Your child will take the tests in the selective school you as parents have nominated as your preferred test centre. It is the parent’s responsibility to enter the child into the examination.
Please refer to the website www.csse.org.uk for free familiarisation papers that you can download. Other practice material can be purchased from the CSSE Office or leading book stores.
CHS Success at the 11 Plus Examination
We are very proud as a non-selective school to report that 13 of our pupils were offered places at local grammar schools in the last three years.