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 Maths.
From Year 3 our lessons include Maths 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 exams, which take place at the start of Year 6.
A considerable focus is placed on reading which supports vocabulary development. We offer varied and structured activities to enhance & 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 the children – 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. We also offer extension lessons (see below) to the most able pupils in Key Stage 2, many of which are taught by members of the Senior Leadership Team.
Enrichment and Additional Extra-Curricular Clubs.
Beyond the school curriculum, Colchester High School also offers the following extension clubs to pupils looking to sit the 11 plus Examination.
|4||Maths Extension||During school day|
|English Extension||During school day|
|11+ club||Lunch time|
|Maths Extension Class||During school day|
|English Extension Class||During school day|
Maths and English 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 decides to take 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 two free past Maths and English papers that you can download. Other practice material can be purchased from the CSSE Office or leading book stores.