Years 7 & 8

Head of Upper School: Kevin O’Riordan

Year 7 and 8 sees the introduction of the Common Entrance syllabus for most and the majority of pupils remain to take Common Entrance or Scholarship entry exams to senior independent schools at 13+.

There are enormous advantages in staying at Holmewood House through the last two years of prep school. Our Year 7 & 8 pupils mature into well-rounded young people, more confident and socially aware, and better equipped at 13 to face the rigours and demands of senior schools, than they are at 11.

Holmewood offers tremendous opportunities and different experiences to our older pupils. Reaching the top of a school affords a great sense of achievement ~ why jump ship before the final destination is reached?

Benefits of Year 7 & 8 in a Prep School
  • ‘Big fish in a smaller pond’ helps to further develop confidence and self-belief and the negates the feeling of needing to grow up too quickly!
  • During the last two years at prep school the pupils have the opportunity to take on roles of responsibility such as prefects, House captains or captain of sport. With the considerably larger size of senior schools in comparison, and being at the bottom of the ‘pecking order’, these opportunities are harder to come by.
  • For a less self-assured child, remaining in the small and nurturing environment of a prep school for longer will help to build their confidence.
  • Being the top year of a prep school at age 12/13 as opposed to being the youngest members of the senior school community encourages maturity and independence. For example you are unlikely to see a year 8 pupil in a senior school accompanying visitors on a school tour or making conversation with them over lunch, where this is expected behaviour for the senior pupils in a prep school.
  • Years 7 & 8 are when many children will face new challenges with regards to physical and emotional changes as a result of puberty. This journey can be made easier amongst friends and adults who you trust and who can devote time to guiding you through the challenges which you may face.
  • Friends are more likely to be moving to new schools at the same time, so there will be some faces to recognise when the new school term at senior school begins.
  • Prep school fees are usually, but not always, cheaper than senior schools!

“I don’t really think you can fully enjoy everything Holmewood has to offer unless you stay until Year 8.”

“Of all the years I spent at Holmewood, Years 7 & 8 were certainly the best, the most rewarding and the most fun.”

Year 8 leavers

“What are the benefits of staying for those final years? I would pick out the opportunity and challenge of leadership, the comfort of maturing and developing relationships in a safe and familiar environment, more adventurous and personality-developing school trips, the fun of being involved more in the running of the school, the increased importance and competitive nature of the sporting fixtures, the pride and success of the plays which take on a more professional feel, the appreciation of status, the challenge of Common Entrance which forms a strong base for national exams to come...”

Parent of Year 8 leavers