Although some prep school pupils tend to move on to senior school for Year 7, at Aldwickbury we offer an additional two years of tuition in Years 7 and 8. We believe that there are a number of advantages to staying at prep school beyond the age of 11; by waiting until 13 to move on, boys at Aldwickbury get the opportunity to take on leadership roles, build confidence and benefit from a sense of continuity and familiarity during early adolescence.
Making the leap from prep school to senior school is a big move, and for many boys it is an easier transition at 13 than it would be at 11. In Years 7 and 8, boys are contending with the physical and emotional changes associated with the onset of puberty, which can be unsettling and confusing.
By remaining in a familiar environment, with the same friends, teachers and support staff, adolescence is made easier to handle. Boys at Aldwickbury can also take advantage of our flexible approach top boarding, boys may choose to board for just one night a week. Indeed, if they just want to try it for one night, they can experience a taster night to find out more. Boarding provides the opportunity to increase the feeling of independence, whilst spending quality time with their friends in a lovely environment.
Our pastoral care system is designed to support and encourage older boys’ growing independence, offering opportunities for boys to explore their interests, build their self-esteem and develop a sense of identity at this crucial time in their development.
Leaving prep school at the age of 11, boys in Year 7 find themselves starting over as the youngest members of their new school. By contrast, if they remain at prep school, they can enjoy their status as long-established, senior members of the school. Older boys at Aldwickbury are routinely given leadership training and extra responsibilities to help them to develop confidence, reflect the school values and find their place within our school community. In most senior schools, Year 7 pupils don’t get the opportunity to exercise their leadership skills in the same way, because these roles are taken on by older students.
When the time comes to move on at the end of Year 8, we find that most boys are especially well-equipped to handle the next stage of their education. Some 35 – 40 % of our Year 8 leavers move on to St Albans School, but parents have a wide choice of other very good senior schools to look at. Our leavers’ destinations also include a wide variety of other schools such as Bedford, Berkhamsted, Haileybury and many others.
If you would like your son to join us at Aldwickbury for Years 7 and 8 rather than going straight to senior school, contact us to start the admissions process.