The 7+ assessment takes place in January at the beginning of the year in which the successful candidates will enter Year 3. We welcome well over a hundred girls to the school for the whole morning, when we will give them a series of enjoyable activities carefully planned to assess all aspects of a child. We are looking for girls with good potential for learning as much as those who have already mastered the skills, as well as positive personal qualities. As a guide, the activities are aimed at Level 3 of the National Curriculum. We give the children a friendly, warm welcome and make sure they feel happy and relaxed as they arrive. We ask that parents tell their daughters that they are coming to visit a school and will be able to do some enjoyable activities there, in order to avoid any anxiety and to give them the best possible chance of showing their true abilities and personalities.
Girls are put into groups of about ten and are divided by their months of birth. Each group will spend the morning with three or four members of our staff and is given a series of fun tasks and activities including maths, reading, writing and a practical activity in a group.
We deliberately provide opportunities for teaching during the morning in order to assess the child's potential and learning behaviour. We also provide opportunities for play and relaxed informal chats in order to get a fuller picture of the girls' interests and personal strengths.
They will be given a drink and snack during their time with us and also taken around the school so they can get to know us a little.
We run the assessments over two days in order to see everyone in small groups. The activities will be completely different on each day, although at the same level of ability.
Children called for interview will be informed following the assessments and places are offered by the half term of the Spring term. At this stage we will request a reference from your daughter's school.
The interview process is made as relaxed as possible for the girls and we enjoy listening to their experiences and views. They are asked to bring a favourite book and something special which they would like to show us. These items should be chosen by the girls, not by parents, as they will be much more enthusiastic and willing to talk if they have selected them. They are not judged by the book or object they bring, it is just an "ice breaker" to help them relax and chat. We will offer places by letter in early February. Some girls will be given a place on our occasional waiting list.
Successful girls will be invited to a ‘New Girls' Tea' with their parents and a ‘Welcome to Bute' day. Both these events take place in the Summer term before they join Bute House in September, to welcome them to the school and make the transition as smooth, happy and easy as possible.
The younger sisters of any children gaining places at 7+ will only gain automatic places in our Reception class under our sibling policy if the ballot for their year group has not yet been drawn. If the relevant ballot has already been drawn the younger sisters of successful 7+ candidates will be put on the waiting list, but if there is no movement on that list they will have to sit the 7+ assessment in the appropriate year, when no sibling priority is given.