Academic success means different things to different people. We set great store by our record of success in the 11+ entrance tests for local Grammar Schools and in the entrance examinations for senior independent schools.
The 11+ tests are designed to pick out the most academically able of the population – in recent years between 35% and 55% of our Year 6 pupils have been offered places.
The entrance examinations for senior independent schools are almost universally in English, Maths and Verbal Reasoning. The great majority of our children are offered places at the schools where they sit the examinations and some of them are successful enough to be awarded scholarships. Over the past few years children have been offered places at Princethorpe College, Rugby School, King Henry VIII and Bablake Schools in Coventry, King's High and Warwick School in Warwick and The Kingsley School for Girls and Arnold Lodge in Leamington Spa. Children have been offered scholarships to Princethorpe, Rugby, Bablake and King Henry VIII - a mixture of academic, music and all-rounder awards.
However, the academic success that has given us the greatest pleasure has not been to do with Grammar School places or scholarships to senior independent schools. It has been the success of children who are initially reluctant learners when they join us but gain in confidence as we nurture and encourage them so that they leave us with an enthusiasm for learning that enables them to be happy and successful in their chosen senior school.
We don’t do the National Curriculum End of Key Stage Tests (SATs) because, in common with the local governments in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, we don’t believe they are a very good form of assessment. However, we do use tests that enable us to compare our children against national norms and our results bear comparison with any found in the area.
We compete against other schools in Netball, Football, Tag Rugby, Cricket, Swimming, Athletics and Hockey. In recent years we have won the Town Championships in Netball and Football twice each and the football team has twice gone on to reach the national finals of an E.S.F.A. competition playing at Wembley Stadium. We regularly produce a significant number of Town Champions in Swimming and a smaller number of Town Champions in Athletics.
Whilst success in team sport is very important to us, it is not as important as the manner in which the children play the game. It is no coincidence that our most successful teams have been those in which the friendships between the players have been the strongest and selfless teamwork most evident.
In all our sport we encourage children to ‘beat their personal best’ and all inter-house competition is organised to afford all the children the opportunity to experience success and failure alike. Even the most successful professional sportspeople experience failure more often than success; it is how they learn to deal with failure that makes such a difference.