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Year 7 Entry

Every year, new Year 7 pupils join us for their final two years at prep school, during which we prepare boys and girls for admission to a wide variety of 13+ day and boarding schools.

As a stand-alone preparatory school with no single senior school attached, we are in an excellent position to advise parents on which senior school to choose for their child, assisting with applications and entrance exam preparation. As Beechwood Park is truly independent, we have no expectation that a certain proportion of our pupils should go on to one school or another. We have excellent relationships with many, many senior schools locally and further afield.

At Beechwood Park, Year 7 and Top Form are ‘value-added’ years for building confidence and independence in your child. They are a ‘wonder-filled’ two years, nurturing skills that will be massively to the advantage of the children in their future educational –  and working – lives.

Joining Beechwood Park in Year 7 bridges the gap between prep school and senior school for those who have “outgrown” primary or an 11+ prep school yet may feel slightly daunted at the thought of being at the “bottom of the ladder” in Senior School. In the Senior Department, we will help your child develop, help them to learn to become a role model for younger pupils and ensure that they are ready for 13+ entry to their chosen school.

Children learn in small classes with tutor groups of only 8-12 pupils. The teacher pupil ratio ensures more individualised and bespoke teaching and learning. We really get to know your child’s needs over this important period in their lives when they stand at the threshold of their teenage years.

Many of our Heads of Academic Departments have past teaching experience at senior schools. They are passionate about their subjects and enjoy inspiring every pupil through more challenging teaching, with more depth, more detail and more interest. They enjoy nurturing scholarship in 11-13 year olds.

Being a pupil in the top years of the School encourages leadership and responsibility. Senior pupils love taking on leadership role via the Leadership Through Service Award which equips them with the leadership and community skills which will benefit them in their future schools and for the rest of their lives.

Meanwhile, our Future Skills course develops pupils’ core thinking, critical reasoning and learning skills in preparation for senior school admissions and scholarships. Please click here to read more about the Senior Department.

Many children choose the option to board (flexi-boarding is available from Year 5), which allows the opportunity to develop social skills, take on responsibility and improve personal organisation; by the time they are in Top Form (Year 8), the boys and girls become young leaders, looking after the young boarders and showing great maturity.

The many co-curricular opportunities available at Beechwood Park give pupils the chance to make the most of their wider talents whether through creative clubs and activities or through sport. Whether they are elite sportsmen and women or just enthusiasts, pupils have access to a wide range of sports. In addition to football, rugby, cricket (boys and girls), netball and hockey, and the Sport for All programme provides further opportunities for proficiency in sailing, fencing, martial arts and table tennis.

The Benefits of Joining Year 7 and 8 in a Prep School

  1. Preparation for senior school: Prep schools are designed to prepare pupils for senior schools, and starting in Year 7 can give a pupil ample time to adapt to the style of teaching and the expectations of senior schools. This can help ensure a smooth transition and a stronger foundation for success in the future.
  2. Strong academic and co-curricular programmes: Prep schools offer a rigorous academic curriculum, including core subjects such as English, maths, and science, as well as additional courses such as languages, humanities, and the arts. Many prep schools like Beechwood Park also offer a wide range of co-curricular activities, including sports, music, drama, and clubs, allowing pupils to develop their interests and skills beyond the classroom.
  3. Smaller class sizes: Prep schools generally have smaller class sizes than state schools, which can provide a more personalised learning experience and allow for more individual attention from teachers.
  4. Supportive environment: Prep schools offer a nurturing and supportive environment, with pastoral care and support systems in place to help pupils adjust to the demands of school life and develop socially and emotionally.
  5. Preparation for life beyond school: Alongside academic preparation, prep schools also aim to develop pupils’ character, leadership skills, and independence, which are important qualities for success in life beyond school. Maturity grows with the opportunity to lead, develop increased independence and confidence in a secure and safe environment where boys and girls can still be children. Senior pupils benefit from lessons about leadership, acquiring knowledge and soft skills from knowing they are at the top of the school”

Overall, joining a prep school in Year 7 can provide a strong foundation for academic and personal success, and can prepare pupils well for the challenges and opportunities of senior school and beyond.

Whilst daunting to start at a new prep school in Year 7, we feel this was the best decision we made for our son. He simply wasn't "ready" for senior school and these extra two years at Beechwood have made him so much more confident, engaged and enthused for his future"
Former Beechwood Parent
I am so glad that I stayed on in Year 7 at Beechwood as being "top of the school" has given me so many opportunities I would not have had in Year 7 at a Senior School; I would really recommend it!"
Former Beechwood Pupil
“Boys coming to Bedford at 13+ are ready for the change. They have spent two years at the top of their Prep School, learning to be more independent, building leadership skills and preparing for life beyond. When they arrive with us, they join at the very start of our Upper School, on an equal footing with their compatriots and raring to go. We continue to support the timing of this break, believing it to be in the best interests of every boy, both pastorally and academically
James Hodgeson, Head Master, Bedford School
There is something very special about Years 7 and 8 when near teenagers have the opportunity to take on responsibility for pupils younger than themselves and serve as role models in the wider school.
Dr Richard Maloney, Headmaster of Uppingham School