This term has been one of considerable pressure for Year 6. They have spent all of last term, the Christmas holidays and the first few weeks of this term preparing for their entrance exams to senior schools.

The importance of this challenge cannot be overestimated as it really will determine their immediate future and will also go a long way towards defining their long term future as well. Of course, you can argue that they have been building up to this moment since they first joined DCPS, or Smallwood Manor, as it was named when most of them first stepped through the school’s gates. A prep school, by its very name, is preparing children for the next step of their education. Each year the pressure is cranked up a little as the children move through the school and their increasing maturity helps them to cope with this. It is, however, the first term and a bit in Year 6 when I think this really begins to tell. Expectations are high and a combination of support and encouragement from both home and school, together with the children’s own determination to succeed ensure that the children are ready to peak at just the right time and give of their best when it really matters.

The results that came out last week are absolutely outstanding. 100% pass rate with 17 scholarships or exhibitions being awarded to the 25 children who sat the exams to Denstone. This is a remarkable achievement and shows how well the children have been taught and how well they have been supported at home. Most importantly though, it shows how hard they have worked in order to achieve these fantastic results. I always say that no matter how well you are taught and no matter how much support you get from your family, the person who really determines your level of success is yourself. The level of commitment that the children have shown to their studies has been quite outstanding and they really deserve this success. I am incredibly proud of every single one of them.

JG 4.ii.15