Policies

Academic Standards and Admissions

Compiled by Headmaster Approved by SLT Date of Publication May 2019 Next Review May 2020 Academic Standards and Admissions Policy

Academic Standards and Admissions (Expand)

Introduction Ditcham Park School is a selective independent, co-educational school for pupils from age 2 ½ -16 years (Nursery to Year 11 inclusive). Our pupils in Juniors (Early Years and Key Stage 1 & 2) exceed expected levels of development including literacy and numeracy for their ages and our GCSE results are consistently impressive. The School’s pass rate for 5+ 4-9 grades at GCSE has been at or very near to 100% in recent years and almost all pupils gain between 7-11 GCSEs with good or excellent grades. Attaining the ‘Gold Standard’ of 5+ GCSEs, including English, Mathematics and Science, remains a key target for 100% of our pupils. All pupils progress to Further Education in a range of local schools and Sixth Form Colleges before the overwhelming majority then proceed to University. We are proud of the fact that a former pupil from Ditcham Park School has gained entry to Oxford or Cambridge University every year for the past five years. In 2018 a pupil from Ditcham Park School was one of only 200 hundred pupils in England to achieve the top Level 9 grade in every GCSE subject.

Ditcham Park School also places strong emphasis on high levels of pastoral care and the development of children’s confidence and skills through a wide-ranging, challenging and rewarding curriculum. There is a particular focus on the development of technological skills and awareness that technology is changing the way we live and work as well as the development of creative skills in order to ‘Prepare our Pupils for the Future.’ Normal Entry Points Pupils are offered places subject to their performance in our assessment procedures and in line with the criteria outlined within this policy. Entry to Ditcham Park School can be into any year group from Nursery to Year 10, dependent on available places. Although the majority of pupils joining the school commence at the start of the Autumn term, for a range of specific reasons, some pupils do join the school at other points during the school year. Equal Treatment Ditcham Park School’s aim is to encourage applications from candidates with as diverse a range of backgrounds as possible. In Seniors, Bursaries are offered in order to make it possible for as many pupils as possible who meet the School’s admission criteria. Ditcham Park School is committed to equal treatment for all, regardless of a candidate’s sex, ethnicity, religion, disability, gender, reassignment, sexual orientation or social background. The School’s provision for Bursaries is described on page 5. Special Needs Ditcham Park School does not lawfully discriminate in any way regarding entry. The School welcomes pupils with disabilities provided our site can practically accommodate the physical disabilities of an individual. The School also welcomes pupils with special educational needs, provided we can offer the learning support they require.

We strongly advise parents of children with special educational needs or physical or mental disabilities to discuss their child’s requirements with the School before he/she undertakes a ‘taster’ day or sits an entrance test so that we can make adequate provision for him/her. Parents should provide a copy of an educational psychologist’s report or a medical report. The School will discuss, thoroughly, with parents (and their child’s medical advisers, if appropriate) the adjustments that can reasonably be made for the child if he/she becomes a pupil at the School. Registration Parents of pupils who wish to be considered for entry to Ditcham Park School are required to complete the school registration documents and pay a Registration fee. For a copy of our Registration Form please click here to download a ‘pdf’ version. The Assessment Process The aim of the assessment process is to identify potential and to seek assurance that the individual will be able to access the curriculum with the support available to them at Ditcham Park School.

The School is looking for well-rounded pupils who are interested in learning in the broadest sense. The School is focussing on Science Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM) and it has a strong reputation for its high standards in Music, Art, Public Speaking, Sport and community activities. The school has a strong House system and provides a wide variety of enriching activities which help develop a well-balanced, confident individual. The ability range of pupils at Ditcham Park School includes approximately 20% who require and benefit from specialised learning support lessons. Sibling Policy Most siblings join us at Ditcham Park School. However, admission is not automatic and there may be occasions where the School judges that a sibling is likely to thrive better in a different academic environment. The School offers a ‘sibling discount’ on tuition fees and some other charges.

ENTRY TO THE SCHOOL

Entry in Nursery, Reception & Yr1 Entry into our Nursery, Reception and Pre-Prep class is based on a ‘taster’ day during which the child is assessed on play based learning and informal lessons. Entry in Juniors (Yr2 – Yr 6) The taster/assessment days for pupils wishing to enter the School at Key Stage1 & 2 will include time within the classroom alongside other pupils. The class teacher will assess the pupil through the normal range and level of challenges expected of pupils of that age. In addition a more formal assessment will take place consisting of a literacy and numeracy test. All pupils are required to provide a full copy of their latest school report from their current School or Nursery. It is expected that Junior pupils will continue into Seniors. However, if there are concerns regarding academic or social performance and progress, consultation between school and parents will be initiated at the most appropriate time in our aim to support all pupils and families in the best possible way.

Entry in Seniors (Year 7 to Year 10) Entry into Seniors, (Year 7-10), is dependent on passing our entrance examinations in English, Mathematics, Non-Verbal Reasoning (NVR), Verbal Reasoning (VR) and also an Entrance Interview. Entry into Year 7 (Form 1) Pupils at Ditcham Park School are expected to take 9 or 10 GCSE subjects including English, Mathematics, Sciences and a Modern Foreign Language at the end of Year 11. Children wishing to enter the School for Year 7 (Form 1) should be registered by 1 st November in their Year 6 year. All candidates are required to provide a full copy of their latest school report from their current school. If pupils have had an Educational Psychologist’s assessment it is essential that this is provided as part of the initial registration. Applicants will be interviewed by the Headmaster in late November and will be invited to sit the Entrance Exams/Tests in late January. In offering places to applicants, the following factors are considered:

• Performance in Middle and Upper Juniors of Ditcham Park School

• Performance in School Entrance Exams

• Performance in Interview

• Review of current school report

• Review of Educational Psychologist’s report if applicable

• Bursary Application (where applicable)

• Sibling(s) already in school

• Registration date

Parents will be informed in writing at the earliest possible opportunity following the completion of the registration requirements and assessment procedures. With a large number of applicants for Form 1 entry, and in our endeavour to be fair to all candidates, it is necessary for parents to confirm their acceptance of an offer of a place at the school, in writing, including the required deposit, within the deadline date set out in the offer letter. Should a place not be accepted in writing within the deadline date the Headmaster may offer the place to another suitable candidate on the waiting list. Entry into Year 9 (Form 3) for Prep School Applicants Prep School children wishing to enter the School for Year 9 (Form 3) should, ideally, be registered by 1st November in Year 6 or Year 7. All candidates are required to provide a full copy of their latest school report from their current school. If pupils have had an Educational Psychologist’s assessment it is essential that this is provided as part of the initial registration. Applicants will be interviewed by the Headmaster in late November and will be invited to sit the Year 7 or Year 8 Entrance Exams/Tests in late January. Subject to a satisfactory performance in the Entrance Tests, a good interview and a supportive reference from the current school we will be able to offer a place in Year 9 at Ditcham Park School which will not be conditional on Common Entrance tests.

In offering places to applicants for a place in Yr9, up to two and a half years after the tests, the following factors are considered:

• Performance in School Entrance Exams

• Performance in Interview

• Review of current school report

• Review of Educational Psychologist’s report if applicable

• Bursary Application

• Sibling(s) already in school

• Registration date

We welcome applications from parents with a child who is looking to enter the School in Year 8 (Form 2) or Year 10 (Form 4). The Entry process is similar for that described above for entry in Year 7 or Year 9. The entry process will involve a taster day during which the individual will sit a literacy and numeracy aptitude test. In offering places to these applicants, the following factors are considered:

• Performance in aptitude tests

• Positive feedback from classroom teachers regarding aptitude for learning

• Review of current school report

• Review of Educational Psychologist’s report if applicable

• Bursary Application • Sibling(s) already in school

• Date the Registration Form was completed

Scholarships Juniors

The Headmaster can award one or two academic scholarships for entry into Lowers (Year 4) worth up to 30% discount on school fees for the remainder of their time in Juniors. During the Summer term of Transition Year (Year 3), high performing pupils are considered for the scholarship. All candidates are included within our consideration as to which pupils are considered to be eligible. Pupils from within Ditcham Park School considered for the scholarship are selected by the school. Parents of successful candidates will be informed in writing. Candidates are selected through use of assessment data, past and current classwork, performance and annual assessment tests. External candidates who have performed exceptionally well in our normal entrance procedures will be invited, in writing, by the Head of Juniors to sit a scholarship examination, if their entrance assessment is over 3 months old. If they have been assessed for entrance into the Juniors within 3 months, this will be used as the form of assessment.

Candidates will be informed, in writing, of whether they have or have not been awarded the Junior Scholarship. If there is not a suitable candidate, the Junior Scholarship will not be awarded. Junior Scholarship are awarded subject to an annual review. The Headmaster can award a Junior Music Scholarship for entry into Lowers (Year 4). Pupils can apply to be considered for this Exhibition and full details in the Scholarship brochure available on our website. Candidates will be expected to be performing well on at least one musical instrument/singing.

Progression through recognised National Music Examinations is not a requirement but will be an important consideration. Candidates will be expected to perform in an individual music assessment which is conducted by the Head of Music. The successful candidate for the Music Exhibition will be offered free instrumental lessons for two instruments, one of which must be an orchestral instrument, for the remainder of their time in the Juniors. The recipient will be expected to take a full and active part in the musical life of the school. All candidates will be informed, in writing, of whether they have or have not been awarded the Music Scholarship. If there is not a suitable candidate, the Music scholarship will not be awarded. The award of a music scholarship will be subject to an annual review. Junior Academic Scholarships and the Junior Music Scholarship Award will be open to both current and new pupils at Ditcham Park and only apply to the three final school years in Juniors, for Year 4-6 inclusive (Lower Junior to Upper Junior). Seniors Details of Scholarships available to internal and external applicants entering Seniors can be found in our Scholarship brochure which can be found on our website.

Seniors Academic Scholarships for Form 1 (Year 7) Entry.

Following the Year 7 January Entry exams/tests, high performing pupils are invited to return to school to sit the competitive Academic Scholarship Exams in February. The Headmaster can award one or two academic scholarships for entry into Form 1 (Year 7) worth up to 40% discount on school fees. Seniors Art, Drama, Music & Sports Scholarships for Yr7 (Form 1) Entry. Pupils who have been offered a place in Year 7 (Form 1) as a result of a successful outcome in the Year7 (Form 1) exams/entry tests can apply for an Art, Drama, Music or Sport Scholarship which attract fee remission of between 5% and 10%. The Art, Drama, Music and Sports Scholarship assessment days take place after the entrance exams/tests in February. All scholarships are subject to an annual review.

Bursaries Ditcham Park School’s Bursary Policy is designed to provide access to the School for as many children as possible who meet the School’s entry criteria but are unable to afford a place. The School offers means-tested bursary awards, annually, to entrants into Seniors (at Year 7 and Year 9) where parents have indicated they require financial support. Both parents are required to provide proof of their income and assets. The level of support varies according to parental need but can extend to full fee remission in cases of proven need. Before the offer of a bursary is confirmed, the Bursar will normally visit the family at their home. Bursaries are only offered to families who are resident in the UK. Bursaries are normally offered for a 12-month period. The family is required to provide fresh information about its circumstances for every year their child attends the School. Levels of support may vary with fluctuations in income or wealth. The School’s expectation is that parents who do not choose to apply for a bursary at the time their child first joins the School will not require financial support throughout the time their child attends the School, except in wholly unforeseen circumstances. A bursary may be withdrawn in accordance with terms upon which such an award is made or in accordance with the School’s Terms and Conditions.

Fluency in English In order to cope with the academic and social demands of Ditcham Park School, pupils must be fluent English speakers. Normally pupils should have been educated in the English language before coming to School. Tuition in English as an Additional Language (EAL) is not available. Religious Beliefs Ditcham Park School welcomes applications from prospective pupils of all faiths and of no faith. Although Ditcham Park School has Church of England roots, the School does nor select for entry on the basis of religious belief, and it offers the opportunity for Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims etc to practice their own faiths. However, parents should be aware that all pupils are expected to attend various whole school services throughout the year such as the Advent Carol service, Easter Service and Harvest Festival. School’s Terms and Conditions The School’s Terms and Conditions are provided on admission to the School. Complaints The School’s Complaints Policy (and Procedures) is on the School’s website and can be provided to prospective parents on request. Records and Review Applicants details will be held on file with due regard to data protection legislation and the School’s Privacy Notice.

Compiled by: Headmaster

Date: May 2019 Approved by: SLT Review Date: May 2020

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