Important information on arrangements on the Year 7 entry process for 2021 entry

Following the Government’s announcement about the impending lockdown restrictions we have revised the arrangements for our Year 7 entrance, deferred entrance and scholarship examinations scheduled for this coming Saturday 7, November.

The new lockdown guidelines mean that we can no longer accommodate all of our Year 7 applicants safely on our site. We have, therefore, changed our assessment procedures for this year.

Instead of running our usual entrance examinations morning we will instead assess candidates for Year 7 and Year 7 deferred entry on the basis of their individual interview with Miss Ferro and the Head’s report which will include baseline data (for example, CAT scores) received from their current School.  These elements have always carried a great deal of weight in the holistic way in which we assess candidates and, especially given our experience with Centre Assessed Grades for public examinations this past Summer, we are confident that they will provide us with a rounded picture of each applicant.

Our assessments will be made with a very real appreciation that the lockdown earlier this year impacted education for this cohort of pupils. If we find that we require any further information to help our assessment of a candidate we will offer her the opportunity to sit a one-hour paper, comprising of both English and Maths, either at her existing School or, on an individual basis, at Walthamstow Hall. We envisage this ‘follow-up’ paper only being needed in a minority of cases, if at all.

Academic Scholarship candidates, including those from Walthamstow Hall Junior School, cannot be assessed without an exam and so we are proposing that this smaller cohort come into Walthamstow Hall on the morning of Saturday 7 November to sit scholarship papers with very stringent social distancing measures in place.  These candidates will sit their papers within existing school bubbles where we have more than one candidate from the same school.

Scholarship candidates will no longer sit general entrance papers and instead only sit an hour-long scholarship paper in English and an hour-long scholarship paper in Maths.  Scholarship candidates will have staggered arrival times, with each school bubble arriving at a specified time.  Mrs Knight will email parents their specific drop off and collection times on Wednesday 3 November. We will also be sending Academic scholarship candidates a Covid Declaration Form which will need to be returned to Walthamstow Hall by Friday 6 November. Candidates will not be able to sit their papers unless these forms have been returned.

Sports Scholarship Assessments are also currently being revised and we will write to candidates’ parents in due course with our amended plans. Auditions for Music Scholarships will go ahead in the normal way.

It is our intention to send our offers of confirmed and waiting list places to parents before the Christmas break as we usually do.

We very much hope that this revised way of assessing candidates this year helps to create a more straightforward path and alleviate any anxiety for pupils and their parents and teachers.

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to get in touch with our Registrar, Mrs Alex Knight, registrar@whall.school

This information has been emailed to Headteachers and parents on 3 November.

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