Away Common Entrance – It feels the right thing to do
With Common Entrance week over and results in by the end of the week, I sense there is an even stronger will here at Knighton to bid Common Entrance a fond farewell and usher in an alternative curriculum.
You may have read already that Knighton is phasing the Common Entrance exams out over the next two years so by 2019/20 none of our girls will be sitting any of the papers. Next year our current Year 7 cohort will be taking core subjects only and either Spanish or Latin depending on which subject they have opted for. The following year no Common Entrance papers will be sat.
This process started earlier this year in consultation with our senior schools who have been very supportive of the move away from the traditional Common Entrance exam route. Of course, they have been interested in what we will have in place instead and how we will assess the girls.
We’ve given our curriculum a name, the KED Curriculum (Knowledge Enlightenment Discovery). The curriculum will be a work in progress; it is, and will be, an ‘organic beast’ that adapts, changes, progresses and develops constantly to allow teachers greater flexibility and freedom. I see the latter, along with having discussions and workshops with our senior school partners, as a wonderful professional opportunity to be able to create and develop a new curriculum without having to push the girls through a series of exams at the end of Year 8.
One of our key drivers for the change away from Common Entrance has been the increasing number of girls who are pre-assessed in the Autumn term (usually) of Year 7 at most of the senior schools we send the girls to. This shift in recent years where girls are given a place two years prior to having to take Common Entrance has given us the opportunity to change our modus operandi. No longer will there be the senior school offer letter with the final line, “subject to a satisfactory performance at Common Entrance”.
So, we are on an enlightened journey and taking the first tentative steps towards a new world without Common Entrance. It feels good, and it feels right.