Students move schools at 16 for a variety of reasons although at Latymer this is rather rare and each year only a handful leave us for Sixth Form study elsewhere. We anticipate this to continue to be the case in the future as most students joining us at 11 are committing to seven years at the school.
One of the key motivations behind our Curriculum Reform is to prepare students better for A Level study; we will buy back about 25% of teaching time in Years 10 and 11, we will be pushing students beyond the confines of the current GCSE syllabus (many of the Heads of Department want to incorporate more solid foundations for A Level) and we will be providing bespoke Bridging Courses to A Level study which will prepare our students better for the step up to a much more demanding way of studying; something we feel learners are poorly prepared for year after year. We are also convinced that our A Level results will be better as a result of our Curriculum Reform as we make more time at A Level for core teaching and for students to work independently on their core subjects. As such we hope students leaving us will be very rare indeed.
Each year Latymer admits a further 30-40 students into the Sixth Form on top of returning students from Year 11. Our 16+ entry continues to be popular and competitive. We admit students from other independent schools and maintained schools, as well as students from overseas. When we make decisions on admissions we base these on GCSE predictions from other schools, as well as on a variety of other factors – these include school reports on attendance, punctuality, participation in lessons, teacher recommendations about the kind of learners we are looking for and thoughts from head teachers of the school. We also interview students for entry and are looking for interest in the subjects they wish to pursue at A Level, evidence of wider reading and a questioning approach to the subject, and learning in general. GCSE results play one small part in the process.
Each year we also accept students from international schools where they are not tested at 16. In the last few years we have, for example, accepted students from India, Germany and the Middle East. In these cases we looked at the student in the round, their school reports, their transcripts of study from their middle school years, and of course we met with and talked with the young person. We will continue to do this. And each year we offer occasional places in our Years 7-11 which are not dependent on any exam grades.
Latytmer students will leave at 16 (if they choose to) with a detailed transcript of their work and progress through our middle school. We will be benchmarking their assessment with a pass (equivalent to a GCSE grade 7), merit (grades 8 & 9 / A* work) and distinction (beyond GCSE) award system. We would provide this to any school to which a student wants to move and in many ways it will be much more detailed and informative than a list of numbers which is the current provision. All schools continue to accept young people, like Latymer, regardless of what grades they hold.