The school assesses candidates for entry to ensure that the curriculum and pace of learning are appropriate for them and that they have the potential to be happy and to thrive in the school, contributing co-operatively towards the community. The ability to understand and communicate effectively in English is fundamental.
Assessment of Candidates
Total Assessment time, including breaks: 4 hours.
- Cognitive abilities and English language. All candidates will sit a series of computer-based cognitive ability tests that assess their verbal, non-verbal, quantitative and spatial reasoning skills. This will provide the school with a profile of the candidates’ reasoning abilities and academic potential. These tests are not knowledge based and therefore it is not possible to prepare in advance. Any candidate whose first language is not English and who does not have a recognised qualification in English (e.g. IGCSE, IELTS) may be required to sit a computer-based English placement test, which will indicate the candidate’s ability to study in an English language institution and whether the candidate will need English Support.
- Previous school reports, including achieved examination results and predicted grades. Candidates are also invited to provide a simple Record of Achievement or CV giving a list of achievements and interests. When possible, a confidential report from the candidate’s current school will be used, otherwise parents will be asked to provide a copy of the most recent school report.
- An informal interview. Conducted in English. It is intended that this should be a friendly, two-way experience, enabling the School to get to know the candidate and allowing the candidate to ask questions about the school. This interview will normally begin with the candidate one-to-one and parents may be included later if appropriate.
The assessment is designed to need no special preparation and it is much preferred that candidates do not receive coaching or tuition in advance. It is intended to be a positive experience of benefit in itself and it should certainly not disrupt ordinary school work. It is understood that candidates will have different school backgrounds and different levels of English; the assessment attempts to measure a candidate’s potential to learn and develop.
All candidates will be assessed in a similar way so that decisions about class groupings and setting can be made. Some schools, including some British curriculum schools, are able to provide fuller and more focused information on candidates. This is important and useful to us, but no candidate will be at either an advantage or disadvantage because of the school from which they apply. Similarly, the admissions process is devoid of any discrimination and the application of quotas. Parents are asked to let us know in advance of any special needs so that arrangements can be made.
Out of courtesy, parents should inform the candidate’s current school before assessment for POWIIS. It is particularly important that a current school is aware of intentions before we ask for a confidential report. Ideally current schools, teachers and headteachers should be involved in the discussions so that they can offer advice about future schooling. They will know their pupils well and so their advice is to be valued.
Prior to admission, parents are required to declare they have shared with the school any background information which might reasonably be thought relevant to the offer of a place, and to the candidates’ potential for success at POWIIS.