Upper School Curriculum

Year 6

In Year 6, exam preparation is in full swing. Experience has shown us that exam preparation is good for all students, irrespective of whether they will take the 11+, as it gives them an opportunity to dive deeply into core subjects and accelerate writing skills. Children are regularly expected to work independently and quietly in order to replicate test conditions.

The build up to school entrance exams can be a stressful and worrying time, and we try our hardest to shield children from that pressure. We make preparation a positive learning experience, and ensure that children of all abilities make the most of this opportunity, encouraging them to enjoy learning regardless of outcome. We strongly urge parents to keep expectations for their child realistic, and safeguard children from the relentless pressure that can occur in this very competitive environment.

As not every child will be sitting 11+ exams, we ensure that each child is encouraged to learn to the best of their ability, finding subjects and interests they can pursue with passion. Our strong academic curriculum is balanced with art, music, drama and sport so Heathside children, wherever they go to pursue their secondary education, are confident, well rounded individuals able to thrive in a variety of establishments.


We have an excellent track record over the past 25 years of supporting children to gain places to, and scholarships from, many of the most prestigious schools in London and across the United Kingdom.

Heathside’s vision and commitment to our children means the preparation for school entrance exams begins at the start of a child’s education at Heathside. However, we are most definitely not an 11+ ‘hot house’ and our whole-child ethos considers children of all abilities. We focus on developing a love of learning for its own sake.


It is normal practice that parents choose between the 11+ or 13+ route to a particular secondary school. Some children opt to stay on at Heathside to 13 in order to take the entrance exams to top schools including Westminster, UCS, City of London Boys, Eton, Rugby, Marlborough, Stowe, Brighton College and others.

Many top schools use 13+ pretests in Year 6 to help manage eventual 13+ entry at Year 9. Where this is the case, most of these schools use the ISEB’s computer-based 13+ Pretest and a four-part exam.

The ISEB 13+ Pretest is usually taken by pupils in two sittings during the last week of November. These exams are undertaken at Heathside and can only be taken once. Multiple senior schools can then access the results for any individual pupil.