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'Mind and Matter' the MHS Blog

Welcome to the MHS Blog - a little corner of the digital world where teachers and children are able to share what they are thinking about each month.  Everyone has a view, an idea and a story to tell so in a busy world of work and play, 'Mind and Matter' is a special place where  hopefully we all get a chance to listen and be heard ...

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  • Common Entrance- To CE or not to CE?

    Published 22/02/19

    Delivering a Bespoke Learning Journey for Years 7 & 8

    As you know, Common Entrance (CE) has long been considered the Gold Standard for Prep School attainment and the currency by which children gain access to their Senior Schools.  The rise of pre-testing in Year 6 now determines the vast majority of Senior School entry decisions and essentially renders CE irrelevant in the process.  It also begs an important question about what the curriculum focus should be for our children in Years 7 and 8. 

    The CE programme rewards rigour, discipline, time management skills and rote learning, and in so doing encourages a methodology where children ‘don’t get it wrong’. However, we are living in a time where the traditional skills of the conventional world, as epitomised by CE, are increasingly being challenged. 

    Over the last two years, MHS has spent a considerable time consulting with Senior Schools and exploring alternative approaches that could form a curriculum programme for Years 7 and 8.  I have personally been in contact with every school that we feed and they have all said that what they want from us is exactly what business leaders and industry professionals want from them: yes they want rigour and discipline, but they also want to see an advanced development in the skills of creativity, critical thinking and problem solving.

    Moving forward therefore we have taken the decision to deliver a Years 7 and 8 curriculum that will accelerate the development of these skills and enhance the children‘s performance into and through Senior School.  This will be facilitated by the introduction of the Pre Senior Baccalaureate Programme (PSB) starting for the current Year 6 children in September 2019.

    Many of you will know that the PSB is a well-established and universally accepted pathway into Independent Senior Schools.   By adopting PSB we see an opportunity to re-set and re-purpose our educational philosophy and move away from the simple acquisition of knowledge to a system which delivers the acquisition of knowledge AND the acquisition of skills AND the application of knowledge.

    By moving to PSB we also see an opportunity to enable more children to take advantage of scholarships – Senior Schools have told us that the skills the children will be acquiring during these two years are often the difference between the children who win scholarships over those who don’t.

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  • It's a Frame of Mind ...

    Published 11/10/18

    Year 2 Teacher, Kate Herbert ponders the role of schools in promoting positive mental health ...

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  • Let's go Outside...

    Published 01/10/18

    Head of Year 3 and 4, Sarah Dodds reflects on the myriad of learning opportunities in the great outdoors ...

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  • On the Subject of Maths... by Brian Judd

    Published 06/09/18

    The Wealden Times asks Head of Mathematics, Brian Judd why so many children are put off Maths so young and what teachers can do to help.  

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  • Fortune Favours the Brave

    Published 01/05/18

    Head of Year 3 and 4,  Sarah Dodds ponders the role of schools in encouraging girls to be braver ...

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  • The Life Scientific ...

    Published 21/03/18

    Mr Payne-Cook reflects on a week of wonder at the MHS Science Festival ...

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  • Another Date for the Diary?

    Published 15/03/18

    History teacher, Claire Searle asks if commemorations could sometimes be missed learning opportunities. ..

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  • I Did It My Way 

    Published 20/02/18

    Head of Pre-Prep, Rebecca Reid explains what can happen when children are in charge...

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  • Passing the Test of Time

    Published 10/01/18

    Head of Year 5 and 6, Jessica Andrews, believes that when children are happy, they are capable of so much more in the classroom ...

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  • Two Sides to Every Story ...

    Published 18/10/17

    The Middle East, a war ground littered with civil wars and rebellions. Or the perfect walking holiday for you and your friend?  Following adventurer, Leon McCarron's recent Outreach Lecture at MHS,  one of our Year 8 pupils reacts to this heart warming tale from a far away land ....

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  • diu vivere Latine! 

    Published 12/10/17

    Tina Budd argues the case for Latin on every school curriculum ...

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  • A Walk on the Weald Side

    Published 11/09/17

    Having walked to Bodiam Castle from Marlborough House our School Secretary, Margaret McTrusty  pauses for thought ...

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