Year 7 and 8 at Sedbergh Prep

Spirit Of Innovation

Arrange a visit and discover the outstanding Year 7 and 8 experience at Sedbergh Prep. Please complete the form below and a member of our admissions team will contact you.

At Sedbergh Prep School, we welcome children up to the end of Year 8; the transformative effect of a 13+ prep school cannot be understated, allowing pupils in Year 7 and 8 to flourish as champions of the Prep School.

At a time of physiological change, we firmly believe that children of this age do best when leading a school instead of sitting on the bottom rung of the ladder. All of our Year 8 pupils are in fact leaders; setting the tone for the younger ones and influencing the culture of the School. For some, there are specific roles of responsibility – such as Heads of House – each of which come with a job description and are applied for in writing during Year 7. Several positions are rotated termly to provide opportunities for those pupils joining the School in Year 8 for the first time.

Same Book, Different Chapters

For those moving on to the Senior School in Year 9, we place enormous emphasis on the continuity of their education and pastoral care. Schemes of work are designed to progress smoothly from Prep to Senior and GCSE exams. Pastoral handover really begins the moment that children select their Senior boarding house in Year 7 and extends into the first months in their new setting; making sure that our pupils are settled and ready to fly even once they have left our nest. Sedberghians are fortunate to benefit from separate campuses for the Prep and Senior Schools, giving the Prep School children another year of childhood and ensuring there is no chance of ennui or over-familiarity.

The overwhelming majority of pupils that enter Year 7 will transfer to Year 9. Those choosing a different senior school – perhaps due to relocation, for instance – will be supported through any admissions process on an individual basis.

11+ Scholarships

Individual talent and potential is recognised through the awarding of 11+ Scholarships at Year 7 entry, in a variety of fields. More information about these and our means tested bursaries can be found on the Scholarships page.

Many families consider Sedbergh Prep as an alternative to the grammar system. We offer a holistic education combining both academic and pastoral excellence, as recognised by the Independent Schools Inspectorate.

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Academic information

Curriculum and Classes

There are three classes in both Year 7 and Year 8, with around 15 pupils per class, taking the subjects listed below. The larger numbers in the top end of the School give it a distinct atmosphere and certainly a more ‘grown up’ feel than a primary or 11+ model.

  • Maths
  • English
  • Science
  • French (accessible even to pupils who are new to the subject)
  • History
  • Geography
  • Religious Studies
  • Design, Technology and Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Art
  • Performing Arts
    • Music
    • Drama
  • Games
  • PE
  • Latin or English / Maths boosters (according to level)
  • Philosophy for Children


In 2018, the Prep School moved away from the Common Entrance Examination. This exam was first conceived over 150 years ago as a means by which independent public schools could fairly assess the attainment of children from a multitude of different prep schools. We have replaced CE with our own, bespoke, certificate of achievement known as the SPACE Profile. You can read more about this important facet of Year 7 and 8 here.


In the final two years of Prep School, we ‘set’ the children for academic lessons in a way that is sensitive, responsive and always driven by the progress of the individual child. From September 2021, children in Year 7 will be in mixed ability classes for the first half of the Michaelmas Term. Once we have assessed the relative levels of current pupils and new joiners, children are arranged in a ‘triangular’ setting system, with Set 1 underpinned by two parallel classes of Set 2 pupils. This system provides stretch and challenge for those that would benefit from it, plus support for others without the need for a ‘bottom set’ or the stigma that can be attached to it.

There are two different blocks of academic lessons, with sets arranged independently of each other: STEM (determined by maths level) and Languages and Humanities (determined by English ability) so that children who might be strong in maths but still emerging in English can be catered for appropriately. Sets are constantly reviewed, especially at key assessment points such as Christmas and Summer, with pupils moving between sets where it is in their best educational interests to do so.

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Saturday Lessons

By the time they reach Years 7 and 8, pupils are now taught by specialists; able to stretch our most able and inspire a love of their subject in all. Lessons extend to Saturday mornings where the School has smaller numbers and a quiet, productive atmosphere. Regular curriculum lessons are taught until break time, then move into a carousel of PSHEE, maths and English clinics, as well as Philosophy for Children. The latter has proved extremely popular since its introduction in 2019 and provides yet another chance for children to develop their thinking and reasoning skills. After lunch, children look forward to an entire afternoon of sport.

Tutor Groups

The children in Years 7 and 8 are placed into three tutor groups for each year group. These tutor groups are where children will register, spend time in daily form periods and – importantly – are led by a Form Tutor, who will be an important figure in each pupil’s pastoral care and the first port of call for parents.