How to be a more independent learner and think outside the box

Eddy Newton, Headmaster at Marlborough House School on the benefits of Year 7 and 8 children studying for the Pre-Senior Baccalaureate


Education is not just about exam results and a 13-year-old is more than a series of scores. Developing the whole child and instilling in them a range of skills and characteristics that will serve them well for life has become the new challenge, and one that we aim to meet at Marlborough House through our well-established Pre-Senior Baccalaureate (PSB).

Now that all senior schools are selecting their pupils in Year 6, forward-thinking Prep Schools can look at how and what the children learn in Years 7 and 8, without being dominated by the demands of a final exam at the end of Year 8.

The PSB aims to cover the same material as Common Entrance, maintaining academic rigour, but encouraging a wider range of skills. Why revise volcanoes again solely in order to turn a B grade into an A – is that really the best use of the last 3 months of Year 8? Instead, why not develop a child’s ability to research and present, far more valuable skills than rote learning for a one-off exam?

The PSB looks at the whole child, assessing their ability in academic subjects as well as the arts and sport, while simultaneously providing pupils with an opportunity to hone skills that will serve them well in later life – how to present, how to collaborate, how to be a leader, how to be more independent, how to think out of the box.

This approach means that not only will senior schools receive the type of learners they want; but children will leave Marlborough House with a much clearer awareness of their strengths, skills and learning habits.


Marlborough House is offering a reduced termly fee of £4,995 for Years 7 and 8. For further details or to join their September 29 2023 Open Day, visit

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