Gavin had his entrance assessment yesterday for an international school. I have been anxious for a while about what they would want to “test” him on and whether he would perform on the day. Although I knew he could cope with the tests, being a child of his own mind, he could either choose to charm the teachers with his wit or he could aggravate them to annoyance with his refusal to cooperate. So hubby and I have been gearing him up for this assessment with the promise of a treat if he did well. I’m glad to say I could not have been prouder of my son.
I must commend the teacher as well because she did a great job of making this series of hoop jumping exercises fun and light hearted. Gavin enjoyed himself and the environment. He was completely sold on the school and wanted to start immediately. I was delighted to see that he clicked well with the teachers and environment. For as much as it was the school’s assessment of him, we, too, were assessing the school and Gavin’s reaction to it.
If you’re a little worried about what the assessment involves, it was actually quite straightforward. This was what we had to do…
The parents had to fill out a form with a list of questions such as:
- can your child feed himself with a fork and spoon?
- can your child dress himself?
- can your child share toys with other children?
Gavin had to do the following:
1. Physical obstacle course – navigate the obstacle course (e.g. throwing a beanbag into a hoop, jumping with two feet, hopping on one foot, running on tiptoe, running in a figure eight, balancing on one foot). He was also asked to walk up and down the stairs (I think this is a requirement because the school is on two levels and the children have to be able to handle the stairs).
2. Fine-motor skills – create a pattern with a mosaic board with pins, e.g. a flower.
3. Create a structure with wooden blocks.
4. Write your name.
5. Write numbers, e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6…
6. Draw a picture, e.g. a person.
7. Read out the numbers, e.g. 12, 15, 18, 20.
8. Label the shapes. He was given a laminated sheet with pictures of shapes and asked what shapes he could recognise, e.g. circle, square, oval, crescent, etc.
9. Colour matching. He was given another laminated sheet with coloured squares and some coloured squares that he had to match to the coloured squares on the sheet.
10. Reading. Gavin was invited to select a book and read from it. He read it cover to cover and she asked him a few questions about the story.
This was the reception assessment. I don’t think the children need to be able to read because I got the sense that the teacher looked surprised when Gavin read the instructions to one of the activities. I explained that he could read so perhaps that might be why she asked him to read the book to her. I think the book reading exercise is more a comprehension test. For example, “Why do you think that was a silly way to hide?” Because he only hid his face and you can still see his body.
And that was it. Pretty painless.