Braeside School in Buckhurst Hill and Normanhurst School in North Chingford are both thriving schools that cater for children aged 2½ to 16 in the Epping Forest area. They make up half of the privately-owned Oak-Tree Group of independent schools and provide an excellent education at 11+.
It is unusual to find a small local school that takes children from 2½ up to GCSE level at age 16 in an academic, nurturing environment, but the Oak-Tree Group contains two! All-through education comes with many benefits. Both provide the opportunity for continuity of education from juniors to seniors with smaller class sizes and more personalised learning programmes tailor-made to the children’s individual needs. Although many pupils transition from Year 6 to Year 7 internally, there are also a number of places available for external pupils to join these popular schools at Year 7 and become a part of the busy, yet caring environment.
A Bustling, Busy Environment
Life as an Oak-Tree Senior is busy, but pupils across the group would not have it any other way. When they are not sitting in lessons, they are off on trips to the like of Tottenham Hotspur Football Stadium, the Globe Theatre or Stansted Mountfitchet Castle. Many will spend their lunch breaks in the music rooms practising flute, guitar, drums or one of the many other instruments the schools offer lessons in. They put on a range of productions throughout the year, including festive Christmas carol concerts, school plays or even acapella performances. Pupils stay after school, attend sports fixtures or academic catch-up sessions and attend a range of extra-curricular clubs. During school holidays, many pupils have the opportunity to attend residential trips, such as the international skiing or sporting tours.
GCSE results at both schools were extremely impressive this year, despite such a disrupted lead up.
Braeside School was full of smiling faces at their GCSE results day. 100% of grades achieved were at grade 5 or above and 66% of grades were 7-9. Once again, the pupils achieved superbly in Sciences with 100% passes in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Other subjects with 100% passes including Maths, English Language, English Literature, French, History, French, Drama, Computer Science, Religious Studies and Spanish.
At Normanhurst School, pupils celebrated with 96% of grades achieved at grade 4 or above, equivalent to a previous grade C or higher, with 62% at grades 7-9, equivalent to the previous grades A*or A. Pupils achieved particularly well in Maths, Combined Sciences, Geography and the creative and performing arts with 100% passes in English, Art, Business Studies, individual sciences, Computer science, French, Graphics, History, Spanish, Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
Life After GCSEs
Pupils are well prepared for life after Oak-Tree. The schools offer aptitude tests in Year 10, as well as careers talks and work experience. Year 11 pupils are given mock Sixth Form interviews with extensive feedback and attend Sixth Form information evenings, which both parents and pupils attend. Teachers prepare a detailed reference for each pupil, which lists their academic achievements and their contributions to life at the school. Every year pupils are successful in their applications to a number of popular schools, both independent and state, and some gain scholarships.
11+ Entrance Exams are held at both Braeside and Normanhurst on Tuesday 18 January with 13+ Exams held on Wednesday 9 March. Girls who sit the 11+ or 13+ examinations can be considered for a place at both Braeside and Normanhurst.
Register to sit the exam on the schools’ website.
Braeside School, Buckhurst Hill
Normanhurst School, North Chingford