If you would like to propose your child for a scholarship please get directly in touch with the Registrar to organise an assessment at the school. Scholarships do come with some financial benefits (5-10%) but they are primarily a recognition of a child’s capabilities academically, in sport, music, the arts or all round.
Pembroke is also part of the Beacon Scholarship programme. The vision for the Beacon Scholarship is to provide access to local world-class schools for talented Kenyan children who in the future will have the confidence and ability to become leaders in their chosen fields. The scholarship has the added benefit of carrying on with the next school that a child moves on to (provided they continue to meet the financial and performance criteria).
Below you will find some interesting perspectives on Scholarships both for prep school and for your child’s next school. This has been written by our scholarship specialist.
Increasingly, more and more parents are looking at the ‘scholarship’ route for their children. Nearly all schools offer some form of scholarship and the details are always on their website. Sadly, nowadays, scholarships are seen more for their status than any monetary value, and most awards are for a nominal 10%. There are still some schools that offer more, but the days of 100% or even 50% awards are long gone.
So why do parents and children want scholarships? The most important reason is for the status and honour within the school. Scholars are regarded highly by the whole community and names are recorded on boards for posterity. Scholarships are usually reviewed annually and can be removed if the pupil is not fulfilling expectations.
There are many types of scholarship available. First of all there is the ‘original’ award – the Academic Scholarship. This is very much for the best candidates academically throughout all prep schools. The syllabus will be more advanced and a more mature style of questioning and answering will be expected. The assessment or examination will either be set by the destination school or some senior schools now follow CASE (the Common Academic Scholarship Exam) In all cases past papers will be available to help with preparation. With Senior Schools, Candidates are usually expected to sit these exams and have interviews whilst they are there.
Next are the Sports Awards. These are popular and there can be a strong field. Good all-round sporting ability is required and most applicants are outstanding in more than one major sport.
However, it is potential that schools are looking for and candidates will be tested on general skills rather than specialist abilities. A reference from the Head of Sport compliments this, but in general candidates are ‘examined’ at their destination schools. All-rounder awards are very much in demand and highly prized. A good reference is essential, to-gether with a good spread of ability, together with specialism in one or two areas. Academically the papers set are be-tween CE and Scholarship. Other scholarships are available for Music, Art, Drama and others. These are usually a smaller more elite field and candidates need to be exceptional in their area of expertise.
Each school has their own way of distributing scholarships and funds. Some will have a set number each year, some will only award on merit, In the former,which is the majority of schools, there is therefore a bit of a lottery. Some years there will be a strong field, or many candidates, others it might be fewer applicants or an easier field. There are just no guarantees.
Senior Schools rely heavily on a good relationship with the prep schools. A reference written by the Head of a prep school that has sent candidates previously, or who has a good reputation with similar schools, is valued very highly. Prep schools with experience of former candidates are also in a position to prepare the current crop more thoroughly and to be able to judge realistically about their chances. Experience is invaluable!
But now for a very important word of caution. Scholarships by their very nature are for the very best, the elite, amongst all the entrants for a secondary school, and when parents are considering this route they must ask themselves whether their child really is amongst the top 10% say at the very least.’ Scholarships are not given out lightly and will involve much hard work from the candidates both in and out of school. Nothing ventured, nothing gained’ is quite true, but do fol-low the advice of your current Head to avoid unnecessary disappointment I dobelieve that many parents muddle up scholarships and bursaries. A bursary is purely means-tested and does not reflect ability (although a glowing reference al-ways helps!) whereas a scholarship is competed for. When a parent says ‘I need a scholarship for my son/daughter they quite often mean ‘I need financial support’. In this case it is the bursarial route they should most likely follow.
A recent development that helps both the junior and senior school assess academic potential has been the introduction of on-line CAT testing. These are similar to the old IQ tests and are regarded as a reliable indicator. The actual scores usually remain confidential but guidance based on the results can be very beneficial.
The ‘scholarship route’ can be a mine-field. However, if your child has ability, I urge you to forge ahead. Although the end-result may leave much to chance, a positive end-result leaves parents, and the junior school incredibly proud.