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A secondary school education is the next milestone in your son or daughter’s journey. It is here that they will flourish into independent learners, build upon essential life-skills and refine their higher education aspirations. With so many things to consider, what should you focus on when reviewing the secondary schools options?

A broad curriculum

Curriculums can vary from school to school, some may offer subjects that others do not. Therefore if your son or daughter has a specific career route in mind or a strong personal interest in a subject then make sure you consider where the relevant qualifications are available.

Independent schools such as Trent are not confined by the National Curriculum. It is used as a guide but the teachers have the flexibility to expand on this and enhance the relevance of the subject to further benefit pupils.


By now your son or daughter is likely to have defined passions or areas of curiosity, therefore ensure that their secondary school has the ability to cater and nurture this interest. For example, if your child has a musical flair, assess the facilities and teaching abilities of the music department and look out for inspirational roles models within the school community. There should also be opportunities for your child to excel, such as recitals and performances or the chance to represent the school at large scale competitions.

Extra opportunities

At Trent, we believe it is crucial to balance academic results with physical, creative, spiritual and emotional development in order to prepare pupils for successful lives beyond school. Examples of this include; the Duke of Edinburgh programme, fundraising activities and trips and expeditions. For many students at this age, they experience a great sense of pride when “giving back” to the community and as a result their outlook and perceptions change.

Schools that offer a varied programme of clubs and activities are likely to facilitate strong friendships amongst the pupils as likeminded students are brought together over a shared cause.

Individual care

A school with a strong pastoral care system supports students throughout their personal, wellbeing and academic journeys. It is not by any means a standalone role in the school, instead it requires engagement and input from tutors, Heads of Tiers, Heads of Years as well as a welfare team, which for Trent incudes a School Counsellor, School Nurse, Head of Learning Support, Chaplain, Safeguarding Lead, Head of PSHE and Deputy Head of Pastoral. It is because of this network that a high level of care can be provided to each student.

Preparation for the future

It is important for students entering the secondary school environment to feel informed and inspired about what lies ahead. Career talks from visiting speakers offer the perfect opportunity for pupils to develop their understanding of different industries and job roles.

At Trent, there is a dedicated Careers Hub and team who regularly interact with students from all year groups to help identify their next steps. There are frequent speakers, workshops and events hosted by the team in order to bring career ideas to life.

What’s next?

The best way to get a true feel for a school and assess if the school will meet your family’s need is to visit in person. A tour at Trent is a great way to see the school in action and involves informal visits to classrooms and facilities to see our pupils at work. Make a conscious effort to observe how pupils and staff interact and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Speak to teachers and students alike for their insight into the school. To arrange a visit please contact our Admissions Manager, Mrs Helen Pearce- McNeill on 0115 849 4950 or email 

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Trent College, Derby Road, Long Eaton, Nottingham,
NG10 4AD United Kingdom

PHONE: 0115 849 4949

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