Back to blog

Borden Grammar School 11 plus: 2024 entry guide

By Atom | Mar 7, 2023, 9:33 AM

Borden Grammar School, Kent

Are you thinking about registering your child for Year 7 entry to Borden Grammar School? Find out everything you need to know in this guide for parents, including key dates, the admissions process and what's tested in the 11 plus exam.

About Borden Grammar School

Borden Grammar School is a selective state school in Sittingbourne, Kent. It's boys-only for children aged 11 to 16 and has a mixed sixth form. The school prides itself on its students who are described as honest, friendly and proud, taught by teachers who have the necessary expertise to stretch, support and challenge.

Ofsted has consistently rated Borden as ‘good’, most recently in November 2021, when it identified the quality of the school’s teachers as a particular strength. The school also has an excellent reputation for its pastoral care of pupils.

  • Address: Borden Grammar School, Avenue of Remembrance, Sittingbourne, ME10 4DB

  • Local authority: Kent County Council

  • School type: boys' grammar with a mixed sixth form

  • Headteacher: Ashley Tomlin

  • Number of pupils: 800+

  • National rank (Sunday Times Parent Power): 362

  • A level results: 54% A*–B

  • GCSE results: 43% A*/A/9/8/7

Key info for Year 7 admissions

  • Admissions contact: [email protected], 01795 424192

  • Number of places in Year 7: 150

  • Open day date: June and October

  • 11 plus registration opens: Thursday 1st June 2023

  • 11 plus registration closes: Monday 3rd July 2023 at midnight

  • 11 plus exam date: Thursday 7th September 2023

  • Exam type: The Kent Test and optional Borden Test

  • Common application form (CAF) deadline: 31st October 2023

  • National school offer day: 1st March 2024

Borden Grammar School term dates

The term dates for 2023–2024 at Borden Grammar School are:

  • Autumn term: 1st September – 15th December 2023

  • Half term: 23rd–27th October 2023

  • Spring term: 2nd January – 28th March 2024

  • Half term: 12th–16th February 2024

  • Summer term: 15th April – 23rd July 2024

  • Half term: 27th–31st May 2024

How to apply to Borden Grammar School

1. Register for the Kent Test

Borden Grammar School uses the Kent Test to select pupils for entry in Year 7. The Kent Test is an 11 plus exam taken by 32 grammar schools in the county.

Registration for the Kent Test will open on Thursday 1st June 2023 and close on Monday 3rd July 2023 at midnight. You will be able to complete your child's registration on the Kent County Council website. If you are also considering grammar schools in Medway, you will need to register separately because these schools do not use the Kent Test.

Supplementary information form

Children who are eligible for the pupil premium, or in receipt of free school meals, may be prioritised for places under the school's admission criteria. If your child falls into one of these categories, you should complete a supplementary information form (SIF) to indicate this. The supplementary information form is available to download from the school website.

The Borden Test

You can also choose for your child to take the optional Borden Test. The advantage of taking this test in addition to the Kent Test is that if your son is a 'near miss' in the Kent Test but does well in the Borden Test, he may be accepted by Borden Grammar School without having to wait for the appeals process in the spring.

If you would like your child to take the Borden Test, you will need to complete the registration form on the school website. The application window will follow the same registration deadline as the Kent Test.

2. Apply for a school place

You will receive your child's results in the Kent Test after 4pm on Wednesday 18th October 2023. If your child has achieved the pass mark in the exam, they will be eligible for grammar school place. You can then name Borden Grammar School as one of your preferred schools on your common application form.

Before listing Borden Grammar School as a preference on your form, check its admissions policy and make sure your child is eligible. Passing the Kent Test will not be a guarantee of a place as more children reach the qualifying standard each year than there are places available.

The application form must be submitted to your home local council by 31st October 2023. The form must be completed for your home local authority – i.e. if you live in Kent you will need to complete the form on the Kent County Council website. If you live in a different local authority, make sure to apply through the relevant website for that council.

What's on the Kent Test?

Children applying for Year 7 entry to Borden Grammar School will take the Kent Test on Thursday 7th September 2023. If your child attends a primary school outside of Kent, they will take the test on the weekend of the 9th September 2023.

The Kent Test consists of two papers. Both papers take around one hour to complete and consist of multiple-choice questions.

  1. English and maths

  2. Verbal and non-verbal reasoning

Children taking the Kent Test also complete a creative writing exercise. This isn’t formally marked and doesn’t form part of the total scores, but it may be used by a local headteacher panel in borderline cases or in an appeal. 40 minutes will be allowed for the writing task, including 10 minutes of planning time.

Find out more in our comprehensive guide to the Kent Test and access free 11 plus resources to help your child prepare.

The Kent Test: 11 plus guide

The Borden Test

The Borden Test is an optional exam, also taken in September. Children who take the Borden Test will take two main papers:

  • Verbal, non-verbal and numerical reasoning: a multiple-choice paper, split into three sections, which will assess your child's ability to analyse written and visual information, identify patterns and rules, and apply logic to solve problems.

  • English reading and writing skills: a written paper which will assess children's skills in reading comprehension and creative writing in further depth.

What is the pass mark for the Kent Test?

Your child will receive four scores on the Kent Test. The results from the English, maths and reasoning sections will all be age-standardised to produce three separate scores, in addition to one overall (aggregate) score.

Children typically need a total score of 332 or more out of the total 423, with no single score lower than 108, to be eligible for a place at a grammar school in Kent.

However, achieving a particular score doesn't guarantee a place at a grammar school, as schools are usually oversubscribed with qualified candidates. We always recommend researching the admission policies for your target schools, looking at their oversubscription criteria and their catchment area. We've included the admission criteria for Borden Grammar School below.

Borden Grammar School admission criteria

The total number of places available in Year 7 at Borden Grammar School is 150. Before applying any oversubscription criteria, children with a Statement of Special Educational Need (SSEN) or an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) who name Borden Grammar School will be allocated a place and the number of available places will be reduced accordingly.

If the number of children who have listed Borden Grammar School as their preferred school is greater than the remaining number of places available, the following criteria will be used in order to prioritise candidates:

  1. Looked After Children and previously Looked After Children

  2. Up to 15% of places are reserved for children in postcodes ME9, ME10, ME11 and ME12 who have been eligible for Free School Meals during Years 3–6

  3. Children with a sibling (who they live with) currently attending the school

  4. Children with medical, health, social and special access reasons

  5. Children living within the school catchment area

Borden Grammar School catchment area

Borden Grammar School operates a catchment area to prioritise children who live closer to the school. This is referred to as the 'traditional school areas':

  • Postcode areas ME9, ME10, ME11 and ME12. These areas are prioritised

  • Postcode areas ME8 and ME13

How to help your child prepare for the 11 plus

Here are our top tips on how to best prepare your child for the Kent Test.

Cover all the content

The 11 plus assesses a large breadth and depth of learning objectives across the Key Stage 2 national curriculum and beyond.

We recommend that your child starts revising content at least one year before the test. Setting aside study periods using a 'little and often' approach will give them time to build the skills and knowledge they need. When preparing, avoid falling into the trap of over-focusing on either the topics your child enjoys or the topics they find hardest.

Atom Nucleus is an 11 plus online course that tailors your child's personalised learning journey to cover all elements of the Kent Test at the right pace for them.

No surprises

Your child will encounter lots of unfamiliar types of questions in the 11 plus exam. Building exam technique with 11 plus test papers will help your child to feel fully confident with the styles of questions they'll encounter in the exam, reducing the potential for stress on the day.

Celebrate their progress

Setting regular goals and celebrating achievements will help keep motivation high. Atom Nucleus offers data-driven insights into your child’s progress towards mastering the 11 plus curriculum, making it easy to see where they need to focus next.

See how our learning platform works

Try answering some 11+ questions

Let's go!

Personalised 11 plus prep for your child

Wondering how to make sure your child covers the depth and breadth of the entire 11 plus curriculum, stays on track with their progress, and gets help when they're stuck? Online learning is a particularly efficient, cost-effective (and fun) way to do this!

Atom Nucleus is the award-winning online 11 plus practice platform that gives your child everything they need to prepare for grammar school exams.

Children work independently through over 90,000 interactive practice questions in English, maths and reasoning. Teacher-created helpsheets and videos help them discover new concepts and consolidate their learning.

Atom's algorithm keeps children on their ideal learning path, tailored to their unique learning style and pace to keep them challenged and motivated.

Kent Test 11 plus practice papers

Atom Nucleus gives children access to online 11 plus practice papers. Our online tests are designed to mirror the format and style of the real Kent Test, so your child will go into the exam knowing exactly what to expect.

And what's more, everything is automatically marked for you.

Try Atom Nucleus free for 5 days

Begin your child's journey to Borden Grammar School today. Use the full features of Atom Nucleus free for 5 days – cancel anytime.

Start free trial

Personalised 11 plus support for you

We know how keen you are for your child to do well in the 11 plus, to give them every chance of securing a place at their school of choice. Our dedicated team of Education Experts are on hand to support you and your family every step of the way:

Ask us anything

We're happy to help with any questions you may have about admissions processes and helping your child prepare for entry to Kent grammar schools.

Email us

Exam prep WhatsApp groups

Why not join over 2,000 parents in our community WhatsApp groups? You’ll get access to free resources, advice and admissions updates.

Join today

Subscribe for the latest education advice

Subscribe to Atom’s mailing list and get free resources to help your child master core subjects, excel in their entrance exams and build academic confidence.

Get exclusive discounts for Atom Nucleus, invitations to parent webinars, and much more, direct to your inbox.

Subscribe now

Atom Learning Ltd. is registered and incorporated in England and Wales. Company Registration Number: 10867907 VAT number: 316903508 Copyright Atom Learning Ltd. All rights reserved.