Back to blog

Cranbrook School 11 plus: 2024 entry guide

By Atom | Mar 7, 2023, 9:43 AM

Cranbrook School, Kent

Are you considering registering your child for Year 7 entry to Cranbrook School? We've collated everything you need to know, including how to apply, the subjects covered on the Kent Test and how to help your child prepare.

About Cranbrook School

Cranbrook School is a historic grammar school founded in 1518 in the Kent countryside. It educates boys and girls aged 11 to 18 and, unusually for a state school, offers boarding (Year 9 and above). The cost of boarding at Cranbrook School is significantly cheaper than local independent schools.

The school is rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, and offers a wide range of extracurricular activities as well as excellent teaching. Academic results are consistently among the best for state schools in the UK, and many leavers go on to study degrees at Oxbridge and other Russell Group universities.

  • Address: Cranbrook School, Waterloo Road, Cranbrook, Kent, TN17 3JD

  • Local authority: Kent County Council

  • School type: mixed grammar

  • Headteacher: Will Chuter

  • Number of pupils: 800+

  • National rank (Sunday Times Parent Power): 179

  • A level results: 69.4% A*–B

  • GCSE results: 62% A*/A/9/8/7

Key info for Year 7 admissions

  • Admissions contact: [email protected], 01580 711805

  • Number of places in Year 7: 90

  • Open day date: Wednesday 21st June 2023 (morning), Wednesday 13th September 2023 (evening), Wednesday 20th September 2023 (morning) and Tuesday 10th October 2023 (morning)

  • 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

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

  • National school offer day: 1st March 2024

Cranbrook School term dates

The 2023–2024 term dates at Cranbrook School are:

  • Autumn term: 4th September – 15th December 2023

  • Half term: 14th–29th October 2023

  • Spring term: 4th January – 27th March 2024

  • Half term: 9th–18th February 2024

  • Summer term: 16th April – 17th July 2024

  • Half term: 25th May – 2nd June 2024

How to apply to Cranbrook School

1. Register for the Kent Test

Cranbrook 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.

If your child is looked after or previously looked after, or eligible for the pupil premium, they may be prioritised for places under the school's admission criteria. You should complete a supplementary information form (SIF) (available to download from the school website) to indicate this.

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 a grammar school place. You can then name Cranbrook School as one of your preferred schools on your common application form.

Before listing Cranbrook 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 a place in Year 7 at Cranbrook 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

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, this can vary each year and depends on the overall success of the year group. The following scores were the lowest scores for which children were offered places at Cranbrook School in the last 6 years:

  • 2022: 354

  • 2021: 365

  • 2020: 354

  • 2019: 334

  • 2018: 329

  • 2017: 346

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 Cranbrook School below.

Cranbrook School admission criteria

Cranbrook School has 90 places available in Year 7. Children with an Educational Health and Care Plan who have passed the Kent Test and who have named Cranbrook School as a preference on the CAF will always be allocated a place first, and the number of places available will be reduced accordingly.

All other children who are eligible for a place will then be ranked in the following priority order until the number of places have been filled:

  1. Looked after children and previously looked after children

  2. Children who are entitled to pupil premium and live within the catchment area

  3. Children who have a medical, health, social or special access reason to attend the school and who live within the catchment area

  4. Children who live within the catchment area and who have a sibling currently at the school

  5. Children who have a parent currently employed by the school

  6. Children living outside the priority area, prioritised in order of their score in the Kent Test

You will find out if your child has been offered a place at the school on 1st March 2024.

Cranbrook School catchment area

The catchment area (also referred to as the 'priority area') for Cranbrook School covers the civil parishes of Cranbrook, Sissinghurst, Goudhurst, Staplehurst, Frittenden, Benenden, Sandhurst and Hawkhurst. It also covers any home which is not within these civil parishes, but within 8.5km (5.28 miles) of the school, measured by a straight line.

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 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.