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Highsted Grammar School 11 plus: 2024 entry guide

By Atom | Mar 7, 2023, 10:02 AM

Highsted Grammar School, Kent

Are you considering Highsted Grammar School for your child? We've collated everything you need to know about entry in 2024. Keep reading to find out about key dates, how to register, what's on the Kent Test and how to help your child excel.

About Highsted Grammar School

Highsted Grammar School is a selective state school for girls, with a mixed sixth form, established in 1904 in Sittingbourne, Kent. The school has specialist status in science and sponsorship from Microsoft. Emphasis is placed on personalisation, proactive mentoring and pastoral care with the aim of liberating young women and developing self-starters.

The school aims for its students to develop their own passion for learning and has introduced a 'super-curriculum' across Key Stages 3, 4 and 5, where students are encouraged to pick activities from their favourite subjects to continue learning at home.

Highsted Grammar School is considered 'outstanding' by Ofsted and was featured in Her Majesty's Chief Inspectors' list of outstanding schools.

  • Address: Highsted Grammar School, Highsted Road, Sittingbourne, Kent ME10 4PT

  • Local authority: Kent County Council

  • School type: girls' grammar with mixed sixth form

  • Headteacher: Anne Kelly

  • Number of pupils: 850+

Key info for Year 7 admissions

  • Admissions contact: [email protected], 01795 424223

  • Number of places in Year 7: 150

  • Information evening: Thursday 22nd June 2023

  • 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

  • 11 plus exam type: The Kent Test and optional Highsted Test

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

  • National school offer day: 1st March 2024

Highsted Grammar School term dates

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

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

  • Half term: 23rd–27th October 2023

  • Spring term: 3rd 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 Highsted Grammar School

1. Register for the Kent Test

Highsted 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 looked after or previously looked after, or eligible for the pupil premium, 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 can be downloaded from the school website.

The Highsted Test

Highsted Grammar School also holds its own optional bespoke test, which can be taken in addition to the Kent Test. Girls who pass the Highsted Test will have equal status for a place in Year 7 as a pass in the Kent Test.

If you would like your daughter to take this additional test, you will need to register between 1st June 2023 and 3rd July 2023. The registration form will be available from the school office or to download from the school website

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 Highsted Grammar School as one of your preferred schools on your common application form.

Before listing Highsted 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?

All girls who are applying for a place in Year 7 at Highsted 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

What's on the Highsted Test?

The Highsted Test is an optional exam taken in addition to the Kent Test. This exam will take place at the school on Saturday 9th September 2023 and will comprise of:

  • Verbal ability, non-verbal reasoning and numerical reasoning (computer-based assessment)

  • English reading and writing (written paper – not multiple-choice)

You may find the following resources helpful:

What is the pass mark for Highsted Grammar School?

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.

The pass mark for the Highsted Test cannot be set in advance as it depends on the range of results that children achieve on the tests. As a guide, the children with the highest marks – within the top 25% of the cohort – will usually be successful.

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 Highsted Grammar School below.

Highsted Grammar School admission criteria

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

If the number of children who have qualified for a place at Highsted Grammar School exceeds the number of places available, the school will prioritise places in the following order:

  1. Looked after and previously looked after children

  2. Children in receipt of pupil premium who live in the postcode areas ME9, ME10, ME11, ME12

  3. Children with a sibling currently attending Highsted Grammar School

  4. Nearness of the child's home to the school, measured in a straight line distance

Highsted Grammar School catchment area

Highsted Grammar School welcomes applications from children living in all areas. However, girls who live within the postcodes ME9, ME10, ME11 and ME12 will be prioritised for a place at the school.

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.

Test your knowledge

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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.

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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.

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