By Atom | Jan 23, 2024, 3:05 PM
Thinking about applying to Holcombe Grammar School for entry in 2025? Find out everything you need to know about admissions and how to prepare your child for success in the 11 plus.
11+ registration opens: Monday 20th May 2024
11+ registration closes: Friday 14th June 2024
11+ exam date: 17th–22nd September 2024
11+ results released: Tuesday 8th October 2024
Secondary school application deadline: 31st October 2024
School allocations: 3rd March 2025
Holcombe Grammar School is a boys' grammar school with a mixed sixth form in Medway, Kent. The University of Exeter awarded the school 'Advanced Thinking School status' in 2022. This recognises the school's commitment to helping students develop successful habits and become life-long learners.
The curriculum at Holcombe Grammar School is designed to challenge and inspire students. As well as traditional subjects, the curriculum caters to less conventional interests. GCSE and A level options include astronomy, creative iMedia, criminology, and financial studies.
A proposal by Medway Council has been put forward for the school to accept girls into Year 7 from 2025. This is to provide a more equal balance of the number of grammar school places available to boys and girls in the area.
Holcombe Grammar School is a selective school. This means that your child will need to take the local 11 plus exam, known as the Medway Test, to be eligible for a place.
The deadline to register for the 11 plus exam at Holcombe Grammar School is Monday 20th May 2024. If your child goes to a Medway primary school, they will take the test at their current school on Tuesday 17th or Wednesday 18th September. If your child does not go to a Medway primary school, they’ll be invited to take the exam at a test centre in the area on Saturday 21st or Sunday 22nd September.
You’ll receive your child’s results on Tuesday 8th October 2024. You can then use these results to decide whether to apply for a place at Holcombe Grammar School.
To apply, you’ll need to name the school as one of your preferred schools on the secondary school common application form. This will be available on your home council website from early September and must be submitted by 31st October.
Remember – passing the 11 plus doesn’t guarantee that your child will be allocated a place at your preferred school. Many grammar schools are often oversubscribed with qualified children. Schools and their admissions authorities work through admissions criteria to prioritise children for places. We’ve included the admissions criteria for Holcombe Grammar School below.
Children applying to Holcombe Grammar School take an exam known as the Medway Test. The exam papers are supplied by GL Assessment.
The Medway Test consists of three papers:
Find out everything you need to know in our complete guide to the Medway Test. Plus, get access to free 11 plus resources to help your child feel confident for their exam!
The Medway Test is designed to identify the children working within the top 25% of their year group. This means that a pass mark can't be determined until after the tests have been marked and the scores ranked in order. However, in the last four years, the pass mark has been between 480 and 490.
If the number of children who have met the qualifying standard for entry to the school exceeds the number of places available, the school applies oversubscription criteria. Children are prioritised for places in the following order:
Children in public care or previously in public care ('looked after' or 'previously looked after' children)
Children who have a sibling attending Holcombe Grammar School
Children who attend any of the following primary schools in the Thinking Schools' Academy Trust: The Gordon Children's Academy, New Horizons Children's Academy, All Faiths Children's Academy, and Cedar Children's Academy
Children of staff employed by Holcombe Grammar School
Children who have written medical evidence which demonstrates a specific health reason to attend the school
Children who live closest to the school, based on the shortest distance between the school and their home address
Holcombe Grammar School doesn't have a catchment area. However, children who live closer to the school receive priority for places. This distance is measured based on the shortest available safe walking route between the child's home and the school.
The 11 plus is designed to select the most academically-able children in the country. Here are our top tips to help you and your child feel confident for exam day!
It’s important to build a good knowledge base before the 11 plus. Using a ‘little and often’ approach when learning is key – our brains encode new information more effectively when dealing with smaller ‘chunks’ of information. For children aged 10–11, child psychologists recommend regular study sessions of 20–30 minutes.
Atom Home makes learning a more enjoyable process for your child. They'll explore exciting worlds full of interactive questions, earning coins to spend in the Atom shop. Atom's adaptive algorithm fits to your child, showing them questions at just the right level of difficulty to keep them motivated.
11 plus exams test your child’s ability to analyse and interpret written information. Regular reading is a great way to help your child build these skills.
Encourage them to read books from different genres and by a diverse range of authors. Increasing the variety of your child’s reading will help them understand different styles, tones and purposes. Meanwhile, reading a little every day will help widen their vocabulary, sharpen their analytical thinking, and enhance their imagination.
When your child feels confident with the topics they’ve learnt in Year 5, they’ll be ready to put their knowledge to the test.
Practice tests can help your child develop problem-solving skills and build confidence working under test conditions. They’re also a great way to consolidate learning and highlight knowledge gaps for further improvement.
With Atom Home, you'll unlock online mock tests and printable practice papers. Enjoy automatic marking and progress tracking with the online tests, and help your child get familiar with the real exam experience with printable practice papers.
Setting regular, achievable goals and celebrating your child’s progress – no matter how big or small – will help keep their motivation high.
Make sure to encourage a growth mindset. This means celebrating effort, as well as achievement! When your child makes mistakes or struggles to understand a particular topic, help them understand that they have the ability to improve through practice. Regular praise will help your child improve their resilience when tackling new and challenging topics.
Wish you could give your child a roadmap to success in the Medway Test? You can. Atom Home has everything you need to get prepared, in one package.
You don't need a tutor to get into your top-choice grammar school. You just need Atom. We’ll create a tailored plan for your child and support them along their fun revision journey.
Online and printable 11 plus practice papers
90,000+ adaptive questions
500+ hours of on-demand video lessons
Automatic marking and instant progress data