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Holcombe Grammar School 11 plus: a parents' guide for 2023

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Holcombe Grammar School: a parents' guide for 2023

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Holcombe Grammar School is a selective boys’ academy in Medway, Kent, established in 1817 for ages 11-18. Their most recent Ofsted rating (2018) was ‘Good’, with pupils' progress and attainment well above national averages.

Holcombe Grammar School splits students into four houses named after ships built at Chatham Dockyard, close to the campus. The Thinking Schools Academy Trust sponsors Holcombe Grammar School, and it is part of a family of local schools. There are currently 16 academies in the Trust covering Kent and Portsmouth.

Holcombe Grammar School may become co-educational from 2024, under plans put forward by Medway Council. The proposed changes mean that 5% more children who pass the Medway Test could get a place at a grammar school in the area, resulting in a more equal split of boys and girls' places. The plans for this are still in progress.

11 plus information for Holcombe Grammar School

  • Address: Holcombe, Letchworth Avenue, Chatham, Kent, ME4 6JB

  • County: Kent

  • Admissions contact: [email protected], 01634 830 083

  • School type: academy

  • Number of pupils: 960 (approximately)

  • Number of places in Year 7: 120

  • Open day date: October

  • 11 plus exam dates: mid-September

  • Exam board type: Medway Test

Holcombe Grammar School term dates

Holcombe Grammar School's term dates for 2023–24 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 – 19th July 2024

  • Half term: 27th–31st May 2024

Admissions process for Holcombe Grammar School

Holcombe Grammar School uses the Medway admission criteria to determine which pupils are eligible for a place. If places are oversubscribed, priority is given to students who have an older sibling at Holcombe Grammar School, children of staff at Holcombe Grammar School, and children who attend a Thinking Schools' Academy Trust Medway primary school. Holcombe Grammar School has a catchment area based on location and distance from the school.

Open days for Holcombe Grammar School are in October, which allows both parents and potential pupils to learn more about the admissions process and see the school and facilities.

How to apply for Holcombe Grammar School

To apply to Holcombe Grammar School for Boys, parents need to complete the common application form (CAF), which you can get from the Medway Local Authority. Parents looking to apply from schools outside the Medway Local Authority should apply by using the form provided by the Local Authority where they live.

Holcombe Grammar School uses the Medway 11 plus to assess potential students. Your child can take the Medway Test whether they live in Medway or not. Students can sit the test at their school if they go to a Medway school, or at a Medway Test centre.

When is the Holcombe Grammar School 11 plus exam taken?

Registration for the Medway Test opens and closes in June. The test takes place on various dates in September, depending on whether you live in Medway or not, with results issued in October. Holcombe Grammar School sends out offers for potential students the following March.

Join Atom's free specialist grammar school preparation webinars, and learn how to structure the next few months to maximise your child's progress:

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The Holcombe Grammar School 11 plus exam format

The Holcombe Grammar School 11 plus consists of a verbal reasoning test, a maths test and an extended writing test. The verbal reasoning and maths tests last 50 minutes, each being multiple-choice. The English test is usually a 50-minute essay with 10 minutes of planning time.

You can learn more about the format and content of the Medway Test here.

How to prepare for the Holcombe Grammar 11 plus

It's best to start preparing as early as possible for the Holcombe Grammar School 11 plus to give your son the maximum amount of time to master all the material before the exam. A good way to prepare for the Holcombe Grammar School 11 plus is to practice as many questions as possible in the format of the GL Assessment exams. Carrying out mock tests helps students practice answering questions under pressure and improve their exam technique and time management.

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Atom Nucleus is the UK's leading online learning and exam prep platform, designed to help your child build academic confidence and succeed in the 11 plus. As a subscriber, you'll get access to:

  • Over 90,000 interactive questions in Key Stage 2 English, maths, science, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning

  • Unlimited online practice papers that replicate the 11 plus, including tests set by GL Assessment

  • Daily live lessons and revision programmes with engaging teachers to help your child master key topics and revise efficiently

  • Automatic progress-tracking so you can see how your child is performing compared to their peers

  • Access to expert advice from education specialists, with ongoing parent webinars and WhatsApp groups for your child’s cohort

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