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Sevenoaks School: 11 plus entry guide

By Atom | May 31, 2023, 9:27 AM

Sevenoaks School, Kent

Are you considering Sevenoaks School for your child? We've collated everything you need to know about entry to Year 7, including key dates and what's covered on the entrance exam.

About Sevenoaks School

Sevenoaks School, founded in 1432, is a private day and boarding school for children aged 11–18. It occupies a 100-acre campus in the town of Sevenoaks in Kent, only 30 minutes from Central London and London Gatwick airport. The school has a global outlook and its student body is a cosmopolitan mix of approximately 46 nationalities. It has twice been named the Sunday Times Independent School of the Year (2008 and 2018) and is ranked within the top 10 private schools in the UK.

Sevenoaks School welcomes pupils who are looking for a ‘rigorous, rewarding and supportive education’. It was the first traditional British school to adopt the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB), offering students the opportunity to develop intellectual curiosity, creativity, compassion, and skills for life. In 2022, the average IB score was 40.3 points – 8 points above the global average.

Students at Sevenoaks have access to an extensive range of co-curricular activities including music, sport, art, drama, the Combined Cadet Force (CCF), the Duke of Edinburgh Award, and numerous clubs and expeditions. Pupils are encouraged to be socially responsible citizens and all students get involved in service activities in the local community. Typical activities include visiting the elderly, working with local primary schools, and engaging in environmental projects.

  • Headteacher: Jesse Elzinga

  • School type: private day and boarding

  • Address: Sevenoaks School, High Street, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 1HU

  • County: Kent

  • Age range and gender: 11–18, boys and girls

  • Number of pupils: 1,150+

  • National league table rank (Sunday Times Parent Power):

  • IB results: 98.7.% Higher Level 7, 6 and 5

  • GCSE results: 96% 9–7

Key info for Year 7 admissions

  • Admissions contact: Olivia Power – [email protected], 01732 467703

  • Open day: throughout the year – find out more and book a place

  • Overview of selection process: entrance exam, group discussion, school report and reference

  • Registration deadline: 1st September 2023

  • Assessment date: Wednesday 3rd January 2024

Sevenoaks School fees and financial assistance

The fees at Sevenoaks School in 2022–2023 are £8,907 per term for day pupils, and £14,307 per term for boarding pupils. Boarding is available for students aged 13–18.

Financial assistance

Sevenoaks School is committed to providing financial assistance to children who would not normally be able to benefit from the school’s education. There are currently more than 60 pupils at the school receiving financial assistance with their fees and all awards are means-tested.

Priority is given to families living within a reasonable daily commute to the school, meaning that financial assistance is only given to day pupils. Eligible families can receive up to 110% of the day fees, which includes funds to cover trips, uniform and other extras alongside daily tuition. For more details about financial assistance at Sevenoaks, contact the Assistant Director of Admissions.


Sevenoaks School offers academic, art, drama, music, and sport scholarships at 11 plus entry. These are awarded based on talent and do not provide any reduction or assistance with fees. Music scholarships entitle the award-holder to free tuition on one instrument.

Sevenoaks School term dates

The term dates at Sevenoaks School for 2023–2024 are:

  • Autumn term (Michaelmas): 1st September – 13th December 2023

  • Half term: 12th–29th October 2023

  • Spring term (Lent): 5th January – 22nd March 2024

  • Half term: 9th–18th February 2024

  • Summer term: 17th April – 29th June 2024

  • Half term: 24th May – 2nd June 2024

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Sevenoaks School 11 plus admissions process

Sevenoaks School welcomes up to 80 children into Year 7 each year, creating four equal forms of 20 children. The 11 plus process for entry into Year 7 begins one year before entry.

The school also welcomes around 85–90 new pupils at the age of 13 (Year 9). This application process begins two years before entry, when your child is in Year 7. If you are considering this route instead of 11 plus entry, make sure to research the 13 plus entry process.

1. Visit the school

If you are considering Sevenoaks School for your child, make sure to visit the school first. The school is strongly academic and has a fast-paced environment, so it’s important to visit and get a feel for whether your child would thrive there.

There are plenty of ways to visit the school:

  • Open morning: there is an annual open morning in June, which consists of talks from the headmaster and director of admissions, a presentation from pupils, taster activities, and student-led tours of the campus

  • Group visits: these are held regularly throughout the school year on normal school mornings and consist of a presentation from the headmaster, a tour of the campus, and the opportunity to speak with the admissions team

  • Individual meetings: if you have already attended an open event and wish to discuss your child’s application, the school is able to arrange an individual meeting with the director of admissions

For more details about upcoming events, visit the school website.

2. Register for 11 plus entry

Once you have decided to begin your child’s application to Sevenoaks School, you will need to complete the online registration form. The registration fee is non-refundable and costs £175 – this covers the cost of processing the application and the entrance tests.

The registration deadline for 11 plus entry in 2024 is 1st September 2023. After the deadline has closed, you will receive a confirmation form and will need to provide any relevant information about your child’s medical conditions, learning support and special educational needs. The admissions team will also write to your child’s current school to ask for a supporting reference.

3. Entrance exam & group discussion

All children who are registered for 11 plus entry will take the school’s entrance exam on Wednesday 3rd January 2024. This is taken on the school site.

Children will sit three written papers:

  • Maths: 1 hour. Your child will be tested on their knowledge, understanding and application of general Key Stage 2 maths. This covers topics such as number, geometry, measurement and statistics.

  • English: 1 hour. Children should spend approximately 35 minutes on Section A, which is a reading comprehension task. They should then use the remaining 25 minutes to complete Section B, which will assess their creative writing skills.

  • Verbal reasoning: 1 hour. Your child will be tested on their ability to reason and solve problems with written information. This paper will be similar to 11 plus verbal reasoning papers produced by GL Assessment.

In addition to the written tests, your child will take part in a 40-minute group discussion with other children.

4. Offers

Sevenoaks School will email you with the outcome of your child’s application by mid-February 2024. If your child is offered a place and you would like to accept, you will need to provide written confirmation and pay the acceptance deposit (£2,000) by early March.

Children who have not been offered a place, but have still passed the entrance exam and performed well in the group activity, may be placed on the waiting list. Places may become available in early March once the local grammar school places have been announced.

Find out more about grammar schools in Kent

Top tips to prepare for entry to Sevenoaks School

Sevenoaks School is a popular choice for many families in Kent, with around three applicants for every place at 11 plus entry. If you’re ready to start your child’s application to Sevenoaks and want to give your child the best chance possible, take a look at our top tips to help prepare your child for the selection process.

It can be tempting to jump straight into practice papers to prepare for school exams. However, this is not an effective way to learn and can cause children to feel demotivated.

Your child should have a good understanding of the content they’ve been taught on the school curriculum before testing their knowledge with practice papers. Using a ‘little and often’ approach when recapping content is key, as our brains encode new information more effectively when dealing with smaller ‘chunks’ of information. Experts recommend study sessions should last no longer than 30 minutes for children aged 10–11.

An online learning platform like Atom Home can help your child learn and revise Key Stage 2 content. The adaptive algorithm will ensure that your child is studying at a pace that’s just right for them.

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Personalised support for you

We understand how important this next step is for them, and for you. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions you may have about applying to Sevenoaks School or other selective schools.

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