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The Harvey Grammar School 11 plus guide

By Atom | Jun 21, 2023, 8:48 AM

The Harvey Grammar School 11 plus entry guide

Are you considering applying to The Harvey Grammar School? We've collated all the information you need to know about 2024 entry to Year 7. Keep reading to learn about the school's admissions process and how to help your son excel in the Kent Test!

About The Harvey Grammar School

The Harvey Grammar School is a selective boys' school in Folkestone. With a rich history dating back to 1674, the school began as a single classroom in Rendezvous Street serving '20 poor boys of Folkestone'. During World War II it was evacuated to Wales, and upon its return, prospered in its new role as a grammar school.

On its present-day Cheriton Road site, boys enjoy the full range of modern educational facilities, including a school dog, Lizzie the Hungarian Vizsla. Rated Outstanding by Ofsted, The Harvey offers a broad and balanced curriculum which is challenging, engaging and personalised to meet the aspirations of its students.

  • Address: Cheriton Road, Folkestone, CT19 5JY

  • Local authority: Kent County Council

  • School type: boys' grammar

  • Headteacher: Scott Norman

  • Number of pupils: 992

Key info for Year 7 admissions

  • Admissions contact: [email protected]

  • Number of places in Year 7: 150

  • 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

  • Open evening: July 2023

  • Exam type: Kent Test or Shepway Test

  • Local authority application form deadline: 31st October 2023

  • National school offer day: 1st March 2024

The Harvey Grammar School term dates

The 2023–2024 term dates at The Harvey are:

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

  • Half term: 20th–29th October 2023

  • Spring term: 3rd January – 28th March 2024

  • Half term: 10th–18th February 2024

  • Summer term: 15th April – 19th July 2024

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

How to apply to The Harvey Grammar School

1. Register for the Kent Test

Before registering, speak to your child’s teacher to see if the 11 plus and grammar school is right for them.

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.

The Harvey shares an entrance test and admissions procedure with all other grammar schools in Kent (aside from those in Medway) – a total of 32 schools! Your child only has to take one exam to apply to these schools.

If you are also considering grammar schools in Medway or the London Borough of Bexley, you will need to register separately because these schools do not use the Kent Test.

Supplementary information form

If your child is eligible for free school meals, or is currently or previously a Looked After Child, you should also complete a supplementary information form (SIF). This form is available in the school's admissions policy on their website.

Register for the Shepway Test (optional)

If you would like your child to take the Shepway Test, you first need to register for the Kent Test on the Kent Council website above, by the deadline. You then need to register for the Shepway Test by completing the application form on the school's website.

The deadline for registering for the Shepway Test is usually a couple of weeks after the Kent Test deadline. Staff at the school's open evening in July will be able to answer any questions you may have about the process.

2. Apply for school places

If you registered online, your child’s exam results will be emailed to you after 4pm on Wednesday 18th October 2023. If you did not register online, it will be sent by first class post. Your child’s primary school will also be notified of the result on this day, so you can check with them if you do not receive the letter.

The results will tell you if your child has been assessed as 'suitable for grammar school'. If this is the case, you can include grammar schools in your school preferences on your local authority application form.

Before listing The Harvey Grammar School as a preference on your form, check its admissions policy and make sure your child is eligible. As well as your child's exam score, how close you live to a school can be a factor in whether your child is likely to be offered a place.

The application form must be submitted to your home local council by 31st October 2023.

What's on The Harvey Grammar School 11 plus exam?

The Harvey 11 plus test takes place 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 school uses the Kent Test, which is provided by GL Assessment. It consists of two papers, each lasting about 60 minutes. The papers are multiple-choice format. Children record their answers in a separate answer booklet which is marked electronically.

Both papers are divided into smaller, individually-timed sections that assess:

  • Paper 1: English and maths

  • Paper 2: verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning

There are a few minutes at the beginning of each section for practice questions, which are not marked.

Paper 1: English and maths

  • English (30 minutes): the English section involves a comprehension exercise to assess your child's reading ability. There are also some questions designed to assess literacy skills like grammar, punctuation and vocabulary. Question types vary, but may include choosing the best words to complete a sentence, finding synonyms and antonyms, and spotting mistakes in sentences.

  • Maths (30 minutes): the maths test covers a variety of national curriculum topics up to the start of Year 6. It's important that your child knows their times tables and has a working knowledge of the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division), as well as fractions, decimals, percentage, ratio, area, perimeter, and measurements. They should also be familiar with worded maths problems.

Paper 2: Reasoning

While both sections are about the same length, the non-verbal reasoning section is split into smaller parts which are administered and timed individually.

  • Verbal reasoning: your child is tested on their ability to analyse and solve problems with written information.

  • Non-verbal reasoning: this type of reasoning involves analysing visual information and solving problems using shapes, diagrams and pictures.

Unlike English and maths, verbal and non-verbal reasoning are not taught at primary school and are intended to be a measure of a child's academic potential, rather than the knowledge they have gained.

There is a useful familiarisation booklet on the Kent council website, which gives examples of the types of questions in each exam. It also shows what the answer sheet looks like.

Writing exercise

In addition to Paper 1 and Paper 2, 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.

Learn about each subject in detail and get free preparation resources:

11 plus preparation guide

What is the Shepway Test?

The Shepway Test is an alternative to the Kent Test. It is only used by The Harvey and The Folkestone School for Girls. It's designed to give children another chance to show that they are of selective ability.

The Shepway Test is a computer-based test provided by CEM. It is 45 minutes long and taken at the school. It assesses:

  • Verbal ability: vocabulary, grammar and comprehension

  • Numerical ability: arithmetic and problem solving

  • Non-verbal ability

The Shepway Test is a variant of CEM Select, which you can learn more about here:

Guide to CEM Select

Your child does not need to take both the Kent Test and the Shepway Test. They only need to achieve the required standard on one of the tests to be assessed as 'suitable for grammar school'.

What is the pass mark for The Harvey?

Children generally need a total score of 332 or more to be considered for a Kent grammar school. Children also need to score above 109 in each section (English, maths and reasoning) to be considered for a place. The highest possible total score is 423.

Achieving a particular score doesn't guarantee a place at the school, as it's likely to be oversubscribed with qualified candidates. We always recommend researching the admission policies and oversubscription criteria for your target schools.

How is the Kent Test scored?

After your child takes the exam, their scores are age-standardised. Your child is given three standardised scores: one for English, one for maths and one for reasoning, as well as a total score. The total scores are ranked in order and the schools' admissions criteria are applied.

The Harvey Grammar School oversubscription criteria

The planned admission number (PAN) for the school is 150. Children who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) naming the school are offered a place first. After this, places are offered in this order:

  1. Looked-After or previously Looked-After Children, and children who have been in state care outside of England.

  2. Boys who receive Pupil Premium (registered for free school meals at any point in the last 6 years) who live in the district of Folkestone and Hythe.

  3. Boys who live in the district of Folkestone and Hythe, prioritised in order of how close they live to the school.

  4. Other boys who satisfy the selection requirements, with those living closest to the school given highest priority.

The Harvey catchment area

As part of its admissions policy, The Harvey Grammar School prioritises children who live in the district of Folkestone and Hythe (formerly known as Shepway). A map is available in the school's admissions policy.

How to help your child prepare for the Kent Test

Here are our top tips on how to best prepare your child for the Kent Test 11 plus.

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 Home 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 Home offers data-driven insights into your child’s progress towards mastering the Kent Test 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 Home 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, verbal and non-verbal 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 practice papers

Atom Home gives children access to online practice papers. Our online tests are designed to mirror the format and style of the real Kent Test and Shepway 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 Home free for 5 days

Begin your child's journey to The Harvey Grammar School today. Use the full features of Atom Home free for 5 days – cancel anytime.

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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 the 11 plus or grammar schools in Kent and the South East.

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