Are you considering applying to The Skinners' 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!
The Skinners' School is a high-performing boys' grammar school in Tunbridge Wells. Founded in 1887, Skinners' aims to achieve academic excellence for all its pupils, while at the same time developing their independence as learners. The school is rated Good in most categories by Ofsted (and Outstanding for personal development).
Skinners’ boys have achieved many distinctions in music, science, athletics, rugby, drama and business. A £2.7 million sports hall complex was opened on the main school site in September 2012, followed in 2020 by The Mitchell Building, housing the English Department, Library, and Sixth Form Study Centre.
Address: St John's Road , Tunbridge Wells, TN4 9PG
Local authority: Kent County Council
School type: boys' grammar
Headteacher: Edward Wesson
Number of pupils: 1,123
National rank (Sunday Times Parent Power): 46
A level results: 84.3% A*–B
GCSE results: 83.2% 9/8/7
Admissions contact: [email protected]
Number of places in Year 7: 160
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
Exam type: Kent Test
Local authority application form deadline: 31st October 2023
National school offer day: 1st March 2024
The 2023–2024 term dates at Skinners' are:
Autumn term: 30th August – 15th December 2023
Half term: 19th – 27th October 2023
Spring term: 2nd January – 28th March 2024
Half term: 12th–16th February 2024
Summer term: 15th April – 16th July 2024
Half term: 27th–31st May 2024
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 Skinners' School 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.
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 is available on the school's website.
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 Skinners' 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.
The Skinners' School 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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
Under the school's admissions criteria, children who score more than 40 points above the pass mark are prioritised for a place at Skinners'.
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.
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 planned admission number (PAN) for the school is 160. Boys who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) naming the school and meet the entry requirements are first offered a place. After this, places are offered in this order:
Looked-After or previously Looked-After Children, and children who have been in state care outside of England.
Up to 14 places for children who live in the 'West Kent Area' (see below) and are eligible for Pupil Premium (registered for free school meals at any point in the last 6 years). If there are more than 14 valid applications in this category, they are prioritised by their total score in the Kent Test.
Up to 112 places for other children who live in the West Kent Area, prioritised in this order: A. children scoring at least 40 points above the pass mark. B. Other children assessed as suitable for grammar school. Within both categories A and B, children are prioritised if they have a sibling at the school, a parent working at the school, or live closest to the school.
Up to 14 places for children who scored highest in the Kent Test but would not otherwise be offered a place.
Up to 20 places are offered to children in the 'Outer Area', including up to 2 who are eligible for Pupil Premium.
The West Kent Area named in the school's admissions criteria covers the area within three miles of the school measured in a straight line, plus these parishes:
Badgers Mount, Bidborough, Brasted, Brenchley, Capel, Chevening, Chiddingstone, Cowden, Dunton Green, Edenbridge, Goudhurst, Hadlow, Halstead, Hever, Hildenborough, Horsmonden, Ightham, Kemsing, Knockholt, Lamberhurst, Leigh, Otford, Paddock Wood, Pembury, Penshurst, Plaxtol, Riverhead, Rusthall, Seal, Sevenoaks, Sevenoaks Weald, Shipbourne, Shoreham, Southborough, Speldhurst, Sundridge with Ide Hill, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells, and Westerham.
The Outer Area is defined as being outside the West Kent Area described above, but within the mainland of the United Kingdom.
Here are our top tips on how to best prepare your child for the Kent Test 11 plus.
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.
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.
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 Kent Test curriculum, making it easy to see where they need to focus next.
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, 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.
Atom Nucleus gives children access to online 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.
Begin your child's journey to The Skinners' School today. Use the full features of Atom Nucleus free for 5 days – cancel anytime.
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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