Mar 10, 2023, 1:43 PM
Are you considering applying to Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys? 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!
Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys (TWGSB) is a selective school founded in 1956. Rated Good by Ofsted, the school prides itself on a strong academic record and pastoral care. The wide range of co-curricular activities on offer gives boys the opportunity to explore and develop their social, sporting and cultural interests.
As part of a £7.5 million expansion project, TWGSB added facilities including a new teaching centre for maths, ICT and food tech, a six-court sports centre, and an annexe site in Sevenoaks. The school also has its own cricket, rugby, football and softball pitches and a 3G pitch.
Address: St John's Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN4 9XB. Sevenoaks site: Seal Hollow Road, Sevenoaks, TN13 3SN
Local authority: Kent County Council
School type: boys' grammar
Headteacher: Amanda Simpson
Number of pupils: 1,504
A level results: 75.2% A*–B
GCSE results: 43% 9/8/7
Admissions contact: [email protected]
Number of places in Year 7: 300
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 days: throughout June–October 2023 – book here
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 Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys are:
Autumn term: 5th September – 19th December 2023
Half term: 21st–29th October 2023
Spring term: 3rd January – 28th March 2024
Half term: 9th–18th February 2024
Summer term: 15th April – 19th July 2024
Half term: 25th May –2nd June 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.
TWGSB 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 form is available in the school's admissions policy on its 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 TWGSB 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 TWGSB 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 on the Kent Test is 423.
The cut-off score can only be decided once that year's papers have been marked and ranked, admissions criteria applied, and places offered to 300 children.
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 admissions criteria applied.
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.
The school has a planned admission number (PAN) of 300, which includes 210 places at the Tunbridge Wells campus and 90 at Sevenoaks. Parents cannot choose which campus they apply to.
Children are ranked in order by their exam score, and are prioritised for places in this order:
Boys with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) naming the school.
Looked After and previously Looked After Children.
Boys with a sibling already attending TWGSB when the new Year 7 starts.
Boys with a medical, health or special access reason to require a place at the school, or whose parents have such a reason. This will need to be supported by written evidence from a relevant practitioner.
Boys who live within three miles of the school.
Boys who live in the school's named parishes (see below).
Other boys in order of how close they live to the school.
As part of its admissions policy, Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys prioritises children who live within three miles of the school, or in one of these parishes:
Badger’s Mount, Bidborough, Brasted, Capel, Chevening, Chiddingstone, Cowden, Dunton Green, Edenbridge, Hadlow, Halsted, Hever, Hildenborough, Ightham, Kemsing, Knockholt, Leigh, Otford, Pembury, Penshurst, Plaxtol, Riverhead, Rusthall, Seal, Sevenoaks, Sevenoaks Weald, Shipbourne, Shoreham, Southborough, Speldhurst, Sundridge with Ide Hill, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells, and Westerham.
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 Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys 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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