Children at St. John's transfer to a wide variety of secondary schools in West Kent at the end of Year 6. The majority of children go to local grammar schools, wide-ability schools and church comprehensive schools in Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge. Some parents choose to send their children to comprehensive schools in East Sussex.
During the summer term of Year 5 we undertake a series of assessments of children's abilities. These involve nationally standardised tests, assessments of children's creative writing, etc. Together with teachers' assessments of children's work, these are used as the basis for the school's recommendation to parents as to the most suitable type of secondary education for each child. These are discussed with parents and, then, if parents wish their child to be considered for a place at a grammar school, they must register them in July for the Kent Tests. The tests are standardised verbal and non-verbal reasoning, mathematics tests and creative writing which are taken in September.
We take a great deal of time and care with this assessment process and try to ensure that parents are fully aware of the reasons behind the school's recommendations. Parents are invited to discuss these matters with the Headteacher at any time, and as often as parents feel is necessary before the final decision is taken regarding a child's transfer to secondary education.
If parents applied online and provided a valid email address the results of the tests will be sent to them by email after 4.00 pm on 14 October 2015 and everyone who registered will receive a letter to arrive on 15 October. All parents must complete their child's Secondary Common Application Form, preferably online, showing their 4 preferences for a school before the closing date of Monday, 2 November. School offers will be sent to parents by email on Tuesday, 1 March 2016 and letters to arrive on Wednesday, 2 March 2016.
The booklet Admission to Secondary School in Kent 2016, may be viewed on Kent County Council's website which includes details of the admission criteria for each school.
Parents are offered the opportunity to talk to an independent choice adviser, in addition to their primary school teachers and headteacher. Details are in the booklet.