Children at St. John's transfer to a wide variety of secondary schools at the end of Year 6. The majority of children go to local grammar schools, wide-ability schools or 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 and so on. Together with teachers' own 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. 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. Meetings are made available with the Year 5 class teachers for those parents who are considering whether their child should sit the Kent Test. The assessment results are shared and the class teacher gives their opinion on whether the standard of class work reflects that of a grammar school.
The Kent Test (11+)
If you wish to apply for a Year 7 place at a Kent grammar school, you will need to register your child for the Kent Test (11+) which will assess whether your child is suitable. The Kent Test is made up of standardised English, mathematics and reasoning tests along with a creative writing exercise.
For children due to start secondary school in September 2024, parents must register for the Kent Test between 1st June and 3rd July 2023. Please note that KCC will not accept any late registrations. The test will take place on 7th September 2023 and the results will be released to parents on 18th October 2023. Parents can then apply for grammar school places as part of the main secondary application process (see further below).
More information about the Kent Test, including important dates and a link to the registration portal, can be found on the KCC website's dedicated Kent Test section. You can also find more information in the leaflets and presentation below.
GL Assessment, who set the Kent Test, have made available some free sample materials to help familiarise children with the type and format of questions found in the 11+ tests. These can be found by following this link.
Secondary Applications (for all Year 6 children)
If your child is due to start secondary school in September 2024, you will need to apply for their place between 1st September and 31st October 2023. When you apply, please ensure that you receive an email from KCC to confirm that your application has been submitted.
Once you have applied for your child to start secondary school in September 2024, you will receive their school offer by email on 1st March 2024. If you are not happy with the offer you receive, you will have the option of joining the waiting list for any of the other schools you named on your application form, or submitting an appeal. In the meantime, you should always accept the place you have been offered.
For more information about transfer to secondary school, please visit the KCC website here or see the following resources (these will be updated in due course):
Parents are able to speak to the KCC Secondary Admissions Team if they need further advice. The team can be contacted on 03000 412121 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
School open days and tours
It's important to find out more about the schools you're interested in before you apply. When you complete your application form, please make sure that you list the schools you wish to apply for in your true order of preference.
Secondary schools typically run Open Events in the summer and autumn terms so that families can find out more about the schools they may wish to consider. You can also visit the schools' websites for further information; some will have videos and virtual tours to give you a flavour of the school.
Below you can find a list of all the local secondary school open events scheduled for 2023-24. Please check carefully to see whether booking is required.
***Please inform St. John's in advance via email email@example.com if you are taking your child to visit another school so that we can update the register accordingly.***
Links to local secondary school websites
Bennett Memorial Diocesan School, Tunbridge Wells
Hadlow Rural Community School, Tonbridge (please note - admissions ranking test required - see website for further details)
Hillview School for Girls, Tonbridge
Hugh Christie Technology College, Tonbridge
Mascalls Academy, Paddock Wood
St. Gregory’s Catholic School, Tunbridge Wells
Leigh Academy Tonbridge (formerly The Hayesbrook School)
The Judd School, Tonbridge
The Skinners' Kent Academy, Tunbridge Wells
The Skinners' School, Tunbridge Wells
Tonbridge Grammar School, Tonbridge
Tunbridge Wells Girls Grammar School TWGGS, Tunbridge Wells
Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys, Tunbridge Wells
Weald of Kent Grammar School, Tonbridge