FAQ: 11+ Admissions

How many pupils do you accept at 11+?

We take 80 pupils into four forms of 20 at the age of 11.

What is the ratio of applicants to places?

We usually have around three applicants for every place. However, many of our candidates decide to join local grammar schools, and we can usually find places for pupils who have done well in our tests and for whom Sevenoaks is their first choice school once the grammar school places are released in early March.

What kind of student are we looking for? 

Sevenoaks is a strongly academic school, and we select students we believe will flourish in our fast-paced environment. We are also keen to identify students who will benefit from our balanced and well-rounded education, and who will make a positive contribution to the life of the school. All candidates are assessed through entrance tests, references from the candidate's current school, interviews and reports. The success of our students is partly due to a culture of mutual respect, admiration of success in any field whether academic or co-curricular, and a collaborative and supportive outlook within our student body. The character of our students is therefore very important to us, and this is assessed at interview.

How many boarders do you have in Years 7 and 8?

There are ten boarders in Year 7 and ten in Year 8, who live in a small, fully co-educational boarding house where they are looked after by five members of the academic staff and a matron.

What are the entry requirements?

All pupils will take entrance tests in English, Maths and Verbal Reasoning. In addition, there will be a 40-minute group interview, and a reference will be requested from their current school.

Do you have suggested reading lists for candidates and children aged 11-13?

Parents often ask us for a list of suitable books for their children. The following reading lists are given to pupils in the school as age-appropriate recommendations. Year 7 reading list; Year 8 reading list

What is the ratio of girls to boys?

In Years 7 and 8 there are about three boys to every five girls. We accept more girls into the Lower School because we have more applications from girls at that age. This is as a result of the local school system: several of the all-girl feeder schools end at the age of 11, while several of our all-boy feeder schools end at age 13. The ratio of boys to girls becomes 1:1 at age 13.

Do the boarders integrate well with the day pupils?

Yes: the boarders and the day pupils spend all day together in lessons, lunch, co-curricular activities and in YoungSox, their common room. In addition, many social events are organised for the pupils during Years 7 and 8. Boarders may be invited out for weekends with day pupils from time to time.

Do you follow the CE syllabus in Years 7 and 8?

No. Sevenoaks has devised its own Year 7 and 8 curriculum, including cross-curricular and investigative work, designed to instil a love of learning in the pupils.

 Who will monitor my child's progress?

Each pupil has a tutor who sees their small tutor group (there are between ten and 15 pupils in a tutor group) each morning at 8.30. Information is passed to the pupils and they can let their tutor know about any problems they need help with.

Are there any free places available to families who can't afford your fees?

Yes. Please click here for information about means-tested bursaries.

Do you take pupils into Year 8?

We very occasionally take pupils from our waiting list into Year 8. To go on to the waiting list you will need to send us a completed application form, a copy of your child's latest school report and a brief summary of their interests and achievements. There is no need to send the registration fee for the waiting list. We would only arrange for testing if a place became available in Year 8.

Can I register my child if his or her age falls outside the correct age band?

We look at the age of a child at 1 September. So for entry to Year 7 (11+) we would normally expect a candidate to be aged 11 by 1 September in the year of entry and to be under 12. We are happy to consider candidates whose age falls outside that age band by up to six months.

Further information