How to spot a Kent Test mindset in your child
6th October 2010
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I was chatting recently with Peter Whisson from Kip McGrath Education Centre in Canterbury and we were discussing education in general. Shortly afterwards Peter emailed me this article he had written. I included the article in my Business Newsletter which was published this week but I realised the content would have a wider appeal and would concern any parent. To this end I have reproduced Peter's article here;

How to spot a Kent Test mindset in your child                                                  

What are the early signs that a child might pass the Kent Test to grammar school? Is it possible to spot a grammar school mindset in, say, Year 4?

One clear sign would be avid reading, the early latching onto series by children’s authors like Enid Blyton or Jacqueline Wilson; complementing this, an enjoyment of writing creatively, stories or poems or letters.

The developing of neat writing and correct spelling are positive signs, but not crucial. These are not tested in the 11+. Reliably correct spelling takes most people all their school years to acquire – if then.  Towards the top of primary school, the understanding and using of a wide vocabulary is far more important than correctness.  Approximate spelling and avoidance of common mistakes such as wich and thier and thay etc. are good achievements in Year 5.  

Turning to Maths, an early flair for number is important. Grammar school prospects will typically have mastered the tables up to 12x12 by the middle of Year 5. But equally important is the facility to divide readily, and resolve multiples into factors - that is to turn the answers in tables back into their elements. Many 11+ Maths questions require this.

Finally, an early sign to look out for will be a child’s attraction to visual puzzles that test observation – such as Odd one out, and Spot the difference.  These puzzles provide painless early grounding for skills required by non-verbal reasoning tests in the 11+.  


Peter Whisson runs the Canterbury Kip McGrath Education Centre providing English and Maths tuition.


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Paul W

Member since: 9th July 2012

Hi I am Paul Williams and I own thebestof Canterbury, the place to find the best local recommended businesses and events happening in and around Canterbury. Welcome to my Blog - I hope you find the entries...

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