The Knole Academy Grammar Stream was started in September 2012 and has many advantages over traditional grammar schools. Firstly, students are educated in a co-educational school with boys and girls learning alongside, and from each other. Secondly, at Knole Academy there are students from all walks of life and all ability levels. It is a real microcosm of society. This means that our students are prepared for life after school, and have the social and communication skills that they will need to be able to form effective relationships in the workplace and in their social lives.
The interest in a Grammar stream education within an all ability school has increased each year. In 2012 when the streams started we had three grammar stream sets. Three years on we now have four grammar stream sets.
Many schools have a 'top set', or a 'grammar set' but Knole Academy's Grammar Stream is different. The students in the Grammar Stream follow a special curriculum, carefully tailored to their needs. Key stage 3 is condensed into two years because the students are expected to make a full level of progress in each academic year. This enables students to embark on a three year Key Stage 4 and usually take 11 GCSEs at the end of year 11. The students study: mathematics, English language and literature, a modern foreign language, biology, chemistry and physics, history or geography. In addition, the students choose three option subjects. There is a broad range of options to choose from, including arts subjects (art, design technology, textiles), performing arts (dance, drama, music), PE, psychology and sociology.
Knole Academy works with Tonbridge School and Sevenoaks School to provide young people with the skills and confidence they need to successfully apply to Oxford, Cambridge and Russell Group universities. The most able year 9 students have the opportunity to apply for a five year intensive preparation for university access at the top universities, and are mentored by Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge students. This begins with a week's boarding at Tonbridge School where students attend lectures from leading university lecturers and seminars with first year Oxford and Cambridge students.
In the Knole Academy Grammar Stream we have the most able students who are capable of working at an accelerated pace and making above average progress. We are aware that some children are heavily coached for the Kent Test, while other students will have little or no tutoring, this means that the test is not always a true measure of ability. Also, some children suffer from examination nerves, or may be ill on the day of the test and this will affect their performance. For these reasons we believe that the Kent Test is flawed and we are pleased that we are able to offer three routes into our Grammar Stream which enables us to select the students best suited for the academic curriculum we are offering.
All routes into the grammar stream are dependent on Kent County Council offering Knole as your chosen secondary school.
A student who sits, and passes the Kent Test will be offered an automatic, guaranteed place in the Grammar Stream. Parents just need to send us evidence of the scores received by their child.
A student who sits the Kent Test, but narrowly misses passing will often be eligible for a place in the Grammar Stream. Parents in this situation need to send us the scores so that we can decide whether a grammar stream place is appropriate for that individual child.
Achieving high scores in:-
- KS2 tests
- Summer testing in May/June
It is very important that the Grammar Stream children are members of the Knole Community and join in with all the other excellent opportunities we offer. All year 7 students are expected to join at least one extra-curricular club and participate in the Knole Passport. There is a wide range of sporting clubs that students can join as well as dance, music and drama clubs. In addition, there are science, ICT and food technology clubs. Students can play chess at lunchtime, or attend a board games club which is led by peer mentors. We also give all the students a cultural voucher each academic year, to ensure that everyone is able to participate in at least one of the many cultural trips to world class opera, ballet and galleries that are organised every year.
We strongly believe that it is our responsibility to help all of our young people discover what they excel in and give them the opportunities they need to develop their knowledge, skills and attributes to a level that makes them and their parents feel proud. The Knole Academy Grammar Stream is one of many initiatives which enable us to achieve this aspiration; the Grammar Stream students have demonstrated this to us time and again. They demonstrated it when all of them made a full level of progress in all their subjects last academic year; they highlighted this with a performance from the novel ‘Jacob’s Ladder’, in English, the ‘physics around catapults’ in science, and finally simultaneous equations in mathematics.
Knole Academy Grammar Stream, in the words of our students:
We get the best of both worlds."
I have friends in all sets, not just the grammar stream."
Lessons are always challenging and push me to reach my potential."
We are already talking about progress in terms of GCSE grades in Y7 and Y8."