Hi, Sherry_d. To follow on from kent99 informative post, our DS is there in Y7, and our DD sits 2nd part of 13+ in three weeks. They do look at the child as a whole, not just results, but the exam results have to be good!
They seem to take proportionately more girls at 11 than 13 (total intake 65-70) and then almost double the year at 13 ( probably about balancing the B:G ratio). Prep school intake (at 13) is through Common Entrance in June, or Scholarship exams in March. There is a separate 13+ exam for those NOT at prep school, involving an assessment day in October (interview, VR/NVR and afternoon 'team player' session, such as a sport), and written exams in February (English, Science, Maths and French).
It is very competitive, and a lot of children are tutored at both levels. It is worth you getting in touch with the registrar for their sample papers, to give you an idea. For 11+ there are written English tasks of comprehension and creative writing, and the science I'm guessing is beyond that which most primary schools will be teaching.
It's a hard road (if you read the posts here, you'll understand the 'traumas' parents and children go through with ANY school transition), and it's no easier doing a second time, I can assure you
By car I doubt it would take you 45 mins from Maidstone, therefore you may not have to consider boarding, although I understand the day places are more difficult to get.
Their pastoral care is excellent - our son was only 10 when he started, and we were concerned as to how he would cope. Duck to water sums it up
Couldn't wait to go back
No moans about Saturday school
I've everything crossed that my DD doesn't have a 'bad day at the office' on Feb 8th....
I have no idea what my children want to do / specialise in. They are both probably better at Maths and Science than English, but I don't have any undue concerns about them taking IB. There is a wealth of opportunity and scope at schools like Sevenoaks , and I'm sure that the school will bring the best out in them, giving them options they might not otherwise have had.
The head of admissions is a very helpful lady, and always seems willing to talk to prospective parents, so why not explore it further?