Performing Arts Aptitude Admissions


Kensington Aldridge Academy is a Performing & Creative Arts (PCA) specialist academy. We admit up to 21 students (10%) of our annual Year 7 intake to pupils who are able to demonstrate an aptitude in the Performing Arts through an aptitude test.

The first nine of these places will be offered to students who qualify for “pupil premium” and who score highest in the aptitude test. This safeguard ensures the socio-economic background of students coming via the aptitude route will reflect that of the wider school. The second nine offers can be for pupil premium or non-pupil premium students – they will be offered on the basis of the score in the aptitude test only.

How to Apply

To apply for a Performing Arts aptitude place you must:

·        Complete an online supplementary application form by 5pm on Sunday 6th October 2024

·       Attend the allocated aptitude testing day in October

·       Apply as normal through your borough of residence ensuring that you name KAA on your list of school preferences

If you have any questions about the process, please email

Aptitude Tests

Our annual assessment day for the Performing Arts aptitude tests will take place mid-October each academic year.

The test consists of three sections: Music, Dance and Drama. It is important to state that students must take part in all three tests, regardless of whether they have a particular aptitude in one subject; we want to see how they perform across all three disciplines. It is also important to state that all the tests and activities are unseen, so there is nothing to prepare in advance and to ensure fairness the content of the tests will change each year. Each test will last for around 20 minutes; therefore, applicants will be required for 60 minutes in total.

Applicants must arrive at reception 15 minutes before the start time indicated in the letter to ensure there is plenty of time for registration. If your child qualifies for the pupil premium, it’s vital you bring proof of this to the assessment day (please see below for more details).

Upon arrival, a member of the senior leadership team will greet and brief applicants and their parents. Once registered, existing KAA Performing and Creative Arts (PCA) ambassadors will escort applicants to each department area on the day and will escort them back to the reception once the tests are complete.

The academy will then post home the results of your child’s performance in each test. In this letter we will indicate whether you should apply through the PCA Aptitude route or via by the normal admission route.

Music Aptitude test

The music test is designed to identify pupils who have musical potential as well as those who already study an instrument. So long as your child has a love of music, we would encourage you to apply. The test assesses sense of rhythm/pulse, competence at performing alone and in a small group, followed by improvisatory skills. The candidates will not be asked to prepare anything or bring an instrument.

Dance Aptitude test

Applicants will be taught a simple 8-16 count routine in groups of 4-5. Applicants will then have to choreograph the next part of this based on a given stimulus such as a picture, which will be unseen on the day. This test will culminate with applicants performing the routine at the end of the session.

Drama Aptitude test

The drama test will be a group task based around a stimulus. In groups of 4-5, applicants are provided with a stimulus and a short script, which they have to create their own piece of drama from. Each applicant must create his or her own character, which will be demonstrated in a thought track (don’t worry, this will be taught at the start!). Both the script and stimulus are unseen and students will perform their piece at the end of the session.

Eligibility for Pupil Premium

Eligibility for the “pupil premium” will be determined if families are in receipt of, or have previously been in receipt of (within the last 6 years), any of the following:

·         Income Support

·         Income- based Job Seekers allowance

·         Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

·         Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

·         The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit

·         Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)

·         Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit

·         Universal Credit

In order to verify this, we require a copy of one or more of the above documents on assessment day.

*NB: If less than 9 students apply who are eligible for pupil premium the places will then be allocated to non-pupil premium students with the highest score on the test