Tonbridge School


Image for Tonbridge School

  • Category: Senior / Sixth Form
  • Pupils: Boys
  • Type: Day & Boarding
  • Religious Affiliation: Church of England
  • Roll: 780 (Boys) 0 (Girls)
  • Age Range: 13-18 years
  • Founded: 1553

School Contact Details

Tonbridge School
High Street

[t]: 01732 365555

Location Description

Tonbridge occupies an extensive site of about 150 acres on the northern edge of the historic market town of Tonbridge.

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School News

Tonbridge school independent boys boarding school Kent

Tonbridge’s first years took part in lessons with a difference as they learned about the effects of poverty across the world.

After entering the ‘Poverty Trap’,

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a replica of a slum built inside the school’s sports hall by the charity Empathy Action, boys had a fully immersive experience of what daily life would be like there.

Crowded into a noisy, humid and chaotic space, they had to work in cramped, sweatshop conditions, pay rent to a merciless slumlord and live under threat of eviction. Drawing from real-life stories and testimonies, the slum gave those taking part an opportunity to experience, albeit symbolically, what it feels like to exist in extreme poverty.

Boys were put to work making paper bags by hand, in order to earn a meagre living, and also experienced a simple lunch of sticky rice and vegetables, which they had to eat with their hands. The aim of the experience is to give participants a greater empathy for the billions of people worldwide who are trapped in the cycle of poverty.

First years (known at Tonbridge as the ‘Novi’) also took part in a series of lessons, run by boys from the school’s Lower Sixth, in which they discovered more about the geography and economics of poverty.

Tonbridge’s Lower Master, Josie Green, said the event followed on from the success of the Novi Sleepout, an annual event which sees boys ‘sleeping rough’ in the school Quad to raise money for the Porchlight charity, and awareness of the plight of the homeless.

“The Poverty Trap gives the boys a taste of the desperate struggle that many people in the world face in their day-to-day lives,” she said. “The experience also made boys think about solutions to poverty, and how everyone can play a part to help those less fortunate than themselves.”

Empathy Action works to combat poverty and injustice across the world and to raise awareness of global deprivation.

Tonbridge school independent boys boarding school Kent

A celebrity cricket match at Tonbridge School to support Rwanda Aid has raised more than £35,000.

The funds are going towards one of the charity’s latest

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projects, the Alivera Centre. Named after a young girl who lost her life to epilepsy and neglect, the new centre will assist young people with disabilities and help these children access education and training.

Stars including Sir Ian Botham, Keane frontman Tom Chaplin, TV presenter and Strictly Come Dancing’s Chris Hollins and former England rugby player Rob Andrew were among those taking part in the event on Friday 24 May.

They were joined by England’s chief national cricket selector Ed Smith, and former Test cricket players Gladstone Small, Rob Key, Paul Parker and Andy Whittall (who is also Director of the school’s Tonbridge Society).

In an entertaining T20 contest, which was well attended by the public, the Sir Ian Botham XI narrowly defeated the Rwanda Aid XI. The match was played on the school’s first XI cricket pitch, known as The Head.

David Chaplin OBE, Chief Executive Officer for Rwanda Aid, said the event had been a huge success. “Thanks to the wonderful generosity of everyone who came to our cricketing fundraiser at Tonbridge, work on our Alivera Centre can now begin. We work closely with the local community, identifying the most pressing problems, and this new development is a major step forward. Helping the disadvantaged and disabled is central to the charity’s work.”

The fundraising on the day was further boosted by a lunch, a raffle and an auction, which included prizes such as a flight in a Tiger Moth, platinum tickets for a Keane concert, and a round of golf at Sunningdale with Sir Ian Botham.

Regional news programme BBC South East Today attended the event and ran a live broadcast for its evening show.

Rwanda Aid works in the Western province of Rwanda, one of the poorest regions in the country. Its mission is to relieve poverty by supporting effective education and opportunity for enterprise.

The event was sponsored by wealth management firm JM Finn and supported by local firm Bourne Amenity.


Pictured: Team line-ups


Tonbridge independent boys day and boarding school Kent

Two Tonbridge School teams will be meeting senior figures from industry after making it to the finals of the Schools Aerospace Challenge.

Entrants had to display

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their physics and engineering credentials in tackling the task set by competition judges – to write a report detailing some innovative technologies that could ensure the RAF remains at the forefront of air and space in the years ahead.

Just 12 teams from across the country will take part in the highly prestigious national finals, which take the form of an all expenses paid, five-day stay at Cranfield University in July.

During this time, finalists will attend lectures by leaders in the aerospace industry (including representatives from Rolls Royce and Reaction Engines), experience indoor skydiving, work on in-flight experiments in a specially designed plane, and meet the Red Arrows.

Tommy Rochussen (Sc4), Matt Barker (PS4) and Jasper Driessen (WH4) formed one Tonbridge team; Alvaro Marco (PH4), Jason Wong (PH4) and Andrew Slater (PH4) the other.

Phil Deakin, the school’s Head of Physics, said: “The finals are, in themselves, a huge reward for all the boys’ hard work. If they are then selected to be a winner or runner-up, they will go on to present their ideas to The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, and his team.

“Most pleasing was the fact that the boys worked independently to write and design very impressive reports. All six want to do some form of engineering at university, and to pursue careers in this area, and so this will be a most impressive addition to their applications.”

The competition is sponsored by several engineering companies, as well as by the RAF and the Institute of Mechanical Engineers.

Tonbridge independent boys day and boarding school Kent

Tonbridge team ‘Rocketon’ has won the UK Youth Rocketry competition and will now compete in an international final.

The team, consisting of Freddie Lacey (PS1) and

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Cameron Dymond (OH1), were crowned winners after competing in the national finals, held in Buckminster, Grantham. A second Tonbridge team, ‘PR Ltd’, which included Takuya Boehringer (FH2), Toby Harrison (WW2), Ben Gardner (CH2) and Thomas Masding (OH2), also took part in the finals.

The winning boys proved they were the best at launching a rocket carrying two eggs into the air. The rocket and its cargo reached a height of 800feet, and was then safely recovered after a parachute landing.

The competition received more than 120 entries from across the country, with only 20 teams being chosen to progress to the national finals. Team Rocketon will now compete against teams from France, USA and Japan at an international event, which takes place at Farnborough Airshow in July.

The winners were also awarded £500, which will help to fund future rocketry research at Tonbridge.

The competition challenges young people aged between 11 and 18 to design, build and launch model rockets. Students combine practical experience with the chance to learn more about maths and science.

Chris Powell, Physics Teacher at Tonbridge, said: “Winning the competition was an outstanding achievement. The boys had to work together and test their problem-solving skills, scientific knowledge and creativity. It will now be exciting to see them compete against international teams.”

Tonbridge boys independent boarding school Kent

The inaugural house ‘3v3’ basketball competition marked the opening of the new outdoor court at the Tonbridge School Centre (TSC).

Players from all the year groups

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shot hoops for their houses, to the accompaniment of ‘tunes’ under stormy skies. At the end of the evening, it was Manor House who stood victorious after beating Judde in the final.

The court was official opened by Second Master Dr Huw Williams, with parents and staff invited to the event.

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