What is Tonbridge School like?
Tonbridge is one of the most famous and prestigious boys independent schools in the UK, offering a superb all-round education to nearly 800 boys, just over half of whom are full boarders. The school was founded in 1553 and is situated near the centre of the Kentish town of Tonbridge, with regular trains to London taking less than an hour. The 150 acres of playing fields and beautiful Victorian buildings make for a traditional, spacious feel, but it's an innovative institution too - it was one of the first schools to offer IGCSEs. Boys are both bright and well taught with a large proportion going on to Oxbridge. Sport, as you'd expect with all those playing fields, is another strength. There's an active community spirit, and boys are encouraged to be outward-looking and articulate. The School has a strong commitment to widening access and is striving towards doubling the number of boys who receive means-tested fee assistance to be 80 to 100 boys by 2028.
The School is renowned for its excellent teaching and for academic achievement. Each year exam results at GCSE and A-level are outstanding, with boys progressing to leading universities including Oxford, Cambridge and Russell Group institutions: the large majority securing their first-choice destination. Tonbridge leavers have also recently gained places (and scholarships) at top US institutions including Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Dartmouth, Northeastern and UC Berkeley and, worldwide, at universities in Austria, Australia, Canada, China and Hong Kong.
Would Tonbridge School be a good fit for my child?
Tonbridge School strives to offer a comfortable and nurturing home away from home with pastoral care based around an outstanding House system. Strong and positive relationships between boys, staff and parents are central to its success, and the School strives to ensure that each pupil, whether a boarder or a day boy, feels fully at home and well supported. Tonbridge was the first school in the UK to put mindfulness on the curriculum for all Year 10 pupils, showing the school’s commitment to producing not only academically successful, but also socially and emotionally engaged young men.
The school offers a wide range of co-curricular activities through clubs and societies, musical and dramatic groups and the popular Combined Cadet Force. More than 20 sports are on offer throughout the school year, with superb indoor and outdoor facilities. Boys of all abilities are encouraged to take part, with an emphasis on providing opportunities for all students to compete regardless of ability level. There are more than 20 societies, including Junior Science, Beekeeping, Rocketry, Debating, Principia, Mahjong, Robotics and Conservation – the latter includes coppicing and looking after pigs! The school has recently invested in a brand new science centre and art, music and drama are all hugely impressive. Productions, rehearsals and drama workshops take place at the school’s own EM Forster Theatre. There is a strong tradition of musical excellence, with regular performances and concerts.