We will be holding open evenings on the following dates:
Please check our website in September for further details including booking if required.
On Saturday 14th May the Bennett Memorial Junior Choir were privileged to share the stage at Trinity Theatre with the Tunbridge Wells Orpheus Choir. The students had been busy preparing their programme of six songs for several weeks and were excited to perform at a public concert in a professional venue.
The audience were thrilled by the choir’s performance and the students received some amazing feedback. One member of the Orpheus choir said ‘their smiling faces whilst singing, dynamic stage choreography and effortless harmonies are something us older guys need to learn from!’
Next term, the choir will be performing at the Assembly Hall for the Primary School Singing Festival and will also be going into several local primary schools to lead some singing workshops.
Wednesday 30th March saw Bennett Memorial School run to Kyiv in Ukraine and indeed most of the way back, at least in the figurative sense. In our sponsored run for the Disasters Emergency Committee’s humanitarian appeal, students and staff together covered well over 4000km, running laps of our beautiful school site. Some committed themselves to a 2km run, most to 4km and a good number took on the 10k challenge.
It was a whole school effort, with the collective endeavour understood as a practical way of expressing some solidarity with the people of Ukraine, as well as giving something of ourselves in the physical effort of running.
As a school we have been overwhelmed by the generosity, encouragement and support of families and the wider community for our efforts in this cause. We are delighted to have already raised over £22,000, all thanks to the endeavours of the Bennett community. Such an overwhelmingly positive response speaks volumes about our young people, staff, parents and the wider Bennett community. We are truly very grateful for this.
We are delighted to announce that we have been recognised for the high quality of our music education at Bennett in becoming a Music Mark school. Music Mark designation is supported by the ABRSM, the body which represents the four Royal Schools of Music.
As a school we are committed to making Music prominent in both the curriculum and overall life of the school. Years 7 & 8 receive three lessons a fortnight, one of which is Performing Arts where we explore singing both for pleasure and for worship. Each year group then participates in a concert during the year to demonstrate their skills to parents. We held both of these concerts before Christmas and around 90% of our Year 7 & 8 students took part. All year groups, from Y7 through to A level, study classical, popular and World music.
Every Y7 student is provided with the opportunity to play an orchestral instrument in music lessons for half a term (currently violin, clarinet and trumpet). Students may also borrow the instrument to take home during this period. This exciting new development in our music curriculum helps to reinforce rhythm and pitch and introduces the instruments of the orchestra. We hope that this experience will continue to boost the number of students wishing to take up tuition with our thriving Bennett Music Academy; over 200 students are currently receiving tuition with the BMA.
Our extra-curricular groups cater for musicians in a variety of genres. We have an orchestra, soul band, brass band, flute ensemble, string orchestra, clarinet ensemble, worship band, chamber choir, show choir and Year 7 choir. We offer many different performance opportunities for students both in and out of school and music is integral to our assemblies and worship services.
In becoming a Music Mark school we are further inspired to continue to develop opportunities for music-making at Bennett; we look forward to welcoming you to our next event at school, A Night at the Musicals on Monday 14th March. We are also very much looking forward to hearing our Chamber Choir sing alongside the Salvation Army band in Maidstone on Saturday 12th March.
Thursday 11th November was our Sixth Form Open Evening.
Bennett sixth form boasts around thirty subjects to choose from and offers a variety of technical level 3 courses alongside traditional A levels.
You will find all entry criteria, subject information and how to apply on our website: https://www.bennettmemorial.co.uk/sixth-form/
If you need more information please email [email protected]
The achievement of students at Bennett Memorial Diocesan School this year follows the well-established track record for success that this outstanding Church of England school has sustained over a great many years. Right across the two years of their GCSEs students have worked with diligence and considerable tenacity, both when working at home during lockdowns and once back in school. Throughout this time, they have been good humoured and determined to overcome the obstacles placed in their way by COVID-19. Their outstanding outcomes stack up impressively against those of former year groups, working in less disrupted conditions. The results are richly deserved and the students should rightly feel proud of them since they are the fruit of the same hard work and determination which we have seen year after year at Bennett.
Headteacher Jon Sparke commented: “Once again this year students have had to face considerable uncertainty in how their GCSEs would be assessed. They have absolutely risen to that challenge, making exceptional progress in their courses to acquire the knowledge and understanding to achieve impressive outcomes in robust assessments.”
“I am full of admiration for what are a brilliant set of results. The outcomes show, once again, that the progress made by Bennett students at GCSE is superb and would stack up positively amongst the strongest nationally, just as previous cohorts have.”
“At Bennett we offer a traditional curriculum of high value subjects which, taken together, represents a genuine challenge, so these excellent results provide the strong foundations for the next stages of academic study. Amongst these outcomes are some exceptional individual stories of students overcoming disadvantage and acquiring the powerful knowledge which will enable them to progress to further academic study.”
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank their teachers and other staff who have taught and supported students throughout their courses, and also parents who play a key role in supporting and encouraging students throughout their school lives. COVID-19 has brought to attention just how important working together as a community is in enabling young people to flourish in their education.”
“Our priority as a school has been to make sure that these students have been able to access the same opportunities to learn and develop as previous year groups. Whilst it has been challenging to enable the same level of involvement in a full extra-curricular programme, it is heartening to see how students have engaged with opportunities once back in school. We are particularly pleased to see so many coming back into school after the end of year 11 to complete their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award alongside year 10. In addition, many have now moved onto the Silver Award”.
We wish all Bennett students well in their next steps and, of course, look forward to seeing the vast majority further in the coming academic year as they return to study A levels following these excellent GCSE outcomes.
Bennett students completing their sixth form studies this year have shown extraordinary resilience and tenacity to complete their courses in the face of two periods of national lockdown and the accompanying uncertainty about how grades would eventually be awarded. Their strong results bear witness not only to how hard they have worked as individuals but also to their character. Throughout their time in the sixth form at Bennett they have also made an exceptionally strong contribution to our corporate life as a school, setting a strong example to their peers particularly in how they responded to the disruption wrought by COVID-19. The results which they have achieved in the face of this adversity have now opened wide the doors to some of the most sought-after university courses as well as other exciting destinations.
Headteacher Jon Sparke commented: “We are so proud of all our students. They have persisted in the face of considerable adversity and through it all have shown real positivity and determination.”
“Our results this year compare very strongly to the excellent track record that the school has established in sixth form achievement, albeit they were arrived at in a way that was very different to usual. It should be remembered that what matters most is the strong foundation of knowledge, understanding and character, that all of our students have built up over seven years of schooling, and which they take with them into their next stages of study and personal development.”
There were very many examples of outstanding individual achievement which include two students, Emily Boarer and Benjamin Finch taking up highly coveted places to study computer science, with Emily set to study at the University of Cambridge and Benjamin at the University of Exeter. Sofia Franklin’s stellar work in biology, chemistry and mathematics means that she is off to study medicine at the University of Southampton.
As the school expected from this high performing cohort, we saw a high proportion of students achieving strings of straight A and A* grades, for example Matthew Coffin with top-notch outcomes in mathematics, further mathematics and physics. Bennett’s traditional high value curriculum means that students have accessed further study in an exciting and diverse range of fields, including: Oscar Smith who will read for a degree in Classics at the University of Oxford, Rosie Warwood is set to study fine art at the University of Edinburgh; Isaac Strand reading for a degree in aerospace engineering at Bath; Beni Phipps whose outstanding diploma and A level results have given access to a highly-prized degree course in film production at Canterbury, George Young reading for a history degree at the University of Southampton and Amy Holman who is off to study psychology and philosophy at the University of Reading.
Mr Sparke explained: “This is a very resilient group of students whose approach to the challenges of this year has been genuinely admirable. You only have to look at the strong numbers who have completed the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award whilst still at school, despite the difficult circumstances of orchestrating expeditions and volunteering, to see their grit. Every single one of these results has been achieved in the face of some significant adversity, with students remaining committed to their studies in order to sustain their courses as the country went into lockdown. We wish all our Bennett students completing their sixth form this year every success for the next stage of their education.”
Bennett Memorial Diocesan School were delighted to welcome to the school the Right Reverend James Langstaff, Lord Bishop of Rochester, our diocesan bishop to formally open and dedicate our brand new classroom block, named the Rochester building. The dedication and opening ceremony took place on Wednesday 21 April with a small number of invited guests and students from years 7 and 13. The dedication ceremony was followed by the celebration of the Eucharist in the brand new Rochester Hall led by Bishop James.
The Rochester classroom block gives to the school 21 new state of the art classrooms, as well as a multi-use hall. The hall provides a superb new venue for the rich co-curriculum life of the school, in particular for our ambitious musical performances and theatrical productions. We are very grateful that, with support from the Bennett School charity, we have been able to equip the new hall with top of the range audio-visual facilities, as well as stage lighting.
The event was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate another very significant step in our development as a school community, albeit on a smaller scale than we might usually. The new classrooms will make sustainable the school’s expansion, meaning that a distinctive Bennett education, with its strong emphasis upon high quality classroom teaching following a traditional knowledge-rich curriculum, can be made available to even more students.
The school also took the opportunity to express its thanks to Bishop James for his support and ministry as Bishop of Rochester, as he is retiring from that role in the summer. We are very grateful for his sustained engagement with our school community and his leadership.
From Monday 19th April we will be re-opening our food serveries to enable us to offer lunch to students in all year groups. You no longer need to book food online.
Our school catering department have worked hard with us to develop a lunch offer, which we believe will appeal to students, providing them with hot, home-made, nutritious food whilst minimising mixing between year groups and avoiding any disruption to the school timetable.
The following will be in place from Monday 19th April.