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Independent Schools Inspectorate: Tonbridge receives an outstanding report 

In November 2021, Tonbridge welcomed inspectors from the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI). The School was delighted to receive outstanding feedback for all aspects of its operations, including confirmation that it was fully compliant in all areas.

The ISI team was highly complimentary about the quality of teaching and learning at Tonbridge.

The report – which can be read in full via the link – included the following remarks by the inspectors, in its ‘Key Findings’ section.

* The quality of the pupils’ academic and other achievements is excellent.

* Pupils have exceptional communication skills, writing and speaking with sophisticated vocabulary, structure and passion.

* Pupils have a high level of skills, knowledge and understanding in mathematics, science, linguistics, technology, sport and the creative arts, and consequently achieve excellent results in public examinations and national competitions.

* Pupils’ attitudes to work are exceptional; collaboration is the pupils’ default approach to learning and co-curricular activity, and it supports their thirst for intellectual challenge.

* The quality of the pupils’ personal development is excellent.

* Pupils have a strong self-awareness and a sense of their place in the school, local community and the wider world.

* Pupils have a highly developed moral and social awareness; they are keen to confront, be involved with, and take leadership in addressing current social issues, particularly those to do with respect for others.

* Pupils have a strong record of support for other pupils and the local community, and recognise the high quality of boarding provision as a major contribution to their personal development.

James Priory, Tonbridge’s Headmaster, said: “I’m delighted to see recognition of the boys’ desire for intellectual challenge and their highly collaborative approach to learning, as well as affirmation of the strength of the boys’ support for each other and the wider community. The inspectors reserved special praise for the boys’ thoughtfulness, their sensitivity, articulacy insight – precisely the qualities we associate with developing fine minds and good hearts.”

The ISI report also highlighted boys’ creative abilities, innovation and achievements in areas ranging from engineering competitions to design and digital creativity courses, and paid tribute to the “rich variety and high quality” of the School’s offerings in music, drama and the arts. 

There were many positive findings in relation to other areas of School life, including the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils; boys’ welfare, health and safety; the quality of staff, facilities and accommodation; and the strength of the School’s management and leadership. 

Inspectors also found that Tonbridge’s Pastoral Education curriculum was proving effective, and supported the School’s ethos of mutual respect and tolerance for others. The report states that Tonbridge is a place where boys can be comfortable in themselves, and in their differences.

Inspectors welcomed the fact that Pastoral Education programmes had been enhanced in recent times by regular talks and assemblies, and by additional workshops and seminars run by professionals on subjects of equality, everyday sexism and related areas. There was recognition of the initiative taken to work creatively with girls’ schools in this area.

Inspectors noted that due to the boys’ high level of communication skills, and with the School’s success in developing a strong sense of social responsibility in each pupil, the students themselves had the ability to help lead future RSE activities. 

Pictured above and below: Various photos of Tonbridge during the school year.

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