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New First Years have a warm welcome via Zoom 

More than 150 of Tonbridge’s new First Years met for the first time as part of a special ‘Welcome’ event on Saturday (19 June).

The boys, who will be starting at the school in September, joined tutors, housemasters and matrons on Zoom as they took their first steps towards making new friends and finding out more about life at Tonbridge. 

All the boys appeared on a giant screen in the School’s Barton Science Centre and listened to short talks by James Priory, Headmaster, and Josie McNeil, Lower Master. The new intake of First Years come from more than 60 different schools and represent 20 nationalities.

Mrs McNeil, who looks after boys’ welfare in their first two years at Tonbridge, told them: “What I feel makes a great year group is one that supports and accepts one another. One that encourages each other through success but also through the more difficult moments. In front of you today, somewhere among all the faces, is a group of boys who will become your lifelong friends.”

She added: “Tonbridge is a school with vast opportunities, and we all look forward to welcoming you and seeing you discover and nurture new passions.”

Boys also heard from the newly appointed Head of School, Jonas Freeman, and Deputy Head, Eddie Adams (pictured above), who offered tips and advice about settling in at Tonbridge. The School’s other Deputy Head, Joe Baldwin, sent boys a specially recorded video message about the range of sports that will be on offer.

The Headmaster told the boys: “It’s very exciting to be able to bring you all together today, via Zoom, so that each of you can begin to look forward to your time here at Tonbridge. I hope you will all have many wonderful, enriching experiences, and that you will enjoy supporting each other as you become part of the Tonbridge community.”

Before the end of the Summer Term, the new First Years are also visiting their respective day and boarding houses and will be taking part in other induction sessions with their fellow housemates and tutor groups.

Pictured above: Jonas and Eddie give their talks during the event held in the Barton Science Centre.

Below: Headmaster James Priory greets Tonbridge's new boys, who are also beamed on to the giant screen behind him. Jonas and Eddie also get to know some of the new faces.