School welcomes back Lower Sixth and Second Years

There was a welcome ‘return to school’ for Tonbridge’s Lower Sixth and Second Year boys this week.

Many boys from these year groups, identified by the government as ‘priority’ years,  came in for a day to help them prepare for the vital academic year ahead, when they will be completing their A-level and GSCE courses respectively.    

The Lower Sixth took part in a UCAS and Leadership Day, which focused on successfully navigating the process of applying to university. Anna Rogers, Head of Higher Education and Careers, gave a talk on the UCAS process and on university destinations.

Boys then spent time working on their personal statements, which are an important part of the university application process, and on researching the higher education courses best suited to their subjects and interests. As the ‘new’ Upper Sixth from next term, they also started to explore the subject of leadership with their Housemaster and tutors, and had the chance to catch up with friends over an outdoor lunch in the House gardens. 

The Second Years had their own programme for the day, which included a session on race and equality in the light of the Black Lives Matter movement. Boys also learned more about the epidemic of coronavirus, took part in classes on conservation and art, and spent time with their Housemasters and tutors.

During their day back at school, boys had the opportunity to use some of the sports facilities such as the cricket nets and tennis courts.

The programme took place between Wednesday 24 and Friday 26 June: more than 120 boys from each year were able to attend, with talks being recorded and sent to those who were unable to be there in person. 

Strict social distancing measures were in place throughout the days on campus, which were run according to NHS guidelines on minimising transmission, such as regular handwashing and staying within House groups.

James Priory, Headmaster at Tonbridge School, said that it was wonderful to see boys back on campus. “The boys have engaged superbly with the online teaching and learning in recent months, and we know from their responses that many have found this a positive experience overall,” he said. 

“Nothing, however, can beat the experience of being amongst friends and in a ‘busy school’. There was a wonderful atmosphere as boys met up this week, and I am sure this will whet everyone’s appetite for the whole school’s planned return in September.”

Mr Priory also told the Lower Sixth they would soon have a key role to play as the most senior boys in the school. “The leadership and example you show, in your Houses and across the school as a whole, and the support and guidance you can offer to other year groups, will be of huge importance in the year ahead,” he said. 

Pictured above: James Priory opens one of the boys' sessions.

Pictured below, from top:
Boys gather on campus on Wednesday morning (24 June);
A welcome talk in the EM Forster Theatre;  
Classroom learning gets under way;
Anna Rogers, Head of Higher Education and Careers, speaks to the Lower Sixth;
Rest and social time;
An opportunity to use the cricket nets.