Tonbridge wins Independent Schools of the Year award

Tonbridge has been named as the Independent Boys’ School of the Year in a prestigious national awards ceremony.

The school received its accolade at the Independent Schools of the Year awards on Monday 7 October. Set up to celebrate the student experience, the competition highlights the varied and imaginative ways in which schools prepare young people for their futures.

The judging panel, made up of headteachers, educationalists and representatives from the sector’s member associations, praised Tonbridge for its programme of co-curricular breadth and depth, for developing a keen sense of social responsibility in its boys, for showing environmental commitment and for its record of academic and pastoral excellence.

This year’s awards attracted a record number of entries from hundreds of independent schools from across the country. There were 20 different categories in total.

Judges considered Tonbridge’s achievements in the past year, which included:
* The launch of the Barton Science Centre and its role in the wider community, hosting events such as Science for Schools, the Family Science Day and the Student Science Conference; 
* The Join The Pipe partnership, which saw the scrapping of single-use plastic bottles across the school and the installation of water fountains;
* Hosting the Mission Discovery educational programme, which enabled students from a number of Kent schools to work alongside NASA astronauts;
* The 24,000 hours of volunteering time given by pupils and staff;
* The school’s record year of fundraising, which included huge support for the Child Action Lanka and Porchlight charities;
* The community role of the EM Forster Theatre, which welcomed 13,000 people to the Christmas Panto, staged a major ‘Tonbridge Talks’ festival and held various other public events;
* School initiatives such as Mental Health First Aid, the Anti-Bullying Council and the Bridge The Gap society, which celebrates diversity.    

The school’s Headmaster, James Priory, said: “This award is a tremendous tribute to the hard work, dedication and commitment of our staff and boys. There is much to celebrate in our thriving school, and I’m delighted to see recognition too for our outreach work, the boys’ volunteering activities and the good use of our facilities made by the wider community.” 

Pictured below: Tonbridge boys with the Independent Boys’ School of the Year trophy; James Priory, Headmaster.