Tonbridge has been shortlisted for the second year running in the Independent Schools of the Year awards.
Currently recognised as Independent Boys’ School of the Year, the school has been nominated in the 2020 awards for ‘Community Outreach’.
This category looks at the various ways in which schools have worked with their local communities over the past year and also assesses the impact of activities on the overall student experience.
The judges will be meeting again at the end of the summer to reach a decision on the winner of each category, with the award ceremony taking place in early October.
This year has seen a record a number of schools from across the country entering nominations into the 20 categories. The aim of the awards, now in their third year, is to highlight the excellence of the student experience in independent schools.
Examples of Tonbridge’s community activities include the setting up of a Primary Care Treatment Centre in March this year, which enabled the NHS to help save lives at the height of the Covid-19 crisis. The DT Department was among the first in the UK to manufacture more than 3,700 protective visors using innovative laser-cutting technology. Visors were then distributed to key outlets such as care homes, hospitals, GP surgeries and pharmacies.
Student-led activities at Tonbridge saw £113,000 raised for national and international charities last year, including £69,000 for Child Action Lanka, the school’s partner charity supporting street children in Sri Lanka.
In a normal year, 24,000 hours of volunteering time is given by pupils and staff through long-established links with primary, secondary and special schools and community groups. Over 150 boys choose weekly volunteering over other activity options on offer.
Dr Helen Wright, Chair for Independent Schools of the Year 2020, added: “The response to the awards has been fantastic this year. There is no doubt that the independent school sector in Britain is demonstrating resilience and agility and delivering a first class educational experience to its pupils in the most challenging of circumstances. Since the awards were launched we have seen countless examples of schools thriving in innovative new ways.”
In awarding Tonbridge the title of Independent Boys’ School of the Year in October 2019, judges praised the school for its programme of co-curricular breadth and depth, for developing a keen sense of social responsibility in boys and for its record of academic and pastoral excellence.