Life  at Benenden

Benenden life brings enormous benefits for your daughter: she has the time and space to try new activities, she develops great social and emotional skills, and makes friends for life. Boarding is also a partnership between School and family, and parents are always welcome to join their daughter at weekends or throughout the week to cheer her on in matches, have a catch-up, take her out to lunch or enjoy the food at School – Sunday brunch here in the Café is particularly popular with parents!

Flexible
Weekends

All pupils are welcome to spend Saturday nights away from School if they choose to – with the exception of two weekends each term (the first and final weekends for all pupils).

Weekly boarding mirrors the approach we take with optional weekends at home. On these weekends, pupils leave School after their lessons and sporting commitments on a Saturday, returning on Sunday evening or Monday morning.

We find that this approach allows families greater flexibility, however, we find that on any given weekend more than two-thirds of students choose to remain at School to enjoy the Weekend Programme.

Award-Winning Food

Benenden is renowned for its excellent food. The quality and variety of our freshly-prepared and locally-sourced food ensures the Dining Room and Café are the social hubs of every school day.
Our fantastic team of chefs are inspired each week to serve the most delicious food. Enthused by regular feedback from the pupils and staff, our chefs create innovative and nutritious menus, with something for everyone – from home-cooked favourites to the most sophisticated dining. A wide
range of special diets are catered for, safe in the knowledge that all ingredients are sourced by the team and therefore fully traceable.
With our pupils’ healthy and energetic lifestyles, food at Benenden is the wonderful fuel on which we run.

Chaplaincy

Benenden has an Anglican tradition and the key Christian principle of loving our neighbour is at the heart of our shared life. Whilst maintaining its Christian roots, the Chaplaincy is fully inclusive and welcoming of people from all faiths and none. We actively encourage an open, honest and friendly dialogue, where all views are respected in a spirit of generous hospitality and mutual learning.

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Outstanding Medical Care

The Medical Centre is situated in Leelands, in the heart of the School. It is staffed 24 hours a day in term time by registered nurses. Dr Sara Butler-Gallie is our School Doctor and she holds surgeries at the School three times a week. All students are registered with Sara Butler-Gallie as NHS patients and also have the option to see her partners. We have a visiting physiotherapist and School Counsellor.

All parents of pupils joining Benenden complete medical history and consent forms prior to their daughter’s arrival, thus enabling the nursing staff to establish if there are any significant medical conditions which will need particular care.

Good health and wellbeing are close to our hearts at Benenden. The Medical Centre staff provide us with on-site expertise and give us access to a range of other services, which together will help each pupil to learn how to look after herself so she can lead a balanced and fulfilled life both in and beyond school. Please feel free to contact the Medical Centre if you would like further details.

Making Travel  Simple

The School Office co-ordinates all student travel for Exeats and School holidays.
In order to make transport to and from School easier for parents and pupils, a number of services are available at weekends, exeats and holidays. These incur an additional cost and whilst some are supervised and fully escorted trips for which the School bears responsibility, others are entirely the responsibility of parents.

Airport Travel

At the beginning and end of terms and at Half Term, we run either taxis or coaches to London airports, depending on the number of students who need transport.

Coach and Minibus Travel

Coach to Clapham Common and the Albert Hall (Escorted)
At Fixed Exeats and Half Terms, the school provides an escorted coach service to the Windmill Pub, Clapham Common which then continues on to the Albert Hall, Prince Consort Road.

Minibus to Wimbledon
The School provides transport to outside Our Lady Queen of Heaven R.C. Primary School, Withycombe Road, Wimbledon at Fixed Exeats and Half Terms.

Essex/Suffolk Coach Service
At Fixed Exeats and Half Terms, the School provides this escorted coach service. The coach stops first at Brentwood, then Boreham Service Station just off the A12 near Chelmsford, then the Tollgate Centre, Stanway, just off the A12 south of Colchester, finally the Travelodge, A14/A140 at Beacon Hill.

Minibus to Sussex
For pupils living in Sussex, we have a minibus to Haywards Heath at Fixed Exeats and Half Terms. The bus stops at Crowborough Railway Station Car Park, Maresfield Shell/McDonald’s Car Park on Black Down, The King’s Head A275/A272 at North Chailey, then arriving at Haywards Heath Franklyn Road Long Stay Car Park just before Carpet Right/roundabout, opposite Court House Clinic.

Taxis

It is also possible to book taxis to other destinations via the School Office, though parents should please be aware that availability is limited to a small number of local companies and requests for bookings cannot be guaranteed. The School only uses taxi firms who have licensed and plated taxis and drivers who have been DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checked.

Train Travel

At Fixed Exeats, Half Terms and ends of term, it is possible for students to travel by train to Charing Cross, usually via Waterloo East. To save lots of parents booking individual taxis for their daughters, the School books a bus to Staplehurst and Benenden staff travel on the train in case of emergencies.
Train Travel: Other Weekends
On other weekends, students may also travel by train to London. The School books a bus to Staplehurst Station each Saturday and a return bus on Sundays. Please contact School Office for further travel details.

Bus Routes

We are pleased to announce that we plan to introduce our first Benenden School bus service for our day students from September 2024.

This initial route will start in Tonbridge and travel via Tunbridge Wells and Goudhurst. We anticipate that future routes will cover geographical areas to the south and east of Benenden.

Timings and Pickup Points

• The pickup timings will be organised to enable students to arrive in School for 8.00am every weekday, which gives them an opportunity to enjoy breakfast at School before signing in at House.
• Exact pickup points will depend on the location of the bus’s passengers.
• The return bus will depart from Benenden at approximately 5.30pm, enabling students to complete an after-school extra. Return journey times will be adjusted on Fixed Exeats and ends of term as necessary.
• This service will only run on weekdays; it will not run on Saturdays, certainly to begin with although naturally this will be kept under review.

Cost

• A departure from Tonbridge or Tunbridge Wells will cost £7.50 per journey and a Goudhurst pickup will cost £4.00 per journey.

Please speak with our Admissions team for more information, on 01580 240592 or registry@benenden.school.

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