Benenden's Centenary Vision was officially launched in April 2015 by HRH The Princess Royal, Founders' Patron of the School. Underpinning the exciting curriculum and extra-curricular developments are the following capital projects:
The All-Weather Pitch and Pavilion: Completed September 2016
After a series of washout winter sports seasons, with record rainfall creating constantly waterlogged pitches, we cannot forget the disappointment of so many cancelled fixtures and a scramble for local all-weather venues to enable at least some play for our sports teams. Benenden now has a top quality all-weather pitch and pavilion, which was officially opened in September 2016.
Sport, fitness and student well-being are a vital part of Benenden’s curriculum and we have a longstanding aspiration to allow as many girls as possible to participate in sport. The School simultaneously wants to encourage girls to compete at national and international level.
The All-Weather Pitch provides an alternative to grass for lacrosse and enables the development of hockey at Benenden. It also allows the School to meet the demands of a complete programme of competitive sport to remain competitive with its peer institutions.
The All-Weather Pitch is on the west side of the campus and will complement the forthcoming development of the West Wing area of the School encompassing the School Hall, Music School and teaching and learning facilities.
The floodlit All-Weather Pitch significantly enhances the teaching facilities for the Sports Department at the School and ensure Benenden remains comparable with its closest competitors.
The sand-dressed artificial turf all-weather pitch houses flexible pitch formats: both an international size lacrosse and hockey pitch.
Eight floodlights have been erected around the all-weather pitch to allow evening use throughout the winter season and an electronic scoreboard has been put in place. Landscaping of the area has been enhanced with new tree lines and protected hedgerows.
The accompanying pavilion includes changing rooms for players and officials, as well as catering facilities, together with covered and terraced spectator areas, which the School hopes will further attract support from families and friends at matches.
Staff Accommodation: Completed September 2016
To help Benenden to recruit and retain the very best staff we have built new staff accommodation on the campus. Benenden has a strong boarding ethos and the new staff housing will help to strengthen our community.
For any school, excellent staff are crucial to its success and no more so than at a boarding school, the best of which really thrive when staff live either on-site or very close to the school.
As part of Benenden’s strategy to attract and retain high calibre staff we want to be able to offer more housing on site to those moving into the area. This will also support and retain staff who would otherwise have to travel long distances to school. Housing more staff also enables the School to create a more comprehensive boarding community, benefiting the School and girls alike.
Benenden is a wonderful place to work, set in a rural location in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Local towns and villages have expensive property prices and so to attract, recruit and retain the best teaching staff we are pleased to be able to provide our own range of accommodation options.
Adding to the existing units of staff accommodation are the eight new units of housing, named Weston Crescent. Centrally located near the Victorian Walled Garden the Crescent comprises a variety of three and four bedroom homes for single and family accommodation.
The West Wing Development: Completed July 2018
At the end of the 2017-18 academic year, and in advance of building the new School Hall and Music School), we remodelled the area of the School known as the West Wing.
Accessed through Cloisters, the ground floor will temporarily provide music practice rooms to be used while the new Music School is being built. After that, it will become a purpose-built area for Academic Support, with three further general classrooms, one of which will be a high tech centre from which lessons can be recorded and broadcast.
Due to increased numbers, and the consequent need for more classroom space for larger groups, we have converted and extended the top floor of West Wing into a modern open plan study area for staff. This has freed up three rooms in the Study Centre to become large, refitted classrooms and has provided four much-needed smaller rooms suitable for small group, special educational needs and one to one teaching, and a study space for 6th formers.
The West Wing has been completely refurbished to bring it up to the standard of the forthcoming new School Hall and Music School.