Tonbridge School is one of the leading boys' boarding schools in the country and highly respected internationally.Tonbridge School is located in Tonbridge, county of Kent.
The school aims to provide a caring and enlightened environment in
which the talents of each individual flourish. We encourage boys to be
creative, tolerant and to strive for academic, sporting and cultural
excellence. Respect for tradition and an openness to innovation are
About the school
Long description: Tonbridge School was founded in 1553 by Sir Andrew Judde, under Letters Patent of King Edward VI. The Charter ordained that the Governors of the school after the death of the Founder were to be the Worshipful Company of Skinners, one of the oldest City Livery Companies.
Sir Andrew, himself a distinguished member of this Company, left property in the City of London and in the parish of St. Pancras as an endowment for the School. The income from these estates is at the disposal of the Governors for the general benefit of the School. The memory of Sir Andrew Judde and other benefactors is honoured in an annual Community Service, held on Skinners' Day at the end of the summer term.
Tonbridge occupies an extensive site of about 150 acres on the northern edge of the town of Tonbridge, and is largely self-contained within that site. Since its foundation, the School has been rebuilt twice on the original site. The main buildings of the present school date from the second half of the nineteenth century, a time in which the school grew considerably in size and importance. There has been much further building in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This has included the magnificent restoration, completed in 1995, of the Edwardian Chapel, which had been severely damaged by fire in 1988. Its superb new 4-manual organ, built by Marcussen of Denmark, is widely regarded as one of the finest instruments in the country. More recently a major Arts and Technology complex (the Vere Hodge Centre), opened in the summer of 1996. This was followed by the E. M. Forster Theatre in 2000, and the Sports and Media Centre in 2008.
For about 300 years from 1553 the number of pupils at the school remained below 100. Although the majority have always been boarders, Tonbridge has always had a significant day constituency. In the middle of the nineteenth century a rapid expansion of the school began. The number of pupils increased from 83 in 1843 to 214 by 1870, and 447 by the end of the century. This coincided with a rapidly increasing demand for education from the Victorian middle classes, a transformation of the school’s finances to allow for new school buildings, and the coming of the railway to Tonbridge in the 1840s. By the end of the nineteenth century the modern character of the school had been shaped. This comprised a clearly managed pastoral system based on seven boarding and two day houses; a significantly widened curriculum to include greater prominence, alongside Classics, of other subjects like Maths, Science and Modern Languages; and the development of team sports, especially cricket and rugby. The consecration of the Edwardian Chapel in 1902 put the seal on a period of great development and underpinned the Christian foundation of the school.
What we offer?
Tonbridge values its inclusive and diverse nature. Around 10% of the boys at Tonbridge live overseas. Of the remaining 90%, the vast majority live within a two hour drive of the school. Within the boarding houses, significant groups come from London, the home counties (with Surrey, Hampshire and Sussex particularly well represented), from Canterbury and the Kent Coast region, and from the towns and villages close to Tonbridge. Day boys tend to live within 30 minutes drive from Tonbridge, although a good number will travel to and from school by train.
Thirty nationalities are represented in the school, making up around 11% of the school community. Nationalities represented include American, Belgian, Canadian, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Indian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Kenyan, Korean, Malaysian, Nigerian, Russian, South African, Swedish, Swiss and Thai.
Boys join Tonbridge from a very broad range of schools from both the state and private sector. 144 boys joined Year 9 in September 2012, who were drawn from 47 different schools. Over 45 Scholarships are awarded each year. As a consequence this academic year there are 15 boys at the school with full fee remission and a further 15 receiving over 80% fee remission.
Although each House has its individual character, there is a similar demographic throughout the Houses with a similar spread of abilities and talents. The boys in any one House represent a fair cross-section of the whole school.