Tonbridge School Prospectus

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WHAT MAKES ANY ONE SCHOOL DIFFERENT FROM ANOTHER? It is not really the manicured cricket square, nor the pristine swimming pool. Neither is it the industry standard Performing Arts Centre, the world class Science Centre, or the timeless Chapel. What makes one school different from another is people. Pupils of all kinds. Staff of all kinds. Parents of all kinds.


FROM A FINE MIND


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TO A GOOD HEART Of all kinds, for sure, but with a uniting characteristic: a desire to forge an unbreakable connection between the intellectual and the human. Let us start with the fine mind – we are a meritocracy. We are looking for bright boys. Bright boys from anywhere, and from whatever life background. Bright boys who can move from asking the right questions to challenging the answers.



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What does that mean for us at Tonbridge as we seek to create an environment that brings together intellectual and personal development?


FROM TRADITION

As soon as you arrive here, as a new pupil, parent or member of staff, from wherever you come, you will sense and you will see that the rapport between boy and adult is not based on authority of the command and control kind, but on mutual respect and on a shared aim – the aim to grow.


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TO INNOVATION



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FROM WHY? TO WHY NOT?

This drive for growth begins in the classroom, as you would expect from a school with our academic aspiration. We do not encourage learning along a pre-determined track because we know that an idea cannot be told where to go. We cultivate in all subjects an atmosphere of enquiry.


In this way, we do not teach what to think, but how to think.


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FROM IDEA

TO REALITY


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Not just at A-level but at every level, our academic programme is designed to offer breadth and depth, as well as the opportunity to put learning into action. Breadth not for its own sake, but because making creative connections between subjects helps our boys to develop their own views as independent thinkers. And depth, because we want our boys to go beyond the superficial in order to gain a mastery of their subject and become adept at solving complex problems.



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Perhaps other schools claim to do this, but look closely and you will see that few embed it consequentially, day in, day out.


FROM HERE TO ANYWHERE Every year our boys win places at leading universities here in the UK and around the world, including Oxford and Cambridge, Russell Group and US universities, the significant majority to their first choice destination.

As well as those moving on to UK universities, a number of Tonbridge leavers progress to leading universities around the globe.

Europe Trinity College Dublin Bocconi University Milan Maastricht University

North America Berkeley Harvard The University of Chicago University of Pennsylvania University of Toronto McGill University

Far East Hong Kong University

South Africa Stellenbosch University

Australia University of Sydney


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St Andrews Edinburgh

Durham

Manchester

Nottingham

Warwick Cambridge

Oxford Cardiff

Bristol Bath

Exeter

London School of Economics Imperial Tonbridge


FROM HOUSE


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TO HOME From a fine mind to a good heart. From the intellectual to the human. How do we help develop each boy’s sense of self and of belonging? To start with, for boarders and day boys, Tonbridge works on a House system, the boys’ home when they are not at home. This is true of many other schools, and yet here the House is a latticework of the many things (some obvious, some less so) that a teenage boy needs to thrive.


The Houses are small enough to feel like a family, and, like a family, all meals are taken there – we pause and we come together.


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FROM RECOGNITION

Within the House and within the School as a whole, we go to great lengths to make sure that each child can be known for themselves and not for some imposed notion of what they should be. Why? Because before a child can start to achieve things, can start to perform impressively in whatever field of endeavour, they must be recognised for themselves. This is at the heart of Tonbridge. It is via that recognition that the boy begins to take the shape of the young adult.


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TO PERFORMANCE


This means that we can take our boys as we find them. True, we are academically selective. Quite simply, we are keen to ensure that everyone who comes here enjoys the ambition and pace of the teaching and learning on offer.


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But, once here, our boys can and are encouraged to drop their guard and, in so doing, to leave their comfort zone. As well as hopes and aspirations, we take interest in quirks, enthusiasms and idiosyncrasies. From rocketry to bee-keeping, every boy can discover himself beyond the classroom. This is how our culturally rich community is made the richer. This is how we nurture emotional intelligence, and this is how each boy becomes their own person – confident on their own and confident in the crowd.

FROM DRONES


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TO ROCKETS



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And because it is unforced and unpressured, it happens without the self-consciousness to be found in some other places.


FROM HIGH ACHIEVEMENT

TO STRONG MORAL COMPASS


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So, when our boys leave and are asked, ‘So, what did you find at Tonbridge?’ they may answer truthfully, ‘I found many things, but most of all, I found myself’. Our boys leave us as young men. They will have found how to be their best without artifice and found how to walk at life with hope and resolution. In their future they will find how to be a spouse, neighbour, employee, colleague, of a kind kind.


They will find how to connect all the dots that make up a coherent, fully-formed person.


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FROM CONGESTION ZONE


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TO SPACE TO BREATHE London to Tonbridge is only 40 minutes by train

As you would expect, we do indeed have all those facilities mentioned at the beginning, and many many more. But that is not the point. Or, at least, it is not our point. You may not believe that this is how Tonbridge works. Come to meet us. Then you will. As E M Forster, Tonbridge alumnus, said, ‘Only Connect’.


Arrange a visit: admissions@tonbridge-school.org tonbridge-school.co.uk

“ Tonbridge is that rare creature: a thriving, top-of-its-game, all-boys boarding and day school that somehow manages to fly under the radar. Fiercely academic without the heat of London, Tonbridge suits driven, hardworking but – crucially – normal boys. Understated yet excelling across the board, this is one of our favourite schools in the country.” Talk Education


Design & production: haime-butler.com Copywriting: R Fletcher and Partners


Arrange a visit: admissions@tonbridge-school.org tonbridge-school.co.uk

Tonbridge School High Street Tonbridge Kent TN9 1JP +44 (0)1732 304297