Rose Hill School in Tunbridge Wells continues to go from strength to strength. Its recent endorsement in Tatler’s renowned Schools Guide has cemented its position as one of the leading prep schools in the country.
The school currently has waiting lists for all year groups up to Year 6, with Kindergarten registrations at an all-time high.
Tucked away among the quiet residential streets in Tunbridge Wells, the 310-pupil school has a near-cult status locally, with superb facilities in beautiful 18-acre grounds. In addition to a sports hall and new all-weather astro turf, the school also has an impressive 220-seater theatre, and new arts and technology departments. A new teaching block for older pupils is next on the list of developments.
Small class sizes mean that teachers have great relationships with pupils and know them as individuals. This may go some way to explaining the impressive scholarship results this year (19 across a breadth of subjects including drama, design, art, sport, music and academic) and best ever results for the 11+.
However, for Headmaster David Westcombe academic results are just one element of school life. He is just as interested in seeing the children grow and develop into rounded, confident people, who are happy and fulfilled. Speaking about the school ethos and success, he says:
“I am proud to be responsible for overseeing the children’s development through their formative school years. The staff and I believe that every child possesses talents and our job is to unlock them, develop them and put them to the best possible use.
“It’s not all hard work and no play. Quite the contrary. We offer a wide and varied extra-curricular programme, including our own Cubs and Brownies packs. Most of the after school and lunchtime clubs are free of charge and run by teaching staff who are passionate about their particular area of interest, e.g. science club or storytelling. For me as a Headmaster, school should offer an opportunity for children to experience all aspects of life and to find out what inspires them.”
This is demonstrated clearly in the sporting field. Sport at Rose Hill is inclusive and every pupil plays in matches against other schools across Kent and Sussex on a regular basis. In addition to the core sports of hockey, rugby, cricket, netball, football, cross-country, rounders and athletics, pupils also have the opportunity to play badminton, basketball and tennis and to swim in the school’s pool.
With specialist PE staff and a total of 16 games staff, pupils receive a huge amount of support and encouragement to find sports they enjoy and to pursue them. As a result, a large number of pupils go on to represent the county across a wide range of sports, including cricket, hockey and football. In fact, an ex-pupil is a key member of the GB Hockey team in the forthcoming Olympic Games!
The school environment is incredibly friendly and supportive and this runs through every element – from parents through to staff and pupils. Size is a key factor in this but the pastoral care given to children is something that really sets the school apart and was judged outstanding in the School’s last Inspection report. In addition to a full time School Nurse, the school has a buddy system of older children partnering with children who are new to the school or who have just started in Year 3. Pupils also have specific tutors they can turn to for great advice and support.
For David Westcombe, school life is very much a journey. Children start the school in Kindergarten, where they are introduced to the exciting world of learning in a safe, happy and interactive environment. As they progress through the school, experienced staff encourage them to become confident and independent, while developing strong friendships and a respect for others. A strong Christian ethos underpins school life and good citizenship is a key aim of the school.
Children leave the school at the end of Year 6 or 8 as happy, confident individuals. They move on to their secondary schools with treasured memories, having built lifelong friendships.
Name: Rose Hill School
Address: Coniston Avenue, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 9SY [MAP]
Telephone: 01892 525591