Kent College, Pembury
Kent, United Kingdom
About Kent College, Pembury
Founded in Folkestone in 1886, Kent College is an independent day and boarding school for girls, with a Senior School (ages 11-18) and Preparatory School (ages 3-11) sharing the same site, facilities and some specialist staff. The school is one of a group of ten schools under the control of the Methodist Independent Schools Trust. The school has a resident Chaplain who leads the Christian worship in the school.
Since 1939, Kent College has been located on 75 acres of beautiful countryside in Pembury, near Tunbridge Wells. The school campus comprises an elegant Victorian manor house and purpose-built modern facilities, including boarding houses, a music centre, science building, sports hall, A level study centre, and an indoor, heated swimming pool. The school is committed to a continuous programme of development and the resources are excellent. IT provision is first-rate, including the number of interactive white boards, laptops and data projectors. In 2008 a new science wing was opened, providing inspirational science laboratories, and recent boarding refurbishment includes an extension of ICT facilities to individual study areas. The Countess of Wessex Theatre reopened in 2012 following extensive refurbishment and an iconic Library and Arts Centre opened in spring 2013. Our additional Sports Hall is now complete and was opened in October 2015.
The Senior School
The current roll in the Senior School is approximately 450 and attracts girls from all over the world. Entry at eleven and thirteen is by the school’s own entrance test and the school accepts quite a wide range of academic ability, with approximately half of our KS3 intake within the top 25% of the national ability range. Kent College offers a choice of 25 GCSE subjects, with group sizes usually between three and eighteen. Top students will be aiming for ten A and A* grades at GCSE, less academic students may take eight GCSE subjects. In summer 2015, 97% of GCSE grades awarded were A*-C and the school’s value added was around 8 grades for each girl’s set of results, based on predictions at KS3 baseline data. Excellence was seen in core subjects such as English, Modern Foreign Languages and Science, with 95% all English grades awarded A* - B. The school is in a highly competitive area with girls’ grammar schools, strong comprehensives and many independent schools locally. Students are also accepted for entry at 16+ and there are approximately 125 girls studying for A-level courses. At A-level there were 92% A*-C grades and 50% A*-A Grades. The 26 subjects are mostly of the more traditional type with class sizes at 16+ normally ranging between three and 12. Scholarships to the Senior School are offered at 11+, 13+, 16+ and means-tested bursaries are available.
The Prep School
In 1945 a Prep School was opened in the centre of Tunbridge Wells and in 1989 it was moved to the Senior School site in Pembury into architect-designed purpose built accommodation. The move also enabled the Prep School to benefit from a range of excellent facilities which now include an indoor heated swimming pool, sports hall, theatre and dining hall. The Prep School is a friendly, caring and happy school with a current roll of 180 girls aged 3 to 11 (Nursery – Year 6). The majority are day pupils with a small number of boarders. In addition to the core subjects of English, Maths and Science, all of the girls in Key Stage 2 study Geography, History, Art, DT and RE. Specialist teachers in ICT, Music, French, Drama, PE and Swimming work with girls throughout the school, and Mandarin is now also taught in Year 6. Class sizes in KS1 and KS2 range from 12 to 18. In 2014/15, 42% of the girls in KS2 achieved a standardised score of 115+ in their InCAS tests for English (Reading) thereby placing them in the top 16% nationally, and 57% of the cohort achieved 115+ in Maths. Each year, a number of girls apply for and are awarded scholarships to the Senior School..
Julie Lodrick (Headmistress, Senior school)
Nik Pears (Head of Prep School)
Values and vision
Kent College Pembury maintains the Methodist Christian ethos of its founders, although it is now an interdenominational school accepting pupils of all faiths, or none. Its values are based on the Methodist principles of fulfilling one’s own potential to help others, and to make the world a better place.
The school is selective, but “not narrowly so” and it accepts pupils with a range of abilities, from the most able to those with mild learning difficulties or who have interrupted schooling. The school can support such a range of abilities by providing a high level of individual attention through small teaching groups.
"The curriculum is excellent; it shows great breadth, effectively covers all the appropriate areas of learning, whilst suiting all abilities and needs. Pupils…are thoughtful and compassionate, with a well-developed understanding of right and wrong and a high degree of emotional maturity. Leadership and management, and also governance, are excellent.”