Bennett Memorial Diocesan School
|Motto||Semper Tenax (Ever holding fast)|
|Type||Secondary All Ability Academy|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Headteacher||Mr J E Sparke|
|Founder||Lady Elena Bennett and Christopher Chavasse|
|DfE URN||136603 Tables|
|Houses||Audley, Chavasse,Fisher, Gundulf, Justus, Langdon, Merton, Ridley, Talbot|
The school was founded on 17 October 1951 by Lady Elena Bennett of Matfield and Christopher M. Chavasse Bishop of Rochester. The school opened to 400 students and only 18 teachers on 8 January 1953. In 1976 Bennett became a comprehensive school, welcoming students of all abilities from a large part of the Diocese of Rochester rather than just Tunbridge Wells. It was shortly after this time that the Bennett sixth form was opened for A-Level students. Over the years students have travelled from as far away as Aylesford and Robertsbridge. A huge turning point in the School's life happened in 1993 when Bennett introduced boys into Year 7. In 2003 Bennett Memorial achieved specialist school status as a technology college.In April 2011, Bennett Memorial Diocesan School gained 'Academy' status, bringing with it new freedom and opportunity. In 2012 Bennett achieved an Outstanding judgment from Ofsted.
Pupils from the school were chosen to form part of a "guard of honour" for athletes at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games, displaying artistic creations their school made to celebrate the event.
In 2012, the school unveiled plans for a new sixth form centre. Construction of the 'Sixth Form Study Centre' commenced in March 2013, and opened to staff and students in January 2014.
In February 2014 Rt Hon Michael Gove (Education secretary) came to the school to officially open the new sixth form block.
The school has the following main buildings:
- The Mansion House - 1906/51+ (Administration, R.E, Art, Technology, Science Departments & Site Team)
- The Palmer Building - 2008 (Maths)
- The Webster Block - 1977 (ICT, Modern Foreign Languages, Geography & Learning Support)
- The Cutbush Building - 2001/5 (History)
- Music and Drama Department - 1980s
- The Ann Scott Wing - 1993/6/8 (English, Science)
- The Sports Hall - 2001 (a 4-badminton court-sized hall, a multi gymn)
- Sixth Form Study Centre - 2014 (PSHE, RS & Social Sciences, Study Space, Maths)
The school holds a house system used in every year. Each house is named after bishops of Rochester:
- Douglas Booth, model and actor (BBC's Worried About The Boy)
- Joanne Rout (née Round), 1988 Paralympic swimmer
- Scott Wagstaff, footballer for Bristol City F.C.
- Jonathan Williams, footballer for Crystal Palace F.C.
- Murphy, Chris (27 May 2012), "School pupils to form guard of honour for 2012 athletes", Kent on Sunday, KOS Media
- "'Uni-esque' sixth form in pipeline at Bennett Memorial Diocesan School". Kent and Sussex Courier. 28 September 2012.
- Bennett Memorial Diocesan School - Official School Website
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