The John Bentley School
|Motto||Achieving more than you ever thought possible|
|Location||White Horse Way
|DfE URN||137650 Tables|
|Ofsted||Reports Pre-academy reports|
|Houses||Fitzmaurice, Kerry, Lansdowne, Shelburne|
|Colours||Blue and Gold|
Formed in 1974 when the Bentley Grammar School and the Fynemore School merged. Both sites were used until 1998 when the Fynemore School site in Silver Street was given up and more buildings added to the Wessington site, and existing ones improved. The school was renamed the John Bentley School
The oldest Calne school was founded in 1557 by Walter Finamore of Whetham (just outside Calne). He gave an annuity of 40 shillings (£2) towards the foundation of a free school to be established within the Borough of Calne. The money devised was to be used for the education and bringing up of ten children of the poor.
Various other bequests were made during the 16th century and the school's revenue was further augmented by a grant from borough funds.
The school did not possess a building until 1830 - lessons had been held in a disused malthouse until that date. Subscriptions from residents and a few wealthy landowners were collected and a site was given by the Marquis of Lansdowne. The school became the Boys' National School. In 1856 a side on the Green in Calne was occupied by the Girls' National School - built at the expense of a Mrs Wetherall of Patford Street, Calne.
The second oldest school in Calne sanctioned by the Charity Commissioners was the Bentley Grammar School founded in 1663 by the trustees under the will of John Bentley of Richmond, Surrey. Although he had no intention of establishing a school in Calne, three of the trustees under his will had an association with the town. The newly erected school (with a schoolmaster's house) remained until 1833. In 1894 the Charity Commissioners reorganised the school and modernised it. In 1901 it was combined with the Technical Institute which had also been established in 1894.
Both schools continued to expand into the 20th Century. Bentley Grammar School moved onto the present site in 1959 and the Elementary School (later to be the Fynamore Secondary Modern School) was built at the Wenhill Lane site (now a housing estate) in 1930.
The two schools became John Bentley Comprehensive School in 1974 and remained a split site (North Wing and South Wing) until the North Wing site was sold and the school became a single site in 1998.
The school's Language College status was formally recognised by an official opening by the Queen in 2001. The John Bentley School also gained training school status in 2001. In recognition of its status as "a good school with many outstanding features" by Ofsted, the John Bentley School was formally invited to apply for academy status in 2010.
Campus and facilities
Set in the Wiltshire countryside the school has 13 science labs, a design and technology complex with a focus on resistant materials, digital media, computer-aided design, textiles, food, graphics and ICT. It has 3 fully equipped Drama studios, 3 purpose-built Music rooms with practice rooms for instrumental tuition. There are data projectors and interactive whiteboards in all departments. It has a sports hall, gymnasium and 33 acres of sports fields, as well as the use of the White Horse Leisure Centre, with 7 tennis courts. Art and design studios for painting, drawing, fabric printing, ceramics, computer-aided design and modelling. A photography dark room and processing facilities, reprographics facilities to assist both staff and pupils. A cafeteria with outdoor covered eating area, gardens, an on-site nursery (babies to pre-school) and a purpose-built Sixth Form Centre.
There are 4 houses at John Bentley.
- Fitzmaurice — named after John Petty, 1st Earl of Shelburne (1706–1761), known as John FitzMaurice until 1751, who bought the Bowood Estate in 1754
- Kerry — named after Thomas FitzMaurice, 1st Earl of Kerry (1668–1741)
- Lansdowne — named after John Petty, 2nd Marquess of Lansdowne (1765-1809)
- Shelburne — named after the William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne (1737-1805)
Named after key figures in the Bowood Estate, the house system is principally used to stimulate friendly competition in physical education, sporting events and academic competitions and achievement as well as to reward positive behaviour.
Ofsted and academic performance
- School homepage
- School Prospectus
- View all of The John Bentley School Newsletters
- Read our 'Student Salad' magazine — Dec 2013
- Wiltshire Gazette & Herald - Year 11 Prom July 2014
- Wiltshire Gazette & Herald - A-Level Art Exhibition 2014
- Wiltshire Gazette & Herald - Year 13 Prom July 2014
- Wiltshire Gazette & Herald - Art Dept Tribute to Tylor Stevens July 2014
- Wiltshire Gazette & Herald - Calne Pupils Mark WWI June 2014
- Wiltshire Gazette & Herald - Best Ever A-Level Results August 2013
- Diver opens pupil-planned sixth form centre at Calne — 8 May 2009
- GCSE results day: Passes all round — 23 August 2007