The John Bentley School

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The John Bentley School
The John Bentley School logo.jpg
Motto Achieving more than you ever thought possible
Established 1663
Type Academy
Chair Carol Bell
Founder John Bentley
Location White Horse Way
SN11 8YH
England England
51°25′43″N 2°00′09″W / 51.42859°N 2.00254°W / 51.42859; -2.00254Coordinates: 51°25′43″N 2°00′09″W / 51.42859°N 2.00254°W / 51.42859; -2.00254
DfE URN 137650 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Students 1,065 pupils
Gender Mixed
Ages 11–18
Houses Fitzmaurice, Kerry, Lansdowne, Shelburne
Colours Blue and Gold          
Website School homepage

The John Bentley School is a mixed secondary school and sixth form in Calne, Wiltshire for pupils aged 11 to 18. Since September 2011, it has been an Academy.


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.[1] 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[edit]

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.

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[edit]

In the 2002 inspection, John Bentley was rated as "good overall".[2] The school maintained this rating for the 2007 and 2010 inspections.[3][4]

On 6 June 2013 in the first inspection since becoming an academy, despite the bar having been raised in the way schools are judged, the school continued to maintain its high standards.[5][6]

Notable alumni[edit]


External links[edit]