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Combe Bank School
Sundridge, TN14 6AE, UK Sevenoaks
+44 (0)1959 563720

There has been a settlement at Combe Bank since Roman times. The present Grade I listed Palladian house, set in 27 acres of parkland, was built by Roger Morris in 1720.

The house became the property of Dr William Spottiswoode. In 1830 during his ownership, the Walter Crane Room, now the school library, came into existence. Dr Spottiswoode also installed electricity to Combe Bank which was one of the first grand houses to give up gas mantles.

The gardens contain many historical points of interest from the many Urns still in their original positions, to the old exit arch and bridge at the south east corner.

In 1907, the house's new owner Sir Robert Mond, a founder of ICI, made additions to the building including the beautiful ballroom, later to be transformed into the chapel. During Mond's ownership the house was the centre of a distinguished literary, scientific and political circle and a large extension was added in similar style to the main house. The coach-house quadrangle, once the laboratories of Mond, now accommodates our modern Preparatory School.

During the First World War the house served as a rest house for the officers, doctors and nurses from nearby hospitals.

In 1924, the house began its present role as a school, run by the Society of the Holy Child Jesus. Their purpose-built additions, including hall, refectory, art area and gymnasium form the basis of the extensive facilities of the present school. To this has been added laboratories and a sports centre which opened in February 2003. This comprises a 25 metre pool, sports hall and fitness suite.

Internal developments include computer rooms, drama, music and art departments. A purpose built sixth form centre was opened in September 2003. There are seminar rooms, study rooms and large comon rooms and kitchens in the centre. All rooms are fully networked as are all other classrooms throughout the school. The grounds provide extensive sports fields and grass and hard tennis courts.

The school was bought from the society in 1972 by parents and is now a charitable trust. The trustees appoint the governors, many of whom have strong personal connections with the school. There is a close liaison between the governing body, the headmistress and the administrative manager.


Combe Bank School opened its new £1.7 million sports centre development in February 2003. The facility greatly enhances the sporting opportunities for pupils in the school.

Included in the Sports Centre is a 25 metre swimming pool with viewing gallery. The Sports Hall itself is the size of four badminton courts and allows for the playing of a range of sports such as indoor tennis, netball, hockey, basketball, volleyball, and table tennis. The first floor contains a large fitness suite equipped with the latest machines, a classroom for the teaching of Sports Studies and a well resourced refreshment area.

The school has recently introduced sports scholarships at both Year 7 and Sixth form level, supporting the high profile that sport enjoys within the school.

This facility offers pupils a wide variety of activities which aptly reflects the sporting ability of the school.

The School was presented with a minibus by the very active Parents Association who worked very hard to raise money for the school. The minibus is used for sporting fixtures and a host of other activities.

Combe Bank has a purpose built Sixth Form Centre which opened in September 2003. This houses seminar rooms, common rooms, study areas and the latest tech.


We hope that these web pages will encourage you to visit the school to see us in action!

Children who enter the school at three years of age join our Nursery. Here, in a happy, vibrant atmosphere, they progress through the three Nursery classes. In the September, following their fourth birthday, the girls enter the uniformed part of the school. Boys who have joined the nursery enter the Preparatory schools of their choice at five.

By providing a broad and balanced curriculum, with a structured syllabus for each subject, we aim to develop happy, successful and motivated children. Resources are made available in order to deliver a high standard of education.

The Prep School takes very seriously its 'in loco parentis' role; each member of staff ensuring that the social and emotional well being of every child is given careful consideration. Our strong Christian ethos encourages both staff and pupils to show respect for each other and value individuality.

The family atmosphere of the school is promoted by a congenial working environment for both staff and children, enhanced by the charms of our listed building.

A careful monitoring and report system keeps our parents up to date with their daughter's progress and all round development. At eleven pupils sit the entrance examination to our Senior School (further information can be found on our Senior School's webpages). Girls are also prepared for the Kent Selective Examinations and other schools as appropriate.

Pupils may join the school at any stage, subject to spaces available and an assessment visit.

Combe Bank realises the importance of the partnership we forge with our parents. This is vital for the successful education of each child.

Please make an appointment to come and see us. Contact should be made through our school secretary who will be happy to make an appointment for you. It will be a pleasure to show you our school.


Combe Bank girls pursue the National Curriculum subject areas at Key Stage One and Two and extend their knowledge beyond statutory requirements. There are Subject Coordinators in the core and foundation subjects who oversee the subject teaching and monitor standards and progression throughout the school.

Class sizes are limited with an excellent teacher pupil ratio of maximum 18 per class with two form entry from Year 3 upwards.

We are extremely fortunate to have an experienced and highly professional team of teachers. The girls are taught ICT, French, PE and Music by specialist teachers from Nursery upwards. In Year 5 & 6 the girls' timetable changes as the girls benefit from being taught Maths, English, Science and the Humanities by specialist subject teachers. This way of teaching not only ensures high quality teaching and learning but also encourages the girls to develop time management and organisational skills.

Formal assessments are carried out from Year 2 upwards. This summative assessment provides us with feedback, which can be used to inform our class teaching and personalise each child's learning.

Academic standards are high as reflected in our outstanding Key Stage SATs results. Girls have an excellent record of success in gaining places into our Senior School, scholarships into independent senior schools and local grammar schools.

The standard required for entry into the Senior School and to achieve the Kent Assessment at 11+is used as a benchmark for the academic work throughout the Preparatory School.

The teaching of Maths, English, VR and NVR, in particular, is based on the requirements for these exams and all pupils are given the same exacting preparation.

Although Combe Bank achieves outstanding academic results this is not our only objective, we are committed to provide a broad and balanced curriculum enriched by varied and inspiring opportunities for art, drama, music and sports.

> Subjects
> Homework


Welcome to Combe Bank School, a thriving independent school for girls aged from three to eighteen. Although sited in a magnificent building we are not constrained by the past and our forward-looking curriculum fully prepares our students to take their place in society with confidence and ability.

Our students have access to a wide range of subjects, facilities and extra curricular opportunities. We pride ourselves upon caring for the individual and developing her talents. We have a strong Christian ethos and our pastoral care reflects our belief that you should 'treat others as you would like to be treated'.

We are always pleased to show visitors our school and invite you to make an appointment to come and see us at work.

Mrs Rosemary Martin


Girls join us in the Senior School at the age of eleven. They are taught in form classes and the Form Tutor is the first link in their pastoral care. Classes are small, rarely larger than fifteen, and this means that students are assured of individual care and support in their academic and social development.

Our broad curriculum follows and goes beyond the confines of the National Curriculum guidelines. Home Economics and ICT are both compulsory subjects in the first three years. French is the primary modern language and there is also the opportunity to experience German and Spanish and pursue them to public examination level.

Girls are set for some subjects as they move through the school and there is the opportunity for more able scientists to study Chemistry, Physics and Biology as separate GCSE examination subjects. The majority of girls take a Dual Award Science course which gives them a broad appreciation of scientific subjects. Our tutorial programme incorporates wide ranging Personal and Social Educational opportunities.

> Homework


Academic success, personal development and fun are the three principles of sixth form life.

There has never been a better time to study for your A Levels at Combe Bank School.

Our last inspection report makes it clear that pupils do better at Combe Bank than they do at other schools. We have a separate purpose built Sixth Form Centre which includes two large study rooms with computers, teaching rooms with interactive white boards, a careers library again with ICT facilities, large spacious common rooms and a fully equipped kitchen with fridges, microwaves and a dishwasher.

Our examination record at both GCSE and A level is outstanding, representing very good value added for the pupils by the school with almost all of our students going on to their first choice university. Several students have recently been successful in their Oxbridge applications, the choice of subjects ranging from Modern Languages, Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

We offer small classes with individual learning programmes to suit all students and enable them to obtain their full potential. The choice of subjects on offer is wide and creative timetabling allows us to meet individual needs.

Our Careers department, with the support of the Sixth Form tutors, provides good quality advice and guidance on appropriate courses and the qualifications necessary for a successful application. We offer all students mock interviews and opportunities for work shadowing and specific career- based courses.

We are aware that the transition from GCSE courses to Sixth Form study is a demanding one and the support of the tutorial system eases that transition. Combe Bank is also well suited to new students joining in the Sixth Form because it has the advantages of being a small school. This means that people can be individually cared for by both staff and their peers and our experience is that new students soon feel at home.


We can offer a wide variety of courses in the Sixth form; courses which are tailored to the individual’s needs, requirements and abilities. Our students may sit up to 5 AS examinations and 4 A levels or any other variety of combinations including vocational A levels in Health and Social Care.


GCE Advanced levels (A Levels) are designed for post-16 students who are following a two-year full-time course of study. A Levels are based on six units. Three of these make up an Advanced Subsidiary (AS) course, representing the first half of an advanced level course of study and the other three are known as A2, representing the second half. A Level and AS courses may be assessed either in stages or at the end of the course.

There are examinations in the summer of both Year 12 and Year 13 and some subjects will also offer module examinations at other times of the year. In some subjects there is a proportion of internal assessment (coursework).

All A Levels include an element designed to test candidates' ability to make connections between different aspects of the subject (the synoptic element) which forms approximately 20% of the marks.

As competition for places at the top universities intensifies, the marks achieved in individual modules will become increasingly important. It is therefore wise for students to treat each module examination very seriously.


Most students drop a subject after one year, thereby gaining an AS qualification.

The Advanced Subsidiary consists of three units of approximately equal size that are the first half of the A Level course. The qualification is designed to support progression and encourage breadth in post-16 programmes.


Combe Bank offers a full range of A Level courses, some 20 in total. The more unusual courses on offer include History of Art, Drama, Food and Nutrition, Information Technology, Psychology and Textiles.


This has been devised to broaden the horizons and raise awareness regarding the cultural, political, ethical, scientific and practical issues of the adult world.

Visits to the theatre, law courts, the Houses of Parliament and other places of historic interest are interspersed with speakers covering a wide range of topics including driving, Pilates and women's health. We also provide a recognised First Aid course, a course on car and home maintenance and survival cookery for students.

The programme is always under review and has some in-built flexibility to allow us to cater for the needs and interests of different year groups.

It is generally recognised that this is a valuable time spent away from academic studies, enriching students' skills for life.

We promote a "healthy lifestyle" philosophy in the Sixth Form Physical Education Course. Girls are encouraged to take part in a wide range of activities, including swimming, trampolining, tennis, volleyball, badminton and personal fitness activities, including boxercise. There are clubs for the more traditional team games, providing an opportunity for students to represent their school in our busy fixture programme and the fitness suite is available to the Sixth Form.


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