|Langton Green, TN3 0EB, UK Tunbridge Wells|
+44 (0)1892 860000
Founded in 1945, Holmewood House is a leading co-educational Preparatory school for children aged 3 - 13, serving Tunbridge Wells and its environs. Based in a mid-nineteenth century house, we have a range of excellent additional facilities and over twenty acres of grounds and playing fields.
The early years of education are vital and we endeavour to lay firm foundations in a supportive and sympathetic environment that will enable children to grow in knowledge, skills and confidence. As they move up the school they follow an educational programme tailored to ensure that each child's potential is both developed and fulfilled. In the top years we prepare a minority of pupils for 11+ examinations but the majority take the 13+ Common Entrance and Scholarship exams to senior Independent schools. We have a strong reputation for achieving academic success for our pupils to a wide variety of schools in the south-east and further afield.
Everything we do we try to do as well as possible, and we encourage children to aim equally high. Academic achievement and competitive sport are important, but we also place a great deal of emphasis on developing well-rounded people. We want children to be confident but not arrogant, considerate and caring for others and to know right from wrong. This vision is addressed through many channels, including the House system that allows for plenty of friendly competition, a well-developed tutor system for children aged 10 and above that ensures that all have someone specifically looking after their interests, the Personal Social Health Education programme, our healthy meals, varied assemblies and extensive sports provision.
Each child is encouraged to develop his or her individuality and to learn that increased freedom carries with it increased duties and responsibilities to self and others. Religious Studies is taught throughout the school and our ethos is essentially Christian although we warmly welcome and appreciate children of other faiths and of no specific faith. Children's and parents' views about the school are frequently elicited and an elected School Council meets regularly.
We have a generous staff to pupil ratio and an average class size of sixteen. Our well-qualified teachers are inspirational professionals, who are friendly and approachable. As a larger than average Prep school we are well endowed with resources for learning and a full range of teachers with specialist expertise that enable us to deliver a broad, balanced and up to date curriculum.
Our aims are:
Consistent and high expectations for all.
A broad and balanced curriculum, with a strong focus on teaching and learning.
An emphasis on the examined subjects to ensure that pupils achieve the standard needed for entrance to their chosen senior schools and those with the potential have an opportunity to attain scholarship standard.
Opportunities for pupils to experience a range of sports as well as extra-curricular activities and non-examined subjects.
A culture of self review and school improvement.
Sound procedures for planning, and assessing the progress of pupils.
A positive atmosphere and generosity of spirit.
Self-esteem for everybody – a school where everyone feels valued.
An ethos that celebrates achievement and recognises success.
An environment that is attractive, calm, ordered, stimulating and promotes independent learning.
Children that are highly motivated, fully involved in the life of the school, independent, showing initiative and self-discipline.
A positive and purposeful partnership with parents.
An effective team of teachers who are supportive of each other, and prepared to try new ideas.
An emphasis more on mutual co-operation than individual competitiveness, while accepting that there is a place for healthy competition.
Valuing cultural diversity and enrichment.
Our whole school values are essentially Christian
as a community - we value good discipline, independence of mind, mutual support, and success for all.
in our relationships - we value a caring approach, encouragement, good manners and generosity.
on a personal level - we value integrity, effort, happiness and self-discipline.
A Bright Start in the Early Years
The Nursery and Pre-Prep are housed in their own, purpose-built buildings. The emphasis is on a warm and caring environment where our young learners can feel safe and flourish.
Children are encouraged to develop their talents through a broad and varied curriculum. From Literacy and Numeracy, to Science, Art, Design Technology and Music, children have fun whilst learning and gaining confidence in themselves, guided by specialist teaching staff and classroom assistants.
Both the Nursery and the Pre-Prep have safe, enclosed playgrounds as well as offering access to the extensive green playing fields, swimming pool and sports hall. Physical education is taught at all ages. Class Music is on the curriculum from the Nursery and many children start individual instrument lessons from Year 1. There is a Pre-Prep orchestra and choir. There are several annual concerts and drama productions including a Nativity play and Year 2 play held in the Jubilee Theatre.
A Firm Foundation for Every Child
Children are brought on at their optimum pace in mixed ability classes. Frequent, standardised and teacher assessment enables progress to be carefully monitored and reported to parents. Regular contact between teachers and parents is encouraged and there are also formal meetings held annually. Parental involvement is warmly welcomed, particularly in afternoon activities.
The Learning Support department identifies and supports those who need extra help.
All classrooms are equipped with interactive white boards and there is a large dedicated computer room ensuring ICT lessons take place from Reception.
The largest single entry to Holmewood House is into the Nursery at 3+, but children are welcomed into the school at any stage, subject to places being available.
In the Junior Department (Years 3 & 4) the children follow a broad curriculum of traditional and modern subjects. Some grouping by ability begins in Year 3 which enables each pupil to progress at his or her optimum rate. Core curriculum lessons are taught by form teachers in their own form rooms, but specialist subjects (French, Music, Art, Science and Sports) are taught in a dedicated facility for that particular subject.
From Year 5, children move around the school more and go to specialist teachers in all subjects.
In Years 7 and 8 pupils are prepared for Common Entrance and Scholarship exam entry to senior Independent schools and we have an enviable record of success.
We have an excellent library and reference library (which has 20 networked computers) where pupils have access to over 7,250 loan volumes and over 500 reference volumes. The Library is fully computerised, operating on a barcode and fingerprint system and a full-time Librarian ensures children receive all the help they need in choosing suitable reading material. All children have regular Library periods.
We have two further dedicated computer rooms where children in Years 3 – 5 are taught the basics of word processing, spreadsheets, databases and the internet. From Year 5, ICT is a cross-curricular skill with specialist software available in all subjects.
We ensure that the use of technology is not an end in itself, but innovations (including the school’s video-conference link) are providing some exciting opportunities. A Head of ICT, a Network Manager and a Computer Technician are on hand to help the children.
Whilst we embrace the use of new technology to enhance learning and to equip children with necessary skills for their future development, we also encourage traditional skills to enhance individual ability and to build the confidence our pupils will need throughout their lives.
We welcome pupils from the Pre-Prep into our Junior school in Year 3, where they remain for two years. Year 5 is a transition year leading to the senior school.
The pupils are in excellent hands with very experienced teachers who support their pupils in an educational and pastoral role. Years 3 and 4 are taught mostly by their form teachers and follow the national curriculum in the core subjects. Specialist staff teach French, IT, Music, Art and PE. There are 4 classes in each year and the average class size is 16. Mixed ability classes have been introduced into Year 3 since September 2006 and this will continue into Year 4 from September 2007. Registration takes place between 8.15 and 8.25am in form rooms and lessons finish at 3.20pm.
Holmewood offers a stimulating environment and children are encouraged to pursue a wide range of opportunities on offer. There is an extensive programme of activities and sport, which runs daily after lessons until 4.30p.m, apart from Wednesdays when the finish is 3.35p.m. All pupils in the Junior school are expected to check out at 4.30, accompanied by an adult. There are various activities available after tea, at 5.00pm such as fencing, judo, cricket coaching, modern dance, ballet and gymnastics, which are optional extras. There is no Saturday school for this age group.
Matches are played against other schools in both years and as far as possible, all children are given the opportunity to represent their school. Boys play soccer, rugby and cricket; girls play hockey, netball and rounders. Both boys and girls do athletics and swimming.
A large number of our pupils learn musical instruments and they are able to demonstrate their skills in weekly Friday concerts at 1.20pm when parents are invited to attend. Further evening performances are organised each term.
There is excellent support provided by the Learning Support department for individuals or small groups who may be experiencing some learning difficulty. Progress is monitored carefully and support is reassessed in the light of their performance.
Parents receive regular feed back through half-termly orders, which show effort and achievement grades in Maths and English with effort grades in all the other subjects. An informal consultation morning takes place in the autumn term and a full parents’ morning is available at the end of the spring term. There are exams in the summer term and full subject reports are given to parents in December and July.
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