Benenden School Review: Fees, Rankings And More

benenden school review

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Table of Contents

Summary Of School

  • Type of school: all-girls full boarding school 
  • Age range: 11-18
  • Pupils: 550
  • Boarders: 100%
  • Fees: £13,124/term
  • 2020 A-Level Results:73% A*/A
  • 2020 GCSE Results:82% 9/7

Benenden School Overview

Benenden School was founded in 1923 and is one of the UK’s finest and most prestigious girls’ boarding schools. The school is located in the heart of the Kentish countryside just within an hour’s journey from London so there are many girls from London prep schools. Benenden School is also one of the few remaining full boarding schools. It aims to provide a strong all-round education while fostering confidence and kindness. A bright and confident girl who is also hard-working will love this stimulating boarding environment.

There are more than 5,000 Benenden Seniors (alumni) around the world, among them, Princess Anne is the most famous. She was a former Guldeford Head of House. Most graduates from Benenden School go to Russell Group universities with half of those universities belonging to the UK’s top 10. Popular cities of choice among graduates are London, Edinburgh, Durham, Bristol and Exeter. Some even choose to study in the USA and Canada.

Benenden School Courses And Programs

The school offers GCSE and A-Levels programme. The A-Levels are taught in a refreshingly commonsense and innovative way. The pupils can study any combination of subjects they want while the EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) is designed for a more challenging addition.

Science is very popular and well-invested with an amazing science block with a whole floor dedicated to each science subject, with at least three laboratories per floor. Additionally, there are designated experience rooms dedicated to Sixth Formers, and a 150-seater lecture theatre with a programme for visiting speakers. Many vocational courses are both realistic and practical, which are genuinely appealing to pupils. 

Benenden’s Professional Skills Programme, launched in 2016, teaches Sixth Formers about essential business, finance and life skills.

Benenden Diploma is a two-year bespoke curriculum for the Fourth and Upper Fourth pupils, complemented by high-profile speakers and workshops held by expert guests.

Benenden School Application Deadline

Registration deadline for entry into the Sixth Form and Fifth Form (Year 10) is 1st August in the preceding year of entry. 

The school will then contact the parents to make the assessment arrangements. Candidates can sit for their Entrance papers on Friday 12 November 2021 or elsewhere on the same date, either in their current school or a local testing centre.

Benenden School Ranking and Results

Benenden School’s graduates of 2020 achieved the following A-Levels and GCSE results: 73% of their pupils got A*/A for the A-Level and 82% of their pupils got 9/7 in their GCSE  exam.

Benenden School chooses not to submit their results in the league tables. The Headmistress, Ms Samantha Price has explained the reason on their website here.

Benenden School Fees

  • Boarding fees for the 2020-21 school year are £13,124 per term.
  • Fees for day boarding (being introduced in September 2021) are £9,850 per term, subject to inflation.

The fee includes the country’s finest programme of Weekend activities at no extra charge as well as an exhaustive array of co-curricular opportunities and numerous curriculum trips. 

Benenden also offers financial assistance with fees in the form of a means-tested bursary.

The school also operates an advance fee payment scheme. Please contact us for more information about fees and payment for Benenden School.

Benenden School Entry Requirements

The main entry points are at 11+ and 13+. Candidates must achieve at least 55% at the Common Entrance Exam. Pre-tests, interviews and close connections with local prep schools are also utilised to choose the best candidates. The school does have a waiting list so parents should plan ahead.  

Entry to Sixth Form depends on the exam results, interview and a satisfactory school report but there are not many additional places available. Candidates are to choose two academic subjects that they plan to study for A-Level. Benenden School will also request a confidential reference from the candidate’s current school, including predicted GCSE grades, and arrange an interview either in person or via Skype.

Benenden School Reviews

Upper Fourth Form Parent
5/5

“It was not the extensive, manicured grounds or state-of-the-art facilities, or the exam results that most impressed us. It was the charming, confident, fulfilled and happy girls we met that convinced us that we had concluded our school search.”

Lower Fifth Form pupil
5/5

“Benenden has been such an amazing experience for me so far – I haven’t stopped smiling since I got here and I’m so excited to be here for years to come.”

Lower Fifth Form Parent
5/5

“Our daughter has been at Benenden for two years now and has grown in confidence and maturity while achieving more academically than we had thought she could.”

Rosie B.
5/5

“I left Beneden with invaluable friendships that will last a lifetime. We all left with the attitude that hard work, confidence and a little humour would enable us to achieve whatever we set our minds to. We’ve gone from grubby Lacrosse players and paint-splattered A-Level artist to become lawyers, nurses, teachers, appliqué designers and even health food gurus.”

Heloise
5/5

“There is so much I am grateful to Benenden for: mastering skills both in and outside the classroom, building confidence but most importantly the lifelong friendships I made. I am struck by the sheer variety of career successes from my peers and delighted by the fun we are still having together. It is a great testament to the place that supported and developed us from girls to young women.”

Benenden School Accommodation

All pupils are full boarders but the girls can go home on weekends. The accommodation is fully equipped and spotlessly clean. 

There are 10 houses: Echyngham, Guldeford, Hemsted, Marshall, Medway, Norris, Beeches, Elms, Limes and Oaks. Boarding rooms are colourful, light and homely decorated. Up to five girls will share a room in lower school while older girls can choose a smaller room with fewer roommates. All Sixth Formers have their own room in a deluxe modern block dedicated to them. 

The food here is excellent with great quality and variety. Freshly prepared dishes made from local ingredients ensure the popularity of Benenden’s Dining Room and Café every day. Feedbacks from the pupils and staff are taken seriously. The chefs cater for all requirements, from home-cooked to sophisticated dining requests and a wide range of special diets. The school chefs received the Best Food Award in 2020 by Tatler Schools Awards 2020.

The school offers a Medical Centre that operates 24 hours per day by registered nurses. Dr Sara Butler-Gallie holds surgeries at the School three times per week. All pupils are registered as NHS patients. Benenden School also has a visiting physiotherapist and School Counsellor.

Benenden School Student Services and Extracurricular Activities

Pastoral Care

Benenden School provides good care and support that parents praise everywhere. Pastoral care for each House is provided by the Housemistress or Housemaster along with the team of Deputy Housemaster and Matrons. Each pupil has their own Tutor. While the Housemistress or Housemaster takes care of the academic and pastoral welfare of their students, the Tutor will meet weekly with their assigned pupil to check on her academic progress and ensure a balance between work and extra-curricular activities.
Each new pupil will also get a Housemother (an older girl in the school) to show her around and help her to settle in. Then she will get a “Big Sister” from the Sixth Form who contacts her before arrival and accompany her to integrate into the new school life. There are also cakes and treats in the Sixth Form Centre which they can share.  

The girls are taught to do the right thing rather than following strict rules. The school is a community that fosters a sensible and pragmatic attitude to life’s challenges.

Extracurricular Activities

The arts

There is a fabulous theatre with two full-time technicians where the girls can learn lighting, sound and set construction. There are at least two major drama products per year with lots of student-led performances. LAMDA is also flourishing. There are many choices for music lovers from instrumental lessons, ensembles, orchestra, choirs and the works. Art and design are particularly impressive with choices such as etching, lino printing, some wacky sculpture and beautiful embroidery. 

Sports

There are loads of traditional girls’ sports from lacrosse, netball to tennis but there are also niché activities such as scuba diving and pool. There is a lovely dance studio where girls can learn tap dance, ballet and contemporary dance. An ace fitness suite and dance GCSE are also great add-ons. The school also invested in an all-weather sports pitch and pavilion. 

The Weekend Programme

The Weekend Programme of Benenden School offers a myriad of fun outings, social, creative, physical and cultural activities. Some of the options are: 

  • Sports: canoeing, mountain biking, windsurfing, archery, rock climbing, volleyball, ice skating, dry skiing, abseiling, etc.
  • Workshops: Jewellery making, movie makeup sessions, cookery, card making, circus skills workshop, T-shirt painting, etc.
  • Trips: Theatre trips, overnight camps, shopping, visits from a farm, Tate Modern trip, cinema trips, museum visits, etc.
  • Events: Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, socials with boys’ schools, discos, chocolate fountain parties, Bond-theme dinner, etc.

There is a series of activities involving boys’ schools including socials, dinners and discos which are popular among the girls.

Benenden School Contact Information

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