Beechwood School is a small independent day and boarding school near Tunbridge Wells, Kent, for boys and girls aged 3–18. It was founded in 1915 by the Society of the Sacred Heart sisters and comprises a pre-prep, prep and senior school on a 23-acre parkland estate. While the school retains its Catholic tradition, students of all faiths and none are welcomed.
Pupils at Beechwood School study in small classes of up to 20 students, and learn from teachers who help inspire talent and support children to build confidence in areas they find difficult. Children study a range of subjects alongside traditional studies, including at least two modern languages in Year 8 (French and either German or Spanish), and they have the opportunity to develop research and analytical skills through a bespoke Junior EPQ Programme. Optional subjects at GCSE include media studies, design technology: product design, home economics, textiles, and computer science.
There’s a full range of sporting activities on offer at Beechwood School, giving pupils the opportunity to play against other schools and develop skills including body management and teamwork. All students in the senior school are encouraged to play football, rugby, hockey, cricket, netball, basketball, rounders, volleyball and badminton. Music and drama also permeate school life; over a third of pupils have private music lessons with outstanding records in ABRSM, Trinity College, LCM and Rock School exams, while LAMDA classes take place daily.
Head: Mr Justin Foster-Gandey
Address: Beechwood School, 12 Pembury Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN2 3QD
Admissions contact: Mrs Jillian Clarke – [email protected], 01892 532747
Age range and gender: 3–18, co-educational
Number of pupils: 287
Open day date: TBC. Individual visits can be arranged via the school website
Overview of selection procedure: entrance exam, interview, school report and school reference
Registration closes: TBC
Assessment date: TBC
The current fees for senior school pupils at Beechwood School are £5,940 for day pupils, £9,175 for weekly boarders and £10,200 for full boarders. Fees cover the cost of stationery, textbooks, lunches for day pupils, and all meals for boarding pupils.
Means-tested financial assistance, known as bursaries, may be available for families whose children meet the entrance criteria but who would not otherwise be able to afford the school fees. For more information about bursaries at Beechwood School, contact the admissions department directly.
Limited scholarships (talent-based financial awards) may be available for particularly talented or academically gifted students who are enrolled on the Beechwood School Elite Football Programme.
The term dates at Beechwood School for 2022–23 are:
Autumn term: 5th September – 9th December 2022
Half term: 17th–28th October 2022
Spring term (Lent): 5th January – 24th March 2023
Half term: 13th–17th February 2023
Summer term (Trinity): 19th April – 4th July 2023
Half term: 29th May – 2nd June 2023
If you are interested in Beechwood School for your child’s secondary education, it’s a good idea to visit first to see if it would be a good fit for your child.
Beechwood School has not yet released its official open events for 2024 candidates. However, private visits can be arranged by filling in a form on the school website.
Once you have decided to proceed with your child’s application to Beechwood School, you will need to complete the registration form and pay a non-refundable registration fee of £100 to cover administration costs.
You will also need to submit a copy of your child’s latest school report. Both the completed registration form and the school report should be sent to the school at The Registrar, Beechwood School, 12 Pembury Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN2 3QD.
After registering with the school, your child will be invited to take part in entrance tests and have an interview with a member of Beechwood School staff. Prospective Year 7 pupils normally take entrance tests in Key Stage 2 English, maths and science. Your child may also be invited to present to the head on a topic of their choosing.
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The following criteria will be used to decide which children will be offered places at Beechwood School:
The child’s academic performance in the entrance tests
The impression made during the interview or a trial day (if applicable)
References from the child’s current school
Previous exam results or academic performance outlined in the child’s school report
The most important criterion is whether the prospective pupil should be able to meet and maintain the academic standards required by the school for all pupils, and whether the child is comfortable with the school ethos.
If all factors are equal, preference may first be given to a sibling of an existing pupil, or to an existing pupil at Beechwood Prep School.
If your child is applying for Year 7 entry to Beechwood School, they will take academic tests to assess their ability in Key Stage 2 English, maths and science.
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As well as academic tests, all candidates applying for entry to Beechwood School will have an interview with a member of staff. This is a common practice at independent schools, as it can provide a more holistic insight into your child’s abilities and interests. However, even informal interviews can still be daunting for many 10 and 11-year-olds!
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