Benenden's Centenary Vision was officially launched in April 2015 by HRH The Princess Royal, Founders' Patron of the School. Underpinning the exciting curriculum and extra-curricular developments are the following capital projects:
The All-Weather Pitch and Pavilion *Completed September 2016*
After a series of washout winter sports seasons, with record rainfall creating constantly waterlogged pitches, we cannot forget the disappointment of so many cancelled fixtures and a scramble for local all-weather venues to enable at least some play for our sports teams. Benenden now has a top quality all-weather pitch and pavilion, which was officially opened in September 2016.
Sport, fitness and student well-being are a vital part of Benenden’s curriculum and we have a longstanding aspiration to allow as many girls as possible to participate in sport. The School simultaneously wants to encourage girls to compete at national and international level.
The All-Weather Pitch provides an alternative to grass for lacrosse and enables the development of hockey at Benenden. It also allows the School to meet the demands of a complete programme of competitive sport to remain competitive with its peer institutions.
The All-Weather Pitch is on the west side of the campus and will complement the forthcoming development of the West Wing area of the School encompassing the School Hall, Music School and teaching and learning facilities.
The floodlit All-Weather Pitch significantly enhances the teaching facilities for the Sports Department at the School and ensure Benenden remains comparable with its closest competitors
The sand-dressed artificial turf all-weather pitch houses flexible pitch formats: both an international size lacrosse and hockey pitch
Eight floodlights have been erected around the all-weather pitch to allow evening use throughout the winter season and an electronic scoreboard has been put in place. Landscaping of the area has been enhanced with new tree lines and protected hedgerows
The accompanying pavilion includes changing rooms for players and officials, as well as catering facilities, together with covered and terraced spectator areas, which the School hopes will further attract support from families and friends at matches
Staff Accommodation *Completed September 2016*
To help Benenden to recruit and retain the very best staff we have built new staff accommodation on the campus. Benenden has a strong boarding ethos and the new staff housing will help to strengthen our community.
For any school, excellent staff are crucial to its success and no more so than at a boarding school, the best of which really thrive when staff live either on-site or very close to the school.
As part of Benenden’s strategy to attract and retain high calibre staff we want to be able to offer more housing on site to those moving into the area. This will also support and retain staff who would otherwise have to travel long distances to school. Housing more staff also enables the School to create a more comprehensive boarding community, benefiting the School and girls alike.
Benenden is a wonderful place to work, set in a rural location in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Local towns and villages have expensive property prices and so to attract, recruit and retain the best teaching staff we are pleased to be able to provide our own range of accommodation options.
Adding to the existing units of staff accommodation are the eight new units of housing, named Weston Crescent. Centrally located near the Victorian Walled Garden the Crescent comprises a variety of three and four bedroom homes for single and family accommodation.
The West Wing Development
The School Hall
The School Hall has always been at the very heart of Benenden, where for generations of girls, their successes, from their first performance at a lunchtime concert to taking Prayers on a topic close to their heart, have been shared and celebrated
From morning Prayers to end of term Mark Reading, special occasions and socials, the Hall is where Benenden comes together as a School.
After being built in 1939 for a school of over 200 pupils, we have outgrown the School Hall. Benenden needs a new Hall fit for today’s school and for the future, one that can fit our 550 girls plus staff in comfort and retain its place at the heart of our community.
We are seeking not only to increase the capacity of the Hall, but to endow the building with the latest technology, lighting and sound management systems to create a world class centre of music, performance and worship.
We would like the School Hall and Chapel to retain their place at the heart of the School and provide the place for future generations to recall their happiest school days.
The watchwords of this project must be flexibility and creativity. Benenden deserves a central space which meets a variety of needs and is a fitting representation of our vibrant community life.
Complementing the School Hall will be a new Music Hall facility worthy of the incredible musical talent at Benenden. The School's musical achievements continue to go from strength to strength, a notable highlight was the release this year of the first commercial CD by the Chapel Choir. Stabat Mater, composed by David Bednall with accompaniment by renowned violinist Jennifer Pike, premiered in both the US and London in 2015 and 2016 respectively. The recording received critical acclaim from Gramophone, the world's most respected classical music magazine.
The West Wing Development will be completed with the upgrade of the teaching and learning facilities within this area of the School ensuring that Benenden pupils benefit from the latest technical innovations within the classroom.