The John Wallis Academy

Since December 2008 Benenden has been working in partnership with the Diocese of Canterbury, Kent County Council and Christ Church University to establish a 3-18 Academy in Stanhope in Ashford.

The John Wallis Church of England Academy opened its doors to students on 1 September 2010. The partners have added a Sixth Form to the Academy and have brought in a local primary school, Linden Grove, under the Academy umbrella. The rationale for getting involved in the project is quite straight forward: though we can help a small number of comparatively disadvantaged girls through our Bursary scheme, here we have the chance to help to transform the life chances of 1200 students year after year after year. And that is no small thing.

A great deal has been done in a very short time. A new Principal was appointed and a completely new Leadership team. Representatives from Benenden (Mr Covell, Mrs Price and Mr Nicol) are on the Governing Body. Benenden and Christ Church University have worked with the new leadership team to write a new and rebalanced curriculum. A new uniform has been a great success and new restaurant and reception area have also been welcome improvements. New standards of behaviour have been set.

The principal attribute that Benenden can bring to the relationship is a sense of aspiration. However, this is a reciprocal and mutually beneficial relationship. Benenden pupils and staff drive the relationships and both derive a great deal from their sustained and growing involvement with fellow pupils and colleagues from the Academy.

How we work with The John Wallis Academy

We work in a variety of ways with The John Wallis Church of England Academy, some examples of which are listed below:

  • The Heads of both Schools sit on one another’s governing bodies
  • We provide TJWA with help on policy scrutiny and strategic planning
  • Joint working between Heads of Departments at both Schools to share best practice


  • Shared life drawing classes with TJWA


  • Critical Language day event
  • Shared mock exam papers with TJWA


  • TJWA visit us to carry out practical work
  • Share resources with them at A Level.
  • TJWA Year 12 students looking at medicine are invited to Medical Society Fridays


  • Share resources on essay writing skills


  • Support the possible transition to AQA at A Level


  • Six One Mentoring of TJWA pupils


  • Sharing of skills
  • Shared planning playing to each Department’s strengths


  • TJWA perform at the Dance Show as part of the Benenden Arts Festival
  • TJWA cheerleaders performed at the opening of the All-Weather Pitch and Pavilion


  • Regular invites to events
  • Offers of Oxbridge and Personal Statement support
  • Sharing of Benenden’s Careers and HE Bulletin

Combined Cadets Force (CCF)

  • Weekly CCF sessions

Kent Academies Network – Universities Access Scheme

In 2013 Benenden joined the Kent Academies Network.

Each year, two students from each participating school are chosen to begin a four year programme of support. The scheme is open to any student currently in Year 9 at one of the Kent Academies who the school identifies as being capable of achieving a very strong set of GCSE results (5 A*s or better) and who has the ambition to apply to a top university.

This support will help these students get into top universities in the UK. In each of the four years of the programme, the group of students will spend one week at Easter and one week in the summer away from their own school on a residential course in Kent. These weeks away will provide an opportunity to strengthen knowledge of core subjects and also provide the chance to experience a range of subjects and activities that will help them develop in other ways – activities in art, music, literature and science for example.  As students move into the Sixth Form they will also be given specific help in making an application to university. Additionally, they will be provided with on-going mentoring from undergraduates and teachers and opportunities to work collaboratively on projects over the four years.

There is no cost to the student on the scheme throughout the four year programme. Funding has kindly been provided by The Sutton Trust, an educational organisation committed to the idea of promoting social mobility through education. Educational support will also be provided by Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge University.