Popular head to bid a fond farewell

    One of our leading independent schools, Holmewood House, has announced the retirement of Headmaster James Marjoribanks, but he leaves it in excellent shape

    END OF AN ERA James Majoribanks will retire in July

    LANGTON GREEN prep school Holmewood House confirmed last week that its Headmaster, James Majoribanks, will retire from his post at the end of this academic year.

    Mr Majoribanks, who has enjoyed a successful career in teaching for the past 34 years, has been at Holmewood House since 2010.

    He told the Times: “I have loved my seven years as Head of this exceptional school, and I will miss many things about it: The dedication, skill and enthusiasm of the staff; the sense of community; and the support of the parents in our shared aspiration for their children’s happiness and success. But above everything, I will miss the children – watching them achieve extraordinary things and have fun in this stunning learning environment has been incredibly rewarding.”

    The news of his departure comes on the back of the prep school being commended for its ‘highly focused teaching and strong support for individual pupils’ in a recent report.

    The private school for boys and girls aged 3 to 13 was inspected in February by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI), and achieved an excellent rating, with ‘pupils of all ages displaying excel- lent communication and numeracy skills.’

    ‘This school is proudly non-selective and
    full of wonderful and very happy children’

    Mr Marjoribanks commented: “This report is the product of a brilliant combination of pupil enthusiasm and superb teaching.

    “Despite the myth, which unfortunately still prevails in some parts of the Tunbridge Wells area, Holmewood House is neither a pushy hot house nor an academic pressure cooker; this school is proudly non-selective and full of wonderful and very happy children.

    “We encourage pupils to succeed to the best of their abilities within a supportive and nurturing environment.”

    The inspectors echoed Mr Marjoribanks’ sentiments, commenting that ‘pupils of all ages and abilities make excellent progress’, and remarking on the way the confident and engaged children ‘respond with enthusiasm to the teachers’ high level of expertise, which enables them to develop their skills to an advanced level’.

    The Independent Schools Inspectorate is the body approved by the Department for Education for the purpose of inspecting schools belonging to the Independent Schools Council (ISC) Associations, and reporting on compliance with independent school regulations.

    ISI inspections are also carried out under the arrangements of the ISC Associations for the maintenance and improvement of the quality of their membership.

    ‘I have loved my seven years at this exceptional school and will miss many things about it’

    Judo star goes for gold and wins hands down

    Benjamin Jackson, a Year 8 pupil at The Judd School in Tonbridge, is celebrating after winning gold at the British Judo School Championships in Sheffield earlier this month.

    Ben competed in the Young Men (Years 12-13) Under 81kg following his success a week earlier at the Kent trials, where he won the gold in the senior men U81kg group.

    This gave him a place in the Kent squad and selection to represent the county in the Southern Area teams event next month.

    Bennett girls reunion

    Former Bennett Memorial pupils will be holding a get together at the school this Saturday for old girls born between 1961 and 1966. The official reunion will take place between 2pm and 5pm, with refreshments.

    An optional £5 entry fee will be charged in order to raise money for the school’s all-weather pitch, while proceeds from the tea and cake served will go to their partner school in Mpwapwa, Tanzania. Past pupils are also invited to attend a drinks event at Jean’s Bar in St John’s Road from 5.30pm.