Building the foundations for a first-class education

Building the foundations for a first-class education
BLESSING: by the Rt Revd James Langstaff

A number of our local schools have had a significant amount of development carried out on their sites over the past year of lockdown after being awarded significant grants from both the private and public sector.

Along with St Gregory’s Catholic School and Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys, Bennett Memorial Diocesan School, based in Culverden Down in Tunbridge Wells, is celebrating the latest stage of its building work with the opening of a new large classroom block named the Rochester Building.

“Bennett Memorial Diocesan School were delighted to welcome to the school the Right Reverend James Langstaff, Lord Bishop of Rochester, our diocesan bishop, to formally open and dedicate our brand new classroom block, named the Rochester building,” a spokesperson for the school told the Times.

The dedication and opening ceremony took place on Wednesday April 21 with a small number of invited guests and students from years 7 and 13. 

“The dedication ceremony was followed by the celebration of the Eucharist in the brand new Rochester Hall led by Bishop James,” continued the spokesperson.

The Rochester classroom block gives the school 21 new state of the art classrooms, as well as a multi-use hall. 

“The hall provides a superb new venue for the rich co-curriculum life of the school, in particular for our ambitious musical performances and theatrical productions. We are very grateful that, with support from the Bennett School charity, we have been able to equip the new hall with top of the range audio-visual facilities, as well as stage lighting.”

The school’s spokesperson also added that the official opening was a ‘wonderful’ event to celebrate the building progress that has been made on the site.

“The official opening of the new classroom was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate another very significant step in our development as a school community, albeit on a smaller scale than we might usually.

“The new classrooms will make sustainable the school’s expansion, meaning that a distinctive Bennett education, with its strong emphasis upon high quality classroom teaching following a traditional knowledge-rich curriculum, can be made available to even more students.”

The spokesperson also took the opportunity to express the school’s thanks to Reverend James Langstaff for his support and ministry as Bishop of Rochester, following the news that he will be retiring from that role in the summer. 

“We are very grateful for his sustained engagement with our school community and his leadership.”

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