New school given go-ahead for state of the art building

New school given go-ahead for state of the art building

TONBRIDGE & Malling Borough Council have agreed planning permission for the new Bishop Chavasse Primary School, which will open in Tonbridge this September.

The council has said the new school can initially be based in temporary buildings on land in Tudeley Lane, next to the new housing development at Somerhill Green.

Outline planning permission for a brand new state-of-the-art primary school building has also been agreed by planners, with a view to it being opened in September 2018.

Following news of the planned build, the school’s recently appointed Head Teacher, Donna Weeks, commented: “It’s really good to have the backing of the local council to open our new school serving the community in South Tonbridge. I’m really looking forward to getting the school ready for our first group of children, who will be our very special ‘founding’ pupils.”

Bishop Chavasse is a Church of England primary school to be run by the Tenax Schools Trust, led by Ofsted ‘outstanding’ Bennett Memorial Diocesan School in Tunbridge Wells, as well as other ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ primary schools in the area.

The school will have a Christian ethos and values and will teach a traditional curriculum embedding a mastery approach from the start to secure the very best outcomes for pupils.

Tenax’s CEO Ian Bauckham, who is also Executive Head Teacher at Bennett Memorial, said: “We are delighted to have this support from Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council, and look forward to continuing our preparations for the school opening in September 2017.”

Local resident, James Baxter, who has applied for a place for his son Hugo, said: “This is fantastic news. We are so thrilled that Bishop Chavasse Primary will provide an opportunity for our son to attend a good local school in South Tonbridge.  We are all very excited.”

Parents can still apply for a place at the school, and will be placed on a waiting list in the first instance. Visit

Putting down roots

BRANCHING OUT Theo and Lois get stuck in

Theo and Lois – the youngest and eldest children at Bishop’s Down Primary – were chosen to help plant an apple tree in order to mark the 50th anniversary of the Tunbridge Wells school.


The pair are pictured above with Head Teacher Clare Owen (left) and former pupil Jane Wilson (right), who was one of the school’s first students.

The name’s Bond, young Bond

The Hayesbrook School welcomed Steve Cole last week, author of the Young Bond series of books based on Ian Fleming’s famous spy character while he was at Eton in the 1930s.

The writer talked about the research he undertook on ‘technology’ from that era, entertaining pupils with bizarre inventions such as ‘baby cages’ and a ‘multifunctional bike’ for all the family. Students also had their books personally signed by the author.

A fond farewell, Sir

One of Tunbridge Wells’ longest serving teachers, Harry Nelson, has just retired from his post as PE Teacher at St Gregory’s Catholic School after 37 years.

Mr Nelson, who joined the school in 1979, is thought to have taught approximately 10,000 students over the years.

To mark the start of his retirement, he will be hosting a testimonial match at Tunbridge Wells RFC this Easter Saturday [April 15].

At cross purposes

Daniel Jameson and Tom Daly from Claremont Primary School represented Kent at the National Cross Country race in Loughborough on the last Saturday in March.

The course was 2000m and there were over 250 runners. Tom finished 34th and Daniel 52nd and, as part of the Kent team, they won the silver team medal.

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