The village of Benenden is situtated on the High Weald in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Our new school, purpose built to blend in with the environment, opened in September 2019 and we have created an exciting and stimulating learning environment, both inside the school building and outdoors. We encourage the children to be creative and develop their own learning styles. Inspirational play areas for all ages of children are provided and we recognise their importance. We try hard to make our outdoor play spaces fun for our children.
In more detail...
Built in 2019 our school building is not only unique with its horseshoe shape but modern, light and spacious. Each year has its own classroom and there are dedicated outside spaces for each classroom. Learning spaces are also provided in the corridor for each class where children can work 1:1 or in small groups. We have a large hall for PE classes, Collective Worship and other whole school activities and it is equipped with a large projector screen for presentations, showing clips or watching films as well as lighting and sound equipment for our school productions. We have dedicated spaces for our children with special or additional educational needs and these include the Hedgehog Room which is a soft, nurturing space which provides a home-from-home space in the school. Piano lessons take place in the school hall and other music lessons have the use of the spare learning room or the library. Our school library holds a good stock of all types of books including the latest titles.
Our IT Infrastructure
We have a wireless network within the school. We have invested in 40 Windows 10 laptops and 50 Android-based Learnpads (for use by all the children who collect them from their charging cabinets on the corridors and take them to their classrooms to use). This significant investment has allowed us to embed ICT (Information & Communications Technology) within our curriculum without having to teach IT as a separate subject. Each of our classrooms is equipped with Promethean ActivPanel screens attached to our network and each teacher has their own Windows 10 laptop and Samsung Android tablet for creating documents and connecting to the ActivPanel screen. We will be investing in Google for Education technology including Classroom and Chromebooks for our children and staff to use to support our collaborative learning. We ensure the school’s use of IT keeps pace with home and business through researching the leading uses of IT in education.
Our Outdoor Space
Our outdoor space includes a decent sized playground with a full size netball court. There is also a large area with seating which is our Quiet Area. Children have use of this area at each playtime and can sit with a book/colour or chat with their friends. Our EYFS area its own large well-equipped play area with a soft tarmac playground which adjoins their classroom but has access to the main playground should they wish to join the older children.
Our Forest School/Outdoor Learning area takes place on the Glebe Field adjacent to the school. There is access via a gate directly into the field. As it currently in the early stages, our Forest School team is working tirelessly to create the correct environment for learning and so far they have developed the fire circle with much more to come. Presently, 3 classes engage in Forest School on a Wednesday with a 2 hour session each. This is for a 6 week block and is then rotated to include other classes.
The Glebe Field offers our children a valued space to play in the warmer months. There is a football pitch which the children can use and the field can also be used for other sporting events such as PE lessons and Sports Day.
Benenden has its own school car park for parents use.