Tonbridge School: Exploring Reviews, Rankings, Fees, And More

Embarking on the journey of choosing the right school for your child can be both exciting and daunting. Among the esteemed institutions in the UK educational landscape stands Tonbridge School. In this article, we delve into the heart of Tonbridge School, offering an in-depth exploration of its reviews, rankings, fees, and more. Whether you’re a prospective parent, student, or simply curious about the institution, join us as we unravel the story of Tonbridge School and what sets it apart in the realm of education.

Tonbridge School Review

Table of Contents

Key Features of Tonbridge School

  • Local authority: Kent
  • Pupils: 794; sixth formers: 323
  • Ages: 13-18
  • Religion: Anglican/Christian
  • Fees: Day £37,470; Boarding £49,944 pa
  • Open days: September/October

Tonbridge School Results

GCSE Results:

    • 2023: 93% achieved grades 9-7.
    • 2019: 92% achieved grades 9-7 (pre-pandemic).

A Level Results:

    • 2023: 80% attained A*/A grades, with 97% achieving A*-B.
    • 2019: 68% attained A*/A grades, with 91% achieving A*-B (pre-pandemic).

Boarding Experience in Tonbridge School

At Tonbridge School, the boarding experience is crafted to provide a supportive and nurturing environment for students, fostering a sense of belonging and personal growth. Here’s an overview of the boarding experience:

Boarding Houses:

    • Seven boarding houses accommodate students, each offering a unique sense of community.
    • Younger students start in small dorms of up to six, while older boys have their own rooms.

Pastoral Care:

    • A strong system of pastoral care is in place, with housemasters who build close relationships with the boys and their families.
    • Assistant housemasters and tutors provide additional support, conducting regular meetings with the boys.

Meals and Weekends:

    • During the week, boys dine in their respective houses, fostering a sense of camaraderie.
    • Weekends bring boarders together to eat in the Orchard Centre.
    • Most boarders are local and return home after Saturday games, ensuring a balance between school and home life.
    • However, about a quarter of boys stay in each boarding house over the weekend, with numbers increasing for social events.

Weekend Activities:

    • Students have the option to spend weekends in school, engaging in various activities such as catching up on work, practicing musical instruments, or enjoying leisure time with friends.
    • Trips and outings are organised to prevent loneliness among full boarders, enhancing their social experience.

Extracurricular Activities in Tonbridge School

Tonbridge School boasts a vibrant array of extracurricular activities. Here’s a glimpse into the rich array of opportunities available:


  • A growing number of students are involved in music, with over 40% learning an instrument.
  • Students have access to top-quality facilities, including the Marcussen chapel organ and Steinway pianos.
  • The school offers a wide range of orchestras, bands, and ensemble groups, from jazz to pop, fostering musical exploration and expression.
  • Opportunities to perform abound, with regular concerts and recitals showcasing the talents of students.
  • The annual house music competition is a highlight, with enthusiastic participation from performers and attendees alike.


  • Drama thrives at Tonbridge, with 11 productions staged annually across three venues, including the EM Forster Theatre.
  • Students are involved in all aspects of production, from acting to set design, under the guidance of industry professionals.
  • Drama competitions and house plays provide opportunities for all students to participate and showcase their talents.
  • The school embraces diversity by staging performances in multiple languages, enhancing cultural exchange and understanding.

Clubs and Societies:

  • Wednesday afternoons are dedicated to a wide range of activities and clubs, catering to students’ interests and passions.
  • Students participate in cultural, political, scientific, and sporting societies, fostering a spirit of curiosity and exploration.
  • Specialised workshops and lectures by visiting professionals enrich students’ learning experiences and broaden their horizons.


  • Tonbridge School has a long tradition of sporting excellence, with facilities that rival those of professional training venues.
  • The ethos of participation is paramount, ensuring that all students have the opportunity to engage in sport regardless of skill level.
  • The school offers a diverse range of sports, from traditional rugby and cricket to niche activities like fives and water polo.
  • Younger students are encouraged to explore various sports, fostering a culture of inclusivity and personal growth.

Admissions Process: Entering Tonbridge School

The admissions process at Tonbridge School is meticulously designed to identify and welcome students who not only demonstrate academic promise but also embody the ethos of the institution. Here’s a breakdown of the process:

Entry Points:

    • Most students join at 13+ from 50-60 prep schools.
    • Around 6 students join in Year 10, and up to 25 join in the sixth form.


    • Year 6 students undergo a computer-based ISEB pre-test and assessment afternoon.
    • School reports, including CAT scores where available, are considered.
    • The assessment afternoon provides an opportunity for the school to evaluate the student’s personality.
    • Overseas students must demonstrate excellent English fluency and a willingness to integrate.

Sixth Form Entry:

    • Entry to the sixth form involves exams in subjects to be studied at A level.
    • The exams are highly competitive, with only the strongest candidates receiving unconditional offers.
    • All candidates sit an English language paper as well.

SEN Support at Tonbridge School

The school able to support a wide variety of special educational needs, such as: 

  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder
  • Aspergers
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders
  • Dyscalculia
  • Dysgraphia
  • Dyslexia
  • Dyspraxia
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Mental health
  • Visual Impairment

Testimonials and Reviews at Tonbridge School

Alasdair Paterson

This is one of the top Public Schools in the country.
We enjoyed a guided tour around the school and saw their outstanding facilities.
The real benefit of Tonbridge School is its inspirational and outstandingly good teachers. Ultimately, this is the difference between private schools and most state schools; ignore the facilities, it is the quality of the teaching that marks the difference.
Tonbridge School offers bursaries and scholarships to those boys whose parents or guardians cannot afford to pay the full fees.

Sarah Heale

You really feel as though they know your son inside and out – his interests, what new things he might like to try and how to get the best out of him. In other words, they appreciate that all the boys are different – it is the opposite of a cookie cutter approach.

Kemi O

Tonbridge School is a fantastic, inclusive school that provides well rounded education to the students. Our son loves it at Tonbridge, the facilities are amazing and the pastoral care is outstanding!

Jessica T

Tonbridge is not only academically strong, it offers a wide selection of co-curricular activities that the boy will be able to participate in. The housemaster and tutors are extremely supportive!

Frequently Asked Questions about Tonbridge School

Tonbridge School is a very academic school and highly selective. Good grades are essential for a successful application.

The Parent Power Schools Guide 2024 ranks the School in fifth place in the national A-level rankings, based on 2023 results, making it the top performing boys’ school in this table. Tonbridge is ranked joint 13th nationally for its GCSE performance in 2023.

They are a high achieving selective grammar school with academy status, educating girls between the ages of 11 and 16 and girls and boys in the Sixth Form.

In the lower grades, there are about 20 students in each class. As students choose different majors, the size of each class will be reduced accordingly. There will be no more than 12 students in A-Level classes to ensure each student’s needs are met.

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