Homewood School’s Vision Statement
Homewood School & Sixth Form Centre aims to provide a vibrant world class learning experience.
We work as a team, learning in partnership with each other and the wider community.
We provide flexible learning opportunities and have high aspirations for all.
History of the School
Homewood is identified in Tenterden by the Mansion. The house was built in 1766 in the then fashionable neo classical style. Today this is our main administrative building with a warren of offices for key operational areas including the Principal, Financial and Personnel Departments, Examinations Office, Facilities Management, Extended School and the Student Team. Visitors are usually greeted here, there is a Community Room and a Conference Room which is available for training and meetings.
All members of the school community enjoy using the grounds which were landscaped in the eighteenth century and includes some spectacular trees species.
After some years as a military base in World War II, Homewood opened as a local secondary school. The original school hall has now been redeveloped into The Sinden Theatre, a resource for all our local community, with classrooms added to D Block in 1957.
During the 1960’s, Government funded further building works with C Block and a further extension to the rear of D Block. Rural Science was then a very popular option and the School Farm and Young Farmers developed a good reputation at the Kent County Show, one which they retain to this day.
In the 1970’s, the first Learning Resource Centre in Kent was built, a concept which was later extended and amended and eventually moved to the newly built Kirk Building. The school continued to expand during the next two decades with new buildings added during that time. As the school developed its curriculum to embrace the ideal of a truly comprehensive education, it became well known for its innovative approach to learning.
In 2000, a significant grant from the Government allowed the school to further extend the buildings enabling improvements to provision for Music, Design Technology, Media, Art & Design and Science. The school was awarded Specialist College Status for Performing Arts and the old buildings transformed into a community theatre with excellent practice rooms later added for Dance and Performing Arts in 2005. Sir Donald Sinden our Patron took a lead in furthering our links with the theatre community and the Extended team worked hard to work across the whole spectrum of performing artists. Today as an Advanced Extended School we are recognised county wide as a model of good practice for community involvement. The new School Gym was planned to include a wide range of sports facilities and expanded 2 years later to meet the demand of the growing student body. A much improved Dining Hall offering a wide range of healthy meal options has replaced the old NAAFI style nissen huts which were our catering base for so many years. A children’s Nursery beside the School Farm was established to nurture the youngest local students.
In 2005, Homewood introduced a personalised learning agenda with an accelerated timetable at both key stages and opportunities for a curriculum enabling students to sit examinations when they are ready to take them rather than by a fixed age. T Block was planned to facilitate a new style of project based, task orientated learning for Year 7 and Year 8 students and the school became one of the first in the country to introduce a 1-1 ICT device scheme for students.
In 2010, with the arrival of the new Principal, the curriculum continued to develop to ensure that all learners could access an appropriate pathway through the school to the 6th form. A new College system was introduced and the Project Based Learning approach was reviewed and enhanced through partnership with the Innovation Unit. The 1-1 device system moved into I-Pads so that all students in Years 7-9 now have their own I-Pad with access to home learning through a library of I-Books developed by the school. The school retains its Arts, Applied Learning and Rural Dimension specialisms and is now a Partner School in Whole Education, a national network of innovative schools.
In 2011, Homewood was one of the lead schools in the establishment of the Tenterden Rural Alliance – a collaboration with our local cluster of primary schools which has led to improved opportunities and outcomes for all students in the Alliance. Through this partnership, teachers have worked to deliver cross-phase curriculum projects and joint moderation activities, whilst sharing in joint professional development. The school has a well-established leadership development programme, now open to all schools in the Alliance and beyond, which leads to nationally accredited qualifications. The Alliance has also been awarded a grant from the DfE to deliver re-training programmes for teachers wishing to teach Maths and Physics. The Tenterden Rural Alliance is a member of the Kent and Medway Teaching Schools Network.
Homewood School & Sixth Form Centre gained converter academy status in September 2011.