Last month a record number of families gathered throughout Tanbridge House to witness the school showcase.
They were introduced to motivated, welcoming teachers and students alike on this tremendously action-packed evening. Prospective students and their parents were treated to hair-raising electrical experiments in the Science department, extraordinary dance performances in the gym and students, as young as eleven, speaking in front of over 1000 people in three sittings in the main hall.
Teachers and students tried their hardest to show their pride in the school. As Mr Osmond, Leader of MFL, said: “Open Evening is important, it gives us an opportunity to show what we stand for” – which is very true. All the departments were showing that education is exciting, whether that involves doing street art or describing a fashion show in French.
Across the school, pupils volunteered their time to show both subjects and extra-curricular activities in their best light.
The Headteacher, Mr Jules White, saw the evening as ‘An important event for the school and the community’. It is becoming increasingly common for Year 5s to visit the school during open evening – despite not having to make the decision for another year. The choice of secondary school is a crucial decision.
Mr White went on to say that ‘It is very sensible’ for Year 5s to come too because ‘Youngsters must be involved in their choice of school.’ Students often visit earlier to find the best school to suit them because of the importance of the decision and to begin feeling settled during this vital transition.
First Aid club is one of the numerous clubs run at Tanbridge. Mrs Leadbeater, the school nurse, helped enthusiastic Year 5s and 6s perform CPR on mannequins, have a go in a sling or a bandage and learn how to save lives. They were particularly happy to have a visitor from St. Johns Ambulance to answer any questions about First Aid competitions between schools.
As a current student, it was terrific to hear that all of the parents felt welcomed to the school and loved how much went on. I remember, four years ago, being in their position. Mr White likes to talk about his own family and ask prospective students to guess the names of his daughters for a prize. He does this to emphasise his view that the educational experience at Tanbridge must be good enough for his own children. Students had cottoned on to this and began telling younger siblings the answer. In response to this, Mr White has started asking students to guess the names of his two dogs to show the importance of family within education. As a reward, both sweets and apples were offered; occasionally, students choose to be healthy and take the apple!
Despite putting a great deal of effort into our open evening, we encourage prospective students to visit the school during the day and see the school in action. It is the everyday that counts, and here at Tanbridge we strive to be Exceptional Every Day.
l The other students who worked in the Journalist group are: Ana Lanzon, Emma Simmons, Dominic Marks, Minty Gray, Emily McCrea, Anisha Wakefield, Elliot Simcox, Ross McKay and Rosie Pocknell.