Community Links and Public Benefit
Public use of school facilities. Where planning consents allow, the School lets out its facilities, especially the Sports Hall and Jubilee Theatre, at very reasonable rates to other members of the local community.
The School has sporting links with local football, netball, badminton and cricket clubs. The Jubilee Theatre has been let out at different times to local dance and music organisations, flower clubs, nursery schools, theatre groups and charities.
In addition to the above, Penshurst Choral Society and Tunbridge Wells Symphony Orchestra rehearse in the theatre every Tuesday and Friday respectively, and NADFAS (the National Association of Decorative & Fine Art Societies) have a lecture the last Thursday of each month.
Community Art Project. For the last five years or so the School has supported a Community Art Project in which four representatives from each of five local primary schools and four from Year 6 at Holmewood, participate together in an art project on Tuesday afternoons in the Autumn and Spring terms. This is led by our art teachers and is funded to the tune of £5,000, excluding the Head of Art’s time (about £4k). The project culminates in an exhibition attended by parents, headteachers from the Primary Schools and the local community
Charitable Fund-Raising. One of the roles of the Senior Master is to oversee all matters relating to charity and charitable giving, across the whole school. The School’s own fund-raising activity focuses mainly on children’s charities (and sometimes others). Examples include: Jeans for Genes Day for Great Ormond Street Hospital, Red Nose Day, Battersea Dogs and Cats home, The Soup Kitchen in Tunbridge Wells run by St. Augustine’s Church, British Heart Foundation and The Alzheimer’s Society.
House Charities. Each House at Holmewood has its own charity that it has decided, as a House, to support. Some of these are local, some national and some international. The Houses also have their own colour, which ties in with their chosen charity. These charities are supported during the year by various fund-raising events organised by the pupils in the House, and then representatives from the charities generally come in to school to give assemblies to show how the money raised has been used.
Oak - Headway
Cedar - MacMillan Cancer Care
Beech - Marie Curie
Cob - Kokobiriko School and Community, Ghana
Yew - Save The Children
Ash - Porchlight
The School also supports several overseas projects including:
The Haller Foundation. The Pre-Prep has supported The Haller Foundation, an educational charity working mainly in Africa, for several years, in a specific project providing education and medical care in Kenya. A number of fund-raising events have taken place and presentations have been made to the children.
Kokobiriko school and village community. Holmewood is linked with Kokobiriko Primary School in the Kumasi-Asante-Bosomtwe region of Ghana. Kokobiriko is a model link that is used in all case studies for other link Schools in Ghana. We have raised over £30,000 for the School and have built a library and teacher's residence which makes life easier for teachers who live far from the School. The school has also provided a solar hub helping to link the primary school with the local education office. Equally, a bore hole has been funded for the village community.
The headmaster and deputy head of Kokobiriko Primary School, together with five pupils, have visited Holmewood at our expense, and representatives from Holmewood have visited Kokobiriko on three occasions. Curriculum links have also been established and there is a regular mailing between pupils in both schools. This link is served to bring home to our children the poverty that exists in Africa and the difference that money can make to improving education for at least a few fortunate children.
Lobitos – Peru. The school also supports, through the initiative of a former pupil, a coastal community called Lobitos in Peru. The aim here is to help raise literacy levels, improve lifestyle and health awareness. Pupils have had their art work displayed in public buildings in Lobitos. Regular assemblies are held to update the pupils on events and how funding raised is used in Lobitos.
Heatherbank, Walmer, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Through generous contributions from the second hand uniform shop, the school has committed to supporting a township school called Heatherbank in Walmer, Port Elizabeth. This connection has developed through our pupil and staff exchange programme with St. George’s Prep School in Port Elizabeth. On each annual exchange, the pupils and staff on exchange will visit Heatherbank and help out at the school to support their needs.
The Friends of Holmewood. The Friends of Holmewood is a committee of parents who organise social and fundraising events for the whole family, including a fireworks night, Christmas Fair, a quiz night and summer ball or 'Fun Day'. The proceeds of these events are shared between projects for the school and other charities.
The 2016/2017 Friends of Holmewood charity of the year is Dandelion Time. Dandelion Time is a fantastic local charity that was set up in 2003. It is based at a farm at West Farleigh, near Maidstone. The charity works with children and families experiencing serious behavioural and emotional difficulties. Often the children are victims of trauma, abuse and neglect and many of the parents are struggling with mental health problems and substance abuse. The charity provides farm-based developmental activity and a therapeutic service to help children overcome past suffering, develop in confidence and self-esteem and discover a new positive path to follow.
As well as supporting the charity through fundraising, there are opportunities for Holmewood children to help in more practical hands-on ways, starting with planned visits for the Year 8 pupils to volunteer there, as part of the post exam programme in the Summer term.
The Second-hand Uniform Shop. The proceeds of the School’s second-hand uniform shop are all donated to charity. The shop operates to sell second-hand uniform in good condition. It is run by parents on a voluntary basis and the profits are donated annually to two children’s charities, one overseas and one locally. Recent donations have been made to the Haller Foundation, The Sunrise Centre, Kokobiriko, KIDS, Facing Africa the NSPCC and Heatherbank township school in Walmer, Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
"The pupils are confident and engaged learners who respond with enthusiasm to the teachers’ high level of expertise [...]"
ISI Inspection Report 2017