Benenden’s Centenary Vision programme is to continue to evolve the Complete Education on offer at the school, through its dynamic and relevant curriculum to ensure girls are prepared for the world in which they will enter in the next decade and beyond. To support this, the school intends to develop a number of state-of-the-art new facilities in time for its centenary in 2023.
Speaking at a private club in Manhattan, The Princess Royal addressed former Benenden students – known as Seniors – who are now living in America.
The Princess Royal, who was a Benenden pupil in the 1960s, formally launched the Centenary Vision in April in London. This New York launch was for the benefit of those Seniors who now live in the United States.
Headmistress, Samantha Price, said: “We are incredibly grateful to The Princess Royal for taking the time to launch our Centenary Vision in New York. Her continued support for our development programme is invaluable.
“It was wonderful to meet with Seniors in America to learn about their varied achievements since leaving Benenden, and their enthusiasm for our vision and the School was very affirming.
“Our Centenary Vision is an ambitious development programme which will help us to further improve the Complete Education we offer girls at Benenden, and to ensure they are getting the very best facilities to support an innovative curriculum to let them succeed in the modern world.”
The Centenary Vision is split into two phases. The first is called the Perfect Pitch campaign, which is already making strong progress. Estimated to cost £7.2million, Perfect Pitch encompasses:
- An all-weather floodlit sports pitch and pavilion, with an international size lacrosse and hockey pitch and landscaping.
- A redeveloped School Hall, large enough to seat all 550 students and 300 staff and acting as an enhanced concert hall venue and place of worship.
- New staff accommodation, creating eight new family houses, of between three and four bedrooms.
Once the Perfect Pitch phase has been completed, the remaining projects of the Centenary Vision include establishing a Music School, improved teaching facilities and enhancing the School’s sports centre.
As part of the Centenary Vision, the School is also expanding the Benenden School Trust Award programme, which offers bursaries to girls who would otherwise be unable to afford the fees to experience an outstanding Benenden education. Year Six girls from primary schools in a five-mile radius of Benenden are eligible to apply for these bursaries.
The Centenary Vision is being jointly funded by the Benenden School Trust, through School reserves and through fundraising.