Headteacher's Newsletter July 2023


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Dear Parents, Carers and Students

Where has that year gone? It never ceases to amaze me just how rapid the academic year is and how much has to be packed into it. 

There is a myth that the summer term is easy. Looking at the faces of both students and staff I can assure you that this has never been the case in a secondary school. Everyone has that ‘I’m ready for a break’ look about them and no doubt many of you feel the same. 

The second half of the summer term is very much about endings and beginnings. The Year 13 prom took place at Salomons Estate. Watching our young men and women arrive dressed in black tie is always a lovely moment. We marvel at the progress they have made individually, how they’ve matured and envy their excitement about their next steps in life. We will of course see them in the summer as they collect their results, fingers crossed everyone!

So, as we formally said goodbye to Year 13, we welcomed Year 6 into school for their transition day. We love seeing their nervous faces at the beginning of the day transformed to beaming smiles at the end. We look forward to welcoming our new Year 7s in September. 

Thank you to all of you who attended the awards evenings. It is always a highlight for me and a privilege to share the success of your son/daughter. Our school values of Respect, Excellence and Determination really do shine through on these evenings and the students thoroughly deserve the praise heaped on them. 

Many of you also supported the PTA by attending the summer fair, thank you. The PTA does a wonderful job in supporting the school. Through its fundraising the association is able to assist in buying resources that the school would otherwise not be able to afford. Like many charity/volunteer organisations it is often the few who willingly give their time to ensure things happen. The PTA is actively recruiting and trying to plan for the future. It would be a real shame if the PTA is unable to continue, therefore I appeal for volunteers to help run the PTA. Please do get in touch if you can help. 

We finish the term with ARE Week and Years 7 and 8 Sports Day, an action-packed week with a multitude of trips and activities. I extend a big thank you to everyone who has ensured that these events take place – the amount of time and effort that goes into organising such things is always underestimated.

So as the year finishes, I would like to say a final thank you – to our amazing student body who are the very reason we do the job we do; to you as parents and carers for your continued support and I would like to pay tribute to the staff team at TWGSB. They are quite an astonishing bunch of people who work tirelessly, respond quickly as society constantly expects more, and mostly manage to do this with a smile on their face. If you have ever thought, ‘I must email in to say thank you’ and never got around to it, please do send that in. It is greatly appreciated and valued. 

Here’s wishing you all a very restful summer break. 

Yours faithfully

Amanda Simpson (Headteacher)


Well done to all our students for the continued hard work and efforts with their house points! Eighty-four students have now reached gold boundary, 20 students have reached diamond and five students have reached the platinum boundary, which is a fantastic achievement! 

Well done everyone for an amazing year of Respect, Excellence and Determination.

Mr Lewis (Assistant Headteacher)

July 23 HOUSE POINTS 500



Year 13 celebrated the end of their exams in style at Salomons Estate. We are so proud of everything our Class of 2023 have achieved, and the send-off was wonderful, as were the dance moves!

Best of luck, Class of 2023! We will miss you all!

Prom 2023 500


Meet the new Head Students for this academic year: Arthur L and Molly M are our new Head Students, and David W is our new Deputy Head Student. They will be performing student leadership roles across the school community in the coming academic year and each wishes to bring their own focus to their position this year:

'I am Molly the new head girl and I am incredibly proud to be able to represent this amazing school, I hope to represent each years' views and provide inclusivity throughout the school as I am always open to letting others take the lead when they show initiative to make a shared objective better. I hope through balanced leadership I can become a champion for positive views and ideas throughout the school for your children. I am looking forward to getting every student involved with raising money for the head students' charities and look forward to bringing new ideas to how we can do that. Once again I am honoured to have the role and hope I can bring my skills forward to create an even better Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys.' 

'I am Arthur and I'm honoured to have the opportunity to represent the school as the new head boy. Education is an important and impactful part of everyone's lives, and I hope to allow students at TWGSB to have both a fulfilling and enjoyable education throughout their time here, as I have. Going into the new academic year, we aim to organise an array of activities to raise money for our head students' charities, inside and outside of school, and plan to provide a diverse range of events that everyone can get involved and engaged with. I look forward to the challenges of the next academic year and to begin in my new role, giving me even more opportunities to interact with the fantastic community this school is so lucky to have.'

The charities they have chosen to support this year are Age UK and Smart Works.

Head Students Final

Careers Day 

On Tuesday TWGSB6, in conjunction with EBP Kent, hosted a range of organisations and entrepreneurs to deliver a high energy careers event. This included a speed-dating style careers fair, one-to-one practice interviews with representatives from local and national organisations, and a workshop on assessment centres. We would like to extend our gratitude to all organisations involved, with some excellent feedback on its usefulness from students and staff.

Mr Ross (Careers Lead) 

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Our annual awards evenings for students took place last week, with over 400 awards being presented. Students across all year groups are awarded by subjects using our school values of Respect, Excellence and Determination.

In addition, over 20 cups/trophies were presented to students for specific successes. The event recognised the amazing efforts put in by these students across all departments in the school.

Parents, staff and governors enjoyed two evenings of fun-filled celebrations accompanied by some beautiful musical pieces performed by students from a range of year groups. This event continues to receive praise from our school community and will continue next academic year as an end-of-year celebration.

Well done to all the students.

Mr Lewis (Assistant Headteacher) 

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More photos can be viewed here


This was a fantastic evening celebrating the talent of all our creative students and showcasing their spectacular work this year in media studies, music, art and drama. A big thank you to everyone who came to support the evening.

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Click here to view more of the evening's photos and videos.


A Level Geography Residential to Juniper Hall in Surrey

On Tuesday 20th June the Year 12 Geographers travelled by minibus to the Field Studies Council centre of Juniper Hall in the beautiful North Downs near Box Hill, Surrey.

Once settled into the rooms we had the usual tour and safety briefing before starting work. After a short stint in the classroom to discuss the Carbon Cycle we left with our equipment to climb the nearby hill into the woodlands. There, the students took measurements of the different groups of trees to work out how much carbon is absorbed by them and stored in the soil. We then continued our walk to the top of the hill so that we could discuss and record the impact of the land use in the Dorking valley.

After supplementing their evening meal with Uber meals from nearby Dorking and a restful night, for some, we prepared for our urban study in Dorking. The students experienced a range of techniques to analyse a transect across an urban area that supports their knowledge of urban growth as well as being transferable skills for their coursework. As always, on our return we did the number crunching using statistical tests and interpreted the data collected in line with the model needed for the coursework component.

On the Thursday we left the centre for the South coast of Sussex. We were looking at the natural processes and the impact of beach defences at Newhaven and Seaford. The students took measurements along the beach at Newhaven and analysed the impact of defences at Seaford, which included questionnaires of the local residents. The evening followed the same pattern of follow-up work, supplementary pizza deliveries and dormitory living.

The last day was spent at the field centre drawing the field work days together with interpretations, conclusions and evaluations of the methods.

The students returned with an enhanced understanding of the Carbon Cycle, Coastal Management and Urban Development. They were also much more informed about the expectations of the coursework.

Mr Ash (Head of Geography)

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Yr 8 Geography trip to Eastbourne or Herne Bay

On four sunny days in late June and early July the Year 8 Geographers travelled to the coast. Students at the Tunbridge Wells site travelled to Eastbourne in East Sussex to conduct their fieldwork, while the classes at Sevenoaks visited Herne Bay in Kent.  

After a short recap of the methods previously introduced in lessons, the students worked in their groups collecting data to allow them to measure coastal processes and observe any human intervention on their stretch of beach. Those students visiting Eastbourne collected data at Holywell in the west and Sovereign Harbour in the east to observe differences at two locations on the same coastline.  Similarly, at Herne Bay students collected data directly west of the pier and then further along near the colourful beach huts of West Beach. Students worked hard at their first location before moving to their second site for a picnic on the beach followed by an afternoon session finishing off the data collection. Then it was time to return to school but not before finding an opportunity to buy a much-deserved ice cream – we were at the seaside in the sunshine after all!

The students returned with an enhanced understanding of coastal fieldwork methods and had a valuable opportunity to apply their theoretical knowledge of coastal defences and processes to a real place. 

Mrs Buckland (Teacher of Geography)

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Trip to Switzerland 

TWGSB music students are currently enjoying their tour to Leysin, near the border of France and Switzerland and near Lake Geneva. Designed to enhance the students' musical, social and cultural development, the trip offers them wonderful experiences, including enjoying the stunning natural scenery of the Swiss Alps, a number of excursions and the opportunity to perform to a variety of audiences. 

Switzerland 600

The music department would also like to share this very moving performance by Arthur playing a Grade 6 piece called 'Indigo Moon' (by Milne Elissa, 1889). It is rare for us to see a student playing so expressively. Arthur has been studying the piece for about six months and hopes to achieve Grade 8 on the piano. He obviously has a passion for music as he has chosen to take it at GCSE and is considering taking A Level Music Technology as well. (Many thanks as well to Arthur’s peripatetic teacher accompanying him.)

Mr Joris (Head of Music) 




The Tempest Open Air Theatre

On Tuesday 18th and Wednesday 19th July, Year 7 from both sites attended a production of The Tempest at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre. The adaptation was fun and modern while retaining many of the play’s original themes, key scenes and language, and students entered into the spirit of the play by singing along and getting involved in the action. I’m sure we’ll all have Caliban’s Song playing in our mind for several days! 

Miss Steane  (Head of English) 

Tempest 700


The MFL Department was delighted to be able to take 72 students on a residential visit to Paris in June. Students visited the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre and the Sacré Coeur Basilica as well as the Montparnasse Tower. They also enjoyed a boat trip on the Seine. Of course, a trip to Paris wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Disneyland. Students were able to practise speaking French in the evenings in the restaurants and in the shops around Montmartre.

We are planning to take another trip to Paris next year as well as a trip to Madrid.

Paris Trip 2023 800

On their last lesson of the term, Mrs Gray’s French GCSE class brought in some traditional French desserts such as classic French palmiers and chocolate truffles, which they had made at home. We pretended we were in a French café with some students being the café staff and others the customers so everyone was able to put into practice what had been learnt in Paris.

Miss Allen’s Year 12 students made some pan con tomate (Spanish tomato bread) in their last lesson. In addition, some students made empanadas, others made tortillas and magdalenas. Delicioso!

Mrs Gray (Teacher of MFL) 

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This week Year 10 History students have enjoyed a four-day trip to Berlin to enhance their understanding of the KS4 curriculum. Many of the sites they visited shed light on the rise and fall of the Nazi Party as well as the tension that gripped the city during the Cold War. Their itinerary included amazing and educational sights such as the Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin Wall, Stasi Prison, Glienicke Bridge (famous from Bridge of Spies) the Blochplatz and Pankenstrasse nuclear shelters, Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp and the Olympic Stadium. The evenings included visits to the Reichstag and bowling.

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Carnegie Shadowing

This year we had over 45 boys taking part over the two campuses. Starting in March we had nine books to read, shadowing the official Yoto Carnegie judges. We met weekly to discuss the books and to prepare for our annual Carnegie event – the balloon debate with The Skinners' School and TWGGS.

Carnegie School Teams x4 800

It was our turn to host the event and we had a fabulous time from start to finish. The excitement of being off-timetable on a beautiful sunny day, heading up the A21 to join team mates from the Sevenoaks campus and the other schools was palpable.

The premise of the balloon debate is: if the shortlisted books were in a balloon plummeting to earth and all books but one had to be thrown out to stop the descent, which book should be kept in the balloon and win the Carnegie Medal?

The students did a three-minute group presentation and their task was to convince the judges that their book should stay in the balloon.

The winning team, which included Jonathan B, William V, Aleks G and Oliver B argued for When Shadows Fall by Sita Brahmachari.

Carnegie Winning Teams x 2 600

Luca J in Year 7 won the Alternative Book Cover Competition, with TWGGS winning the best book review.

Matthew P, William V, Freddie M and Joe B were great participants all the way through. Sankirth A in Year 8 won the Carnegie Cup this year for outstanding all-round participation.

Yoto Carnegie, the international Reading for Pleasure initiative, awarded the Carnegie Medal to The Blue Book of Nebo by Manon Steffan Ros. However, each year young people who take part in the scheme get the chance to vote for who they would like to win. The Shadowers’ Choice Award, is announced alongside the main Medal winner at the official annual winners’ ceremony. This year the vote was for I Must Betray You by Ryuta Sepetys (also the winner of the TWGSB/Skinners’ and TWGGS vote).

The Medals are awarded annually by CILIP, the library and information association and the Youth Libraries Group  who put together the shortlist. This year there were a couple of books that were challenging due to their content:

Medusa by Jessie Burton is a re-telling that makes us consider humanity. The novel advocates a woman’s position, a woman wronged, and a journey to discover herself and find acceptance for what she has become.

The Eternal Return of Clara Heart by Louise Finch is a ground hog day-type scenario. In it we have drug use, sexual assault, the death of a parent – the list goes on. James 'Spence' Spenser, the main protagonist, touches your heart with the way his character grows throughout the book. He has to face his own demons, see his friends for who they really are, and to stop being so complicit with the macho male behaviour throughout his high school... all the while trying to save the girl he comes to care about. 

The Award’s mission is 'To champion librarians to inspire and empower the next generation to create a better world through books and reading'. I have to say that reading the book reviews produced by our young men, gave me hope that the future is safe with them. Their compassion, understanding and acknowledgement of the misogynist wrongs meted out to the young women in the books was heartwarming and reassuring. Thus, the mission of the Awards has been met and admirably aided by a group of Year 12 former Shadowers. We had fun, read a lot of books and ate a lot of cake!

Carnegie Last 4 Photos x4 800

Staff Book Review Competition

The library recently held a staff book review competition, judged by five discerning pupils – Ethan H (8H), Conrad W (7I), Oliver J (9D), Sankirth A (8G) and Freddie B (7D). The students enjoyed reading and marking the reviews, which were all anonymous. Thirteen members of staff entered, tasked with the goal of producing a book review that would entice the judges to read it. The marks were incredibly close.

The worthy winners were:

  • Third place to Mrs Korvin (Finance Office) for Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
  • Second place to Ms Lovera (English Department) for Mythos by Stephen Fry
  • First place to Miss Steane (English Department) for Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

Rumour had it that the English Department’s pride was on the line so scooping the two top prizes should allay any worries about their writing skills! Many thanks to all who entered.

Mrs Musselwhite Steel (Library Manager)

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Year 9 Innovation project on chair design

Jacob L, James H and Jasper K designed and built a chair from recycled palettes in Innovation. The Innovation project focuses on taking an already existing product and improving it through the form, function, aesthetics, size or material. The boys used recycled wooden pallets for their design for sustainability purposes. This was accomplished in four weeks with students volunteering to work through their breaks to create the full-scale chair.

Miss J Hannah (Teacher of DT) 

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Year 7s have been busy showing off their graphic design skills, redesigning album covers using CAD: 

CAD Designs 400


TWGSB values personal development in tandem with academic excellence, and ARE Week is a way for students to participate in experiences within and outside the curriculum, which allow them to explore, grow and develop as individuals. This year, students from Years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12 participated in a range of activities including outdoor team-building, tree-top adventures at Go Ape, water activities at Bewl Water and a PGL residential trip. Activities in school included tower building, treasure hunting, experimenting with lighting and zero ball programming amongst many other things. 


ARE week also includes the ever-popular day trip to Thorpe Park as our reward experience for those students who have most demonstrated our values of Respect, Excellence and Determination throughout the academic year. This is a well-deserved reward for their amazing achievements, for being a role model for their peers and for gaining a large number of house points.

Year 8 PGL Trip 

The Year 8s enjoyed their three-day residential at Liddington PGL Centre. This great trip allowed students to challenge themselves and make new friends. Activities included archery, climbing, abseiling, crate stacking and woodland survival skills. Lots of smiles all round!

PGL Final 650

Go Ape 

Lucky Year 9 students went on a trip to Go Ape at Bedgebury. Students experienced the tree-top adventure and team games to stretch their problem-solving skills.

Bewl Water 

Year 12 took part in a fun-filled day at Bewl Water, having a great time in the water in the Aqua Park, and enjoying free time with friends, chatting, eating and playing football.


At TWGSB, we believe in fostering a well-rounded education that encompasses both academic excellence and physical fitness. One of the most exciting and anticipated events on our school calendar is the Inter-House Sports, where students from Year 7 to Year 10 come together to showcase their athletic abilities and team spirit. These events not only promote healthy competition but also strengthen the sense of community and camaraderie among students. 

Sports Days

This term, we have held sports days for Year 7 and 8, another for Year 9 and 10, and finally for Year 12. All three were thrilling events filled with track and field athletics, friendly competition and plenty of cheers. It's an excellent opportunity for our youngest students to experience the thrill of representing their respective houses in front of a large crowd. The enthusiasm displayed by our students was truly inspiring, and their determination to do their best was commendable. 

The results for our sports days are as follows: 

  • Year 7 – 1st Hever, 2nd Knole, 3rd Ightham, 4th Scotney

  • Year 8 – 1st Hever, 2nd Knole, 3rd Scotney, 4th Ightham

  • Year 9 – 1st Ightham, 2nd Knole, 3rd Scotney, 4th Hever

  • Year 10 – 1st Ightham, 2nd Knole, 3rd Scotney, 4th Hever

  • Year 12 Inter-form sports day – Overall winners 12C


    Sports Day July 23 600

Inter-House Events for Years 7, 8, and 9

In addition to the athletics-specific sports days, we also held inter-house events for Year 7, 8, and 9 students to take part in handball, cricket, ultimate frisbee, softball and table tennis, ensuring that every student had the opportunity to represent their house. Inter-house sports events are not just about winning or losing; they teach essential life skills. Students learn the value of teamwork, sportsmanship, discipline and resilience. These events encourage students to push their boundaries, discover their potential and celebrate the successes of their peers. They also promote a healthy lifestyle and instil a sense of pride and belonging within each house.  

The results for our inter-house events are as follows: 

  • Year 7 – 1st Hever, 2nd Ightham, 3rd Scotney, 4th Knole. 
  • Year 8 – 1st Ightham, 2nd Hever, 3rd Scotney, 4th Knole. 
  • Year 9 – 1st Knole, 2nd Hever, joint 3rd Scotney and Ightham. 

Overall combined results for summer term inter-house:              

1st Ightham

2nd Knole

3rd Hever

4th Scotney

Mr Woods (Head of PE) 


Year 7 Inter-Form Football Tournament

The teams from all ten forms have played in a tournament in Term 6. The matches were 8v8 with a maximum of four subs. These were played on four days with the teams split into three groups. The main objective was to get as many students playing as possible. The teams also had student managers.

On Monday 12th June 7E, 7F and 7G got the tournament started at the Tunbridge Wells site with 7E topping the group and qualifying for the semi-finals.

On Monday 26th June 7A, 7B, 7C and 7D played their group matches at the Tunbridge Wells site. 7A and 7B qualified for the next stage.

On Monday 10th July 7H, 7I and 7J played their group matches at the Sevenoaks site. 7H won both their games to qualify for the semi-finals.

On Friday 14th July 7A, 7B, 7E and 7H played in the semi-finals, final and third/fourth play-off at the Tunbridge Wells site. These games were a very good standard and very competitive, but also fun. The boys showed great determination in the rainy conditions. 7E won 2-0 against 7B. 7A and 7H played out a tense 2-2 draw with 7H progressing to the final via a nervy penalty shootout.

In the final 7E took the lead with a fine strike from Jack D. However, 7H recovered to take a 2-1 lead with two excellent goals by James B. George D then sealed the win with the third goal scored from a free kick. Final score 3-1 and 7H crowned as the Year 7 Inter-Form champions.

The third/fourth play-off between 7A and 7B was a 3-3 draw with 7B clinching third place via a penalty shootout.

A total of 120 Year 7s played in the tournament, which was fantastic to see. The games were very competitive, but the students also had great fun. There are so many talented players in this year group, which bodes well for years ahead. The Year 7 B team reached the semi-finals of the ESFA National Cup this year. Very well done to all those students involved with the Inter-Form tournament.

Football teams shirt sponsors

A big thank you to our football shirt sponsors this year who enabled our teams to look very smart when representing the school in matches:

  • Cantuccio Italian restaurant, Tunbridge Wells
  • Kin Coffee, Staplehurst
  • Cryojuvenate, based in Sevenoaks
  • Kent Cricket Direct, Southborough
  • The Bicycle Bakery, Tunbridge Wells
  • The Earl Grey Tearooms, Southborough

The Year 7A and Year 7B teams wore shirts with West Kent Mind on the front of the shirts. We have been delighted to raise awareness for this local mental health charity and the important work that they do.

Mr Menzies (Head of Football)


It has been another very busy term for the cricket teams.

The Year 7 and 9 teams continue their fine form from Term 5 and managed to reach the semi-finals of the plate competitions. On another day, both teams might have won their matches, but it wasn’t to be this year.

The Year 8 team did manage to get to the final, which was played at Rainham CC. In a very evenly contested match, our boys agonisingly lost by just 2 runs!

An incredible achievement from all the cricket teams this year and hopefully next year, we will go one step closer and get some silverware! Well done to all boys involved.

Cricket 400 

Kent Quarter-Final Outstanding Opening Wicket Partnership

TWGSB won the toss and decided to bat first. TWGSB scored 184-2 – Stefan O (Yr 7)  96 and Seb L (Yr 7) 51. Gravesend Grammar School was bowled out for 79; TWGSB won by 105 runs.

Stephan and Seb’s partnership of 180 runs was an incredible achievement in a Kent quarter-final. This was the largest opening wicket partnership in recent memory at TWGSB and saw an almost flawless performance from the two. Stephan struck the ball to all parts of the field before finally being caught on the boundary in the final over. After tight bowling by all students who bowled, this total was far too much for Gravesend to chase. Max C and Sam B were the pick of the bowlers, opening the bowling and taking two wickets each.

Cricket duo 400


Both the U13 and U15 tennis teams reached the regional finals for the second consecutive year. On a very warm day, the finals were played at Canterbury tennis club. The students really enjoyed their tennis; they all played five matches and most of them won at least one – some two matches. Many of them lost by the odd game or even sudden death point. A fantastic effort by all tennis players, a good mix from Years 7 to 10 played this year, well done to all of them.

Mr Boddy (Teacher of PE) 

Tennis 400



On Wednesday 12th July Miss Rocks and I had the privilege of escorting 18 students from Years 8, 9 and 10 to Wimbledon to watch the games taking place on Court 2. These were two Ladies Doubles quarter-finals, a Men's Doubles quarter-final and a Ladies Invitation Doubles. 

The atmosphere at Wimbledon was amazing and the excitement on Court 2 from our students at the opportunity to see Jamie Murray play was high. None of the games disappointed, especially the second Ladies quarter-final between Marie Bouzkova/Sara Sorribes Tormo and Laura Siegemund/ Vera Zvonareva, which was a particularly high energy match. 

The students all took the opportunity to do a bit of autograph hunting and as you can see from the photographs, some of the students managed to get an autograph with someone's equally famous mum!

The students were as usual, excellently behaved, in fact we even got an email the following day from a member of the public complimenting them on their behaviour stating, 'I wanted to commend them for their behaviour; they were obviously tennis fans and enjoying their trip out. You have a lovely group of young people!' 

Mrs Rose (Assistant Headteacher)

Wimbledon 500

Year 12 A Level PE Trip

This class went on a trip to Eastbourne in June to visit the University of Brighton sports campus. Upon arrival the students had a welcome and introduction to university life from one of the lecturers, providing useful information around the different options around sporting courses available to them after A Levels.

The students were then all involved in some sport science fitness testing in the lab. They were undertaking the VO2 max and Lactate Threshold tests and were working for short periods of time towards their maximum effort levels. The whole group were involved in taking measurements of oxygen and carbon dioxide levels during exercise.

After a short break, they then took part in an environmental physiology session. This involved taking measurements under hot and cold conditions, seeing how the body reacts to different temperatures. We then got an opportunity to walk across the town to get lunch, see the university campus and get a feel of what university life might be like.

Mr Boddy (Teacher of PE)

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Pride Club

To celebrate Pride Month Friday 30th June saw TWGSB launch its second whole school LGBTQ+ Pride event, run by the school's Pride Club.  As a celebration of diversity in all its forms, our school Pride event mirrors national Pride event in its aims to tackle discrimination and encourage respect and compassion for others.  The reason we run this club is: 

  • Nationally, over half of LGBT young people (53%) don’t feel there is an adult at school or college they can talk to about being LGBT.
  • Nearly half of LGBT young people (45%) – including 64% of trans young people – are bullied for being LGBT at school or college.

    (*The School Report, University of Cambridge/Stonewall, 2017)

Events included a non-uniform day with students and staff encouraged to wear brightly coloured clothes, a themed bake-off event and sale, activities for art and poetry and the opportunity for students to make their own TWGSB pride badge.

The event was a huge success, with over £1,000 raised for BeYou, a project run by Porchlight, supporting LGBTQ+ young people in the local community.

A massive thank you to all students and staff who took part. We look forward to celebrating with you next year

Pride Cakes 500


British Rowing Junior Championships

Congratulations to Maddy J in Year 12 who was selected to compete at the British Rowing Junior Championships in Strathclyde in July. This is the final, and the biggest, National-level event in the junior regatta season, where the top junior rowers meet. She attended with a select number of other rowers from Bewl Bridge Rowing Club.

It was touch and go whether she would actually be racing, as she had a new rowing partner who was struggling with an injury, so they didn’t manage to do any training together. In the end they did race, and in pretty awful weather conditions made it into the top 30 in the WJ18 double sculls category (out of 53 boats), qualifying them for the finals. They eventually finished 19th, after a fantastic row to win the D final. Far better than expected! She is now taking a well-earned rest, before the winter season starts in September. 

Maddy Johnson 500

RAF Flying Experience 

Maddie V in Year 12 told us about her incredible experience with the RAF: 

'When I'm older I would love to work on my favourite aircraft, which is the Chinook, but with the issues I’ve had with my medical history and joining the RAF, we are still unsure hether this is possible. I've watched them fly many times and like to track their movements, but have never had the opportunity to get up close to one that isn't static and on display.

'Recently, I attended the RAF Air Cadets national muster day where over 2,000 cadets gathered for a celebration and many important people were there. As a part of this event, three chinooks were up and flying about, offering cadets who have never flown before the opportunity to gain some experience. As I have never been able to fly within the air cadets, I was one who was given priority for the experience. It was a long day of waiting for hours but for me it was so worth it.

'We were some of the last cadets to go up and I knew I wanted to sit near the back so I asked if I could be the last on to sit at the back (best decision of my life due to what happened next). I sat down and the crewman told me to buckle up, we begin to lift off. After a short time he approached me and undid my seatbelt, he told me to lift up my arms and put a harness over my head. I was a bit confused but I realised the harness was attached to the side of the aircraft and he was also attached to the same type of harness which was a relief.  

'I began to realise he was going to allow me up on the ramp at the back of the helicopter with him! The smile on my face was huge!  I thought he was going to get me to just stand on the ramp but actually he got me to sit next to him with my legs over the edge of the exit!  I was sat down for the whole 30 minutes of the flight and the shock on everyone's faces was amusing because they were just as confused as I was.

'After the flight when I disembarked, I spoke to the aircrew on the ground. They looked very confused as I’m not quite sure it was allowed. I found out later on I was the only cadet chosen to sit on the ramp and I’m still not quite sure why, but I’m not complaining at all, and I’m extremely grateful as this was a dream come true! It was the most exciting day of my life!'

Maddie Valli 800

Pedal Overlord

Maddie V (12H), Gabriel W (8E), Elliott B (8G) and Edward F (8B) were part of a recent trip comprising 18 RAF Air Cadets who travelled to the Normandy WWII beaches to complete a cycling challenge aptly named, Pedal Overlord. Madelin gives us an overview of their adventure:

The adventure started after we took an overnight ferry to Cherbourg to begin the 85km for Day One, where we rode through Utah and Omaha beaches and looked at the history of the American landings from D-Day 79 years ago. We set up camp at Point du Hoc for the first night where we cooked our ration packs and prepared for our journey the next day. at 08:30 the following morning, we set off for the next 83km to go through Gold Beach, one of Britain’s landing sites, followed by Juno, Canada’s landing site.

Our final stretch on the Sunday, we rode along Sword Beach before we reached our destination, Ouistreham, where we boarded our return ferry back to the UK. The weekend was a unique experience, pushing all of us to our limits while experiencing the beautiful views of Normandy. We got very lucky with the sun shining over the three days of cycling and zero mechanical issues. We travelled with no support vehicle meaning all the cadets showed great determination to get to the finish line.

Maddie V (Year 12)

Pedal Overlord 500

Swimming the Channel

Mac Johnston (Yr 12), is attempting the epic challenge of swimming the English Channel in September as part of a relay team with four other swim friends. They are raising funds for two charities – Level Water who provide specialist swimming lessons to disabled children and Brains Matter Charity who provide invaluable support services to those with traumatic brain injuries.

If you would like to express your support and sponsorship, they will be so grateful if you could view their fundraising page and make a donation: https://www.justgiving.com/team/teamkentchannelrelay2023

There’s a great video of their qualifying swim.

Mac's family said, 'training has been gruelling, swimming approximately 40km a week in the pool, acclimatising to the cold water with ice baths and swimming in Dover Harbour up to two hours in 11–12º waters, all while juggling their A Level studies. And they are yet to encounter the jelly fish! Your support will undoubtedly spur them on and they will be thanking you repeatedly in their heads as they swim to France. Thank you so much to the Tunbridge Wells Grammar school community for your support!'

Backs of swimmers 400


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