Why Choose Cobham Hall?
“Pupils are educated to a high standard and excel in extra-curricular activities fulfilling the school’s aim to develop each pupil’s potential in and out of the classroom.”- Independent Schools’ Inspectorate, February 2015
We strongly believe that Cobham Hall is unique; there is no other school in the world quite like it. We aspire to offer a caring environment and an inclusive spirit, and encourage girls to challenge themselves – both their abilities and their perceptions – and believe that by their taking part in everything Cobham Hall has to offer, students discover more about themselves. In turn, girls excel academically and leave us fully prepared for the path they have chosen.
Education should be about preparing students for life beyond school. At Cobham Hall, girls acquire the knowledge they need to pass examinations, but also learn the skills needed to apply, assess, evaluate, use, re-evaluate, and develop that knowledge as they journey through life, enabling them to thrive after school and beyond in a world constantly changing and enveloped in an environment of ‘alternative facts’ and ‘fake news’.
Here are five key reasons for choosing to study at Cobham Hall. We believe it is the combination of these elements that result in each girl achieving more than they themselves believed possible.
Focus on the Individual
We believe in educating the individual. Being a small school allows us to be aware of each pupil’s talents, strengths and potential, and we aim to encourage every girl to develop all aspects of their character. At GCSE and Sixth Form level, we offer a wide range of subject options for our size, allowing us to have greater flexibility to tailor individual programmes of study to cater for individual needs and interests, such as providing additional learning or EFL support.
Girls have the attention they need academically, allowing each to be challenged both inside and outside of the classroom, to push herself beyond her own personal comfort zone. They also get the support they need pastorally; our supportive environment means girls have the confidence to put themselves forward, to take a chance, to not stand back and watch others but to get involved, and – just as crucially – pick themselves up if things don’t go as planned.
As a School where everyone knows everyone, we have a natural advantage in providing excellent, individual care for all our girls. Strong communication between Pastoral, Academic and Boarding staff ensures that each girls gets the care and support needed to thrive.
Challenge and Opportunity
We aim to provide, and encourage girls to take, as many opportunities as possible. This develops a wide range of abilities in each student, and encourages them to be the best they can be both academically and non-academically.
Our strong Extra-Curricular Programme offers a range of activities that provide the girls with the opportunity to have fun as well as develop or learn new skills. The Programme encompasses Model United Nations, dramatic, musical and sporting pursuits, book clubs, cookery, languages, and so much more. In addition, girls also have the opportunity to take Voice, Drama and Communication lessons, with many taking the option to complete LAMDA examinations in Performing Arts and Communication. There is also The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, encouraged throughout the School, where the majority of students in Year 9 complete the first stage Bronze Award. Girls can also take ABRSM examinations and be graded for singing or their preferred instrument, and we have a high percentage of girls taking part in sporting activities, with many competing regionally, nationally and internationally in their chosen sports.
As a Round Square school, girls have the opportunity to attend regional and international conferences, apply for exchanges to any fellow Round Square school, or join an International Service Project.
All of these extra opportunities are in addition to those that are part of the day-to-day fabric of Cobham Hall, from adventure afternoons, through positions of leadership, to an array of service activities. Each opportunity provides unique chances to challenge girls to discover more about themselves and others.
Pastoral Care and Wellbeing
We believe it is our role to look after not just our students’ academic education, but support and nurture the development of the whole person. Central to our ethos is the belief that to learn and develop effectively, students need to be happy and comfortable in their environment. As a result, we take a whole school approach to pastoral care. As well as Teachers, Tutors and Housemistresses, girls can also talk to their peers. Each girl is allocated a ‘Big Sister’ when they join us, and we have an established Peer Mentor scheme.
We are rightly proud of our girls’ academic progress and achievements, but we also understand that this, and future success, can only be achieved by providing our girls with the tools needed to deal with life’s challenges and by teaching them to cope with all manner of situations they will encounter both in School and in life. With this in mind, we have developed a dedicated and integrated Wellbeing Programme that works towards achieving this aim. The Programme comprises of both structured lesson time, and supplementary extra-curricular activities that work towards achieving this aim. Within Wellbeing lessons, which includes all the topics you would expect of a solid PSHE curriculum, teaching focuses on developing the virtues, skills, and positive character traits needed to deal with a variety of situations the girls may find themselves or a friend in throughout their lives. This is supported by the dedicated extra-curricular programme, which includes cookery, to gain a greater understanding of healthy eating, sports activities to boost fitness, and workshops for dealing with stress and anxiety.
Our pro-active approach to Pastoral Care means that by looking after students’ emotional and physical wellbeing, they feel happy, confident and secure in their environment, and so are more willing to push themselves, try new things and, as a result, flourish academically.
We celebrate diversity in all its forms, from the many different nationalities, backgrounds, abilities, and talents that make up our student body, to the numerous and varied opportunities provided to develop and challenge our girls.
In a world that is being drawn ever closer together by technology, global awareness and tolerance are increasingly important. At Cobham Hall, with students joining us from around 30 different countries, girls live this as well as learn it. The resulting dynamic enriches the experience for every girl. Girls learn, and have reinforced every day, that they can work side-by-side with those of a different culture, language, religion, or social background and achieve real results simply by recognising the strengths and talents of each individual.
With an integrated approach, this diversity of education – academic and pastoral, inside and outside the classroom, the make-up of the student body – work together to develop valuable life skills such as confidence, consideration, resilience, perseverance, tolerance, communication, teamwork and so much more. Along with our nurturing environment, small class sizes, excellent peer-to-peer support, and relaxed interaction between year groups, our diversity enables girls to develop into young women capable of more than simply passing examinations. Girls leaving Cobham Hall are young women who can step into the world with confidence in their abilities, eager to embrace opportunities, and embrace any challenge they face. They embody Cobham Hall’s motto: ‘There is more in you than you think.’
Cobham Hall is ideally located. Situated on the edge of the Kent Downs, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the School is based in an impressive 16th Century Manor House nestled in 150 acres of historic parkland; an idyllic rural setting, yet with excellent transport links.
Originally home to British nobility, our school family make excellent use of the grounds and surrounding areas. Girls can practice in the Downs for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expeditions, have campfires in the clearing where Charles Dickens’ writing chalet once stood, or enjoy BBQs in Lady Darnley’s garden. The grounds can be used for enhancing classroom studies: data for environmental studies, space for physical education, and natural sets for drama or film studies are all just outside the door of our teaching block. They can also enjoy life’s simpler pleasures: climbing trees, picking daffodils, and simply relaxing in sunshine. All are activities that develop our girls’ physical, social, moral and spiritual qualities, alongside the academic success that flourishes as a result.
Nearby Ebbsfleet International Station provides frequent services to London with just a 17-minute journey time, as well as offering Eurostar services to France and Belgium. Cobham Hall is also located within 35 to 75 minutes from all four of London’s major airports, and with excellent links to motorways and major routes. Bluewater shopping centre is just up the road while Charles Dickens’ historic home town of Rochester is not far in the other direction.
Our environment, from the natural to the man-made, all work together to provide inspiration for the creative, space for the active, peace for the tranquil, and raw data for the scientist. All in a convenient location for practical transfers at the beginning and end of school holidays, and for exciting outings for Boarders of an evening or at the weekend.