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Benenden School Interview Questions and Key Information

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Overall Guide to Benenden

Benenden describes itself as offering ‘every girl A Complete Education in which she realises her academic potential, grows as an individual and is well prepared for life beyond school.’ In order to offer this, the school provides an ‘outstanding academic offering’ and a set of ‘unrivalled co-curricular opportunities.’ Its extra-curricular offerings certainly are well-regarded, with girls able to make the most of a 250 acre campus. The school was initially founded by Christine Sheldon, Anne Hindle and Kathleen Bird, three teachers from Wycombe Abbey. Initially the school had 24 girls registered – soon this was increased to 126, and the school would go on to grow from there, taking on a new location – Hemsted Park. Currently, the school has 550 pupils – all of whom board. The school’s keen to increase the number of pupils from less-advantaged families, with an increased amount of bursaries – funded largely by an expansion to China, with a range of Benenden Schools there.

Boarders are able to go home every other weekend, although the majority choose to stay and enjoy the range of activities available at the school.

The school is soon to include a small number of day pupils.

The current headmistress is Samantha Price, MA. She was previously Head of Godolphin. Fees are £13,616 per term.

Benenden Ranking & Results

Benenden pupils achieved 83% A* or A grades at A level in the latest available data, and 50% of grades were A*. At GCSE, they achieved 35% 9 grades, 60% A*, and 20% of all pupils achieved all A*s. 6% of pupils here go on to Oxbridge.

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Benenden Curriculum

The GCSE years see girls study either ten or eleven GCSEs, which are ‘set into a wider learning experience where the girls also undertake enquiry learning, research projects, enterprise education and a unique Personal and Professional Skills Programme.’ Therefore expect them to be ready for a range of different learning. Pupils are asked to choose three or four additional subjects alongside English, Maths, the three Sciences and a Language. All pupils will also continue with sport and Academic Extension.

At A Level, pupils are able to choose from the following:
Art & Design
Biology
Chemistry
Design and Technology
Drama and Theatre Studies
Economics
English Literature
English Language & Literature
French
Geography
Government and Politics
Greek
History
History of Art
Latin
Mandarin
Mathematics
Further Mathematics
Music
Physics
PE
Psychology
Religious Studies
Spanish
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What is the admission process at Benenden?

The first stage of the admission process is the Preview Weekend, which includes a residential visit to the school over the course of a weekend. This gives girls a chance to get used to Benenden, and teachers a chance to assess them. There are a range of assessment activities, which will include tasks in both Maths and English, and an informal interview with a member of staff. Additionally the school will request a report from the current school, including test data. The school uses the ISEB Common Pre-test for its entrance examination.

What kind of questions are asked at interview at Benenden?

Extracurriculars
What sports do you enjoy playing?
Do you play team sports and individual sports?
Do you play a musical instrument? What grade are you?
Are you interested in being a band or orchestra here?
What extracurricular activities are you most interested in here, apart from sports?
Have you done any charity work or work that involves helping others?

Personal Qualities
How do you deal with conflict?
What do you think your friends would say that your greatest strength is?
What do you think your friends would say that your greatest weakness is?
How would you describe yourself in three adjectives?

Current Affairs
Can you tell me a bit about Brexit? What was the debate over Brexit, and what is the EU?
Can you tell me about a recent event that you read about in the news and found interesting?
Where do you get your news? Do you read a newspaper?

General Questions
Can you think of two different people that you look up to or find inspirational?
What is your favourite book?
Who is your favourite author?
What’s your favourite film?

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