Benenden School 16+ Interview Questions and Answers

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Benenden School Overview

Benenden School, a renowned all-girls boarding school, offers a dynamic and comprehensive educational experience. Known for its high academic standards and a strong emphasis on co-curricular activities, Benenden provides a well-rounded education that prepares students for life beyond school. The school’s academic offerings are outstanding, and its co-curricular opportunities are unrivalled, allowing students to take full advantage of its expansive 250-acre campus.

Benenden School 16+ Application Process & Interview Format

The admissions process for entry into the Sixth Form at Benenden is competitive and multi-faceted. For 16+ entry, candidates are required to choose two academic subjects in which they will sit exams, usually those they plan to study at A Level. The assessment day for Sixth Form entry will typically be in the second week of November. The assessment includes entrance exams in the chosen subjects and an interview, either in person or via Microsoft Teams. Benenden also requests a confidential reference from the candidate’s current school, including predicted GCSE grades. The papers can be taken at Benenden or at an alternate location such as the candidate’s current school or a local testing centre.

Benenden’s curriculum in the GCSE years involves students studying ten or eleven GCSEs, set within a wider learning experience that includes enquiry learning, research projects, enterprise education, and a unique Personal and Professional Skills Programme. For A Levels, pupils have a wide array of subjects to choose from, including Art & Design, Biology, Chemistry, and many others.

The school is not only focused on academic excellence but also emphasises the development of personal and professional skills, ensuring students are well-prepared for diverse learning experiences. Benenden’s approach to education is holistic, nurturing each student’s individual talents and interests within a supportive community.

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Benenden School 16+ Interview Questions and Answers

Why do you want to join Benenden School?

I am drawn to Benenden School for its esteemed reputation as one of the top all-girls boarding schools in the UK, offering a comprehensive and well-rounded education. Situated in the beautiful Weald of Kent, the school provides an idyllic setting for academic and personal growth. Benenden’s commitment to excellence is evident in its state-of-the-art facilities, including the advanced science centre, the innovative design technology centre, and the impressive theatre and drama complex. The school’s approach to education, which combines traditional values with a modern and forward-looking curriculum, aligns perfectly with my educational goals. As a full-boarding school with a diverse range of extracurricular activities, Benenden offers a unique opportunity to develop lifelong skills and friendships in a supportive and nurturing environment. The emphasis on individual achievement within a community setting is something I find particularly appealing.

What do you know about the history of Benenden School?

Benenden School has a rich history dating back to its founding in 1923. Set in the historic Hemsted Park, the school grounds hold significant historical value, with the land’s ownership tracing back to the Norman era. The school’s founding ethos, aimed at creating a happy and integrity-driven environment for girls, was established by three teachers from Wycombe Abbey, with a vision for a school that nurtured personal growth and service to others. The school initially operated from Bickley before moving to its permanent site in Benenden, Kent. Over the years, Benenden has evolved and expanded, adding modern facilities like the science centre and the all-weather sports pitch, while preserving the historical essence of Hemsted Park. The school’s commitment to providing an outstanding education for girls has remained unwavering, with a strong emphasis on academic excellence and all-round development.

How do you plan to make the most of the academic and extracurricular opportunities at Benenden School?

At Benenden School, I plan to fully engage with both the academic and extracurricular opportunities to enhance my educational experience. Academically, I aim to take advantage of the school’s diverse curriculum, focusing on my areas of interest while exploring new subjects to broaden my knowledge base. The state-of-the-art science centre and the humanities building, “Leelands”, will provide excellent resources for my studies. Extracurricularly, I am excited to participate in a range of activities that Benenden offers. The school’s strong sports program, particularly in lacrosse and tennis, aligns with my interests, and I look forward to contributing to the school teams. Additionally, the theatre and drama complex presents an exciting opportunity to explore my passion for the performing arts. I am also keen to engage in community service initiatives, reflecting the school’s ethos of service and personal integrity. My goal is to balance my academic pursuits with these enriching extracurricular activities, making the most of what Benenden School has to offer.

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Benenden School 16+ Past Interview Questions

Academic Proficiency and Intellectual Curiosity

  • What subjects are you planning to study at A-Level at Benenden School, and why have you chosen these subjects?
  • Can you share a recent academic achievement that you are particularly proud of and explain why it was significant to you?
  • How do you approach learning and mastering new skills or topics, especially those that are challenging for you?

Professional Skills and Real-World Application

  • Given Benenden School’s focus on professional skills, what skill would you most like to develop during your time at the school, and how would you apply it in the real world?
  • Discuss a project or experience where you applied a practical skill to solve a real-life problem.
  • How do you see the subjects you’ve chosen to study at A-Level contributing to your future career or life goals?

Personal Development and Community Contribution

  • Describe an extracurricular activity or hobby that has significantly contributed to your personal development.
  • Benenden School values a spirit of community. Can you provide an example of how you’ve contributed to your community or school in the past?
  • Discuss a global or social issue that you are passionate about. What are your thoughts on how young people can contribute to resolving this issue?


For more questions like this, all with model answers, see our 16+ Online Course.

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