Tonbridge is a wonderful school and the exchange has been a great chance to compare Newington with this one to see what the differences are and which ones are positive and which we can seek to emulate a little more.
The fact that it is a boarding school – and very much operates along those lines (although there is quite a large day boy population) means the days are extremely long (8:35-6pm teaching hours) and Saturday school makes the weeks even longer. Or the weekends shorter, I can’t tell which. Having said that, having a break halfway through a term is luxurious and the days have plenty of time in them – in Sydney we rush from one lesson to another, taking bits of lunch and break for catching up on work, ruled by bells. Here the pace is slowed, there is an inordinate amount of time for lunch (sit down, cooked lunch, of course) and the boys have time set aside to change into sports gear, time to travel between classes and even their own ‘pursuits’ time, which can be used for catch up classes, or running little hobby groups etc.
Ben Williams of Newington College, Sydney is on exchange at the Tonbridge School in the UK.