History of the School
Homewood is identified in Tenterden by the Mansion. The house was built in 1766 in the then fashionable neo classical style. Today this is our main administrative building with a warren of ofﬁces for key operational areas including the Principal, Financial and Personnel Departments, Examinations Ofﬁce, Facilities Management, Extended School and the Student Team. Visitors are usually greeted here, there is a Community Room and there is a Staff Training/Meeting Room for Governors and other community members. Our friendly and supportive Special Educational Needs area is also located within the building.
All members of the school community enjoy using the grounds which were landscaped in the eighteenth century and includes some spectacular trees species.
After some years as a military base in World War II, Homewood opened as a local secondary school. The original school hall has now been redeveloped into The Sinden Theatre, a resource for all our local community, with classrooms added to D Block in 1957.
During the 1960's, in the baby boom, Government funded further building works with C Block and a further extension to the rear of D Block. Rural Science was then a very popular option and the School Farm and Young Farmers developed a good reputation at the Kent County Show.
In the 1970’s Mr Matthews had the vision to establish comprehensive status for Homewood. The ﬁrst Learning Resource Centre in Kent was built, a concept which was later extended and amended and eventually moved to the the Kirk Building, A Block. G Block was developed at this time together with the Lower School extension - now F Block.In 1991, the Governors decided to take the opportunity provided by Grant Maintained Status to further improve school facilities and to take greater control over the direction of the school. Major redevelopment, reorganisation and improvement of facilities took place including some excellent new Science facilities in K Block. With the appointment of a new Principal in Mr Adam, and rising population in the area, the vision of comprehensive education within Kent broadened to include a major growth plan and strategic review of curriculum provision and staffing. The opportunities for school growth, the broadening of curriculum options and the opportunities for radical improvement in teaching and learning opportunities were embraced by parents, staff and students. Homewood became a Foundation School committed to High Expectations and High Achievements for all students.
The DCSF granted £5.5 million to extend our buildings enabling improvements to provision for Music, Design Technology, Media, Art & Design and Science. The school was awarded Specialist College Status for Performing Arts and the old buildings transformed into a community theatre with excellent practice rooms later added for Dance and Performing Arts in 2005. Sir Donald Sinden our Patron took a lead in furthering our links with the theatre community and the Extended team worked hard to work across the whole spectrum of performing artists. Today as an Advanced Extended School we are recognised county wide as a model of good practice for community involvement. The new School Gym was planned to include a wide range of sports facilities and expanded 2 years later to meet the demand of the growing student body. A much improved Dining Hall offering a wide range of healthy meal options has replaced the old NAAFI style nissen huts which were our catering base for so many years. A exciting children’s Nursery beside the School Farm also helps to nurture the youngest local students.
What we're doing now
Today Homewood is at the forefront of the twenty ﬁrst century personalised learning agenda with an accelerated timetable at both key stages and opportunities for a curriculum enabling students to sit examinations when they are ready to take them rather than by a ﬁxed age. T Block has been planned to facilitate a new style of project based, task orientated learning for Year 7 and Year 8 students and here the students develop great conﬁdence in use of Mobile ICT. Educationalists from other countries regularly visit Homewood to observe and reﬂect and the staff remain committed to providing the best education for all our students. We also have a strong reputation for Applied Learning. The Kirk Building offers facilities of training for work based learning, led by specialist tutors in Catering, aspects of Construction Skills and Enterprise. We are also committed to mentor staff and build capacity in other schools in this region.In November 2007 we were the ﬁrst school to be awarded Advanced Extended School Status. Every child does matter to us at Homewood and as a ‘System Design School’ we will be working on even more ways to motivate the students in future years. 2008 marked the 60th anniversery of Homewood School which was celebrated following plans organised by a group of Year 13 Business students whilst raising money for charity.
2010 welcomes our new Principal, Mrs S Lees who will continue to work with our local cluster of schools to improve opportunities for all students in this district and to work together with teachers across the partnership to continue to further raise standards.