Education | ED05 | Summer 2018

JPSmedia

A Wealden Times & Surrey Homes Magazine

PRICELESS

SUMMER 2018

Sponsored by

Kent | Sussex | Surrey


Senior School Open Morning

Saturday 15 September 2018

9.30am to noon

(Entry at 13 and 16)

Boys and girls 13 to 18

HMC – Boarding and day

Upper Dicker

East Sussex BN27 3QH

T 01323 843252

admissions@bedes.org

Prep, Pre-Prep and Nursery

School Open Morning

Saturday 29 September 2018

9.30am to noon

Boys and girls 3 months to 13

IAPS – Boarding and day

Duke’s Drive, Eastbourne

East Sussex BN20 7XL

T 01323 734222

prep.admissions@bedes.org

bedes.org


Reading about our school

is an education in itself.

At Vinehall we foster a love of learning for its own sake

by encouraging our children to ask questions and think for

themselves.

Our children develop the necessary skills to work

productively and to become resilient, resourceful and

reflective learners, unafraid to try something new or of

making mistakes.

Our innovative curriculum includes Life Skills, Ethics and

Engineering; embedding knowledge that will enable them

to flourish in the ‘real world’.

We have high expectations for our children, inspiring them

to achieve excellence in all that they do.

We offer a diverse and exciting curriculum, delivered by

highly qualified, inspirational teachers.

“Pupils show a profound sense of awe and joy of learning”.

ISI January 2018

admissions@vinehallschool.com

01580 883090 /www.vinehallschool.com

Vinehall

CO-EDUCATIONAL DAY, BOARDING SCHOOL &

NURSERY, FOR CHILDREN AGED 2-13


Education Magazine

Contents

Barnardo’s Registered Charity Nos. 216250 and SC037605 20021dos18

The cover image and the image above were photographed

by David Merewether at Mayfield mayfieldgirls.org

7

11

17

21

23

27

NOTICE BOARD

News from local schools

START RIGHT

Starting schooling

on the right foot

10 THINGS I WISH I’D

KNOWN WHEN MY

KIDS WERE YOUNG…

Lessons learned from

parenting

TALKING HEADS

We talk to the teachers

THE JOY OF MUD

Michael White calls for

children to enjoy the

outdoors

GOING ANALOGUE

The best of electricityfree

toys

43

47

48

53

56

58

CITY SLICKERS OR

COUNTRY MICE

Hilary Wilce asks where is

best to grow up

TALKING HEADS

We talk to the teachers

COOL KIDS COOK

Fun recipes for kids to cook

YOU’VE GOT TO

MOVE IT, MOVE IT

How three schools

encourage sport for all

EXPERT EXTRAS

The benefits of specialist

visiting teachers

THE ART OF

LEARNING

The accomplished artwork

of six schools’ students

Foster today, change a young

person’s life tomorrow.

We are looking for foster carers who can

welcome and support young people aged 12

and over from all backgrounds.

We believe you can foster, and so should you.

Contact our friendly team

T: 01892 510 650

W: www.barnardos.org.uk/fostering

BarnardosED05.indd 1 18/05/2018 15:12

Bespoke design & build treehouses, playhouses

and elevated platforms.

Commercial & International commissions welcomed

29

33

CENTRE STAGE

How drama can enrich

a child’s education

RUCK AND ROLL

Matt Mitchell on his rugby

based children’s charity

65

69

KEEP CALM AND

CARRY ON LEARNING

Two teachers thoughts on

our current exam system

THE IT CROWD

Coding for kids

37

39

TALKING HEADS

We talk to the teachers

SING!

Life as a St. Paul’s chorister

72

FAMILY HOMES

Family friendly

home accessories

Published by JPS Media Ltd, Kettle Chambers, 21 Stone Street,

Cranbrook, Kent. TN17 3HF. Tel: 01580 714705.

Email info@wealdentimes.co.uk wealdentimes.co.uk

copyright JPS Media Ltd 2018©

TEL: 01403 262219

www.cheekymonkeytreehouses.co.uk

3 wealdentimes.co.uk

CheekyMonkeyS40.indd 1 25/01/2018 15:42


WWW.ASHFORDSCHOOL.CO.UK

#ADVENTUROUSLEARNERS

ASHFORD SCHOOL

ADVENTUROUS LEARNERS

JOIN THE ADVENTURE

OPEN DAYS 2018

TO BOOK A PLACE PLEASE CONTACT THE ADMISSIONS OFFICE:

01233 739030 REGISTRAR@ASHFORDSCHOOL.CO.UK

CO-EDUCATIONAL DAY, NURSERY & BOARDING SCHOOL FOR BOYS & GIRLS AGED 0-18


02624_Babington_Wealden_Times_AD_Layout 1 02/05/2018 22:26 Page 1

Education Magazine

Babington House School

Independent Day School

Chislehurst, London Borough of Bromley Kent BR7 5ES

Editors’ letter

Excellent* in all

areas and across

every age group

from 3 to 18

Welcome to our fifth Education magazine – and

the first with a joint editors’ letter, because

the project was planned and commissioned

by Lucy and then prepared for print by Maggie.

This is rather a neat reflection of the stages each of us is

at on the path of parenting through the school years. Lucy

is currently on maternity leave with her second and third

children (she had twins!) with two-year old Olive happily in

nursery and looking forward to school. First uniform!

Maggie is at the other end, with 15-year old Peggy now

waiting for her GCSE results and feeling very excited about

starting the next level of her education. No uniform!

Both of us know how overwhelming the choices can seem

at times, from when to start nursery, to which school, what

subjects and where next?

With advice and guidance from a wide range of education

experts, on everything from the benefits of drama and sport,

to what shaped the education of senior teachers, we hope this

magazine will help to steer you through all the stages.

And, above all, celebrate all that is wonderful about

watching our children grow through learning.

Education Team

Editors ........................................................................................... Lucy Fleming

Maggie Alderson

Editorial Assistant ........................................................................Rebecca Cuffe

Sub Editor ........................................................................................Emily Pavey

Design .........................................................................................Powerful Pierre

Design Team ..............................................................................Anthony Boxall

Rob Cursons

Freya Bruce

Tanya Goldsmith

Managing Director ........................................................................ Julie Simpson

Commercial Director ............................................................... Colin Wilkinson

Sales Team ........................................................................................ Jude Brown

Sarah Norwood

Distribution ....................................................................................... Kate Watts

Jude Brown

Come and see

for yourself

Tel: 020 8467 5537

*In recent ISI Inspection

www.babingtonhouse.com

5 wealdentimes.co.uk

BabingtonHouseSchoolED05.indd 1 08/05/2018 10:18


JOIN THE “TOP CO-EDUCATIONAL

DAY SCHOOL IN SURREY”

Four years running - The Telegraph and The Sunday Times

MONTHLY OPEN MORNINGS

For dates and to register please visit rgs.to/open

Reigate Grammar School, Reigate Road, Reigate, Surrey, RH2 0QS

reigategrammar.org | 01737 222231 | info@reigategrammar.org

facebook.com/reigategrammarschool

@reigategrammar


Education Magazine

Music to our ears

St Edmund’s School Canterbury celebrates the arts this summer with a

sensational line up of world-renowned musicians and family events. After great

success in last year’s inaugural show, Director of Drama, Mark Sell, and Head of

Performance, Ian Swatman, have worked tirelessly to create another exhilarating

and inspiring program. From Wednesday 27 June to Tuesday 3 July there is

much to see, hear and do, beginning with an opening night concert with leading

violinist, Tasmin Little, performing alongside celebrated pianist, Martin Roscoe,

and ending with a grand finale firework display and ‘prom’ orchestral and choral

favourites from The Festival Symphony Orchestra and Choirs. In between times

there will be swing dancing, the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, pottery, painting, and

poetry as young people get the opportunity to watch, listen and play alongside

some fantastic performers and showcase their own talents. stedmundsfestival.org.uk

Noticeboard

Oliver!

Bede’s Senior School’s production

of ‘Oliver!’ at the Devonshire

Park Theatre in Eastbourne

from Thursday 1 – Saturday 3

March treated sold-out audiences

to a whirlwind of drama, music

and dance on an ambitious and

professional scale. Following

Lionel Bart’s version of the story,

the Bede’s production featured all

of the play’s much-loved songs –

including ‘Food Glorious Food!’,

‘Consider Yourself’ and ‘Who Will

Buy’ – with the story’s colourful

characters expertly played by

Bede’s pupils from across the year

groups. Pupils were involved in

all areas of the production from

performance and set design, to

make up and costumes. bedes.org

The latest school and event news from the South East

All the world’s a school

Bickley Park School in Bromley has

enhanced its students’ understanding

of volcanoes with a trip to Italy as 32

students enjoyed visiting Pompeii,

Vesuvius, and the Island of Capri. Trip

organiser Sara Marriott believes that

“it’s imperative for students to get out

of the classroom to help enhance their

education” and has achieved this by

showing students the environmental

and human effects of volcanic activity,

while also experiencing Italian culture

with a pizza-making class and visit to a

mozzarella farm. bickleyparkschool.co.uk

Fine dining

Longacre School in Guildford

is enjoying new £1.5 million

dining and kitchen facilities. They

were opened by writer, presenter,

Masterchef critic and editor of

Waitrose Food magazine, William

Sitwell, who planted a bay tree in

the school’s new herb garden which

the pupils will maintain to grow

ingredients for their lunches. IID

Architects have specifically designed

the development to cater for young

children with increased seating in a

light and bright environment, and

views over the school playing fields.

Headmaster Matthew Bryan says

the new facility provides “a quality

and range of food that is second

to none.” longacre.surrey.sch.uk

Bowled over

Since cricket was introduced for female students at Dulwich Prep in

Cranbrook last summer it has been very well recieved and this year the

girls have joined the boys’ team on tour. The teams travelled to Devon

and Somerset for some thrilling matches against local sides, a visit to bat

maker Millichamp and Hall, and a lucky encounter with former England

player Marcus Trescothick. It is undoubtable that cricket for girls is now

firmly part of the Dulwich curriculum. dulwichprepcranbrook.org

7 wealdentimes.co.uk


Education Magazine

Good sport

Hurstpierpoint College is proud of its sporting achievements this year in netball.

Five teams qualified for national finals, the under 13s team won the Independent

Assosiation of Prep Schools National Netball finals and the school earned triple

wins in the Sussex Cup and Sussex Independent School’s Netball Association

tournament. Head of Netball, Rebecca Jutson, has said “the girls are committed,

train hard and demonstrate positive teamwork. The future is bright!” hppc.co.uk

Noticeboard

Special delivery

Manor House School in Bookham

has sent their old uniforms to Kenya.

In a drive by Headteacher Tracey

Fantham to re-energise the school,

its uniform was given an update in

September, leaving the question of

what to do with the great quantity of

very usable old uniform. A biology

teacher, Mrs. Felicity Charles, got in

touch with Kenyan St. Martin’s Oluti

Mixed Secondary School’s Principal

Mark Origa and with the help of

a parent with friends in bordering

Uganda, a plan was hatched to send the

uniforms to the very grateful students

of St. Martin’s. Fast forward a lot of

donating, sorting, bagging, and one

very long journey, and Mr Oreiga was

given nearly half a tonne of uniforms

to his students and bragging that “our

students look so smart now. They

brought the local market to a standstill

when they were going home as all

the people left the market to come

out to see them... I have no words to

express the happiness in the whole

school now.” manorhouseschool.org

Read and right

Frewen College, near Rye, has

been recognised for its best

teaching practice of dyslexic

students by the British Dyslexia

Association (or BDA) and as

a result, students and teachers

were recently chosen to take part

in a series of short films about

how dyslexic students learn and

progress. The films are being

used by the BDA to support other

teachers wishing to teach students

in a more dyslexia-friendly style.

Frewen is one of the first schools

in the country to adopt Microsoft’s

cutting edge Assistive Technology

and one of the films focussed

on how the dyslexia-friendly

software (including dictation and

read-aloud features) has helped

students overcome reading and

writing barriers. frewencollege.co.uk

New school

On Tuesday 24 April, Reigate Grammar

School expressed its gratitude to Peter

Harrison and The Peter Harrison

Foundation at the grand opening

ceremony of the Harrison Centre.

This new learning and community

resource includes a new Sixth Form

Centre complete with café and social

facilities, a High Performance Learning

and Innovation room, a library and

learning resource centre, dedicated

library classrooms and a series of

private study areas. Peter Harriso,n

whose generous gift made the building

possible, said that he felt it would be

“a massive addition to the school’s

established reputation for delivering

a powerful education, together with

student happiness.” reigategrammar.org

Odd Socks

Children at Banstead Prep School were thrilled to be one of only ten

schools chosen for Andy and the Odd Socks band to visit, following

participation in the Odd Socks campaign to raise awareness and funds

for the Anti-Bully Alliance. Headteacher Miss Vicky Ellis explaines

that the school has embraced Odd Socks, to illustrate the school

ethos of “celebrating diversity and allowing everyone the freedom

to be themselves and express their individuality.” The visit took

place during the school’s Kindness Week. bansteadprep.com

8


HAPPINESS • CONFIDENCE • ACHIEVEMENT

‘ Excellent ’

Latest ISI Inspection

Open Mornings 2 October 2018 & 5 March 2019

A happy, caring environment for girls & boys in Woking aged 3 - 13 & just 25 minutes from London

hoebridgeschool.co.uk admissions@hoebridgeschool.co.uk 01483 227909

HoeBridgeSchoolED05.indd 1 26/04/2018 14:32

OPEN MORNINGS

21st & 22nd September

9 wealdentimes.co.uk

LongacreSchoolS42.indd 1 29/03/2018 15:57


• State day & boarding for 11-18 years

• Selective entry at 11+ & 13+

• Ofsted outstanding

• 96% A*-C GCSE

• 71% A*-B A-Level

• Oxbridge, Medical & Veterinary success

• Expansive co-curricular provision

incl. CCF & DofE

Get in touch!

Visit: www.cranbrookschool.co.uk

Email: admissions@cranbrook.kent.sch.uk

Tel : 01580 711804

CranbrookSchoolED05.indd 1 04/05/2018 15:30

chinthurstschool.co.uk

chinthurstschool.co.uk

Open Day 4th October Outstanding 11+ Results 2018

Co-educational school for children aged 3-11 years

52 Tadworth Street, Tadworth, Surrey, KT20 5QZ

admissions@chinthurstschool.co.uk

Telephone 52 Tadworth 01737 Street, 812011 Tadworth, Surrey, KT20 5QZ

admissions@chinthurstschool.co.uk

@Chintschool facebook.com/ChinthurstSchool

Telephone 01737 812011

Co-educational school for children aged 3-11 years

@Chintschool facebook.com/ChinthurstSchool

Part of the Reigate Grammar School Family

Part of the Reigate Grammar School Family

surrey-homes.co.uk

10

ChinthurstSchoolED05.indd 1 08/05/2018 15:29


Education Magazine

Startright

A child’s very first steps in education – even before they start school

– can set them up for the years to come, and there are interesting

new ideas how to approach this crucial stage

Forest School

Reigate St Marys

‘Forest school’ is a specialised learning

approach which takes place in a

woodland or natural environment. It

offers children regular opportunities

to develop confidence and selfesteem

through hands-on learning

experiences. It is also great fun and

our kindergarten eagerly look forward

to their weekly trip to the woods.

Forest School is a learner–centred

method focusing on building strong

relationships with the outdoor

environment and ensuring the children

know the importance of taking

care of the woodland. It supports

the normal Early Years Foundation

Stage curriculum, but its focus is

on risk taking, creative learning and

reconnection with nature, so helping the

children to develop a broader skill set.

The children just love it! Each session

begins with them looking for changes

since their last visit. Crunchy leaves in

autumn or beautiful spring bluebells

are woven into stimulating learning

experiences which involve exploration

and investigation. They ‘discover’ a fairy

door at the base of a tree and fill ‘prickly

tickly’ boxes with items found in the

undergrowth. The children connect

with nature and their confidence soars.

At Forest School the children are

encouraged to look for what has changed

since their last visit to the woods

It’s a type of learning which is

suitable for all children. Each lesson

is carefully planned, taking into

account each individual child’s needs.

Groups are small and each child’s

progression is observed and used

when preparing for the next visit.

Parents recognize that the sessions

enable their children to learn

important skills whilst getting the

benefit of freedom and fresh air.

They see it as a welcome break from

technology and a reconnection with

nature and imaginative play.

Reigate St Mary’s

01737 244880 reigatestmarys.org


11 wealdentimes.co.uk


Education Magazine

A balanced approach

Dulwich College Cranbrook

Mrs Johanna Scanlon,

Head of Nash House

Children can join us in the term after

they turn three, starting with as little

as three half-day sessions a week,

gently increasing over the year.

We want every parent, child and

member of staff to feel part of one

cheerful family, so before a new child

starts we visit them in their home

and speak to key workers, gathering

as much information as possible.

Every classroom has an outdoor area

where children can enjoy the fresh air

Each child is also

invited to Nash

House with their

parents to chat with staff and their

new classmates. We also run parent

and toddler groups from 18 months

so many children are already familiar

with the setting before they start.

We are incredibly lucky to have a

purpose-built building and playground,

designed to create a safe, supportive

environment for our little community.

Classrooms are flooded with natural

light thanks to their south-facing aspect

and each has its own delightful outdoor

learning area under a retractable canopy.

Each day is thoughtfully structured

with a lively mix of teacher-led and

child-led activities. Specialist music, PE,

art and French teachers enthuse

our children to create an inspiring

space. Finally, our Learning Support

Department provides invaluable

support, ensuring every child

fulfils their unique potential.

I had a very magical childhood and

I want to be able to create this for

the children at school through storytelling,

the freedom to be outside

exploring the grounds and creating

a sense of wonder. You must never

lose the ‘magic’, this is what drives

curiosity and a hunger for learning.

Life at Nash House is all about

nurturing happy, independent

children who love learning and feel

confident expressing themselves.

We laugh a lot, so we learn a lot.

I think we have to teach children

from a young age to slow down

sometimes and relax and so we

teach the children a yoga move a

week as a relaxation technique.

To me Dulwich Prep is “the

best of both worlds”.

I feel there is an excellent balance

of academic studies and music,

art, drama and sports and outdoor

activities. Because of the wide range of

opportunities there is something for

every child, and we all have a great time.

Nash House, Dulwich Cranbrook

dulwichprepcranbrook.org

surrey-homes.co.uk

12

SteyningGrammarED05.indd 1 15/05/2018 16:53


HURSTPIERPOINT COLLEGE


Cranbrook: a prime

location in high demand

Savills Cranbrook

01580 720 161

Since opening our office in 1998, we have prided ourselves on delivering a personal and

local service to Kent’s sellers, buyers, tenants and landlords across a range of property

types, from individual building plots and townhouses, to listed Wealden hall houses and

new build developments.

Although our core area is within a

seven mile radius of Cranbrook, we

also provide thorough coverage of

popular locations such as Tenterden

and Sutton Valence, and extending as

far as Rye and Wittersham.

Our expert team not only work here,

we live here too, enabling us to provide

an insider’s perspective of Cranbrook

with personal insight and practical

knowledge. Over the decades, we

have become the only local agent to

offer access to an extensive range

of residential services as well as

other disciplines via our national and

international network, from planning

and property management, to auctions

and asset management.

The property market in Cranbrook and

the surrounding villages has remained

strong, with demand coming from a

variety of buyers. This includes those

who already live in the area as well

as families moving out of London.

Outstanding schools continue to be a

key factor for families who are looking

to relocate, so the high performing

schools in the area are a definite draw.

Buyers are also attracted by the

relative good value for money the area

represents compared to London, and

the wide variety of properties to suit all

requirements, from large family homes

set in beautiful landscaped gardens to

stunning period cottages in the heart

of the village. In addition, excellent

transport links and an enhanced

quality of life explain the unwavering

popularity of the area.

James Lloyd

Associate Director

Residential Sales

jlloyd@savills.com

Sarah Simmonds

Director

Head of Office

ssimmonds@savills.com

Sarah has been working in the

Cranbrook office since 2004 and is

the head of office. She has been in

residential sales in the locality since

1999. Sarah gives priority to providing

first class customer care and one of her

many strengths is her local network of

personal and business clients.

Christopher Linton

Associate Director

Residential Sales

clinton@savills.com

Christopher joined Savills in 2015 and

has expert knowledge of Cranbrook and

the surrounding villages, having lived

and worked in the locality all his life. He

started his career in property in 1992 in

Hawkhurst. He is a long term member

of the National Association of Estate

Agents and a keen rugby and cricket

enthusiast with links to local clubs.

James specialises in country and

village properties within the Cranbrook

School catchment and extending

across to the east Sussex coast and

east Kent. James began working in

property in London following five years

for an international ship broking firm as

a sales and purchase broker. He moved

to Kent and worked in Locksbottom

before moving to Savills Cranbrook

office, closer to his family home.

Leanne Gammon

Associate

Residential Sales

lgammon@savills.com

Leanne specialises in the sale of

residential properties across all price

ranges in the Cranbrook area. She

began her career in estate agency in

2001, joining Savills in 2007. She is an

experienced negotiator with excellent

knowledge of the local area. Leanne

is a keen runner and a member of a

local running club.

Talk to us today

If you would like to find out more about the local market, register for early alerts for new

properties coming to the market, or would like a market appraisal for your current home,

please do not hesitate to contact the team at Savills Cranbrook on 01580 720 161.

savills.co.uk


100 Years of Education, 1000 Years of History

Battle Abbey School 1912 - 2012

battleabbeyschool.com/nursery

Battle Abbey School Nursery Now

open 50 weeks a year 8am - 6pm!

• Bexhill location (TN40)

• Fully qualified and experienced staff

• Weekly Forest school and Ballet lessons

• Choice of term time only or 50 weeks care

• Caring for children from 3 months of age

• Brand new Nursery and Early Years facility

open Sept 2018

Call 01424 213283

to book your places

We support 30 hour Early Years funding

Sutton Valence School

BattleAbbeySchoolED05.indd 1 08/05/2018 12:25

svs.org.uk

Open

Mornings

Senior School

Saturday 29th September 2018

Saturday 10th November 2018

Prep School

Friday 12th October 2018

Book online now

surrey-homes.co.uk

16

SuttonValenceED05.indd 1 11/05/2018 10:33


Education Magazine

things I wish I’d

known when my

10kids were young…

With three children now into adulthood, Hilary

Wilce reflects on her experience as a mother and

shares her retrospective wisdom

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. With the wisdom

of looking back, we’d all be perfect parents.

Now that I’ve had the chance to watch my

children grow up, navigate through university, embark on

their careers, find partners and start their own families,

I can see so much more clearly what children need from

their parents in order to build good adult lives.

And it tends not to be what we think at the time.

In the thick of it we are – inevitably – consumed by

the dilemma of the day, however small or fleeting that

might be. How, we agonise, will we ever get them to sleep

through the night? Should they eat sweets? Will they

get into the right school? Why didn’t they do better in

their reading test? Do they have the right sort of friends?

How can I get them to wear their coat when it’s cold?

And what does this ‘sleepover’ party actually mean?

But what children really need from us, rather than this

moment-to-moment fussing, is consistent, long-term help with

all the really big stuff of life. The shaping and guidance which

will help them develop genuine self-confidence, the ability to

assess risk, good judgment of character, balanced self-awareness,

and the warmth and trust to develop good relationships.

So here – with all that wonderful wisdom of

hindsight – are five things I wish I’d done less of, as

a parent, and five things I wish I’d done more.

LESS

1Nagging

How I wish I’d done a lot less of that,

especially as it wasn’t even slightly effective!

I wish I’d chosen my battles more carefully,

concentrated on the big issues, and let other things

slide. If I really wanted something done, I wish I’d

had a more effective strategy than just going on – and

on and on – about it. As it was, I don’t believe my

children heard a word I said after the age of about ten.

2

Worrying

Like most parents, I worried my way through

my children’s childhoods. I worried that my

son had the attention span of a gnat, and

that his sister couldn’t get her head round maths, and

that his other sister had a pathological inability to say

sorry. I worried about their health and their friends

and their social lives and what they got up to in their

teenage years. Did most of the things that I worried

about matter in the long run? Not a single jot.

3

Comparing

It’s so hard, as a parent, not to compare your

children with others and then find them

lacking. This might be in the classroom,

at sports, art, music, popularity or sociability.

Whatever it is, though, you know even as you’re

doing it that it’s stupid and counterproductive,

but even so the tyranny of modern parenting

kicks in and there you are wondering yet again

what you need to do to get your child shining

with all the other brightest stars in the room.

4

Ignoring

Although I was physically present during

my children’s childhood I was mentally

absent most of the time. Other things, like

work deadlines and household chores, were always

uppermost in my mind. “Uh-huh” I’d say as I

listened to them talk, but more often than not I was

thinking about making that important phone call, or

getting on top of the laundry before the weekend.

5

Pronouncing

As an opinionated mother, I gave my children

the benefit of my wisdom on everything

from why dark green is a horrible colour

to what the Liberal Democrats needed to do to win

more votes. Never a car journey went by without

them having to listen to how I’d solve the traffic

problems of south-east England, or why obesity was

always going to be an insoluble problem. Poor things.

No surprise that they gravitated towards partners

whose main approach to life is live and let live. This

was my own particular personality problem as a

parent. You will have yours. You will. I promise.


17 wealdentimes.co.uk


MORE

VOICE TRIALS

for boys aged 7 & 8

10 th November 2018

Enquiries are welcome at any time

Substantial scholarships are awarded

and choristers benefit from an all-round

excellent education at St Edmund’s

School Canterbury.

The Master of Choristers, David Flood,

is always pleased to meet and advise

parents and their sons.

For further details please telephone

01227 865242

davidf@canterbury-cathedral.org

@No1Cathedral

CanterburyCathedralChoirED05.indd 1 04/05/2018 15:42

6Time

See four, above. By which I mean quality

time, not in the oh-my-precious-babyyou-are-the-centre-of-the-universe

way,

but in a respectful, being properly present when it

matters way. Children who get enough of this kind

of attention cannot fail to flourish and grow.

7Freedom

Children are little animals. They need to run,

jump, wrestle and explore. Later they need to

expand their horizons, walk to the shop alone,

go out on their bikes, and then (gulp) go up to the city,

go to the pub, go travelling… It’s so hard to know how

and when to release the brakes, but it has to be done to

allow them to grow their own strength and judgment.

8Encouragement

I wish now, I’d done more to positively

encourage enthusiasms of every sort, from

photography to riding. At the time I saw

these interests as passing (and potentially expensive)

fancies. Now I can see that they were creativity

looking for its way out. With hindsight, I would

have switched off their screens more, and encouraged

them much harder to get up and get doing.

9Trust

Of course, you can’t trust a baby to navigate

stairs alone, or a teenage boy to drive safely

without some experience behind the wheel,

but micromanaging children’s lives definitely does more

harm than good. I wish that – within sensible limits –

I’d shown my children more trust in their developing

abilities to make good decisions and also shown more

forgiveness when they inevitably got things wrong.

10

Love and laughter

Life isn’t always a serious business, and I

wish I’d done more to help my children

see that. All children need to discover that

mistakes are how you learn, that it’s possible to bounce

back after bad stuff has happened, and that, on the

whole, nothing matters quite as much as we think it

does and quite a lot of things don’t matter at all.

A childhood of love and laughter is probably the best

recipe I know for a happy, healthy adulthood.

Which is not to say they didn’t have plenty. They did,

and it’s been a joy to see them grow up happy and

resilient. But no child can ever have too much.

In fact, if we love our children, and make sure

that they always know that we do, then they will

be absolutely fine. So forget hindsight, and all the

the conscience-pricking lessons it wants to teach

us. They are for perfectionists only. And when did

perfectionism have anything to do with parenting?

surrey-homes.co.uk

18

SpringGroveSchoolWT194.indd 1 15/03/2018 15:22


Junior King’s provides an outstanding all-round education for children

between the ages of 3-13, within a happy, secure, and caring environment.

We aim to build strong and confident foundations by developing each

child’s physical, social, spiritual, cultural and intellectual life.

Arriving at the Pre-Prep, you will instantly sense the welcoming atmosphere and

know that you are in a special place. A place of cooperation, collaboration and

achievement –the bright and stimulating classrooms, the extensive grounds

and Forest School in our own woodlands.

Founded in 1879 as the preparatory school to The King’s School,

Canterbury. In 1929 the School moved to a stunning 80 acre countryside

location just two miles from Canterbury, opened by Rudyard Kipling.

The Barn is one of the oldest buildings at Junior

King’s and has its roots as far back as 1580. It is

the main area for teaching drama and also used

for assemblies, orchestra and choir practice,

dance, plays and concerts.

Thanks to the remarkable

generosity of a number of

past and present parents,

the new Michael and

Vibeke Herbert

Music School

opened in

January 2016

fully equipped

with modern

facilities and

brand new

instruments,

including Blüthner

pianos.(Michal Herbert

pictured right)

Our facilities include a purpose built astro turf

surface, nine tennis courts, extensive playing

fields, a state of the art sports hall, cricket nets

and a heated swimming pool. The King’s

School Recreation Centre (fencing salles,

fitness studio, dance studio, pool, climbing

wall, astro turf pitches) and the 22 acres of

Birley’s field offer further opportunities.

We aim to nurture happy, confident children and

to see smiling faces. Encouraging an appetite for

learning and offering a dynamic and caring

environment in which to grow and flourish.

Open Day -

Saturday ay 6th May 2017

Open Morning - Saturday 13th October 2018

www.junior-kings.co.uk


Talking

HEADS

Education Magazine

Taking the lead

Heads of department create the unique personality for how each subject is taught in a school,

while head teachers flavour the school as a whole. We asked seven heads to tell us about their

jobs – and the teachers and subjects which shaped them in their own school days.

Vinehall School

Paul Borrows, Assistant Head Academic

Favourite subject when you were

at school When I was at primary

school, my favourite subject was

undoubtedly maths. As I approached

my GCSEs, I was beginning to

appreciate English more and more, thanks to an inspiring

teacher called Mrs Jarvis. I found choosing my A levels

very difficult because I liked learning about most things.

Most inspirational teacher when you were at school

I was incredibly fortunate to have a number of wonderful

teachers but it was my Year 1 teacher, Mr Voce, who instilled

a love of learning that endures to this day. I still remember the

lesson in which Jennifer Donaldson, with her bright blonde

hair, stood in the centre of the classroom while some of the

other children circled around her, pretending to be planets.

Favourite character from a book or film It’s perhaps not

very original, but I would probably have to say, Atticus

Finch. For a while, I tried to persuade my wife that we

should name one of our children after a character from To

Kill a Mockingbird; it’s probably for the best I didn’t

get my way. We do have a cat called Scout though.

Best school memory I took part in a music exchange

with a middle school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, while

I was at school. The whole experience left a lasting

impression and I look back very fondly on that time.

Is there anything you wish you’d studied at school that

you didn’t? I would have loved to study English Literature at

A-level and I would have really enjoyed studying Art History.

What’s your proudest achievement at your current

school? I started at Vinehall in January so there’s not

very much I can take credit for yet! We have got plans

to introduce STEM as a curriculum subject in Year 5,

focusing on encouraging our children to ‘think like an

engineer’, and expanding our Life Skills curriculum to

ensure our pupils are able to flourish in the ‘real world’.

What are you looking forward to this coming year?

Embracing an outward-looking, forward-thinking programme

of study for our pupils that will mean they are fully prepared

for the 21st century world that awaits them after Vinehall.

St Edmund’s School

Canterbury

Dr Gemma Jones, Head of Science

Favourite subject when

you were at school

My favourite subject at school was

History (surprising for a Head of

Science!). I loved learning about the past, comparing

it to my life and how my teachers managed to make

what we learnt about relevant and current.

Most inspirational teacher when you were at school

My most inspirational teacher was Mrs Riddell,

my English teacher. She was such a jolly

character and took such a great interest in the

development of each and every pupil.

Favourite character from a book or film My favourite

character has to be Matilda from the Roald Dahl

novel. I remember reading it as a little girl and finding

her so courageous in the face of such adversity.

Best school memory My best school memory is the

time I tried to forward the time on the clock in my maths

classroom when my teacher Mr Wordsworth popped

out. Needless to say he returned and caught me in the

act; the clock fell off the wall and smashed into pieces.

Is there anything you wish you’d studied at school

that you didn’t? I wish I had studied Geography at

GCSE level as it was a subject I enjoyed and think it was

would have complemented my science studies. I chose

Food Technology instead and can bake a mean cake.

What’s your proudest achievement at your current

school? My personal proudest achievement at St

Edmund’s was becoming Head of Science in 2016. It is

a privilege to work in such a motivated department and

I’ve enjoyed the varied challenges of the job. With regards

to the pupils they never cease to make me proud and

no more so than the success of four of my Upper Sixth

who won gold (two), silver and commended medals in

the 2018 National Biology Olympiad competition.

What are you looking forward to this coming year?

This coming year I’m looking forward to having my

third baby and returning to the job I love in January.

21 wealdentimes.co.uk


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Education Magazine

Wellies and walking sticks at the ready,

these mini hunter-gatherers are enjoying

the great outdoors

The joy

No more screens! The

modern child needs to

get outside and get dirty

says Michael White

of mud

Many of us believe that a

strong engagement with

the natural world is vital

for our children’s development, but

amidst our busy lives, the wet boots,

cold hands and uncomfortable overtrousers,

how can we make it happen?

The many wonders of our

technological age have undoubtedly

presented the ‘simple pleasures’ with

some stiff competition. Digital devices

and TV are little

short of addictive

and a child who

chooses the woods

over screen time,

is a rare beast

indeed. So, before

anything else,

designate some

time purely for

outside fun, free from the

distraction of phones and tablets.

Happily, millennia of human

evolution has ensured that despite

the pull of technology, children are

still fully charged up with natural

instincts and the deep-rooted drive to

get out, seek food, water, shelter and

warmth, can be a powerful motivator.

Kids don’t need educating to

love the countryside, just the

opportunity and encouragement

to let their instincts kick in.

One such childhood instinct is an

uncanny ability to sniff out a fake,

so if you are hoping to inspire your

children with natural wonders, it

helps to be enthusiastic yourself.

A bird feeder in the garden is a good

start. The children will soon pick up

on your interest

The deep-rooted drive

to get out, seek food,

water, shelter and

warmth, can be a

powerful motivator

in the different

feathered visitors

and before long,

with some help

from a decent

book, the whole

family will be

able to identify

a selection

of wild birds. With a shared

passion for twitching, the family

walk will now hold a new level of

excitement for young and old.

With time set aside and a developing

family appreciation of nature, we

can now look at a few practical

tips for unlocking those inner cave

children. Food is a serious driver for

most little ones and any country

activity which incorporates eating is

likely to be a resounding success.

Foraging then, is a great activity when

it comes to getting children excited

about being outdoors. Safely identifying

and sampling even a few of the basics,

such as sweet wild strawberries (fragaria

vesca) whilst out and about can take

things to an entirely new level.

However – if foraging isn’t your

thing – anything food related, such

as a picnic planned and packed

with the kids and eaten in a special

place, is always a winner.

As we work through the cornerstones

of human instincts, it’s useful to

remember that not being cold is another

essential ingredient to children relishing

being outside. Of course, children

should be dressed in warm, comfortable

clothes but this potential negative

can also be used in imaginative ways

to inspire and motivate them. Camp

building and fire lighting are always

popular and if it is a little cold or damp,

the edge of ‘necessity’ will have the

kids rushing about with great focus as

they gather materials and kindling.

Hunting is another strong instinct,

23 wealdentimes.co.uk


Education Magazine

and although many would not choose to

have their children pursuing live quarry,

this very real urge can be harnessed in

other ways. The good old scavenger

hunt is a case in point and to hunt

for objects such as feathers, acorns,

and snail shells, with a prize at the

end, is an exciting way for youngsters

to engage with the natural world.

Finally, an attraction to danger

is another childhood trait that can

be drafted into service. From years

of working with children, I have

discovered a simple truth. Whittling

A scavenger hunt is

always a winner

a stick is ‘boring’ whilst whittling a

long stick to make a spear is ‘amazing’.

The impression of danger can be very

inspiring (as long as in reality the activity

is safe and well supervised). When

planning kids sessions I incorporate as

many fires, weapons and traps as I can.

Through my business Rural Courses

I have worked with many children

and I am always pleased to share

my ideas. I hope that as the days

lengthen, they may inspire you to

get out and involve your children in

what is after all, their natural world.

Michael White, founder of Rural

Courses, was born and raised in

the country and loved it so much

that he stayed to build a selfsufficient

life for himself and his

family. The skills and techniques

he teaches are those he uses daily

to sustain his way of life and

his knowledge and enthusiasm

for the subject ensures an

inspirational and informative day.

For over fifteen years, Michael

has run courses and workshops

introducing hundreds of adults

and children to a host of country

activities from his ‘Rural H.Q’

near Cranbrook. He has always

had a particular passion for

foraging and just to prove

that it really is possible to live

off the land, in 2009 Michael

walked in excess of 300 miles

from St. David’s, Wales to his

home in Kent living exclusively

on wild foraged foods.

Ruralcourses.co.uk

‘‘ Bringing out the best in boys ’’

A day in the life of Aldro... come and see for yourself

OPEN MORNING • Wednesday 20th June 2018 •10:00 –11:30am

If you would like to attend an Open Morning, request a prospectus, or arrange an individual tour,

please contact the Admissions Office on 01483 813535 or email: admissions@aldro.org

Aldro, Lombard Street, Shackleford, Godalming, Surrey GU8 6AS www.aldro.org

surrey-homes.co.uk

24

AldroSchoolED05.indd 1 17/05/2018 09:41


Be all you can be

Open Morning Day | Saturday | Wednesday 6 October 9 May

RSVP: Online event registration is available via our website www.stedmunds.org.uk | 01227 475601

StEdmundsSchoolCanterburyED05.indd 1 03/05/2018 14:33

Open Day

Saturday 29 September 2018

9.15am – 12 noon

The Principal will speak at 9.30am

Record breaking GCSE and A Level results in 2017

Extensive co-curricular programme

First-rate ISI Inspection Report • Boarding available from 11

Nursery and Pre-Prep rated “outstanding”

Wide range of scholarships for 11+, 13+, 16+ entry

Cathedral Chorister scholarships available for 8+ boys & 10+ girls

First rate independent education for boys and girls aged 3-18

01634 888590 admissions@kings-rochester.co.uk www.kings-rochester.co.uk

Extensive daily minibus service including: Gravesend, King’s Hill, Maidstone, Rainham, Sevenoaks

surrey-homes.co.uk

26

KingsSchoolRochesterED05.indd 1 10/05/2018 11:57


World map pillowcase

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Grovely Werguson toy

tractor £88 Grovely Wood

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Stacking toy boat £33

Little Edit littleedit.co.uk

Animal Alphabet colouring

book £7 Mini Maison

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Ball Punder £24.95

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Going

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In an age of technology and screen time, we are

bringing back the timeless tangibility of toys that

require no batteries, no plugs and no screens

Ship in a Bottle £69.99

Lego shop.lego.com

16 piece expressway £35 Bobby

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Balance bike £138 Bobby

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Magnetic stacking rocket

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Personalised wooden

train £22 Not on

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Elephant xylophone

£20 Andshine

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wealdentimes.co.uk


Inspiring leadership

and teamwork

At Downsend there is a strong tradition for providing a great foundation

in sport. While we encourage an ethos of healthy competition, our pupils

know that winning and losing on the pitch, on the court or in the pool,

happens as a team.

#TeamDownsend

Daily Personal Tours

Please call to book a visit

Open Events

Pre-Prep Schools

Open Week 1-5 October • Please call to book

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Leatherhead • Ashtead • Epsom

Independent education for

boys and girls aged 2-13

Education from nursery to GCSE • New 3-year GCSE programme from Sept 2020 • 11+ & 13+ interest invited


Education Magazine

Centre stage

Studying

drama enriches a young person in

many ways beyond the glory of the curtain call

Kent College

Nigel Ashton, Head of Drama

Performance, skills and process are all essential to

enabling pupils to develop their own creativity. Our

last show, Phantom of the Opera, included a full orchestra,

a cast and crew of 200 and over 450 costumes – girls were

able to take part in whichever part of the production they

wanted from operating technical equipment, to making

costumes, building the set or performing, to helping with

box office. Creativity comes in all forms at Kent College!

Drama enables students to grow in confidence and selfawareness,

as well as learn valuable skills in self-discipline,

organisation, communication and teamwork. Pupils

here emerge as articulate, emotionally intelligent young

people. The academic rigour we apply to studying texts in

drama, enables pupils to appreciate and analyse some of the

greatest theatre texts ever written; this is why we get great

GCSE and A-Level results.

In recent years I’ve seen a real trend towards higher

education establishments and employers appreciating the

benefits of drama. It is a creative subject, with academic

rigour at its heart and the skills required for success in

GCSE and A Level are extensive. Students finish their

courses with a range of vital skills for an increasingly

competitive world, including developing confidence and

emotional intelligence.

“Drama is a creative subject, with

academic rigour at its heart”

Battle Abbey School

Linda Hopkins, Head of Drama

At Battle Abbey we aim to

develop the soft skills in every

child, to encourage their creativity.

Drama is a valuable means of

developing social skills, particularly

listening and being sensitive to

others. It enables children to

consider others’ points of view and

it gives shy children a voice.

Many jobs now ask for creative thinkers and drama allows

children to develop their imaginative skills in a variety of

ways, including how to put over an idea to an audience.

It’s all about working as part of a team, taking controlled

“It’s all about taking controlled

risks and being sensitive”

risks and being sensitive – as well as the more obvious

presentation skills and development of how to use both vocal

expression and body language to good effect in a social or

work situation.

We are very proud to have Joanna Lumley as our Patron

of the Performing Arts. We have set up a scholarship in her

name which funds applications from talented state school

pupils and she returns to the Abbey periodically to meet the

latest batch of Joanna Lumley Scholars.

Kent College Pembury

01892 820246 kent-college.co.uk

Battle Abbey School

01424 772385 battleabbeyschool.com


Above: Kent College staged Phantom of the Opera with a cast and crew of 200 Above right: Sweeney Todd at Battle Abbey

29 wealdentimes.co.uk


Education Magazine

Manor House School

Mrs Teresa Williams, Head of Drama

Manor House School, Shakespeare Festival

At Manor House School, we pride ourselves on our allinclusive

approach to drama. We believe that drama is

for all and that the emphasis should be on enjoyment and

fun. All girls, up to and including Year 9, have timetabled

drama lessons and it is also a popular GCSE option.

Lessons are skills-based with an emphasis on practical

group work. Girls are encouraged to present their work

and also to consider the design aspects of theatre, including

lighting, make up, costume and set.

In the spring term, the Senior production for Years 7-11 is

a musical, as they lend themselves to a large cast. All senior

girls are encouraged to be involved either in a performing,

technical or backstage capacity. The emphasis is on working

as a team to create a work of excellence. The Prep School

production is in the summer. Again, this is a musical with

all of Year 6 cast in the speaking roles, supported by an

ensemble consisting of every pupil in the Prep School.

Additional drama events include the Lower Prep’s

nativity, LAMDA, Senior Drama Club, drama evenings

and our annual involvement in the Shakespeare Festival, a

national event. In short, we offer something for all, and our

performances are highly anticipated and acclaimed events.

Former pupils often recall their involvement in drama as

being one of the highlights of their time at Manor House.

Drama is a wonderful thing for a child’s development,

that encourages creativity, team work, expressive learning

and confidence building. Children discover hidden talents

and the growth in self-esteem that develops from that.

Our drama lessons are almost entirely practical and an

opportunity to learn in a different way.

I believe that an increasing number of higher education

establishments and employers are beginning to appreciate

the benefits of drama. It builds confidence, improves

communication skills and the ability to work as part of a

team; essential skills in all walks of life.

“Drama is not a soft option, it

builds confidence and the ability

to work as part of a team”

St Catherine’s

Sally Gallis, Head of Drama and Alice Phillips, Headmistress

Drama plays an important part in life at St Catherine’s,

both on the timetable and as a very popular extracurricular

activity. It starts in the Prep School where girls

aged four and up take their first steps on the big stage in the

eagerly anticipated nativity play – not a dry eye in the house!

In Year 6, girls always see their end of year musical as a rite of

passage before moving on to their secondary schools.

From Year 7 to 9 drama is taught on rotation with other

creative arts subjects. Girls can choose drama as one of their

GCSE options whilst A-Level Theatre Studies follows on.

Two major school productions take place during the year;

Middle School in October, and the Senior production in

February. Both are for auditioned casts, but there are many

roles for the girls to become involved in backstage. A whole

school musical is staged every other year.

LAMDA Speech and Drama are extra-curricular options,

there is an annual House drama competition that everyone

is involved in and Middle and Senior School productions, so

there is something for everyone.

“Being able to communicate

clearly and confidently will

never be wasted”

As for future careers, suggesting that subjects such as drama

might be considered ‘lesser’ is wrong and myopic. For those

young people more gifted in these areas, feeling they are of

little value, is unhealthy and undesirable, not just for them

as individuals, but for everyone. It really does take all sorts

to make a world and it’s just too easy to ghettoise subjects

and fail to see the beneficial overlapping and dovetailing that

exists between the arts and sciences, for example, in the ‘real

world’ of work.

The so-called soft skills will always be in demand, for

teamwork, collaboration, communication and resilience

and these are definitely well honed in drama, both on stage

and backstage too. Whichever avenue a young person takes

in their very long working life, being able to communicate

clearly and confidently will never be wasted.

St Catherine’s Prep School

01483 893363 stcatherines.info

St Catherine’s, The Crucible

Manor House Bookham

01372 458538 manorhouseschool.org

surrey-homes.co.uk

30


Free to learn

01580 240642 / 07926 380434

mnns@idengreen.org.uk

www.mrnoahs.org

Mr Noah’s Nursery School

FREWEN

COLLEGE

The Dyslexia School Since 1910

“I feel like Frewen has given

me back my child.”

Parents of Year 6 student

Blackland Farm

Outdoor Activity Centre

MrNoahsNurserySchoolED03.indd 1 03/05/2016 11:10

Come and join us for

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Why not have your

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Kayaking

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Prep

School

Senior

• •

School

A unique Day & Boarding School

for girls and boys aged 7-19 with

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Come and see how Frewen College

can help your child at our

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on Saturday 16 June

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To register, please call Annabel on:

01797 252494 or email:office@frewencollege.co.uk

Frewen College, Northiam, East Sussex, TN31 6NL

www.frewencollege.co.uk

Sixth

Form

Daily minibus service from locations in this area:

Tonbridge/Tunbridge Wells, Battle, Bexhill &

Hastings, Hawkhurst, Ashford

31 wealdentimes.co.uk

BlacklandFarmWT138.indd 1 10/07/2013 FrewenCollegeED05.indd 17:31

1 08/05/2018 14:13


Registered charity 1101358

From the School of the Year, expect a winning formula.

Maya Raman Jones came to Sevenoaks

when she was eleven. In the Sixth Form she studied

Chemistry, English, Maths, History, Biology, Russian

and Theory of Knowledge.

“At eleven I really loved English. Later on,

the sciences turned my head! But as the IB curriculum

at Sevenoaks is so broad, I didn’t have to choose

between the arts and sciences until I applied to

university – by which time I was sure Chemistry was

the one for me.”

Which explains why Maya is now reading

Chemistry at the University of Oxford and dreaming of

a PhD and a career in scientific research.

www.sevenoaksschool.org

Maya scored an impressive 44 in the International Baccalaureate (IB) and is now in her first year at Oxford.

Our commitment to the IB is unwavering after 40 years, thanks to world-class, life-shaping results like this.


Education Magazine

Ruck and roll

Rugby-based charity Wooden Spoon creates

amazing sporting opportunities for special

needs children, Matt Mitchell leads the charge

Can you tell us a little bit about Wooden

Spoon’s history? Why was it created?

A woeful performance of the England Rugby Team

during the 1983 Five Nations Rugby Championship

left an unexpected but wonderful legacy in the

founding of the charity Wooden Spoon.

After finishing the Championship firmly at the bottom

of the table with a 25-15 defeat in Ireland, five England

supporters were presented with a wooden spoon, wrapped

in an Irish scarf, on a silver platter.

Accepting the gift with good humour,

the group – which included Wooden

Spoon’s Peter Scott – resolved to hold a golf

match to see who would have the honour

of keeping the tongue-in-cheek gift.

A few months later, the golf match

(at Farnham GC, Surrey) raised

more than £8,500. This money was

used to provide a new minibus for a

special needs school in the county. Wooden Spoon was

born and the rugby community has been supporting

disadvantaged and disabled children ever since.

Something that makes the charity unique is that we

spend funds raised in the region in which they were

raised. Our 38 regional teams of volunteer committees

tirelessly co-ordinate and support fundraising events

and put forward identified projects to be funded.

“No child should

miss out on

the health and

wellbeing benefits

of sport”

The regional teams are supported by a fabulous network

of community rugby clubs. In Kent, Surrey and Sussex

alone there are more than 25 Wooden Spoon Partner

Rugby Clubs helping to improve the lives of children and

young people with disabilities and facing disadvantage.

What opportunities are currently available for

disabled children who want to get involved in sport?

What type of conditions are they affected by?

We believe that no child should miss out on the health

and wellbeing benefits of sport, no

matter what their circumstances.

The children and young people

our projects support are affected by a

range of conditions including: hearing,

speech, language, vision or orthopaedic

impairment; emotional disturbance;

intellectual and learning disabilities;

traumatic brain injury; and autism as

well as other conditions and disabilities.

How are their needs catered for and what age range do your

projects work with? Are girls and boys equally involved?

With such a wide range of conditions, our projects support

the needs of many different children. For some this might

be giving children sensory stimulation through one of

the 14 sensory room and gardens we funded last year.

For other children it might be the opportunity to ride

or groom a specialist horse we have purchased for a

Top left: Children enjoying a sensory room Top middle: Everyone gets involved in the fun Top right: Wooden Spoon have funded

specialist playgrounds Bottom left: Teamwork is the name of the game Bottom right: Rugby is the driving force behind the charity


33 wealdentimes.co.uk


EpsomPlayhouseS43a.indd 1 26/04/2018 17:18

disability riding school, or play wheelchair or tag rugby.

Projects target boys and girls under the age of 25 equally.

Although your roots lie firmly within rugby, you fund a

varied range of projects – can you talk us through a couple?

Rugby has always defined Wooden Spoon and and our future is

shaped by it. Each year we support about 70 projects including

respite and medical treatment centres, sensory rooms, specialist

playgrounds and community-based programmes. We also fund

programmes that help disabled and disadvantaged children

access sport, recreation and the opportunity to play rugby.

PROJECT: Sussex Sail-ability - Dinghy

Wooden Spoon Sussex have helped Sussex Sail-ability based in

Shoreham-by-Sea purchase a specially designed and equipped

dinghy for use by disabled children and young people.

PROJECT: Sherwood Park - Discovery Forest

Wooden Spoon Surrey have just funded specialist equipment

and facilities for an accessible Discovery Forest at Sherwood

Park School in Wallington, which is a special school for

pupils with severe, multiple and profound disabilities.

PROJECT: Kent Rugby - Disability Tag Rugby Programme

Each year Wooden Spoon Kent Region funds a programme

which helps Kent Rugby Football Union to employ a

specialised coach to visit disability and specialised schools

and delivery adaptive and tag rugby sessions to pupils.

PROJECT: Argonauts Wheelchair Sports Club

The Argonauts are an inclusive wheelchair sports club

breaking down barriers between abled and disabled

people. The club provides opportunities for people of

all abilities to participate in wheelchair sports. Wooden

Spoon Kent have funded the purchase of 10 new sports

wheelchairs which will enable members and visitors

to get involved and compete with other clubs.

What’s going on around Kent, Sussex & Surrey this year?

For the full diary check out woodenspoon.org.uk

How can people get involved?

We are always looking for volunteers to get involved with

our regional teams at a local level. Volunteering with us is

a great way of supporting local projects and causes.

Join a regional team, hold a fundraising event or

challenge yourself to do something amazing. Hold a

Wooden Spoon Sock Day at your club or school, cycle

100 miles, host a cake sale or simply become a member

of Wooden Spoon for less than £1 per week.

Together we can change children’s lives through the

power of rugby.

Find out more at woodenspoon.org.uk, on Twitter

@charitySpoon #wearerugby and on Facebook

WoodenSpoonCharity

Matt Mitchell is National Rugby Manager of

Wooden Spoon

surrey-homes.co.uk

34

EpsomPlayhouseS43b.indd 1 26/04/2018 17:19


Boys 13 - 18 • Boarding and Day

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The

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35 wealdentimes.co.uk

GranvilleSchoolWT195.indd 1 06/04/2018 10:15


Senior School & Sixth Form

13–18 years, co-educational boarding and day school

Lancing College offers pupils a journey of discovery. Stretching horizons, building

on strengths and ensuring every child achieves to their full potential. We inspire

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Registered Charity Number 1076483


Education Magazine

Talking

HEADS

Matthew Bryan

Headmaster, Longacre School

Favourite subject at school I always

loved Latin and Greek, and they have

been part of my life since I was eight.

The subject I miss most is maths.

Pure mathematics can be wonderful and mesmerizing.

Most inspirational teacher at school Mrs Beasley,

my prep school classics teacher. Not only did she

seem to know everything about Latin and Greek

(and Sumo!), but she also knew exactly how to

challenge every pupil so we were motivated and

achieved a lot without ever feeling under pressure.

Favourite character from a book or film I have too many

to list, from Odysseus to Mr Chips. At the moment,

my favourite is Babe from Dick King Smith’s The Sheep

Pig. There’s such a powerful and inspiring message

of the boundless opportunities in this world if one is

prepared to be polite, work hard and listen to advice.

Best school memory The applause at the end of the first

prep school play that I was in. I can’t remember the play

(though I recall borrowing my grandfather’s pipe and having

drawn-on sideburns), but I can still feel the excitement, pride

and camaraderie of playing a part in a successful production.

Is there anything you wished you had studied at school

but didn’t? I was immensely fortunate to go to schools

that provided the fullest possible academic programme

and was always able to choose my favourite subjects. I

would have loved Forest School – it’s such a valuable

means of taking learning outside, connecting with one’s

environment and developing social and personal skills.

What is your proudest achievement at your current

school? Our new leadership and teamwork area. We know

that grades and academic success are hugely important,

but success in today’s fast-evolving world will depend on

inter- and intra-personal skills. There’s little value in having

all the answers if one can’t convince others to follow.

What are you looking forward to this coming year?

Every summer I look forward to our leavers finishing

their journey with us and stepping forth into the

next chapter of their lives. Then we look to the next

year group to step up and fill their shoes, building on

their achievements. We’ve got some new curriculum

developments, with robotics and critical thinking, but

really it’s the children’s development that is most exciting.

Longacre School

01483 893225 longacreschool.co.uk

Rose John-Cox

Head of Maths, Hawthons

Favourite subject at school My

favourite subjects at school were

definitely maths and sport. My mum

taught maths early on in her career

and so playing with numbers was

just something we always did at home. My dad loved

all sport and encouraged us to play everything. The

team games, like netball, were always my favourite.

Most inspirational teacher at school My most

inspirational teacher was Mrs Mayer. She was my

maths teacher during secondary school. She made the

subject fun but also challenging, stretching us beyond

our comfort zones. She always made us feel supported

and offered continual encouragement. She made me

realise how important it is for teachers to inspire and

help their students develop a love of the subject.

Favourite character from a book or film When I

was young I did not really enjoy reading. A love of

books only came at the age of 15, when my sister,

who was a voracious reader, recommended a series of

mystery books to me. From then on I have never really

looked back and am now never without a book and

love my monthly book club. I have a real passion for

cinema and was raised on old black and white films.

My favourite is probably ‘To Have and Have Not’

with Humphrey Bogart or any Hitchcock thriller.

Best school memory My best school memory

would be sports days, sitting with my friends

on hot, balmy afternoons, competing in the

different races, cheering our teams on and feeling

exhausted but happy at the end of the day.

Is there anything you wished you had studied

at school but didn’t? I wish I had studied more

languages and worked harder at them. When you

travel, it is a wonderful thing to be able to talk freely

with the people you meet along the way; it is a gift

and changes one’s whole experience in a country.

What is your proudest achievement at your current

school? My proudest moments are when pupils who

first come to class with a lack of confidence or fear of

maths, leave at the end of that year with a belief that

they can succeed and enjoy maths. As a teacher, if I feel I

have made a difference and helped a pupil, I am happy.

What are you looking forward to this coming

year? As a relatively new head of department, I am

excited about the new ideas I have and seeing them

come to life, such as a variety of enrichment activities

to inspire pupils with a love of maths. I would like

pupils to investigate maths in nature, use maths

practically in Architecture workshops, see how maths

affects everyday life and the world around us.

The Hawthorns School

01883 743048 hawthorns.com

37


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Education Magazine

Sing!

An insight into the unique

school life – and opportunities

– of a St Paul’s chorister

Jaco Brand

Deputy Head and Head of Boarding

St Paul’s Cathedral School

The Choir School for boy

choristers dates from about

1123. After the Restoration,

the choristers enjoyed a somewhat

chequered history, but a vigorous

campaign by the redoubtable Maria

Hackett led to the re-establishment

of a purpose-built school in Carter

Lane in 1874. There it remained

until the 1960s, when it moved to

its present site on New Change.

The school day for choristers differs

only slightly from that of day pupils

in that they attend morning rehearsal

whilst day pupils have form time.

The choristers and day pupils then

come together for the majority of the

school day, starting with assembly

at 9.00am. Twice a week, these

assemblies are held in the Cathedral.

A chorister’s tuition fees and music

lessons are paid for by the Chapter

of St Paul’s Cathedral. Parents are

asked to pay the boarding fee, but

can apply for assistance with this

as financial circumstances should

never withhold a boy with talent

from becoming a chorister.

The main task for the choristers

is to sing the daily office in the

Cathedral. However, they also take

part in many services of national

importance, often attended by

royalty and world leaders. They

regularly represent the cathedral

and the country on international

tours and continue to build their

already substantial discography

with recordings on the Hyperion

and Decca record labels.

They perform Handel’s Messiah and a

Bach Passion each year in the Cathedral.

In recent years they have also appeared

St Pauls Choristers in the cathedral

Picture by Graham Lacdao

at the first night of the BBC Proms, at

the Royal Festival Hall and on BBC

Breakfast. After they finish, choristers

frequently win music scholarships to

senior schools. Music also features at

university level with many taking up

choral scholarships. Choristers then

go on to pursue varied careers such as

international cricketers, award-winning

actors, scriptwriters, poets, novelists,

composers, opera singers, teachers,

lawyers and company directors.

THE CHORISTER: Kasper Lootens, Chief Chorister, Year 8

All the choristers head to the

cathedral to start rehearsal at

7.50am every morning. From 9am

to 3.40pm we have a normal school

day. We then have a snack and start

afternoon rehearsal at 4.10pm.

On most days, we have Evensong

at 5pm, ending at around 5.45pm,

when we have supper. Then we do

our homework and music practice

until 7.40pm at which point we

have free time. We can go on our

phones, play outside, or go over

to the boarding house to play on

the Wii or watch TV. Our day

ends with 20 minutes of reading

at 8.40pm and lights out at 9pm.

Although we do a lot of singing,

we also get a lot of privileges,

including making recordings, doing

concerts, meeting members of

the Royal Family

and touring.

It was a lot of fun

working with the

BBC last term to

film a documentary

about St Paul’s

at Christmas. We also get a lot of

treats, including an annual trip to

Thorpe Park, bowling and cinema

trips. Christmas and Easter are our

busiest times and it’s hard not being

at home. The school and teachers

help us to enjoy the celebrations

and we get lots of presents at

Christmas and chocolate at Easter!

Outside school, I train in the

martial art of Kuk Sool Won.

I’ve made it to the rank of black

belt and help out at camps

as a junior instructor.


39 wealdentimes.co.uk


Education Magazine

THE CHORISTER’S PARENT: Joanna Lootens

Kasper started at St Paul’s in Year

4 when he was eight and a half.

He will have been at St Paul’s for five

years when he finishes in the summer.

He previously attended Milbourne

Lodge in Esher and his violin teacher

there suggested Kasper might enjoy

being a chorister. I looked at the St

Paul’s website and it seemed so easy

to set up a first informal audition

that I thought “why not?”.

We didn’t prepare much for the

audition – Kasper had never had a

singing lesson! – and we had never

been to St Paul’s Cathedral before.

We had a lot of thinking to do

when he was offered a place. We

had never planned to send Kasper to

a boarding school aged eight… But

we liked the fact that it was a normal

co-ed school. So, alongside being a

chorister, Kasper would have a normal

school day with non-chorister friends.

Our proudest moment was the first

time we saw him singing on a televised

service, seeing him looking so happy

and confident in the music. More

recently, it was wonderful to see him

and his friends singing solos in the

Messiah and St Matthew’s Passion.

We’ve got to know all the boys so well, it

feels like they are all part of our family.

“The cathedral

community is incredibly

welcoming to people of

all faiths and none”

As the boys spend so much time in the

cathedral, my personal view is that it’s a

good thing if both the chorister and his

family feel comfortable in that religious

environment. That doesn’t mean that

the boys need to come from a Church

of England background. A genuine love

of music and

performance,

and the ability

to work hard as

part of a team

are much more

important.

The cathedral

community is incredibly welcoming

to people of all faiths and none.

Kasper always enjoyed music.

When he was around two years old,

I remember him saying that opera

on the radio was “lovely music”.

However, whilst I’ve always encouraged

music enjoyment, I wouldn’t say

we are a particularly musical family.

Whilst there are choristers from

very musical families, there are also

those, like Kasper, who have really

developed their talent in the choir.

St Paul’s Cathedral School

020 7248 5156 spcslondon.com

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Education Magazine

City slickers or

COUNTRY MICE?

Hilary Wilce considers the pros and cons of

where to raise your family – and gets some

personal reports from the recently grown up

Of course, children themselves don’t question

their surroundings. They accept either trees

or tower blocks as completely normal.

But to parents it can be an agonizing choice, and in

our part of the world there are many families who have

moved from the city into the villages, small towns and

countryside of The Weald with the express intention

of giving their children the benefits of country life.

For them the reasons seem obvious. The air is clean, the

pace of life slower, and children can be surrounded by nature.

There are plenty of good schools, and for parents there

can be the huge relief of breaking free of the arms race for

school places that so often blights family life in the city.

But this move isn’t always as easy.

Sarah Crouch, who moved from “a lovely

life” in south London when her children were

11, 8 and 4, found many pluses and minuses.

As a country child herself, she wanted

more space and freedom, and her family

has grown up happily in a Wealden village

where they have found a good community.

“But I’d say it takes five years to settle

in,” she says, “and as for freedom – children can’t ride their

bikes safely round here.” When they were little, she says, her

children, loved having camps and dens in the garden. But

now, as teenagers, they prefer to hop on the train to London

and go to Convent Garden. “Even so, they’re always a bit

shocked by the filth of the city and are happy to come home.”

Jane Skeet, a sales executive, moved from Streatham to the

deep Kent countryside when her children were seven and

12. But she found there were no pavements, no friends, and

she was forever either in the car or tied to the school bus

service. Neither did her children take to country life. “Noone

ever went in the tree house. It was far too spidery!”

Things slowly fell into place after her daughter

switched schools, she started working in a farm shop

and they moved to the edge of a nearby town.

“No one ever

went in the treehouse.

It was far

too spidery!”

“I’d say it’s fifty-fifty between the country and the city.

You win some things and lose others. There are lots of

things I like now and I think it’s made us all broader

people, but the moment I realized I was really grateful

to be down here, was when I was talking with friends in

London and they were saying they sent their 15-yearolds

off to the Reading Festival with their own bottles of

vodka. They said everyone was doing it. I was horrified!

And I realized that down here you can keep an element of

control. You can keep your children younger for longer.”

But city families often see such early independence

as a positive. “They definitely get smarter earlier,” says

Shirley Hanson, an arts writer who has brought up a

son and a daughter within spitting

distance of Camden market.

“Anthony was mugged three times

coming home from school, but he learned

how to get himself out of trouble. He

developed the gift of the gab early on and

it’s been a great asset for him ever since.”

City parents also that point out

that their children get plenty of

freedom in local parks and playgrounds. They say there

are museums, concerts and endless activities – from

baby yoga to teenage drama workshops – to keep their

children entertained. And their children also have lots

of friends around the corner, so as parents they don’t

find that they’re running a permanent taxi service.

But what do the children themselves think?

I asked some young adults to reflect back on their childhood

environments. All of them – city and country children alike

– said they had loved their life when they were young, and for

urban children that love had continued into their adult lives.

“I grew up in north London and even when I went away

to university I always came back at weekends,” says Ali

Montaine, an advertising assistant in her twenties. “There’s

so much going on, so many different kinds of


43 wealdentimes.co.uk


Education Magazine

people. I couldn’t live anywhere else. I feel nervous

if there isn’t a Tube station round the corner.”

But for those growing up in the

country the pattern was different.

Rod Osborne, an operations manager living and

working in east London, grew up of the Isle of Wight

and said he adored roaming on his bike, and playing

in the woods. “Our summer days revolved around

when high tide was – so we could meet at the right

time to jump off the pier into the harbour.”

But, like many country children, he got

itchy feet as a teenager, and has now lived

in London for more than a decade.

“Even so, I believe I’ve carried with me a sense of

adventure, a feeling for the importance of play, and a

profound sense of calm when I see the open water.”

Likewise, his partner, Jen Aitken, a London-based filmmaker

who grew up in West Sussex, says she is developing

“a new appreciation for nature, going on walks, fresh air,

space, the seasons, and all the things about the country

environment I took for granted when I was younger.”

Both think that if they have children they

might leave the city to bring up them up in

a cleaner and healthier environment.

So it seems that country children – surprisingly -

may have a broader outlook on life than children who

only know the buzz of the city. They are comfortable

in a wider range of environments and understand that

both city and rural lives have their own merits.

Although for some people the happy medium will

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Buckinghamshire, swears she had the perfect childhood

– friends in next-door houses, a safe road to play in at

the front, and fields to roam in at the back. “Also, the

old lady on the corner made us fairy cakes and brought

them out whenever we were playing on our bikes. I

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Education Magazine

Talking

HEADS

Rob Shaughnessy

Head of English, Reigate

Grammar School

Favourite subject at school

English, of course! I love reading and

its quite clear why I’ve followed the

career path I have. History was a close second.

Most inspirational teacher at school Mr Firth my A-Level

English Literature teacher – he challenged us and our

teenage conceptions of the world and made us believe in

ourselves. Not quite ‘Dead Poet’s Society’, but he could

often be found leaping onto a table to illustrate his point.

Favourite character from a book or film

Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye. I love

how much controversy he provokes amongst people.

Best school memory It’s quite far back, but winning

a poetry writing competition when I was seven. I

think I still have the certificate at home too.

Is there anything you wished you had studied

at school but didn’t? Classics. I should have

spent more time on languages too.

What is your proudest achievement at your current school?

We have fantastic students who constantly amaze me, but they

make me really proud when we go on trips or have visitors at

school and they ask really precise and perceptive questions.

What are you looking forward to this coming year?

We are in the process of organising a trip to the Barbican.

Reigate Grammar School

01737 222231 reigategrammar.org

Sue Childs,

Head of Ma thematics, Ashford School

Favourite subject when you

were at school Maths was always

my favourite subject. My uncle

showed me how to make Mobius

loops with newspaper when I was

in kindergarten and I was hooked for life.

Most inspirational teacher when you were

at school My headmistress at TWGGS, Miss

Hazell. A tiny lady with a huge intellect. What I

remember most was her mantra to us: Is it true? Is

it helpful? Is it kind? A good mantra for life.

Favourite character from a book or film I read

and reread the Lord of the Rings trilogy as teenager.

I love all the characters but if I have to pick one it

would be Gimli the dwarf. His eloquent farewell

on leaving Lorien still moves me to tears.

Best school memory I enjoyed school but always preferred

life out of school! I think my best school memory was

the final school bus ride home in the upper sixth after

exams were over with all the freedom I was anticipating!

Is there anything you wish you’d studied at

school that you didn’t? I was very happy with the

academic choices I had. I knew I wanted to study

engineering and just thoroughly enjoyed being able

to focus on maths and physics in the sixth form.

What’s your proudest achievement at your current

school? Introducing and embedding writing Mathematics

Journals into the department. I love looking through

the students’ explanations and diagrams. It makes

mathematics come alive to see it recorded in their journals.

What are you looking forward to this coming year?

I am looking forward to further developing our use

of technology in the maths department, continuing

to extend the journal writing into the sixth form.

Ashford School

01233 625171 ashfordschool.co.uk

Terry Stickney

Head of ICT, St Ronans

Favourite subject when you

were at school I loved learning

about computers at school, but it

was a different world then. I was

always intrigued as to how these

wonderful beasts could manipulate data. Magical!

Most inspirational teacher when you were at school

Without doubt Mrs Johnstone was my favourite teacher.

Young and enthusiastic, she taught me English.

Best school memory I had lots of great memories from

school, mostly about the people I met. However, my stand

out memory has to be the pride in being Long Jump

Champion for two years running. It wouldn’t happen now!

Is there anything you wish you’d studied at school that

you didn’t? At the time of leaving senior school, I wanted to

pursue a career in law. My advisors at school instead steered

me into politics. My programming then took a back seat.

What’s your proudest achievement at your current

school? I am so proud of so much that team Saint

Ronan’s has achieved, especially having been part

of the excitement of Tatler Award Year. A personal

highlight has to be teaching a Year 5 boy about

Raspberry Pi coding and the joy this gave him.

What are you looking forward to this coming year?

Goodness there is a huge amount to look forward to, not

least helping to design a new ICT suite for the school.

Saint Ronan’s School

01580 752271 s aintronans.co.uk

47 wealdentimes.co.uk


Education Magazine

Cool kids cook

Australian cook book queen Donna Hay

has followed up her bestselling Basics to

Brilliance with a new version aimed at

getting kids to cook, starting with the basics

– and then having fun with them


Education Magazine

As a mum herself,

Donna Hay knows

that there is nothing

more enjoyable than

introducing your children

to the wonders of taste,

food and flavours. Her

new book highlights the

importance of helping

kids master the kitchen

basics, because she

believes that is how you

build the confidence

to move on to more

complicated dishes.

In this book, she’s

sharing all her favourite,

tried and true recipes for

cooking with kids, with

each basic recipe followed

by clever variations and

simple flavour changeups,

so one recipe

becomes many and your

child’s cooking repertoire

naturally grows.

Basics to Brilliance Kids

gives you and your kids

endless ideas for birthday

parties, picnics, bake sales,

family and celebration

dinners, breakfasts, movie

nights and sleepovers.

Juicy little meatballs in tomato sauce

Serves 4

• 3/4 cup (45g) fresh sourdough or

wholemeal breadcrumbs

• 2 tablespoons milk

• 600g beef or chicken mince

• 1 clove garlic, crushed

• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

(my secret tip)

• 1 tablespoon thyme leaves

(tiny and yum!)

• sea salt and cracked black pepper, to taste

tomato sauce

• 3 cups (750ml) tomato puree (passata)

• 1 cup (250ml) beef or chicken stock

• 2 cloves garlic, crushed

• 2 sprigs basil (just for cooking)

1Place the breadcrumbs and milk in a big

bowl and mix, using a wooden spoon, to

Mini Meatball subs

Makes 4 To make mini-sized meatballs, roll only

1 tablespoon of the mixture per meatball in step 3.

1Once you get to step 5, reduce the meatball

cooking time to 6 minutes – they’ll cook

faster because they’re smaller.

2Slice 4 long multigrain rolls 3/4 of the way

through and place on an oven tray lined with

non-stick paper. Add 4 mini meatballs in sauce to

each roll and top with slices of mozzarella. Grill on

high for 2 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

combine. Allow to stand for 1 minute.

Add the beef, garlic, mustard, thyme, salt

2 and pepper. Mix it all really (really!) well

with the spoon, so everything’s fully combined.

Line a tray with non-stick baking paper.

3 Using clean hands that are still wet (to

combat stickiness), roll 2 tablespoons of the

beef mixture into a ball. Place on the tray, then

repeat until you’ve used all the mixture.

To make the tomato sauce, place a large

4 non-stick frying pan over medium heat.

Add the puree, stock, garlic and basil and bring

to a simmer (you’ll see gentle bubbles appear).

Slide the meatballs into the sauce

5 (watching for splashes). Simmer for 10

minutes or until cooked through, rolling

them around with a wooden spoon every few

minutes so they cook evenly. Discard the basil

sprigs and serve the meatballs and sauce on top

of hot spaghetti or veggies.

Meatball couscous

Serves 4

1Place 1 cup (160g) wholemeal couscous

in a heatproof bowl. Add 1 cup (250ml)

boiling water, cover with plastic wrap and set

aside for 5 minutes.

2Fluff the grains with a fork and divide

between serving bowls with the meatballs

in tomato sauce. Snip some fresh chives over

the top to serve.


49 wealdentimes.co.uk


Education Magazine

Nacho Bowls

Serves 4

Eat the whole thing

Nacho Bowls

• 6 x 20cm wholemeal

flour tortillas

• extra virgin olive oil, for

brushing

• 3/4 cup (90g) grated

cheddar

• 1 avocado, peeled and

chopped

nacho filling

• 1 tablespoon extra virgin

olive oil

• 1 onion, peeled and

finely chopped

• 1/2 cup (80g) finely

grated courgette (about 1)

• 1 cup (140g) grated

pumpkin or carrot

• 1 teaspoon ground cumin

(a very nice spice)

• 1 teaspoon ground

coriander (this one too!)

• 1/2 teaspoon smoked

paprika

• 1 x 400g can chopped

tomatoes

• 3/4 cup (180ml) tomato

puree (passata)

• 1 x 400g can black beans

or red kidney

• beans, rinsed and drained

• 1–2 teaspoons maple

syrup

• sea salt and cracked black

pepper, to taste

1Preheat oven to 180°C

(350°F).

Arrange 4 tall ramekins

2 or ovenproof mugs

upside-down on a baking

tray. Using a pastry brush,

brush 4 of the tortillas with

oil and place them, oil-side

down, over the ramekins.

Set aside.

Line a baking tray with

3 non-stick baking paper.

Brush the remaining 2

tortillas with oil and place

them flat, with the oil-side

up, on the prepared tray.

Bake all of the tortillas

4 for 8 minutes or until

they’re nice and brown.

Wearing oven gloves,

carefully remove the trays

from the oven and allow to

cool (the tortillas will turn

crispy as they cool).

To make the nacho

5 filling, place the oil in a

large non-stick frying pan

over medium heat. Add

the onion, zucchini and

pumpkin and cook, stirring

with a wooden spoon, for 8

minutes or until the onion

is brown and super soft.

Add the cumin, coriander

6 and paprika and cook,

stirring, for 2 minutes (you’ll

begin to smell the fragrant

spices in the air).

Add the tomatoes, puree

7 and beans and cook,

stirring, for another 5–6

minutes or until thick.

Add the maple, salt and

pepper and stir to combine.

Take the tortillas from

8 the ramekins and flip

them over to make nacho

bowls. Spoon the nacho

filling into the bowls and top

with the cheese and avocado

(plus a squeeze of lime, if

you like). Break pieces of

your bowl and scoop up the

filling. Slice or break the

flat tortillas into extra crispy

dipping chips.

surrey-homes.co.uk

50


Education Magazine

Makes 6

• 1 cup (200g) popcorn

kernels

• 6 brown paper bags

Place 2 tablespoons of

1 the kernels into 1 of the

paper bags. Fold the top of

Movie time popcorn bags

the bag over three times,

then fold in the corners to

secure (this will help to keep

the popcorn safely in the bag

while it cooks). Repeat with

the remaining popcorn and

paper bags.

2Place the popcorn

bags, 1 at a time, in the

microwave on high for 2

minutes each or until you

hear (with sharp ears) that

the popping has slowed

to around 1 pop every 3

seconds.

Use a tea towel to carefully

3 take each bag from the

microwave – they’ll be hot.

Allow to cool a little, open

them up, then snuggle in and

enjoy!

Choc-coconut

popcorn

Maple butter

popcorn

Cinnamon

popcorn

Lime and chilli

popcorn

1Place ¼ cup (60ml) maple

syrup, 1½ tablespoons

sifted raw cacao or cocoa

powder and ¼ cup (20g)

shredded coconut in a small

bowl and mix to combine.

2Divide between the warm

popcorn bags at the end

of step 3. Fold the tops of the

bags over and give them a big

shake to coat.

1Melt 60g butter and place

in a small bowl. Add ¼

cup (60ml) maple syrup and

mix to combine.

2Pour into the bags of

warm popcorn at the end

of step 3. Fold the tops of the

bags over and shake well to

combine.

1Melt 60g butter and place

it in a small bowl. Add ¼

cup (55g) caster (superfine)

sugar and 1½ teaspoons

ground cinnamon.

2Mix to combine and divide

between the warm bags of

popcorn at the end of step 3.

Fold the tops of the bags over

and shake, shake, shake!

1Place 1½ tablespoons

finely grated lime rind, 1

teaspoon chilli powder and 1½

teaspoons finely ground sea salt

in a small bowl.

2Mix to combine and divide

between the warm bags of

popcorn at the end of step 3.

Fold the tops of the

bags over and shake

well to combine.

Basics to Brilliance by Donna Hay published by HarperCollins £20. Photographs by William Meppem and Chris Court


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Education Magazine

You’ve got to

move it, move it

Not everyone is sporty by nature – but with a bit of lateral

thinking, schools can help every pupil reap the benefits of physical fun

Bede’s

Sport plays a fundamental part in life at Bede’s and pupils of

all levels are encouraged to enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle.

“Participation and performance are equally important,”

says David Byrne, Director of Sport at Bede’s. “We

have teams of all levels across our sports programme

and encourage a love of sport for life in our pupils.”

Clubs include sailing, golf, netball, swimming,

skiing, target rifle shooting – to name a few.

All pupils, regardless of ability, have access to the

school’s international-standard facilities – including a

state-of-the-art gym, Olympic-size swimming pool and

3G astro – as well as time with nationally recognized

coaches. Pupils also have the opportunity to play in

fixtures nationwide and attend international tours.

“Taking part in sport has a huge impact on other areas of

school life, including wellbeing and academic achievement,”

David Byrne continues. “The provision of sport, coaching and

opportunity is at the very heart of Bede’s sporting philosophy.”

Bede’s

01323 843252 bedes.org

Above: Bede’s all-weather 3G astro Below: Bede’s encourages a

love of sport for life and a healthy, active lifestyle

St Andrews Prep

Improved health, decision

making, problem solving,

diplomacy and co-operation

are just some of the benefits

that come from playing sport.

I believe it is crucial to engage

everyone in some kind of

pursuit, irrespective of ability.

The only condition that we have

in place is one of enjoyment.

We take pride in the variety of sports we offer and

this appeals to those who are not as naturally gifted

at traditional sports. We have pupils who are the

current IAPS National Champions in chess and tabletennis.

Swimming, badminton and basketball matches

are all hosted and there is also a fencing club.

Last year, we re-conditioned an old Fives court and we

make use of our wonderful location with cross-country,

orienteering and sailing activities. Pupils can opt to play

golf, croquet or even a tactical Viking game called Kubb

– and we also have children who compete in triathlons.

Perhaps our greatest asset is our indoor 25m shooting

range – which appeals to a wide variety of pupils –

we regularly compete nationally in this sport.

It is not today’s schoolboy sporting hero who

will go on to be the stalwart of their local club;

today’s 3rd teamer is tomorrow’s club secretary.

Gareth Jones, Headmaster

St Andrews Prep

01323 733203 standrewsprep.co.uk


53 wealdentimes.co.uk


Education Magazine

The King’s School

The King’s School in Canterbury, founded in

597AD and reputedly England’s oldest school,

offers a stunning range of sporting options

underpinned by excellent modern facilities.

Name the sport and the chances are that King’s can offer

it. Traditional team games such as rugby, netball, hockey,

lacrosse and cricket, sit happily alongside more specialist

pursuits such as fencing, swimming, squash and sailing.

And then there are pilates classes – particularly popular

during those cold winter months – not to mention a

state-of-the-art golf simulator which allows anyone to

rehearse the dream of playing the 18th hole at St Andrews!

The diversity of the sports programme allows all

pupils of varying abilities and enthusiasms to find a

sport that suits them. The top athlete over the past year

has been Millie Knight, a partially sighted downhill

skier, who won three medals (two silver and one bronze)

in the downhill events at the 2018 Pyeongchang

Winter Paralympic Games. Besides arranging time

for her important skiing training, King’s also gave

Millie the opportunity to experience rowing.

‘Enjoyable Sport for All’ sums up the King’s approach.

A balanced attitude to winning and losing is seen as

an integral part of a rounded, holistic education.

Millie Knight has been the top athlete over the past year, winning three

medals at the Pyeongchang Winter Paralympic Games in downhill skiing

The King’s School

01227 595501 kings-school.co.uk

Bricklet ts

An hour of fun for babies

and young children

aged between 3 months

& 3 years.

Independent Prep School

for Boys & Girls aged 3 -11

Inspiring minds,

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futures

Independent Prep School

for Boys & Girls aged 3 -11

Bricklehurst

Manor School

& Kindergarten

Bardown Road, Stonegate, Wadhurst,

East Sussex, TN5 7EL Tel: 01580 200 448

www.bricklehurst.co.uk

Follow us on facebook @Bricklehurst

Messy

Mondays

PLAY, CREATE, DISCOVER

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& Music

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54

BricklehurstManorED05.indd 1 18/05/2018 15:53


Dream Big.

Shine brighter.

Open Morning

Saturday 23rd June

Contact our Registrar for details:

registrar@dulwichprepcranbrook.org

dulwichprepcranbrook.org

JUNE_Wealden_T_185x130_CRICKET_A-W.indd 1 08/05/2018 13:18

DulwichPrepWT196a.indd 1 09/05/2018 10:09

Who

shapes

be

you are

who

tomorrow.

Nursery, Pre-Prep and Prep

from 2-13 years

you’ll

today

WWW.THEPREP.ORG.UK

Challenge • Creativity • Community

55 wealdentimes.co.uk

SevenoaksPreparatoryED05.indd 1 14/05/2018 11:53


Education Magazine

Expert extras

Visiting specialist teachers can help pupils to expand and

deepen their learning – two schools tell us how

David Sansom

Assistant Head, Sutton Valence School

Developing the individual and

allowing pupils to experience

different opportunities in order to

find their ‘thing’ is central to the

Sutton Valence philosophy.

Specialist staff come in to school to

teach a range of musical instruments

along with tennis, netball, yoga,

rugby, dance, fitness training and

talented athlete programmes.

Wherever possible, we employ

all-round teaching staff, who are

encouraged to share their expertise in

areas beyond the classroom.

The additional lessons are very

popular – activities take place on a

weekly basis. We provide over one

hundred music lessons per week and

three hundred pupils represent the

school each week in various sports

fixtures.

Music lessons are timetabled

throughout each day with careful

consideration given to pupils studying

for GCSE and A Levels. Sport, yoga

and dance sessions take place at

lunchtimes and during timetabled

activity sessions three times each

week. Parents pay extra for individual

music lessons, though music scholars

receive free music tuition and drama

scholars receive free tuition for

LAMDA examinations.

Sutton Valence School

01622 842117 svs.org.uk

Mr John Abbott

Deputy Headteacher, Banstead Prep School

We have eleven peripatetic music

teachers, providing lessons in a

range of instruments. Our co-curricular

programme also offers specialist

teaching in Spanish, speech and drama,

fencing, gymnastics, judo, tennis,

football, cricket, swimming and chess.

Around half of our children learn at

least one musical instrument and our

after-school clubs are fully subscribed.

Music lessons are rotated during the

school day, at lunchtime or after school

but we ensure that children never miss

a core curriculum subject. Co-curricular

music takes place outside school

hours and specialist sports coaching

after school.

Parents pay the teacher directly

for these lessons, but there is also a

huge choice of music, sport and other

activities available free of charge as part

of our co-curricular programme.

Banstead Prep School

01737 363601 bansteadprep.com

GORDON’S SCHOOL

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Ranked in the top one per cent of all schools in England and Wales

for progress over the past 3 years at GCSE and A2 Levels.

www.gordons.surrey.sch.uk

surrey-homes.co.uk

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GordonsSchoolED05.indd 1 18/05/2018 11:20


FINE ART & BESPOKE FRAMING

Love Art, Share the Joy

Fine Art • Investment Art • Pop Art • Sculptures • Framing

11 The Parade, Claygate, Surrey, KT10 0PD WWW.TREWART.COM Phone +44 (0)1372 470997


Education Magazine

Linnea Emanuelson Grade 12, Upper Sixth (Year 13)

The art of

learning

Scientific studies have shown that studying

practical art enhances fine motor skills, handto-eye

coordination, problem solving skills,

lateral thinking, complex analysis and critical

thinking skills… it’s also wonderful fun. Here is

a showcase of some outstanding work by school

students from Year Four up

Benji Pfieffer, Year 13

Benji Pfieffer Year 13

ACS

Henry Linton Grade 12, Upper Sixth (Year 13)

▲ Alessio Branda Grade 12, Upper

Sixth (Year 13)

Linnea Emanuelson

Grade 12, Upper Sixth (Year 13)

Carie Ng Grade 12,

Upper Sixth (Year 13)


Education Magazine

▲ Amelia Gill GCSE Art & Design Year 11

▲ Megan White Year 12 A-Level Art Oil Painting ▲ Megan White, Year 13

Mayfield

school

▲ Francesca McLaren, Olc Cornelian

(Old Mayfield Girl) Was Year 13

▲ Orry Shenjobi, Year 13 A-Level Art & Design

Jessica Commane

A-Level Art & Design

Year 12 Art Textile dress

with Photoshopped

fabric, collage and stitch

Kaitie Ford, Year 13

A-Level Art. Photoshop

combining mixed media

surfaces, drawings and

photographs


education magazine

▲ Annabelle Douse upper Sixth form Cici Xia, fifth form

Reigate

grammar

▲ Holly James, fifth form

▲ Olivia Hamilton, forth form

▲ Annabelle Douse, upper Sixth form

Hawthorns

Isabelle Chambers, year 5

Zviko

Chopamba,

year 4

Lani Sara-Aho, year 6

Freya Atkins, year 7


Sutton

valence

Angus McVarish upper Sixth

Juliette Henin

Sangharsha Gurung upper Sixth

heart, by Andra Rusu, year 13

Olivia Dolores the moon

Nellie Mtolo, year 13

Ashford school


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A MAYFIELD EDUCATION COMBINES ACADEMIC

RIGOUR, BREADTH OF OPPORTUNITY AND

A STRONG SENSE OF COMMUNITY.

The School has an excellent academic record, exceptional

pastoral care and an extensive co-curricular programme.

Every girl is encouraged and supported to find her strengths

and develop them in an inspiring learning environment, which

encourages independent critical thinking, determination

and resilience. Mayfield girls develop a lifelong love of

learning, a range of transferable skills that will prepare them

for their futures and friendships that will last a lifetime.

Mayfield’s ethos reflects its Catholic foundation and encourages

integrity, initiative, respect and a desire to be the best you can be

within a vibrant and inclusive community. For the past 150 years,

Mayfield has nurtured generations of enterprising, purposeful

young women with the skills and confidence to make a positive

difference in the world.

To experience all that is special about Mayfield, visit us on an

Open Morning. To reserve a place or to book an individual visit,

please email registrar@mayfieldgirls.org.

We look forward to welcoming you.

FACILITIES INCLUDE

• Equestrian Centre on-site with facilities for up to 28 horses

• Olympic sized indoor and outdoor sand schools

• Heated indoor swimming pool

• Tennis Academy

• Fitness Suite and Dance Studio

• Concert Hall

• State-of-the-art Sixth Form Centre

• Extensive daily minibus service covering

large areas of Kent and Sussex

• Weekly bus service to and from Central London

• Close proximity to London airports

REGISTRAR@MAYFIELDGIRLS.ORG

WWW.MAYFIELDGIRLS.ORG

01435 874642


The importance

of making a will

Tamsyn Crofts

Slater and Gordon

Lawyers

Over 60% of the UK’s population are without a will. But what percentage of the wills

in existence have been correctly drawn up? We will look to explain the importance of

making a will and ensuring that it is valid at law.

Why should I make a will?

By making a will you are ensuring that all

of your affairs are in order, making life

easier for your loved ones and, ultimately,

giving yourself peace of mind.

What needs to go into a will?

As the person making the will, it’s up to

you to decide what you wish to go into it.

A few examples include;

• Choose who manages the administration

of your estate, otherwise known as your

Executors

• Leave legacies to your family and

friends, or even Charities if there is a

cause you wish to donate to

• Pass on family heirlooms, or any

personal items you may wish to be given

to a certain individual

• Appoint guardians to care for any

children that you may have whilst the

children are still minors

• Plan for asset protection and inheritance

tax mitigation, ensuring that your loved

ones get the maximum benefit from their

inheritance

Your will can also include personal

touches, such as your funeral wishes.

This brief guide will help outline the

importance of making a legally valid will.

Why should I get proper

legal advice?

Do you need a lawyer to make a will?

In short, no. Anyone can draft a will or,

indeed, download a ‘Simple Will’

template from the internet and complete

it themselves.

However, if you go down this avenue,

you must be cautious – a will is a complex

legal document and the impact of not

having a will drafted correctly, or having

a basic will which does not deal with all

of your estate in the correct legal format,

could be devastating for those you

leave behind.

At best your wishes may not be carried

out exactly as you had wanted, at worst

your will may not be valid at all.

In many cases, a home drafted will is

not legally enforceable due to either

incorrect clauses being copied and pasted

from other wills, or due to ambiguous

wording. The legal rules which surround

making a will valid at law are incredibly

precise, and are strictly enforced by

the Courts.

Your Estate and life planning are

extremely important, and are a

responsibility that should be entrusted

to professionals.

If you wish to ensure that your will is

correctly drafted, validly executed and

strictly upheld by the law, our advice

will always be to instruct a specialist,

qualified lawyer.

When it comes to planning for your

Estate, the message is simple; You know

what you know but, equally, you don’t

know what you don’t know.

So why risk it?

Understanding Your will

There is a lot to consider when drafting

your will, and understanding who does

what, and why, is an important part of

the decisions you will need to make.

Executors: Executors are the people

responsible for distributing your Estate in

accordance with the terms of your will.

• Do you know why you need an Executor?

• How many Executors do you wish

to appoint?

• What happens if you don’t specify

anybody to be an Executor?

Your lawyer will guide you through the

appointment of your Executors, clearly

explain why you need them and what their

role and duties will be.

Trustees: Trustees are the people who

take responsibility for managing money

or assets that have been set aside in a

Trust for the benefit of someone else.

• Will your Estate require a Trustee?

• What would happen if you needed a

Trustee, but failed to appoint one?

• Why are Executors and Trustees usually

the same people, and do they have to be?

Guardians: A Guardian of a minor is a

person(s) that has the powers and

responsibilities of a parent concerning

the child’s support, care, education,

health, and welfare.

Becoming a parent is a life changing

event, and one which usually triggers the

decision to make a will. But when it comes

to appointing guardians for their children,

most people are unsure of where to start.

• How does it work?

• Who should you ask?

• Who has priority in raising your children

in the event that you appoint more than

one guardian?

This is a sensitive matter, and one which

deserves due care and attention.

Your lawyer will assist you in having all

of the legal facts, in understanding the

role that the Family Courts may have in

deciding who should raise your children,

therefore allowing you to make a well

informed decision in the best interest of

your children.

What do I do if I already have

a DIY will?

Contact us right away for advice and any

assistance that you may need in order to

rectify it.

A poorly drafted will can have expensive

tax consequences, or lead to costly Court

proceedings in order to understand how

your estate must be divided.

Don’t chance it.

Our team of expertly trained lawyers

have a wealth of experience and prepare

thousands of wills every year. Instruct us

to help you plan your estate in accordance

with your wishes, and we shall provide

you with a professional and legally

compliant will.

Paying the small fee for a will now will

potentially save costing your estate and

your loved ones much more in the future.

Give yourself the peace of mind.

To make an enquiry without

any obligation call us on

0203 319 2685.


Education Magazine

Keep calm and carry

on learning

Education is not only about exams and testing – two teachers share their insights and suggestions

Lacy Chapman, Head of Lower School at ACS Cobham

International School, examines the dangers of the current

box-ticking testing system - and suggests an alternative

A

recent survey revealed that eight out of ten school

leaders have seen an increase in mental health issues

among primary school children during exam season.

With a further study suggesting that the level of focus

on exams at secondary school leaves students ill-equipped

for university and working life, it does seem that today’s

highly pressurised system of testing is causing children

undue stress at a time when they should be loving school

and growing in confidence, rather than fearing failure.

Standardised, national tests such as SATs, which require

students to revise specific subjects for a formal exam, are an

unquestionable source of stress for children. These assessments

place a huge amount of pressure from a very young age

and this can so easily stifle a natural curiosity to learn.

Increasingly universities and employers are commenting

that young people struggle to study by themselves and

claim this is due to the fact they are rarely encouraged

to think more laterally while at school – because they

are too busy being drilled to sit and pass exams.

This view is backed by research from the Association

of Teachers and Lecturers which confirms that almost

three-quarters of staff feel under increasing pressure

to ensure pupils hit tough government targets and

suggest that curriculum content had been reduced to

allow even more time to practice exam technique.

This surely confirms how students are increasingly

being taught to pass exams, rather than to expand

their minds, their curiosity and their imaginations.

But there are alternatives to the system. At ACS Cobham,

for example, we use MAP (Measure of Academic Progress)

testing in lower years to monitor students’ progress.

Students are increasingly being

taught to pass exams, rather than

to expand their minds, their

curiosity and their imaginations

MAP involves ‘smart’ tests which are taken by students on

a computer. As students move through the test, the computer

programme adjusts questions based on the individual’s ability.

At ACS each child receives the individual attention

they need to thrive and progress at their own speed.

MAP testing allows us to do this and monitor progress,

identifying where an individual needs extra support, or

differentiating tasks for those who particularly excel.

A developmentally challenging and rigorous programme

is still provided, but it’s a personalised and inquiry-based

approach developed to suit different types of learners and

emphasise creative, imaginative and critical thinking.

There is also no time limit on MAP tests and

because each test is different for each child, they can’t

revise for it. All we ask of parents is that they try

and help them get a good night’s sleep beforehand

and a good breakfast to set them up for the day.

Using MAP testing we can see the growth in each

student as they move through each year group, without

the pressure of revision or rigorous exams. Students

are not just measured on their academic progress

but also against our school learning outcomes.

We want each child to develop as a confident individual,

effective learner and caring contributor. And surely nurturing

a child’s well-being, promoting positive personal development

and fostering a curious mind is what education is all about?

ACS Cobham International School

01932 867251 acs-schools.com

65 wealdentimes.co.uk


Education Magazine

Ian Thorpe, Headmaster of Downsend School,

shares some tips for preparing students for

exams, taking a big picture approach

Resilience and character development in schools

have always formed part of the ‘hidden curriculum’

but are now becoming more important as we

seek to equip our students with the skills needed to

cope with exams and their futures beyond school.

Building resilience and confidence shouldn’t be a formal

lesson that follows double maths and single French in

the curriculum.They should permeate the curricular and

enrichment programmes like a strand of DNA, allowing

pupils to develop learning and skills without fear of failure

and to grow in confidence through overcoming challenges

and achieving their best. After all, picking up a clarinet

and hearing it squeak on the first attempt will help many

budding musicians strive for a more tuneful effort next time.

The five elements below are an important part of

how we help pupils prepare for the exam season:

Build gradually, so that pupils can peak at the right time

Two years ago, we abandoned mock exams in November

for our Year 8 pupils resulting in an 8% increase in A*-B

grades at Common Entrance. Having continual assessment

within the classroom, against bite-sized targets, followed by

a formal set of mocks in March avoided the burn out many

children can face by the time the exams start in earnest.

Practice does make perfect and all students experience

exam-style conditions and are encouraged to complete

test papers and questions as part of their preparation.

Focus on individual pupil goals, rather than rankings

All of our students have individual targets to work

towards. We find that if pupils believe they can achieve the

targets with our encouragement and support, they work

hard and actively engage with a process of continuous

improvement. Every year our pupils are celebrated for all

their personal bests inside and outside the classroom.

Build problem-solving capacity

When faced with an exam question that is not like

any that have been practised, it calls for a calm and

Music, drama and sport are

always a perfect antidote to

relieving exam pressures and

clearing the mind

problem-solving approach. We adopt a problemsolving,

cross-curricular approach to teaching and

learning early to promote skills-based learning.

All Downsend children are encouraged not to panic,

to look with a new focus, to be brave and have the

confidence to overcome the challenge in front of them.

Create an environment where pupils have breathing space

It’s important that pupils get some time out from the busy

school day and, especially in the run up to exams, to have

breathing spaces where they can go for down time. We know

this goes beyond the normal bag room and Study Centres,

which is why the new Downsend expansion will include

‘areas of calm’ using lighting, colour and creative displays

to develop reflective areas that are calming and relaxing.

Keeping the balance

Music, drama and sport are always a perfect antidote to

relieving exam pressures and clearing the mind and our

children access all three within our balanced curriculum.

Additionally, children gain confidence through music

and drama performances in front of audiences.

At the end of March, our five rock bands performed

to an audience of around 500 people without batting an

eyelid. Likewise, with sport, our children took part in

over one thousand sporting fixtures last year, experiencing

all of the highs and lows that these fixtures brought.

Collectively, all of these experiences help to develop

genuine character and resilience amongst our pupils whilst

maintaining the all-round balanced education we believe in.

In 2017, the Department of Education commissioned

a survey to examine the provision schools offer

to promote character education and to support

the mental health of pupils and students.

In looking forwards towards creative ways of achieving

this, we want to give our next generation of students, who

will stay with us to GCSE, the skills to enjoy, rather than

endure school. Namely, a skills-based education that is

based on their ability to adapt rather than to simply recall

and regurgitate knowledge in order to pass exams.

It is these skills that better prepare young people for

exam success, a life beyond school and form the basis

of an education that is enjoyable and memorable.

Downsend School 01372 372197 downsend.co.uk

Left: All students experience exam-style

conditions as part of their preparation

surrey-homes.co.uk

66


OPEN DAYS

13+ Entry - 16th June 2018, 6th October 2018, 9th March 2019

Sixth Form Entry - 23rd June 2018, 22nd September 2018

www.kings-school.co.uk


Education Magazine

The IT crowd

Computer code is the language of the future and – whether it’s in the classroom

or at school holiday camps - it’s never too soon for children to start learning it

CYPHER CODING CAMPS

The founder of Cypher school holiday coding camps,

Elizabeth Tweedale – a mother of two herself, with a

Computer Science degree and Masters in Architecture – has a

vision to get children future ready.

“We believe that children need to learn 21st century skills

to partner with future technology,” she says. “The more we

hear about AI, robots and machine learning, the more we

need to nurture what humans are best at – independent

thinking, creativity, caring.”

What ages are your coding camps aimed at? Our camps are

aimed at children from 4 -14. Once children have started in

Reception they are able to join one of our camps.

How long does each camp last? Camps run for a week,

Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm. Whilst we always think

children get much more out of their sessions if they build

their skills over the whole week, some camps can be attended

in two or three-day blocks, such as Big Blue Adventure or

Magic and Coding.

What do the children do at them? Get creative and learn

coding! Children get a whole new perspective on learning.

Our teachers are young and enthusiastic and engage with the

kids the moment they enter camp. Children start with some

warm up games to get to know each other; work on activities

that are geared to the level of coding they are ready for; get

hands on with coding; make art and crafts projects that

use coding; practice touch typing; learn the foundations of

computer science and have time for some fun outside.

“Coding may look hard but it’s seriously fun.”

Jack, 8

Our belief is that education for the 21st century has to

combine social, emotional and digital skills. Children learn a

range of computer languages: Scratch, Python and Processing

to name a few. We help our students become confident,

creative and curious – we like to say ‘future ready’.

How do you get primary age kids to sit at a computer all

day?! Are there other activities as well? Kids love being on a

computer with the right task on screen – but we are all about

teaching a balance between on-screen and off-screen time –

encouraging children to be able to make their own decisions

about what’s healthy. While we have some fun lessons for

touch typing and computing that are screen-based, most of

our projects have a healthy amount of hands-on creativity –

drawing, cutting, modelling, painting, gluing!

Kids love the application of coding to practical, tangible

products – from our curiosity box to holograms, 3D postcards

to ‘dragon storms’. Every day includes time playing games,

perhaps a scavenger hunt or searching for dragon’s eggs.

Children having fun and getting ‘future ready’

69 wealdentimes.co.uk


Education Magazine

We provide healthy snacks and

water to make sure everyone has

plenty of breaks.

What are the benefits of starting

to learn ICT skills at this early

stage? We feed a child’s natural

curiosity by providing the simple

foundations to learning code – which is simply a

set of instructions. As confidence grows, young children are

surprisingly adept at absorbing quite complex ideas and can

transfer their learning to screen-based work.

The language of coding is in the end just a way of ordering

your ideas and finding a way to communicate your concepts

to someone or something else.

Who does the teaching? We recruit two types of teachers –

all young, enthusiastic and great with kids – who complement

each other’s skills.

The first are experienced, trained teachers with exceptional

teaching qualities, able to engage and inspire children. The

second group are from universities like UCL where we find

inspiring computer science graduates who bring true coding

power into the mix – rocket scientists!

All teachers have Cypher teacher training and are DBS

checked. We maintain the highest standard of safeguarding

with all of our teachers holding Safeguarding Level 2

certification or above.

“Great special teachers, they’re really good at

coding, they make it fun.” Eli, 9

“I would recommend you do it because you can

do so much, and there is lots of instructions on

the screen and really helpful bits. After all the

hard work you feel really proud. And then you

get to play the game you made!” Jemima, 8

Do you get repeat visits from keen junior coders? We have

many repeat students. The main philosophy of Cypher is to

offer a methodical, cumulative education in the language of

the future – coding. Our approach means that each individual

child can progress successfully every time they attend.

The nature of our creatively themed camps ensures that

there is always something new, always a novel way to look at

problems and engage with different projects. The more kids

attend the more enthusiastic and skilled they get.

Have any junior coders surprised you with how quickly

they’ve picked things up, or what they’ve achieved? Many

of our coders make huge leaps and strides in a very short time

surprising not only themselves but surpassing their parents’

expectations. Our greatest delight is seeing their creativity.

What gave you the idea to start the camps? We want to

show children that coding can help them achieve anything

they set their minds to, no matter what they want to be when

they grow up. Starting an education company seemed to be

the best way to get to as many kids as possible.

Were you in coding yourselves? Previously to establishing

Cypher, Elizabeth Tweedale was a computational design

specialist at several leading architectural offices including

Foster + Partners and also co-founded a software company.

cyphercoders.com

MARLBOROUGH HOUSE

How much ICT is used on a daily basis in the

classroom? All pupils have access to ICT on a daily basis;

as part of their learning.. Children also have access to

computers during break times in our library and the

senior school ICT room.

What type of coding is taught and why? Our pupils

start learning coding skills early, with IT lessons part of

the curriculum in Pre-Prep. Children are taught to use

block-style coding and then they move on to text-based

coding. They build on their coding skills as they progress

up the school.

Which programs do you teach? We use a variety

of programs to give our children an opportunity to

understand that code is part of every website, app, smart

device, and that even their car relies on code to operate.

Pupils have access to several block editor websites along

with Scratch, JavaScript, HTML and Python.

How do you ensure pupils aren’t constantly attached

to a screen? We have a policy of not allowing personal

electronic devices in school – so no phones, no tablets

– and this means that our pupils actively engage with

each other on a personal level, they chat, they share

knowledge, they play and they are active.

How have advancements in technology affected the way

lessons are now taught? Technology has been incorporated

into our curriculum in numerous different ways. Teachers

have changed the way they teach by using technology to

help them explore new opportunities for learning. They now

have unlimited access to online resources and are able to

easily share ideas with other teachers. In lessons, computers

are used when doing so confers a clear benefit, but they are

not used all the time – except in IT of course!

Marlborough House

01580 753555 marlboroughhouseschool.co.uk

Pupils at Marlborough

House have access to

ICT on a daily basis

surrey-homes.co.uk

70


Inspiring Modern Minds

An ‘Outstanding’ IAPS school for boys and girls aged 9 months

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extensive bus routes, flexi, weekly and full boarding.

01323 733203 admissions@standrewsprep.co.uk

www.standrewsprep.co.uk


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City reach,

Village location,

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‘Pretzel' the Nursery chicken

‘Some children really do skip between lessons here…’

The Good Schools Guide

A high quality education with a truly individual focus

MARLBOROUGH

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Hawkhurst, Cranbrook, Kent TN18 4PY 01580 753555

marlboroughhouseschool.co.uk/relocatingtothecountryside

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