Education | ED06 | Summer 2019

JPSmedia

A Wealden Times & Surrey Homes Magazine

Kent | Sussex | Surrey

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2019

“This happy and successful school

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Contents

44

7

Noticeboard

Local educational

news and events

School of Rock

The modern way

into music study

FREWEN

The Dyslexia School

Since 1910

COLLEGE

11

15

19

23

29

31

35

39

43

Educating the

whole child

A well-rounded

approach to education

the whole person

The educational philosophy

in practical terms

Ask the Experts

Tips for parents of

young children

On their Marks...

First steps in sport

read all about it

Rebecca Cuffe’s book picks

for children up to seven

Planting the seed

Schools where pupils

grow fruit and veg

ask the experts

Prep school kids

POETRY please

The winners of our

poetry competition

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Books for children from

seven to thirteen

50

52

59

61

63

67

68

75

80

ask the experts

Going up to big school

Meet the matrons

The joys and challenges

of boarding

read all about it

Young people over 14 will

love these book picks

ask the experts

Surviving GCSEs

educating the

future

How to get your child ready for

the jobs of tomorrow

The life scientific

Advances in science teaching

This art of mine

Magnificent art by pupils

Going Solo

Young people who shine

in individual sports

ASK THE EXPERTS

Sixth formers

Cover image photographed by David

Merewether at the science and technology

centre at Sevenoaks School, Kent

Prep

School

Senior

• •

School

Sixth

Form

Frewen College is a leading Day and Boarding

School for girls and boys aged 7-19 with Dyslexia

and Dyspraxia. We are proud to be different:

Frewen is the oldest specialist

dyslexia school in UK

Winner of the BDA’s

‘Best Dyslexia-Friendly School’ 2018

All teachers have specialist

dyslexia qualifications

Assistive Technology is used

throughout the school

Best exam results ever in 2018. GCSE 9-4

grades and ‘pupil progress’ increased for the

4th consecutive year

Daily mini bus service from: Battle & Bexhill, Tunbridge

Wells, Hastings, Wadhurst, Hawkhurst & Ashford.

Frewen College, Northiam, East Sussex, TN31 6NL

www.frewencollege.co.uk

Published by Priceless Media Ltd. Kettle Chambers, 21 Stone Street, Cranbrook, Kent

TN17 3HF | Call 01580 714705 | Email info@priceless-group.com Visit priceless-group.com

Copyright © 2019 Priceless Media Ltd. The views of the advertisers & contributors are not

necessarily those of Priceless Media Ltd.

3 wealdentimes.co.uk

FrewenCollegeED06.indd 1 12/06/2019 12:39


A School Full

of Opportunities

“Vinehall clearly encourages excellence in all areas. Whilst

our daughter will be able to embrace her broad passions,

underpinning everything there is a solid academic

foundation.” New Parent

Vinehall

ROBERTSBRIDGE EAST SUSSEX

VINEHALLSCHOOL.COM


editor’s letter

the theme of this year’s issue of the education magazine

is educating the whole person. rather than channelling

all effort into safe ‘academic’ subjects, encouraging

young people, with their wonderfully supple minds, to

experiment in all areas. Not just to cram, but to grow.

so i was very glad to hear on the radio as i drove into the

office this morning, a spokesperson for the russell group of

elite universities saying that they are officially tearing up the

list of recommended ‘facilitating subjects’ they used to advise

increased chances of being accepted by one of them.

what they are more interested in now, he said, is young

people who have stretched and challenged themselves in lots of

different areas, including the pure arts of drama, fine art and

music, languages and vocational technical subjects.

bravo to that! and we would also add the importance of

varied physical education, to help our children reach their full

potential in every aspect of life.

in this spirit we have devoted most of this special issue

to school initiatives in sports and the creative arts – from

solo sport, to junior rock bands – at all ages, balanced with

expert advice on four key stages of education from the experts

themselves, the teachers.

we hope you will find plenty in it to inform and inspire you

on the exhilarating journey of your child’s education.

Education team

editor ....................................................................................... Maggie alderson

editorial assistant ........................................................................rebecca Cuffe

design director ..........................................................................anthony boxall

design team .................................................................................... Freya bruce

ryan huggins

tanya goldsmith

executive Chairman ...................................................................... Julie simpson

Managing director .............................................................. Vivien Cotterill-Lee

sales Manager ................................................................................... Jen shearer

Lisa gordon-hughes

senior account Manager .............................................................sarah Norwood

Cinnamon Lacey

Nadene weed

katie wood

distribution ....................................................................................... kate watts

katie wood

5 wealdentimes.co.uk

KentCollegeCanterburyED06.indd 1 11/06/2019 16:18


Moor House School & College

VOICE TRIALS

for boys aged 7 & 8

9 th November 2019

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.

Moor House is a registered charity, specialist

School and Sixth form college in rural Surrey

providing life changing education and support to

children and young people with Developmental

Language Disorder (DLD), helping them to achieve

extraordinary outcomes.

Consistently rated outstanding by Ofsted, Moor

House provides individually tailored education with

integrated speech and language therapy for those

with the most severe and complex forms of the

condition.

Our holistic approach ensures that our students

achieve their learning potential, maximise

their communication skills and become happy,

confident, independent and valued members

of society.

Open Days 2019/20

25 Sep, 16 Oct, 20 Nov

22 Jan, 25 Mar, 22 Apr, 20 May

To register please email info@moorhouseschool.co.uk

“Moor House is a beacon of support and teaching”

Parent Feedback

For further details please telephone

01227 865242

davidf@canterbury-cathedral.org

@No1Cathedral

www.moorhouse.surrey.sch.uk

@MoorHouseSLCN

info@moorhouseschool.co.uk

01883 712271

Moor House School & College, Mill Lane, Hurst Green, Oxted, Surrey, RH8 9AQ

CanterburyCathedralChoirWT207.indd 1 02/04/2019 MoorHouseSchoolED06.indd 15:04

1 04/06/2019 16:42

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landscape. Technical excellence and years of

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Visit our website to see our client feedback.

It also contains a wealth of knowledge about

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ThomasMansfieldWT202.indd 1 20/11/2018 16:02


the Mhs colour run

Children, parents, staff and past pupils of Marlborough

house school all came together for a hugely fun and

colour-filled afternoon to raise money for local charity

taylor-Made dreams on Friday 29 March. under a

beautiful blue sky, 362 runners took part in a huge group

warm up and then with an explosion of colour, they set

off around a 2km course. the route snaked around our

beautiful grounds and at various points along the course,

the runners ran through paint stations where more colour

was thrown into the mix. the atmosphere throughout

the whole day was electric and they were thrilled to raise

a total of £2,409.44. marlboroughhouseschool.co.uk

Noticeboard

The latest school and event news from the South East

artistic opportunities

JaM on the Marsh has been working

with primary schools on romney

Marsh since 2014. this year has

been no exception, as they have

teamed up with the singing stars

weekly after-school club of palmarsh

and hythe bay primary schools,

where there are limited resources or

opportunities for progression. once

a month, inspirational professional

vocal tutors have been joining the

stars in preparations for a public

performance at JaM on the Marsh

on thursday 11 July

with the

Chapel Choir of selwyn College

Cambridge, Canterbury Cathedral

girls’ Choir, top quintet onyx brass

and professional soloists. Marsh

primary schools have also eagerly

taken up the opportunity of joining

beach artist Jon Foreman to learn

about the environment, ecology and

how to tie maths into design, while

also building teamwork skills and

enjoying outdoor activity.

jamconcert.org

the greatest show

this year Manor house school

in bookham’s senior production

of Barnum took on an ambitious

33 musical numbers with over

400 costume changes. the circus

extravaganza is based on the life of

circus showman p.t. barnum which

inspired The Greatest Showman.

the production challenged the

cast to master circus skills along

with complicated song and dance

routines choreographed by adrian

edmeades, bbC Children’s

Choreographer, for three nights

of performances from Monday

25 to Wednesday 27 March.

manorhouseschool.org

on point

ballet Central is a critically

acclaimed company celebrating rising

stars who are about to graduate from

Central school of ballet in London.

having left home aged 16 to train

full-time in London, it is a shining

example of the commitment and

artistic achievement of young people.

this year they tour england from 28

March to 20 July, giving the dancers

valuable performing experience and

audiences the chance to see the

ballet stars of tomorrow at just

£15 a ticket.

balletcentral.co.uk


Noticeboard

Open days

Thursday 12 September

Reigate Grammar School

Reigate Road, Reigate,

Surrey RH2 0QS

reigategrammar.org

Thursday 19 September

Mayfield School

The Old Palace, Mayfield,

East Sussex TN20 6PH

www.mayfieldgirls.org

Wednesday 25 September

Moor house School

& College

Mill Lane, Hurst Green,

Oxted, Surrey RH8 9AQ

moorhouse.surrey.sch.uk

Saturday 28 September

St Edmund’s School

St Thomas Hill, Canterbury,

Kent CT2 8HU

stedmunds.org.uk

Saturday 5 October

Tonbridge School

High Street, Tonbridge,

Kent TN9 1JP

tonbridge-school.co.uk

Friday 11 October

Dulwich Prep

Cranbrook

Coursehorn, Cranbrook,

Kent TN17 3NP

dulwichprepcranbrook.org

Saturday 12 October

ACS Cobham

International School

Heywood House, Portsmouth

Road, Cobham, Surrey KT11 1BL

acs-schools.com

Saturday 12 October

Claremont Senior

and Sixth Form

Bodiam, Nr. Robertsbridge,

East Sussex TN32 5UJ

claremontschool.co.uk

There is no planet B

We all feel that we would give our children the world, but the truth is that our

planet is the ultimate legacy that they will one day inherit from us. From 27

May, Cumnor House Sussex hosted its first Green Week in an effort to inform

and encourage practical action in aid of the environment. The week included

a plastic pledge, clothes swap tent, den building for woodland animals, fashion

workshops for alternatives to ‘fast fashion’, weighing food waste, a collaborative

art installation made with plastic bottles and a ‘Night Without Light Challenge’

to ditch electrical gadgets for a week or longer, to raise money for the week’s

chosen charity, SolarAid. cumnor.co.uk

Heads up

Spring Grove School is delighted

to welcome Mrs Therésa Jaggard

who succeeds Mr Bill Jones as Head

in the Autumn Term 2020. Mrs

Jaggard is currently Deputy Head

Teacher at Leybourne St Peter and

Paul CEP Academy and is also an

accomplished musician – a violinist,

pianist and singer who is highly

experienced at running orchestras

and choirs. Mrs Jaggard commented

that she is “extremely honoured and

privileged to have been chosen to

take over the leadership of Spring

Grove School”.

springgroveschool.co.uk

Orchard Theatre

This November, an amazing new

production of David Walliams’ bestselling

story Billionaire Boy comes

to Dartford’s Orchard Theatre.

From the award-winning West End

producers of Gangsta Granny and

Awful Auntie, comes the tale of the

richest boy in the country who has

his own sports car, two crocodiles

for pets and £100,000 a week pocket

money. This family-friendly show

will be at the Orchard Theatre

from Wednesday 13 to Sunday

17 November with tickets starting

from just £19.00 (plus there are

generous group and school rates).

orchardtheatre.co.uk

surrey-homes.co.uk

8


Registered charity 1101358

From a top IB school, 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 second year at Oxford.

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


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Preparatory School

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ducating

Ethe whole child

A

radical and exciting revolution is taking place in

education and it’s one guaranteed to produce happier

children, more fulfilled young people and more

capable and cheerful adults.

If this sounds too good to be true, it’s worth knowing that

this revolution is long overdue and that while its full results

have yet to be seen – education is a slow business, it grows at

exactly the same rate as the young human being – everyone

involved in it is confident of success.

This revolution is both absurdly simple, yet also subtle and

complex. It involves seeing all children as the individuals they

truly are and then offering them an education that encourages

every aspect of themselves to flourish and grow.

It’s also an idea that has its roots in ancient ideas, right back

to ancient Rome, when the poet Juvenal coined the phrase

mens sana in corpore sano (a healthy mind in a healthy body).

English philosopher John Locke’s influential work Some

Thoughts Concerning Education of 1693

proposed a similar theory, that education

must address three areas: a healthy body,

a virtuous character and an appropriate

academic curriculum.

Now, ‘educating the whole child’ is an

idea that has spread rapidly across all schools

in recent years, first taking off when the

innovative headmaster Anthony Seldon took

over Wellington School and introduced hippy-style ‘happiness

lessons’ into an institution that had until then been mainly

known for its links with the military.

‘Schools,’ he explained, ‘should open the minds, as well

as the hearts, of the young. It is vital that they do this as

many adults possess neither open minds nor open hearts.

Our young should learn how to think and how fully to feel.

Education is their greatest chance to learn how to live.’

Since then, the revolution has galloped ahead and virtually

all schools now say they aim to offer an all-round education.

This is clearly visible in the way they reach out to potential

new parents. Test and exam results are still important,

but they no longer fill the whole stage. Instead schools

emphasize that their pupils play in the mud, sprawl on

their boarding house beds, laugh a lot, make music,

dress up, help others and do lots of hands-on learning.

Of course, schools have always offered arts and

Our education writer Hilary Wilce explains

the new – and ancient – philosophy which is

coming back to the fore in British schools

sports and after-school clubs, but one of the fundamental

underpinnings of this new style education is the recognition

that great academic results spring out of personal happiness

and fulfillment, not the other way round.

The revolution has been driven by forward-looking heads,

but also by parents who wanted to find ways their children

could avoid the distress of ‘exam treadmill’ schooling.

Now, say schools, parents actively seek out a rich and

happy school experience, asking probing questions about

the provision of emotional and social learning alongside the

academic curriculum.

Significantly, one of the most popular schools in London at

present, with a long waiting list, is an alternative forest school

that educates its children entirely outdoors in all weathers.

So what does educating the whole child actually involve?

Of course, pupils still get regular lessons, but these are

increasingly tailored to meet the different learning styles

of the children in class. Factory-style

“Factory-style rote

learning is long gone

and pupils are offered

opportunities to develop

their creative side”

‘Logic will get you

from A to B.

Imagination will

take you everywhere.’

Albert Einstein

rote learning is long gone. Pupils are

offered opportunities to develop their

creative side, through drama, art and

music, their adventurous side through

outdoor play and exploration, and their

leadership and teamwork skills through

group projects.

In addition, many schools now

emphasise serving others through charity and community

work. And underpinning all this is a whole new focus on

character education and the importance of developing

students’ inner strengths such as resilience,

tenacity, kindness and empathy. They

may be encouraged to take risks,

set goals, make mistakes and

review their actions.

‘Intelligence plus

character – that

is the goal of true

education.’

Martin Luther King

‘Educating the mind

without educating

the heart is no

education at all.’

Aristotle

11 wealdentimes.co.uk


Another vital element

is the recognition that

today’s students face

many new challenges.

Social media can lead to

insecurity and bullying,

fragmenting families can

mean emotional instability

and a rapidly changing world

means an uncertain future.

‘It is vital when

educating our

children’s brains we do

not neglect to educate

their hearts.’

The Dalai Lama

Schools now provide older students with sophisticated personal

education programmes that include questions of racial and sexual

identity, and mental health issues such as depression and selfharm.

Students are taught ways to look after both their physical

and mental wellbeing.

All this makes for a much kinder, more inclusive education

than in the past. Today’s non-sporty child will find success in

fencing or yoga. The anxious one will have learned mindfulness

and know who to ask for help. The swotty pupil will be able to

pursue their own advanced science projects, while a creative one

might be busy producing their own film and soundtrack.

Of course, many students will still experience difficulties and

parents need to watch out for these. They should also be cautious

about any school’s glossy claims of what’s on offer. It’s always

important to look below the surface to make sure it’s not just fine

words. The key is to watch closely what’s actually going on and

ask existing pupils about their day-to-day experiences.

A NEW UNIVERSITY FOR A

NEW AGE OF PUPILS

Some people in education think only a really radical

shake-up of our whole system will meet the needs of

students in the 21st century.

One institution striking out on a new path is the

London Interdisciplinary School, which opens in East

London next year. This new ‘university for polymaths’

will train students to solve complex problems by

bringing different skills and strands of knowledge to

bear on a single issue. The Metropolitan Police has

already asked it to study the problem of knife crime,

for example.

All students will take the same bachelor of arts

and science degree, incorporating science, technology

and the humanities and including ten weeks of handson

work experience.

The university is building on the experience of one

of its co-founders who helped set up the pioneering

School 21, also in East London, which takes pupils

from 4 to 18 and teaches them through a progressive

mixture of coaching, character education, in-depth

teaching and real-life learning to develop the skills,

confidence and creativity needed for modern life.

The school emphasises the need for young people

to be able to speak out confidently and fluently and

aims to send them off with the ability to shape and

change their world.

londoninterdisciplinaryschool.org

OUTSTANDING

ACADEMIC AND

PASTORAL

CARE

An Independent Catholic primary

school and nursery in a rural

setting. We welcome boys and

girls aged 2-11.

ISI rated ‘Excellent’ in all areas.

We offer an individual and

exceptionally high level of care

and education to all our children.

Scholarship and 11+ success.

Small classes and affordable

fees. Book a personal tour to

come and see what makes us

such a special little school.

01892 783414

www.sacredheartwadhurst.org.uk

TOP 100 PREP SCHOOLS 2018

surrey-homes.co.uk

12

SacredHeartSchoolED06.indd 1 10/06/2019 11:00


Fosse Wealden Ad May19 Fin 24/5/19 3:43 pm Page 1

Providing all children with the opportunity to become

independent young people with a love of learning.

“A friendly and warm

academic school.

Children flourish

as confident happy

individuals, encouraged by

nurturing and kind staff.

I can’t recommend

highly enough!”

Current parent

An independent co-educational school for children aged 2 – 11 years in Hildenborough, Kent.

Providing the individual care that being in a small class with a high staff to pupil ratio affords,

and with an excellent academic record in Kent Tests, children enjoy an extensive

curriculum including forest school, swimming and so much more.

Breakfast, after school care and holiday clubs

7.30am – 6.00pm, for 50 weeks of the year

Do get in touch to find out how your child could benefit from a Fosse Bank education. Visits are always welcome.

Please email admissions@fossebankschool.co.uk or call 01732 834212

FosseBankSchool-ED06.indd 1 30/05/2019 15:35

Celebrating

years!

OF OUR WAY OF LIFE

CHALLENGE · CREATIVITY · COMMUNITY

WWW.THEPREP.ORG.UK/CENTENARY

13 wealdentimes.co.uk

SevenoaksPreparatoryED06.indd 1 11/06/2019 10:22


Curiosity.

Integrity.

Compassion.

Respect.

“Through TASIS I’ve had the

opportunity to learn about

other people and cultures, and

become a member of a global

community.”

Current TASIS Student

We are an international school and community

near London where the aspirations and

potential of every student are fostered,

nurtured, and challenged. Discover more at

www.tasisengland.org

Coldharbour Lane, Thorpe, Surrey TW20 8TE

Call us on: 01932 582 316

Email us at: ukadmissions@tasisengland.org

Open Morning

October 4

THE AMERICAN SCHOOL IN ENGLAND


The whole person

and nothing but the whole person

Dr Adrian Rainbow, Deputy Head (Co-curriculum) of Sevenoaks School, describes how the whole person

education philosophy is applied there and the benefits pupils – and society – enjoy from it

We live in precarious times: climate change, species extinction,

tariff wars, the impact of Artificial Intelligence and the threat

of a global economic depression, to mention just a few. So it’s

easy to understand doomsayers claiming that humans are on a dangerous

trajectory and that our children will inherit a damaged world, rife with

uncertainty. But this does not have to be the dominant narrative.

By equipping young people with the skills to think critically, creatively

and collaboratively within an educational model predicated on character,

resilience, leadership, social responsibility and liberal internationalism, our

young people will possess the resources to re-write this narrative. This is

the power of educating the whole person.

At Sevenoaks School we firmly believe in such holistic education.

Our interdisciplinary approach focuses on the interconnections and

intersections between academic, pastoral, and co-curricular programmes.

We believe each one is equally important and pivotal in enabling us to

nurture our students so that they can flourish and achieve their potential.

Although our students achieve exceptional exam results, this is not

our main objective; indeed, our high academic results are in some ways

ironically a result on our focus on all of the learning our students are

doing outside of the academic curriculum.

Content knowledge is important and academic achievement is the

cornerstone of everything we do. Like all schools, we recognise that

our students need to achieve high grades to get into their choice of

Top and above: The new Science and Technology

Centre at Sevenoaks School

15 wealdentimes.co.uk


university and secure a job that is right for them.

So, although we have reduced the amount of internal

exams we set at Sevenoaks, we ensure our pupils are prepared

for national exams through a diverse and creative academic

curriculum, with teaching and learning practices based on

inspiring curiosity, enquiry and a love of learning.

It is clear, though, that education should not be about just

exam results and there is much current pedagogical discourse

about the purpose of education and what schools should be

doing to enhance the character of the student beyond the

context of formal lessons.

This is where the co-curriculum programme, or experiential

learning outside the classroom, can be so valuable. At Sevenoaks

School we are fortunate to be able to offer an array of activities

that develop these soft skills, through sport, music, drama, CCF,

Duke of Edinburgh and the many varied clubs and societies on

offer to our students.

Through these activities students learn skills such as creativity,

collaboration, leadership, teamwork, resilience, problem solving,

confidence, communication skills and emotional intelligence,

to name a few. In these activities they are pushed out of their

comfort zone, learn how to assess risk and, most importantly,

how to fail and how to recover from failure.

This is one of the key areas where we can help our students to

develop a ‘Growth Mindset’ – and these lessons

learned outside of the classroom equip students

with the ability to flourish inside it.

This holistic education extends further

to pastoral support and any form of

progressive education now looks at student

wellbeing very seriously. The demands

of any school can be very challenging for

young people and educators have a duty to provide top

quality pastoral support whereby students feel cared for,

supported and nurtured at all times. The happiness of the

young people in our care is always paramount and mental

wellbeing must never be sacrificed for exam results.

Students need to be offered platforms to develop their inner

confidence, self-efficacy, and what some educators are calling

‘identity achievement’. Young people should be provided with a

toolkit whereby they are able to self-reflect, to increase their selfawareness,

and manage their own stress in order to function well

and be prepared for their next step in life.

Thus, a robust supplementary programme, such as PSHE

(covering personal, social, health and economic issues) and

anything else related to mental wellbeing, is essential. Time

and energy spent outside the academic classroom on strategies

pertaining to wellbeing, is well spent to develop the whole

person – and will also strengthen academic outcomes. A happy,

“Any form of

progressive education

now looks at student

wellbeing very

seriously”

confident and self-aware learner is a productive learner.

Lastly, the other area often overlooked in an education system

that focuses too much on exams and material certificates is the

need for students to engage with community, whether this be

local, national or international.

Much of the above discussion on educating the whole

person focuses on the individual and how students can become

empowered and flourish independently. A necessary component

of a holistic education, however, and one that we believe in

fervently at Sevenoaks School, is the need for our young people

to look beyond their own sense of self towards community

engagement and service.

Although sometimes students might not immediately

recognise the value of volunteering in the community it is clear

that educating them to give to others develops their empathic

skills, a sense of compassion, understanding and respect for

others, and a sense that we are all inextricably linked.

In today’s competitive market for university

places and future jobs, it is understandable

that schools feel compelled to focus

extensively on academic results, but ultimately,

the purpose of education is not rote learning,

league tables, and exam grades.

And once we look at holistic education

more closely, it is clear that academic rigour

and the experiences students engage in outside the academic

curriculum are not mutually exclusive endeavours. Indeed, this is

a false dichotomy and why educators should invest heavily in the

other aspects of education that enhance the whole person, and

simultaneously benefit society.

This will empower students to be their optimal selves, prepare

them for the uncertainties of the future, and equip them with

skills to enact positive change in the world.

Educating the whole person is complex and diverse, but

it is essential to provide our young people with the best

opportunities in life, as well as for our future generations

to find solutions to the problems they will face.

Exams matter, but everything else a student

can learn in school matters so much more.

Sevenoaks School, Kent 01732 455133

sevenoaksschool.org

Essential strategies for educating the whole person

• Creative and innovative approaches to teaching and

learning

• Excellent learning opportunities outside the classroom

• A focus on character and resilience

• A robust pastoral support system, based on compassion

and kindness

• Strategies for students to self-reflect, increase selfawareness

and manage their own stress

• Opportunities to develop empathy, connect with others

and give back to society

• A sense of social responsibility and internationalmindedness

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years

Invaluable tips from experienced

teachers for each stage of

education

Ashford Prep School

The Pre-Prep Team

How can parents best support their

child as they start in Reception? Be

positive as this is an exciting time. Don’t

make school a big deal as this can make

children more fearful of their transition.

Try not to show your own anxiety or

upset about your child starting school.

On the practical side, practise zips,

getting dressed and undressed, putting

on coats, shoes, wellies and ensure

children are toilet trained.

Prepare them for learning by reading

lots of stories and talking about

the characters, storylines and make

predictions. Build mathematical language

into everyday play routines, such as

counting out the correct number of

knives and forks at the dinner table.

Ensure they get plenty of rest with a

calm bedtime routine at a sensible time

and don’t sign them up for lots of after

school activities in the first term.

What signs should parents look out for

that their child is not happy at school?

If they seem unusually withdrawn or

there is a clear lack of friendships. Also if

they start complaining of feeling unwell

when they appear to be fine or are tearful

for no clear reason.

What should parents do if they think

their child isn’t flourishing at school?

Discuss with your child about how

they might be feeling, then make an

appointment to see the class teacher to

discuss concerns further. Don’t try and

speak to them at the beginning or end of

the day as this can be the busiest time.

Explain to the class teacher what the

purpose of the appointment is so that

they can prepare in advance. Ask what

can be done at home to help and get

feedback from the teacher on any areas

where a child might be struggling.

Is there anything parents do with good

intentions, which is actually unhelpful?

Some parents feel they are being helpful

carrying their child into school with all

of their belongings, but this encourages

parental reliance. It’s better to encourage

the child to be independent, hanging up

their own coat etc.

It’s also tempting for parents to dress

their child for speed in the mornings,

but it’s really helpful if they can allow the

child to learn how to do it themselves, so

they can change unaided for PE.

It’s also helpful if the child can prepare

their own school bag. This will train

them to be more organised and feel in

control of their own routine.

Lingering in the classroom after drop

off can destabilise their own child’s

emotions and be unsettling for other

class members. It also makes it difficult

for the teacher to start the day with their

class routine.

We delight in children’s mark making

and attempt to build on these skills in

school, but please be aware that a child

learning at home to write only in capital

letters is a difficult habit to break and

makes handwriting more difficult.

Ashford School, Ashford, Kent 01233 625171 ashfordschool.co.uk

“Prepare them for learning

by reading lots of stories

and talking about the

characters and storylines”

19 wealdentimes.co.uk


Reigate St Mary’s

Sam Selkirk, Head of Lower School

Fostering independence is one of the

best ways you can help your child to

get ready for school. This can be done

at home by encouraging them to dress

themselves in the morning, cut their

own food at mealtimes and have a go at

tasks such as pouring a drink.

These small things start the process

of building their confidence and

self-esteem. In addition, providing

opportunities for them to explore

their world and play independently

are essential whilst motivating them to

‘have a go’, persevere, think and solve

problems. These are all an essential part

of learning how to learn.

One of the biggest indicators that a

child is not happy would be a change

in their behaviour, perhaps becoming

slightly more subdued or restless but it

could present in a plethora of ways.

However, at Reception age it is often

tricky to identify the root cause of any

change in behaviour. Questioning a

child can result in them answering in a

way they perceive we want them to.

A close relationship with a child’s

class teacher is key in these situations

and if parents are concerned, it is

important that they are able to engage

in an open, solutions-focused dialogue

with the school.

If parents think their child isn’t

flourishing they should observe and

monitor their child with the aim of

identifying specific areas of concern

and then arrange a meeting with their

child’s class teacher (or GP if relevant)

to discuss. Working collaboratively with

a cohesive approach will ensure better

outcomes for their child.

However, young children do develop

at very different rates so parents should

try not to be too unduly concerned.

Parents’ lives are very busy and

sometimes they are tempted to do

things for their child to speed up the

process. The more time we afford

children in their younger years to

develop their independence, the less

time will be needed to help them to

complete tasks in the future.

Reigate St Mary’s, Reigate, Surrey

01737 244880 reigatestmarys.org

Dulwich Prep Cranbrook

Clare Mackie, Head of Little Stream (Years 1-4)

To help to prepare your child for school, here are a few simple

and supportive things that you can do as parents:

Be positive

Parents can support their child

by thinking positively. Change

can be rather daunting, but by

focusing on the positive elements,

your child can be encouraged to

look forward to all of the new

and exciting opportunities ahead.

School is one big fun adventure

so what is there not to look

forward to?

Encourage

independence

If your child is able to dress,

undress and toilet independently,

and find and organise their

belongings, this will aid their

transition to school beautifully,

making everyone’s lives easier.

Promote resilience

We all want our children to

succeed and thrive in life so

it is important to encourage

your child to have a go at new

activities and challenges so that

they are regularly pushing their

own personal boundaries.

If they do not initially succeed,

praise them for their efforts and

support them by encouraging

them to have another go.

Resilience and the ability to

‘bounce back’ is a necessary life

skill so that our children learn

not give up at the first hurdle

when they find things tricky.

Celebrate success

No matter how big or small, it’s

really important to acknowledge

and celebrate your child’s

successes. When praising them,

remember to focus on the process

rather than the end product or

result. For example, you can

praise their hard work, focus or

determination rather than the

result from a spelling test.

Dulwich Prep Cranbrook,

Kent 01580 712179

dulwichprepcranbrook.org

“It is important to encourage your child to

have a go at new activities and challenges”


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BeechwoodSacredHeartED06.indd 1 04/06/2019 16:49

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We offer an excellent, swift and friendly service.

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21 wealdentimes.co.uk

KingsfordSolicitorsWT208.indd 1 07/05/2019 11:00


Here at LCA, our classes, workshops and masterclasses are

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Independent Day School from 3 to 18 years

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BabingtonHouseSchoolED06.indd 1 28/05/2019 12:12


On their marks…

A lifelong love of exercise can be inspired by the right

approach to teaching sport at the earliest stage

Ashford Prep School

Harrison Straw – Head of Pre-Prep PE

I believe it is very important for children to take part in

physical activities right from the start in Reception because

it teaches them about healthy lifestyle and exercise. It also

embeds a culture of teamwork, the feeling of working to

achieve something and the joy of succeeding, as well as

motivation and courage to step outside comfort zones.

Exercise allows children to escape the pressures of the

classroom and stimulates the mind ready for learning

when going back. We find they are able to return to

their lessons with a fresh mind and settle down more

easily after having a break from working their minds.

From Reception to Year 2 children take part in two

hours of PE a week and their activities change every few

weeks, so they get to do gymnastics, tennis, swimming,

multi skills, football, hockey, netball, cricket and rugby.

We start off with multi skills, during which they learn

the key basics of each sport. This prepares them for

competitive sports which they first experience in Year 3.

Dance is also taught to all children at this stage,

which allows the children to be more creative than some

of the other sporting activities. All year groups also

spend an additional hour swimming once a week.

From Year 3 it goes up to four and a half hours

a week, including games sessions with matches. PE

sessions include learning and playing different sports,

including cricket, hockey, netball and football, plus

gymnastics, dance, athletics and water polo.

Occasionally there are children who are unmotivated to

participate and as they get older it is common for them to

dislike a sport if they feel they are not good at it. So we make

sure each lesson is different, with a range of activities so all

children can join in, finding new ways in which children

learn and will get the most out of each session. It is essential

that all PE lessons are fun and engaging for every child.

Ashford School, Ashford, Kent

01233 625171 ashfordschool.co.uk


23 wealdentimes.co.uk


PRE-BOOK YOUR TICKETS

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KentShowgroundWT207.indd 1 03/04/2019 10:45

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Beechwood Sacred Heart School

At Beechwood we believe that sport and exercise have

many benefits other than just keeping fit. Sport increases

confidence, improves personal growth, helps with attention

levels, reduces anxiety and stress and improves behaviour

and sleep levels. We feel sport should be accessible at

all levels for all pupils and strive to continue to provide

plenty of opportunities throughout the school year.

We support a wide and varied sporting curriculum from the

Early Years to the Senior School. We are committed to helping

all our pupils maintain a fit and active lifestyle and introducing

fun and exciting activities in the Early Years helps build their

interest in sport and supports a healthy attitude to exercise.

From the Nursery upwards, children can participate in

dance lessons, music and movement and ball games. As

they move into Reception, we add ball skills and more

structured sports lessons, with both boys and girls enjoying

athletics, football, cricket, tag rugby and many more.

Head of Sport, Mr Joshua Rowe, is keen to stress

the importance of the children exploring opportunities

and allowing a sense of creativity and having a

go, rather than assuming one size fits all.

In addition to our sports hall and tennis courts,

we are fortunate to have recently opened our brand

new, fully floodlit all-weather pitch and can offer

even more sports provision than ever before.

Beechwood Sacred Heart School, Tunbridge Wells, Kent

01892 532747 beechwood.org.uk


surrey-homes.co.uk

24

BroadstairFolkWeekWT208.indd 1 22/05/2019 10:45


Hilden Grange Preparatory School

for Girls and Boys aged 3 - 13

Small classes - Superb extracurricular opportunities in Sport, Music, Art and Drama

High academic standards - Innovative Early Years Outdoor Learning area

“ Hilden Grange treats children as

individuals and encourages them

to be the best they can be.”

Current Parent

T: 01732 351169 / 01732 352706 E: office@hildengrange.co.uk

Dry Hill Park Road, Tonbridge, Kent, TN10 3BX

HildenGrangeED06.indd 1 10/06/2019 11:25

‘A great place to grow’

for boys and girls aged

2 to 11 years

Spring Grove School, Harville Road, Wye TN25 5EZ

25 wealdentimes.co.uk

SpringGroveSchoolED06.indd 1 23/05/2019 17:33


Spring Grove School

Ben Smith, Director of Boys’ Games; Dee Langford,

Head of Girls’ Games and Bill Jones, Headmaster

CreativeDanceCompanyWT208.indd 1 20/05/2019 12:53

Blackland Farm

Outdoor Activity Centre

Come and join us for

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Why not have your

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Blackland Farm

Kayaking

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Rock climbing

Archery

Crate challenge

Zip wire

Abseiling

Aeroball...

...and many more!

01342 810493

blackland@girlguiding.org.uk

www.blacklandfarm.org.uk

Sport and outdoor activities are a priority for all children at

Spring Grove. We believe strongly that encouraging children to

spend time outdoors every day helps to set healthy habits that

will last a lifetime. Our sports programme is designed to allow

boys and girls to learn and develop new skills, to participate,

and most of all to enjoy sport, now and for years to come.

The ‘little ones’ at Spring Grove start their sport

lessons in Nursery, with PE sessions led by the sports

staff, and from Reception upwards we introduce weekly

swimming lessons in our heated, covered pool.

Sport for all is embedded in our ethos. We offer rugby,

football, hockey, tennis, cricket, athletics and cross country, as

well as encouraging health-related fitness in PE sessions. We

make the best use of our beautiful location in Wye – not only

does the school stand in 14 acres of grounds, it is surrounded by

stunning countryside that lends itself to cross-country practise!

Spring Grove is also well placed for matches against a wide range

of local schools, and there are full fixture lists in all three terms.

At Spring Grove we see the benefits of sport in helping

children to develop self-esteem and self-confidence,

to learn teamwork and how to communicate, and to

foster resilience, discipline and respect. And while

winning is great, it’s also important to lose – because

it’s by making mistakes and dealing with failure that

the greatest lessons are learned, in sport and in life.

Spring Grove School, Wye, Ashford, Kent

01233 812337 springgroveschool.co.uk

surrey-homes.co.uk

26

BlacklandFarmWT201.indd 1 11/10/2018 15:52


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read

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introduce kids up to the age of

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6

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1 The Tale of Starting School by Natalie talisman and kristen taylor £21.99 2 Perfectly Peculiar Pets by elli woollard £3.29

3 Shaking Things Up by susan hood £12.99 4 A Year in Nature: A Carousel Book of the Seasons by hazel Maskell £16.99

5 Mr. Men go to School by adam and roger hargreaves £3.99 6 Ladybird Tales of Adventurous Girls £12.99 7 The Jolly Postman

by Janet & allan ahlberg £12.99 8 What’s Going On Inside My Head by Molly potter £7.14 9 How to See Fairies by Charles van

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the Woods by Louise greig £12.99 15 Push, Pull, Empty, Full by Yasmeen ismail £7.68

29 wealdentimes.co.uk


We are your destination for over 50 local and global

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01892 740866 • office@ chilstone.com • www.chilstone.com

surrey-homes.co.uk

30

ChilstoneWT208.indd 1 22/05/2019 15:30


Planting

the seed

gardening is good for everyone’s wellbeing – and

children who grow their own vegetables are far more

likely to eat them. we hear from two schools where

pupils grow their own

dulwich prep cranbrook

dulwich prep Cranbrook has a gardening Club which runs at lunchtime

break for children in Years 5-8. we grow lettuce, beetroot, carrots, parsnips,

potatoes and rhubarb, herbs such as chives, basil, mint and sunflowers.

the Club runs all year apart from mid winter. our head of science,

Mr Middleton and head of english, Mrs dart run the club. Mr

Middleton says gardening teaches the children about the seasons of the

year and helps them learn patience as there is no instant gratification.

edward in Year 6 said he likes getting out in the fresh

air and being with nature. he enjoys cooking and took

home the potatoes he grew which were delicious.

Younger years also enjoy growing vegetables in the raised beds

outside each classroom. every classroom in Nash house (early Years)

has its own outdoor classroom space with a retractable roof so the

children can be outside rain or shine. this week the Nursery will be

planting vegetables, which will be harvested before the end of term.

the kids in eco Club fill the planters in the playground with colourful

plants every spring and Year 1 particularly enjoyed harvesting a bumper crop

of strawberries last year which they enjoyed as their snack at break time.

dulwich prep Cranbrook, kent

01580 712179 dulwichprepcranbrook.org


REIGATIANS:

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SCHOOL OF THE YEAR

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

reigategrammar.org | 01737 222231 | admissions@reigategrammar.org

facebook.com/reigategrammarschool

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Full Day Care from

3 months to 5 years

Open 51 weeks a year

Dan Goldsmith Photography

Frewen college

pupils at Frewen prep have enjoyed harvesting fruit

from their edible garden for many years. it is a small

but well-established plot with pear and apple trees,

which have beautiful blossoms as well as tasty offerings.

the raspberry plants produce full and juicy fruits

and each year pupils help to harvest these along

with strawberries in the summer months, which

are shared amongst the pupils at break times.

it was initially planted as a sensory garden,

so as well as edible fruits and herbs, there

are fantastic roses to enjoy and tall bamboos

chosen for their shape and texture.

the garden is always evolving and pupils have

been helping plan for the next stage. we are currently

creating a roald dahl garden, working alongside our

head gardener, Josh taylor who will be advising on

chocolate and candy-themed plants for the borders.

we are also planning an exciting water feature which

will represent the chocolate river from Charlie and the

Chocolate Factory where pupils will be able to explore

the physics of water by altering both the flow and

water pressure – and water our garden at the same time!

Frewen College, Northiam, east sussex

01797 252494 frewencollege.co.uk

TONBRIDGE

JuniorsDayNurseryED06.indd 1 12/06/2019 10:21

“Excellent”

September 2018

OPEN MORNING

Visit our beautiful 25-acre day

and flexi-boarding school,

where boys and girls aged 3-13

thrive on personalised learning.

Contact Jackie Williams on

01932 862 264, or

visit www.feltonfleet.co.uk

Opening June 20

Cranbrook

Adjacent to Tonbridge Train Sta

Rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted

Full daycare • 3 months to 5 years • Open 51 weeks

Tonbridge

Opposite the station

For more information on Child places and Staff vacancies c

Email: tonbridge@juniorsdaynursery.co.uk Mobile: 074

Headcorn - 07834 www.juniorsdaynursery.co

236 543

cranbrook@juniorsdaynursery.co.uk or Telephone 01580 713 033

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Saturday 28 Sept

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Means-tested bursaries available

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WHERE INDIVIDUALS REALLY MATTER

33 wealdentimes.co.uk

FeltonfleetED06.indd 1 31/05/2019 15:47


A Summer of Outdoor Theatre at Belmont

The Winter’s Tale - Friday 5 th July, 7.30pm

Leontes has everything a man could want, wealth, power, a

family that loves him and friends, but he is not at peace. Inside

he harbours a bitter jealousy that drives him to destroy all he

holds dear. Years later, in a distant country, a journey begins that

may ultimately heal his pain and reunite his family.

Adults £22, Ages 10-18: £12.00.

Nell Gwynn - Sunday 21 st July, 3.00pm

London, 1660, King Charles II has exploded onto the scene with

the love of all things loud and extravagant. And at Drury Lane

a young Nell Gwynn is causing stirrings amongst the theatre

goers. Enjoy an evening of theatre in our beautiful Walled

Garden. Adults £22, Ages 10-18: £12.00.

Treasure Island - Sunday 18 th August, 2.00pm

Pack a picnic and enjoy an afternoon of entertainment in

the gardens of Belmont House. Join Chapterhouse Theatre

Company for this brand-new adaptation of everyone’s favourite

swashbuckling pirate adventure. Adult £16.00 / Child £11.00 /

Family (2 Adults & 2 Children) £46.00.

Love Learning,

Learning,

Love Life

Love Life

"

We were right to entrust

Our excellent teaching team

The New Beacon with

understands how to draw the best

from these every important individual years boy; in inspiring

confidence, our child’s nurturing education. a love of

learning and exploring new " ideas.

PARENT 2018

Prep School is the time to build firm

foundations, when boys are happy,

growing Our excellent in confidence, teaching enjoying a

full and fulfilling school life.

team understands how to

newbeacon.org.uk

draw the best from every

individual boy; inspiring

confidence, nurturing

a love of learning and

exploring new ideas.

Prep School is the time

to build firm foundations,

when boys are happy,

growing in confidence,

enjoying a full and

fulfilling school life.

"


We were

to entru

New Bea

with the

importa

in our ch

educatio

PARENT 2018

belmont-house.org • 01795 890202 • events@belmont-house.org

Belmont House & Gardens, Throwley, Faversham, Kent ME13 0HH

newbeacon.org.uk

BelmontHouseWT209.indd 1 04/06/2019 NewBeaconED06.indd 17:00

1 03/06/2019 12:22

Early Years

Fun Morning

15 June

To register please contact

office@reigatestmarys.org

‘EXCELLENT’

ISI 2016

An independent day school for children aged 2 -11 years

Reigate St Mary’s School, Chart Lane, Reigate, Surrey RH2 7RN

reigatestmarys.org I 01737 244880 I office@reigatestmarys.org

@rsmprepschool

facebook.com/ReigateStMarys

The Junior School of Reigate Grammar School

surrey-homes.co.uk

34

ReigateStMary'sED06.indd 1 28/05/2019 15:54


school

Invaluable tips from experienced

teachers for each stage of

education

Claremont Prep School

Rachel Potter, Head of Pre-Prep

What do parents need to consider

when choosing a prep school? A

good place to start is to choose a

school with the same values as your

own. A school’s value system and

ethos plays a central part in giving

each one its own unique ‘personality’,

an essential point of difference that

will help you decide if your child is

going to be happy and thrive there.

Great facilities, resources and small

class sizes often come as standard

in prep schools, but curriculum

design, great teachers, enrichment

programmes, after-school care and

how the school engages, supports and

involves parents can often set it apart.

Be inquisitive and come armed

with lots of questions and if you are

in it for the long haul, find out about

the school’s long-term vision and

future plans for developing teaching

and learning.

Should they ask about which

secondary schools the prep school

feeds up to? It helps to get an idea of

how your child’s whole educational

journey will play out, but plans often

change along with the needs and

aspirations of pupils as they get older.

Ask how the transition process

from prep to senior is managed. This

will ease progression and bring a

welcome air of familiarity at what can

be an anxious time for a child.

Should parents be looking for a

school that plays to their child’s

strengths at this stage? Yes, but

it’s important to look for a school

that offers a broad curriculum that

encourages children to not only

develop their current talents, but

also to explore new and unchartered

learning territories.

Choose a prep school that does the

basics extremely well, but also has a

diverse and imaginative co- and extracurricular

programme all wrapped up

in a nurturing pastoral environment

that empowers every child to shine.

Is staying with a peer group a child

is comfortable with important at

this stage? No, children make friends

so quickly. A happy, nurturing and

supportive school environment will

ensure this, and the right school

will work hard to ensure a seamless

transition and a swift but calm

settling in period.

Claremont Prep School, Hastings,

East Sussex 01424 751555

claremontschool.co.uk

“How the school engages,

supports and involves

parents can set it apart”

Chinthurst School

Cathy Trundle, Headteacher

What do parents need to consider

when choosing a prep school? Does

this school value children and build

positive relationships with them?

Children need to be treated with

kindness and love so they can challenge

themselves and make mistakes along the

way, confident that they will always be

supported.

It is also very important that the

school makes lessons fun. Children

should skip into school excited about

what they will learn that day!

Should they ask about which

secondary schools the prep school

feeds up to? This is important,

particularly for families joining a

school in Year 3 or above. A good prep

school will ensure its children progress

to senior schools that suit each child’s

individual academic levels and talents.

Close relationships with parents and

children are key to ensuring a school can

properly guide families in their choice.

Should parents be looking for a prep

school that plays to their child’s

strengths (academic, sport, arts)

at this stage? Children’s talents have

not always developed when they first

start school and, as they mature, their

interests and strengths can change. It

is more important to look for a prep

school that will give children a wide

range of opportunities and the time and

space to develop their skills and find

their niche.

Is staying with a peer group a child

is comfortable with important at

this stage? A good school with happy

children and experienced staff should

be able to welcome new pupils at any

stage and ensure they settle in quickly

and form bonds with their new class.

Kindness and a focus on relationship

building should ensure that a child can

confidently join a school without the

need to move with a peer group.

Chinthurst School, Tadworth, Surrey

01737 812011 chinthurstschool.co.uk


35 wealdentimes.co.uk


Vinehall School

Joff Powis, Headmaster

What do parents need to consider

when choosing a prep school? Fees,

location, class size, academic reputation

and wrap around care – all are vital.

However, I believe that parents find the

best fit prep school for their child only

once they have visited and experienced

the atmosphere first hand.

They must look beyond the results

and facilities of a school to focus

on what really matters, which is the

happiness of the children, the calibre

of the staff and the strong relationships

between the teachers and parents.

Should they ask about which

secondary schools the prep school

feeds up to? For many parents, entry

into the secondary school of choice is

paramount to their decision to enter the

independent sector in the first place.

I would encourage parents to keep

an open mind in order to allow a

child to grow and develop before a

secondary school choice is finalised. The

‘destination of leavers’ will be proudly

stated on any prep school’s website

and the greater the variety of these

destinations on offer will reflect a prep

school’s strength in developing the

individual child.

Should parents be looking for a school

that plays to their child’s strengths

(academic, sport, arts) at this stage?

How can a parent possibly know

their child’s strengths yet? The

purpose of a prep school is to lay

as many opportunities at a child’s

feet as time will possibly allow.

As their confidence grows, their

interests will spread and new strengths

“The purpose of prep

school is to lay as many

opportunities at a child’s

feet as time will allow”

and passions will be discovered. In a

small, family school, the needs and

talents of each individual child can be

recognised, valued and developed in time

for the next phase at secondary school,

where children will finally specialise.

Is staying with a peer group a child

is comfortable with important at this

stage? To feel comfortable and confident

within your peer group is absolutely

critical in a child’s overall development.

A child’s peers are every bit as important

as the greatest teacher in creating

a sense of belonging, empathy and

encouragement. A sense of place and a

sense of purpose is instilled in us all at a

very young age by our childhood peers.

Of course, the term comfortable

can have an ulterior meaning and

this is where a stimulating learning

environment and high expectations will

support each child to grow and reach

their potential.

Vinehall School, Robertsbridge, East

Sussex 01580 880413 vinehallschool.com

The New Beacon

Mike Piercy, Headmaster

What do parents need to consider

when choosing a prep school?

Research is key and a great deal

can be discovered through schools’

websites. Unsurprisingly, many

schools appear to have similar aims

and it can be difficult to differentiate

– the ‘news’ pages can be revealing:

what achievements does the school

celebrate? Education, however, is a

human business: talk to trusted friends

and family to discover personal stories.

Consider also single-sex or

co-education. Boys learn in a very

different way to girls and, particularly at

prep school age, they will often develop

better learning habits at an earlier stage

in an all boys’ environment – but you

would expect me to say that as Head of a

boys’ school! The proviso is that pastoral

care must pay equal attention to the

gentle and sensitive boy as to the lively

and ebullient.

Should they ask about which

secondary schools the prep school

feeds up to? Yes, absolutely! A good

indicator is a wide range of destination

schools which suggests a bespoke

approach, tailored to the individual

child. The range of schools should be in

keeping with your aspirations for your

child – but beware of aspirations which

may be too ambitious.

Should parents be looking for a

school that plays to their child’s

strengths at this stage? A prep school

is, by definition, ‘preparatory’. There

should be a wide range of opportunity

on offer from the academic to the

co-curriculum, to the arts, performing

arts and sport. If at an early stage your

child shows leanings and talents in a

particular direction then some prep

schools do have specialisms – but beware

of narrowing your child’s opportunities

at too early an age.

There is a temptation to live out our

own ambitions through our children, but

my advice would be to provide breadth

of opportunity at this early stage coupled

with a school’s willingness to support the

pursuit of excellence in any given field.

Is staying with a peer group a child

is comfortable with important at

this stage? Friends are important to

children – they provide comfort and

security – but they should not be

the determining factor in choosing or

changing schools. At The New Beacon

in Key Stage 1 we ‘shuffle’ classes

almost every year to enhance social

development and in response to varying

levels of maturity and development.

Children are more resilient and adaptable

than we, as parents, may think. There is, of

course, socialisation in the classroom but

it is by definition a place for learning and

playtime is primarily for friends.

The New Beacon School, Sevenoaks, Kent

01732 452131 newbeacon.org.uk

surrey-homes.co.uk

36


100 Years of Education, 1000 Years of History

T: 07984 457786

www.funkyreaders.co.uk

FunkyReadersED06.indd 1 12/06/2019 InnerArtStudioED06.indd 16:41

1 11/06/2019 11:37

Road to the Abbey

Battle Abbey Prep School

Battle Abbey School 1912 - 2012

Tel: 01424 772385 www.battleabbeyschool.com

A place where individuality thrives • Strong family ethos • High academic, sporting and creative

success • No hidden extras - wrap around care included • Through school 3 months - 18 years

37 wealdentimes.co.uk

BattleAbbeySchoolWT207.indd 1 03/04/2019 10:47


HAPPINESS • CONFIDENCE • ACHIEVEMENT

‘ Excellent ’

Latest ISI Inspection

Open Morning -Tuesday 1 October 2019

Woking’s leading independent Prep School inspiring Girls and Boys aged 3 to 13

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

Independent day school

Girls 3-11

Boys 3-4

HoeBridgeSchoolED06.indd 1 05/06/2019 12:54

granvilleschool.org

BELIEVE

INSPIRE

ACHIEVE

Open Mornings: 9am − 10.30am

Friday 7 June 2019

Friday 27 September 2019

Friday 15 November 2019

Please book an appointment

01732 453039

surrey-homes.co.uk

38

GranvilleSchoolWT208.indd 1 21/05/2019 14:20


Poetry please

we are thrilled to share the winners of

our poetry competition, judged by awardwinning

children’s author Sally Gardner

one word sums up our response

to the entries to our first

poetry competition: wow!

and not only because the pile of entries

when printed out and gathered together

was an astonishing 10cms high – the

sheer quality and variety of the poems

submitted was so exciting.

editor, Maggie alderson read them

all and narrowed it down to a short list

of 35, which she and sally gardner read

together, agreeing on the winners with

not a single moment of disagreement.

the original plan was to have a

winner and two runners up in each age

group, but so many of the entries didn’t

have the age, or year group written on

them that proved a little tricky.

instead we decided to have a winner

in each age group (who will each

receive a £20 book token) and three

non-age specific runners up. and in

an exciting new development – sally

was so impressed by one of the poems

she decided to create a special award

just for it. so congratulations to roshy

orr, who is the winner of the sally

gardner poetry prize. sally said: ‘this

poem is well over the years of the writer,

it’s quite astounding. this is clearly

someone who reads, they love language

and had a real feel for their brief. i’m

sure i will run into roshy on the literary

circuit in the future.’

please note we have left all the

spellings and punctuations as they

appeared in the original entries. we are

also showing some of the lovely poems

we received with illustrations, which

were greatly appreciated.

Summer Poem by Roshy Orr

year 7, The lady eleanor holles School

we left the garden fat with summer’s growth

left behind the still, parched air thick with smoke

from next door’s pit

scorched flatbreads, garlicky baba ghanoush

and morsels of piping hot fatty lamb

and plunged towards the coast

seeking air that is heady with ozone and salt

rock pools glinting with spangled light

toes exploring crevices in the rock

where winkles may be hid.

Fringes of seaweed tickle my soft undersoles,

so i wade deeper wanting to sink into the silty sand,

splash my sun-charred flesh in the cool green water.

swaying in the pool i hear the guttural yaw of the engine first,

peering up into the blue bowl of sky

i see a tiny plane carving the air,

pirouetting, streaming headlong

in spirals and arabesques,

leaving a looping, white contrail

in his wake;

i follow his every move in wonder

he skims the rim of the sky,

arches back impossibly and nosedives

pell-mell towards our placid sea

pulling up wildly just before the two

elements crash.

i see this matchbox plane of finespun metal,

a platinum gleam in the summer sun

spun by this pilot, across the skies

in a dangerous wonderful web,

for nothing more than our own momentary

revelling in a wonder that is a summers day.

saLLY

gardNer

award


wiNNer

10 to 13

age group

The Persistence of the Sea

by Benjy Day

age 10, banstead Preparatory School

the persistence of the sea is when

the waves advance and dissolve your castle

it draws near and eats away your tent

it detains a life to keep it company.

the persistence of the wind is when

it whisks away your umbrella

it bites your nerves and makes you yield

it loosens the nails for your marquee.

the persistence of the children is when

they try in vain to net a fish

they try to raise a floundering crab

they desperately try to unbolt a clam.

SallY Said: ‘there are

no clichés, or “like a” in

this poem, he uses “is”,

which is so much stronger.

the last line alone was

enough to win. benjy also

has very nice writing.’

ruNNers

up

Honor Goodman, Vinehall

dry ground,

green trees,

bird sound,

summer breeze.

hot sun,

boiling sand,

summer’s come,

take my hand.

the sky is blue,

but it won’t be long,

till summer’s through

then it’s gone.

it’s getting cold,

we’re saying goodbye,

summer’s sold,

No longer dry.

SallY Said: ‘this is very concise and deceptively simple.

it’s much harder to write less and honor has done that – and

covered the whole arc of the summer season.’

Hollie-Mae Olwant,

age 10, Skippers hill manor Prep

i adore summer because……

Classes are over and there is no more school,

holidays and bbQs are loads of cool fun,

relaxing and playing under the hot baking sun,

wiNNer

5 to 9

age group

Zac bengtsson

cobham international School

the sun shines bright

in the bright daylight.

if you lie in the sun

it will really be fun,

then you swim in the pool

while you’re cool.

if you’re wet

You’ll probably want to sweat!

super

unstopable

Magnifasent

enchanted

radicale

i love summer because ……

we bring out the tent ready to camp,

Not forgetting the tables chairs and the lamp,

we dust off the stove ready to cook,

and i power my torch to read my new book,

i like summer because……

when the sun is hot we go down to the sea,

and my dad buys an ice cream just for me,

i like when it melts and drops onto my hands,

and slips around my fingers onto the sands,

i don’t like summer because……

i get hot and bothered lying in bed,

i keep turning my pillow to cool my head,

and the nights are so light they keep me awake.

oh please, please let me sleep for goodness sake!

i hate summer because ……

the mosquito army come out to attack,

and they bite my legs, my feet and my back,

as i rub on the lotion to keep the bites cool,

i remember it will soon be over and it’s back to school.

SallY Said: ‘hollie-Mae has used a very interesting and

original structure in her poem, with a classic rhyme scheme,

which really makes it stand out.’

SallY Said: ‘this

poem has real oomph

that i like. he’s a player

with language, rare in

one so young. i think

he could be a really

good rapper.’

Amal, 2b cobham international School

in summer, flowers bloom.

in summer, no one is gloom.

in summer, winds blow.

in summer, i glow.

SallY Said: ‘amal’s poem is a tiny little gem.

it’s very simple, but conveys a lot.’


CranbrookSchoolED06.indd 1 24/05/2019 15:26

REGULAR

OPEN MORNINGS

OUTSTANDING

11+ RESULTS 2019

For dates and to register please contact

admissions@chinthurstschool.co.uk

Part of the Reigate Grammar School Family

Co-educational school for children aged 23-11 years

Chinthurst School, Tadworth Street, Tadworth, Surrey KT20 5QZ

chinthurstschool.co.uk I 01737 812011 I admissions@chinthurstschool.co.uk

@Chintschool

facebook.com/ChinthurstSchool

41 wealdentimes.co.uk

ChinthurstSchoolS48.indd ChinthurstSchoolED06.indd 1 1 03/06/2019 12/09/2018 12:53 12:20


1

5

2

3

read

all about it

page turners for children

from eight to thirteen

6

4

8

9

7

11

12

10

13

1 The Tales of Beadle the Bard by Jk rowling £25 2 Doctor Who: The Secret in Vault 13 by david solomons £6.99 3 Fing by david walliams

£6.49 4 Artimis Fowl by eoin Colfer £6.99 5 Wild Planet: Celebrating Wildlife Photographer of the Year £14.99 6 Tara Binns: Ground Breaking

Fossil Hunter by Lisa rajan £6.60 7 An Unlikely Spy by terry deary £6.99 8 The Little Prince (the Folio society two-volume edition) by

antoine de saint-exupéry £49.95 9 Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti harrison £7.99 10 Spies in St. Petersburg (Taylor

and Rose Secret Agents) by katherine woodfine £6.99 11 Kensuke’s Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo £6.99 12 Science You Can Eat by stefan

gates £12.99 13 Starfell: Willow Moss and the Lost Day by dominique Valente £12.99

43


School of

roCK!

Violins and flutes are all very well, but a great way to engage a

wider swathe of young people with music is to allow them to

play the style they most identify with


An interview with

siMpLy GLEB

Claremont Senior School

what better way

to appeal to teenagers than

give them the freedom to express themselves

through rock instruments? it helps them to experience

and appreciate the art of performance, collaboration,

sharing creative ideas then trying them out to see what

happens. Quite often, these initial musical experiences

inspire students to delve deeper into other genres.

all pupils here have access to the electric/acoustic guitars,

amps, basses, keyboard and acoustic/electric drum kits

and Claremont senior school students have always banded

together to play music with each another and regularly

‘rock’ the performance stage in the space theatre.

at the Compassion talent show in March this

year one notable band, simply gleb, formed by

russian student, gleb buchnev, covered rage

against the Machine’s Killing in the Name with the

help of students Jack Lofting, tom o’brien hughes

and performing arts assistant, harry Mousley.

gleb filled the stage with his infectious rock ‘n’ roll spirit,

unleashing his mane of hair and teenage angst in front of

a mesmerized audience of parents and fellow students.

the performance began with the band playing the intro

before gleb stood up at the back of the audience, belted out

the first line of the song, then proceeded to march through

the theatre telling everyone ‘you do what they told yah’.

also performing that night was the Jam Club. this

popular club incorporates many different musicians,

songs and instruments including brass, drums, guitar,

piano and more. the Jam Club covered amy winehouse’s

Valerie, Expectations by Lauren and paolo Nutini’s Iron

Sky, with a different lead vocalist performing each one.

this club allows students to better understand

collaboration in music and their performance at

the Compassion talent show echoed this.

Jack, drums; Tom, guitar;

Gleb, vocals guitar, bass and drums

how did the band form? we were helping out a mate

(gleb), who wanted to play some songs as it was his

last year at Claremont, then it turned into something

much more, and watching the audience reaction

just added to our enjoyment and performance.

What music do you play? rock/rap music.

do you write your own songs? gleb does, however

they are more on the rap side than rock music.

What music do you like? gleb: rock music, rap

music, russian music mostly. Tom: i enjoy all sorts of

music from 80’s rap to hard rock. Jack: any music.

Who are your rock and pop idols? Tom: i really look

up to and admire Led Zeppelin, the guitarist Jimmy

page is an icon who keeps surprising with his riffs.

Jack: Jimi hendrix and roger taylor from

Queen, because he’s a sick drummer.

gleb: other than my russian idols, i am

inspired by kurt Cobain, bon Jovi and Mr

Mousley our performing arts assistant.

does being in the band give you cred with the

other kids? gleb (agreeing before the question

was even finished): Yes it does and it feels great

being complimented at the end of a performance,

particularly after all the hard work that goes into it.

Claremont senior school, hastings, east sussex

01424 751555 claremontschool.co.uk


INSIDE is where

the magic happens

Everything we do is

designed to keep our

children believing in

themselves, so that they

can make the absolute

most of every opportunity.

dulwichprepcranbrook.org


An interview with

MAniC

Dulwich Prep Cranbrook

Clemency Whiting, Head of Music

pupils can learn

almost any instrument at

dulwich, with a team of twenty visiting music

teachers, many of whom are professional players themselves.

our rock school formed about two years ago and

since then it has grown with popularity. we have

three bands made up of pupils largely in Years 7 and

8, but pupils as young as 9 or 10 are now forming

their own bands, often with the guidance of the

senior pupils, which is wonderful to see. one of our

bands is called Manic, the others are still deciding!

in February we had our first rock school Concert

in aid of the sam west Foundation* and this

summer rock school will perform at our summer

Concert, the Friends of dulwich summer Fair,

and at the woodlands Festival in hawkhurst.

it is only a matter of time before some of them go

on to form proper bands. when we see our pupils

perform, it is hard to believe how young they are.

we have one pupil, twinkle (an excellent rock ‘n’

roll name), who sounds like the next adele.

Charlie andrew, brit award-winning producer

of alt J, is a famous former dulwich pupil, and it

is only a matter of time before we have more.

our music department values all types of music and

this is certainly an avenue for children who prefer rock

and pop. however, we often find that our best rockers are

also top players in our orchestra. For example, we have an

excellent guitarist who is also an incredible bassoonist.

if you have a love and enjoyment of music, it is

natural to explore different genres and get involved.

in this way, our pupils get a truly rounded experience

of what music can offer, shaping their curiosity for all

types of music as they move into their later teens.

dulwich prep Cranbrook, kent 01580 712179

dulwichprepcranbrook.org

Twinkle, vocals; Henry, drums; Elliot, keyboard;

Alex, electric guitar; Zane, electric guitar

elliot: in my very first week at dulwich our

teacher realised i played the keyboard and invited

me to meet the others, it was so great.

we are like a big family, it is such good fun.

so far Manic have performed Born to Be Wild

and The Best of You by the Foo Fighters. we are

now working on a new song that twinkle has

written, inspired by sam smith’s Stay with Me.

we like a wide variety of music, twinkle listens to

60’s music, i like guns & roses and aCdC.

after our concert, loads of people came up

to us and said we were amazing. it made us

feel really proud and more determined.

*the Sam West Foundation has been set up by the family

of Sam West, a cranbrook student who took his own life,

after suffering depression. the charity’s mission is to help

people find the appropriate resources to improve their

mental health and wellbeing. samwestfoundation.org


Hurst College

Will Carroll, Head of Music Technology

pupils can learn guitar, vocals,

drums, keyboards, you name it, taught by

college music teachers and visiting teachers.

it attracts children who might be put off by the

idea of classical music to learn an instrument.

everyone likes the idea of being a rock star.

we have a band in each year group which generally

stay together throughout their time at school. the

hurst rockers is our main uVi (upper sixth) band.

there are a minimum of three concerts each

year at the college with others outside school also.

Many of our bands stay together after school and

perform throughout university and onwards.

pupils are encouraged to try every style of music

so they are welcome to play in rock bands as well

as the jazz band or the school orchestra.

hurst College, hassocks,

west sussex 01273 833636 hppc.co.uk

An interview with

ThirTyfourspoons

Thomas Bettle, Year 13

i am on guitar and vocals. playing in bands at school

is really fun – making your own songs and playing in

concerts at various locations inside and outside school.

we are all friends who play instruments in the

same year group. we got together and started

writing and performing music. we play pop/

rock/progressive and we write our own songs.

i like a wide variety of music, including

Jimi hendrix, david bowie, the who,

the specials and stevie wonder. My friends

like coming to see me perform.

An interview with

ThE rEMoVE

Fin di Castiglione, Year 10

i really love playing music with other people

in my band, and even though i didn’t enjoy

it at first, i now really like performing.

we’re just a group of friends who all play music and

love to do it, so naturally we formed a band, and now

we practise every week and we’re getting pretty good!

we play a bit of everything – some rock, some

pop, a mix really. we don’t write our own songs

yet, but we’ll probably start soon. i’m not a huge

fan of pop – i like more rock/indie rock type

music e.g. guns n roses, green day, oasis etc.

My friends think it’s cool that i’m good at guitar and

singing, and when i have my guitar in college, they get

me to play songs at break time.

surrey-homes.co.uk


Invaluable tips from experienced

teachers for each stage of

education

to big school

The New Beacon

Mike Piercy, Headmaster

How involved should the child be in the

choice of upper school? Involved yes, but

not the ultimate decision-maker. Often,

a child will be influenced by where

his/her friends are going, which again

should not be the determining factor.

The change to senior school brings

children together from different social

and educational backgrounds – social

development going hand in hand

with academic development.

If you are thinking of 13+ transfer, it is

good to take your child on a tour of two

or three short-listed, achievable schools to

give a sense of ambition, probably around

Year 5 or 6 (10 or 11 years of age).

How can parents best support their

child as they progress from prep

school to senior school? In truth,

this is as much the school’s job as

the parents’ responsibility. A 13+

school should engender confidence,

resilience and independence; the

ability to ask for help when needed.

When the child rises to Year 8 the

best help at home will be supporting

and encouraging him/her to learn to take

responsibility for belongings, equipment

(the right things to school on the right

day), managing workload and homework.

These are independent work habits which

will serve well in Year 9 at ‘big school’.

What signs should parents look out for

that indicate their child is not happy at

their new school? Look out for changes

in behaviour while keeping firmly in mind

the adolescent hormones pinging around

indiscriminately and inexplicably. Grunts

and silences are common!

At pick-up or in the evening, review

the day but focus on and encourage

the positives while listening out for the

negatives. Is a new social life emerging:

asking friends round, going to their

houses, meeting in town? Above all,

be patient. Some children, naturally

gregarious, will make friends quickly. For

many, however, it will take time.

Who should parents speak to if

they are concerned their child isn’t

flourishing academically? All schools

have different systems but it should

be made very clear to you who is the

direct contact, the teacher looking

after your child’s social and academic

welfare. Send an email initially, perhaps,

asking for feedback on the teacher’s/

tutor’s impressions and reporting what

you are seeing at home – or what

is worrying you. Good schools will

respond quickly – but don’t expect

an immediate, daytime response as

the teacher is most likely teaching.

Thereafter, regular review and

contact if your worries are not assuaged,

with the school suggesting and

implementing strategies for support.

How much notice should parents

take of their child’s friendship group

at this stage? Friends are important

but do remember they will be chosen

by the child and not by the parents! It

is advisable however to take careful

notice of (and good to get to know)

your child’s friends. Encourage them to

“Good schools will provide regular feedback on their

pupils’ performance, welfare and personal development”

visit your home, after school, weekends,

sleepovers, holidays and you will soon get

a measure of an emerging social group.

Getting to know their parents is always

helpful and can also develop your own

social group. Teenagers are exposed to

temptations at ever younger ages; peer

pressure can be difficult to resist and few

have the emotional maturity to gauge risk

with accuracy – trusting communications

with fellow parents can be invaluable.

How can parents support their child

with academic work at this stage? Or

should they leave the school to it? Good

schools will provide regular feedback

on their pupils’ performance, welfare

and personal development. Many will

provide easy access to assessment scores

through online portals which give a good

indication of progress and achievement.

Careful (preferably discreet)

monitoring at home will indicate

whether due time and attention is

being given to homework. ‘Discreet’,

because communication is as

much about listening as it is about

talking. Adolescents need cautious

care: too much pressure and they will

cease to communicate entirely!

Children’s progress, both

academic and social, is not a straight

line graph: there will be periods of

acceleration and deceleration, lumps,

bumps and plateaux. Every child

is different and there are generally

differences between the genders.

Our policy at The New Beacon is

to say that we will contact the parent

if we are concerned and equally, we

invite parents to contact us if they have

concerns at home. In the latter case,

our response is often simply to provide

reassurance. The key is a strong, mutually

supportive relationship with the school.

The New Beacon School, Sevenoaks,

Kent 01732 452131 newbeacon.org.uk

surrey-homes.co.uk

50


WHITGIFT

OPEN MORNING

21 SEPTEMBER 2019

Sir William Perkins School

Amanda Stebbings, Head of Year 7

Choosing a senior ‘big’ school in the independent

education system is much like buying a house. It is

a huge investment and, whilst the spec might look

perfect for your child, if it doesn’t have the right

feel, like a house, you are unlikely to buy it. After

all, assuming your child will make the most of the

vast array of co-curricular activities on offer, this will

become their second home for the best part of seven

years of their life.

So, how involved should your child be in the

decision? Very, is the answer. Your child is the one

who is going to be taking up residence, so needs to feel

comfortable and at home.

At the very least, looking around and signing up for

any pre-joining activities which may be on offer, i.e.

Year 4 workshops or Year 5 taster days is a good idea.

Once the choice has been made, do not be a stranger,

keep visiting and attending any appropriate events

which allow your child to feel part of the community

before their arrival.

When the big day comes and they are standing

for the obligatory photo in their new uniform, try to

put your own nerves to one side. Experience teaches

us that the moment they enter the gates is far more

traumatic for parents than the children. Suddenly they

are independent, they will probably be using different

transport and their journey may well be longer.

Friendships will morph endlessly in the first three

years of secondary school and guidance should always

trump interference. Encourage them to have a wide

friendship group; getting involved in a variety of

different clubs is a good way to make lots of new

friends with similar interests.

Homework will probably increase from what your

child is used to and it is advisable to take an interest

in what they are doing. It will probably be vastly more

varied than your own experience of homework!

If in any doubt, contact the Form Tutor who will

have an overview of how your child is getting on both

socially and academically.

Sir William Perkins School, Chertsey, Surrey

01932 574900 swps.org.uk

Whitgift is one of Britain’s finest independent day

and boarding schools for boys aged 10 to 18.

Set in 45 acres of parkland, we offer pathways for

IB and A Levels plus a Section Française.

Generous bursaries and scholarships are available.

Join us at our Open Morning on 21 September to find

out more about our inspiring school community.

admissions@whitgift.co.uk

+44 (0)20 8633 9935

www.whitgift.co.uk/opendays

Whitgift School

Haling Park | South Croydon | CR2 6YT

51 wealdentimes.co.uk

WhitgiftSchoolED06.indd 1 05/06/2019 10:12


Meet the matrons

(or house parents as they are now called)

Boarding can be a wonderful experience, producing independent young people,

ready to go out into the world – but the prospect can be daunting, so who better

to ask for advice about it than matron? (sorry, house parent)

Battle Abbey

Sara Walkley, Matron

Ihave been a matron at Battle Abbey

since 1995. My mother was a matron

here and she loved the environment and

her work, so when a position became

available I applied.

A matron needs a good mix of

kindness, empathy, patience and

understanding – and being able

to provide a compassionate ear is

as important as any one quality. A

reasonable level of diplomacy and tact

is also very useful. You also need to

be able to maintain discipline in the

boarding house so it’s essential to be

able to switch on a more authoritarian

side when necessary.

I’m on the evening rota so after a

handover with day staff I go to supper

and supervise boarders’ prep time. I’ll

spend some dedicated time chatting to

pupils on my mentor list or who may

need help. I’ll start supervising younger

pupil’s bedtimes, then turn lights out in

dormitories at the relevant times.

To get a child emotionally ready for

boarding we advise parents to talk about

it in a positive way in the run up to

their child’s departure. Explain to the

child that there may be rough days, but

there will always be people on hand to

help. It’s important to encourage a child

to be open about their feelings about

going away from home.

The main issue will always be

homesickness and we work hard over

the boarding induction process and

the first few weeks to try to limit any

isolation boarding pupils might be

feeling and make sure the separate

Matron Sara Walkley

with boarder Prokop Spanel

nationalities socialize together.

Matrons need to spend time with new

boarders, offer reassurance, encourage

them to make friends and team them

with a boarding buddy if necessary.

We also assist with team building and

boarding social activities.

In the many years I’ve been at Battle

Abbey there’s only been a couple of

children who haven’t settled. Most

former students we talk to have great

memories of their boarding life at Battle

Abbey School. Young people who board

at school learn how to live in a large

community with different individuals

and cultures. It’s the global village

in microcosm! They learn how to be

independent and amass an array of life

skills that stand them in great stead for

university and adult life in general.

surrey-homes.co.uk

52


Prokop Spanel

A termly boarder, Year 10

I was eleven years old when

I came to Battle Abbey. I’m

from the Czech Republic and

it was a tough adjustment at

first, coming from a different

background and entering a

new culture.

I thought adjusting to

another culture and language

would be a challenge,

especially at such a young

age, but everyone was

welcoming and helpful

through my journey of

settling in.

The time it takes to

settle in is definitely

something a child should

be aware of before coming

to a boarding school.

There are several things

that I like and enjoy about

boarding but one that stands

out for me is the way it

improves my organisation by

structuring the day better.

I feel this is a crucial part

of growing up for anyone

who wants to be successful

at school. At home it’s very

difficult for me to achieve

the same level of organisation

and structure.

I also like the fact that I

meet people from different

backgrounds and I learn

things I would never learn,

speak to people I wouldn’t

otherwise speak to and get

out of my comfort zone.

There are certain people that

I’m glad I met and if it wasn’t

for boarding, I don’t think I

would’ve done.

Everything has its

advantages and disadvantages,

but I feel boarding has made

me a better person by making

me deal with these things, as

I think it is an important part

of becoming independent

and growing up.

Battle Abbey School, Battle,

East Sussex 01424 772385

battleabbeyschool.com

Frewen College

Boarding team: Sarah Medcraft (Head of Boarding)

Hannah Lewis and Ben Swinson

Being a houseparent is a way of

life rather than just a job. It’s

being a ‘mum away from Mum’

and creating a caring community

which nurtures, encourages

and provides boundaries for

students of different ages, from

different cultures and with different

needs and expectations.

Each day there is a basic routine

which involves making sure the

boarders get to school on time,

prepared for the day ahead. Later

we have an evening meal, followed

by homework club and then we

run a choice of activities such as

cricket, baking, rounders, crafts,

volleyball, music and gym. Outside of

that, anything can happen! House

parents need lots of patience, a sense

of humour, warmth and kindness. It’s

important to be a good role model and

to encourage children to find the best

in themselves.

Boarding is a big change and helping

your child in advance to develop some

independent life skills, such as being

able to change their sheets and load a

dishwasher can help prepare them for

boarding.

If they have never slept away from

home arrange sleepovers with friends

or family. Talk about any worries and

reassure them that they will have support.

If possible, meet with boarding staff

before they come so a child gains a sense

of collaboration around their wellbeing.

First time boarding can be daunting

and feeling lost and unsure what to do

can add to being unsettled. Allocating

a house buddy helps as they’ve

almost certainly experienced the same

feelings. Keeping them busy and having

fun helps, as well as clear routines.

Our boarding team will talk with the

student and their family to enquire how

things are going. Most students settle in,

although some take longer than others.

It’s important to let them give it a fair

go and avoid rushing into decisions.

Boarders develop a real sense of

independence and team spirit. They get

a well-rounded holistic education and

experience personal growth. They make

friends for life and great memories.

We love what we do and hearing from

students years later who remember things

you did to support them makes even

the most challenging days worth while.

A Frewen full-time boarder

I was 14 years old when I started boarding. It took a month or two to settle in and

sometimes I did get homesick. It was good that I had an instant connection with

my roommate and the supportive boarding staff really helped too. There is a really

nice atmosphere and it’s is a relatively small boarding house so that helped.

It feels homely – a real home away from home. There is routine with an element

of freedom to make some choices, and my own space and time. There is a good

variety of weekend activities. I like the respect between staff and peers and the

sense of community.

Frewen College, Northiam, East Sussex 01797 252494 frewencollege.co.uk

Head of Boarding

Sarah Medcraft,

with boarders


53 wealdentimes.co.uk


Dulwich Prep Cranbrook

Kate Montgomery, Senior Housemistress

Amatron is a ‘Super Mum’, being a boarder each day what they are doing

mum to the boarders in her charge, and where to go. Each boarding house

organising and preparing all the things a has its own noise and smell, something

mum does, but on a much larger scale. to adjust to... but it all comes with time.

You wake the boarders at 7am with a All children will get there in the end,

smile (and occasionally a song!) and carry some just take longer to settle than

on until after all the boarders are in bed. others. My best example is a boy who

I came to the career after studying cried every morning while his parents

Child Care & Management, then I were living aboard, but when he returned

joined a prep school from there. after Christmas he just stopped crying.

A matron needs to have stamina, By then I had another new boy and

so you can just keep going and work he started crying every morning... so

outside the normal nine to five. You need I asked the first boy to look after him

patience, and lots of it, laughter and an and, after a week of chatting as to how

ear to listen to concerns. When boarders things would improve, I had two very

think they are getting up to mischief, you happy boarders who both went on to

might as well be wearing a T shirt saying Tonbridge as full boarders. I still see

“been there, seen that before” on it… them and we joke about it now.

Parents of new boarders should

What kids get from boarding is

prepare their kids by always talking amazing experience in managing

about boarding in a positive way, never oneself. You can always spot the boarder

saying “well if you don’t like it, you can on a residential trip, they are neat,

come home”. Help them learn practical organised, know to get up, get dressed,

tasks, such as how to change a bed, shower, make their bed etc. There is

clean their shoes, pack an overnight an air about a child who can cope and

bag and make lists of things to do. manage day-to-day life without a parent

Then make packing for boarding standing by. Parents have such busy

fun. Choose a day to shop together for lives now, so it is helpful if a child can

boarding essentials, such bedding, towels, deal with simple day-to-day concerns.

toiletries, underwear, pyjamas, casual Boarders are encouraged to help

clothes and stationery and get the child during mealtimes in the dining

to help with name taping all items. room, wash up the items they

For many kids who are starting, a use in the boarding house and

problem is not knowing where to be at to keep their dorms tidy.

the right time. Schools can be a large Above all they learn to think about

place and it’s so easy to get lost when it others and be part of a wider boarding

appears that everyone else knows where family. This helps hugely with their

to go and what to do. Matrons can be confidence and the way they interact with

in the background gently reminding a other people for the rest of their lives.

This page: Matrons

preparing the dorms

and a knitting lesson

Freddie,

A termly boarder in Year 7

I started in Year 4, when I was 8.

I gradually built up my boarding

experience from one night per

week, to two nights and so on, over

a course of a year, so it only took

me a short while to settle and did

not miss my parents too much.

My parents emailed me often so

I felt in touch with my family. I

also loved receiving letters – when

you are boarding it’s very exciting

to receive post, and sometimes

the letters contained treats!

The matrons were brilliant when

I started and really helped me feel at

home. I feel I can ask the matrons

anything. They are always jolly.

I love the nice cosy dorms,

the huge variety of food and

all the activities we do each

night. I loved learning to knit.

I also enjoy looking after and

helping the younger boarders

who are just starting out.

There is a wonderful boarding

community in the school. There

are lots of games in the house

to play with friends on winter

evenings, a pool table, table

football table and table tennis.

I am going to be a full boarder

at my senior school and feel

my boarding at Dulwich will

stand me in good stead.

Dulwich Prep Cranbrook,

Kent 01580 712179

dulwichprepcranbrook.org


surrey-homes.co.uk

54


SATURDAY 21 September


Gordon’s School

Daniel and Gemma Aukett,

House Parents

As house parents, primarily, we

perform two roles – pastoral

and academic support. In a pastoral

sense, we look after every aspect of a

student’s wellbeing when they are in

our care. This can be as wide ranging

as helping them find their socks in

laundry, to assisting them with settling

into life as a boarder, or helping them

deal with peer relationship issues.

From an academic perspective our

role is to support them when they are

not in lessons, liaising with teachers to

understand where students might need

extra support and whether through extra

revision sessions, or in-house support

to improve their time management.

To help children to settle into

boarding quickly, parents should visit the

boarding environment before arriving.

The more familiar they become with

their surroundings the better they will be

able to adapt, so attend any orientation

days that the school may offer.

Understandably, students often

suffer with homesickness in the first

few weeks of boarding. One thing that

worked really well in the boarding

house at the beginning of the year was

reading to the Year 7 dormitory at bed

time. They really enjoyed hearing the

amazing stories of Roald Dahl and it

helped take their minds off any concerns

and settle in to their new lives.

David and Angela Mathews,

House Parents

We look after 90 girls in a

residential and day boarding

house. We are also teachers and

parents of our own two young

children, plus a tortoise and cats.

Running a school boarding house

is very much a family affair as our

children love being with the girls.

Girls start boarding either weekly

or termly from the age of 11 and are

immersed in fun events to occupy them

and keep homesickness to a minimum.

They are all assigned a ‘buddy’

who acts as a mentor to help and

support them while they get used

to being away from home.

While the hours are long, the

thrill of seeing the girls succeed both

academically and in inter-house

activities is very rewarding. Watching

the girls develop and grow to be lovely

young ladies is a real highlight.

Gordon’s School, Woking, Surrey

01276 858084

gordons.school

Noah Sempala-Ntege, 17

A full-time boarder

I’m about to start my sixth

year boarding at Gordon’s. I

arrived aged 11, the first of four

siblings to attend the school.

My dad is in the Army so had

the potential to move around

so I boarded from Year 7.

It was quite hard at first,

getting used to being away from

home but my house parents did

lots of bonding things which

made it easier. They put on lots of

weekend activities. On Saturday

evenings we have treats – a

movie night with cheesy bread!

My house parents were always

there when I needed them.

When in Year 9, my Dad went

to Iraq, it was really nice having

my house parents. I could

openly speak to them about it

and they would reassure me.

We boarders have such a close

bond. When you are boarding

you have to learn how everyone

reacts differently to situations

and to respect people and

socialise. I would send my own

children to boarding school

because it helps you develop as

a person. At Gordon’s they urge

you to be the best you can and

give you all the opportunities

to be the best you can.

surrey-homes.co.uk

56


GORDON’S SCHOOL

BOARDING IN SURREY

Ranked in the top 1% of all schools in England and Wales

over the past 3 years at A Level.

Years 7, 9 and 12 boarding places available from £5,615 per term.

2019 Open Days

Please see website www.gordons.school to book a place.

GordonsSchoolED06.indd 1 24/05/2019 14:39

We provide a wide

range of services

throughout Kent &

East Sussex including:

• Diagnostic & Surgical Services

• Routine Care & Dentistry Work

• Lameness Investigations &

Gastroscopy

• Vettings & Reproductive Medicine

• 24hr/365 Days Emergency Service

57 wealdentimes.co.uk

CinquePortsVetsWT208.indd 1 22/05/2019 18:07


“Excellent results achieved with a big dollop of

humour, humanity and freedom of thought”

The Good Schools Guide

OPEN EVENING

THURSDAY 27 JUNE

2018 GCSE RESULTS: 34% grades at Grade 9 (4.3% national average)

Performance and Recreational Rowing Programmes

Please contact reg@swps.org.uk to reserve a place at our information events, for

further details or a prospectus.

GUILDFORD ROAD I CHERTSEY I SURREY KT16 9BN

01932 574900 I www.swps.org.uk


1

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£16.99 15 A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by holly Jackson £7.99

59 wealdentimes.co.uk


St Edmund’s is a day and boarding school where every pupil

is connected by a love of learning, the pursuit of possibility

and the challenge of being the very best they can be.

Open Day Saturday 28 September 2019, 9.30am

Wealden Ad (half page) FVF Rye Show.pdf 1 22/05/2019 10:57:22

www.stedmunds.org.uk

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StEdmundsSchoolCanterburyED06.indd 1 11/06/2019 17:25

Saturday 17th August, 9.30am - 4pm

Elm Tree Farm, Icklesham,

TN36 4BH (on the A259)

Horse Show, Dog Show, Donkey Show,

Country Fair with stalls and attractions

and Classic Car Show.

A great day out for all the family!

Adults: £5

Children: FREE

Tigers Army Parachute

display from the

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1st Cinque Ports

Rifle Volunteers

Corps of Drums

For more details visit www.stmichaelshospice.com

or Facebook ‘St Michael's Hospice (Hastings and Rother)’

event in aid of

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Live music &

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Sponsored by

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www.stmichaelshospice.com

Registered charity number 288462

surrey-homes.co.uk

60

StMichaelsHospiceWT208.indd 1 22/05/2019 14:22


GCSEs

Invaluable tips from experienced

teachers for each stage of

education

Claremont Senior School

Claire Martin and Victoria Liggett, Assistant Heads (Teaching and Learning)

This is the most stressful time of

the whole school journey – how can

parents best support their children?

Planning can really help here. During

holiday times, in the run-up and half

term in the middle of exams, make sure

that your child isn’t having to choose

between fun activities and working.

If you can plan the family day

and their social engagements around

providing time for them to revise, it

will make it much easier. Perhaps come

to an agreement that they work in the

mornings, with a prompt start, but the

afternoons are for relaxing.

The run-up to exams is often the worst

time. Discuss that although exams are

important, they are also just a stepping

stone and will soon be over. They need

to do as well as they can, but not at

the expense of their mental or physical

health. Reassure them that doing their

best is what is important to you.

What is the best way for parents to

support kids with revision? Help them

plan a ‘Goldilocks’ revision timetable

“Reassure them

that doing their

best is what is

important to you”

that is realistic in terms of hours – not

too much, not too little, just right. There

isn’t such a thing as a one-size-fits-all

revision timetable and it doesn’t matter

what your child’s friends are doing, it

needs to be right for them.

Make sure they include all their

subjects – not just the ones they like

or the ones they find the hardest. One

good suggestion can be to use their

lesson timetable as a guide to ensure that

subjects are evenly spread. Don’t leave it

too long before revisiting subjects. Try

and rotate them regularly.

Show an interest in what they are

doing, but not so much that they feel

stifled. Maintain the usual routine as

much as possible. What signs should

parents look out for that their child is

dangerously stressed?

Watch out for sleeplessness and lack

of eating, or any major and unexpected

changes in behaviour. A little bit of

stress is to be expected and can be a

good thing as it can often enhance

performance, but it shouldn’t change

who they are and how they behave.

If they cut themselves off from their

friends or you, start refusing to go to

school or exhibit behaviour that’s out

of character, that may be a sign that the

stress has gone beyond ‘useful’ levels.

And what should they do to combat

serious stress? Speak to them if you

can about what their specific worries

are and talk to the school. Make sure

you tell people that you are worried

about your child and find out whether

they are seeing the same behaviour

as you are. The school will be able to

offer advice about what to do next

and if you are seriously concerned

you can always speak to your GP.

How can parents support their child

during the actual exam period?

Late night revision sessions are not

going to help. Try to encourage a

reasonable bedtime. Good nutritious

meals and some time spent outside

away from the revision when possible

is good. Try and encourage them to

go outside to offset the hours they

will spend sitting and studying –

that will help with mood swings.

If they want to talk about how the

exam went, that’s great, but many

won’t want to talk about it at all. Try

to be OK with that! Most importantly,

once the exams have started, everyone

will feel like the end is in sight.

How can parents look after their own

wellbeing at this time – so that they

can best support their child? It can be

a very stressful time for parents. I often

hear from them how powerless, anxious

and sometimes frustrated they can feel at

this time. Try and roll with the punches

and not allow inevitable self-centred

and stressed behaviour get to you too

much – it is only for five weeks. Get

early nights yourself, relax when you can

and, when in doubt, have a glass of wine!

Claremont Senior School, Bodiam,

East Sussex 01580 830396

claremontschool.co.uk

61 wealdentimes.co.uk


Open Morning

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Is your child ready to become

a Cyber Attack Agent or an

Algorithm Bias Auditor?

Jeremy Lewis, head of school at aCs egham international school,

looks at ways you can ensure your child is prepared to meet the

challenges of the 21st century workplace

what will today’s children be when they enter

the workplace? with the rapid pace of change

in society and the furious advance of new

technologies, it’s increasingly hard to predict both what and

where new jobs will be.

the world economic Forum estimated that six in ten

children today will have careers that, as yet, simply don’t exist.

and very recently, it firm, Cognizant, created a list citing 21

possible ‘jobs of the future’. these included some thoughtprovoking

job titles including Cyber attack agent, algorithm

bias auditor and head of Machine personality design.

it’s interesting how we all take for granted that the jobs

of the future will be created primarily in it and technical

industries, but what really struck me about this list, was just

how many of these so called ‘new jobs’ also alluded to a high

degree of creativity.

i was greatly encouraged by this as it suggests that it’s

by following a broad and well-rounded curriculum that

our children will be best prepared for these new and

challenging roles.

STEAM vs STEM

at aCs, we believe in the steaM approach. this is steM

(science, technology, engineering and maths), with the

addition of the arts.

while an education focused on steM will help prepare

students for scientific fields, studying the arts is clearly

increasingly important and relevant in industries that rely

on innovators and creative minds to generate new ways of

thinking about the world.

it’s the people who can truly

synthesise ideas and create new

and exciting options who will be

headhunted as the next Cyber attack agent or Virtual identity

defender, so by encouraging students in drama, music or the

visual arts as much as we do in traditional steM subjects, we

can truly help them develop the imagination needed for the

pioneering industries of the 21st century.

Building an entrepreneurial mindset

we also believe, in tandem to this, that developing an

entrepreneurial mindset can provide a strong foundation for

success in these pioneering industries and indeed create new ones.

our own report inspiring entrepreneurship in education

underpins this view. the report presents research

commissioned by the National Centre for entrepreneurship in

education (NCee) and aCs international schools amongst

heads of enterprise (hoes) in 62 universities across the uk and

cites that 90 per cent of hoes believe more should be done at

school level to develop entrepreneurship competence in students.

what’s more, considering perceived barriers to

entrepreneurship in schools, two thirds of university hoes

believe narrowing of subject choices has a negative impact on

entrepreneurship interest amongst students.

Factors that have a positive impact on students’ interest in

enterprise and entrepreneurship by the time they arrive at

university include the general ethos of the school; having teachers

trained in entrepreneurship; the students’ peer groups; and the

school teaching specific character-building skills.

and nearly two thirds of hoes also believe that exposure

to different nationalities and cultures while at school is highly

beneficial to students’ entrepreneurial outlook.

other positive factors include social media, crowdfunding sites,

tV programmes, such as dragon’s den, and e-commerce.

bottom of the list of factors were a lack of experience of

failure and brexit.

A qualification for the 21st century

in my view, our emerging generation of schoolchildren is,

if anything more powerfully determined than the so-called

‘millennials’ to do things differently.

they see entrepreneurship as a way to independence and

control in their careers and to making the world a better


63 wealdentimes.co.uk


your child and will advise on the right study programme for

them. But what else can parents do?

place. As such it’s vital that schools develop activities which

create a springboard for students to explore and advance their

entrepreneurial skills and ambition at university and beyond.

So, what can we all do to encourage and support students as

they prepare for this brave new world? At ACS we believe that

the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP)

provides a great foundation. Offered at ACS Egham, the IBDP

allows students to select a wide range of topics to study across

the sciences, arts and languages. This means they graduate with

a mix of skills rather than the comparatively narrow subject

areas they would have to choose at A Level.

With A Levels, students often pick just three subjects whilst

IB includes six, three at higher level and three at standard,

which cover languages, social studies, science and maths.

And while it’s often cited that A Level students emerge with

in-depth knowledge of their chosen subjects, I believe that

this can sometimes push them too early down a set path that

becomes difficult to deviate from later, especially when it comes

to choosing university options.

It may be harder for an A Level student who only studied

humanities to then change their mind and secure a place on

a science degree, for example, and vice versa. The IB, with its

broader span of subjects, keeps higher education options

much more fluid, a great advantage.

As well as six IB subjects, students also undertake extra

components which count towards their final grades, including

a mandatory 4,000-word extended essay: while the IB’s ‘Theory

of Knowledge’ component is designed to actually teach students

how to apply knowledge to real-life situations.

A fundamental part of the IB is ‘Creativity, Action, Service’

or CAS which shows students the importance of extracurricular

activities as an integral part of life. As part of CAS

projects, ACS students have built school facilities in Nepal,

fundraised for Great Ormond Street Hospital and supported

local charities.

Over the last decade, ACS research amongst university

admissions officers has consistently cited the IB as the best

preparation for university, outscoring A Levels on attributes

such as encouraging independent inquiry, developing workplace

skills, nurturing an open mind and creativity.

However, it’s important that students choose the right

qualification and study programme for them as individuals, so

it is always worthwhile discussing with teachers who also know

Building resilience

Coming back to character-building skills, it is evident that

we must also teach students resilience and show them how to

take responsibility.

Just last week a new report suggested that many recent

graduates lack the required mindset and determination to cut

it in the workplace but, of course, the reasons underpinning

this view are perfectly understandable. We’re all fed a constant

media diet of horror stories about what could happen to our

children if we leave them alone for any length of time.

And while social media platforms and smartphones make

it simple to stay in touch, a downside is that our offspring

have been taught from an early age to rely and depend on

pervasive parental presence which, while well meant, may

have reduced the ability of young people to make and learn

from their own mistakes.

An exciting new world awaits our children, it is our job to

teach them to make the most of it.

WAYS TO ENCOURAGE INDEPENDENT KIDS

• Set them regular tasks at home to learn

responsibility. It may be as simple as keeping

their room in order, but do be prepared to impose

rigid penalties for jobs not done – a reduction

of pocket money, less treats, less online time for

example. Make them realise that failure to deliver

on agreed tasks has implications.

• Let them organise their own school equipment

such as a sport’s kit or project work, even if it is

quicker and easier for you to do it.

• Give them physical freedom to take informed

risks. Playing sport and being part of a team is a

great way to enable this. On the playing field they

have no choice but to make their own decisions.

• Teach them not to expect to have everything at

once. Help them learn patience by creating more

distant end goals and encourage them to save

pocket money to buy that item they crave or earn

the money to pay for it themselves.

ACS Egham International School is part of the ACS

International Schools group, serving both local and global

families since 1995. The school is non-sectarian and

co-educational, enrolling over 550 students aged 3 to 18

years. ACS Egham was the first IB World School in the UK

to offer all four International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes:

the IB Primary Years, Middle Years, Diploma and Careersrelated

Programmes.

ACS Egham International School, Egham, Surrey

01784 430800 Twitter: @ACSEgham acs-schools.com

surrey-homes.co.uk

64


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SATURDAY 13 TH JULY

SATURDAY 13 TH JULY

Celebrate summer with friends and family at the Leeds Castle

Celebrate Classical Summer summer Concert with friends on Saturday and family 13th at July the 2019. Leeds Castle

Classical Summer Concert on Saturday 13th July 2019.

This year will be a unique celebration of Leeds Castle’s

This remarkable year will 900-year be a unique milestone, celebration with the of Leeds world Castle’s premiere of

remarkable “A Tribute to 900-year Leeds Castle” milestone, performed with the by world the Royal premiere Marines of

Band “A Tribute accompanied to Leeds by Castle” the Royal performed Philharmonic by the Royal Orchestra. Marines

Band accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Enjoy a wonderfully varied programme ranging from the

Enjoy traditional a wonderfully classics to varied world programme class soloists, ranging all rounded from the off with

traditional a spectacular classics firework to world and cannon class soloists, finale. all rounded off with

a spectacular firework and cannon finale.

Event Sponsor:

Media Partner:

Event Sponsor:

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To book tickets please:

To book tickets please:

visit leedscastleconcert.co.uk or call 0845 652 6262

visit leedscastleconcert.co.uk or call 0845 652 6262

/Classicalconcertleedscastle @classicalconcrt

/Classicalconcertleedscastle @classicalconcrt

BE WISE

WHEN YOU ADVERTISE

Everyone wants to get what they paid for. Wealden Times is independently

verified by ABC, because we want our advertisers to know they’re getting the

exposure they’ve been promised.

ABC. See it. Believe it. Trust it.

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LeedsCastleWT207.indd 1 17/04/2019 ABC.indd 16:34 1 12/12/2018 17:15

Boys 13 - 18 • Boarding and Day

OPEN MORNING

Saturday 5th October 2019

Come and

see our new

Barton Science

Centre

Scholarships & Bursaries available at 11+, 13+ and 16+

Admissions: 01732 304297 • admissions@tonbridge-school.org

www.tonbridge-school.co.uk

@TonbridgeUK

/TonbridgeUK

surrey-homes.co.uk

66

TonbridgeSchoolED06.indd 1 05/06/2019 11:53


Just as technology is now involved with every aspect

of life, the school subjects that used to be considered

the preserve of boffins and nerds are becoming much

more integrated with other parts of the curriculum. And a

proper grounding in theoretical and practical sciences is now

essential for careers in an ever-increasing range of areas.

Schools are rising to the challenge, investing in innovative science

blocks and taking new approaches to teaching these subjects, making

them more approachable to the broadest range of pupils.

Nick Ellwood of Tonbridge School explains the thinking behind

the school’s state-of-the-art new science centre.

The life

scientific

In every aspect of life, science is

more important than ever – and

schools are rising to the challenge

Science at Tonbridge took a great leap forward this year

with the opening of the Barton Science Centre, a truly

ambitious development which provides a world-class

environment for innovative teaching and learning.

Named after Nobel Prize-winning chemist Sir Derek Barton,

a former Tonbridge pupil, the spectacular three-storey building

places science and technology at the heart of school life, blending

new classrooms and spacious laboratories with many architectural

features from the school’s original Victorian science building. Features

include an interactive periodic table, a TV wall, a beehive, thoughtprovoking

sculptures, a roof garden, a greenhouse and three libraries.

The school’s Head of Science, Bill Burnett, describes the

centre as: ‘striking, innovative and simply fun to be a part of.

‘Everything reflects our approach that science should be a

creative and exploratory endeavour, not dry fact learning. Practical

work is used to stimulate questions pupils want the answers

to, not to confirm what they already knew beforehand.

‘Classrooms have a flexible layout, with a range of imaginative

designs. There are specialist labs for optics in Physics, microscopy

in Biology and fume extraction in Chemistry. Other rooms

provide opportunities for independent project work.

‘The centre’s location, in the middle of the school, is significant

too. Staff and students are encouraged to wander through and

take notice of the presentations, experiments and other activities

that happen in its shared areas. A sixth-form international science

“Science should be a creative and exploratory

endeavour, not dry fact learning…”

conference, an art exhibition and a ‘Mission Discovery’ educational

course run by NASA astronauts all took place in recent times.

‘The Barton Science Centre will also have a wider public benefit and

the school hopes it will become a regional hub for the community. It

will enable the school to enhance its outreach programmes, such as

the popular Science for Schools project that benefits hundreds of local

primary school pupils each year, and to host more public lectures.’

‘When you walk around,’ adds Phil Deakin, Head of Physics,

‘you are more likely to see teachers and students building a

Heath Robinson machine side-by-side, than you are to see

a teacher lecturing at the front of a class laid out in rows.

It is an extremely exciting time for science at Tonbridge.’

Tonbridge School, Tonbridge, Kent

01732 365555 www.tonbridge-school.co.uk

All pictures: The new Barton Science Centre at Tonbridge School

67 wealdentimes.co.uk


Maisie Kirby year 10

Hermione

White year 10

Deterioration Sophie

Cutting year 12

t h i s

ART

of

minei

The art that young people can create even from ages

as young as 6 is truly a wonder to be celebrated

Kitty Atherton year 12

Nature in Art April Yang year 13

Drawing in

fine liner William

Xunning year 10

Portrait in Pencil

Kitty Atherton year 12

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battleabbeyschool.com

battleabbeyschool.com

68


Tiger Jack

Walker age 15

Landscape of

a discarded tin

mine Connor

Field age 16

svs.org.uk

Joshua Hughes age 11

bricklehurst.co.uk

Grace Williams-Preece age 10

Orla

O’Sullivan

age 6

Coke Isabel Gowing age 9

69 wealdentimes.co.uk


Lucy owen year 11

tim Liu year10

Nature in Art april Yang, year 13 battle abbey

dulwichprepcranbrook.org

rosa Liakos year 5

edward Newman year 8

Mother’s Day project year 3

Jed westcott year 8


claremontschool.co.uk

Yiman Yang year 11

tom owen age 11

dylan kist age 12

harry kerman age 11

beechwood.org.uk

71 wealdentimes.co.uk


Yas year 13

tasisengland.org

Lucy year 13

ashanti year 13

manorhouseschool.org

Reflection Human Figure isabel Morgan year 11

Looking bella Jakob year 11

Reflection Fish Pond eve white year 11

Clay Clay tiles tiles year year 8 8

Reflection Margate Cecily

Foad year 11

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72


Bricklehurst

Manor School

& Kindergarten

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We are a family owned prep school for girls

and boys aged 3-11 years, nestled in the stunning

Sussex countryside, close to the historic town

of Royal Tunbridge Wells.

Bardown Road, Stonegate, Wadhurst, East Sussex, TN5 7EL

Tel: 01580 200 448 www.bricklehurst.co.uk

Diamond

Jubilee

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CUMNOR HOUSE

SUSSEX

NURSERY, PRE-PREP & PREP SCHOOL

Open Morning

Friday September 27th

“The instant happiness of

the children is evident to see”

Aim High, Be Kind,

Dare to be Different

CUMNOR PARENT

To book your place or to arrange a private

visit, contact: registrar@cumnor.co.uk

Danehill | Haywards Heath | RH17 7HT

www.cumnor.co.uk | 01825 792006

73 wealdentimes.co.uk

CumnorHouseED06.indd 1 31/05/2019 15:09


Encouraging children to

reach for the stars since 1874

‘A superior all-round option - kids nurtured, brains engaged,

the opportunity to get involved in loads of different activities

in a nurturing environment that has been judged Excellent

in every possible area.’ Muddy Stilettos, 2019

Why not come and visit us?

Contact Emma Houchin on 01580 753555 or registrar@marlboroughhouseschool.co.uk

Valuing self and others

Boys and Girls, Nursery-13 years. Day and Flexi Boarding

Hawkhurst, Cranbrook, Kent, TN18 4PY marlboroughhouseschool.co.uk


Going solo

Team sports don’t suit everyone – some

pupils flourish competing alone

Hurst College

Rebecca Jutson, Assistant Director of Girls’ Sport

With a greater number of students in the school we are now providing a broader

range of sporting opportunities, and the uptake for more individual sports has

increased. We now have a wide range of activities on offer including tennis, athletics,

swimming, golf, sailing, climbing, kayaking, aerobics, triathlon, cross-country, archery,

gymnastics, squash, fencing, show jumping and skiing.

Students who don’t wish to get involved with team games derive a great deal of

confidence from performing in more individual activities. Hurst focuses on the

development of the individual, whether that be through team sports or individual

sports. Our responsibility is to find activities which suit the needs of the student rather

than those of the school.

Sport is compulsory and everyone is expected to involve themselves, whether that

be at participation or performance level. To a degree the sport is irrelevant, it is more a

belief that the sporting environment is there to provide youngsters with the opportunity

to develop personal and interpersonal skills which will benefit them in later life.

It is also there to provide them with a physical release from their studies and

encourage them to lead healthy, active lifestyles. The skills and qualities they derive from

participation in sporting activities are certainly more important than the outcome of a

particular match or the achievement of a result. Within this culture and central to our

students’ development is the promotion of personal confidence.

Joe Sullivan,

Year 12, Golfer

“I started playing when I was four and

my best achievement to date is playing

for the England U16 squad last year for

the first time. My dad introduced me to

the game and I really enjoyed it. From

playing golf I have learned that I have

a good temperament and I am able to

bounce back after a bad run. I think

overall I have become slightly

more confident over the

last couple of years.”

Hurst College, Hassocks, West Sussex 01273 833636 hppc.co.uk

Felix Warren,

Year 9, Climber

“I have been climbing for five years

now – since I was nine. I always used

to climb trees and when our local

climbing centre opened I gave it a

try and got really into it. I love it

because there are so many challenges

and when you complete something

you have been working at for a while,

there is an overwhelming sense

of satisfaction.”

Tallulah Sullivan,

Year 9, Triathlete

“I have been competing in Triathlon since I

was around eight or nine years old. Before I

was injured I came third in the South East

of England for TS1 girls and I also have a

few other trophies for achieving a top three

position. I have always been a strong runner

and I thought it would be a good opportunity

to compete in a sport that could stretch

me in aspects that running alone couldn’t.

I like that it pushes me to work hard and

train hard and it gives me adrenaline.”

Jamie Briggs,

Year 11, Fencer

“I first started just after my 7th birthday

and, because of my age, I had to use foam

swords. A year later I was able to progress

to the proper thing and took part in my

first competition in March 2012. I have

been on the U13, U15 and U17 England

squads and last year I was invited to be

a part of the GB U17 squad. It has been

amazing to be able to represent

my country in a sport

that I love.”


Elizabeth Fraser

Fencing Champion

“My favourite thing about fencing

is the tactics and mental strength it

takes to win a fight. I have learnt

a lot about myself through fencing

– particularly my ability to bounce

back. In the last two years I have

suffered from two injuries, but I

didn’t let this hold me back.

I trained hard to get back and

now I am able to

compete again.”

Sutton Valence School, Maidstone, Kent

Sutton Valence School believes that all pupils can be successful in

sport and, with a strong sporting tradition, we offer every child

the opportunity to develop their fitness and love of exercise which will

support them throughout their life.

Under the care of the Director of Sport, Mark Howell students

flourish across a huge breadth of sporting disciplines. Alongside the

major sports (rugby, hockey, netball, tennis and cricket) the school

supports sportsmen and women excelling in individual sports. These

include gymnasts, equestrian riders, runners, dancers, skiers, sailors,

martial artists and fencing champions.

The sporting provision at the school has been developed to work

with the broad range of needs of these sports. Working with the

strength and conditioning coaches, pupils optimise their core skills

of speed, power and agility, giving them a competitive edge.

The sports department provides bespoke training

programmes for the students in the Talented Athlete

Programme and, at the elite level, they work with their

coaches to provide the best complementary support.

Students are also invited to lectures on nutrition, sports

psychology and more to ensure they receive a professional

insight into the world of sport that will allow them to reach

the next level of their own personal development.

Sutton Valence School, Maidstone, Kent

01622 845200 svs.org.uk

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MsgsportsWT204.indd 1 14/01/2019 CheekyMonkeyS40.indd 16:45

1 25/01/2018 15:42


www.kings-school.co.uk

OPEN MORNINGS

13+ -

Saturday 5 th October

Sixth Form -

Saturday 21 st September

Watch our film

www.kings-school.co.uk/school-film

A 21 st Century education within

the historical City of Canterbury

Watch our film

www.junior-kings.co.uk/school-film

www.junior-kings.co.uk

OPEN MORNINGS

Saturday 12 th October


Mayfield School

Antonia Beary, Headmistress at Mayfield School, shares her

school sport philosophy – and her own experiences

Teachers from my own schooldays might be rather

sceptical at my writing an article on the benefits of sport,

and rightly so, as any recollections of my youthful endeavours

to avoid cross country or the 1500 metres (I think I was the

only person in my year not to do it) would elicit, at best,

amusement. However, even the most recalcitrant child can

surprise themselves and others.

Sport teaches us all, not just our children, skills and

helps discover abilities which can prove invaluable as life

skills. Playing as a team requires not only working together,

but thinking about other people and understanding their

strengths and weaknesses.

Good team players will be able to see themselves

contributing to something bigger, as they have to look beyond

their own individual goals to the shared, common good.

Representing our school, county or even country, requires

working towards an altruistic goal, espousing what may seem

old-fashioned values, which are increasingly at odds with

those of the self-centred society in which we seem to live. For

teenagers to appreciate both that it is not just ‘all about them’

but also that they have something valuable to contribute,

promotes a balanced sense of self-esteem.

Practice, as we know, makes perfect. In a world where

there is a disproportionate focus on individuals plucked out

of obscurity allegedly to fame and fortune, sport offers an

excellent lesson: while natural ability may be an advantage,

it is nothing without consistent effort and application –

whatever the weather.

With our increasing dependence on mobile phones

allowing the best-laid plans to be changed at the last minute,

understanding the concept of commitment to a match or

practice is important. It doesn’t matter if you have a better

offer – you have a responsibility to your team. In making

sacrifices, so character is built and captaining a team can lead

on to more significant leadership roles and the responsibility

being a role model entails.

Learning how to win and – more importantly – how to

lose, graciously are skills which should not be underrated.

Sport provides an arena where it is almost impossible not to

make mistakes, offering opportunities to learn how to cope

when, inevitably, things do not go to plan. Learning to roll

with the punches – literal and metaphorical – is a vital skill.

At the same time, having to conform to a set of rules is

no bad thing for a child, whilst fair play and respect for the

umpire’s decision needs to be learnt and can’t necessarily be

assumed. Sport should help instil in our young people the

fundamental value of integrity.

Computer games may offer a certain type of stimulation

but there is nothing to beat fresh air and physical activity for

real wellbeing. Regular physical activity also means that you

can get away with spoiling yourself with a food treat every

now and then.

Sport also provides a vital outlet for pent-up tension – as I

discovered when I worked in a boys’ school, one harsh winter

when I had to teach classes unable to play sport due to frozen

pitches. Expending energy on the playing field, means that

you can focus effectively on your academic study.

Equally, the skills of concentration, focus and

determination are easily transferrable and success in a match

can boost confidence and instil a self-belief which in turn

allows you to approach a challenging maths problem or a

philosophical conundrum with more conviction.

There is a reason why we ‘play’ sport – it has to be about

having fun. For some, that pleasure will come from being

intensely competitive, for others simply in being part of

something bigger than themselves and spending time with

their friends.

And the joy of sport is that there is something for everyone.

For the record: the girl who, aged 13, tried to arrange her

music lessons in PE, in a few short years found herself

representing Cambridge University in the Boat Race. Who

says miracles don’t happen?

Mayfield School, Mayfield, East Sussex

01435 874600 www.mayfieldgirls.org

surrey-homes.co.uk

78


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form

invaluable tips from experienced

teachers for each stage

of education

frewen college

hazel lawrence, head of Sixth form

at this stage our kids are young

adults – not children. how can

parents support them in a way

that respects this? (and not get

irritated!) speak to them and listen

to what they are saying, even if it

sounds outlandish. several of my

students have suggested it’s easier

to have these conversations when

you are doing something else, like

washing up, or preparing dinner, as

this makes them feel less intense.

start sixth Form options discussions

early. it takes away the pressure

to make immediate decisions if you’re

not agreeing. the summer term of

Year 10 is a good time to start.

work with them! explore all the

options and try to get to a point

where your son or daughter thinks

it was their decision. using a ‘drip,

drip’ approach to achieve an outcome

everyone is happy with.

how can parents best support

their children with their choices?

at Frewen College we have a strong

ethos of working with students and

young people to help them make their

next steps and we include parents

too. all Year 11 students have a weekly

mentor session to discuss options as

well working with the young person to

keep them on track. in Year 10 students

will also have a one-on-one meeting

with our independent careers adviser

to start thinking about next steps.

encourage your child to visit as

many colleges as possible, particularly

if they are undecided and/or there

are several colleges offering the same

courses. this is really important

as each course will vary slightly.

For young people who have a

strong idea about what they want

to do and learn in a more handson

way, apprenticeships are another

area to pursue. there are a range

of them in different fields; from

the more traditional like catering

or construction industry to newer

ones like cyber security.

take time to visit apprenticeship

fairs and events which will provide

both parents and young people

with information and advice.

Many colleges will also offer taster

day events for Year 10 students

towards the end of the summer. this

is an excellent opportunity to get a

feel for a college and experience new

courses – many of the courses offered

“Reassure them it’s OK to not

know exactly what they’d like

to do in the future at this stage”

at bteC or a Level will be very

different from those offered at gCse.

also, reassure them it’s ok to

not know exactly what they’d like

to do in the future at this stage.

What is the best way to resolve

tension when parents and young

people have different ideas about

what the next step should be?

try to visit colleges and/or

universities which the young

person is interested in – and those

which you think are suitable.

ask lots of questions, such as:

‘what do typical students go on to

do once they have completed this

course?’ this can be very revealing

and can sometimes show the limited

possibilities a desired course may

present for job opportunities.

if you have friends or family members

who have experience in subjects or

professions your son or daughter is

interested in, encourage them to have a

chat with them about their experiences.

speak to the career’s adviser at your

child’s current school. also speak

to their teachers – what do they

think about the options available?

what are the alternatives? what will

they need to do to secure a place

at a russell group university?

What is a good way to resolve the

gap year/not gap year dilemma?

For many students the idea of a gap year

seems exciting after 13 years of formal

school. at Frewen College we work

with students who want to take a gap

year and encourage them to develop a

plan detailing what they hope to achieve

at the end of the year. universities

will want to know this as well.

For those of our students who are

seriously interested in pursuing a

gap year they have looked at options

through organisations like Vso.

these offer young people several

short- and long-term opportunities

in a number of different fields.

Frewen college, Northiam, east Sussex

01797 252494 frewencollege.co.uk

surrey-homes.co.uk

80


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