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All the latest news from Kent's schools and colleges

Award for Karen Millen fashion school

The University for the Creative Arts has won the Times Higher Education Supplement Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts for a project set up to offer opportunities to young people affected by HIV in South Africa.

The resulting fashion school, The Gateway School of Fashion, was led and coordinated by staff at UCA Rochester along with leading alumnus and former Kent Character (July Kent Life), Karen Millen, OBE.

The THES winners were announced at a gala awards dinner held in London; more than 600 entries were submitted for the 18 different award categories.

The award was picked up by UCA Rochester’s Sheelagh Wright and Karen Millen, who have led the project along with the Hope HIV charity and the Project Gateway in South Africa.

The University was represented at the awards evening by Vice Chancellor Professor Elaine Thomas, Governor Jennifer Glastonbury and members of the University’s executive, along with Hope HIV UK Director Mark Glen. Karen Millen and Course leader Sheelagh Wright collected the award.

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Open to those affected by the HIV epidemic, the school aims to equip its students with the skills necessary to build a career in the fashion industry, thereby improving their own and their families’ lives. Staff and students from UCA Rochester have travelled to South Africa to teach on the course.

The University was also shortlisted for the Outstanding Contribution to Leadership Development for its work with the Forum for Organisational Learning and Development.

Let the Games begin

Dame Kelly Holmes was star guest at the launch of the Kent Schools Games 2010, ably assisted by Kent County Council Leader, Paul Carter, and Shadow Minister for Sport and the Olympics, Hugh Robertson.

Activities also took place in schools around Kent during the launch week, plus support from local business and wellbeing expert, Water Wellpoint, an official supporter of the Games.

With its focus on the importance of hydration for wellbeing across all sectors of the community, Water Wellpoint is helping encourage young people to get involved in sport and healthy activities.  

The Kent School Games is a sporting event that pits budding young sports people from local schools against each other. The heats and trials started in October, with winning school and area teams progressing to the Finals next year & June to 4 July 2010), when more than 5,500 participants are expected.

Celebrating the Bramley 

Students studying floristry in the Faculty of Horticulture at Hadlow College decorated a float for the Lord Mayor’s Show that took place in the City of London last month. It’s believed the first time a college has had this type of involvement in the show, one of the City’s most important and colourful annual events.

The float, which was entered in the show by The Worshipful Company of Fruiterers, celebrates the 200th anniversary of the Bramley Apple. Fourayes, the Sittingbourne-based fruit growers, were also involved. 

Depicting the story of the Bramley ‘from tree to table’, Hadlow students made a Bramley apple - and a very large apple pie - which were mounted on the float, one of 150 floats that took part. Kent is a celebrated fruit-producing county, producing far more top fruit than any other English.

�–  Neil Bain, a lecturer in Hadlow’s multi-award winning Floristry Department, has passed the City & Guilds Level 5 examination, achieving Distinction in the creative element of the examination.Only 19 people in the UK hold this level of certification and Neil is the only man to hold C&G Level 5 with Distinction.

Be Bright, Be Seen

Be Bright, Be Seen – that’s the message Kent Highway Services is promoting to children walking to and from school or near roads as the nights drawn in.

The campaign aims to encourage children to attach a reflector to their school bag or coat to make them more visible to motorists in the shorter days, and remember to take extra care as they walk home.

A total of 10,000 branded reflectors will be distributed to families and children across the county at various high profile events, such as the Christmas lights switch-ons in Ashford, Maidstone, Canterbury and Bluewater.

Top tips for being seen at night:

�–  Fluorescent yellow is the brightest of all fluorescent colours.

�–  You can find fluorescent and reflective items in most shops selling car and bike accessories.

�–  If you are out at night and you don’t have anything reflective, carry a torch or carry or wear something white.

�–  If you wear a dark school uniform, carry a bag, scarf or an umbrella in bright colours, so that you can be seen.

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