News from Kent’s schools

Sutton Valence pupils awestruck by the sun

Sutton Valence pupils awestruck by the sun - Credit: Archant

Pupils engaged in field studies, languages, discovery and sport around the county

Pip to Plate

Hadlow College hosted an event designed to give secondary school students the opportunity to discover how apples are produced and their journey from Pip to Plate.

The event took place at the college’s Huxley and Cheerful Gold Orchards and visiting students came from The Malling School, Hillview School for Girls, Mascalls School, Maplesden Noakes School and Hadlow Rural Community School.

Pip to Plate is designed to spark interest among young people who might go on to seek a career in the horticulture industry which offers a wide range of opportunities for graduates and skilled entrants.

Throughout their visit students were given an insight into the essential steps involved in apple growing, including budding and grafting, the challenges of crop protection, tree management, science of modern apple storage and marketing requirements.

• Hadlow College provides training for the fruit industry at Higher Education, Further Education, Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship levels.

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St Michael’s Prep wins new pupil

St Michael’s Prep School in Otford was joined by a furry new pupil, Barley Bear, when Paul Cecil from brand communications agency Barley House Group presented the school’s Head Teacher Jill Aisher with Barley.

Barley was the prize for a winning entry in Barley House’s photo competition challenging Heads to take a picture of a smaller Barley Bear in the most creative location, launched at the annual conference of the Association of Marketing and Development in Independent Schools (AMDIS) in May.

Jill entered a series of photos showing Barley taking her place as Head for the day, including driving to school and sitting at her desk.

? To view the competition entries on Twitter go to @barleybearbhg and search for #bearyoubeen.

Food for thought

Pupils at Northbourne Park School celebrated European Day of Languages, embracing whole heartedly the multitude of foreign languages spoken by pupils and staff.

In a highly competitive inter-house competition, the children worked hard to earn points by engaging in a variety of activities including the ‘speed- speaking’ workshop run by fellow pupils. The workshop took place at school, and pupils had just minutes to master phrases in a foreign tongue, choosing from a range as diverse as Lebanese, Russian and Japanese.

Pupils also worked together to answer a quiz testing their general knowledge on European matters, from football to fairy tales, taking in Leonardo da Vinci and Volkswagen on the way.

The week’s international theme culminated with a fantastic spread of exotic snacks and tapas; the final ‘food for thought’ on how everyone’s lives are enriched through the links shared with different cultures.

Top marks were given to the Spanish tortilla, the stroopwafel biscuits from Holland, the spicy Indian bhajis and the delicious sticky schnecken cake from Germany.

Seeing stars

Pupils from Sutton Valence Prep School were the first to get an extraordinary view of the heavens through a magnificent new telescope donated to the Herstmonceux Observatory Science Centre in East Sussex.

The Year 2 students’ visit coincided with the handing over of a Coronado 90mm solar telescope to the centre by Stephen Ramsden, director of the US-based Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project in the USA.

Earlier in September, Herstmonceux held its 10th Astronomy Festival, during which there was a solar world record attempt to create the largest image of the sun from a mosaic of over 150 separate images.

As a result of this, the Observatory was approached by Stephen Ramsden’s team to receive the solar telescope with the remit that ‘it is used as much as possible’.

The Prep School pupils listened in awe as Stephen told them about space, answered their questions and gave them solar glasses so they could look at the sun before inviting them to be the first to look through the enormous new telescope.

Prep School head Malcolm Gough said: “The visit was part of the pupil’s study into ‘infinity and beyond’. They explored hands-on science exhibits through hearing, seeing and feeling, focusing on the earth and beyond and worked together to balance platforms, create sound waves and investigate pulleys – and were in awe when the Observatory roof opened to reveal the skies beyond.

“The fact their trip coincided with the handover of the telescope was a real coup and they were thrilled to meet a ‘real’ scientist and quiz him about space.”

Marathon effort

West Kent College was the main sponsor for the Tonbridge Half Marathon, which this year attracted some 1,400 runners.

Organised by the Tonbridge Rotary Club and the Tonbridge Lions Club, the event raised money for local charities, including Bridge Trust and Phoenix Autism Centre Tonbridge (PACT).

West Kent College became part of the Hadlow Group on 1 August 2014 and speaking at the race, Paul Hannon, Principal of West Kent College, said: “West Kent College is committed to working with local communities.

“We were absolutely delighted the facilities were used for an event that raises money for local charities. The day was a great success with huge crowds of people turning up to show their support and encourage the runners.”

First male runner home was Julian Rendall while Tonbridge & Malling Borough Councillor Maria Heslop retained her title as the fastest female.

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