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Kent College Pembury
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Kent College Pembury Independent Girls Boarding School
Kent College Pembury Independent Girls Boarding School

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On 6th December Crista Cullen, Team GB double Hockey Olympic medallist, visited Kent College to celebrate the opening of our new Astro Pitch.

Crista led a session on the Astro Pitch for the girls before meeting parents, Governors, alumni and staff during an afternoon reception, where she spoke about her journey to the London and Rio Olympics.

The Astro Pitch is the latest addition to an already impressive portfolio of sporting facilities at the renowned school. In addition to the secondary Sports Hall, which opened in October 2015, and state of the art Fitness Suite, which was built in 2014, the new Astro Pitch positions the school as the destination for girls who want to excel in Hockey. Current Year 10 pupil, Georgia Whitaker, has been recently selected for the England Hockey U16 Training Squad and Kent College’s XI team have started the season with an impressive match record.

Headmistress, Ms Julie Lodrick

I am delighted that Crista Cullen visited us to open our new pitch and that our girls have had the opportunity to train with one of the country’s leading sportswomen. At Kent College, we provide our girls with personalised training and development to help them become the best sportswomen they can be.

Director of Sport, Miss Sam Clark

The new pitch and the recent appointment of Mr Ben Allberry as Head of Hockey is a very clear indication that signals our intent to become a leading hockey school. We now have the facility to allow all our girls to experience hockey as it should be played and I am confident that we will see more girls following in the footsteps of Georgia Whitaker and her England achievements. 
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Meet Nik Pears, KC Prep's new Head

1.What are you most looking forward to about joining Kent College Prep School?

There are many reasons that I am looking forward to joining Kent College. It is a school that I have admired for many years. With such a lovely warm and welcoming atmosphere, it is very clear from the moment that you walk in the door that it is a very special place. KC’s enviable reputation, not only for high academic achievement, sporting success and outstanding creative arts, but also for its wonderful ethos and first class pastoral care means that I am really looking forward to our family becoming part of the community.
2. What are your favourite pastimes / ways to relax?

I am a keen musician and enjoy singing, playing the drums and piano. I love sports and especially enjoy rugby, both playing and watching! As a family we enjoy skiing and try and hit the slopes whenever possible. One of my favourite things to do in life is to be in the mountains, skiing – blue skies, sunshine and being together with my family.
3. What is your vision for KC Prep School?

As evidenced in its recent inspection report, Kent College Prep School is an excellent school and my vision is of course for it to continue to be a place in which academic standards are high, opportunities for sports and the creative arts abound, but above all the well-being of our girls is priority one. I am wholly convinced that children who are happy, feel secure and valued will want to learn and thrive. I am committed to ensuring that KCPS does not become complacent but continues to build on the success of its past, maintain the excellence of the present and have its eyes firmly fixed on the future, striving to provide the very best education possible for every girl in its care.

My vision is for KCPS to be as committed to preparing its pupils academically as it is to helping them to develop resilience, independence, critical thinking and a deep sense of curiosity. I am committed to ensuring that we are a school which recognises the importance of assessment but is committed to preparing pupils for the test of life not just a life of tests; a school which actively rewards tenacity, kindness and other qualities. It is important to me that Kent College Prep School fosters innovation and problem solving which helps pupils feel confident to present and communicate their ideas to others. I would like us to continue to be a school where the individual and individuality is nurtured, where a balanced and well-rounded education, both inside and outside of the classroom, is given and a place where pupils are happy, safe, free to fail and to learn from their mistakes.

Kent College Prep School will continue to be committed to ‘protecting childhood’ and to be a place where children skip into school at the start of each day and don’t want to leave at the end of it! I want to ensure that an environment is created in which each pupil understands that their ability is not fixed and that through opportunity and hard work, they can achieve. I see a school committed to its Christian principles, a place in which John Wesley’s call to "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.” truly resonates in the hearts and minds of our pupils, parents and staff.
4. What or who are you inspired by?

I am inspired by numerous people, as a Christian, my faith is important to me and significant figures from church history who put their faith into action have inspired me. People such as William Booth who founded The Salvation Army. Social scientist, Malcolm Gladwell, Psychologist, Carol Dweck and two great heroes from the world of education; Sir Anthony Seldon and Edward Oatley, former headmaster of the first school I taught at.
5. If you weren’t a Head what other career would you have liked?

I spent some years outside of education working in the music industry and enjoyed that time immensely. I guess at heart I am something of an entertainer and an entrepreneur - two characteristics that I actually find very helpful as a teacher and as someone leading a school.
6. What do you feel is your greatest achievement to date?

Being married to my wife, Emma and having two amazing children, Josiah and Jessica! I don’t take those things for granted!
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Music Tour 2016
 
Musicians from Years 8 to the Upper Sixth got together to write and record an album in Kent College’s activities week. Lot’s of the initial composing was done in the Music Centre. As usual, much of the work was done using software, but there was much more writing traditionally with piano, pencil and paper than is usually found in our composition lessons.
We next moved to a Youth Hostel by the Thames and continued to compose, but also started to rehearse and do some rough reco...rdings as well walking for a creative coffee. We also had our traditional Follies evening and forced Mr Kent-Davies to watch Frozen ("good strong female leads there!”)
Our last day’s work took place in The Pool Studio, Bermondsey, where we got professional recordings of all the acoustic tracks, many of which were being tweaked as we performed them.
Now it’s just a case of mixing and mastering our ten tracks, and hoping that our album is as coherent in hind-sight as it seemed while we were all producing it. With any luck we’ll get it out in time for Christmas!
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Master Class with West End star, Layton
 
Kent College’s Master Class with West End star, Layton Williams Students and staff at Kent College Pembury were given a unique opportunity when they welcomed talented dancer and fresh young talent of TV and stage, Layton Williams as a guest tutor, during the school’s Enrichment Week. Layton instructed dance master classes to the school’s most advanced dance students to advise on their movement for their upcoming devised pieces.  All year groups had a chance to meet Layton during a Q&A session where they could find out more about his background and career.
Layton Williams is an English stage and television actor, aged just twelve years old he held the title role in Billy Elliot the Musical at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London's West End, as well as a young Michael Jackson in the West End Musical Thriller Live. Williams became well known to a TV audience as the character Kylie – acting, dancing, and singing – in the 2008 and 2009 BBC Two comedy Beautiful People, series 1 and 2. Since 2012 he has had a recurring role as Stephen Carmichael in the BBC Comedy Bad Education, alongside Jack Whitehall and in 2015 hit the big screen with Bad Education the Movie. In September Layton will be heading back to the West End to start rehearsals for Rent the Musical.
 
In musicals such as Rent and Hairspray, which have a deeper political and social message to the story, do you think people should pay attention to this or just enjoy the music and dancing?
"The beauty of a musical is to try and appeal to a wide captive audience, so you can take a 7 year old and they appreciate the glitz and the glamour, not realising, or being aware, of the darker message in the story line that someone older can absorb and engage with. You go to the theatre to be entertained but also end up learning as you watch. There are political and social elements in reality and these are played out in musicals and theatre performances to highlight the importance of addressing them.”
 
Did you ever consider going on Strictly Come Dancing?
"I would absolutely love to do it but because I am professionally trained I think it would be a tad unfair. I also would be very upset if I went out in the first few rounds! Skating on Ice would be more of a challenge for me, but I think that has ended now.”
 
How did you combine studying and dance when you were younger?
"During Billy Elliot we would have tutoring in the morning, then in the afternoon we would rehearse for the show – every single day. I was there for a year learning the show, and then when learnt we would have to continue practising and go to dance lessons to make sure we were on the top of our game. I made sure that I put my head down and got the school grades though.” 
 
When you’re doing stage shows do you still feel nervous?
"I don’t really get nervous, once you feel comfortable in the role you learn to enjoy it and appreciate each night. If you do something 200 odd times you won’t get nervous.” Is there a type of dance you would like to try?"I would love to be able to do Ballroom or Latin dancing but you have to be realistic about what you can focus on and do to the best of your ability."
 
How often do you train?
"To be honest most of my training comes through my work. If I am still for a month or so I will take a dance class. This time around I have four months off between projects so I have decided to teach classes in schools, offering something new each time, giving back, meeting amazing people and making a difference.”
 
Have you always been a confident person?
"I think there was a point in my life when I didn’t want to shy away anymore. It was all within and I wasn’t being myself, I would love to rewind the time and not pretend. So finally, when I went back to London after studying at school in Manchester, I realised this was my new home and I needed to be here in order to further myself. Everything from there just happened, I would say I was around 14. What’s the point in being shy when you can spread love and make a smile, you will achieve so much more and be happier. Do you ever wish there were times when you weren’t as well-known as you are? You can’t complain about being successful about what you do, and just because what I do is in the spotlight I cannot shy away from the fact some people know who I am. I find it very humbling that people do and I also enjoy the fact others don’t know who I am.”   
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School Officer Leadership Day
 
On Thursday 30th June, when the school day had finished, the School Officer team eagerly prepared themselves for a full on and challenging 24 hours. After having a quick briefing about survival and knife safety, we trouped down to the apple orchard and were given a piece of tarpaulin and rope to make a shelter for the night. Split into random groups, we quickly bonded over the thought of sleeping under what seemed a flimsy piece of plastic. Within 2 hours our camps were set and we began to make fires, to cook ‘pot mess’ for our evening meal. A group of 6 were sent to a bench and began to make our ‘pot mess’ by chopping potatoes, carrots and onions, adding boiling water and stock.
 
While we waited for our meal to cook, the fish arrived. 12 raw mackerel, guts and all were placed in front of us. Mr Cable happily demonstrated how to gut and wrap the mackerel, while most of the girls were still coming to terms with the smell! But, we whole heartedly threw ourselves into the challenge and began the process. Fears of bones were a thing of the past and we soon dug into the fire roasted mackerel. Next came the slow cooked stew, which was no roast dinner but was warm and comforting and exactly what we needed! With clean plates and full stomachs, we got ourselves ready for a cold and wet night ahead. Mr Cable told us a very exciting and tense survival story whilst we sipped hot chocolate on the edge of our seats, and soon it was time to clamber into our camps for the night ahead. A broken tarpaulin, location change, rainfall, fox visits and 5 hours later, the sun was rising and we were ready for the day.
 
The day started with a 600 calories adventure pack breakfast, which informed us it wasn’t going to be a half-hearted day. We were soon issued maps and compasses and set off on a trek of the surrounding areas of Kent College. We worked as a team to make decisions on what path to take, and used our initiative when making ever-changing plans. After the brisk hike, we knew something more tasking was in store. We were right, and we soon found ourselves in life jackets next to the confidence course lake. We had to build rafts out of two barrels, some rope and two staffs and get all of us from one side of the lake to the other. 1 hour later, all our rafts were ready to be tested. Plan A was to send Bea on her own across, with a rope attached to the back which we kept hold of so we could pull it back after she was off the other side. She set sale, and unfortunately the raft didn't move. Sam and I stepped in thinking we could save the day, before long we were in the lake, freezing cold, wet, dirty and VERY smelly. But that didn't stop us. We had nothing to lose. We kept going, swimming alongside our sunken ship, breathless and cold we made it to the other side. Mission accomplished.
 
People were not put off by our experience, everyone definitively believed in their raft creation. We believe one group made it to the other side without falling in... Not quite the outcome we were hoping for. But most importantly, everyone got stuck in enthusiastically and determined that their raft was going to work. I forgot to mention, there was plenty of laughter.
 
After some lunch, it was soon time for the last activity of the day... Well what we thought was the last. We had 2 staffs and a piece of tarpaulin and were asked to make a stretcher and carry one member to the top of the hill. After all electing the smallest member in each group to be the 'stretchee' we got started. Mr Cable soon put us all to shame by showing us a technique which was unbreakable and only took 20 seconds. ' So we're done' we eagerly muttered.. Oh no, remember this was Bear Grylls style. Mr Cable pulls out a plastic box full of meal worms. Yes, it was time for an eating challenge. While understandably most of the group were not impressed by this idea, a few got up and had a go, and were actually pleasantly surprised.
 
So, although we were cold and wet, I think it's safe to say following our School Officer camp out, we all felt empowered, strong and a sense of togetherness. We had accomplished something as a team. Each and everyone one of us helped one another, gave each other encouragement and worked together to make the camp out a success. Through tears and smiles, we definitely put Bear Grylls to shame. But always remember, whenever stuck, just think... ‘What would Bear do?’ #wwbd
 
By Charlotte Henderson - Deputy Head Girl 2016-17
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Our belief is that children need to be offered a broad and balanced education, supported by a strong co-curricular and pastoral programme, which develops skills and interests in a variety of areas. At Kent College Preparatory School every girl has the opportunity to excel and surpass her expectations in a supportive and inspirational environment.   We achieve academic excellence without cramming and allow our girls the time to grow, to think, to be curious, discover what they enjoy and what they can achieve.
The main focus is to build firm academic foundations and to encourage a love of learning amongst all girls from the Nursery through to Year 6. We realize academic expectations with a well-structured system of proven learning techniques and offer academic enrichment. Examples include visiting speakers and workshops, excursions to galleries, museums and places of interest, outdoor lessons, themed and cross-curricular days.  This is enhanced with teaching in specialist areas such as French, Mandarin, Sport, Technology and Music provided by dedicated, qualified and inspirational teachers.
Having the flexibility to offer small class sizes enables us to go beyond the minimum requirements of the National Curriculum, introducing some subjects earlier and delivering others in greater depth. We are proudly small enough to know every child and to accommodate her needs so that she can flourish and excel.
"Teachers match work to the needs of each pupil, so that all abilities have the chance to achieve as well as they can.” Independent Schools Inspectorate 2016
Our wonderful setting on 75 acre rural parkland enhances learning with opportunities to play and learn outdoors either in our bluebell woodland, veg patch, Confidence Course or outdoor play area.  Girls learn by exploring and this is a very important part of school life.
In January, the School was delighted to be awarded the top accolade of ‘excellent’ in the Independent Schools Inspectorate report, with specific praise for the teaching and educational experience:
"From the Early Years Foundation Stage onwards, pupils’ achievement is excellent and they attain high standards in their work. They demonstrate intellectual curiosity and a love of learning.” Independent Schools Inspectorate 2016

Towards the end of her education with us, we have great success at preparing girls for the Senior School, without exerting an excessive amount of stress or pressure. Our aim is that girls move forward as confident, caring, communicate young ladies with a love for life, thirst for learning and still curious of the world around them.  
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What to look for in a Nursery: 
A Happy, Caring Environment
"The staff are very caring, there are cuddles galore and plenty of laughter, it is almost a home from home which is perfect for 3-5 year olds.” Current parent.
Happiness is a fundamental factor in a child’s education and at Kent College we place great emphasis on ensuring that girls thrive in a happy learning environment where they feel safe, secure and able to be themselves.  We are very proud of our exceptional teacher and pupil relationships and the high staff to pupil ratio ensures that each girl has plenty of individual attention and support.A Kent College teacher prides themselves on understanding the individual needs of every child in their care and it is this knowledge that enables the school to provide an outstanding education which sees every pupil exceed their potential.
"The mutual respect promoted by teachers and shown by pupils in appreciating and encouraging the contributions of all members of the class is a notable characteristic of the school.” (ISI Report 2016)
The Great Outdoors
Time to play in the great outdoors is vital for little ones and at Kent College we are blessed to have a beautiful location with woodland and open fields adjacent to the school site.  We encourage girls to spend as much time outside as possible. Strawberry picking at the local farm, growing vegetables in the schools’ veggie patch, Forest School days and letting off steam on the outdoor activity ‘trim trail’ enriches girls both in and out of the classroom.
Support for Busy Families
"Warm and friendly relations are reflected in the extremely harmonious and constructive atmosphere in the after-school care provision.” (ISI Report 2016)
Finding a Nursery with good wraparound care is very important for working parents and at Kent College we offer busy families flexibility when juggling work and home lives.  Wraparound care is available from 7.30am until 8.30pm. In addition, holiday care is also offered during certain weeks in the holidays.
Visit 
Visits are a must, whichever setting you are looking at, and we would recommend visiting multiple times. We’d be delighted to welcome you to one of our Open Mornings, please book online at www.kent-college.co.uk 
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Starting School
 
Whether your child is joining a Nursery or Reception class, moving up a year or starting their secondary education, this new chapter often brings change for both children and parents alike.  The end of the summer holidays can often be an anxious time for families ahead of the changes that joining a new school can bring, but it is worth remembering that most children love school and will go on to make the most out of their education.
Prior to joining a new school, many will offer a comprehensive induction programme to ensure the whole family have a smooth transition. At Kent College we provide information sessions for parents, an individual consultation with the class teacher, and girls will have been invited in on several occasions, to meet classmates and teachers and to prepare themselves for this new chapter.
At home, useful tips to help with the transition include talking positively about starting school and your child’s hopes and worries, there are many books that can help to start the conversation. For younger children, ‘Little Rabbit Goes to School’ and ‘I am Absolutely Too Small for School’ are all great reads.  Starting the rhythm of a routine with regular bedtimes, morning rises and trial ‘school runs’ will be valuable to the whole family before the term begins and trips to buy uniform and items such as pencil cases and lunchboxes will bring the topic to the front.
Encourage your children to socialise with any fellow ‘school starters’, especially if you are travelling in from a similar area, and parents too can embrace the opportunities available through the wider school community. There will be a whole new year group of parents and children in the same boat, you can all connect and support one another. Seek the PTA’s contact details, they regularly meet and welcome in new members.

It is worth remembering that despite any nerves, that children will quickly be settled by their teacher and involved in the new and exciting activities that a new school or year group will bring. We appreciate how hard it can be for many children and their parents and take great care in looking after everyone in the Kent College community. 
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Kent College was delighted to welcome back three former KC girls as part of the school’s 2016 Leadership Day. This event is held every year for girls in Year 10, 11 and the Sixth Form and offers girls a valuable opportunity to hear from recent leavers about the higher education and career paths they have taken since leaving Kent College. This year our speakers and former pupils gave girls a detailed insight into careers in Law, Science and Finance. To read more about our speakers please click on the link below. If you are a former KC girl and would be interested in being one of our speakers in the future please get in touch at marketing@kentcollege.kent.sch.uk
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YOUNG FASHION DESIGNER UK AWARDS 2016! This year we welcomed the highest number of entries yet from schools across the South. This nationwide competition was established in 2010 and recognises excellence in fashion and textiles at GCSE, AS & A2. Congratulations to all our finalists and a big thank you to our fantastic judges. Find out more at www.youngfashiondesigneruk.com #fashion   #textiles   #fashiondesign  
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2016-07-05
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