Turner Schools pupils combine stage fighting with French lessons as part of summer activity plans

Published: August 2021

Pupils preparing to join Turner Free School and Folkestone Academy this September first had the opportunity to experience life at their new schools by practising French while learning stage fighting in drama workshop with a twist. Read on....

Working with the Freshwater Theatre Company, Year 6 children going into Year 7 at both schools took part in a drama workshop with a Modern Foreign Languages theme, working with a specialist language performer as they recreate the dramatic opening of the novel, Les Trois Mousquetaires. In the workshop, French and English are woven seamlessly together to ensure pupils follow the action and develop their dramatic skills along with their language abilities.

In addition to the drama workshop, both schools prepared a full range of summer activities, including canoeing, escape rooms, screen printing, skateboarding, boxing, hockey and other sports. In total, more than 150 pupils from each school attended the summer schools.

The workshop is part of Turner Free School’s plans for drama to form a key part of their curriculum, following their work with a Shakespeare company during the last term.

Krissy Yates, Principal at Turner Free School, said:

“I felt it was important to run a drama activity to boost pupils’ confidence and help develop their oracy skills as they move into their secondary education. At Turner Free School we have a real focus on languages, so we saw it as such a great opportunity to work with the Freshwater Theatre Company, who have expertly combined these two elements through their workshop. This way the pupils will get a taste of life at their new schools, have a head start on their languages, and will get to develop their confidence with their new classmates ahead of the beginning of term in September.”

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ITV Meridian News Feature - GCSE Results day

Published: Thursday 12th August

Folkestone Academy featured on ITV Meridian News on GCSE Results Day...

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Turner Schools Tackles Litter: Folkestone pupils on a mission to clean up the streets

Published: July 2021

Over 300 pupils from across Turner Schools have taken to the streets of Folkestone to collect rubbish and waste from around the town. Pupils of all ages from Folkestone Academy, Turner Free School, Morehall Primary, Martello Primary and Folkestone Primary donned their hi-vis jackets and walked the streets surrounding their schools. Read on....

Their goal was to protect the the environment and make their local community a greener place to live. Over the course of the week pupils collected more than 25 bags of rubbish. Each school now has its own set of litter picking equipment and pupils will be seen regularly around the streets of Folkestone as they help keep the streets clean.

Ryder, Year 9 from Turner Free School said

“I was really surprised to see how much rubbish there actually was. I don’t think you realise until you make a conscious effort to look for it. I think it’s really important that we take care of where we live, not just because of the environment but also because it looks nicer if there’s not litter everywhere.”

Am’e Moris, Principal of Morehall Primary, said:

“I was very proud to see our pupils head out onto the streets of Folkestone and do their bit for the community. I know that they are much more aware now of how much rubbish there is on our streets and will be more conscientious about how they dispose of their own litter.”

Hayden, Year 6 pupil at Martello Primary, said:

"It was exciting because we got to help the earth and also the local community to ensure that it is clean and tidy!"

Adam, Year 6 pupil at Martello Primary, said:

"It was fun to be able to walk around Folkestone Knowing that we were doing something good!"

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Folkestone Academy Pupils Receive New Chromebooks

Published: July 2021

Every Year 7 pupil at Folkestone Academy given brand new Chromebook by Friends of Folkestone Academy Charity

An initiative set up by Folkestone Academy to ensure that every child in the school is given a Chromebook to aid digital learning inside the classroom and support homework has been launched with the support of the local charity Friends of Folkestone Academy. Read on....

The 1 to 1 Device Scheme was launched in June with over 150 Chromebooks distributed to current Year 7 pupils. The scheme was kick started by Friends of Folkestone Academy, who paid for every new Year 7 student to have a device to use during their time at the academy.

Each department has now integrated the Chromebooks into their teaching, including testing pupils’ learning and understanding through quizzes, viewing resources online to make it clearer to read, or accessing specialised apps like Bedrock Learning to practise core skills. Pupils will also have access to an online library systems allowing them to reserve books, access digital books and leave reviews on books they have read for other pupils.

The academy now plans to roll out Chromebooks to every year group from September 2021. This will be supplemented by a Google Hub within the academy which will provide support with access and technical issues, charging points, training, and repairs.

The scheme was led by Cerys Walker, Folkestone Academy’s Google Champion, who worked closely with teachers and pupils to ensure the integration of digital teaching was successful.

Cerys Walker said:

“Introducing technology to the classroom has been an exciting project that both teachers and pupils have thoroughly enjoyed. It is wonderful to see the Chromebooks in lessons with all pupils deeply engaged in learning activities which enable teachers to clearly and quickly see the pupils' understanding. Providing the pupils with Chromebooks has also enabled all pupils to easily access their learning both at home and it develops our pupils’ skills to prepare them for the increasingly digital world we live in.”

Charlie Henderson, Year 7 pupil, said:

“I really like my Chromebook, it’s really helped me with my homework as all my lessons are in one place so it’s easy to find.

Clemmy Griffin, Year 7 pupil, said:

“I’ve most enjoyed using my Chromebook to practise my times tables on TT Rock Stars. It is easy to access and means I can use it at home as well to help finish my homework.”

Mrs Thomas, a Year 7 parent, said:

“My daughter is very happy using the Chromebook in class and has not had any problems with it during lessons, as for at home she is more willing to come straight home and do her homework which I'm very pleased with.”

Mr Steve Shaw, Head of School at Folkestone Academy, said:

“Thank you to Friends of Folkestone Academy for their incredibly generous donation which has ensured Year 7 pupils were able to receive a Chromebook. These have already proved so useful in helping these pupils learn and it’s been fantastic to see how quickly our teachers have integrated these into their lessons. Our next aim is to give a device to every pupil at the academy to make sure everyone has the tools they need to thrive and learn at both school and home.”

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Turner Pupils work to Bee Amazing for environmental project

Published: July 2021

Over the past two months, pupils at all five Turner Schools have worked on an environmental project designed to support the natural world around them. Pupils worked alongside their facilities teams to prepare the ground at each school so that seeds and flowers could be planted, in a bid to help the country’s struggling bee population. Read on....

The project came about after pupils learned about bees and their importance to the environment. Pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, are essential to the environment and, whilst there are other methods of pollination, wild bees are the most important because they pollinate on such a large scale. It is estimated that it would cost farmers £1.8 million per year to fertilise their crops if it wasn’t for natural pollinators such as bees! Despite this, over recent years, colonies of bees are disappearing and they continue to be under threat due to the loss of habit, use of pesticides and climate change.

Whilst most pupils had an awareness of the role that bees play in pollination, many of them had not realised quite how important this is for the environment and future of the planet. Equipped with a greater understanding of the impact on the environment and climate change, the pupils were all keen to create more opportunities for bees to gather pollen, so it was agreed that each school would establish its own wild bee flower patch.

The pupils really enjoyed the project and felt that it gave them a much better understanding of the environment in which they live. They were also very grateful to Folkestone Garden Centre, County Hardware, and W Martin Ltd for donating seeds and plants for the project.

Megan, a year 7 student at Folkestone Academy, said:

“It was lots of fun learning about bees and there were lots of facts that I didn’t know. I think it’s really important that we think about the environment and how we help look after it. I’m glad that I have done my bit to help.”

Louise Feaver, Principal at Folkestone Academy Primary, said:

“As a Trust, we’re very much aware of the role that our schools and pupils play in protecting the environment and so we thought it important that the schools came together to work on this project. We’re pleased to have shared resources and ideas, and ultimately to have established an area in each of our schools where wild flowers can grow.”

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BBC News Feature - School Closures

Published: Tuesday 5th January 2021

Folkestone Primary School featured on BBC News South East after the announcement of the January national lockdown. Watch the video...

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Channel 5 news feature - RETURNING TO SCHOOL

Published: Monday 22nd February

Folkestone Academy and Folkestone Primary featured on Channel 5 News regarding pupils returning to school on March 8th.