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Turner Schools hosts Creative Arts Exhibition to highlight pupils’ talents
Pupils from across Folkestone have showcased their artistic talents at the second ever Turner Schools Creative Arts Exhibition. In total the exhibition saw more than 1,500 entries from the schools in the trust, with pupils collaborating on a number of projects to make up the finished exhibits. Read on...
In addition to the range of artwork on display, pupils from the three primary schools as well as Sixth Form pupils from Folkestone Academy performed a series of live shows. The Folkestone pupils sang, played the piano, danced and busked throughout the evening. After the performances there were speeches from notable dignitaries followed by prize giving.
Councillor David Monk, Leader of Folkestone & Hythe Council, and Deputy Mayor Councillor Belinda Walker attended the exhibition, along with school governors and other notable figures from across the trust. Councillor Walker and Turner Schools CEO Seamus Murphy presented prizes to the winning pupils.
The theme of this year’s exhibition was ‘We Are Folkestone’. This theme has allowed pupils to examine the town in which they live, looking at the past, present and future and creating a body of work which puts young voices at its heart.
Seamus Murphy, Turner Schools CEO, said:
“I’m incredibly proud of the resilience and strength of character that our pupils have shown throughout the past year. The quality of work that they have continued to produce both in school and via home learning has been fabulous. This exhibition was an opportunity to showcase just some of the talents that they have demonstrated throughout the year. I am especially pleased that we also have the creative scholars showcasing their work this year, a new initiative at Folkestone Academy.”
Michelle Foxwood, Turner Schools Creative Arts Director, said:
“We are not just five institutions working independently to tick off Ofsted criteria, but instead, a united collective invested in the continual regeneration of our town through its most important asset: young individuals who as a community will take us into the future.”
Shortlisted categories - Prizes presented by Deputy Mayor, Cllr Belinda Walker
Folkestone pupils perform and record series of radio plays
Folkestone pupils have enjoyed flexing their creative muscles in a project working with experienced radio professionals from Academy FM Folkestone. The ‘Reconnect Radio Drama’ project saw children rehearsing and recording a series of dramatic scripts in the Academy FM studios and other locations across their schools. Read on...
The project came about after Kent County Council's 'Reconnect' fund donated nearly £5,000 to Academy FM Folkestone to offer local children new opportunities. In total, the Academy FM team worked with 50 children from Martello Primary, Folkestone Primary and Morehall Primary.
Scripts were written by the Project Leaders and designed to meet the children’s ability levels and objectives, with the Martello Primary and Folkestone Primary pupils working in groups of five. The Folkestone Academy groups, who chose to record an act of A Midsummer Night’s Dream worked in larger groups.
Pupils from all three schools practised their scripts repeatedly with regular and positive feedback from the Academy FM team, before recording in the Academy FM studios as well as a range of interior and exterior locations across the schools. Sound effects and other production were added afterwards to ensure the finished pieces were as entertaining and realistic as possible.
Academy FM's impact is clear to see in Primary school surveying:
100% of children agreed they enjoyed the radio activities
89% said it had improved their confidence after the pandemic
84% said the project had helped them to speak more confidently
66% said the radio activities had helped them enjoy school and their learning more
95% would like to do similar activities as a regular opportunity
89% would like more opportunities to do radio drama or presenting.
A selection of the radio pieces were then turned into a video which can be found here.
David Sharp, Academy FM Manager, said:
“It was great to get the support of KCC and their Reconnect fund for this project. It was clear the children were interested in trying new things after the disruption of Covid and this was a great opportunity to work on their creative skills. They tackled every task with enthusiasm and a clear desire to improve, and over time it was clear to see their confidence and ability increasing.
“This was unquestionably one of the best projects we have worked on to date and we all loved seeing how much it meant to these children. We have gone onto a much bigger 'Reconnect Radio' project supported by KCC, which sees us working with 12 schools across Kent”
Seamus Murphy from Turner Schools, said:
“Thank you to KCC's Reconnect fund, and the Academy FM team for their hard work in designing and running this incredibly valuable project for our children. It’s obvious how much this has helped the children develop their creative and performing skills, as well as their confidence in their daily lives. This is a fantastic example of the exciting opportunities that our schools offer outside of the classroom as part of our wider provision.
The project was planned by David Sharp, Station Manager at Academy FM Folkestone with advice from Sadie Hurley of Jim Jam Arts. It was delivered by Lucy Thompson (freelance drama practitioner) and Katherine Castle (an experienced Teaching Assistant with a BA in Drama who currently works at Academy FM).
Award winning actress Jessica Hynes on judging panel for school talent celebration
Pupils from across Turner Schools had the chance to wow their peers at the first annual Turner’s Got Talent showcase at Folkestone Academy. In total, ten acts from across the trust performed their acts, including musicians, dancers, singers, and gymnasts. The ten finalists were given the chance to compete after each school held its own heats with more than 170 pupils across Turner Schools participating and showcasing their talent. Read on...
During the final showcase prizes were awarded by a panel of judges including renowned actress Jessica Hynes, Seamus Murphy, CEO of Turner Schools, Krissy Yates, Principal at Turner Free School and Local Councillor Jackie Meade.
The Turner’s Got Talent crown was taken by winners Holly, Peter, Zach and Josh from Folkestone Academy who performed ‘Come as you are’ by Nirvana.
In addition to the grand prize, Adela from Morehall Primary School was named Best in Primary for her cello performance of Spring Song by Frank Bridge, while Isabelle from Turner Free School won Best in Secondary for singing ‘Traitor’ by Olivia Rodrigo and Sienna from Martello Primary won The Murphy Prize, a prize that recognises potential talent in the future, for her rendition of ‘Try Everything’ by Shakira.
Holly, Year 9 Folkestone Academy pupil, from the winning band, said:
“I was very happy to win this great prize! We rehearsed this song for a couple of months and it’s nice to see that our hard work paid off. We have named our trophy ‘Benny’.”
Jessica Hynes said:
“Well done to all the performers, there was a fantastic amount of talent on the stage. We chose the winners because they showed incredible talent, dedication and amazing potential. We all agreed they had a kind of magic and an alchemy of fantastic performance skill. I really hope they go on and keep doing it because they really have got something.”
She continued: “Nothing is impossible, it’s really important thinking about performance and the Arts it sometimes seems unreachable. It isn’t! All you need is talent, focus, dedication and to keep on working. Any dream, no dream is too big.”
Seamus Murphy, CEO at Turner Schools, said:
“Congratulations to Holly, Peter, Zach and Josh on being named winners of the Turner’s Got Talent competition, and to every single one of our performers for their hard work. The competition was a resounding success and really highlighted the depth of talent across Turner Schools, which was absolutely fantastic to see. I’m sure these pupils will continue to showcase their skills over the coming years and I look forward to watching them do so.”
Folkestone pupils mark Queen’s Jubilee with tree-planting ceremony
Pupils across Folkestone have marked the Queen’s Jubilee by planting trees in celebration. Pupils at Martello Primary School, Morehall Primary School, Folkestone Primary, Folkestone Academy and Turner Free School planted a tree outside the school buildings as part of a national campaign of celebration. Read on...
The initiative, organised by The Queen’s Canopy, calls for schools to get involved and celebrate their outside spaces. In total more than one million trees have been planted in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The project is a unique tree planting initiative and invites people from across the country to plant their own trees to celebrate this historic milestone.
The Turner Schools team sourced their trees through Kent Historical Trees from Brogdale Collections, planting five trees, including two cherries, two acers and one ornamental plum in total. The pupils were also warded a commemorative plaque by the Queen’s Canopy initiative in honour of their efforts.
This is just the latest action by Turner Schools pupils to raise awareness of climate change and to look at how they can be more environmentally responsible. Pupils at Folkestone Primary and Martello Primary School have formed an Eco Council to look at addressing the school’s environmental impact, while their peers at Morehall Primary voted for Eco Champions to represent them and to decide which eco-friendly projects they should implement.
Cayden Collins, newly appointed Head Boy at Folkestone Academy Sixth Form, said:
“I feel very privileged to be a part of the tree planting at Folkestone Academy. The Year 7 pupils that accompanied the Head Girl and myself will get to watch the tree grow during their time at the Academy. I’m looking forward to coming back in years to come and seeing the progress the tree has made, knowing that I was a part of its beginning.”
Seamus Murphy, CEO of Turner Schools, said: DRAFT
“It’s fantastic to see our pupils are so keen to find out more about nature and the joys of spending time outside. They are really environmentally conscious and are so keen on doing what they can to raise awareness of climate change and to make a positive impact on the natural world around them.
“The Queen’s Canopy initiative is a fantastic means of getting schoolchildren out in the fresh air and to highlight the great wellbeing benefits of spending time with nature. These trees will form a lasting monument to this historic milestone.”
Gallery on the Gate
Parents and carers picking up at Folkestone Primary on Friday 11 February 2022 were treated to their very own playground art exhibition, courtesy of a new ‘Gallery on the Gate’. The initiative showcased pupils’ art work on the school’s railings and gate, bringing a splash of creativity and colour to home time. Read on below...
Pupils from across the Turner School primary participated in the exhibition. They experienced the thrill of displaying their work in public and their multi-media pieces, inspired by their local community, attracted many positive comments from parents and passers-by.
Gallery on the Gate is part of the Trust’s T25 campaign to provide 25 formative and enriching experiences to each of its pupils while at primary school, and a further 25 during their secondary years. The experiences, which are designed to support the pupils’ wider development and long-term success, can broadly be divided into the following categories: capturing culture, creative performing, connecting with the community, acting mindfully and staying safe. The categories cover a broad range of activities, from visiting national cultural institutions, learning CPR, gaining new qualifications or even learning how to ride a bike.
Louise Feaver, Principal at Folkestone Primary, said: “We wanted all our children to experience having their artwork displayed in the style of a gallery exhibition. Gallery on the Gate was a way of showcasing the artistic talents of every child in our school with our community. It was admired by all, and many parents commented on what an innovative and creative idea it was. It was lovely to see how proud the children were of their achievement.”
Jack S – “It’s good that everybody completed a piece, it shows everyone’s uniqueness but also everyone together as a whole school."
Millie-Clare D - "It was lovely for our parents to come and see our artwork. My parents loved coming to see how everyone is doing in their learning. I don't know of any other school that's done something like this!"
Tululah L- “It was so much fun painting our pictures and using different skills, like cutting, sticking, painting and drawing.”
Jack W - “I liked the labels so that you could see who made the picture and tell them how good it was!”
Hafssa T - “I felt really proud to be part of something that turned out so well.
Folkestone Pupils Take Part in Diversity and Inclusion Week
School leaders across Turner Schools have worked together to launch a trust-wide Diversity and Inclusion week. Pupils in all year groups across all five schools took part in a range of activities throughout the week including subject specific lessons, workshops and presentations from a range of guest speakers. Read on...
The aim of the week was to broaden pupils’ awareness of what is meant by diversity and inclusion; to encourage pupils to develop a greater sense of empathy and understanding towards those who are different to themselves; and to gain an appreciation for the diverse community in which we live.
Neurodiversity workshops with The Young Animators Club - Pupils participated in workshops on the concept of neurodiversity and how it feels to be neurodiverse, before producing animations to reflect their thoughts.
Anti-racism workshops with Books for Change - Pupils actively engaged in workshops delivered by Books for Change where they talked about the impact of racism and the importance of treating people equally.
Mark Parrin (Ambassador at Wordly Wise) - Mark delivered assemblies to Year 10 pupils at Folkestone Academy and Turner Free School, sharing his story of how he became paralysed in his mid-twenties, and how having a positive attitude has helped him to live a full and rewarding life. He went on to talk about the work he does now to support other people living with disabilities.
Mr Lea Baynes, teacher at Folkestone Academy - Delivered assemblies at all schools about his experience of being transgender., speaking openly and honestly about the challenges he faced as a teenager and the struggles of trying to ‘fit in’ before realising that he was transgender.
Folkestone and Hythe District Council - Deputy Leader Cllr Jenny Hollingsbee and other Council representatives spoke to pupils about diversity in the workplace, looking at the 9 protected characteristics and why having a diverse body of employees makes the workplace a more successful and happier environment.
Hearing impairment specialists from Kent Supported Employment - Helped pupils to understand what it’s like to be hearing impaired and what they can do to support members of the community with these needs.
Storytime with Dita the Drag Queen - To end the week, pupils spent the day with Dita the Drag Queen, reading stories about gender differences, using appropriate pronouns, and inclusive language. They got to know Dita, asked them questions, enquired about their job, their life, their own experiences at school, and learned exactly what it looks like when somebody, who may initially appear different in some way, is happy and confident and able to express themselves however they see fit.
A Year 7 pupil from Folkestone Academy said:
“This week I have learnt to be more respectful and considerate of other people's feelings. We should celebrate the differences between us; no one should experience discrimination.”
Seamus Murphy, CEO at Turner Schools, said:
“As a trust we embrace the diverse culture in which we live and we want our pupils to grow up having confidence in themselves, no matter what their situation may be. This week, pupils have had the opportunity to explore a wide range of issues and have heard first hand from people with diverse backgrounds. Pupils from all age ranges have approached the week with interest and maturity and I know that they have gained a huge amount from these experiences.”
Katy Tibbles, Community Engagement Manager at Turner Schools, said:
“It has been a privilege to work with such a diverse group of people throughout the week. I am incredibly grateful for the contributions made by members of the wider community and the stories that they have shared with us.”
Children Celebrate National Poetry Day
Friday 1st October
We welcomed parents/carers into the classroom to celebrate National Poetry Day on Friday 1st October. Here are some photos taken in Grasshoppers class, along with the class performing their chosen poem.
Folkestone Primary offers early years support for local parents
It was set up in response to feedback from parents in the district who felt that there weren’t currently enough opportunities for pre-school children to come together in a safe and welcoming environment. Due to the pandemic, over the past 18 months parents have been unable to access much of the support that would normally be available for those with young children, and sadly, some toddler groups have stopped running completely.
Recognising the importance of social interaction for both children and parents, the Children’s Cove was established to address this need. Over the course of the week, activities will include Stay and Play sessions, Baby Ballet and Little Music Stars. Although there is a small cost for some sessions, a number of activities are offered free of charge to support local parents.
The Children’s Cove will also provide the opportunity to offer additional activities throughout the week. Local groups who are looking for a space to run a group should contact the principal, Louise Feaver, at Folkestone Primary on firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, or to book a place, please call 01303 842400.
The Children’s Cove will be open to support parents for the following times:
Monday: Stay and Play - 9.15am-10.00am
Tuesday: Stay and Play - 10.00am-10.45am
Wednesday: Baby Ballet - 10.00am-10.45am
Thursday: Little Music Stars - 2.00pm-2.45pm
Friday: Toddler Book Club - 2.15pm-3.00pm
Louise Feaver, Principal at Folkestone Primary, said:
“We’re very excited to be hosting the Children’s Cove at Folkestone Primary. The last 18 months have been incredibly difficult for everyone, so it’s fantastic to finally be able to welcome not only our own pupils into the school, but also families from the wider community. The Children’s Cove will provide the opportunity for families with pre-school children to relax, have fun and meet other people.”
DfE Covid 19 Guidance
Please take some time to read the DfE Covid 19 guidance for parents/carers. (Click Gov.uk link)
Our school has updated our Covid 19 risk assessment to reflect the changes made in July.
Little Music Stars
Published 9th August
We have a new music group starting in September at Folkestone Primary.
School Assembly with Miss Feaver
Published: Friday 5th February 2021
Join Miss Feaver this week as she presents a whole school assembly virtually for you all.
Children's Mental Health Week
Published: 3rd February 2021
This week is Children's Mental Health Week and Step 2 will celebrate this by having an Express Yourself Accessory day on Thursday. Children may wear their favourite accessory which compliments your child's personality and interests. Children may like to wear a badge, hair bands, scarf, hat, gloves, lanyards or keyrings etc, however, no jewellery, due to health and safety.
For the children learning at home, please wear your accessory to the Live Meeting at 9:45am.
On Friday, the children in step 2 will be having a Wellbeing Day where there are lots of exciting, practical activities planned to enjoy yourselves. We hope you enjoy some time focusing on your creativity.
For those children in school, we shall be baking so children will need to bring a mixing bowl and a wooden spoon to school on Friday if at all possible.
School Assembly with Miss Feaver
Published: Friday 15th January 2021
Join Miss Feaver this week as she presents a whole school assembly virtually for you all.
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...