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Folkestone Primary celebrates decade of excellent education with 10th birthday party
Staff and pupils at Folkestone Primary have celebrated the school’s tenth birthday with cakes, dancing, balloons, and banners. The primary school, part of the Turner Schools academy trust, offered staff a birthday cake made by ‘star baker’ Mrs Tighy as part of the celebrations. Read on...
The occasion marked a decade since then-Parliamentary Under Secretary for Education and Childcare, and future Prime Minister, Liz Truss MP, officially opened the two new school buildings designed to cater for primary children.
For the celebrations, the school grounds were decorated with balloons and celebratory banners. The clear highlight for the children were the frosted cupcakes, specially decorated in the school’s colours, hand-delivered by Principal Louise Feaver to every child and member of staff.
In addition to the cupcakes, children and staff came together to dance and sing at the end of the day, and even formed a conga line around the playground.
This anniversary was the school’s second celebration in just a few weeks, following swiftly behind Folkestone Primary’s first Ofsted inspection. The school was judged as offering a ‘Good’ standard of education, with ‘Outstanding’ provision in Early Years, Personal Development and Behaviour and Attitudes.
Louise Feaver, Principal at Folkestone Primary, said:
"The last ten years have gone so quickly, and it is fantastic to see how far our school has come. It was lovely seeing children and staff enjoying the celebrations. This anniversary not only marks ten years since we started our journey, but also symbolises a decade of shaping young minds and nurturing future leaders."
Seamus Murphy, CEO at Turner Schools, said:
“I am delighted that Louise and the whole Folkestone Primary community could enjoy such a lovely celebration of the school’s tenth birthday. The school is clearly continuing to go from strength to strength and we all look forward to seeing how it develops over the next ten years."
FOLKESTONE PRIMARY JUDGED AS ‘GOOD’ IN FIRST EVER INSPECTION WITH ‘OUTSTANDING’ IN THREE AREAS
“Pupils love the school and feel loved by the school”
Folkestone Primary is celebrating their first ever Ofsted grading, having been recognised as ‘outstanding’ in three areas: behaviour and attitudes; personal development and early years. Part of Turner Schools family, Folkestone Primary has been awarded a ‘Good’ judgement overall. Read on...
The opening lines of the heartening report speak about the culture and atmosphere that has been cultivated at the school: “Pupils at Folkestone Primary love the school and feel loved by the school; a close and warm relationship between staff and pupils is present throughout.”
The report also recognises that children with special educational needs are well supported as part of an ‘inclusive culture’ at Folkestone Primary, with children achieving the best possible outcomes.
Inspectors also point to pupils enjoying making decisions about their learning and that they feel encouraged by the lengths leaders go to, going above and beyond to meet the contextual needs of the school.
More generally, children access a broad curriculum and rapidly become fluent readers, with staff showing expertise in teaching reading. This has helped cultivate a “love of reading” amongst pupils who are “avid readers”, beyond their phonics and reading lessons.
Inspectors also praise the school’s work on pupils’ personal development and behaviour, noting this as exceptional. The school ‘creates and curates’ a positive environment for behaviour in which pupils are ‘impeccably polite and respectful.’ Behaviour is calm and settled across the school. There is a deliberately and coherently planned personal development offer and a “cohesive and well-considered approach” to children’s physical and mental wellbeing. Tolerance and learning how to play a positive role in their local community is also prioritised.
Finally, leadership, supported by Turner Schools and governors is recognised in the report, as having contributed to strengths seen across the curriculum and the development of subject leaders.
Louise Feaver, Principal of Folkestone Primary said:
“We are incredibly proud of our school and what we have achieved during our first inspection. I feel privileged to work with such a dedicated team who put the children at the heart of all that they do. Folkestone Primary is a special place and we are delighted that this was encapsulated throughout the report.”
Seamus Murphy, CEO of Turner Schools said:
“We are all very proud of what Louise and her team have achieved. A school’s very first Ofsted grade is a milestone moment, and it is wonderful to see that the inspection team have recognised what a great school Folkestone Primary is and really captured the ethos and culture that the team have created. My congratulations to Louise and the whole Folkestone Primary team!”
Turner Schools primary pupils inspired by former multiple British Bike Trial champion James Sheridan
Pupils across Turner Schools primaries have been inspired to take up cycling after watching a stunning display from former European and multiple British Bike Trial champion James Sheridan and his Wheel2Wheel display team. Read on...
The pupils, from Morehall Primary, Folkestone Primary, and Martello Primary were captivated by James’ bike skills, before eagerly quizzing him on how he first became involved with the sport and achieved such success.
The champion cyclist performed a wide range of different tricks as part of his exhibition, including jumps and flicks as well as completing a complicated raised obstacle course. He showed tremendous control and athleticism over the course of the display and wowed the watching pupils.
The exhibition was designed to raise interest and excitement about cycling for the pupils.
Learning to ride a bike is a skill which features in the Trust’s ‘Turner 25’ offer, with primary school aged pupils first developing their motor and balance skills on balance bikes before working up to safe independent bike riding via the Bikeability programmes.
Pupils at Martello Primary commented:
Bella-Rose - "It was amazing when James was on the roof of the van and landed on the bottle top - I didn't think he was going to be able to make it but he did!"
Hannah - "I thought it was cool when James jumped over Mrs Lythgoe - thank you for keeping her safe!"
Lola - "It made me laugh when James couldn't jump because the crowd wasn't loud enough, so we had to cheer even louder!"
Archie - "I couldn't believe James was on top of the van on his bike!"
Jasper - "I was so impressed that James could ride a bike backwards - I want to practise so that I can do that!"
Nicholas: I thought the bike show was cool and crazy, it inspired me to practise on my bike. Next year I hope he comes to the secondary school that I am going to.
Louise Lythgoe, Director of Primary Improvement at Turner Schools, commented: “The importance of developing healthy minds and bodies from a young age cannot be underestimated, and that’s why we build in exciting and memorable enrichment opportunities such as this for the pupils in our schools. I hope that this experience encourages children’s participation in fitness activities - who knows, we might have the next British Trials Champion amongst our pupils!”
Folkestone children celebrate love of reading with Book Week
Pupils from across Folkestone have celebrated World Book Day with a full week’s worth of activities. The children, from Folkestone Primary, Martello Primary and Morehall Primary, enjoyed Book Week with a wide range of activities from Monday to Friday. Read on...
Book Week is an annual event for Turner Schools, which organises a full calendar of activities across the week. The aim is to build on the appeal of World Book Day by bringing pupils, families and staff together to appreciate the importance of literature, and the joy which can be found within it.
Over the course of the week:
At Folkestone Primary, pupils designed an Egg Box Character, dressed up as their favourite book character, browsed a Scholastic Book Fair where they could use their National Book Tokens to buy books, and were treated to a visit from local author and illustrator Katy Towse. They also decorated their classroom doors with their favourite stories, took part in book-themed dance workshops, and hunted for Golden Tickets - hidden around the school grounds where children who found them would receive a new book. The school also invited parents in for a DEAR - Drop Everything and Read - event with their children.
At Martello Primary, parents were also invited in to read with their children as well as to participate in a World Book Day Celebration Assembly. Children also competed to design the best potato character, participated in author workshops with Loris Owens and competed in the Big Book Quiz. Teachers also read to different classes after school and before lunchtime.
At Morehall Primary, pupils designed a National Book Token cover, dressed up as their favourite book character, visited Cheriton Library, and participated in the Masked Reader competition where they had to guess the teacher behind a mask while they read an excerpt from their favourite book. Pupils also joined in with the Scholastic Book Fair and the book-themed dance workshops.
Aleysha, Year 3 Morehall:
“I really enjoyed trying to guess which teacher was reading in "The Masked Reader" and I'm so excited to start reading my book that I was able to get from the library. Book Week is always so much fun!”
Louise Lythgoe, Executive Head Teacher and Primary Improvement Team Lead at Turner Schools, said:
“We know that getting children excited about reading at a young age is key to developing a life-long love of reading. This is important for children’s educational development, but more than that, it’s about helping them realise how much joy they can find in books.
“There’s no question that Book Week was a fantastic success and our children loved taking part in such a wide range of activities. Everyone got so involved and it was wonderful to see so much laughter and happiness across our school with such a creative range of activities based around reading.”
Turner Schools’ Diversity and Inclusion Week teaches local young people about those who might be different from themselves
Over the last fortnight (w/c 30th January and w/c 6th February), thousands of pupils from across Folkestone have taken part in a number of activities to enhance their understanding of others. In all, 2,650 pupils from the Turner Schools trust have participated in Diversity and Inclusion Weeks within their schools to learn more about the world around them.Read on...
The five schools within the trust - Folkestone Academy, Turner Free School, Morehall Primary, Folkestone Primary, and Martello Primary - worked together and independently to organise activities as part of the trust-wide community engagement programme.
Throughout the week pupils took part in a range of lessons, presentations, and workshops to celebrate different aspects of diversity. Guest speakers shared their knowledge and experiences; the overall aim being to develop pupils' awareness, appreciation, and understanding of those who may be different to themselves, and to inspire and provide role models for those pupils who may not not see themselves reflected in everyday life.
Some of the main activities this year included:
Visit of Sir Stephen Wall
Sir Stephen spoke to pupils in Years 11, 12, and 13 about LGBT rights and what it was like for him growing as a gay man and working as a British Diplomat at a time when it was unacceptable to be part of the LGBT community.
Visit of Wordly Wise Ambassador Mark Parrin
Mark talked about his physical disability and what it is like being in a wheelchair. He shared stories of some of the challenges he’s faced, such as being left on aeroplanes for hours because airport assistance hasn’t been available and having his wheelchair destroyed by baggage handlers. Mark highlighted the importance of having a positive attitude when facing adversity.
Nathassia Devine Performance
Chart topping, electronic music artist Nathhassia performed to pupils in Years 7 and 9. Her music promotes inclusivity and kindness. Nathassia also talked about her experience of being bullied as a child because of her multi-cultural heritage and the impact that that had on her mental health. She encouraged pupils to be kind and accepting of each other and to speak up if they ever felt unhappy.
Year 7 pupils at Folkestone Academy spent the week reflecting upon aspects of diversity that were important to them. They each decorated a pebble to promote inclusion and kindness which they then placed in areas around the town.
Books for Change
Emily Ghassenpour from Books for Change worked with pupils throughout the primary schools, delivering anti-racism workshops. She encouraged pupils to reflect upon what we mean by the term racism and how people feel when they are treated differently because of the colour of their skin.
Pupils in Year 2 visited their local libraries to have a storytime session with books that promote inclusion. Staff from the library read The Proudest Blue and And Tango Makes Three; the children then had a discussion about the stories and why it’s important to have diverse characters represented in books. They then made posters for a display in the library to promote books with diverse themes.
The Beacon Plus
During the primary school week, both Martello Primary and Folkestone Primary carried out activities with The Beacon Plus. Year 6 children from Martello visited the Beacon Plus Community Cafe on Tuesday and enjoyed time with the learners there, hearing about the work that they do and their goals for the future. On Thursday, Year 6 pupils at Folkestone Primary were treated to a talk from one Beacon Plus learner about autism and then they were joined by 16 other learners from the provision who spent the morning chatting and playing games with the children.
Young Animators Club
Year 4 and 5 pupils at Morehall Primary participated in an animation workshop which was delivered by the Young Animators Club. They discussed what it means to be neurodivergent and then created animators that reflected how neurodivergent people might feel in different situations.
Katy Tibbles, Stakeholder and Community Engagement Manager at Turner Schools said:
“As a trust, we're passionate about developing our pupils into well-rounded individuals with open minds and an appreciation for a diverse society. Whilst inclusion is part of our everyday practice, we use these weeks to really celebrate and focus on diverse topics. Essentially, our goal is to develop our young people into well rounded, open-minded adults who appreciate living in a diverse society.”
Am’e Moris, Principal at Morehall Primary said:
“It’s incredibly important that our children learn about inclusion. Diversity Week encourages kindness, understanding and empathy. The children have had lots of fun participating in the activities this week, but most importantly, they have developed knowledge and an appreciation for a diverse society.”
Ben, Year 12 pupil at Folkestone Academy said:
“The talks this week have been really interesting. They have broadened my perspective; I really enjoyed the talk on LGBT history.”
Sophie, Year 9 pupil at Turner Free School said:
“Diversity week has made me think more about others and the importance of being kind to each other.”
Olive, Year 5 pupil at Martello Primary said:
“This week we have learnt that it doesn’t matter if you are different, or think that you are different, everyone is important and special. Everyone deserves to be treated the same way and not different because of the way they look or feel.”
Festive Hampers Delivered To Folkestone Families
This Christmas, staff at Turner Schools delivered 100 families from across the Turner community a Christmas food hamper. On Friday 23rd December, Turner staff volunteers will packed up 100 hampers and delivered them to homes across Folkestone.. Read on...
The hampers included ingredients for a Christmas dinner, excluding meat products, and helped bring festive cheer to families across Folkestone. The project was funded by a £2,000 donation from Folkestone Rotary Club and £900 from Folkestone Town Council, as well as £415 donated by Turner Schools staff. This last figure was match-funded by the Trust.
Katy Tibbles, Senior Stakeholder and Community Engagement Manager at Turner Schools, said:
“We were delighted to offer families across Folkestone these festive hampers. We know how tough life is right now for too many families and so we wanted to do what we could to help out. Hopefully this brought a smile to people’s faces and allowed them to have a really special Christmas. Thank you to the Folkestone Rotary Club, to Folkestone Town Council, and of course to our fantastic staff for their support in making sure we can offer these hampers.”
Sarah Morgan, Director of Secondary Improvement at Turner Schools, said:
“Our aim was to bring festive cheer to those in need and to show everyone the Turner spirit. I am so proud of the staff members who donated to this project, as well as those who offered their time to help us pack up and deliver these hampers. I am delighted that we have been able to offer these hampers to so many families this Christmas.”
Life Saving CPR skills taught to Year 6 pupils
Pupils from Folkestone Primary have taken part in a CPR life saving course provided by members of Resuscitation Council UK. The Year 6 pupils took part in a 45 minute session which focused on lifesaving skills to help someone whose heart has stopped beating. Read on...
During the session, children learnt what to do if they found someone who had collapsed, what steps they should take, how to give compressions, and how to use a defibrillator.
Throughout October, an alliance of partners across the world, including UK Ambulance Services, first aid training organisations, universities, and other charitable and public sector community-based organisations are coming together to save lives. Their aim is to increase public awareness of cardiac arrests and to increase the number of people trained in life saving CPR by organising and facilitating training events. They will also provide opportunities for people to learn CPR digitally in the safety and comfort of their own home.
Year 6 pupil Jasper, explained that he thoroughly enjoyed the course:
“It taught me to restart a heart in the event of an emergency- which is a life saving skill and I will never forget it. We also learnt how to use a defibrillator!”
Year 6 Holly also said:
“I learnt how to approach someone and call for emergency help if they are not responding, I also discovered that you can only do CPR on someone who is not breathing and unconscious but you must always call 999 for help before starting. My favourite part was trying the chest compressions because you can do them to the rhythm of Baby Shark!”
Louise Feaver, Principal of Folkestone Primary, said:
“The skills that our pupils learned during this session are absolutely essential and may well help save lives in the future. It is so important that every member of our community understands what to do in an emergency and how they can help. The Resuscitation Council and their partners are doing vital work and we thank them for it.”
The Turner Schools Trust is deeply saddened by the death of Her Majesty The Queen.
Turner Schools organises Community Day for thousands of pupils
Pupils from across Folkestone have come together in a series of activities to celebrate and support their local community. More than 2,000 pupils from across Turner Schools spent the day giving back to the people around them in the organisation’s first ever ‘Community Day’. Read on...
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...