We are proud to work with several local schools, charities and agencies and seek to play an active, supportive role in the East Kent community.
Our facilities are used by many local organisations for charitable, recreational and educational purposes.
East Kent Schools Together (EKST)
St Edmund’s is really pleased and proud to be involved in the EKST collaboration, which involves Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) and 6 local schools from the independent and state sectors. The core aspirations of the East Kent Schools together project are:
- Raising aspirations
- Widening Horizons
- Improving confidence
- Enhancing wellbeing
- Developing team work skills and meaningful interactions
Current initiatives being worked upon by pupils and staff across the cluster are:
The Globalist – an online magazine by students featuring languages from all over the world. In the autumn term, the theme was a photograph with a caption and the Lent term is poetry in translation. It aims to encourage students in their study of modern languages and give opportunities to practise language skills outside of the curriculum as well as build teamwork and critical thinking skills.
EKST Choir rehearsals have started for 2020 but last year there were successful performances at The Beaney Museum on Saturday 23rd March and at the Kent Teacher of the Year Awards on Friday 10th May.
The collaborative Art Project ‘Rearranging Deckchairs’ was a wonderfully creative experience for our pupils. Each school created their own deckchair for an installation in June at The Turner Contemporary. This comprised of rows of individually customised deckchairs, which onlookers were able to walk around and through.
The Big Splash is coming up at Kingsmead Leisure Centre again in March. This is a swimming event aimed at KS3 students offering a morning of fun activities to raise student’s expectations of their own capability, give new confidence, introduce new activities such as first aid and lifesaving and develop their sense of wellbeing. It sounds great fun.
Many teachers in the EKST have met in subject ‘clusters’ once again to discuss and share best practice across the schools. Sessions for teachers to discuss and trial the new GCSE required practicals have been implemented and will run this year. This will benefit both teachers and students by the schools working collaboratively to explore alternative methods for delivery and ensure students gain the best level of practical knowledge in preparation for their examinations and lives beyond.
St Edmund’s is working on allowing local state school pupils to use our facilities and staff expertise for the benefit of all as are the other schools in the partnership. Current initiatives from us involve our school being used as a ‘hub’ for student voice meetings, free places to local pupils from 6 other schools to our Easter GCSE revision ‘Boot Camp’ and a day of ‘SportsFest’ on our Astro once again in March. Our school is helping the EKST to drive forward and well-being, residential initiative for year 10 pupils across the cluster. St Edmund’s will host the inaugural “Big Boost” in May 2020.
The Art Department is currently involved in two projects.
St Edmund’s School staff and pupils are working with Bridge and Patrixbourne Primary on outreach workshops. Staff have visited the school and delivered three workshops. These have involved different approaches to drawing, including drawing with wire. Pupils have made observation drawings from objects that are used for each of the academic subjects they study. We have scanned the pupils’ linear drawings and enlarged those onto MDF. The plan was to create a large panel that will be displayed in Bridge Primary’s entrance. This is now sitting proudly in place. We will be running a further three workshops at St Edmund’s. These will include working on the large panel as well as some printmaking and wire mobiles. Pupils will also have the opportunity to visit the Art and DT exhibition on the final session.
The six EKST schools worked last year with artist Esther Miles to produce a deckchair installation at Turner Contemporary in June. Each school is producing six deckchair slings using the Japanese Bora textile method. The deckchairs will be on display throughout the summer. St Edmund’s has run a joint workshop with St Anselm’s. Students and staff from all six schools worked successfully together on June 20th to finalise the exhibited pieces. Luca Beba has been asked to represent all the schools as student photographer.
Over the last year, St Edmund’s has developed a superb link with Chelsea Football Club Foundation. They have provided numerous coaching sessions for our pupils from Pre-Prep through to Sixth Form, inspiring with their skill and knowledge whilst also spotting talent. Steve Tapley and Will Rourke, CFC Foundation coaches, delivered a superb pre-season session to our senior footballers in September and we will be visiting their training ground at Cobham in the new year for a coaching session and friendly fixture with a local team.
The coaching team run weekly sessions for Years 7-9 on a Thursday after school at St Edmund’s for our pupils and are making use of our all weather pitch on a Saturday morning, offering sessions to the local community.
Sportsfest provides the opportunity for children aged 7-13 to come to St Edmund’s to experience our wonderful facilities and fabulous teaching and coaching staff. A morning of activity sees children choose three activities from Football, Hockey, Cricket, Netball, Cricket, Tennis and Trampolining, followed by a presentation of certificates and goody bags. It’s great fun, meeting new friends and trying out new skills.
We also have close links with Polo Farm and most recently the Pre Prep children took a trip to Polo Farm to take part in a Little Sticks session with Jaynie Scott Kilvert, Annie Hare and Lewis, the newly arrived Australian overseas player.
Collaboration with St Faith’s of Ash and Northbourne Park for a performance of Chilcott’s Requiem in Canterbury Cathedral, Gala Concert March 2020. I will be going out to both of these schools in the Lent Term to work with them on three occasions each.
Kent Festival Piano Classes are held each November here at the school.
The EKCO and St Edmund’s Symphony Orchestra are open to pupils in other schools. St Edmund’s School is the proud home of the East Kent Children’s Orchestra (EKCO). The orchestra was established 10 years ago to provide an opportunity for young musicians from our school and the wider community to play in a 40+ strong symphony orchestra. The EKCO is open to musicians up to and including Year 8 and rehearsals are held very Wednesday at 4.30pm in the St Edmund’s Recital Hall. We proudly have members in each ensemble from other schools.
St Edmund’s Choral Society for anyone in the local community, friends and parents of the school.
The East Kent Schools Together partnership choir.
In March of this year, our wonderful Drama department will host an afternoon of improvisation workshops with the aims of bringing pupils together from the EKST cluster, developing acting skills and promoting creativity as a way to improve well-being.