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Double-decker gaming bus comes to Folkestone Academy 

Playing a range of games like FIFA, Minecraft, Spongebob, Pal World, Rayman and racing games, might not sound like a typical day at school, but Year 7 pupils at Folkestone Academy were given the chance to do just that. Read on...

As part of a scheme to learn about online safety, a specialised double-decked bus came to the school to give pupils the chance to discuss the challenges of online life.

The double-decker is fully kitted-out with age-appropriate games consoles and games and every pupil was given a 20-minute session onboard. 

The main message from sessions was about online safety: how to report people and comments that might make young people feel uncomfortable, and how to keep themselves safe while gaming by only playing with friends and people they know rather than strangers.

The event was organised by Kent County Council & Medway Prevent team. Officers from Prevent, representatives from Kent Police and a member of Folkestone and Hythe District Council’s Community Safety Team were on the bus talking to pupils.

Rosie, who is in Year 7, said she really enjoyed her gaming time on the bus.

“It was fun to play games, especially for some people who do not have access to games and there were loads of games to choose from. 

“We talked about how important it is to stay safe online, but have fun at the same time.”

Susie Williams, Vice Principal at Folkestone Academy said: “We were delighted to have the gaming bus come to Folkestone Academy and pupils thoroughly enjoyed their sessions.

“We know how important it is for all our young people to keep safe while they are online and we were delighted to have experts come to advise our pupils about online safety.”

Turner’s Got Talent 2024

Pupils from across Turner Schools in Folkestone and Dover have been showcasing their many talents at the trust’s annual ‘Turner’s Got Talent’ competition. This year’s production saw more than 30 pupils of all ages take to the stage and perform a series of superb routines, dazzling a packed theatre of friends, families and school staff. Read on...

The audience was wowed by dance numbers, musical performances, cheerleading routines and even yo-yo displays in a series of highly competitive heats, with eight acts making it through to the final showcase.

Performers had to impress a judging panel made up of Cllr Jackie Meade, Councillor for East Folkestone, Tim Smith,  Music Producer at local recording studio ‘Seaview Studio’, Steve Shaw, Principal at Folkestone Academy and Am’e Moris, Principal at Morehall Primary.

The Best in Primary award, presented by Steve Shaw, went to Indie-Lew from Morehall Primary, with a live drawing of a dinosaur to the ‘Jurassic Park’ theme tune, while Best in Secondary, presented by Tim Smith, was Ivan from Turner Sixth Form performing on the guitar ‘Ronda alla Turca’ by Mozart.

The Murphy Prize, named after Turner Schools CEO Seamus Murphy and awarded to the act who shows the most potential for the future, was awarded to Martello Primary’s Nestor, who performed ‘Scarborough Fair’ on the trumpet.

Finally, the overall winners of Turner’s Got Talent 2024,awarded by Cllr Jackie Meade, were announced: Folkestone Academy’s students, Beth, Ava, Leah, Angel, Esme and Eden who performed ‘Ex-Wives’ from the musical Six.

Michelle Foxwood, Director of Creative Arts at Turner Schools, said:

“Once again the pupils of theTurner Schools Trust have provided an outstanding evening of entertainment. Their talent and confidence is testament to the creative education at their schools and to our ethos of striving for excellence.”

Leah Whiting, from the Folkestone Academy ‘Ex-Wives’ performance, said: 

We were so happy about winning the competition that we cried! It was such an amazing experience to be able to perform in front of so many people. We’re so proud of our achievement.”

Tim Smith, Owner of Seaview Studios, said: 

"It is so exciting to see how much talent there is in the next generation and I am thrilled to see that being nurtured in these schools"

Seamus Murphy, CEO at Turner Schools, said:

“I was delighted to see the variety of talents on show this evening. Well done to all who reached the final and congratulations to all the winners”. 

Students across Folkestone and Dover attend STEM Careers Fair

More than 30 leading science, tech and engineering organisations have showcased potential career opportunities in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) to students in Folkestone and Dover. Read on...

Companies including: Invvu Construction Consultants, Church & Dwight, Saga, Eurotunnel, Jenner, Swiss Re, NHS Pharmaceuticals, and Digital Kent all exhibited at Turner Schools’ annual Careers Fair, which focused on STEM this year.

Hundreds of students were able to access the careers fair as it toured three schools within the Turner Schools group - Turner Free School in Folkestone in January, Folkestone Academy in February and Dover Christ Church Academy (DCCA) in March. 

Students in Dover were able to take part in the careers fair for the first time since the school became part of Turner Schools.  As part of the Trust’s fully inclusive approach, all pupils from the Aspen 2 Specialist Provision at Dover Christ Church Academy also participated in the fair.

As well as exhibitors introducing students to job roles that utilise STEM subjects, a range of further and higher education providers including Canterbury Christ Church University and East Kent College were on hand to explain the qualifications they offered in STEM.

Pupils across all year groups attended the careers fair, enabling them to learn more about the wide range of career opportunities available in these industries and ask employers more detailed questions.

Katy Tibbles, Trust Head of Careers, explained: 

“Every year we run a series of careers fairs that link to a specific sector. This means that pupils get a more in-depth look at that particular industry and a greater insight into the wide variety of roles, not just those that are well known. 

“This year, we focused on STEM and it was great to have so many local companies attend the fairs and provide engaging activities that inspired the pupils to consider careers in this field.”

Fiona Dryburgh, Invvu Construction Consultants, commented:

‘We had a fantastic experience at the Turner Schools STEM Career Fairs, engaging with students (who were brilliant!), sharing insights into our work, and shedding light on career paths within the construction industry.

“At INVVU, we are passionate about enlightening students of all ages about the diverse opportunities in Engineering and Construction Design, showcasing the dynamic careers available in this field.

“We find that many students associate engineering solely with repairing cars or machines. However, the field of engineering encompasses much more than this and is intricately intertwined with everything we encounter in our daily lives from roads to bridges, schools to drainage systems, lighting and heating.

“Given the skills shortage in the UK, we recognize the importance of our role in inspiring future talent to explore careers within our industry, and after meeting lots of switched on and engaged students, at the Turner Schools - the future looks bright!’.”

Pupils from DCCA were delighted to attend the fair for the first time:

“I found it really interesting finding out all about different jobs I could do in the future and I hope we can do this again.” - Stanley, year 8 DCCA. 

Budding Mathematicians head to Primary Schools Maths Challenge

Budding mathematicians from 15 primary schools across Folkestone and Hythe pitted their wits against each other at an annual competition in Folkestone.

Folkestone Academy, part of the Turner Schools group, hosted the 13th annual Primary Schools Maths Challenge, welcoming 60 Year 5 pupils to the school for a day of mathematical fun and intense competition. Read on...

Competitors were welcomed by Dr Ed Cohen who is a Reader (Associate Professor) in Statistics in the Department of Mathematics at Imperial College London, one of the most pre-eminent Mathematics departments in the world.

Dr Cohen spoke to the pupils about being a mathematician and outlined some of the exciting projects he has worked on before officially opening the competition.

Pupils took part in six rounds aimed at bringing Maths and numbers to life and encouraging children to have fun with numbers: Speed Test, Murder Mystery, Codebreaking, Number Problems, Numbers Crossword and Number Relay Game.

Overall honours were scooped by pupils from St Augustine’s Catholic School with St Martin’s CofE Primary School in second place and Christ Church CofE Primary Academy in third.

Also taking part were pupils from Folkestone Primary, Martello Primary, Morehall Primary, Mundella Primary, Seabrook CofE Primary, St Nicholas CofE Primary Academy, Palmarsh Primary School, The Churchill School, St Eanswythe’s CofE Primary, St Mary’s  CofE Primary Academy, Selsted CofE Primary School and Stella Maris Catholic Primary School.

Winners were presented with a trophy and a maths gift set, including a scientific calculator and a geometry set, by Steve Shaw, Principal of Folkestone Academy.

All the competitors were presented with certificates and good bags.

Keith Denchfield, Director of Maths at Folkestone Academy, said: 

“The Maths Challenge was set up to encourage primary age children to have fun with numbers and learn to love and appreciate them before any prejudices or fears about the subject creep in. It was inspiring to see the enjoyment the children competing had for the subject and I hope that continues to grow into their secondary years.”

Steve Shaw, Principal at Folkestone Academy, said: 

“We were delighted to host such an educational and fun event for local primary schools, encouraging the competitors in their love of Maths.

“We were also honoured to welcome Dr Ed Cohen to the school to talk to the children about his own love of the subject and his amazing career. It is so important for children to be inspired at an early age, particularly in Maths which has perhaps suffered more than other academic subjects in terms of negative perceptions.”

 Dr Ed Cohen said: 

“From explaining the world around us, to driving forward the latest developments in technology and artificial intelligence, mathematics is a remarkable subject that will continue to touch almost every aspect of our lives. There has never been a more exciting time to be a mathematician, and events like this are vital in nurturing and energising the next generation. It was wonderful to share the day with this bright, fun, and diverse group of budding mathematicians.”

Hythe travel company shows local students potential careers in technology 

A Hythe holiday company has partnered with two Folkestone schools to showcase potential careers in technology to their students. Young people from Turner Free School and Folkestone Academy have visited Holiday Extras as part of their wider careers programme to learn more about how the Hythe company uses cutting-edge technology as part of their package to holiday makers.  Read on...

Holiday Extras is a forward thinking, local company specialising in technology, software engineering and product development. Their state-of-the-art offices cater for more than 800 employees and with a mantra of 'no fun, no point' they're an enticing employment route for young people. 

Students on the trip enjoyed a tour of the amazing campus facilities, learned about different job roles and entry routes, including apprenticeships, and also had the opportunity to learn about the exciting impact of artificial intelligence on business development.

The trip was organised as part of the Turner Schools careers programme which aims to provide pupils with the knowledge, skills and experiences they need to make informed choices about their future. 

As well as the Year 10 visits, Holiday Extras have also recently supported schools in the trust by attending their STEM Careers Fairs and talking to sixth form students about their apprenticeship opportunities.

Nicola Boston, Culture & Experience Lead, said:

“It was an absolute pleasure to host both Folkestone Academy and Turner Free School at our campus. Our mission is to inspire and educate local young people about the world of career possibilities available to them - these visits were the perfect opportunity to do this. The students had fun experimenting with the latest AI technology as well as learning about how it’s transforming our business operations.”

Chloe, a Year 10 student at Turner Free School, said: 

“Going to Holiday Extras was lots of fun. I really liked the environment and the building, it made me think that it would be a fun place to work - everyone seemed to be enjoying what they were doing. It was really inspiring to learn about artificial intelligence and how it’s being used more by businesses. It made me realise that jobs will look very different by the time I go to work.”

Katy Tibbles, Head of Careers at Turner Schools, said: 

“It’s a privilege to work with supportive and innovative companies such as Holiday Extras. As a local business, they will offer real career opportunities for our young people as they progress into the world of work. Visits such as these inspire pupils and help them navigate their way through education and on to meaningful employment in the future.”

KENT SCHOOL TRUST WINS NATIONAL RECOGNITION FOR CAREERS EDUCATION

THE academy trust which educates over 4000 pupils from Folkestone and Dover, many of them from deprived areas, has won national recognition for its careers education.

Turner Schools, which runs three primary, three secondary schools and one Sixth Form in the region, has been named as one of ten careers education champions in the Careers Excellence 2024 awards, and was the only academy trust recognised. Read on...

The prestigious awards, run annually by the national body for careers education in England - The Careers and Enterprise Company, celebrate excellence in careers education.

They select just ten careers education champions, whose collective effort has promoted skills and great outcomes for young people, from thousands nationwide.  

This year’s awards recognised champions who stood out in three areas: Widening Opportunity, Building Future Skills and Raising Quality.

Turner Schools, which runs schools including Folkestone Academy, Turner Free School in Folkestone and Dover Christ Church Academy in Dover, was recognised in the Raising Quality section, for “demonstrating exemplary leadership in improving the standard of careers provision in their area”, according to the selection panel, who said:

“The Trust has demonstrated strategic leadership for careers across all its schools and built strong relationships with local employers.”

The panel also recognised that Turner Schools’ achievement in careers education was even greater because a higher number of the trust’s students – 44% compared to the national average of 24% - were eligible for free school meals. A higher figure is often equated to increased disadvantages faced by children in education and beyond.

The panel reported: “They progress to a wide range of post-16 destinations, with a mix of academic and vocational pathways, suggesting that pupils are well informed of the different options available to them.”

Turner Schools was awarded the accolade during National Careers Week in a ceremony at the House of Lords, attended by Seamus Murphy, Turner Schools’ CEO and Katy Tibbles, Trust Head of Careers, and hosted by Baroness Nicky Morgan, with the keynote speech given by Lord David Blunkett. 

Seamus Murphy, Turner Schools’ CEO said:

“I was delighted to have our careers provision celebrated at such a high profile event. Our strategic focus on the importance of careers education is a reflection of the trust vision for excellence in education for all and a vindication of the investment we have put in our amazing staff and partnerships.”

Katy Tibbles, Head of Careers at Turner Schools, said: 

“It was an absolute honour to be recognised for raising quality at The Careers and Enterprise Company’s Careers Excellence Awards. 

“As a trust we recognise the importance and impact of good careers education for all young people to ensure that they can take their best next step as they progress through education and into the world of work. 

“Having worked hard for a number of years to create a meaningful and rigorous careers programme that meets the needs of all pupils across our schools, it means a lot to us to receive this award.”

Folkestone students learn about technology careers with Holiday Extras

A Hythe holiday company has partnered with two Folkestone schools to showcase potential careers in technology to their students. Young people from Turner Free School and Folkestone Academy have visited Holiday Extras as part of their wider careers programme to learn more about how the Hythe company uses cutting-edge technology as part of their package to holiday makers.  Read on...

Holiday Extras is a forward thinking, local company specialising in technology, software engineering and product development. Their state-of-the-art offices cater for more than 800 employees and with a mantra of 'no fun, no point' they're an enticing employment route for young people. 

Students on the trip enjoyed a tour of the amazing campus facilities, learned about different job roles and entry routes, including apprenticeships, and also had the opportunity to learn about the exciting impact of artificial intelligence on business development.

The trip was organised as part of the Turner Schools careers programme which aims to provide pupils with the knowledge, skills and experiences they need to make informed choices about their future. 

As well as the Year 10 visits, Holiday Extras have also recently supported schools in the trust by attending their STEM Careers Fairs and talking to sixth form students about their apprenticeship opportunities.

Nicola Boston, Culture & Experience Lead, said:

“It was an absolute pleasure to host both Folkestone Academy and Turner Free School at our campus. Our mission is to inspire and educate local young people about the world of career possibilities available to them - these visits were the perfect opportunity to do this. The students had fun experimenting with the latest AI technology as well as learning about how it’s transforming our business operations.”

Chloe, a Year 10 student at Turner Free School, said: 

“Going to Holiday Extras was lots of fun. I really liked the environment and the building, it made me think that it would be a fun place to work - everyone seemed to be enjoying what they were doing. It was really inspiring to learn about artificial intelligence and how it’s being used more by businesses. It made me realise that jobs will look very different by the time I go to work.”

Katy Tibbles, Head of Careers at Turner Schools, said: 

“It’s a privilege to work with supportive and innovative companies such as Holiday Extras. As a local business, they will offer real career opportunities for our young people as they progress into the world of work. Visits such as these inspire pupils and help them navigate their way through education and on to meaningful employment in the future.”

Folkestone Academy horticultural students enjoy day at world-class botanical haven

Students from Folkestone Academy with a passion for horticulture spent the day surrounded by the natural world on a visit to RHS Garden Wisley, a world-class botanical haven renowned for its stunning displays and educational opportunities. Read on...

The purpose of the visit was to provide students interested in horticulture with a firsthand experience of a nationally recognised garden, offering insights into the diverse world of plants and the various tasks involved in horticultural practices.

The day kicked off with a walk weaving through areas adorned with spring bulbs and vibrant red Cornus (Dogwood). The students took part in a photo scavenger hunt where they had to take pictures of plants with different attributes, including pink, spiky, or variegated, and note down both the Latin and common names.

They then entered the Glasshouse, where the students were transported to the tropical and desert ecosystems, marvelling at the unique flora curated by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). The RHS team then led an interactive session with a diverse range of activities, from identifying plants which contribute to wellbeing, exploring bugs and microorganisms in the soil, to participating in garden maintenance tasks and team-building exercises like constructing support structures for climbing plants.

Before the visit came to an end, the Folkestone Academy students enjoyed the Bonsai walk and Alpine Houses, before taking in the view of Wisley from the summit of the Alpine Garden.

Shyla, a Year 8 student at Folkestone Academy, said:

“I really loved going to Wisley, I especially loved going into the Glasshouse and seeing all of the tropical plants and how big they can grow.”

Demi, a Year 8 student at Folkestone Academy, said:

“My favourite part of the session with the RHS team was doing the bug hunt and seeing what bugs can be found under logs in the garden.”

Alexandra Peacock, Horticulture Lead at Folkestone Academy, said: 

“The trip to RHS Garden Wisley was a tremendous success, with our students fully immersed in the world of high-class horticulture. It was fantastic to witness their enthusiasm across the various activities organised by the RHS team and they really enjoyed the day.

‘This visit not only broadened their understanding of horticulture but also sparked a newfound passion for the subject. We are committed to providing unique opportunities like this to ensure our students receive the best possible education which extends far beyond the classroom.”

Folkestone students enjoy mobile planetarium, museum trips, and science challenges

Students across Folkestone Academy have welcomed the opportunity to take their Science learning to the next level this term. Staff have organised a range of different activities to bring Science teaching to life and ensure their young people keep learning both in and outside of the classroom. Read on...

As part of this, Year 7 students had the opportunity to explore the Mobile Inflatable Planetarium, a large inflatable dome which projected stellar animations for students to enjoy in our space topic. Students had a fantastic time learning about how the universe was created, how it formed atoms, then molecules then planets and finally life itself.

Meanwhile, Year 8 pupils embarked on a long journey to the London Science Museum this term to experience the history of science, seeing things such as the oldest engine in the world, Crick and Watson’s model of DNA, the space suit of the first Briton in space, and a real piece of the moon. 

Finally, Six Year 8 pupils took part in the Faraday Challenge at the Folkestone School for Girls, a cross-curricular STEM activity day which awarded all 6 students with an Industrial Cadets Challenger Award for completing a hands-on problem solving and critical thinking activity. After completing the day the students will now receive a CREST Discovery Award from the British Science Association.

Steve Shaw, Principal at Folkestone Academy, said: 

“There has been a real buzz in the air around science this term and I am delighted that we’ve managed to offer so many different opportunities to our students to help bring their learning to life. This is so important to make sure students engage with their studies and really see how they can apply this to life after school.

“It has been fantastic for our younger years to experience not one but two Turner 25 science events. These are designed to enrich their learning and broaden their horizons outside of their traditional academic work. We can’t wait to give more opportunities to our budding scientists in the future.” 

Folkestone Academy selected to work with youth sport experts on groundbreaking Young Ambassadors initiative 

Folkestone Academy is proud to announce it is one of three schools across the country to work with the Youth Sport Trust (YST) in the development of a groundbreaking Young Ambassadors Leadership Programme. Read on...

The initiative aims to empower young people to drive opportunity, engagement, and positive change within the realm of sports, both in their educational settings and beyond. It is student-led, with young people exploring ways to empower themselves and others to promote physical activity among their peers.

The focus includes strategies to ensure that all voices within the school community are heard, fostering an environment of inclusivity and positive change.

The partnership began with an interactive workshop led by a YST tutor, engaging students with fun activities to encourage a discussion about their experiences of leadership. The wide-ranging conversation covered the significance of Youth Voice, the potential career pathways supported by being a Young Ambassador, and the motivational factors that inspire young leaders to make a difference.

The collaboration will continue, with Folkestone Academy set to meet with other pilot schools in term 6 for a larger event. The school is honoured to contribute to the development of the Young Ambassadors Leadership Programme, reinforcing its commitment to fostering leadership skills and positive change among its student body.

Beth, a Year 10 pupil at Folkestone Academy, said:

"A great morning talking and thinking about how we can improve in sport."

Louisa Eede, Director of Sport at Folkestone Academy, said: 

“This is a fantastic opportunity involving our young people from Folkestone Academy as part of this national programme for Sport Ambassadors. This groundbreaking initiative empowers our young people to take charge of opportunities, engage with their peers, and drive positive change, not just within the school but extending beyond.

“This programme aligns perfectly with our commitment to nurturing leadership skills and creating an environment where our students can thrive. We look forward to the continued collaboration and the positive impact this programme will undoubtedly have on our students' lives."

Folkestone Academy and Turner Free school musicians join peers from across the town for Orchestra Workshop Day with Kent Music 

Folkestone students from a number of schools have come together for an Orchestra Workshop Day with Kent Music at Folkestone School For Girls. Enthusiastic participants from Folkestone Academy, Turner Free School, Harvey Grammar School, and Brockhill Park School collaborated for a day of musical practices and performances. Read on...

Enthusiasm permeated the air as novices and seasoned musicians alike gathered to create a symphonic spectacle. The workshop provided a platform for students to showcase their talents and join forces in creating awe-inspiring renditions of iconic pieces. From the pulsating "Mambo" from West Side Story to the enchanting "Hedwig's Theme" from Harry Potter, and the formidable "Imperial March" from Star Wars, the repertoire captivated both participants and spectators.

Throughout the day, the students not only honed their musical skills under the guidance of Kent Music professionals but also forged new friendships and bonds through the universal language of music. Throughout the workshop students went beyond the boundaries of their individual schools to create a truly creative environment where all could collaborate and share their passion for music.

Over the course of the day, it became evident that the workshop had a profound impact on the participants. The echoes of their performances lingered in the air, leaving a lasting impression on everyone present. The event showcased not only the musical abilities of the students but also instilled in them a deep sense of achievement and camaraderie.

Mr Field, Director of Music at Folkestone Academy, said:

“We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Folkestone School for Girls and Kent Music for organising this transformative event. The Orchestra Workshop Day stands as a testament to the power of music to inspire, unite, and unlock the boundless potential of young talent.

“It was truly awe-inspiring to see these incredible young people’s collective efforts transformed into a crescendo of confidence as they harmonised with fellow musicians, their spirits soaring with each note. It is a shining example of the collaborative spirit within our local schools and the commitment to fostering creativity and camaraderie among our students.”

Jasmin Year 8 pupil at FA said: “It was really good how we were able to play in sync so well together even though we had only been rehearsing for that day. I definitely would like to do something like this again!”

Michael, Year 9 pupil at TFS said: “It was brilliant to meet other musicians from the local area and to find out more about them.”

Pupils puts on full-scale performance of Little Shop of Horrors for local primary schools and families

Pupils from Folkestone Academy have basked in the limelight after putting on an exceptional performance of Little Shop of Horrors. The talented performers have spent the past six months rehearsing and putting their own twist on the musical before performing for their local community.  Read on...

Pupils from Years 7 to 13 worked with Academy drama, music, and dance teachers to put on a sensational show. In all, 35 pupils contributed to the final production, either through performing or working backstage to support their peers. With the support of sound and lighting engineers the full stage production allowed pupils to deliver a truly professional performance.

After all their hard work and dedication, pupils performed four shows. They performed two matinee shows to 90 primary school pupils from the local area and the Creative Arts Scholarship students from the academy, followed by two evening shows to sell-out audiences of family, friends, and staff members.

Mr Woodbridge, Drama Teacher at Folkestone Academy who organised the event, said: 

“Congratulations to all of our pupils involved with the Little Shop of Horrors performance! They have worked so hard over the past six months and it was fantastic to see this all come together to form a remarkable performance which showcased the talent that we have here at Folkestone Academy. I am incredibly proud of their hard work and dedication and who knows, we could be looking at the next Westend star.”

Kaitlyn Leizert, who played the dentist and voiced Audrey II, said: 

“It was an extraordinary experience that I will never forget. I especially enjoyed working with the band as it made the production feel more professional. We could not have produced such a successful performance without the support of the stage, lighting and sound crew as well as the hard work and dedication of our teachers Mr Woodbridge and Mr Field.”

Steve Shaw, Principal at Folkestone Academy, said:

“The pupils have really enjoyed the experience of participating in the production, and have demonstrated great resilience through working all day at school and then rehearsing in the evening. All their hard work clearly paid off as the actual performance was fantastic! Thank you to Mr Woodbridge as well for his great work in organising the event and pulling this spectacular production together.

“This musical is a great example of the opportunities we want to offer all pupils across Turner Schools. Productions like this give young people the chance to see how a large-scale performance really works; whether they’re up on stage or working behind the scenes they are developing key skills and learning more about life outside of the classroom.”

Folkestone student honoured with Young Artist award

A young artist from Folkestone Academy has had her work honoured by the Folkestone Art Society. Katie Inge from Folkestone Academy won the Gloria Gordon Award for Young Artists’ Sketchbooks (A Level category) after impressing judges with the quality of her work. Read on...

Like many amazing young artists, Katie used her sketchbook to show her development of her ideas and experimentation of techniques and processes. Katie's project focused on 'sleeping' and how sleep was linked to early childhood development.

She looked at various artists including Tracey Emin and visited her sculptures in Folkestone titled 'Baby Things'. Katie's sketchbook was a fascinating journey into her ideas as an artist and presented an honest perspective about her life. 

The Gloria Gordon Awards are sponsored by Graham Gordon in memory of his wife Gloria and are judged by an independent panel.

For young artists the use of a sketchbook is crucial in developing their skills but can also present a fascinating insight and perspective on life. The Awards are intended to find and celebrate excellence in the creation of an art and design student’s sketchbook and the impact that has on their finished pieces.

For receiving the award, Katie was honoured with a trophy in the form of an art deco dancer, as well as a cash prize.

Katie Inge said: 

“I am delighted to have received the Gloria Gordon sketchbook award and am honoured to have been recognised for my hard work over the course of my A-levels.”

Miss Diwell, Art Teacher at Folkestone Academy, said:

“We are extremely proud of Katie for winning this prestigious award. She is an extremely talented and multi disciplined artist, who has worked hard over the years to hone her skill in drawing, painting, embroidery and photography to create beautiful artworks both inside and outside her sketchbook.”

Horticulture Classroom officially opened by Tony Woods, Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medal winner 

Staff and students at Folkestone Academy have celebrated the grand opening of their new state-of-the-art Horticulture Classroom. This purpose-built facility will revolutionise the teaching of environmental science and horticulture as well as ensuring that teaching can take place in all weathers. Read on...

The Classroom was officially opened by Tony Woods, Director of Garden Club London. Tony is a renowned figure in the gardening world and achieved great success as a Gold Medal Winner at last year's prestigious Chelsea Flower Show with his stunning Garden Sanctuary design.

The Horticulture Classroom stands as the centre point of Turner Schools’ drive to promote environmental awareness among students and the wider Folkestone community. Students will be taught about the vital role plants play in ecosystems, grasp the significance of growing local and seasonal produce in combating climate change, and gain insights into the journey of food from farm to table.

School leaders at Folkestone Academy plan to use this facility for Year 10 and 11 pupils as part of their alternative education provision, while Key Stage 3 students will have one dedicated horticultural lesson a week.

Lessons will be taught in mixed ability groups with numerous practical sessions where students will have access to a purpose-built horticulture area including an outdoor classroom, polytunnel, and a number of raised beds.

The school has employed an experienced horticulturalist as lead teacher, as well as another teacher to support. There are plans in place to create a training centre for wider Turner Schools staff.

Turner Schools are also planning to organise a series of talks and workshops led by industry specialists to promote the benefits of the facility, as well as acting as a hugely valuable community space.

The Horticulture Classroom, raised beds and polytunnel was made possible by the generous £160,000 grant from Sir Roger De Haan, Chair of Friends of Folkestone Academy. 

Steve Shaw, Principal at Turner Schools, said:

“We believe in nurturing a profound appreciation for the natural world among our students. The Horticulture Classroom shows our commitment to providing hands-on learning experiences that not only empower our students with skills but also inspire a lifelong love for nature. We want to use this classroom to promote environmental issues and increase our students’ understanding of the challenges ahead, as well as highlighting careers and progression opportunities in the horticultural and environmental science industries.”

Seamus Murphy, Chief Executive at Turner Schools, said:

"We are immensely grateful to Sir Roger De Haan for his unwavering support. His generous donation has allowed us to create a space that will not only enhance the learning experience of our students but also serve as a valuable community asset. We truly believe that this project will prove pivotal in our bid to establish Turner Schools as a local, and in time national, beacon of excellence for environmental science and horticulture teaching.”

Folkestone Academy welcomes further triumphs at GCSE 

Teenagers across the country have celebrated their results after sitting their exams throughout May and June. This is the first year that grading will return to pre-pandemic standards, however, exam regulator Ofqual asked exam boards to take into consideration the disruption students have suffered due to Covid-19.  

At Folkestone Academy, part of Turner Schools, staff have gone above and beyond to ensure students were prepared and confident while sitting their exams. The school provided students with ample opportunities to have additional contact time with their expert teachers through after school and holiday interventions and a residential trip focusing on both English and Mathematics. Pupils also benefited from free revision guides and workbooks and a ‘Skills for Success’ parental event in addition to bespoke tutor interventions. The extra support paid off with many students achieving excellent results.Read on...

We are proud of the hard work and commitment shown over the last two years by students.  

The many success stories of our Year 11 students are exemplified by a number of individual pupils, including:

Steven Shaw, Principal at Folkestone Academy, said: 

“We are all delighted to see our students record such fantastic results. Today’s grades are the end result of a tremendous amount of hard work from these young people and I am so pleased that they have succeeded despite the challenges of the past few years. Thank you as well to our wonderful staff who have worked tirelessly to support these students”

Seamus Murphy, CEO of Turner Schools, said: 

"We would like to congratulate all our Year 11 pupils who are rightly celebrating their achievements today. It has been a delight to see so many young people feeling proud of their achievements, which are a culmination of years of hard work. Their GCSE results will enable them to move forward with their future aspirations and we are excited to see what adventures await these fantastic young people."

Schools Minister, Nick Gibb said:

“Pupils receiving their results in Folkestone, and across the country, should feel very proud today. I want to congratulate them all and express my gratitude to all of the teachers and leaders who have helped them on the way.

“GCSEs are a milestone in any young person’s life, and pupils collecting results today have the opportunity to progress onto one of many high-quality options including A levels, T Levels and hundreds of apprenticeship routes. I wish them all the best whatever they decide to do.”

Students Celebrate A-Level Success 

Staff and students at Folkestone Academy are today celebrating more excellent results for Sixth Form students. In emotional scenes students discovered they had triumphed at A-Level and BTEC courses.   Read on...

Students across the country have been awaiting their results after sitting the exams during May and June. It’s been a normal school year after the pandemic disruption, but there have still been challenges to overcome for both staff and students. Many schools are still recovering from Covid-19, and although this is the first year that grading has returned to pre-pandemic standards, exams regulator Ofqual asked exam boards to take this into consideration when awarding grades. 

Staff at Folkestone Academy have worked tirelessly to ensure students had the support they needed to sit the final exams of their school career. In particular, staff offered additional revision and intervention sessions after school, during lunch times and during school holidays to ensure that pupils had every opportunity to succeed. 

We are particularly proud of the following pupils for achieving fantastic results: 

Steven Shaw, Head of School at Folkestone Academy, said: 

“We are thrilled to see so many students achieve the grades they deserved across their A-Levels, BTECs, and vocational courses. This is the result of a great deal of hard work and today we see the results of those efforts. Students will be going on to a wide range of exciting destinations and I couldn’t be happier for them.” 

Seamus Murphy, CEO of Turner Schools, said: 

“It is fantastic to see how well this cohort has achieved and they have every right to feel very proud of their success. Today’s results are a testament to the hard work, commitment, and dedication to their studies of these young people, as well as the fantastic teaching team here at Folkestone Academy, and I am delighted by how well they have all done. We wish them the best of luck for the future and know they will continue to excel as they take their next steps after leaving school.”

Turner Schools offers workshops and university visit as culmination of aspiration raising project 

A number of Year 7 boys from Folkestone Academy and Turner Free School have participated in a range of workshops with experts from the University of Kent. The programme, entitled ‘Championing Boys’ was part of a research project led by the University, in partnership with the Turner Schools trust, which culminated in a visit to the University of Kent. Read on...

The aim of the project was to encourage boys to explore their strengths and interests; to raise awareness of career pathways that they may not have otherwise considered; and to develop their knowledge of higher education.

Over a 2 month period, the boys participated in a series of five workshops which included designing a university, creative writing, healthcare, physical theatre, and digital arts, as well as a visit from the author Sam Gayton. The project culminated in a visit to the University of Kent’s campus in Canterbury.

During the visit the students enjoyed taking part in two laboratory-based workshops, in fingerprinting and anthropology. 

In the fingerprinting workshops the pupils wore lab coats and used special powders to get their own fingerprint which they used to create a keyring, while in the anthropology workshop they analysed a replica human skeleton to understand how much they could learn about a person from their remains. 

They were also taught about heptalogy - the study of reptiles - and got to touch a real snakeskin, as well as learning about forensics through flies and maggots to learn a time of death. Finally, they explored the biodiversity of plants and how these can help uncover a crime scene. 

The boys got to take part in real discussion and questioning of the various subject areas, as well as receiving a tour of the university.

A celebratory award ceremony ended the day with boys being presented certificates for taking part in the series of workshops which formed the project. 

Aaron Hughes, a Turner Free School student, said: 

“The campus tour was great! The university was much bigger than I expected. The trip to UKC made me want to go there when I'm older.”

Dylan Dodd, a Turner Free School student, said: 

“I didn't think I would like forensic science, but I really enjoyed learning how to get fingerprints off surfaces using magnetic powder! I also found the tour really interesting, especially seeing the gym, theatre, cinema and library. I was surprised how big the library is as there are 4 floors including a cafe!”

Cillian Moss, a Folkestone Academy student, said:  

“I thought that the university trip was really interesting and it got me thinking a lot about things. I thought about what job I could do in the future if I went to university and how it would affect my life.”

Leeton Gentry, a Folkestone Academy student, said: 

“The trip to the university was really fun and interesting. I really enjoyed the fingerprinting workshop and how it was all real life stuff that we were doing.”

Kelly Jarrett, Careers Advisor at Turner Schools, said:

“It has been a privilege to witness how inspired pupils have been collaborating together, exploring new ideas and concepts that are not part of the standard curriculum. The visit to the University of Kent campus gave the boys valuable insights into university life which was brought to life through exposure to being part of laboratory style activities. 

“We are really proud of how our boys have seen the project through gaining more confidence and knowledge in the process. We would like to extend our thanks to The University of Kent for allowing our pupils to have this opportunity which will hopefully have a huge impact on their future study pathways and careers.”

Folkestone Academy Horticulture students liven up school site with donated foliage

Horticulture students at Folkestone Academy have welcomed the opportunity to bring the outdoors space to life after receiving dozens of plants and flowers used at the Chelsea Flower Show. The donation is from the Hamptons Mediterranean Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show, and has given the Year 8 Folkestone students the chance to liven up their school site.  Read on...

The donated plants were planted in front of the recently completed Horticulture building. They included a variety of shrubs, succulents, herbs and lavender, all of which are hardy plants and work well in dry environments and need little watering.

The school received these plants after making contact with Tony Woods, Director of Garden Club London, when designing its Derek Jarman inspired Community Garden. Tony was a Gold Medal Winner at last year’s Chelsea Flower Show with his Garden Sanctuary design. The donated flowers come from the Hamptons Mediterranean Garden at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show which won a Silver Gilt medal. 

When the school received the flowers, it was the Year 8 Horticulture students, under the watchful eye of Horticulture Teacher Alexandra Peacock, who had the job of planting them all and ensuring they were best placed to continue growing. Alexandra and the Horticulture students will now be responsible for watering the plants and looking after them.

David Bowles, Director of Finance and Operations at Turner Schools, said::

“Having flowers from the world famous Chelsea Flower Show to massively enhance the landscaping around the building is the icing on the cake for the pupils, staff, and the local community. It’s really important to all the staff here that students understand the natural world around them and develop a love of the outdoors, so we would like to offer our heartfelt thanks to Tony and the team at the Chelsea Flower Show for their generosity.”

Tony Woods said:

“I am delighted to be working with Folkestone Academy and the Horticulture Classroom to re-use the plants from the Hamptons Mediterranean garden at Chelsea Flower Show. Horticultural education is essential to meet many of the opportunities for young people to excel in green careers and inspire a new generation of gardeners. When established, this drought tolerant planting scheme will demonstrate how we can plant for a changing climate as well as providing plants for students to use for propagation, pruning and plant identification in horticultural lessons.”

Alexandra Peacock, Horticulture Teacher at Folkestone Academy, said: 

“We were all delighted to receive this incredibly generous donation of plants and flowers to help brighten up the school site. The students loved taking the time to plan out where each plant would go and deciding how they would best complement each other, and I know they are excited to watch these grow over time. It’s lovely to see how enthusiastic they all were for this project and are already looking forward to more planting in the future.”

Academy hosts primaries from across the town for sporting festival  

Nearly three hundred Year 5 pupils from across Folkestone have taken part in a highly competitive school Olympics. This was the 3rd Olympics, hosted by Folkestone Academy, part of Turner Schools, in partnership with The Sports Trust and Folkestone School Games.  Read on...

Pupils from six different schools competed in a range of sports, supported by coaches from an array of local clubs. 

Over the course of the day the children took part in hockey drills and skills, supported by coaches from Folkestone Optimists, cricket challenges with The Sports Trust, football activities with Kent Lionesses coaches, and even skateboarding, delivered by coaches from F51 skate park. The children particularly enjoyed the football ‘speed cage’, an inflatable goal that tested the speed of a football being kicked into the goal.

Pupils also participated in a range of athletics events with coaches from the Folkestone Junior Athletics Clubs, including learning how to throw a javelin, taking on the hurdles, and running. 

The range of activities meant that pupils had a chance to try sports they might not have participated in before, as well as enjoying old favourites. 

Koby, a Year 5 pupil at Martello Primary, said: 

'I enjoyed the speed cage with the football as I scored 38. I was really shocked how well I did.”

Annabella, a Year 5 pupil at Martello Primary, said:

“I liked the skateboarding session as it encouraged us to try something new.”

Orlando, a Year 5 pupil at Martello Primary, said:

“All of the activities made us push ourselves and gave us a challenge.”

Frankie, a Year 5 pupil at Martello Primary, said:

“I enjoyed being energetic and watching people have fun.”

Joe, a Year 5 pupil at Mundella Primary said:

“The activity I enjoyed the most was cricket because it was fun scoring points against my friends.”

Ayu, a Year 5 pupil at Mundella Primary said:

“I enjoyed it all even though it was very hot. Cricket was the most fun.”

Harry, a Year 5 pupil at Mundella Primary said:

“My favourite was the football, especially the speed cage. I got 38!”

Sarah Green, The Sports Trust Project Manager for Schools and Folkestone School Games Organiser, comments: “It has been a wonderful day seeing so many children associate being active with fun. However, alongside the enjoyment of playing sport, we had a very important message for the children. 

As these year 5 pupils start to turn their thoughts to moving onto secondary school we praised those who stepped out of their comfort zone and tried something new today. 

“We also challenged them to continue to find ways in the near future to step out of their comfort zone to grow and acquire skills needed to be confident secondary school students in 18 months time. I would also like to thank all the primary school staff involved, the Folkestone Academy year 12s who supported the sports coaches, the year 7 students who spent time speaking with the participants about life at secondary school and the secondary staff involved at my School Games host school, Folkestone Academy.”

Steve Shaw, Principal at Folkestone Academy, comments: 

“It is always a pleasure to host our neighbouring primary schools for the Folkestone Olympics and to see such wonderful effort and enthusiasm from these young people. It’s a wonderful opportunity for them to try new sports as well as show off their existing skills, all while being supported by the fantastic coaches from a real range of sports clubs.

“We know how important it is that young people grow up to live healthy, active lives, and days like today are crucial to helping them develop a love of exercise. We hope to see many more pupils take up these sports in the future as they continue to live energetic and vigorous lives.”

The six schools taking part in the Folkestone Olympics were:

The Churchill School, St Eanswythe’s CofE Primary, Mundella Primary, St Mary’s CofE Primary Academy, Martello Primary, and Folkestone Primary

Folkestone pupils decorate Bargain Warehouse shop window 

Pupils and their families have created an Easter display for the Bargain Warehouse shop window in the town. 

Every Tuesday during term time, pupils and their families from across Folkestone attend the Turner Stone Community Hub Arts & Crafts Club for a wide range of activities. The Arts & Crafts club provides opportunities for children of all ages to exercise their creativity and discover new talents. Read on...

Over the past few weeks the group have been working on creating the seasonal decoration to brighten up the window of the Bargain Warehouse. 

Linda Bolt, Lucy Hall and Kate Knight, who all work in the SEND team at Folkestone Academy, run the weekly club. They arranged with Bargain Warehouse for the children’s artwork to be displayed to reward them for their hard work. 

Linda Bolt, from the Turner Stone Community Hub, said: 

“Seeing their artwork displayed in the window of a major shop was a fantastic experience for our children! We know how much they enjoy taking part in the weekly Arts & Crafts club, but to see their work displayed in public like that really does add something special. 

“Our pupils say they enjoy attending the Arts & Crafts club because it’s therapeutic and fun, because it gives them the chance to make new friends while being creative, and because it’s a lovely environment to experiment with new craft ideas. It also lets our younger children chat with and work alongside older pupils which is great for their development.

“We welcome pupils’ families as well which helps create a really lovely atmosphere there. It’s an opportunity for families to spend some time together in a fun way, taking part in something creative with lots to do for children of all ages.” 

Folkestone Academy offers range of experiences to celebrate the Creative Arts

Pupils at Folkestone Academy have participated in a range of different activities designed to celebrate the Creative Arts. Creativity is central to the curriculum at Folkestone Academy which aims to develop pupils’ creative talents and provide pupils with a range of different cultural experiences throughout the academic year. Read on...

Highlights of this focus on creativity include:

Q&A with Sir Stephen Deuchar CBE

Folkestone Academy’s Art pupils were privileged to have a question-and-answer session with Sir Stephen Deucher CBE. Sir Stephen was awarded the CBE for his contribution to Arts and held the post of Director of Tate Britain.

The pupils found out that Sir Stephen had not chosen Art as a preferred subject at school, but rather initially focused on studying History at university. Through this he developed an interest in Art History which led to him pursuing a career in the art industry

Sir Stephen stressed the importance of pupils making the most of every opportunity, and passed on useful advice for those pupils looking to have a career in the art world.

Leon, a Year 8 pupil at Folkestone Academy, said:

“He was very open to share his passion for the things he has worked on, it was very inspiring to hear how his career has progressed. I enjoyed having the Q&A format for his visit because I got to express my interest in his career and ask questions about it that I wouldn't normally get the chance to.”

The visit was organised by Katy Tibbles, Senior Stakeholder and Community Engagement Manager, through the Speakers For School charity (https://www.speakersforschools.org).

Katy said:

“We were honoured to be visited by Sir Stephen. Our pupils were incredibly lucky to meet someone with such extensive experience and knowledge of the art world. Sir Stephen was keen to hear from the pupils and to understand their views on the creative industry. He raised awareness of the different roles within the sector and encouraged pupils to pursue their goals and interests.”

Academy FM & Scholarship Mural with Vanessa Clark

Year 8 Scholarship pupils have had the pleasure of working with local artist Vanessa Clark on producing a Mural for the end-of-year Turner Trust Exhibition. Vanessa explained more about working as an artist in the local creative scene, and how she dedicates her practice to encouraging creative minds to follow their own process.

The pupils used the theme ‘Mental Health’ to inspire a cascading mural piece that takes everyday negative thoughts and poses solutions for working past these.

The pupils enjoyed using the abstract process of tearing up their ‘negative thoughts’ and scattering them across a brightly coloured ‘positive space’, full of the everyday things that bring joy. The piece will be displayed at our Turner Trust Exhibition at the end of the school year. 

Grace, a Year 8 pupil, said:

“I learned a new process of creating, the artist was so understanding and encouraged us to be more open with our ideas”.

Leila, a Year 8 pupil, said:

“The work we were doing really encouraged us to open up about mental health. It was fun working with different materials in a new way with Vanessa, she was very enthusiastic and encouraging.”

Academy FM & Scholarship Music workshops with Tim Smith

Year 7 and Year 8 Creative Scholarship pupils enjoyed workshops with local music producer Tim Smith. Using music provided by a Folkestone Academy pupil band, Tim showed the pupils how to set up microphones and record the live band. He also shared stories from his time working in the music industry and passed on advice to the pupils from his experiences.

The workshops came about through the Academy FM Folkestone project. This project is funded by the Kent Community Foundation and over the last year has seen a number of Folkestone Academy pupils meet people working in local creative industries.

Grace, a Year 8 pupil, said:

“Tim was great to learn from, he didn't just tell us how to work the equipment, he really showed us in depth”.

Jazmine, a Year 8 pupil, said:

“It was fun to be in the environment where instruments are being sound tested and be involved in the recording of live music, I loved how the instruments sounded.”

Year 7 Scholarship Trip to the Marlowe Theatre

Year 7 Scholars at Folkestone Academy enjoyed a trip to the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury to see a performance of Matthew Bourne’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’.

 The trip, which was funded through the Creative Arts Scholarship, provided the pupils with many first-time experiences; some had never been to a Theatre before, and none had ever seen a ballet!

 The pupils found particular inspiration from the dances, with a mix of contemporary dance and Tchaikovsky’s original ballet.

Bronte, a Year 7 pupil, said:

“The dancers were amazing, it made me realise that I could be performing dance on a stage one day”.

Annabell, a Year 7 pupil, said:

“The dresses were amazing, the way they moved with the dancers.”

Rayne, a Year 7 pupil, said:

“I love how the style of the fashion changed with the time periods, but it was all still a beautiful ballet style”.

Jacob, a Year 7 pupil, said:

“That was the best performance I’ve ever seen!”

Folkestone Academy hosts interactive science workshop 

Year 7 students at Folkestone Academy have participated in an interactive workshop as part of the school’s wider Science Week. The school hosted Microbiologist Sophie Thompson as well as Luna Thomas Sam, a Laboratory Technician from Church and Dwight.    Read on...

The two guests organised an interactive workshop where students took part in a wide range of activities, including doing rapid swabs of hand surfaces and then getting readings of the amount of bacteria on their hands. The students were amazed at their results, with some saying that they needed to wash their hands more often! 

Students also had the chance to examine bacteria through microscopes and prepare dilutions to see microorganisms. They learned that basic household items contain more bacteria than a toilet, as the workshop helped bring science to life and show the Folkestone Academy students how the lessons they learn in the classroom impact life around them. 

Olivia, a Year 7 student at Folkestone Academy, said: 

“I thought that the activities were really fun especially finding out how much bateria there was on our hands and looking through the microscope at cells.”

Daisy, a Year 7 student at Folkestone Academy, said:

“I really enjoyed doing the experiments and learnt so much from them.”

Harrison, a Year 7 student at Folkestone Academy, said:

“I have never enjoyed science so much as I did in the workshop.”

Jacob, a Year 7 student at Folkestone Academy, said:

“This workshop has made me want to be a scientist because I thought that it was really exciting and interesting.”

Kelly Jarrett, Careers Advisor at Folkestone Academy, said:

“Thank you to Sophie and Luna for coming into school and holding this interactive workshop with our students. They loved the activities and were absolutely fascinated to find out more about the bacteria present in everyday items. They had so much fun, but it also really helped bring their science lessons to life.”

Folkestone pupils compete to be named Maths Champions

Pupils from across Folkestone have competed to be named Folkestone Maths Challenge Champion. The competition, which is now in its twelfth year, saw pupils from Seabrook CofE Primary take top place, closely followed by classes from Folkestone Primary in second and St Martin’s CofE Primary - the reigning champions - in third. Read on...

Over the course of the competition pupils took part in six separate maths-based activities. These consisted of: 

All pupils went away with a goody bag and certificate while Steve Shaw, Principal of Folkestone Academy, presented the winners with their trophy, as well as a maths gift set including a scientific calculator and geometry set. 

The competition took place on Red Nose Day, in which pupils were allowed to wear their own clothes and red accessories. Pupils also enjoyed Red Nose themed biscuits made by the Folkestone Academy catering team. 

Keith Denchfield, Director of Maths at Folkestone Academy, said: 

“This was another incredibly competitive Maths Challenge which showcased the wealth of mathematical talent throughout Folkestone. The challenges these pupils faced really were demanding and we were taken aback at the enthusiasm and passion for solving them that we have seen here. I am really looking forward to seeing how these young people continue to develop over the course of their education.”

Steve Shaw, Principal at Folkestone Academy, said: 

“It is always a great day to welcome so many of Folkestone’s primary pupils for such a demanding day of mathematical challenges. There is always an incredibly competitive atmosphere here as these bright young minds tackle the activities and it is clear to see how much they enjoy it. 

“Congratulations again to the winners from Seabrook CofE Primary, as well as the mathematicians from Folkestone Primary and St Martin’s CofE Primary, for making up the top three. Well done to all involved for their efforts and their commitment to learning.” 

Folkestone Academy opens new Community Garden inspired by artist and film-maker Derek Jarman

School leaders at Folkestone Academy are delighted to open the school’s new Community Garden. This will be based in the area between Folkestone Academy and Folkestone Primary and has been transformed from a previously overgrown and unattractive part of the site.  Read on...

The initial design of the project came from Chloe Diwell, Art Teacher at Folkestone Academy, who was tasked by Seamus Murphy Turner Schools CEO to use her talents to create a whole new space.

Her brief was to design a garden design which provided a calm area where staff can eat their lunch, parents at the primary school next door could wait to collect their children, and where school pupils can sit calmly in the morning and collect their thoughts ahead of the school day. The space is designed to replicate themes found throughout Kent’s South East Coast. 

The final creative design for the space was inspired by artist, filmmaker, and gardener Derek Jarman. The garden space evolved throughout the project to include a replica shed of his former home ‘Prospect Cottage’ which is located in Dungeness and following a visit from Tony Woods, local horticulturist, a rowing boat was added with the aim to plant with coastal plants.

Chloe Diwell, Art Teacher at Folkestone Academy, said:

“This has been a fantastic project to oversee and to see come together. Taking such an unloved space and turning it into a calm and soothing garden has been incredibly fulfilling, and it will be wonderful to see the garden grow as we bring more flowers into it. I am looking forward to seeing it used by our entire school community as a tranquil, relaxing, spot.” 

To coincide with the structure changes, the Trust commissioned local artist, Nicole Cowan,  to work with Folkestone Academy Creative Scholars to create a mural design and then painted it herself.

Nicole Cowan said: 

“I worked with the creative scholars at Folkestone Academy to transform the walls of the outside area. This started by thinking about what makes us feel calm and relaxed; including being in and amongst the nature around us. Being located by the seaside, we ventured outside to gather different plants and objects which were then brought to the class to draw.”

“Experimenting with different materials and techniques, and looking at artists such as Matisse, the children created their own artworks of nature which were then incorporated into the final mural design.”

The project would not be completed without ensuring authentic plants were included in the project. The trust worked with Tony Woods, a Chelsea Flower Show Gold medal winning garden designer and horticulturist who lives locally, who volunteered to help out here. He worked with Academy Horticulture pupils to choose and plant suitable plants for the area.

Tony Woods said: 

“The academy has re-imagined vocational learning with a subject that teaches us to nurture food and the environment whilst enhancing our surroundings. Horticulture boosts our mental and physical health too as well as providing some really cool career opportunities. I can’t wait to pass on some of my skills and knowledge to the students”

Aspiring Folkestone musicians visit Canterbury Christ Church University for a campus tour

A number of sixth form students from Folkestone have visited Canterbury Christ Church University to view the music facilities on offer. The students, who all study music at Folkestone Academy, visited the university to learn more about the Commercial Music and Creative Music Technology and Production Degree courses on offer. Read on...

The pupils had a tour of the campus and a talk from the course lecturers about their options for when they eventually finish their Level 3 studies. The pupils were also able to have a demonstration of the studio and recorded a performance of 'Sweet Home Chicago'

George Tanner, a Year 12 student at Folkestone Academy, left the demonstration saying "I'll definitely consider coming here" after impressing the lecturers with his drumming skills.

Robert Field, Head of Music at Folkestone Academy, said: 

“This trip was a fantastic opportunity for our students to learn more about the variety of music courses out there at university. We have some very talented young musicians here who are keen to continue their studies after leaving school and I know they are seriously considering Canterbury Christ Church University after being so impressed by the facilities on offer here. 

“Thank you to the lecturers for being so generous with their time. It was great to see how the studio worked and our students loved recording their own performance!”

Pupils puts on full-scale High School Musical for local primary schools 

Pupils from Folkestone Academy have basked in the limelight after putting on a full length production of High School Musical. The talented performers have spent the past year rehearsing the 2006 Disney movie and putting their own twist on the musical.  Read on...

Pupils from Years 7 to 13 worked with Academy drama, music, dance, and art teachers to put on a sensational show. In all, 26 pupils contributed to the final production, either performing in it or working backstage to support their peers. With the support of sound and lighting engineers the full stage production allowed pupils to deliver a professional performance.

After all their hard work and dedication, pupils performed two shows. The first was a matinee performance to 180 primary school pupils from the local area and the second was a sell-out show to another 180 family, friends and staff members.

Mr Woodbridge, Drama Teacher at Folkestone Academy who organised the event, said: 

“Congratulations to all of our pupils involved with the High School Musical performance! They have worked so hard over the past year and it was fantastic to see this all come together in such a stunning couple of performances. I know how much our young people loved performing to younger pupils across Folkestone, as well as astounding their friends and family with the quality of their work. They should all be incredibly proud of themselves.”

Steve Shaw, Principal at Folkestone Academy, said:

“The pupils have really enjoyed the experience of participating in the production, and have demonstrated great resilience through working all day at school and then rehearsing in the evening. All their hard work clearly paid off as the actual performance was fantastic! Thank you to Mr Woodbridge as well for his great work in organising the event and pulling this all together.

“This musical is a great example of the opportunities we want to offer all pupils across Turner Schools. Productions like this give young people the chance to see how a large-scale performance really works; whether they’re up on stage or working behind the scenes they are developing key skills and learning more about life outside of the classroom.”

Folkestone pupils help design costumes for professional theatre company’s upcoming performance 

Year 9 pupils from Folkestone Academy have worked with a professional theatre company to help design costumes for an upcoming performance. The pupils visited The Marlowe Kit Project, in Canterbury, to work with the Royal Shakespeare Company Associate Schools Designer for their upcoming project performed at the Oare Gunpowder Works in June. Read on...

Pupils were tasked to design a costume for a character in the Shakespeare’s play, ‘As You Like It’. They also took part in a workshop where they analysed an extract from the play, where the character of Rosalind is pretending to be the male shepherd, Ganymede.

Discussions took place around the theme of disguising oneself and trying to blend in with the Forest of Arden. Design choices were made about the style of costume with students then being taught a number of tie dye techniques. Students were excited to think that they had created something for everyone playing Ganymede to wear in the production.

James Woodbridge, Drama teacher at Folkestone Academy who organised the trip, said: “This was a fantastic experience for our pupils to learn so much more about Shakespeare and the themes of the play As You Like It. Working with theatre professionals really helped bring the words to life and they loved having the chance to feed into the conversation around designing costumes. Thank you to everyone at the Marlowe Kit for welcoming us so kindly and for such a great experience!”

Michelle Foxwood, Director of Creative Arts at Turner Schools, said: “We know studying Shakespeare isn’t always easy for young people, but this workshop was instrumental to helping our pupils develop a love of the Bard. Having the opportunity to create something for Ganymede’s costume means that our pupils felt they really had a personal stake in the production and they were so enthusiastic about taking part. This meant they could really engage with the play and get a much better understanding of what we’re studying. We can’t wait to see the final performance towards the end of the academic year.”

Turner Sixth Form Introduces New Entrepreneurship Course

Listen to the 105.9 Academy FM radio interview (click on the link on the right) with Russell Sauntry from Amelix Academy and Miss Turner, Head of Turner Sixth Form who talk about the new Entrepreneurship Course starting in September 2023 at the new Turner Sixth Form. 

They were interviewed by Academy pupils Esme, Nieve and Josh. 

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.”

Folkestone Academy Installs Brand New All-Weather 3G Pitch

Pupils at Folkestone Academy are now able to access the best 3G pitch provision in all of Folkestone. Folkestone Academy, part of Turner Schools, has installed a new 3G sports pitch – a third generation all-weather synthetic surface – which even includes brand new LED lighting to ensure sports can still be played after dark. Read on...

This means that pupils will be able to play sports all year round rather than having activities cancelled due to inclement weather. The pitch represents an investment of £200,000 and highlights Folkestone Academy’s commitment to ensuring pupils get every opportunity to pursue physical activities.

The facilities are also available to local residents for hiring during weekday evenings and at weekends for local residents. For more information visit www.folkestoneacademy.com/contact/facility-hire

Colin Thapa, Year 13 pupils, said:

“It’s made a difference in our ability to play football. It’s a smoother pitch and the length of the grass makes it more realistic as if you were playing on a grass pitch.”

Kieran Cahill, Head of PE at Folkestone Academy, said:

“We all know how frustrating it is to lose out on valuable sporting time because the pitch is unplayable due to the weather conditions. Particularly with the British climate, having this all-weather pitch means that our young people won’t have the same barriers to enjoying their matches, can keep on being active, and learning those valuable lessons which come from team sports. The pitch will make a huge difference to the sporting opportunities we offer our pupils and will help in our bid to promote a healthy and active lifestyle to all our young people.”

Steven Shaw, Head of School at Folkestone Academy, said:

“Having this new pitch is a fantastic development for our young people as it means they can play outdoor sports whatever the weather. We know how important it is to promote physical activity among young people and this means that our plans won’t be stopped by bad weather.

“We also want to ensure Folkestone residents use this pitch as much as possible because we see it as a fantastic resource for the local community. We really value our role as a cornerstone of the Folkestone community and see offering facilities like this out as a key part of that.”

Folkestone Academy New 3G Sports Pitch.mp4

Christmas Charity Concert

Turners Schools will be supporting Folkestone Community Swing Band's Christmas Charity Concert on Thursday 15th December 7.30pm - 8.30pm at Folkestone Academy.

Tickets are available from our Eventbrite booking page: 

BBC Visit for Pupils

Pupils from Folkestone Academy and Turner Free School have been visited by the BBC to learn more about future career opportunities. The visit came about as part of the BBC’s ‘‘BBC100 Share Your Story’ programme - an initiative launched to celebrate 100 years of the organisation. Read on...

Pupils across all year groups attended lively and interactive assemblies, hosted by BBC Radio and Kiss FM’s Alex Mansuroglu. Pupils heard from two of the BBC’s ambassadors, Charlotte Frazer who is a Researcher for children’s television and Annie Chisambo, a Production Management Assistant for BBC Sport. Both ambassadors talked about their journey from childhood through to the roles that they have now, including the challenges that they have faced and overcome in order to achieve their dream jobs.

Pupils were encouraged to take ownership of their future and to ‘write your own story’, rather than letting someone else write it for you. Annie talked about the challenges of changing career paths after being made redundant and Charlotte spoke about the difficulties of not meeting your parents’ expectations and wanting to veer away from her family’s tradition of working medicine.

Katy Tibbles, Stakeholder and Community Engagement Manager at Turner Schools, said:

“The visit from the BBC was an insightful experience for us all. Annie and Charlotte’s stories were thought provoking and inspirational, and whilst the messages were very serious, the whole event was delivered in a fun and engaging way by the host, Alex.”

Harry, Year 11 pupil, Turner Free School, said: 

“I really enjoyed the talks from the BBC ambassadors, it has encouraged me to pursue my goals and made me believe that I can achieve anything if I try hard enough”.

Steve Shaw, Head of School at Folkestone Academy said: 

“We always enjoy welcoming external speakers into our school and the BBC was no exception. It’s important that our pupils have the opportunity to hear from people that have a range of experiences and stories to share; each of these encounters plays a part in influencing and shaping their future and encouraging them to be the best that they can in whatever pathway they choose.”

World memory record holder teaches tips to help with their studies 

David Thomas, the record-breaking former firefighter, has visited Folkestone Academy and Turner Free School to inspire pupils and share tips and tricks to help them improve their memories to benefit their studies. Mr Thomas is the world memory record holder who successfully memorised and recited the mathematical formula Pi to 22,500 places, making him a Guinness World Record breaker Read on...

Over the two day visit, he coached nearly 2,000 young people on how to train their mind using powerful techniques to improve speed, retention, concentration, and comprehension when studying for exams.

As well as being a world record holder, David is also a World Memory Championships medallist and a Sunday Times bestselling author with his book ‘Tell Me Why Mummy’, which tells his personal story of overcoming adversity.

 Katy Tibbles, Community Engagement Manager, Turner Schools, said

“We are always looking to  provide unique opportunities for our pupils that develop their learning and motivation both inside and outside the classroom. David’s visit has been an incredible experience for our young people and he has had a huge impact in a short space of time. Pupils came away feeling inspired and believing that they can take control of their future.”

 Alfie, Year 9 pupil said: 

“It was a great experience listening to David talk. He really inspired me to concentrate on my exams and to think about my future.”

 David Thomas said:

“Having been going into schools for the last 25 years, the two Turner Schools in  Folkestone have been among the very best that I’ve visited. They have dedicated teachers, students who are willing to learn and engage with an external speaker,  and get involved in the process of improving their education. It would be an honour and a privilege to return.”

 

Notes to Editors

The visit was funded by Strategic Solutions Financial Services, who have offices in Folkestone, as part of their commitment to support local communities. The mission is driven by Strategic Solutions’ Community Foundation, which is chaired by Jeff Steninger. Every year the foundation offers advisers at Strategic Solutions a voluntary scheme to give up part of their gross income to contribute to the fund. This is matched by Strategic Solutions.

To find out more about Strategic Solutions’ Community Foundation and how you can apply, please visit www.ssfs.co.uk/community.

The Turner Schools Trust is deeply saddened by the death of Her Majesty The Queen.

Her decades of loyalty and service to her people, her country and the Commonwealth are unrivalled and was an extraordinary example for us all in serving her community. She was an amazing role model for all at Turner Schools.

She will be greatly missed. 

AMAZING GCSE RESULTS FOR OUR YEAR 11 PUPILS

Pupils and staff at Folkestone Academy are celebrating an excellent set of results in this year’s GCSE examinations. Our Y11 pupils have had to endure a very challenging two-year period in which they have experienced considerable disruption to their GCSE and vocational courses. Throughout this time, our pupils have remained positive and resilient; they are to be congratulated on how hard they have worked to achieve the best results possible. We are immensely proud of them. Read on...

We have always known that this year was a ‘transition year’ between 2021 (when assessments were graded directly by schools and colleges) and 2019 (the last year exams took place). This means that overall grades will be about halfway between the two nationally.  Whilst year on year comparisons are not possible, we do know that pupils' results across many subject areas have enabled them to access Sixth Form and other level 3 courses and apprenticeships. 


Many pupils are celebrating individual success stories having made excellent progress during their time at Folkestone Academy. Amongst a host of year 11 pupils who have attained a number of top grades, the pupils below particularly excelled in the following subjects: 

Ivan Miloch (English Language, French and History)

Jochen Lisabeth (ICT and Maths)

Jack Reynolds (English Language and English Literature)

Chloe Straw (Business and ICT)

Vinni Wildey (ICT, HIstory and Science)

Riley-James Harradine (Art and Design and Maths)

Maddison Fisher (History and Science)


Head of School Steve Shaw said “Once again, our pupils have done themselves, their community and our school proud. Seeing our pupils again to celebrate their success was a real pleasure. This particular cohort have been on a rollercoaster ride throughout their GCSE courses and it has been remarkable how they have adapted and applied themselves. They have worked incredibly hard and should celebrate their well-earned results. I would also like to pay tribute to our superb teachers who have worked tirelessly to minimise the impact of Covid-19 by providing pupils with first class support throughout lockdown and upon their return to school.”


Vice Principal Ben Williams added on behalf of the Year 11 pastoral and tutor team “We have been delighted to see so many of our pupils wearing huge smiles, and knowing that their hard work has paid off. The buzz of conversations throughout the school today has been overwhelmingly positive and it is great to hear all the exciting destinations our pupils have planned for next year.”


We would like to wish all of our pupils well for the next phase of their education.

SIXTH FORM SUCCESS WITH A-LEVEL RESULTS

Folkestone Academy students and staff are celebrating an excellent set of results for our Sixth Form students this summer following such a difficult two years. With the return of public exams this year our students’ exceptional motivation and hard work has been a credit to them. We all wish them well as they prepare for the next step in their lives.   Read on...

This year is a transition year, grade comparisons between either last year or 2019 are challenging due to the differences in assessment methodology.   What we do know is that 100% of our students who applied to university have successfully been placed and all other pupils have planned destinations in training or employment for September. 

Some examples of where our students are moving on to include Brad Elliot, who gained two Distinction* and a Distinction, is completing an IT apprenticeship at ADM computing.   We are proud of our University applicants who have accepted offers on varied courses including Dylan Spratley, two Distinction* and a Distinction, studying Cyber Security at De Montfort, George Cooper, with two As and a B, and will be studying Psychology at Surrey.   Ella Hughes and Sydney Marsh, both who gained three Distinction*, to study Paramedic Science &  Criminal Investigation respectively at Christ Church Canterbury and Alameen Lawal with a Distinction* and two Distinctions will be studying Finance at Northampton.

Trust Director of Sixth Form, Hannah Turner said:

“We are thrilled that our pupils have secured excellent results in both A-level and Vocational qualifications and have therefore have such fantastic destinations to go to.  This is a product of all their hard work. We are confident that all our pupils are well prepared for their exciting futures ahead and we wish them all the best of luck.”

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...


Over the course of Community Day, pupils from all year groups spent their time making a positive impact across Folkestone. Different children were given different opportunities to give back to society so that every pupil across Turner Schools was able to participate and do their bit for Folkestone.

 

Activities included litter picking across the local area, children reading to members of Age UK Folkestone, creating ‘kindness parcels’ for residents of Folkestone care homes, and hosting tea and card games for grandparents and pensioners and much more.

 

Seamus Murphy, CEO at Turner Schools, said: 

“It is so important to us all that pupils are encouraged to be generous members of their community. We wanted to take this day to show them how they can enjoy giving back to those around them and to help them understand the positive impact they can make. We expect our academies to contribute to their communities and across society in general, and to support our young people in becoming kind and open-hearted adults.

 

“The Community Day was a stunning success, and we are very excited to do this again in the future. We had a real range of different activities taking place and I know our pupils really enjoyed taking this time to make a difference for the wider Folkestone community. Hopefully the pupils’ hard work made a real impact on their community, and everyone across Folkestone enjoyed it as much as we did!”

 

 Katy Tibbles, Stakeholder and Community Engagement Manager, said:

“Community Day has been a fantastic opportunity for our pupils to develop  their knowledge and understanding of the wider community and for them to consider ways in which they can become active citizens who make a positive contribution to the town in which they live.”


Year 8 pupil, Folkestone Academy, said:

“I really enjoyed making the gift boxes that we delivered to local houses. I hope they put a smile on everyone’s and brightened up their day.”


Year 4 pupil, Folkestone Primary, said: 

"I think it is important to be thankful to our community because they do a lot for us. I’m happy that we could do something nice for other people.”

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.”

Exhibitions:

 Shortlisted categories - Prizes presented by Deputy Mayor, Cllr Belinda Walker

Hundreds of Folkestone pupils take part in Primary School Olympics

Hundreds of local primary school pupils have participated in the second Folkestone Academy Primary Schools Olympics. More than 270 10-11 year old pupils from five local schools took part in the sporting event organised by Folkestone Academy in partnership with The Sports Trust, which saw them enjoy a number of sports including Athletics, Cricket, Hockey, Football and Street Dance. Read on...

As in last year’s event, the pupils were supported by coaches from a range of different local clubs. The Hockey matches were supported by the Folkestone Optimists, Athletics by the Folkestone Junior Athletics Club, Cricket and Football by The Sports Trust and the Street Dance event by The Right Step Dance Company.

Pupils took part in all five activities so that they could try sports they may not previously have played during their time at primary school.

Sarah Green, The Sports Trust Project Manager for Schools and Folkestone School Games Organiser, said:

“The Sports Trust is a charity creating inclusive and inspiring environments for people to love sport and exercise. One way we aim to achieve our mission is to connect schools and sports clubs in the Folkestone and Hythe district. Today's Olympic event at the Folkestone Academy is one example of creating these connections while also using the power of sport to support primary school pupils' transition to secondary school.”

“We are very pleased that the day has been a success for the second year in a row and we hope all these year 5 pupils will go onto secondary school next September motivated to maintain their involvement in sport or take up a new sport to support their academic studies.”

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

“It was a real pleasure to welcome pupils from so many of our neighbouring schools to Folkestone Academy and to give them the opportunity to compete across a range of different sports. While some of the children had never before tried these sports, they were expertly supported by the fantastic coaches from The Sports Trust and local clubs.

“We have been delighted to host the Folkestone Academy Olympics for the last two years and look forward to continuing to do so. It’s a wonderful opportunity for these young people to experience a range of different activities and we hope will lead to these children taking up new sports in the future.”

The five schools who competed in the Folkestone Primary School Olympics are as follows:

Ofsted confirms Folkestone Academy is a Good school 

School leaders at Folkestone Academy are today celebrating after Ofsted inspectors have confirmed that they are providing a good quality of education for all. The external inspectors recognised that school leaders are ambitious for all pupils to achieve and that pupils enjoy coming to the school.  Read on...

In particular, Ofsted rated leadership and management at Folkestone Academy as Outstanding – the top possible grade - highlighting the work that school leaders and Turner Schools have done to ensure every pupil is able to learn. The report states they have worked “tenaciously to improve the school”, and that they are unwavering in their determination to ensure that pupils are provided with the very best education. 

Other key highlights recognised in the report include:

Steven Shaw, Head of School at Folkestone Academy, said: 

“We are all thrilled to have Ofsted recognise the great work which takes place here every day by saying we are a Good school. I am constantly impressed by how hard our staff and pupils work and it is fantastic to see the Ofsted inspectors report so positively on everything that we do here. I am very proud of every member of this school community and am looking forward to building on this foundation for the future.”

Seamus Murphy, CEO at Turner Schools, said:

“Congratulations to Steven and his team on this really encouraging report which fairly reflects their hard work and commitment to our children. It is clear to see that everyone at Folkestone Academy is committed to ensuring the best possible education for their pupils, and I am delighted that Ofsted agree we are on the right path to making sure this happens. Well done to all on this fine achievement.”

FOLKESTONE ACADEMY'S ANNUAL MATHS CHALLENGE

Sixteen primary schools from across Folkestone and Hythe have competed for the title of Maths Challenge Champion for the eleventh year. This year saw St Martin’s CofE Primary School take the title, having finished second in the last competition in 2019. Stella Maris Catholic Primary School came in second place, with Palmarsh Primary also making up the top three.  Read on...

The challenge took place following a two year hiatus due to the pandemic. Over the course of the all-day event, pupils competed in a range of Maths-based activities including a speed test, murder mystery quiz, code breaking, number crosswords and a relay quiz to finish. 

The competition was hosted by Folkestone Academy, and was organised by the Maths Department there, led by Keith Denchfield. In total, a record-breaking sixteen primary schools took part. All pupils went away with a goody bag and certificate.

Keith Denchfield said:

‘I was very impressed with the high abilities of the Year 5 pupils who responded well to a number of challenging questions which really stretched their mathematical minds. I look forward to seeing them here in a few years and working with them to develop their maths skills even further!”

Steve Shaw, Head of School at Folkestone Academy, who presented the winners’ trophy to the St Martin’s CofE Primary School team, said: 

“It was wonderful to have so many primary school children in the Academy and to see such a range of activities, with so many pupils clearly enjoying themselves.I am delighted that we were able to host this competition once more after a couple of years of not having it, and am already looking forward to the next one!

“Congratulations in particular to the St Martin’s, Stella Maris and Palmarsh mathematician, and for those primary schools that fell short this time don't worry, there is always next year! Well done to all involved.”

The full list of schools to take part is as follows:

Folkestone Primary, Morehall Primary School, Martello Primary School, Hythe Bay CofE Primary, Castle Hill Community School, Lyminge CofE Primary School, The Churchill School, All Soul’s CofE Primary School, St Eanswythe's CofE Primary, Christ Church CofE Academy, Mundella Primary School, St Augustine’s Catholic Primary School and Selsted CofE Primary School.

Folkestone Academy celebrates £130,000 grant for new Horticulture project

Staff and pupils at Folkestone Academy are celebrating after winning a £134,631 grant for a new Horticulture and Environmental Science (HES) building. The grant was organised by the Friends of Folkestone Academy group and will be used to build a permanent outdoor classroom to complement the school’s existing horticulture provision.  Read on...

This outdoor classroom will ensure teaching can take place in all weathers. School leaders plan to use this for Year 10 and Year 11 pupils as part of Folkestone Academy’s alternative education provision, while Key Stage 3 pupils will have one horticultural lesson a week.

The HES building will be designed to industrial agricultural warehouse standards, but with the capacity for classroom growing stations to provide hands-on experience for pupils. Photovoltaic roof installations will enable the classroom to be self-powered to further enhance the building's green credentials as well as demonstrate climate reduction strategies

During school holidays the HES building will be used as a base for horticulture themed holiday clubs for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. These will target children who become more vulnerable during holiday periods and those who are least likely to have access to outdoor space when at home.

Turner Schools also plans for this classroom to provide new opportunities to engage with the local community. An area will be allocated for specific use by community groups such as the local Age UK gardening group, and Turner staff are in discussions with South Kent Mind about delivering wellbeing and mindfulness workshops using this space.

Michael Pearce, at Friends of Folkestone Academy, said:

“We are delighted to work with Folkestone Academy to ensure they receive this grant which will prove transformative to their practical outdoors teaching. This will ensure Folkestone pupils are able to receive high-quality environmental science and horticulture teaching throughout the year as well as offering a hugely valuable community space. Above all this project will be a critical element in Folkestone Academy becoming a flagship ECO school and leading on this educational initiative across the town. 

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

“The new HES building will prove hugely beneficial to our plans to offer a great range of practical outdoor learning for our pupils. We have employed an experienced horticulturalist as lead teacher and have two experienced teachers currently training. We also see the HES building as a training centre for primary staff from our trust and feeder schools. In the long run we also see the building as a base for L3 provision locally.

 “We also see this becoming a flagship building for promoting environmental issues and highlighting careers and progression opportunities in the horticulture and environmental science industries. We are planning to organise a series of talks and workshops led by industry specialists in partnership with external agencies to promote the benefits of this.”

Folkestone Academy Hosts Sell Out Dance Show at Leas Cliff Hall

After two years' delay due to Covid restrictions the Breaking Waves Dance Showcase returned to the Leas Cliff Hall in Folkestone, for its seventh show. Hosted by Folkestone Academy the evening consisted of performances from over 320 young people aged between 4 and 18 from 18 groups from Folkestone, Dover and Canterbury.  Read on...

Following the success of previous years, the event was kindly awarded another free day at the Leas Cliff Hall by Folkestone and Hythe District Council, allowing more people from the wider community to attend. All profits raised from the show were donated to Academy FM Folkestone, a charity radio station working with people in the local community.

There are also performances by pupils from five primary schools: Folkestone Primary; Martello Primary, Folkestone; Morehall Primary, Folkestone; St Eanswythe’s CE Primary, Folkestone and Sibertswold Primary, Shepherdwell in Dover. Finally, seven dance schools including Instep Dance Company, Studio Six, Julia’s School, KDanceStudio, Tahmineh School of Dance, Chloe Scott and Beddow Academy, Dover.

Patricia Cullen, Head of Dance at the Academy, has been organising the event over the past six months working with schools from all over East Kent. The evening combined a variety of genres of dance including jazz, ballet, urban, commercial, lyrical and contemporary. This was a collaborative event with performances from secondary school performers from Folkestone Academy; Turner Free School; Brockhill Performing Arts College, Hythe; Spires Academy, Canterbury; Astor College, Dover and The Duke of York's Royal Military School, Dover.

Daniel, aged 7, who performed in the showcase, said: 

“I kept thinking there was so many people as I looked out into the audience, I was really excited dancing on stage for the first time.”

Patricia Cullen said: 

“I am absolutely thrilled that we were able to give these young people the chance to perform live to an audience in such a wonderful theatre. Seeing the dancers beaming with pride as they exited the stage was so emotional for me and is something I will never forget. 

“All of the groups, from newly-formed groups to established companies, delivered performances of such a high standard. Having more than 300 dancers perform to a sell-out audience was an incredible sight, and I loved watching them showcase their talents across a range of styles. It was particularly special for me as my new dance school ‘Tahmineh School of Dance’ took part, as well as my oldest son Daniel. 

“Having taught at Folkestone Academy for 12 years now I have seen Breaking Waves grow each year, with this year’s event the biggest to date. Thank you to everyone that took part, from the teachers who choreographed brilliant pieces to the dancers who took to the stage with confidence to showcase their talent. 

“I am so proud of everyone who took part in the showcase. The talent was exceptional and the atmosphere in the room was amazing.”

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.”

Schools celebrate their community through ‘Folkestone Talks’ 

Care 4 Calais, Kent Police and the Napier Barracks are just some of the guests invited in to meet pupils of Turner Schools during their month-long ‘Folkestone Talks’ - a Trust-wide celebration of the people who make up their local community.  Read on...

The initiative, which is running throughout March, is a wonderful opportunity for pupils to meet people who live or work in the town and to benefit from the stories, backgrounds and experiences that they can share. It aims to:

Over 70 members of the community have committed to participating, including representatives from the Nepalese and Roma communities; various churches and religious groups; councillors from the town and district council; and the Rotary Club. The events are run in a ‘speed networking’ style where small groups of pupils spend 10 minutes with each guest before moving on to the next person. So far, events have been held at Turner Free School, Morehall Primary and Martello Primary, with dates set for Folkestone Academy and Folkestone Primary later on in the month. By the end of the series, over 900 pupils will have participated in the events.

Katy Tibbles, Community Engagement Manager, Turner Schools, said: “I’ve been overwhelmed by the support that’s been shown by the community towards these events. It’s a fantastic way for our pupils to meet the wide variety of people that play a part in the town and who help to make Folkestone a great place to live and work. At Turner Schools, it’s part of our mission to strengthen communities and I feel that these events have been successful in doing that.”

Haydee Blaskett, Environmental Enforcement Officer, Folkestone and Hythe District Council, said: “We thoroughly enjoyed the morning and would like to say how wonderful and polite all the children were. They were really engaged and were asking some brilliant questions that were really relevant to our role and about the town.”

Mick Cronin, Community Liaison Officer, Kent Police, said:  “I’ve very much enjoyed taking part in the Folkestone Talks events across the Turner Schools. It’s been a great opportunity to bring together different groups from the community and to celebrate the diversity that exists in the town. Initiatives such as these play an important part in developing community cohesion.”

Noah (Year 4, Morehall) said: “I really enjoyed meeting lots of new people and finding out about their lives, feelings and jobs”.

Parent (Turner Free School) said: “As a parent I would like to thank you as a school for not only helping to shape my daughters academic future but also herself as a person with activities like this. “

Care for Ukraine

Pupils, staff and parents across the family of five Turner Schools came together to show their ‘Care for Ukraine’ in a charity appeal last week. During the initiative, which ran from Monday 7 March, the communities of Folkestone Academy, Folkestone Primary, Martello Primary, Morehall Primary and Turner Free School collected food, toiletries and other essential items to be transported to the people of Ukraine in their hour of need. Read on...

Items donated included: first aid products, baby milk, hygiene products, sanitary products, instant soup sachets and paper plates. And now, the Trust has made a link with Folkestone’s BigJigs Toys, who are organising and the sorting items before they are transported by Freight 44, another local, haulage, business in the area. 

Following on from this appeal, Folkestone Academy also held a ‘Wear Something Blue or Yellow Day’, a cake sale and Ukraine ribbon sale, which together raised just over £600 in total. The funds will be donated to the British Red Cross appeal.

Seamus Murphy, CEO, Turner Schools, said: “Like many others up and down the country, our school communities have been touched by the crisis in Ukraine and we have felt compelled to act in support. Everyone has rallied around, including pupils from Folkestone Academy, who have volunteered during lunchtimes to help the team at BigJigs sort through the donated items. We teach our pupils the value of charity, community and compassion - it has been humbling to see them enact those values, and show their care for Ukraine, over this past week. We hope this will help in some small way.”

Academy Pupils Raise Money for Make a Wish Foundation

Year 8 pupils at Folkestone Academy have used their design skills to raise hundreds of pounds for the Make a Wish Foundation. The pupils raised £270.71 for the charity by designing and creating a range of tie-dye tote bags and selling them to family, friends, and staff members across the school. Read on...

The 12 and 13-year-olds, along with their tutor Miss Diwell, came up with the idea as part of a form tutor class charity initiative. After designing and creating the bags, the pupils sent information around the school and their homes so that parents, staff and other pupils could purchase them from the Reception Desk at Folkestone Academy.

In addition to their tie-dye colour scheme the bags also featured images chosen by the pupils to reinforce their belief in safeguarding the environment and raising awareness of pollution. The reusable bags are designed to replace single-use plastic bags and help keep Folkestone green.

Nathaniel, one of the Year 8 pupils, said:

“We are so proud of how hard we all worked to make the tote bags and also how much money we raised for the Make A Wish charity.”

Miss Diwell said:

“I am so impressed with the dedication by the pupils when making their tote bags for Make A Wish. They did everything from designing the artwork, dying the fabric, ironing each bag and setting up a stall to sell the tote bag. The pupils really admire all the amazing work Make A Wish Foundation does to help other children and hope that their donation can contribute to that.”

Cadets Selected for Prestigious Training Course

Captain Baynes and the rest of the CCF staff would like to say a huge congratulations to three lucky Cadets. R Denne, A Elliot and J Franks have been selected for the Senior Cadet Instructors Cadre (SCIC).

The SCIC is a leadership course run externally by the local training Brigade. On this course they will be assessed on their ability to teach other Cadets from all over the country. They will also develop great leadership skills, as well as the skills needed to camp out for 24 hours.

It is a huge honour to be selected for this course and they will gain essential skills that will help them for the rest of their lives.

We are so proud of their high achievements.

Folkestone Academy chefs team up with the Royal Navy

Selected Year 10 and 11 Catering pupils at Folkestone Academy have been given the chance to see the skills and experiences on offer from a life at sea. The pupils welcomed representatives from the Royal Navy Chefs Display team to school for a series of workshops to showcase the variety of careers on offer in the Navy. Read on...

The Navy representatives explained that there are more than 100 roles on offer across the service with 9 branch specialties, including Aviation, Engineering, Logistics, Warfare and Medical. They also spoke of the benefits of joining the Navy, the opportunities for lifelong learning and training including the chance to gain NVQs and formal Apprenticeships.

After the careers presentation the Folkestone pupils had the chance to take part in a Ready Steady Cook style task where they were challenged to prepare a meal within a set time limit using their Catering skills. The Navy officers oversaw the challenge and spoke about the similarities to their own roles where they’ll have to prepare meals within strict timeframes, as well as their own life experiences since joining up.

The visit highlighted the challenges of working in the Navy across a variety of roles and linked the pupils’ work on their Catering course to what experienced naval personnel have to do on a regular basis.

Year 11 Ethan said 

"I really enjoyed the cooking lesson. It was interesting to hear about the different jobs in the Navy."

Year 11 Amelia said 

"The lesson has made me think about exploring a job catering within the Navy."

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

“Thank you to the Royal Navy Chefs Display team for taking the time to come into school and show off their catering skills to our pupils. It was a really interesting and engaging session which highlighted how the lessons learned in their kitchen can be used in the real world and in such a variety of different roles. It’s given our pupils a better understanding of the possible careers out there for them after they leave school, which is so important as they come to the end of their time here.”  

Turner Schools Christmas Concert 2021

Pupils from Folkestone Academy, Folkestone Primary, Martello Primary, Morehall Primary and Turner Free School perform in our first Turner Schools Christmas Concert. 

Year 11 After School Intervention Sessions

Year 11 pupils are invited to join teachers for revision sessions after school in preparations for their GCSE examinations.

Local Rotary Club Young Chef Competition

A Folkestone Academy pupil has won the Folkestone, Hythe and Romney Marsh round of this year’s Rotary Young Chef competition, which took place on Thursday 18th November. Read on...

The winner was 16-year-old Isabel Keutenius, who prepared a seafood and chicken paella. She received a cash prize, a cookery book and a certificate, presented by the president of the Rotary Club of Folkestone, Kate McNeice.  

The competition was judged by three local hotel chefs on the taste and presentation of their dishes as well as the costs, planning, healthy choices and range of skills used. They had an hour to show correct use of knives and equipment, neatness of their work area and hygiene, as well as producing two plates of food on time and at a good temperature. 

Supported by the Hospitality and Catering Department staff at Folkestone Academy, Isabel will now go forward to the District round of the competition early next year.

Isabel comments: “I was very surprised to hear that I had won the Young Chef award as everyone who participated did such an amazing job. I am so thankful for my Teachers support and for this fantastic opportunity.” 

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.

Events included:

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.”

My First Day 

We hear from our Year 7 who talk about their first day at the Academy.

Folkestone pupils participate at Primary School Olympics

Pupils from across Folkestone have participated in their own Primary School Olympics,  organised by Folkestone Academy in partnership with Shepway Sports Trust. More than 280 Year 6 pupils from seven primary schools across Folkestone took part in the event, which saw the pupils participating in five separate sports. Read on....

The children were supported by coaches from a number of different local clubs. Over the course of the event they took part in skateboarding with coaches from Shepway Sports Trust, athletics with coaches from Folkestone Junior Athletics Club, hockey with coaches from Folkestone Optimist Hockey Club, football with coaches from Gillingham Women Football Club and boxing with coaches from Olympia Boxing.

 In addition the schools welcomed Megan Maslak from the Gillingham Women Football Club, the top Kent women’s team. Megan supported pupils during the morning’s football activities and passed on her expertise of playing at a top level.

 The Olympics were particularly important in supporting pupils to be active after the lockdowns, and to help them realise the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. For many pupils it was also the first school trip they had been on in more than 18 months.

 Sarah Green, School Games Organiser​, said:

“Here at the Folkestone Academy we believe sport is a vehicle for change and a tool to improve quality of life. This event is a perfect example of the new School Games ethos of influencing schools to use sport and physical activity to achieve wider school outcomes. This event, although a lot of fun on the surface, has supported the current year 6 pupils to start thinking about their transition from primary to secondary school which have been so limited for the past 2 Year 6 cohorts due to the pandemic.”

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

"We were delighted to welcome so many Year 6 pupils to Folkestone Academy, and to offer them the opportunity to experience the real variety of sports that we offer here. Some of the pupils had never experienced these sports before, and it was a real pleasure to watch them be so positive in trying new things.

 “Thank you to Shepway Sports Trust and all the coaches involved for their hard work. They really made the day one to remember for so many of these young people, who we hope will be inspired to pursue more of these sports in the future.”

Early Finish to School Day

Dear Parents, Carers

Thursday 30th September is Open Evening for prospective Year 7 pupils. To allow for the school to prepare for this the Academy will be closing early to pupils that day with a 2pm dismissal.  

If you would like to attend the Open Evening and have a Year 6 pupil visit here: Open Events

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.

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.”

ITV Meridian News Feature - GCSE Results day

Published: Thursday 12th August

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

ITV Meridian News Feature - GCSEs 2021.mp4

Summer School 2021

Our new Year 7 pupils had a fantastic week during their Summer School.

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!"

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.”

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.”

International Dance Day 2021

Date: Thursday 29th April

Pupils and staff celebrate International Dance Day.  Take a look at some of the videos we created

Listen to Mrs Cullen talk about the history of Dance and the numerous benefits Dance has on us. 

We celebrate with a Throwback Thursday with our very own Mrs Cullen who toured internationally with Map Dance Company as part of her Masters at Chichester University. 

Why not learn a Salsa routine with Mrs Cullen

Letter From Kent Police

Date: Wednesday 17th March

Please read letter below from Kent Police supported by Folkestone & Hythe District Community Safety Partnership 

National Careers Week

National Careers Week runs from Monday 1st to Saturday 6th March 2021 and aims to promote the importance of good careers education in schools and colleges. This year is the 10th anniversary of National Careers Week. 

Here at Folkestone Academy students will have a series of career assemblies and will also learn how their curriculum learning links with careers during National Careers Week.

As part of this celebration of careers a number of staff at Folkestone Academy have agreed to share their career journeys which gives pupils insight into how careers change over time. 

Visit: https://ncw2021.co.uk


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.

Folkestone Academy Channel 5 News.mp4