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Your family lifestyle magazine for Kent, Surrey & Sussex

Sept/Oct 2019



Welcome to the September/October issue of Kudos September heralds the start of autumn, when the nights start to draw in and the weather begins to feel cooler. If we’re lucky, though, we’ll have the last hurrah of an Indian summer when temperatures are unseasonably hot and we can bask in the sun for just a little longer. who talks about her hopes for the future of No-one quite knows how the term originated, but one the town’s community arts focus. theory credits it to Native Americans who are said On the style front, we show you how to to have taken advantage of a spell of warm autumn bring a country feel to your home and weather to continue hunting. Whatever the origins, an garden, and combine traditional and Indian summer will be most welcome! contemporary looks in your kitchen. Talking of good weather, we meet Jasmine Harman, We’ve also got events around the region who has presented Channel 4’s A Place in the Sun for 15 and delicious banana recipes, plus we look years and juggles family life with a busy filming schedule. at the stresses of being a parent and, at the September is also the time that children are starting other end of the scale, how to avoid emptyor going back to school, so we’ve asked a number of nest syndrome. local head teachers what their schools have planned for Enjoy! the year ahead. Someone else planning ahead is Kezia Cole, the new Hannah Tucek Artistic Director of Tunbridge Wells’ Trinity Theatre, Publishing Director

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Contents 6 Kudos loves...

Managing Director: Robin Tucek Publishing Director: Hannah Tucek Editorial Director: Ann Wallace Creative Director: Neil Constant Sales Manager: Vikki Hyder Fashion Editor: Sally-Ann Carroll Photographer: Matt Harquail Cover photo courtesy of Next

Kudos is published bi-monthly by:

10 News & events 24 Love celebrity 28 Love family 38 Love education 60 Love home 72 Love garden 74 Love food and drink

While every care is taken to ensure accuracy, the publishers, authors and printers cannot accept liability for errors or omissions. All rights reserved. Prices and details correct at time of going to press.

No part of this publication may be produced in any form without the written permission of the copyright holder and publisher, application for which should be made to the publisher. Opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher.


78 Love business 80 Love charity 81 Marketplace 82 Love heroes

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Things we love this issue

Rare treat

Probably the most wanted skincare range ever, Drunk Elephant is worth the hype – and then some. Founded by Tiffany Masterson, who wanted a clean break from toxins and the ‘Suspicious 6’ (essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical screens, fragrance/ dyes and SLS), this brand has created a whole new category in the beauty space: ‘CleanClinical’. A blend of six rare African oils whipped into an airy cream, this all-purpose rescue moisturiser saves dull, dry skin by delivering a steady dose of moisture throughout the day and night. Your complexion will be left soft, supple and replenished. Lala Retro Whipped Cream (50ml), £50

Get Carter

Irish beauty brand Carter Beauty by Marissa Carter can add another A-list fan to their list within just weeks of their launch into the UK. In a promo shoot for Keeping up with the Kardashians, the secret to Kourtney Kardashian’s flawless skin was revealed to be their Full Measure HD Foundation. Celebrity make-up artist Rokael Lizama let slip on his Instagram that he used Carter Beauty’s best-selling foundation in the shade Crème Brûlée to create Kourtney’s look, crediting the hero buy for holding fast under filming lights on set. Available in 12 shades for £11 each in select Primark stores nationwide and online at


Hape’s Balance Wonder Bike is the two-wheeled scooter, perfectly-sized for speedy escapades. Suitable from three years, it will give your child the confidence they need to ride a bike by practicing their balance and skipping the training wheels, encouraging them to stay active while having fun and building strength. Rubberised wheels make it suitable for both indoor and outdoor use without scuffing the floor. From short rides to all-day excursions, a cruise around the living room, hallway or garden – the world is your oyster. £57.49 from Amazon


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Fruit boost

It’s a sad fact that most of us don’t eat enough fresh fruit and vegetables. NHS figures show that less than a third of adults manage five portions a day, with kids aged 5-15 even less successful – just 18 per cent achieve the target. So if you need a helping hand, you could incorporate a quality organic food supplement into your daily diet. Berries Best is a doctor-formulated blend of organic fruit and veg, including berries specially selected for their high antioxidant value. What’s more, the vegan-friendly powder has a pleasant taste thanks to fruits such as blueberry, bilberry, cherry and papaya. Simply mix a scoop with 250ml of water and drink once or twice a day for a nutritious boost. £29.75

Candle power

Send a few little words to a special someone with a Secret Message Candle. As you light the match and the wax begins to melt it gradually becomes translucent, revealing the hidden message at the bottom of the cup. Choose from a selection of messages, including You Light Up Every Room, You Light My Fire, You’re Smoking Hot, Make A Wish and Happy House Warming £9.99

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Making scents

We just love the chic packaging of Lavender & Lillie – a home fragrance and cosmetics brand that also smells amazing, too! Their complex fragrances evoke memories and inspire your imagination; transporting you to destinations around the world, from Praslin in the Seychelles to Palace Road in India. £9-£48



Shaking up Millennial fashion

Since its launch in 2018, Hirestreet has accumulated thousands of loyal shoppers and a six-figure investment deal as it is set to continue its rapid growth. It’s niche? Providing a sustainable route to trendled, affordable, high-street fashion to a generation who hate to ‘outfit repeat’. The online marketplace, where you can rent pieces from £8-£38 for up to 16 days, has attracted brands such as French Connection, Keepsake The Label and Lavish Alice. Millennial Founder and CEO, Isabella West, says that her generation have been caught in a conflict: “The rise of fast fashion and social media mean it has never been more tempting to have a ‘wear it once’ attitude yet, at the same time, we’re increasingly aware of the environmental impact of over-consumption.” The Hirestreet concept is simple. Instead of buying an outfit, wearing it once and sending it off to landfill, customers hire it – paying a fraction of the retail price for the service. Isabella explains: “By introducing a shared approach to fashion, we can dramatically extend the lives of garments.” Brand research revealed that ‘sustainability’ was the second largest motivation for customers (32 per cent) with a whopping 64 per cent citing value for money as the primary reason for trial renting. There is a standard flat fee of £5 for postage and cleaning costs.

Ghost Valentina Sweetie Pink Maxi Dress, £185 to buy but from only £34 to hire Bardot navy trumpet lace midi dress, £129 to buy but from only £25 to hire

Face off

This slipware pottery by illustrator, Scott Garrett, who is based in Hastings, East Sussex, has a strong link to traditional Sussex and Kent pottery. Says Scott, “I’ve long had a passion for pottery, with particular interest in face jugs from the Southern folk pottery tradition of North Carolina and Georgia, along with the English country slipware tradition, especially North Devon harvest jugs with their spectacular sgraffito.” Sgraffito is where the terracotta clay is dipped in thin, liquid white clay. When this dries out you can then draw and scratch back into it to reveal the brown clay below, which now becomes the line colour. The glaze then turns this white surface into a lovely warm honey colour.


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D Day

The Oilesen range offers a selection of Vitamin Dinfused supplements for adults and children, designed to boost growth and development, encourage muscle function and protect your immune system. Oilesen Vitamin D3 Drops, £6, are designed for stress-free, easy use for babies and young children. Sneak one drop per day into a meal or mixed in a drink and they won’t even know they’ve taken it! For the brave parent and co-operative child, you can place it directly into the mouth with the dropper. There is also the Oilesen Vitamin Spray, £7, which can be sprayed directly under the tongue or the inside of the cheek, and Oilesen Vitamin D3 Soft Gel Capsules, £8, for children over five and adult use. If you’re not a fan of swallowing capsules, they can be chewed or the contents squeezed into a meal, a drink or directly into the mouth. All Oilesen products are gluten-free, nut-free and dairy-free.

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Upfront What’s new and happening

Local and delicious New food and drink hub in Ashford Already famous for its award-winning flagship food hall in Faversham, Macknade marks its 40th birthday celebrations with the announcement of a new food and drink hub in Ashford’s Elwick Place. The new 5,136 sq ft space will have an all-day dining experience, surrounded by grocery and delicatessen counters. “We have a really strong spirit of family and community at Macknade, so this will be reflected in our new space,” says Stefano Cuomo, Managing Director of Macknade and the sixth generation to run the family business. “It can accommodate between 100-120 people and there will be both individual and communal tables where customers can engage with each other and enjoy the informal space together. As well as shoppers and diners, we will welcome business meetings, specialist tastings, birthday parties and music nights. “For over 40 years we have celebrated more than just fine food and drink; for me, it’s about people and communities coming together. We enjoy discovering and selling the incredible array of food from our Kentish doorstep as well as cuisine from around the globe. We are all about creating a food and drink experience that is so much more than just a restaurant or shop. “The plan is to provide breakfast, brunch, evening supper and drinks in the same space. We want to create the same ‘favourite place’ feeling that is so apparent amongst customers in our Faversham food hall.” Bringing the wealth of 40 years retail expertise, the new Ashford Macknade will be supported by the Faversham management team and the business will be looking to initially employ up to 12 people from the local community and grow the team from there. “We’ve seen a real increase in the number of consumers choosing to shop locally and engage with independent businesses,” says Stefano. “Customers no longer want to shop and dine solely at supermarkets and chain formats; they want to know where their food comes from and that the businesses they are spending with are sustainable. This ethos has been supported throughout the county by organisations like Visit Kent and Produced in Kent.” From the new Ashford menu, you can order freshly-prepared breakfast, lunch or supper which showcase the best of Macknade’s Kentish and Mediterranean roots. The menu will include locallysourced salads, sandwiches, vegetables, delicatessen platters and meat dishes prepared by Macknade butchers. There will always be vegetarian and vegan options, quality ground fresh coffee and home-baked cakes every day. Visitors can watch mixologists create cocktails in the bar area, which will also stock the best beer, cider, wine, spirits and soft drinks from Kent’s flourishing drinks scene. Shoppers can browse around the delicatessen counters which will feature an extensive array of local, British and continental cheeses and charcuterie, so cherished by customers of Macknade’s flagship food hall in Faversham.


About Elwick Place The first phase of Elwick Place opened in December 2018, anchored by the six-screen Picturehouse boutique cinema and the 58 -bedroom Travelodge hotel. The development also features nine retail/restaurant units on the ground floor and a 282-space car park. As part of the phased opening of the development, the council and its agents have been involved in negotiations with a number of potential users. Announcements about more tenants are expected very soon. Ashford Borough Council funded the construction of Elwick Place in partnership with Stanhope PLC. Built on the site of a former cattle market, it is part of a wider £520m of investment in development in Ashford town centre under construction or with construction to start soon.

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Facelift for RVP Tunbridge Wells shopping centre gets an £11m revamp Royal Victoria Place in Tunbridge Wells is set to benefit from an £11 million investment by its owners, British Land, scheduled to start in autumn this year. Renovation work across the centre will enhance the public spaces for visitors, creating a high-quality environment for local shoppers. The renovation works will involve upgrading to new modern flooring throughout the centre, fitting new, highquality seating areas, installing bespoke rooflight features and housing a new piece of artwork, which will be created by a local designer, all inspired by Tunbridge Wells’ heritage. When the works are completed in early summer 2020, the centre will also have enhanced visitor facilities within the malls, including refurbished toilets and modernised signage throughout to help improve the experience for shoppers. More than 76 jobs are expected to be created by the renovations, and a number of local Tunbridge Wells companies will work with Royal Victoria Place to provide the services required. Nicky Blanchard, centre manager at Royal Victoria Place, said: “We’re so excited to announce the plan for our renovations. We’ve been working hard to produce a design that will help modernise Royal Victoria Place, as well as create a relaxing, feel-good space for our visitors. The works represent a significant investment for us, and we can’t wait to see the end result.” Annalise Walker, asset manager at British Land said: “During the renovation planning process it’s been very important for us to listen to our visitors and we’ve worked closely with the management team to decide how to make improvements that we know will make a difference to our shoppers. We’re confident that what we’ve got planned will provide a high-quality shopping experience for visitors and we look forward to getting started very soon.”

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Art by the sea New, independent gallery for Hastings

Roy Oxlade, Two Cherries on wall, 1984, and Tal R, Yellow Monkey

Hastings Contemporary, a new, independent art gallery, has opened on the historic Stade on the seafront in Hastings. The gallery will bring a dynamic programme of modern and contemporary art to the South East, exploring works by national, international and local artists. It opened with two major exhibitions which champion the medium of painting: Tal R: eventually all museums will be ships and Roy Oxlade: Shine Out Fair Sun. There are also one-room displays of work by David Bomberg and the gallery’s Artist Patron Sir Quentin Blake. Tal R: eventually all museums will be ships explores the work of international contemporary artist Tal R. He works with a wide range of media from painting to textile design, sculpture to video art, constantly renewing his artistic practice and way of working. Known for his unique ability to experiment, reinterpret and create afresh, Tal R is a versatile artist whose work explores and takes inspiration from his surroundings. The exhibition title both befits the iconic, ancient fishing beach flanking Hastings Contemporary and the recent evolution of the gallery to its new independent status. Roy Oxlade: Shine Out Fair Sun is the first major public gallery exhibition of British artist Roy Oxlade (1924-2014). Described in The Guardian as ‘one of the most impressive British painters of the past 50 years’, Roy Oxlade was an artist, art writer and highly influential teacher and the exhibition features work from over 50 years of his artistic output, including some of his earliest paintings produced in the 1950s. Sir Quentin Blake has had a home in Hastings for nearly 40 years and has continuously supported the gallery. He is Hastings Contemporary’s first Artist Patron and has produced new works for the opening of the gallery. For this new exhibition Quentin Blake: The New Dress, Blake has responded to the transformation of the gallery by producing a series of delicate sketchbook drawings of characters exploring transformation and structure via fashioned outfits (see right). On the choice of Hastings Contemporary’s inaugural artists, Director Liz Gilmore said: “The extraordinary talents, abundant creativity and intuitive approach of each artist, fly the flag for painting. We’re excited to be launching this new chapter in Hastings history and to continue to bring world-class exhibitions to our cherished seaside town.” On the first Tuesday of every month the gallery is free to all between the hours of 4pm and 8pm. The cafe is also open during this time. Gallery photo © Iona Marinescu


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Out and about with Kudos

Puppetry Festival Returns to Tunbridge Wells...

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Puppet on a string

Popular festival goes international The third Tunbridge Wells Puppetry Festival (TWPF) is back from 11th-13th October. Growing in ambition and popularity each time, this year’s festival is taking on an international flavour, with acclaimed puppetry from Spain, Italy and Poland joining the very best from the UK to bring an exciting three-day programme of world-class puppetry and street theatre to the Kent community and visitors to the town through shared enjoyment of live performance. As one of only five puppetry festivals in England, TWPF is building a unique international reputation as a centre for puppetry excellence. Working in collaboration with Tunbridge Wells’ best-known venues since launching in 2015, the biennial celebration has brought some of the country’s most talented puppetry artists to the town, and with partnership support this year from Arts Council England, Royal Tunbridge Wells Together, Kent County Council and with collaboration from the Office for Cultural and Scientific Affairs of The Spanish Embassy, the 2019 programme is bigger than ever. Packed with three days of ticketed and free performances, events and workshops at venues across the town centre, visitors can expect memorable, magical and thought-provoking performances. From traditional to experimental and featuring a diverse range of puppetry styles and techniques, there’s something for everyone, from babies and children, families to adults. Telling stories of the world we live in, peppered with a little mystery and mayhem, performers take on everything from deforestation to digital fall-out, astronomy to lost animals. Watch actors and kites transform into a fantastic stream of animals to light up the skies in a stunning overhead performance. Meet the puppeteer who uses only his hands to tell the story of his mother’s life, the feathered friends running the Sweethearts Tea Shop and an outlandish magician with incredible illusions. Mischief and mystery run amok in Moomin Valley, catch a colourful retelling of Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark and step inside a giant puppet and the wild imagination of the larger-than-life Don Quixote. A beautiful and traditional Italian marionette performance – Appeso ad Un Filo (Hanging by a Thread) will close the festival at The Forum. A successful outreach programme has also helped to keep the festival vibe alive in the town since the last event. In 2018, puppetry company Smoking Apples collaborated with TWPF and Age UK Tunbridge Wells to create the short film, Shadow Play, a project using shadow puppetry to recall the memories 16

of people living with dementia. The touching film will be shown at the festival on Saturday 12th October at Trinity Theatre. “Puppetry permeates so much of theatre, TV and film we see today and with such a diverse range of puppetry styles and techniques, it can offer something for absolutely everyone,” says festival creator Linda Lewis. “Ours is a family festival and a real celebration of puppetry’s many forms. We are extremely grateful for the support and funding we receive, without which the festival just wouldn’t be possible. My ambition for the next decade is for the festival to continue to grow and to become truly international, whilst contributing to the artistic and cultural vibrancy of our town and putting Tunbridge Wells on the map as a centre for puppetry excellence.” K U D O S S E P T E M B E R /O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9

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Fun to come at Hever Castle

From ghouls and ghosts to festive magic, there’s lots to celebrate at this time of the year

Autumn Colour: From 1st October

As the gardens turn vibrant shades of red, pink and gold and the leaves tumble from the trees, it’s the perfect time to enjoy autumn colour at Hever Castle & Gardens. The Castle is arguably at its romantic best in the autumn when the Boston Ivy adorning the facade turns a vivid shade of red. Free garden tours providing information about seed collecting will take place on Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout October (with the exception of half term). Children will be encouraged to take up the Leaf & Seed Collection Challenge, with 10 different seeds and leaves to be collected on Anne Boleyn’s Walk and Lake Walk. They will also be able to take home a bulb to plant.

Halloween half term: 19th-31st October

Prepare to be spooked this half term at Haunted Hever. Join the ghostly storytelling, take part in the Halloween craft activity, follow the scarecrow scavenger hunt around the grounds and sink your teeth into a sweet treat at the deadly-delicious biscuit-decorating workshop, for a small additional charge. Don your scariest outfit to take part in the fancy dress competition, with prizes for the best dressed, and finish your creepy creation off with a freakish facepaint, for a small additional charge.

Christmas: 23rd November-24th December

With welcoming log fires and beautiful decorations in the castle, a Christmas trail to follow and the chance to see Father Christmas, be enchanted by the magic of Christmas at Hever. This year, the theme is Alice in a Christmas Wonderland. Fall down the rabbit hole and follow the whimsical trail through the grounds to try and catch up with the white rabbit, join the Mad Hatter at his tea party and meet the infamous Queen of Hearts. Closed 25th-26th November and 2nd-3rd December

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Give your home an uplift with the prize of Colourtrend paint Thinking of giving your room a refresh? Enter our competition and you could transform it free of charge. One lucky winner will receive the prize of six litres of Interior Matt and one litre of Satin or Gloss paint in the colour of their choice from Colourtrend’s wide range of colours. For over half a century, the Colourtrend range has grown to include the elusive colours of the Irish landscape: simple and mysterious, every day and precious. Today you’ll find your perfect colour among the vast range of over 1,500 shades; encapsulating the stunning to subtle, and the classic to contemporary. From its humble beginnings, Colourtrend is now Ireland’s largest, 100 per cent Irish-owned and operated, innovative paint company, offering 100 per cent pure acrylic decorative paint that is designed to apply smoother and last longer. Colourtrend was established 65 years ago, when Irishman Ronan O’Connor returned from the US and began to manufacture paint in an old famine workhouse in Celbridge, County Kildare, Ireland. Ronan didn’t just want to put paint in Ireland, he wanted to put Ireland in paint, drawing inspiration from the hues of Ireland’s earth, sky and waters, to its wild flora and native fauna. Colourtrend collections are available across Ireland and the UK in over 200 independent paint retailers. For further information, to see the full Colourtrend range or find your nearest Colourtrend stockist, visit:

How to enter:

To enter our competition and view the terms and conditions, go to Submit your details before the closing date of 31st October 2019. One lucky winner will be selected at random.

Terms & Conditions • The prize is non-transferable, cannot be exchanged and no cash alternative will be offered. • The winner is responsible for paying all associated costs that are not specifically stated in any Promotional materials or these Terms and Conditions, including (where applicable) transport, accommodation, meal costs, spending money, insurance and all other incidentals. Winners are also personally responsible for any personal or incidental expenses and any VAT, national and/or local tax liabilities incurred in claiming or using the prize. • The prize is not available in conjunction with any other Colourtrend offer. • ID will be required on collection of prize. • Only applies to Colourtrend Paint. • Competition applicants must be 18+ years. • This prize must be redeemed within 28 days of winning. • Winner will be required to confirm acceptance of the applicable prize within 14 days of being notified. If the winner has not claimed their prize by the date specified or the winner refuses or is unable to claim prize, Colourtrend reserves the right to award the prize to another participant. • Store collection only, no delivery option. • Collection only from Johnstone’s Decorating Centre in Tunbridge Wells. • End date of the competition – 31st October 2019. • Colourtrend reserves the right to amend these Terms and Conditions.


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The future is dramatic Tunbridge Wells’ Trinity Theatre’s new Artistic Director Kezia Cole talks about her plans for the community theatre

What’s been your career to date?

I come from a theatre making background and have been Artistic Director of SharkLegs, for the past five years. I make visual theatre and work with a lot of puppetry, creating work for adult and family audiences, so a broad spectrum. I have made work for some amazing places including The Tower of London and Winchester’s Hat Fair, and my work has been featured in The Guardian, The Telegraph and even on Radio 4 (a personal highlight!). I work in a very collaborative style and one of the things I find most exciting about theatre is the fact that I can bring together brilliant people to work together and make beautiful theatre.

What attracted you to the position at Trinity?

The community at Trinity is the driving force behind the theatre and that is what attracted me. I believe that an arts space is there to create and support a community, to offer a space where people can be entertained and be inspired. Trinity is so exciting for me because there is an amazing team and community and I think we can build something truly special.

What are your hopes for your new role?

I hope I can bring some brilliant work to the community of Tunbridge Wells. I am really excited about bringing fantastic productions to Trinity and putting high-quality theatre and live performance at the centre of what Trinity does. I hope that I can build on what Trinity has achieved and that I can create more opportunities for the community, see incredible creative work and for them to be creative themselves.

Is this a full-time role or will you be able to work on other projects?

This is a full-time role, but I’m sure I will be squeezing a few other projects in when I can! I think it’s important for a director to remain connected with the theatrical landscape and to keep their own work interesting and dynamic. 22

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In an interview, you explained the name of your company SharkLegs as “coming from our desire to make work about the moment the world changes irrevocably – that moment when humans see for the first time that sharks have grown legs.” Is this something you want to bring to Trinity? That is the core of what I believe theatre should do! Art should always be about that moment. In something like Coward’s Private Lives which is beautiful and very silly that moment is essential – when Amanda and Elyot see each other on that balcony, their worlds turn, they change irrevocably, they are in a new world infinitely more dangerous and exciting than the one before! I would like to bring the excitement of that moment to Trinity and give our community lots of chances to experience that feeling of the world turning – the experience of excitement, of not quite knowing what will come next, the thrill of the ‘once upon a time’…

So what sort of productions do you hope to bring to Trinity?

I am incredibly excited to be creating The Snow Queen by Teresa Heskins at Trinity this Christmas. It’s a wonderful story, full of adventure and winter magic as Greta has to journey through the garden of forgetfulness, help a Princess find her love and face the Robbers in the dark woods, all to rescue Kai from the cold embrace of the Snow Queen. This will be my first work at Trinity and I love making shows for family audiences, especially at Christmas! There is nothing better than wintery stories and Christmas magic at that time of year and I hope to make this year’s show one of the best yet.

Where would you like to see Trinity in a year’s time?

I would like to see us build on our previous success with a varied programme of predominately live performance. I would like us to be at the centre of the community, a place where people can come, hang out and always find something exciting!

I hope to bring a mix of productions which offer high-quality performance to a range of audiences. I love the classics and am excited about bringing some new companies to Trinity to explore some classic work, and I also want to develop our outdoor summer performances in our gorgeous garden. I think there is an appetite for opera and there are some incredible small-scale opera companies in the UK that I am very excited to start working with, and I will be looking to create a small-scale opera festival. I also think there are some incredible new theatrical works which would be brilliant for our community and I want to invite some of the best in British contemporary theatre to perform with us. Theatre really is one of the UK’s most exciting and vibrant cultural expressions and I hope to bring that into Trinity and into Tunbridge Wells.

Are you local to Tunbridge Wells? What do you like about the town?

I am not local at the moment, I live in south-east London but my husband’s family is from Kent and one of my favourite things is to escape to the gorgeous Kent countryside whenever we can. Tunbridge Wells is incredibly beautiful but I think my favourite thing is the creativity which seems to be around every corner! I love that there’s a live music venue in an expublic toilet, that you can find beautiful work by makers and artists all over the town and (I don’t think I’ve ever said this before) but the Weatherspoons is honestly incredible! People seem to be really passionate about the town and celebrate culture in an exciting way. I can’t wait to be a part of that.

Trinity is renowned for exciting familydriven Christmas shows. What is this year’s going to be? How involved will you be in this year’s production? K U D O S S E P T E M B E R /O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9



My life in the sun Jasmine Harman has presented the hugely-popular Channel 4 series A Place in the Sun for 15 years. Here she gets personal about juggling family and work, her mum’s hoarding and being a vegan


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“I think it’s especially hard for women to be able to prioritise your career as much as you want to”


Jasmine Harman had a dream. It was a dream that came true, and one she’s still living 15 years later. Despite having no TV experience, Jasmine beat hundreds of applicants to a job presenting Channel 4’s A Place In The Sun in 2004. Since then, she’s travelled the world, helping Brits to relocate abroad or buy holiday homes in exotic locations. Says Jasmine: “I had been living in Portugal and had just come back to London with a fancy notion of becoming a TV presenter. I had this very powerful vision of what I wanted to do. I remember I did some sort of meditation workshop, and during the meditation I had a visualisation of standing on a beach and talking to a camera. It was weird and somehow it all happened.” So did she imagine she would still be doing A Place in the Sun all these years later? “You know, I never really questioned that it would carry on, although in this industry you never take anything for granted. I think A Place in the Sun was first commissioned in 1999, so it’s been going for 20 years. Isn’t that wonderful?” Jasmine is married to cameraman Jon Boast and they have two children, Joy, five, and Albion, three, which has meant quite a bit of juggling between her family and work life. “The show takes between 20 and 25 weeks a year,” says Jasmine, “but since September, when my daughter started school, my pattern of working has changed. Now I try to only leave the children for a week out of every month because I can’t take them with me, which is what I used to do. All my other shows I do in the school holidays so they can come with me. They have a lovely time while I’m slaving away on set!” Jasmine has presented The Zoo Next Door for BBC1, which saw her meet people who had taken pet ownership to extremes, and she has appeared as a regular contributor for The One Show. In Collectaholics, a hit series for BBC2, Jasmine explored the weird and wonderful world of some of Britain’s greatest collections, while BBC1’s The Truth About… Your Teeth explored how the latest science and technology can change the way we look after our teeth. Jasmine is particularly appreciative of the company that makes A Place the Sun. “They have been amazingly accommodating,” she says, “and really supportive to me, especially since having a family. I think it’s especially hard for women, with pregnancy, childbirth and growing families, to be able to prioritise your career as much as you want to, because obviously your family becomes the most important thing in your life.”

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Interview by James Rampton



Life is made more difficult because Jasmine’s husband also works away a lot. “At the moment Jon is travelling in America, filming with The Hairy Bikers,” says Jasmine. “He’s away for three weeks and the day he gets back, I leave the following morning for A Place in the Sun. I’m away for a week, and the day that I get back he’ll have already left that morning for another three weeks away, so it will be around two months that we don’t see each other. That’s quite difficult.” The couple met on A Place in the Sun, when Jon was the cameraman on Jasmine’s first shoot. So was it love at first sight? “No. Definitely not,” she laughs. “I wasn’t his type and he wasn’t mine. And I thought there was no chance of me ever meeting anyone because I was always travelling. But as it turned out we became really great friends first before we became romantically involved. Sometimes these things are just meant to be. I was in my 20s and had had various relationships where you meet somebody and everything goes too quickly and then fizzles out just as quickly. There was definitely more of a slow burn with me and Jon, and I think that’s why we’ve been together for 15 years and married for 10.” 26

Jasmine has always been very open about her personal life. In 2011, she filmed a documentary for BBC1 called My Hoarder Mum and Me, which followed her family’s attempts to overcome her mother’s compulsive hoarding. A follow-up documentary, Britain’s Biggest Hoarders aired on BBC1 the following year and the third instalment in spring 2013. She has also talked about her problems conceiving, and her recent weight loss – a huge 20lbs in just five months. So did she make a conscious decision to share her life? “Not really. With my mum, it was my biggest fear that someone would find out about her house, because it was so shameful and embarrassing for me. I couldn’t bear the thought of anyone finding out how awful my mum’s house was. So it was the opposite of a conscious decision. But in the end, I came to the realisation that my mum wasn’t just a lazy slob. “In 2013, the DSM [Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders] recognised hoarding disorder as a genuine mental illness in its own right. It was a bit before that we did the documentary, but I had already understood that it wasn’t a lifestyle choice, it was a mental illness. It removed my embarrassment and shame, because mental illness is nothing to be embarrassed about. Then it became a conscious decision because I wanted other hoarders to realise that they weren’t alone. “It was the same when I got pregnant after years of trying. We did a little spread with a glossy magazine and Jon didn’t want to mention our fertility problems, but I was adamant that I did want to talk about it. I thought, why not? What’s the shame of talking about it? It could actually help people. It’s a great story with a happy ending and two beautiful children. Let’s celebrate it. I’ve told the children that mummy and daddy had some help from the doctors to put them in my tummy, and that Albion was frozen. Of course, they don’t really understand yet. “My weight loss was something I needed to do. I’ve always felt that being healthy, fit and confident in your skin is vital. I used to be a fitness instructor when I was younger, but I prioritised being with the kids over going to the gym, so I was feeling heavy, overweight and lumpy. I didn’t feel good in my clothes or in front of the camera, so I decided to lose a bit of weight and tone up. I’m 43 now – you take your eye off the ball for too long and it’s very hard to get it back! “I thought, there’s got to be an easy way to do this. I had to find a way of fitting exercise into my schedule, something that didn’t take away from my work and my family, and a way of eating that didn’t see me bingeing on junk food. “Where the diet was concerned, I found the solution in mindful eating; thinking about how much you’re eating, the types of food you’re eating, and so not actually wanting to eat junk food. Something switched on in my head. “As far as exercise is concerned, it coincided with Joy starting school and Albion starting nursery. I now have a bit of time to myself in the morning, so when I’m not at work, I drop them off and go straight to a fitness class, before getting on with my admin and all the work I have to do when I’m not filming. “When I am filming, now that I don’t have the children with me, when I finish for the day I go and do a workout. It’s something I love. I’ve got loads of classes I do when I’m in London, and when I’m on location, which is the hardest bit, I do virtual classes online. It’s like actually being in the class, and I’ve found that really great. You can do it anywhere. I’ve done classes on the beach and once on the roof terrace of a hotel! K U D O S S E P T E M B E R /O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9


“Also, I don’t underestimate the mental aspect where food is concerned. If you think to yourself, I want to eat healthily and I’m going to eat smaller portion sizes, it really helps. I’ve stopped eating crisps now, which are totally my downfall. I prefer savoury to sweet, so I love crisps, peanuts – and bread, oh, I love bread. But now I have rye bread, which I really enjoy. I’ve also noticed if I eat ordinary bread I get really bloated and it doesn’t agree with me, so I prefer not to eat it any more. “There are no rules so I don’t have to feel that I’ve slipped up. There’s nothing that I can’t eat – now I just don’t want to eat the things that don’t benefit me. If the kids want ice cream for pudding, I’ll have a spoonful and think, that was nice, then put it away, rather than eating a whole tub of vegan Ben & Jerry’s.”

Jasmine has been a vegetarian since the age of six, and her children are vegetarian, too. “Back then, it was considered a bit weird,” she says. “Then five years ago, I became vegan, which was quite unusual, but now it’s completely mainstream. My downfall is that I can have anything – pizza with vegan cheese, ice cream – I can be a total junk-food vegan if I want. You think, if it’s vegan, it’s going to be healthy, it’s all made out of plants, after all, so I have to be careful. But it’s brilliant to have all the choices and variety, and for veganism to be so much more acceptable. It makes total sense, not only for health reasons, but for ethical and environmental reasons, too. Even my husband has gone vegetarian and gets very excited about foods that are similar to meat. That might seem strange but lots of people haven’t gone vegetarian or vegan because they don’t like the taste of meat. They’ve done it because they don’t want to contribute to the other things that eating meat creates.” A Place in the Sun launched when people had spare cash to spend on property abroad. Times are very different now, but, surprisingly, the programme shows no sign of losing its popularity. Jasmine explains that while buyers have changed since the programme launched, that desire for a little piece of life abroad hasn’t. “We’ve seen all the ups and downs of the property market over the past 15 years,” she says. “Initially, people had cash, finance was easy to get, property prices were going up, there were emerging markets, you were going to double your money. Then we had people saying they were selling up and moving abroad. They couldn’t afford to buy a second holiday home but they still wanted to enjoy the weather, the culture, the experience of living overseas, so they were doing it but in a different way. Then property prices dropped and we had people with very low budgets, not looking to make an investment, not looking to make a fortune, but as a lifestyle choice. So someone might come on the programme with £50,000 or £60,000, even £20,000, and say, ‘This is all the money I’ve got and I still want to make this happen.’ It’s a dream, and it’s wonderful to be a part of that.” Jasmine has no say about which househunters come on the show. “We have a casting team in charge of that. Potential househunters do a screen test, and the casting team make sure they have the finance in place and that they’re not going to clam up in front of the camera. We like chatty people with nice personalities and an interesting back story.” So after all that travelling, what does Jasmine enjoy most about coming home? “My bed. We have a huge bed and I love being in it with my kids and my husband, all of us in bed together. Last night, my daughter had a nightmare and she came into my bedroom and I said ‘You can sleep with me.’ Then in the small hours, my little boy came in as well, and he joined us. It was Sunday and there was nowhere to rush off to, so in the morning we sat in bed, chatting and reading stories. It was lovely. “Everyone says you must love travelling all the time but when you’ve been away, there’s no place like home. I just love getting home and hanging out with Jon and my little ones.”

Jasmine Harman presents A Place in the Sun, which airs every weekday at 3pm on Channel 4.

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Cool for school All they need for the school year ahead

The back-to-school range from Next offers a variety of easy-dressing options for children, from Velcro-collar shirts to button-free and pull-on tops, trousers and skirts. The range also features super-shoes with a new, added feature of memory foam, as well as scuff and slip resistant, durable soles, wide and narrow fits and half sizing. Coats for this season include fleece-lined parkas which also feature reflective trims and storm cuffs.


Much of the range uses Teflon, which is machine washable and can be tumble-dried, making clothes durable and easy to maintain. Comfort and fit are priorities, too, with stretch fabric used in many of the trousers, as well as adjustable waists and a number of different fit shapes. As a one-stop shop for school wear, Next also sell bags, trainers, sportswear and stationery making them the back-to-school shopping destination.

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Creating a specific place for your child to do their homework may encourage them to actually do it without you having to nag. This silk white writing-cum-dressing table allows you to personalise it with your child’s own colours and style. £330

Dinosaurs might be extinct but they’ll never go out of fashion. The backpack is a practical accessory for children who have just started nursery and will need a bag for their sports kit, day trips, play dates with their friends or sleepovers with Granny! £24

Large, colourful zebra-print pencil case £25

We just love the vibrancy of the S’nack food containers, £20-£25, and S’ip bottles and travel mugs, £18-£25, by S’well. With fun, playful designs, all products have extended temperature retention to transform on-thego eating. Depending on the size, the food containers keep food hot for up to six hours and cold for up to eight hours, whilst the bottles and travel mugs keep drinks hot for 12 hours and cold for 24.

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Cool for work Dress to impress in the office this autumn

Single-breasted, tailored-fit jacket, £45, high-neck top, £35, and mini skirt, £18

Linen-blend blazer, £38

Navy-tipped cashmere patterned sweater, £150, washed silk relaxed blouse in midnight, £125, and tailored ankle-length trousers in navy/burgundy check, £120


Cut Above waistcoat, £50, and Fantastic Floral double collar shirt, £30

Terrific textured blazer, £100, and waistcoat, £50, Tailored With A Twist shirt, £30, Distinctive Feather silk tie, £35, and matching pocket square, £10, Fine And Dandy Lapel Pin, £4.95

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This Yes Studio travel mug is a must-have for every parent on the school run. And yes, we are like, 110% tired! £7

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These nostalgic Silvine Originals Ltd Edition notebooks, from £4.50, and Mustard Made Skinny Tall Locker, £199, will take many people back to their school days.



And then there were two...

Avoid empty-nest syndrome when your child goes off to university by making positive changes to your life If you’re a parent whose child has just started university, it’s natural to feel a range of emotions. You’ll no doubt feel happy they have achieved a place and are embarking on an exciting new adventure. At the same time, you may also be feeling a sense of sadness or loneliness. These conflicting feelings, often referred to as ‘empty-nest syndrome’, are common. What is empty-nest syndrome? Empty-nest syndrome is a term coined to describe the feelings of loneliness and sadness some parents experience when their children grow up and leave home. Some common emotions you may experience include:

• Feelings of sadness, loss or grief • Feeling like you have a lack of purpose • Having a sense of loneliness • Being worried about your child’s safety or ability to look after themselves • Having a sense of disconnect from your child Empty-nest syndrome is more common than you may think. UK charity Family Lives says it receives a spike in calls from anxious parents at the beginning of term. Many also worry about their child and how they will cope with being away from home, while others are troubled by the idea their relationship with their partner might suffer now they’re on their own again. If your child has just started student life, the wellbeing experts at CABA have offered their tips on making the transition from being an empty nester to finding a new zest for life as easy as possible:

1. Talk to other empty nesters

If your child is about to leave for university, you may know other parents who are in the same boat. If so, starting a dialogue about your feelings may reassure you that you’re not alone. Getting things off your chest and acknowledging how you feel can bring immediate relief, too. Remember, you’re not alone. Forums such as Mumsnet, Family Lives or Netmums all offer a great place to connect with other empty nesters who can offer invaluable advice and support.

2. Reconnect as a couple

Many parents struggle with empty-nest syndrome because they feel one-toone time with their partner over the years has been lost to family chats a­ nd now suddenly, it’s just the two of you. If you’re lost for conversation, save the awkwardness and tell your partner how you feel. With all that extra privacy in the house, you can start to rekindle your relationship and get to know one another again. Try doing things you used to do for fun before your family came along, such as having more evenings out or weekends away. Or you could try taking up a new hobby together. It may feel strange when you start doing things for yourselves after decades of putting your children first, but having more quality time together should do wonders for your relationship.

3. Take some time out

Getting your child ready for university can be a busy time. Preparing them for an independent life means making sure they can cook for themselves, do their own laundry and budget responsibly. So, when the day finally comes, give yourself permission to take it easy for a week or two. Without any children to look after, you can eat whatever you want, sleep in at the weekend and forget about washing and ironing. Indulge yourself; it could help you to appreciate your new-found freedom. K U D O S S E P T E M B E R /O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9

4. Delay any drastic changes

Once your children have left home you may be tempted to make changes to fill the void, such as moving to a new house, for instance. But while it may feel a big part of your life is coming to an end, take the time to fully adjust to your new situation before you make any major decisions.

5. Get active

Being more physically active is a great way to boost your mood as it helps your body release ‘feel-good’ hormones called endorphins. Try to take up active leisure pursuits outdoors, as studies suggest there’s a positive relationship between exposure to nature and positive mental health. If you can be moderately active for at least 150 minutes a week, you’ll improve your physical health as well. Why not take this opportunity to combine getting active with spending more quality time with your partner or other family members? For example, walks around the park, taking the dog out and cycling make for great ways to talk and create more intimacy whilst burning calories.

6. Try not to pester

Even when you live apart, you can still be close to your children. Today’s technology means it’s never been easier to stay in touch by phone, email, text and video chat. When your child first leaves home, they’ll probably want to stay in touch regularly, too. But it’s important to give them space to adjust to their new life, so try to avoid smothering them by constantly monitoring their social media or calling them too often. It’s a good idea to make a date for the first visit when you drop them off. That way, you both have something to look forward to. This is when you can discuss how they’re coping with budgeting, cooking for themselves and if they are enjoying their course. While your initial outlook may be gloomy when your last child leaves, you’ll soon start seeing the positives. You’ve done a great job raising your family, but now it’s your time. Take this opportunity to focus on you and your wellbeing. 33


Children rule!

Bathtime, shopping, meals, homework... it’s stressful being a parent Getting kids to bed, doing the weekly food shop and meal times have been named on a list of parents’ biggest stress triggers. The daily worries which put parents on edge also include bathtime, getting homework finished and keeping screen time to a minimum. Getting home from work in time to wish them goodnight, knowing the right foods to feed your kids and successfully getting out the door on time also featured on the list. It also emerged the average parent finds themselves feeling stressed six times a day and believe the age of five is when children peak and become their most demanding. The research was conducted by BPme, a new app which allows customers to pay for their fuel without leaving their car, helping reduce the stresses and strains of time-pressed parents. Just paying for petrol is a nightmare for a third of parents who have to get their young children in and out of the car, the survey revealed. The research also revealed the naughty antics kids are getting up to when parents turn their back briefly, including sneaking sweets, putting on makeup and putting pants on their head. As well as typical drawing on the walls, kids have also drawn on the carpet, their friends and even the pet dog. A quarter of children have eaten chocolate and ended up with more of it on their face than in their tummy, while other kids cover themselves in paint when mum or dad has been preoccupied. Other cheeky children have climbed into unusual spaces including the dog’s bed, the dishwasher or a laundry basket. The study also found children wreak the most havoc and cause the most stress in the home (46 per cent) but continue their chaotic ways at the shops (13 per cent) and when out in restaurants (10 per cent). Eighty-two per cent of parents said their offspring are a bit naughty when they aren’t looking, but two-thirds have had moments where they’ve found their kids’ antics more funny than stressful. It also emerged three-quarters spend longer, now they have children, doing simple tasks than before they became parents. Just getting out the front door takes an additional 12 minutes every time, with kids adding 14 minutes onto the food shop and 11 extra minutes just to get dressed in the morning.

Top 20 parental stress triggers 1. When they get poorly 2. Getting them into bed 3. Getting them to eat certain foods 4. Getting them to stop playing on screens such as phones or watching TV 5. Getting them to tidy their rooms 6. Getting them to clean their teeth 7. Meal times 8. Getting them ready in the mornings 9. Getting them to school on time 10. Getting them dressed for school 11. Doing the weekly shop 12. Making sure they’ve done their homework 13. Remembering important school dates 14. Getting them to eat anything at all 15. Bathtime 16. Keeping an eye on the sugar content of foods


Having breakfast together adds a further 12 minutes with the hustle and bustle of children, and walking to the local shop taking a further 11 minutes. Mums and dads also use up an additional six minutes loading and unloading the kids just to pay for petrol at the counter. Parents reckon they spend nearly 40 minutes a day feeling anxious as a result of their children running amok and spend eight days of the month feeling like they need a little break or some ‘me-time’.

17. Getting them out of bed 18. Shopping for new clothes/shoes 19. Remembering homework deadlines 20. Getting them to put their shoes on in the morning

Top 10 things kids get up to when parents backs are turned 1. Break something 2. Argue with a sibling 3. Draw on the walls 4. Wear their parents’ shoes 5. Unroll the toilet roll everywhere 6. Eat chocolate – and cover themselves in it 7. Take all their clothes off 8. Put things in shoes 9. Squeeze a bottle of something to make a mess 10. Hide cars keys, wallet or the TV remote

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Oh, for a lie-in... A study reveals how long new mums have to wait before they enjoy some of the perks of their pre-baby life again

The average mum will start exercising 13 weeks after having a baby, but won’t get to enjoy their first post-pregnancy night out with friends for almost seven months, a study has found. A poll of 1,500 mothers of children aged 10 and under has revealed how long it is after giving birth before they enjoy some of the perks of their pre-baby life again. And while mums will sip their first alcoholic drink within five months of their baby being born, new parents face a seven-month wait before they will have a child-free date night. And almost five weeks will pass before busy mothers get to sit down and finish a hot cup of tea or coffee without it going cold. The study by Matalan also found more than nine in 10 mums say their life changed in ways they hadn’t even considered after having a baby. A spokesman said: “Having a baby is one of the most life-changing things that will happen to you. No matter how much you read about it or talk to other parents, you never really know what to expect. Many of the things we used to do without giving them a second thought before having children suddenly become more difficult, leaving many mums having a mini celebration when they do it for the first time again after having a baby. Although many are small milestones, they can go a long way to helping mums feel like they are getting back to normal.” The study also found it takes just over a week until mums get the hang of putting the car seat in the car and collapsing the pram without any issues. And just over five weeks will pass before they get to sit down to watch a TV show or film uninterrupted. It will also be six weeks before nervous mothers feel they can nip to the toilet quickly without taking their baby in with them. Worryingly for those sleep-deprived new parents, the average mum also admitted it was more than six months before they enjoyed their first lie-in after giving birth, and eight-and-a-half months before they had eight hours of sleep. But 15 per cent of mums polled are still waiting for that allusive full night of sleep! It also emerged new mums will go more than four months before they enjoy a relaxing shower or bath without just washing in a rush. And it’s just under five months before new mums and dads are happy to let a friend or relative look after their baby. When it comes to fitting into those pre-pregnancy jeans, the average mum reckons they are wearing their old wardrobe just under five months after giving birth. But it’s more than seven months before mums would describe K U D O S S E P T E M B E R /O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9

themselves as feeling ‘back to normal’ after becoming a parent. After hitting certain ‘Mummy Milestones’, 32 per cent of mums admit they compared the timings with other mothers while 55 per cent immediately shared the landmark event with their partner. More than one in five put it on social media. But while 58 per cent feel happy at reaching a parenting milestone, 25 per cent feel relieved while almost one in 20 admit to feeling sad.

Mummy milestones • Got the hang of collapsing the pram – 7 days • Got the hang of putting the car seat in the car – 8 days • Have a conversation with partner not about the baby – 3 weeks • Have a hot cup of tea or coffee in peace – 4 weeks • First watched favourite TV show or film without being interrupted – 5 weeks

• Going to the toilet without taking their baby with them – 6 weeks • Started exercising – 13 weeks • Had a relaxing bath or shower – 4 months and 21 days • First let someone other than partner look after baby – 4 months and 28 days

• First alcoholic drink – 4 months and 28 days • Fit into pre-pregnancy jeans – 4 months and 28 days • Left the house alone – 5 months and six days • First lie in – 6 months and 10 days • First felt back to normal – 6 months and 23 days • First night out with friends – 6 months and 29 days • First date night with partner – 7 months and 2 days • First full night’s sleep – 8 months and 16 days • First felt back to normal – 6 months and 23 days



Heads up!

Top local head teachers give their views

It’s the start of the academic school year. Tell us what you have planned for the year ahead

Richard Cairns, Headmaster

Brighton College An independent, co-educational boarding and day school for boys and girls aged 3 to 18

A world-class new science and sports centre will open in January 2020 at Brighton College, providing the latest in a series of architecturally stunning modern buildings at the Sunday Times’ Independent School of the Year 2019. Designed by acclaimed Dutch architects OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture), the new building follows the 2017 opening of the college’s new Music School, a soaring glass-fronted modernist wonder which was shortlisted for the RIBA South East Best Building Award. The new Sport and Science Centre is innovative in both its conception and execution, from the clever drawing together of two contrasting areas of the school curriculum to its deployment of state-of-the-art energy conservation technology. The building’s chief architect is world-renowned Ellen van Loon, who won the 2007 RIBA Award for her iconic Casa da Musica in Porto, as well as the Mies van der Rohe award in 2005 for the new Dutch embassy building she fashioned in Berlin. Her latest amazing building at Brighton College will boast superb facilities that greatly expand the award-winning school’s offering across both science and sports. The former will benefit from a cinema-style auditorium with direct video links to science departments across the globe, along with 18 university-standard laboratories, and six break-out spaces for personal research and tutorials. For those focused more on exercising their bodies than their minds, the new building will provide superb additional facilities for sports like volleyball, badminton, swimming, water polo, netball, basketball, futsal, cricket, athletics and indoor hockey. Key features include a 25-metre pool, a double-

height sports hall plus a stunning rooftop running track with panoramic views across the nearby South Downs hills. “Inside, views from one department into the other make for a lively and animated circulation through the new building, creating an unexpected interplay between sports and sciences,” said leading architectural magazine Dezeen. The new centre also puts green technology at the heart of its futuristic 21stcentury fabric, creating an eco-friendly modern masterpiece. This includes design to boost natural ventilation and passive solar heating, earth tubes to cool fresh air in the Sports Hall, plus active energy-recovery technology that will not only generate electricity on site but also heat the swimming pool! This is a building designed for zero emissions but maximum style.

Joff Powis, Headmaster

Vinehall School, Robertsbridge A co-educational day, boarding school and nursery for pupils aged 2-13

After two years of planning, September 2019 sees the introduction of a bespoke programme of study for pupils in Years 7 and 8, focusing on a thematic approach to learning. In our view, the current CE humanities syllabuses do not equip children with the skills they need for the future, with too much emphasis placed on testing and examinations. As part of a rigorous academic curriculum that we hope will give children a more relevant and stimulating learning experience, our focus will be on ensuring that our children have the skills and dispositions that will mean they leave Vinehall as independent, engaged learners. The themes will broadly fall into two categories: social history and natural history, with an emphasis on providing pupils with a sense of place and a sense of purpose. We want pupils’ understanding of contemporary issues to be informed by a coherent, chronological narrative that will enable them to appreciate both their place in an ongoing story and the responsibilities they have when it comes to writing the next chapters. What does this mean in practice? The themes for Year 7 are Conflict, Planet Earth and Equality & Rights. Alongside the core content, each department will explore cross-curricular links to the theme. For example, for the theme of Conflict, children will read Thomas Hardy’s Drummer Hodge and The Man He Killed in English lessons. In maths, they will study Florence Nightingale’s Rose Diagram and examine statistics that reveal that modern states are more peaceful than tribal societies. Children will learn about Napoleon by listening to Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in music and about Britain’s failed attempt to fight a war in Afghanistan nearly two centuries ago by studying Elizabeth Butler’s Remnants of an Army in art lessons. The culmination of Years 7 and 8 will be an independent research project, providing each child with the opportunity to study a topic in greater depth. The children will present their findings at the end of Year 8 to an audience of their peers, parents and teachers, as well as teachers from their future schools. At a time when the mental health of our young children is a growing concern, there has been great excitement over our refreshingly-progressive academic provision from parents and senior schools alike. 38

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Emma Károlyi, Head of Junior King’s

Junior King’s, Canterbury An independent, co-educational, day and boarding school for pupils aged 3-13

One of the wonderful parts about being in education is that all teachers start with a clean slate in September every academic year. This season, refreshed after the summer break, always brings us a sense of promise, hope and possibility, and we have fresh expectations of the pupils. In this constantly changing and busy profession, no two days are ever the same, in fact no two hours are ever the same! At Junior King’s it is another happy new academic year to look forward to, and what a year it promises to be. We celebrate in triple style this year, as it is our 90th anniversary on our beautiful rural site, our 140th anniversary of being the Junior School of The King’s School, Canterbury, and 30 years of having the first girls in the Prep School, with girls starting three years previously in the Pre-Prep. We launched the 90th anniversary with a memorable 1920s Charity Ball, organised by our incredible parent-body, which raised a staggering amount for both Combat Stress and Farms for City Children. We were also delighted to invite ex-pupil Sir Michael Morpurgo back to Junior King’s as our guest of honour at our Speech Day in July. Celebrations ahead involve the launch of our OJKS (alumni). We will hold a special lunch for our guests and they will be able to see how much the school has changed over the decades and reminisce. We have other plans to mark the occasion, including a themed day for the children, including Rudyard Kipling-inspired work and events, since he opened our school back in 1929, along with the planting of 90 trees gifted to us in our lovely grounds. In times of financial and political uncertainty, some things remain certain: we will continue to work hard to develop our already beautiful site, looking at improving the swimming facilities in particular, and also enhancing some of our other facilities to enable better community links in future. The year’s theme at both Junior King’s and The King’s School, Canterbury is one of ‘stablilitas’ – building on the good work that is already happening at our school. My staff and I will continue to ensure that Junior King’s is a child-centred, inclusive school where pupils are given the chance to experience the breadth of opportunities, and to develop their talents in an environment where the core values of kindness and respect sit at the centre. We are pushing forward with our needed changes to Common Entrance, as we introduce our skills-based humanities curriculum. Pupils will learn to research, present, collaborate, argue, evaluate and analyse more effectively, guided by their excellent teachers, and they will be encouraged to become responsible citizens who continue to have a passion for learning. We will continue to be the best, and will support our pupils as they strive to do their best in whatever area is their passion, encouraging them to build on their numerous musical, sporting, dramatic and artistic accomplishments. Our huge success in gaining the Arts Mark Gold Award

through the Arts Council for England will be built on further as we continue to be outstanding in all areas of Arts education. The year ahead will be one for ensuring our children continue to thrive and flourish as individuals, and it is the role of my staff to ensure that they get the very best allround education possible, in a happy and encouraging environment, where pastoral care and positive health and wellbeing are central to all we do. This is the essence of Junior King’s and is at the heart of our school.

Craig McCarthy, Headmaster

Russell House School, Sevenoaks An independent co-educational preparatory school for boys and girls aged 2-11

What a well-timed question! The coming year is set to be one of Russell House’s most exciting yet. Having just enjoyed an ‘Excellent’ inspection by the Independent Schools Inspectorate, we can look back with pride and look forward, full of confidence into 2019/20. The first big project is a complete upgrade of our information technology hardware. Pupils at Russell House already enjoy collaborative learning via the Google for Education platform and extensive opportunities for coding, including wiki and app development. Going into place right now is replacement and extended hardware and the upgrade of our site-wide wireless so that all the children in our school can enjoy uninterrupted access as an integral part of their learning journey. Our second transformational project is the construction and operation of a school in Nepal. In partnership with an international education charity, we will be up and running in a remote community for 200 children learning Nepali, English, maths and science by April 2020. It is a venture that will involve our whole school community pulling together to help provide the greatest gift we can: a good education where children are encouraged to think for themselves. Nepal appealed to us because the ethos of the school will largely be able to mirror our own. We anticipate that the opportunities for interaction between all the pupils of Russell House and our new friends in Nepal will be numerous and varied. Initially, our children will communicate with a simple smile followed by the universal languages of art, music, mathematics and science. All this, as well as the opportunity to learn important life lessons about giving back and developing a greater appreciation of how lucky we all are to be living and learning in the UK, will greatly enhance our own pupil experience. All very exciting! K U D O S S E P T E M B E R /O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9



Andrew Webster, Headmaster

The Mead School, Tunbridge Wells Co-educational preparatory school for boys and girls aged 3-11 We will continue to add fuel to our fiery determination to become the best school in Tunbridge Wells… then Kent (tomorrow the world!). I make no apologies for this lofty ambition nor add a Carlberg-esque ‘probably’ as an addendum. I also have no intention in being belligerently competitive with my colleagues across these pages and elsewhere. Indeed, I believe every Head should be restlessly aiming for Everest. The truth is we can all produce stats and evidence to support any claim that we are outstanding in our sector but our true ranking, particularly in the eyes of prospective parents, is always a subjective and holistic intuition. The challenge on the ground, therefore, is to maintain high levels of honest self-reflection and to keep our fingers firmly on the pulse. How do we know we’re one of the best and how can we do better? The danger, as a Head of an already-excellent school, is becoming complacent, then stale. I’ve never understood why the phrase ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ is touted around as a mantra for leadership. It’s a message polarized from the true engine of human development. What if Henry Ford or the Wright brothers had said, ‘well, the horse/train aren’t broken so why do we need the car/plane?’ How have the All Blacks managed to maintain their position as the best Rugby Union side in the world for the last 100 years? There is no one answer to this question but it’s certainly not through an ethos of ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’! The key, when leading an already-excellent environment, is to look for marginal gains and so to always have a growth mindset and an energy for improvement. Our pastoral care is renowned, and rightfully so, but that’s not to say we can’t do more – and next year we plan to do just that. It is a fact that happy children learn best and so we seek to further invest in the children’s happiness. New nurture groups and a new self-esteem tracking system. More time with nature, both at Hargate Forest and at our new school

allotment. We are the first school in Tunbridge Wells to have trained two of our staff as ambassadors for the UN’s Sustainability Goals and they are developing a joint Geography and STEAM curriculum to empower the children to feel they are having a very real impact on the fight to save Planet Earth. The year 6 leadership scheme is expanding to include a ‘50 things to do before you leave the Mead’ challenge and collaborative woodwork projects with our Early Years children. We have a new specialist-taught pastoral curriculum in KS2, a new whole school morning break to further promote our family ethos and, perhaps most excitingly, we welcome the arrival of our new reading dog, Lexi the Cocker Poo! Every area of the school goes through the marginal gains filter and so, on the academic front, there are pulse-quickening plans afoot including a new assessment program, tweaks to our core subject curriculum and a brand new STEAM/ Art & Design room. And so, another exciting year lies ahead in our relentless journey to becoming the best version of ourselves. I write this in midsummer and so I am also committed to getting some much needed rest at some point… probably.

Hilary Blake, Headmistress

Sacred Heart School, Wadhurst Independent Catholic mixed primary school for 2-11 The start of a new academic year is always a time of optimism; with energies and enthusiasm high, all things seem possible! We come back to school in September with a topical and important focus on the environment, sharing with the new PTA Committee in our mission to live more sustainably. Launched in the summer term and celebrated in our PTA Sustainable Summer Fair, our commitment is to reduce the use of single-use plastics, the consumption of water and electricity and generally to avoid waste – whether paper, food or other consumables. We aim to be more conscious consumers both at school and, through the power and influence of the children, in our homes. We always have an eye on enhancing the curriculum provision to match the interests and enthusiasms of our young learners. IT is a strong favourite, especially coding, which pupils find extremely relatable. As always, all activities are taught within the context of online safety, teaching children the skills and enabling them to require the resilience required to keep safe in an online environment. To balance this, outdoor play, learning and activity is never far from our list of priorities. An important long-term project for the school is to enhance and develop the outdoor space for use all year round. This project is very much in the early stages so watch this (outdoor) space for progress reports! All school plans need to leave room for some degree of spontaneity and flexibility so I anticipate as usual some ‘in the moment’ planning. That is the beauty of working in primary education where every day is full of possibilities! 40

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Mike Piercy, Headmaster

The New Beacon, Sevenoaks Independent preparatory school for boys aged 3-13 July, the end of the academic year and an emotional hiatus: early years children leaving loved teachers; teenagers leaving school. September brings a brave new world: fresh beginnings. So what’s happening at The New Beacon? This September we welcome our first nursery pupils and, as I write, contractors are putting final touches to this fine new facility. We have appointed a brilliant nursery leader and after the launch at the start of 2019 we are already quite full. The children will benefit from our fields, woodland and outdoor classroom along with our pool and specialist sports and music teachers. It is now becoming something of a cliché to say that many of the jobs our children will be doing from 2030 have not yet been invented, such is the pace of change. Without doubt, however, their workplace will be radically different from ours. A big question for schools and teachers is how to help our children be ‘world ready’. Core academic skills and learning habits are fundamental in gaining good qualifications, though caution is needed with exams: there is a delicate balance between teaching and learning tailored to exam requirements and ‘thinking skills’. Changes to independent senior-school entry procedures have allowed us to create a new curriculum which will now include Philosophy as a timetabled subject for Year 8 boys (a boys’ school!) which I think is a genuinely exciting educational development. The best teachers ask the best questions. Teaching children to think, to question, to analyse and formulate a coherent argument is a core element of education and is well within the capability of a 13-year-old boy. Further developments include research projects. The boys will be guided in choosing their own topic, guided in research techniques (fake

news?), guided in using technology to produce and present their findings. We already have many public-speaking opportunities but will have the chance to add externallyassessed performances such as those offered by the English Speaking Board. These research, critical-thinking, problemsolving (solution-finding?), presentational skills are those which will be needed in the future workplace. Every new academic year brings the excitement of fresh challenge and new targets. Following an ‘Excellent’ inspection last year, our main goal is to continue doing more of the same – just a little better. Attention to and care for the individual boy: what makes him happy; unlocking potential; nurturing confidence; providing safety nets when he encounters disappointment. Stimulating every part of the brain by providing intellectual, spiritual, cultural, creative, artistic, sporting opportunity. Above all, high expectation: expect much of children and they will surprise!


Mr Phil Wise, Head of the Senior School

Kent College, Canterbury Co-educational independent school for boarding and day pupils between the ages of 3 months and 18 years As the summer holidays roll to a close, there will be many 11 year olds excited and a little nervous perhaps about joining their new secondary school this autumn. I can empathise with this as I will be joining Kent College as the new Head of the Senior School but like them, I have a wonderful year of discovery ahead of me as I get to know all the students, staff and parents at the school, as well as Canterbury and Kent. We will be giving a big KC welcome to our largest-ever Year 7 cohort this September and I will be taking a special interest in their wellbeing and development. I am sure that they will feel right at home in no time, along with all our other new pupils, thanks to all the support they will receive from students and teachers. This year will begin with a big bang with the official opening of our new 600seat Great Hall by the Lord Lieutenant of Kent. This will provide the school with a beautiful space for worship and a state-of-the-art theatre for the performing arts which our orchestras, bands, ensembles, five choirs and vibrant drama department will make full use of. I am looking forward to welcoming the local community to the Great Hall and our first performance will be And Can It Be?, a musical about the life of John Wesley, written by Dr David Lamper, our Executive Head, and our Chaplain, Revd. Dr Paul Glass. The School Open Morning will be on Saturday, 28th of September when we will open our doors to current and prospective families to show them how inspiring our teachers are, how exciting learning can be at KC and how our bespoke timetabling and focus on each individual enables students to find their own tailored path to success. The students’ results are testament to not only their hard work but the individual support they receive at the school. KC has regularly been amongst the top 10 schools in the UK for the International Baccalaureate, whilst A-Level students achieve an average of 70 per cent A*-B – all very impressive for an inclusive school. Happy children make for happy learning and as the pastoral lead for the school, I will be building on the nurturing and supportive approach that is firmly embedded at KC. I have already been struck by what a friendly community it is, with older students mentoring and looking out for younger pupils. Our regular Health and Wellbeing weeks enable the students to ensure they are well equipped to cope with the pressure of exams and to understand the value of exercise, hobbies and healthy eating. The Christmas season is one of my favourites, especially as I have two young children, so I will really be looking forward to carols on our School Farm and our Carol Service in the majestic surroundings of Canterbury Cathedral. Sport is one of my greatest pleasures and I will be spending many weekends watching our students competing, whether that is playing hockey for the Under-18s England squad, cricket, cross country running, horse riding, netball or competing in the National Youth Jet Ski competition. We offer over 60 different extra-curricular activities and clubs so there really is something for everyone, be it our Eco Warriors group, fencing, basketball or jewellery making. Spring brings Arts Week with a plethora of opportunities for fun, from learning circus skills to African drumming or our annual Variety Show and House drama and music events. May will see me pulling on the wellies for our Farm Open Morning, a wonderful community event when over 300 visitors meet our Farm family of pigs, cows, goats, sheep, rabbits, chicks and ponies and have a go at welly wanging and other fun games. The summer term builds to a crescendo with exam season followed by the joy of Activities Week, with students camping, having exciting days out all over Kent, House picnics with an ice cream van on site and the final push to complete our charity fundraising for the year. Finally Speech Day, moments of celebration, achievement, shared memories, thanks, fond farewells and plans to meet those friends that have been made from all over the world in the months ahead. Such a lot to look forward to. 42

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Clare Drury, Head of Art

Spring Grove School, Wye A truly independent and family orientated prep-school for boys and girls aged 2-11 years In 2018-19 we began a very special creative journey at Spring Grove School after our Deputy Head, Mrs Saxby, and I attended a workshop in Canterbury all about Artsmark – a creative quality standard for schools that is accredited by the Arts Council, England. Music, art and drama are embedded into all aspects of life at Spring Grove, and we felt that working towards an Artsmark accreditation would not only celebrate what we are already doing, but help us to develop our arts provision and scope even further. Artsmark provides a clear framework for teachers to plan, develop and evaluate arts, culture and creativity across the curriculum, and schools are supported throughout their Artsmark journey by a regional network of Bridge organisations, providing training, advice and practical teaching resources. Schools are awarded Silver, Gold or Platinum, based on their achievements and it is our intention to work towards Platinum status for Spring Grove, which we will do over the next two years. The first stage of the process, after receiving our initial training, was to formulate a ‘statement of commitment’ outlining our plans to enrich arts and culture for the children in Spring Grove. We felt that the delivery of music, drama and art was already strong, but we put together extensive plans for other cultural and artistic areas to be developed. Looking back over the past year, there have been multiple activities and events which have ensured that all the children at Spring Grove have had access to exciting and diverse arts experiences and learning. Our music provision starts in the Teddies class (two year olds) with a specialist pre-school group, while children further up the school have the use of a purpose-built music centre where instrumental recitals, informal concerts, the school orchestra, guitar group, strings group, drumming group and ceilidh band all rehearse and perform. This space is also used for LAMDA 44

(speech and drama) teaching and is an exam centre for the Associated Board and Trinity, meaning the children do not have to go off site to take their grade exams. Community singing is a big part of school life, at assemblies and at wholeschool singalongs led by Mr Jones, our Head. The children also get the opportunity to sing and perform in the House entertainments and in the two annual musical performances in the Easter and Summer terms. Most recently these included spectacular productions of Dragon Days (Years 3 and 4) and Rock Bottom! (Years 5 and 6). Add to this mix an energetic and creative art department, gallery and theatre visits, art competitions, French drama club, and the extension of art into the natural world through our Forest School programme, and you will begin to get an idea of the wide range of ideas and possibilities on offer to our pupils. This year Spring Grove made ‘friends’ with the Animates Arts Company (through an Artsmark introduction) and were lucky to be involved in the ‘Create’ Art eco-recycling project held in Victoria Park, Ashford – in fact, we created the giant letter ‘C’ for the Create sign! The culmination of our artistic year came in the Summer term with Arts Week – now a firm favourite in the schools’ annual calendar. The theme was ‘Circus’ and we welcomed a range of exciting performers into school including Paul Incredible, Simia Circus and James Lovell from The Ministry of Fun, as well as making use of the magical talent on our staff with Mr Mallalieu and his son Theo, fresh from his finalist’s appearance on Britain’s Got Talent. All the children had great fun learning about all things circus, performing, dressing up and creating circus-themed art. Looking ahead, one of our targets for next year is to set up a school Arts Council which will include our art, drama, Forest School and music prefects who will all help to advance our arts education at Spring Grove. We are also looking to increase our provision for dance throughout the school. It’s an exciting journey, and an important one, too, as it allows us to further our school vision of developing pupils who are ‘empowered to face any challenges, who believe in their abilities, who become independent learners, and who strive to make a difference in the ever-changing 21st century’. K U D O S S E P T E M B E R /O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9


Viewpoint Local schools have their say Lessons about acceptance should be at the heart of the classroom, says Richard Cairns, Headmaster at Brighton College

Protest over schools’ engagement with the continuing teaching of relationships and sex education (RSE) and LGBT equality via the No Outsiders teaching programme – relaunched for the new school year after being paused by some schools – is not only misguided but also harmful to pupils. The most important thing any school can do is create a culture where all children, whatever their family background, feel loved, respected and included. But it is also important to be honest with children, and letters sent in the previous school term by angry parents to schools in Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Croydon, Ealing, Manchester, Northampton and Nottingham skipped honesty in favour of misplaced outrage. The RSE lessons mooted for schools are not, as one of the letter writers claimed, intended to proselytise a homosexual way of life”. They are simply part of an initiative by an MBE-honoured primary teacher in Birmingham to help younger pupils understand about accepting others. It is depressing that the current trend for outrage – often based on misinformation and misperception – turns a programme about tolerance and child well-being into a media maelstrom where placard-waving parents remove children from school and physical threats are made against teachers. My school is in Brighton not Birmingham so the context is obviously different. But our hopes for the children in our care should be the same whatever and wherever our community: to make sure that no child feels uncomfortable or inferior because of their parents’ choices. That extends to faith, ethnicity, sexuality and much more. So young children should be taught to understand that it is not odd or wrong that Mohammed’s mum wears a hijab – or that Tracy has two dads, and Fred has two mums. By teaching acceptance at a young age we embed a child’s respect for every K U D O S S E P T E M B E R /O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9

other child and hugely diminish the likelihood of a child being bullied or ostracised in the future. The particular focus of the No Outsiders protests is that children are too young to have a qualified teacher explain why some children have two dads or two mums, and that no child should be bullied for this fact of life – according to the Office for National Statistics, there are around 190,000 families in the UK today with same-sex couple parents. For the thousands of school children in these families, their sense of well-being relies on creating an environment in which parents being of the same sex is no more important to children’s peers as their hair colour or taste in music. In my junior school, we call this component of our teaching ‘Different relationships, same love’ and we simply explain to youngsters that families come in all shapes and sizes, and that what matters most is love. Yet Andrew Moffat’s innocent and innovative No Outsiders project has become conflated with ‘promoting homosexuality’ when it is nothing of the sort. And once that mistaken impression is out there, like Pandora’s Box, it is hard to deal with the fallout. Having been misled about what No Outsiders actually is by sensationalised accounts, it is easier to understand why some parents have become worried about things like ‘age-appropriate’ sex education, when no sex education is involved. Just two penguins (same sex) bringing up their chick. So let’s all go back to basics. Let’s put loving acceptance of each other at the heart of the classroom. Let’s make sure that each child feels safe, protected and valued at school. And let’s help each other to see that all the No Outsiders programme is trying to do is to help youngsters understand that many different types of families exist, each can be as caring as the other, and each deserves respect. 47


Good mental health and wellbeing is paramount for pupils – and parents feel exam pressure, too Mike Lamb, Director of Staff and Pupil Wellbeing, Hurst College

Most people would agree that good mental health and wellbeing is the basis for a happy and successful life at school and beyond. At Hurst this is at the core of what we do and which we consider is especially important around the key transition times. Moving schools can be a challenging experience for pupils and it is important for schools to work closely together to ensure a successful transition. This process should begin well before a pupil joins a senior school from a junior or prep school. Inviting key staff from feeder schools in to witness first-hand how a senior school teaches the key subjects, to share ideas and best practice is a good idea – as is working closely with the respective heads to determine how best to support each pupil when they join. Pupils should also be invited to a familiarisation event before they join officially, when they can make new friends, meet their teachers, and acquire a real taste for life at their new school. New Year 7 or Year 9 pupils should start the school year before any other year with an induction programme. This allows staff to focus on supporting new pupils before the school is full again, which helps with orientation and a sense of belonging. This is not – and should not be – the end of supporting the transition. A number of team-building and bonding experiences should be held in the first few weeks. A busy, challenging, engaging and rewarding day/weekly timetable is vital for pupils to successfully settle. The school day should be packed with learning, activities and the opportunity to exercise. Time should also be set aside for a wellbeing programme which could include mindfulness techniques, yoga and woodland activities. Through a diverse and varied curriculum, pupils thrive and develop the life skills required to achieve their personal bests. Combined with a robust tutorial programme, this helps them to develop other attributes such as effective study skills, an understanding of the world around them and how to maintain good relationships with others, which stands them in good stead for life beyond school. 48

It is always important that parents feel part of school life, and this can be especially true during exams. It is a stressful time for pupils and teachers, but we should not forget that it can also be a difficult time for parents, who often feel they have very little control over the situation, and can react in different ways. It is our job as teachers to help nurture our pupils, but pressure from home can be significant for many. To support students, we need to facilitate the development of resilience throughout their school careers, which will also help them to face the challenge of exams. We must create a supportive environment with opportunities for challenge, but also in asking for help. Providing students with time and opportunity to reach out to approachable staff is essential to their success, and by listening to their concerns and taking them seriously, we help empower them. However, we also have a duty to support parents and carers by involving and engaging them. Listening to the families of children is part and parcel of being a supportive school. Keeping parents informed in the run-up to exams will help reduce their anxiety, which can prevent it from being passed on to their children. Open communication and working with parents should not just surface around exam season; it should start from day one. Parental engagement in pupils’ learning is an essential factor throughout their school careers. Communicating realistic expectations can also help parents to get the right balance between encouragement and pressure. Much of the support needed from home at this difficult time should be in the form of reassurance and love. At exam time, as throughout the year, students will benefit most from schools and parents pulling together. A large amount of revision happens at home, and research has repeatedly shown that student outcomes are significantly affected by parental beliefs and expectations. With informed and loving input from home, helped by open communication with teachers and schools, we can best support pupils in negotiating the perils of exams. K U D O S S E P T E M B E R /O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9


Can Common Entrance be resuscitated? Philippa Lang-Daly, Deputy Head at Rose Hill School, has her doubts

At 115 years old, the Common Entrance (CE) exam is the longest-surviving examination syllabus in our education system. Much like a human centenarian, the CE is close to expiry, but far from being allowed to die with dignity, it finds itself in the Emergency Room with ISEB grasping a defibrillator, preparing to shock the qualification back to life. The popularity of the CE has hinged on its perceived academic rigour. Thirteen-year-old pupils sit up to 14 exams in eight subjects over three days. However, the growing consensus is that it has failed to move with the times. In the last decade, CE has been rejected by swathes of prep and senior schools in favour of curriculums better aligned to knowledge and skills more relevant to the modern world. While most educators agree that the acquisition of knowledge is still integral to a good education, it is now broadly accepted that the necessary rote learning and recall of facts for Common Entrance prevents pupils from developing essential 21st-century skills. Durrell Barnes and his team have spent the last year consulting independent-sector colleaguess. Via the July ISEB newsletter, we were informed that over the next 12 months, every syllabus, assessment and mark scheme will be redesigned, ready for teaching in September 2021. The resuscitation attempt is underway. I was pleased to sit on the Curriculum Steering Committee during ISEB’s consultation this year. Having entered the process with an open mind towards preserving the CE, I left the final conference feeling much less optimistic. The real issues preventing mass uptake of Common Entrance can’t (or won’t) be solved by the ISEB alone:

1. There is no consensus on the purpose of Common Entrance. Is CE an entrance exam to senior schools, as the name suggests? Or is it an exit exam from prep school: a summation of learning acquired between ages three and 13?

The answer centres on who the results belong to. Prep schools do the teaching, but senior schools usually do the marking and apply their own grade boundaries to the results. Senior schools feel they can only compare candidates fairly if they mark the papers internally, but prep schools are frustrated by the inconsistencies – when a dozen sets of grade boundaries from a dozen senior schools are applied to their pupils’ papers, how can they

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begin to compare outcomes? ISEB made it clear to the Steering Committee that they are reluctant to dictate marking procedures, and they certainly won’t be taking on any marking responsibility at ISEB HQ – it’s not cost effective. However, until both prep and senior schools feel that they have equal control over pupils’ achievements, neither sector is going to wholeheartedly buy into Common Entrance – in any form.

2. Senior independent schools are not looking for Common Entrance reform.

Common Entrance does not appear to be a prerequisite for 13+ entry anywhere in the UK. All senior schools represented at the consultation have their own admissions procedures for pupils without CE. The more traditional schools were actively supportive of the qualification. There was no indication that they feel reform is necessary. More progressive head teachers are enjoying the freedom to design their own admissions protocols – selecting pupils using a range of assessments and criteria to ensure a best-fit with their own aims and ethos. It is unlikely that they would want to return to a system over which they have less control.

3. For prep schools, CE reform is coming too late.

Frustrated by attempts to prepare their pupils for entry to several senior schools with different admissions procedures, many have already decided to dance to their own tune. Time, money and training have been spent on designing and implementing CE alternatives including the National Curriculum, the Prep School Baccalaureate and many in-house variations. After all this effort, to return to Common Entrance would be a costly, and many might say unnecessary, U-turn. During the Steering Committee meetings, it was fascinating how often discussion would return to one of the issues above. Each time, the Chair would intervene, reminding us that an examination board like ISEB could only do so much in preparing the examination syllabus and accompanying assessments. Unfortunately, unless someone is willing to step forward and forge a consensus between senior and prep schools on these fundamental barriers to uptake, it seems the Last Rites to Common Entrance could be read before long.



Values for life

Angela Culley, Vice President Independent Schools Association (ISA) and Foundation Governor at Rusthall St Paul’s CofE Primary School The Jesuits famously say, ‘Give me child until he is seven and I will give you the man’. Proverbs 22.6 says, ‘Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it’. In other words our early lives and experiences influence our adult lives and how we live them. In these challenging times of ever-increasing child mental health issues, teenage knife crime, cyber bullying and much more, it has never been more important for our schools and families to reflect on the life values we wish to instil into our children and by which they can build their adult lives and develop their own moral compasses and codes. In a system controlled and measured by data and testing, it is wonderfully reassuring that the maintained sector schools through their governing bodies, head teachers and Senior Leadership teams are now having to focus on the underpinning ethos of their schools and the values which emanate from them. Ofsted are changing their criteria, (which will actually marry far better with the Independent Schools Inspectorate), in as far as there will be four overarching judgements: • Quality of education • Behaviour and attitudes • Personal development • Leadership and management Most importantly, the school will be inspected according to their individual ethos and values. Achievement will be no less important, neither will academic rigour, but, for the first time schools will have to prove their full commitment to ensuring every child has the moral, social and spiritual teaching which will guide them into becoming responsible and respected members of their communities.


Most schools do this already and well, but they now have to prove it and prove it through the children’s behaviour, understanding and conversation. Rusthall St Paul’s, as a Church of England aided school, certainly has a head start in this field. Their simple motto of Inspire, Believe, Achieve actually takes a lot of unpicking if it is to be threaded successfully throughout the curriculum and school life. It is underpinned by the Christian values of respect, friendship, forgiveness, perseverance, responsibility and creativity. In turn, these lead to three very simple and understood-by-children rules: 1.Respect everyone and everything 2.Be fair and tolerant 3.Treat others the way you would like to be treated. Can you imagine the change in our society – local, national and global – if every person embraced and lived by these straightforward values and rules. The world would be instantly transformed for every person living in it! A plausible dream – maybe. Possible – I would like to think so. Whatever, this has to be a positive way forward for all our schools and the young people raised within them. Let us all embrace it and live in hope.

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In the spotlight Quickfire questions for Louise Payne, Assistant Head, Pastoral, at Vinehall School

Sum up your own schooldays in five words Fun, rewarding and completely exhausting!

Which teacher most inspired you in your schooldays?

My violin teacher who always supported me, saw potential in me and yet made me work hard. She taught me not to give up when I found things difficult, helped me learn from my many mistakes and always went above and beyond in her care for me.

What makes you smile?

I smile every morning when our Junior pupils come running up to me and show me something they have achieved: a fantastic piece of work, a times table sticker or a music award. I smile when the same pupils stop and ask me how I am or show concern. I smile when watching these and our older children perform on stage and clearly love what they are doing. I smile when our Year 8s each walk up to the stage at prizegiving and receive their Vinehall Shield which shows them all they have achieved at Vinehall; they are always so hugely proud and so are we.

What frustrates you?

Lack of manners is something that frustrates me and I will always remind pupils about manners, although I rarely see this at Vinehall. All our children actively consider others in their daily lives around school, whether that’s holding the door open for each other, letting people go in front of them in a queue or thanking staff for their lessons. They are always doing their best for the benefit of others.

Where would you like to see your school in five years?

Continuing to help each individual child thrive and fulfill their potential with fantastic pastoral care and excellent academic results. Continuing to use our beautiful school grounds for sports and outdoor learning activities; this is something that I feel will grow even further in the next few years. Continuing to build on our academic, sporting and musical successes by using our five Learning Dispositions to develop skills in each child. Our Dispositions are learning skills that transcend every subject: Courageous, Resilience, Reflection, Inquisitive and Collaborative.

What do you hope that your pupils say about your school when they leave?

I know pupils say that their years at Vinehall were the best of their lives, where they were given fantastic opportunities in and out of the classroom and where they made friends for life. They then say that they will come back to see us and they really do! Every year at our annual Vines’ Day in the summer they return and mix with present pupils, those who have recently left and those who have been gone for a lot longer! It is a huge testimony to the school that so many of our pupils want to return and see us. It’s another thing that makes me smile! K U D O S S E P T E M B E R /O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9



Quickfire questions for Philippa Lang-Daly Deputy Head at Rose Hill School Sum up your own schooldays in five words Joyous: irrepressible laughter, every day.

What do you hope that your pupils say about your school when they leave?

That they were happy and fulfilled at Rose Hill. That their teachers cared for them, encouraged them, challenged and inspired them. That they discovered and honed their talents and that they left with a burgeoning idea of how they might make their mark on the world.

What gets you up in the morning?

A genuine love of going to school! I look forward to spending the day with children and colleagues and working together through the different challenges that each day brings.

What frustrates you?

Pessimism. In the words of George Bernard Shaw, “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it”.

If you were to have a different career, what would it be?

I have a strong desire to serve and I enjoy routine and being part of a close community. I think I might have trained as an Officer in the Armed Forces. Too late for a career change now – I would never get through the fitness training!


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Ask the school

Do you have a question for a local school? Is so, email it to Kudos and we will endeavour to find the answer. Here are questions on scholarships and charity support put to Brighton College

Can you tell us about the scholarship programmes you run in your school? What criteria is needed to apply and how successful are your pupils? “All applicants for a secondary place are automatically considered for an academic scholarship, based on their performance on their entry papers and at interview,” explains Brighton College Admissions Secretary Lauren Rich. “In addition, pupils can apply for our Junior Scholarship – an ‘all-round’ scholarship covering Dance, Drama, Sport, Music and Art – along with Choral and Chess scholarships. Scholarship assessments are held in the January of their year of entry. “For pupils aged 13+, we offer scholarships in Art, Academic, Chess, Choral, Dance, Drama, DT and Music, along with an all-rounder ‘Millennium’ scholarship. We also offer sporting scholarships that we assess a little earlier, including a Cricket Scholarship – open to girls as well as boys – assessed in the summer of Year 6. There’s also the Daley Thompson Scholarship – again open to both girls and boys – assessed in the autumn of Year 7. “Assessment for 16+ scholarships take place in the November prior to entry, and applicants must first sit our entry papers, following which we shortlist applicants to invite back for interviews and scholarship assessments. Academic scholarships are awarded based on performance at assessment and interview, and applicants need to register their interest beforehand. Further scholarships are offered in Sport and Expressive Arts (Art, Dance, DT, Drama and Music).”

Are you supporting charities for the next academic year? If so, which ones, and why do you think it’s important to promote a pastoral element to education? “Charitable fundraising and volunteering is central to the ethos of Brighton College throughout the whole year,” says the school’s Assistant Headmistress Rachel Hughes. “Notable fund-raising events include our annual Strictly Come Dancing competition, a 100-mile relay across the South Downs, and a Charity Casino! In 2018/19, Brighton College’s pupils, staff and parents collectively raised over £90,000. “Of course, charity is not only about fundraising. Our pupils volunteer their time in many ways. One of the most inspiring examples is their long engagement with Brighton’s Syrian refugee community, as well as the city’s homeless. Pupils give time every Sunday to teach English to refugees or help cook and serve food to the street community. Other initiatives include visiting isolated elderly people in their homes.” In this year’s A-level results, Brighton College topped the league table as the best-performing school in England. But while happy to celebrate its outstanding academic performance, when the Sunday Times voted the school England’s Independent School of the Year 2019, Headmaster Richard Cairns said: “What pleased me most were the judges’ many references to the culture of kindness that underpins everything we do here.”


School report A round-up of what’s happening in the world of education

Simply the best Ashford School picks up four Best in Everyone awards Ashford School is celebrating after picking up four awards at United Learning’s national Best in Everyone Awards. The pupils were recognised at a spectacular black-tie gala held at the Cutlers’ Hall in Sheffield. The Best in Everyone Awards celebrate the impressive achievements of pupils and staff at United Learning schools across the country. They include awards for academic excellence, extracurricular achievements and for service to school communities. As well as showcasing the talents of the Group’s pupils and staff, they also recognise some of United Learning’s most dedicated, hardworking and inspirational individuals. The winning Ashford School students are: Victor Ye who won the Business Award; Jacoba Looije who won the English Literature Award in the Years 10 to 13 category; Alisha Tahir who won the English Literature Award in the Years 7 to 9 category; and Zichuan Charlie Miao who won the Science Award in the Years 10 to 13 category. Each of these students had been nominated by their teachers for their exceptional achievements. In winning the awards, they saw off strong competition from a field of excellent candidates from across United Learning. Victor was given the award for consistently displaying a real enthusiasm for business. Not only has he excelled in the classroom, he has also thrown himself into the role of Managing Director of the school’s Young Enterprise company, working with younger students. Likewise, Zichuan Charlie Miaso won the Science Award for his exceptional academic performance and for conducting his own independent research into AstroPhysics and Statistics.

Literary enthusiasts Jacoba and Alisha won their awards for their outstanding achievements in English Literature. Both have displayed a real love of reading and have worked hard to achieve excellent academic results. Congratulating the winners, Michael Hall, Headmaster of Ashford School, said: “We are thrilled to have picked up four awards this year. Each of the students has shown incredible dedication to their studies and are a real credit to themselves, their families and the whole school community. Victor, Jacoba, Alisha and Zichuan always go the extra mile in whatever they do and their commitment to their subjects will inspire our other students to work hard and reach similar heights.”

Money, money money Battle Abbey pupil is Young Financial Journalist of the Year Battle Abbey School pupil Ivan Hung’s entry in this year’s London Institute of Banking & Finance; Young Financial Journalist of the Year competition, came first in the 14-15 age group, winning him £150 in the process. Applicants were asked to show off their journalistic skills and financial know-how by writing a 800-1,000 word blog or article. Ivan’s application was on the subject of whether it’s right for primary school-aged children to be taught financial education in schools. Iona Bain, competition judge said: “Ivan’s entry had bags of personality, with interesting references and appealing personal anecdotes. It clearly comes from a genuine enthusiasm for the topic, which is lovely to see. Ultimately I was won over by the writer’s willingness to take risks, look at the bigger picture and put forward a heartfelt appeal for financial education at an earlier age.” Farouk Tumi, Head of Maths at Battle Abbey School, said, “For Ivan to win this national competition is incredible – he doesn’t even study Finance with us so full credit must go to the English Department.” Ivan is pictured being presented with his prize in assembly at the school. 54

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Picture this

Rose Hill artwork in the Royal Academy Summer Show The first-ever Young Artists’ Summer Show hosted by the Royal Academy was filled with inspiring artworks by talented young artists aged 7-19 from the UK and beyond. There were over 6,000 pieces of artwork submitted and they were judged by panels of art experts including Royal Academicians, curators and RA Schools students. The exhibition is curated by Royal Academicians Bob and Roberta Smith. Rose Hill School had nine entries shortlisted; four of those pupils have their artwork displayed in the online gallery and two had their artwork on display at the Summer Show – congratulations to Claudia and Fraser in Year 4! Uschi Moore, Head of Art at Rose Hill School, said, “All of the pupils shortlisted for the Summer Show should be extremely proud of themselves, the standard of work was phenomenal. I am particularly proud of Fraser and Claudia and enjoyed seeing their work at the Royal Academy.”

Young entrepreneurs

Apprentice-style challenge for Tunbridge Wells primary school pupils Creativity, enthusiasm and dedication helped a group of pupils from a Tunbridge Wells primary school scoop second prize in an Apprentice-style entrepreneurial contest. The Tunbridge Wells Junior Enterprise Challenge, now in its second year, saw Year 5 pupils from Temple Grove Academy produce a TV advert and presentation to promote their product. The aim of the challenge was to design and create educational toys and games. Pupils aged 9 and 10 from 15 schools across the region assembled at Salomons Estate in Tunbridge Wells to battle it out for first place in an entrepreneurial contest. The teams were assigned project briefs and were given instructions from local industry experts on marketing, advertising and promotion. After lots of creative thinking, nine Year 5 pupils from Temple K U D O S S E P T E M B E R /O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9

The Young Artists’ Summer Show will be online until 31st December.

Grove Academy placed second with their ‘Hands Off! The Cookie Jar’ board game. Originally started as a small project for the Beechwood Sacred Heart School, business teacher Rebecca Smith has extended the programme to all local primary schools and supports them over the three-day challenge. The panel of six judges included Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark and Cllr Len Horwood, Mayor of Tunbridge Wells. Mrs Byard, a Year 5 teacher at Temple Grove Academy, said: “It was a fantastic experience – the children were so focussed and determined to do well. They really gave it their all and produced an excellent, quality product. It was a real pleasure working with them and seeing how innovative and resourceful they are. “It’s so important for children to learn in a variety of ways both in and out of the classroom. At Temple Grove Academy, we strive to include a diverse range of activities within the curriculum, such as the Junior Enterprise Challenge.” 55


Success for college team TOK ticks the business boxes

Hurst College’s Young Enterprise team, TOK, won two awards at the regional finals to become the most successful business in college history. Their product, compact glass water bottles, was chosen to address the issue of animals in seas and waterways drowning in plastic waste. Market research led the team to design images of penguins, turtles and dolphins and etch them onto the bottles. Each bottle was sold in recycled packaging, with a relevant information leaflet. Their journey to the regional finals began at the Crawley, Horsham and Mid-Sussex area finals where they won the team event and awards for their Business Report & Accounts and Stage Presentation. In the county final, the Hurst team competed alongside five other area champions for the right to represent Sussex at the regional round. TOK worked hard to make improvements to their trade stand display and to hone their stage presentation. Their commitment paid off, as they were named as one of the two top teams, as well as winning recognition for the quality of their stand and stage presentations and the Sustainability Award for their product.

TOK continued their competition journey at the regional finals against other winning teams from Kent, Surrey, Hampshire, Jersey and Guernsey, for a chance to represent their business at the national final in London. Once again, the team worked hard to polish their stage presentation and prepare for their interviews with the judges, which reaped dividends as they were awarded two of the top prizes – for Creativity and Best Financial Management. Although they just missed out on a chance to compete at the nationals, they proved to be the college’s most successful business ever, and they made a very positive impression on the judges.

Best in class

Excellent ISI rating for Russell House Russell House has been rated ‘Excellent’ for both the academic and personal development of its pupils following an inspection by the Independent Schools Inspectorate. Everyone played their part in the process, be it through detailed questionnaires completed by staff, parents and pupils, lesson observations, pupil and staff interviews and policy and book scrutinies. “We could not have wished for a stronger endorsement of our remarkable school and what we aim to achieve here,” said Headmaster, Craig McCarthy. “I am so proud of everyone involved in what was a detailed and thorough examination of the quality of the educational experience we offer and the level of progress our pupils make in every area.” ISI reports give clear judgements about key outcomes for pupils and information on the quality of the school’s work. Russell House was given the highest possible rating of Excellent in each area. This was summed up in the key findings that both the quality of the pupils’ academic achievements and their personal development is excellent. The report goes on to describe pupil’s excellent work ethic and notes that achievement is 56

excellent because it is promoted by small classes, specialist teaching and generous staffing levels. It identifies that pupils of all abilities make strong progress from their starting points in every subject. On pupils’ personal development, the report highlights pupils’ exemplary behaviour, high level of self-discipline and that they feel happy and secure in school. Mr McCarthy continued, “From our two-year-old Pre-Prep classes, up to our 11 year-old leavers, across all academic subjects, the many extra-curricular activities and our varied and inclusive yet competitive sport, this report firmly underlines how all the elements that make our school distinctive come together to provide an excellent foundation for children’s educational and personal development.” K U D O S S E P T E M B E R /O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9


STEAMing ahead

New hub facility for Battle Abbey Professor David Daniels, Governor, cut the ribbon and officially opened Battle Abbey School’s brand new STEAM Hub. Professor Daniels said: “The opening of the STEAM facility represents a major development for the school in its ability to deliver and provide students with learning opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths, and the ability to learn and develop practical skills. I applaud the initiative of Battle Abbey School in supporting STEAM subjects. May it go a long way in helping budding polymaths to develop their full potential and in doing so, bridge the disconnect between science and the arts.” Farouk Tumi, Head of Maths said: “STEAM and STEM are hot topics at present in the media so this feels very timely. We hope to equip students with the confidence and skills to undertake practical work and also use the facility to support the school, develop links and undertake projects with industry and universities and provide crosscurricular learning opportunities.” STEAM Student Harrison Todd said: “Many of us have been using the Hub as part of our extra-

curricular activities for a while now, particularly Engineering, and we can’t wait to start using the facility as part of our curriculum subjects.”

Engineering the future

Place in national Big Bang finals for Hurst College team A team of Lower Sixth students from Hurst College took part in the Big Bang South East Region Science and Engineering Competition recently and won two special awards, the overall competition and the title of Young Engineers of the Year. Bella Shepard, Matthieu Bridger, Olivia Hampshire and George Rodriguez were showcasing their Engineering Education Scheme and Gold CREST project on Improving Coagulation and Flocculation in Wastewater Treatment. Since winning an innovation award in April, they worked tirelessly on improving their experimental data and design of static mixers. They tested their revolutionary and totally organic chemical, chitosan, on actual treated sewage water, which produced impressive results to support its suggested use as a replacement for the currently used ferric chloride, which leaves a heavy metal residue. They also designed and 3D printed an array of static mixers, along with a creative modular system of incorporating the mixers into currently used sewage treatment plants. The team were delighted to be given two special awards: the Electric Prize for Commercial Potential sponsored by Eurotherm and the Prize for Research sponsored by Photek. These were topped, however, by the team being announced overall winners of the competition and securing a place in the national finals.

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Saving the planet

Mayfield girls get MESSy taking action on climate change The Mayfield School motto – Actions not Words – could not be more appropriate when it comes to caring for the environment. From Farm Club to Earth Hour, from recycling to the new hive of Buckfast bees, the school encourages a number of important environmental initiatives to ensure the girls are educated about climate change and encouraged to develop and support initiatives to address this important issue. A number of Mayfield’s Sixth Form students were inspired by former Irish President and climate justice campaigner, Mary Robinson, this year’s recipient of the prestigious John Maynard Keynes Prize at the Charleston Literary Festival. Mayfield School sponsored the prizewinner’s lecture, in which Robinson reminded the audience of Ban Ki-moon’s message that there is no plan B because we do not have a planet B, and encouraged everyone to make a positive change to help reverse global warming. The girls at Mayfield have been working hard to do just that, and MESSy, (Mayfield Environmental and Sustainability Society), is at the heart of the school’s environmental efforts. Run by the girls, MESSy works hard to educate their peers, staff and parents alike. Their most recent success was raising enough money (with a matched contribution by the school), to buy a beehive, equipment, and a nucleus of Buckfast bees. As well as providing honey, which will be sold to raise funds for MESSy initiatives and to maintain the bees, the girls can learn about the bees’ lifecycle and gain a greater understanding of these amazing insects. Similarly, at Farm Club, which is run by girls in Years 7 and 8, students learn about sustainable farming methods and how to care for the animals. Over the last three years, Farm Club has reared pigs, turkeys, lambs and chickens, which have been used in the school kitchens, and the eggs have either been sold to raise money 58

to sustain Farm Club, or used in the kitchens. The girls are hoping to use the wool from the sheep and alpacas in their textiles lessons. MESSy also promoted Mayfield Earth Hour around the school, to coincide with the global WWF Earth Hour in March. All nonessential electrical items, including lights, were switched off for an hour to save electricity and demonstrate how it is possible to dramatically cut energy usage. For many years, the school has been using low-energy and LED light bulbs, there are light sensors in areas of low footfall, and double and triple glazing has been installed in Mayfield’s historic buildings. A team of Mayfield students recently enjoyed success in the final of the Young Enterprise Competition having set up their own company, New Oceans, selling sustainable aluminium water bottles at events in the local area. The girls scooped a number of accolades, encouraging others to be more environmentally aware, and in the process learnt a great deal about how to succeed in business, seeing off stiff competition to make it to the final round. Promoting recycling is at the heart of MESSy’s activities and the school has worked hard to reduce waste and recycle where possible. Water fountains have been installed around the school to reduce singleuse plastic bottles and cups. The Food and Nutrition Department donates all waste products from their lessons to Farm Club, who compost it for growing vegetables. The school’s general waste is separated out into food waste, which is collected in compostable bags, recyclable and non-recyclable waste. The groundsmen grow herbs for the school kitchen, and flowers for bedding from seeds, which all helps to reduce the school’s carbon footprint. MESSy Prefect, Year 13 Clara, said: “We are working hard to achieve the Eco-Schools Silver Award, having received the Bronze Award last year. We are constantly carrying out environmental audits and improvements, including recycling and clean ups, as well as educating the other students and the wider school community about the environment. At Mayfield, actions really do speak louder than words.” K U D O S S E P T E M B E R /O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9


Top of the class

Executive Head, Dr David Lamper, talks about Kent College, Canterbury’s, recent successes We were delighted to be joined by Sir Michael Morpurgo as the guest of honour for our traditionally sunny Speech Day. I was pleased to be able to report on rising rolls, national successes in Engineering, Sport and Music and on the high levels of confidence felt in Kent College. As the sun went down, the results for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma arrived. The average score for the third year running was 37 points, which, when translated into UCAS (university entrance) points is similar to the number of points awarded for straight A*/As at A level. This score is likely to place Kent College amongst the top IB schools in the UK again this year. Head Girl, Abbey Cox scored a perfect 45 points for the Diploma and has been offered a place at Durham University, while Sophie Blummers scored 44 and will study Medicine at Exeter. Success means that scholars will go on to top universities in the UK as well as across Europe, including Humboldt Berlin and Estada Barcelona to read Medicine, Law and International Business. A number of students achieved a bilingual diploma and every candidate passed. These results match the best at Kent College, which is regularly noted in the top 10 IB schools in the UK. I am delighted for the students who have worked hard and done so well in achieving places at top universities. I am grateful, too, to colleagues for their efforts to make sure that the success already enjoyed by IB Diploma students is shared with those waiting for A Level and GCSE results.

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Home notes

News and style tips on the home front

New home, restful sleep

The Sleep Council has some moving advice as part of its Sleeptember campaign With September recognised as one of the most popular times for moving house, getting used to different surroundings can disrupt sleeping patterns and leave people feeling tired. Said Lisa Artis of The Sleep Council: “Moving home can be an exhausting and stressful process, and it always feels a bit strange when you sleep in a different room to what you’re used to. It’s the little things like the noises your new house makes, or subtle changes to temperature. There are things you can do to help you settle in, such as ensuring you keep to a similar bedtime and have a consistent wind-down and sleep routine.” Here are some more tips from Lisa on adapting to a new home at bedtime: • Make (or rebuild) your bed straight away • A messy, cluttered bedroom can affect your sleep. So make sure you prioritise the bedroom when unpacking and get rid of all those boxes • Darkness is your friend when it comes to sleep as it helps your brain produce the sleep hormone melatonin. If you’ve just moved, make sure you get the curtains up straightaway. Thick curtains or black-out blinds are best • Make sure there are no light sources such as LED displays – even dim LEDs can disrupt your sleep • Moving home is an ideal time to check whether your bed is still fit for purpose. The right mattress can make a huge difference between a restful and restless night, so if yours is more than seven years old or feels uncomfortable, it’s probably time to get a new one • I f you can’t sleep, don’t lie there worrying about it. Get up and do something you find relaxing such as reading a book until you feel sleepy again – then go back to bed • You may feel daunted by piles of boxes, so make a list of everything that needs to be done so your head feels clearer

It’s in the stars

Bring the night sky into your room with constellation and zodiac murals The Constellations Collection by MuralsWallpaper features this zodiac mural design, depicting all the celestial constellations, as well as the customisable Horoscope mural with 12 different designs – one for each star sign. These night sky wall murals will let you sleep under the stars, and will bring the zen feeling of gazing up at the cosmos to a room. Amongst the sprinklings of stars in the designs are the stand-out star signs, each illustrated with its constellation shape, zodiac character and calligraphic name. All of the constellation designs are customisable, allowing for the perfect reflection of personality. Colours can be changed, and any name can be added in place of the zodiac’s name. Two star-sign illustrations can even be included in the same design as a mural for couples. £36.00 per square metre 60

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A place in the country Bring a breath of fresh country air to your home with our pick of the looks that add rural style, no matter where you live


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Pastoral perfect

Turn your home into a country idyll with a few well-chosen pieces. Opposite: Hoxton oak white farmhouse dining table, £1,275 Clockwise from top left: Hoxton oak farmhouse dining table with rustic oil-grey finish, £1,152; Argos Home Highland Lodge Living Collection; Argos Home Highland Lodge Bedroom Collection; quirky Gwyn Baa sheepskin bar stool, £275; FC Cavendish white dining table with Duke oatmeal chairs, £799.99

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Make a statement

If you don’t want to go the whole hog, just a few statement pieces will create a country feel. Clockwise from left: Fairburn tartan wallpaper, POA, and stag heads, £50 each; Original Style Artworks colonial large brick tiles in white, £92.95 per m2, and Victorian green, £149.95 per m2; The Granary reclaimed wood stool, £195; vintage oak telephone table and seat, £195


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Flower-filled blinds, wood and brick-effect wallpaper, and a touch of fun. Clockwise from top left: Fiori linen Vintage Rose roman blind, POA; mahogany wood wallpaper, £16.99; Cow chalk board, £24.95; Highland sculpture, £995; exposed brick-effect wallpaper, £75; Riga patchwork tiles, £16.95

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It’s only natural

Choose rustic wood and metal in simple shapes for down-to-earth style Clockwise from left: Antiqued metal wall cabinets, £150 each; Winchester contemporary chest of drawers, £499; small wine table, £119; set of three industrial rebar hooks, £15; metal storage container, £39.95


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Glentory silver metal antler chandelier £349

Hare velvet cushion, £39.95

Rover table lamp complete with shade £103.80

Finishing touches Complete your look with these country-style pieces

Vintage metal storage trunk, £175 Quail Ceramics fox butter dish, £27

Rustic industrial-style trolley with shelves, £217.95

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Stanley Chesterfield three-seater sofa bed, £3,950 69


Tradition meets contemporary Kitchens don’t have to be either modern or traditional: clever kitchen design can marry the two perfectly

Modern and traditional are not two words that commonly sit side by side. Often considered to be the polar opposites of each other, a modern kitchen design is associated with clean lines, discreet storage and open-plan layouts, while traditional kitchens usually have a cosier, homely feel. Traditionalists may complain that a modern-looking space can end up feeling cold or clinical, while fans of the modern approach can dismiss traditional designs as outdated, cluttered and disjointed, miles away from the open, multifunctional layout that is so important with today’s lifestyle. Given these views, it may be hard to imagine the two styles ever sitting harmoniously alongside each other. But, by treating the two separately, are we in danger of missing out on the perfect recipe for kitchen design? Rencraft Managing Director, John Stephens, believes that a kitchen can be both modern and traditional. In fact, he considers this balancing act to be the very essence of contemporary British kitchen design. John explains, “For me, the trick is not to treat modern and traditional as mutually exclusive, but to find ways to blend the best of both worlds together in order to enhance rather than confuse the design.” He continues, “These days, most of our clients desire a modern layout, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they want a completely modern look and feel. Instead, many of our bespoke kitchens now include a combination of flat-fronted cabinetry and traditional in-frame pieces. “Storage is important. People want the untidiness of the kitchen tucked away, which is in keeping with the modern aesthetic. When it comes to the internals, there is still a preference for something more honest and traditional. One example is our renewed love for larder cupboards, which often include interior features such as marble cold shelves, solid wood drawer boxes or spice racks. Kitchens that embrace natural materials and good, solid craftsmanship for a result that is as beautiful on the inside as it is on the out. “Wood features also bring in a tactile element that acts as a reassuring reminder of the quality and reliability of the product. This could also be the reason why exposed brick walls and tiled splashbacks are returning to our homes. The difference is, in today’s kitchen, these features are being included in a contemporary and considered way, one which is about personal choice rather than necessity.” John concludes: “By introducing traditional elements into an otherwise modern kitchen, we can bring in a sense of harmony, creating a beautiful, stylish space where you can relax and feel at home. To me, this is the perfect blend of both modern and traditional design.” 70

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Rencraft are British kitchen designers and manufacturers who have been based in Kent for almost 40 years. With their own workshops just outside Sevenoaks, and showrooms in both Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells, Rencraft are proud to design and manufacture kitchens and furniture for clients in Kent, Surrey and throughout the UK. K U D O S S E P T E M B E R /O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9



Garden notes

Carry the country style from your home to your garden

Wellington boot door knocker, £7.99

Laser-cut woodland design firebowl, £349

Traditional hand-crafted steel trough planter, £295


Set of two Norton rattan baskets, £189

Squirrel bird feeder, £15.95

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Time to think about spring

Whilst September is typically a cooler month, the long-range forecast suggests we will be returning to warmer weather. All the reason to plan some quality time in the garden, suggests Tim Sykes from Gardenproud September and October are good months to be planning and planting your spring bulbs. So if you’ve been meaning to have a good show of tulips, or want to integrate some more Alliums into your borders, now’s the time to buy them and get them in place. With the Alliums you’ll save a fortune by buying bulbs rather than plants. A great local place to view tulips is Pashley Manor, Ticehurst – look out for advance notice of their 2020 Tulip Festival. Other places to gain inspiration include the Keukenhof Gardens in Amsterdam. You can buy your tulip bulbs locally, or direct from the Keukenhof website, To plant your tulips, dig over the soil well to a forks depth, mix in some compost, then plant your bulbs (pointy part of the bulb upright), around 6-8ins deep. There are a number of Allium varieties. I love most of them, but among my favourites are Allium Sphaerocephalon, an unusual, small but tall, purple-flowering variety with multiple heads on each plant. Others include Mount Everest – a traditional, large golf ball with striking white flower heads, and Allium Globemaster with large purple flower heads that dominate a border. When planting Allium bulbs look for an area where the soil drains well and is in full sun. Dig holes and plant the bulbs 3-4ins deep and no closer than 8ins. I always think they work best in clumps, so maybe five or seven bulbs in each area. After planting remember to water them in well. I hope we all enjoy an Indian summer! For more information and help with designing your borders and garden, contact Tim Sykes at Gardenproud on 07725 173820.

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Go bananas! In a bake, a cake, a smoothie, a savoury dish or just on their own, bananas are so versatile. And the top banana is Chiquita, as these recipes prove Lemon Chia Poppy Seed Muffins

Looking for an easy-to-make healthy snack? Not only are these muffins delicious, they’re full of good things Ingredients

• 2 Chiquita bananas • 300g flour • 115g brown sugar • 35g butter (melted) • ½ tbsp baking soda • ½ tsp salt • 3 tbsp poppy seeds • 80ml milk • 1 lemon (zest + juice) • 2 eggs • 1 tsp vanilla extract


• Preheat the oven to 1800C/1600C fan/gas mark 4 and grease a muffin tin with butter.

• Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and poppy seeds in a big bowl. Make a hole in the mixture and set aside.

• In another bowl, beat one Chiquita banana, milk, eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla extract. Add the melted butter.

• Pour the liquid mixture in the hole in the dry ingredients and use a spatula to mix them into each other little by little until it forms a consistent batter.

Easy Frozen Banana Smoothie Bowl

• Pour the batter into the muffin tins. • Cut the other banana into pieces and place a piece on each muffin. • Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

So easy to make and so deliciously creamy, this high-protein frozen smoothie makes for the perfect post-workout meal Ingredients

• 2 Chiquita bananas (frozen) • 500ml milk • 2 tsp of cinnamon • 4 tsp honey • 3 tbsp walnuts • 3 tbsp cocoa nibs • 2 tsp blueberries • Mint for garnish


• Chop the bananas in pieces and freeze them for at least 1 hour. • Blend the frozen banana pieces with the milk and cinnamon. Pour into small bowls.

• Add the honey, cocoa nibs, walnuts and blueberries to the smoothie bowl.

• Garnish with some mint. 74

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Banana Mango Salsa with White Fish

This savoury and sweet accompaniment made with bananas goes perfectly with fish Method

• 1 mango • 2 medium ripe Chiquita bananas • 1 sweet pepper •½  chilli pepper • 1 red onion • 1 small bunch coriander • 1 lemon • 4 fillets firm white fish


•P  eel, wash and cut the mango, banana, peppers and onion into pieces. Finely chop the coriander and add to the ingredients.

•H  eat oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry the fish for about six minutes until cooked through and browned.

•D  ivide the fish between four plates and pour the mango-banana salsa

over each portion. Squeeze some lemon and season with salt and pepper.

Creamy Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

The perfect pair – bananas and peanut butter – join with non-fat yogurt and milk for an ultra-healthy and delicious smoothie Ingredients

• 2 whole Chiquita bananas, peeled and sliced, then frozen • 170ml non-fat vanilla yogurt • 5 tbsp smooth peanut butter • 115ml skimmed milk


• Place all ingredients in a blender. • Purée until smooth. • Serve immediately. This smoothie can also be made using Chiquita bananas that are not frozen. The result will not be quite as thick or cold, but equally tasty! Serving suggestions: Also delicious as a soft-serve frozen dessert. After blending, pour into individual freezer-safe small bowls and freeze for one hour before serving. Variation: For a frosty version, replace the yogurt with crushed ice. Use a food processor to pulse until the ice and other ingredients are well combined.

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Waffles with Banana and Red Fruit

This easy recipe makes delicious banana and red fruit waffles! Ingredients

• 300g wholewheat flour • 3 tsp baking powder • ½ tsp salt • 285ml milk • 2 tbsp honey • 2 tbsp coconut oil • 1 tsp vanilla extract • 120ml sparkling water • Butter for frying • 3 Chiquita bananas • 225g mixed red fruit • 115ml crème fraîche


• Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Heat the milk and

Easy Cheesecake with Banana, Passion Fruit and Mint Say hello to your new favorite cheesecake! Bananas, passion fruit and mint add a delicious twist to this traditional dessert

coconut oil in a pan until the oil just melts and add the honey. Stir through and remove the pan from the heat. • Pour the mixture and sparkling water onto the dry ingredients and stir until thick. Do not stir longer than necessary. Small lumps are no problem. • Heat some butter in a non-stick pan and spoon in enough batter to make a waffle. Fry, turning once, until golden and cooked. • Top generously with slices of banana and garnish with red fruit and add crème fraîche.


• 115g Digestive biscuits • 3 tbsp butter, softened • 375g cream cheese • 150g sugar • 60g flour • 80ml sour cream • 3 eggs • 4 passion fruit • 3 Chiquita bananas • 1 bunch mint for garnish


• Cover bottom of a 20cm springform cake tin with baking paper. Crush the

biscuits then mix with butter, spread over the bottom of the cake tin and press down with a spoon. Preheat the oven to 170 0C/150 0C fan/gas mark 3. Beat the cream cheese with the sugar until soft. Add the flour and sour cream and mix thoroughly. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until the mixture is smooth. • Pour the batter onto the biscuit base. Bake for about 40 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 160°C/140 0C fan/gas mark 3 and bake for another 30 minutes. The cake may be slightly coloured. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Once cool, remove from the tin to a serving plate. • Halve the passion fruit, scoop out the flesh. Peel and cut the bananas into slices. • Divide the passion fruit flesh and banana slices over the top of the cheesecake and garnish with mint.


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Healthy Banana Carrot Cake

Give a healthy twist to the traditional carrot cake recipe by adding bananas Ingredients

• 4 eggs • 4 tbsp honey • 1/2 cup sunflower oil • 150g self-rising flour • 1 tbsp cinnamon • 1 tsp ginger • 1 tsp nutmeg • 2 tsp baking powder • 150g grated carrot • 3 Chiquita bananas • Pinch salt • 75g walnuts • 8 tbsp Greek yogurt • 1 tbsp honey for topping • 40g hazelnuts • 1 tsp cinnamon


• Grate the carrot, mash the bananas and chop the walnuts. Beat the eggs with the honey and a pinch of salt until frothy.

• Preheat the oven to 180ºC/160ºC fan/gas mark 4. Then carefully whisk the oil

through the honey-egg mixture. Sift the flour with the cinnamon and baking powder over the egg mixture and mix it together. • Add the grated carrot (squeeze out some excess moisture), the two mashed bananas and the chopped walnuts. Spoon the mixture into a 20cm springform cake tin. Bake for about 50 minutes (check at 40 minutes) and then allow to cool. • For the topping, mix the honey with the yogurt. Divide this frosting with the convex side of a spoon over the carrot cake. Sprinkle with hazelnuts, slices of banana and cinnamon. For more recipes and information, visit

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Business notes A round-up of local business news

Down by the waterside New Health & Wellbeing centre and restaurant for Hever Castle Golf Club Peter Guthrie, one of the owners of Hever Castle, recently planted an Acer tree at Hever Castle Golf Club, a mile from the Castle & Gardens entrance, to mark the official opening of the new Hever Castle Health & Wellbeing and the Waterside Restaurant and Bar. The new dining area looks out onto a scenic pond and fountain from a decked area for 50 people, as well as soft seating for around 20. Golfers and visitors will be able to enjoy a refreshing drink throughout the day or a tempting breakfast or lunchtime meal from the new menu that includes many healthy options while enjoying the stunning new outside area. The Wellbeing Centre includes five treatment rooms offering osteopathy, physiotherapy, beauty and massage, as well as a range of yoga, pilates and paracise classes. Scented shrubs and soft lighting carry the wellbeing theme into the garden area. Former Hever Castle gardeners Ian Roots and Catherine Pooley have been behind the transformation of The Waterside garden. Ian, who runs Roots Landscaping & Gardening, has 20 years of experience in the landscaping industry, 13 of them at Hever, and Catherine achieved her RHS diploma during her employment with Hever Castle. The garden design is inspired by the floral backdrop at Augusta Golf Club in America, which plays host to the Masters. Ian’s vision was to introduce “a little taste of Augusta to Hever.” There is a lawn area for outdoor games as well as a competition-sized boule court with scented Mediterranean plants adding a splash of colour. The court has soft lighting so games can be played into the evening. The decked area overlooks a shaped pond with shelving and pond plants to encourage natural wildlife, as well as a spectacular fountain. Other plants at the restaurant include lavender, olive trees and a pleached lime tree avenue. The events lawn, which will be available to hire, will be suitable for those with accessible needs.

Double the pleasure Top awards for Baldwins Travel Baldwins Travel have been awarded Travel Agent of the Year for London & the South East for the 12th consecutive year at the Travel Weekly Agent Achievement Awards. In addition, they have been named National High Street Agency of the Year, for the fourth time since 2014. Chairman Ron Marks and Joint Managing Directors Nick and Chris Marks, were joined by members of the Baldwins Travel family at a glamorous black-tie ceremony in London which was hosted by Travel Weekly editor-in-chief Lucy Huxley and comedian Joel Dommett. The evening got off to an outstanding start when Tonbridge Branch Manager Trevor Ridler was awarded the CLIA Cruise Master award. His dedication to the development of all of the Baldwins Travel sales team through regular training and encouragement in all things cruise – plus his proactive approach to marketing this fast-paced sector – has led to this area of the business going from strength to strength. Chris Marks said: “Trevor is a very driven and dedicated member of our team and this award is duly deserved. His passion and knowledge for cruise is exceptional and he shares this willingly with all our team.” Nick Marks said: “We are so very proud of all 68 of our team members. These awards are down to their incredible hard work and their spirit of enquiry. Their knowledge and confidence in what they do shines through, alongside the passion that they all have for sharing the wanderlust and building long-lasting client relationships. In my opinion this is unsurpassed within the travel industry. The directors are so proud of the Baldwins Travel family and we dedicate this outstanding achievement to all of them.” It was quite a week for the company. Just a few days before the awards, Nick and Chris came home triumphant after winning the annual ‘Travel Trade Crusade’ which saw them travelling across Europe for four days, undertaking challenges and raising funds for the charity Dental Mavericks. Their team raised an amazing £2,500, and all the teams combined raised over £45,000 in total for their chosen charities. 78

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A path to freedom


If you leave an abusive relationship, an invaluable scheme will keep your pets safe too, says Sarah Haywood of ThomasHaywood Solicitors

At ThomasHaywood, we are dog lovers. Pets become a part of the family, so what do you do if you need to leave an abusive relationship but fear to leave your pet behind? We can certainly help you with leaving an abusive relationship, whether that is proceedings to prevent your partner contacting you, removing them from the home, or helping you to resolve financial matters. However, what about those beloved pets? That’s where the work the Dogs Trust Freedom Project does is invaluable. The Freedom Project helps dog owners fleeing an abusive home by providing a safe, temporary foster home for your dog. It is a free service, and works by placing your dog into the home of a volunteer foster carer who will care for them until they can be safely reunited with you. Dogs Trust set up the Freedom Project in 2004 to provide a safe haven for dogs belonging to people fleeing domestic abuse in Greater London and the Home Counties, Yorkshire, the North East and Scotland. Since 2004, they have fostered over 1,600 pets and helped 1,200 families. One lady who has recently been helped by the project had been living in a physically and mentally abusive relationship for three years. Her partner had also started to harm her dog. She escaped to a refuge but, like most, they did not take dogs. The refuge told her about the Freedom Project, and they were able to find a foster home. The Freedom Project sent updates and

photographs whilst she was in the refuge. After five months, she was in a position to take her dog back and she said of the Freedom Project: “When I fled, I lost everything: my home, my belongings, my life. I’m just really grateful that I got to keep my dog.” We want to highlight this project for two reasons. Firstly, no one should be unable to leave an abusive relationship, and knowing the Freedom Project exists will hopefully provide peace of mind to those who need help but are afraid to leave their pet behind. Secondly, the Freedom Project need volunteers with experience of caring for dogs. The volunteers need to be at home during the day and able to look after the dogs for an average of six months. All the dog’s expenses are covered by the Dogs Trust. I have a rescue Border Collie who had a bad start in life but now lives a life of luxury. I could not bear the thought of having to leave home without him. If you find yourself in a situation where you are in need of help, the family team at ThomasHaywood can help you and you can contact me, Sarah Haywood as the head of the team on 01892 765013. We can refer you to the Freedom Project or you can contact them directly on or 0800 298 9199.


Helping hand A round-up of local charity news

Trinity’s angels Volunteers donate 1,000 hours a month to keep community arts venue running smoothly A core team of ushers, duty managers, box-office and cinema volunteers enable Trinity to welcome 90,000 people a year to over 600 events, helping to support this community hub in the heart of Tunbridge Wells. Trinity was founded on community giving, and local volunteers were instrumental in converting the iconic Decimus Burton church into a theatre and arts venue. Today, Trinity is supported by a team of over 200 volunteers. This volunteer team donates over 1,000 hours a month on average, supporting Trinity’s artistic programme and community arts projects. “It’s a fantastic asset to have in town… Plus, it’s fun and a real community with a great chance to get to know people from all walks of life,” says volunteer Wyndham Westaway. Trinity’s volunteer Gardening Club maintain the churchyard, helping preserve this green community space in the centre of the town. During the summer they worked with TW-in-Bloom, supported by TWBC through donations of plants and other gardening materials. They have planted a herb garden, to be used by Trinity’s kitchen and bar, and have worked with Tunbridge Wells Commons to encourage insects and other wildlife. Volunteers also underpin Trinity’s community projects, acting as companions for Senior Cinema, monthly film screenings held in support of older, socially isolated people, developed in partnership with Good Neighbours, a local befriending charity. “Places like Trinity are so important for the town’s community, and volunteering is essential for places like this to survive. Plus, when you retire, it’s a great and valuable way to spend your time – everybody should do it!” says volunteer Sheila Button. Volunteering has the potential to increase self-confidence, improve career prospects, and promote sociability and wellness. Volunteers characterise Trinity as a “second home”, offering a chance to meet like-minded people, whilst giving something back to the community. There are also opportunities for personal

development, with cinema volunteers offered lighting and sound operation training from industry professionals. Trinity Encore, a new community choir for people living with dementia, and their companions and carers, is supported by volunteers who have received dementia awareness training, and have since become “Dementia Friends”. Trinity Theatre is committed to becoming one of the first dementia-friendly businesses in Tunbridge Wells. “Having started myself as a volunteer here, it makes me incredibly proud to see how our Trinity family has grown over the years,” says Community and Visual Arts Manager Jocelyn Cheek. “There are many exciting days ahead for Trinity, and I look forward to working with the volunteers to help shape its future.”

Ride of a lifetime

Local team tackle 1,500-mile cycle trip to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK A team of keen amateur cyclists will be departing from The Bell in Ticehurst at midday on 8th September, attempting to cycle to Corfu – a trip of around 1,200 miles through six countries with a number of obstacles on the way, not least the Alps! Cycling for 20 days, 16 days more than any of them have cycled before, the aim of this ambitious ride is to raise £100,000 for Alzheimer’s Research UK. The core team of four brave local men are Julian Brown (Hartfield), Richard Meddings (Cranbrook), Andrew Ross (Ticehurst) and Julian Van Kan (Stonegate). They will be joined along the way for various legs by 13 other keen riders who will also be challenging their bodies to the max. “All of us are way out of our comfort zones; most of us are too old, not yet fit enough and very frightened!” says Andrew Ross, but there is no lack of determination in the crew. Thanks to some generous financial support from the FTSE 100 fund management company Schroders and because the cyclists are covering all their personal costs of the trip, every penny donated for this ride will go straight to Alzheimer’s Research UK. The challenge is supported by two other local businesses – Wildside Cycles, who are providing the spare parts and nutrition, and Bikecation who are organising the trip. Richard Meddings, who helped organise the trip, said, “By doing something seriously tough, we hope that we can make a difference and raise a significant sum for a great charity. This is going to be very difficult but Hannibal took elephants over the Alps, so there is hope!” 80

His co-organiser Andrew Ross added: “Most of the riders have firsthand experience of Alzheimer’s in their family and know it is one of the most significant medical problems of our time. It is debilitating for the sufferer and for the families who have to cope with the mental decline of a loved one. In spite of this, research into a condition, about which we still understand little, is very underfunded. Cycling this distance is a major undertaking; even professional cyclists rarely ride this far in one go. We’ll be climbing almost 14,000m of vertical ascent – that’s the equivalent of going up Everest, back down and halfway up again.” To make a donation, visit the Just Giving page: K U D O S S E P T E M B E R /O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9

Kudos Marketplace Your directory of local businesses, services and events

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Cosmedics Skin UK Ltd Skin Clinic Woldingham 6A The Crescent, Station Road, Woldingham CR3 7DB Tel: 01883 652106

Godstone Farm Tilburstow Hill Road, Godstone, Surrey, RH9 8LX Opening times: 10 am until 5pm in winter, and until 6pm in Summer Entry cost: £9.90 per adult and child over 2 years Tel: 01883 742546 Email:

Inches of Oxted Your local Clarins Gold Salon 38 Station Road West, Oxted RH8 9EU Tel: 01883 722555 Email: Stagecoach Otford Opening times: Saturdays, Kemsing Primary school TN15 6PU – Early Stages (4-6yo) 9:15am-10:45am and Main School (6-18yo) 10am-1pm; Fridays, Dunton Green Primary – Early Stages (4-7yo) Entry cost: Two week trial = £25 (Early Stages) £50 (Main School) Tel: 01732 430 387 Email: FB:

K U D O S S E P T E M B E R /O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9

Fennies Day Nurseries & Preschool Begin an amazing learning journey from nursery to preschool 11 stunning nurseries across Surrey and the South East Unique pedagogical approach Inspiring custom made indoor and outdoor areas Nutritious meals in line with the EYNP Email: book.visit@ Tel: 0208 770 3222

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Chic Dog Groomers Chic Stylish Elegant Grooming The Studio, High Street, Limpsfield Oxted RH8 0DR Tel: 01883 732 020 Mobile: 07399 871 112 Email:

Wish you were here?

If you want to advertise on this page, please contact our Sales Manager Vikki Hyder Tel: 07393 677219



Walk this way Laurence Carter walked more than 4,000 miles around England and Wales to raise money for Cancer research UK in memory of his wife, Melitta Laurence Carter arrived back in Sussex three months ago after walking over 4,000 miles around the entire coast of England and Wales in a year, raising awareness of cervical cancer prevention and funds for Cancer Research UK after his wife died of the disease. His walk finished in Seaford where Cancer Research UK (CRUK) held an event to celebrate his epic achievement. Laurence would love to talk to you about his walk, his mission to help eradicate cervical cancer, his new-found passion for litter picking and why he’s been dubbed The Man in Shorts! Laurence has raised almost £60,000 so far for CRUK to fund research into increasing uptake of cervical screening (which is at a 20-year low) and HPV vaccines. With better rates of screening uptake and a full HPV vaccination programme, cervical cancer can be wiped out for good. “Melitta and I met in June 1987 while we were both working in Malawi,” says Laurence. “Melitta was a volunteer at the Ministry of Agriculture, while I was an economist. I vividly remember the yellow dress she was wearing and her welcoming smile. By July 1989 we were married and our first child, Emily, was born in 1990, soon followed by Nic and Georgie. By then, Melitta and I had moved to several different countries before settling in Washington DC. It wasn’t always easy, especially with small children, but we both loved travelling and saw it as an adventure. “For many years, life for our little family and living in the US was everything I could have hoped for. Then in October 2012, Melitta went for a routine smear test. She had left it six months late, blaming holidays and a busy family life. ‘A bit of bad news,’ she said quietly when I came home that evening. ‘They’ve found signs of cervical cancer and I need an emergency hysterectomy, then chemotherapy and radiation’. I listened in shock as she explained that doctors were hopeful it hadn’t spread. “As Melitta went through the gruelling treatment, we rallied around her, the children helping, friends cooking meals and keeping up our morale. But the following July, Melitta was told the cancer had spread. There was nothing more doctors could do, except start more chemo to extend what little time she had left. We are all so devastated. Melitta was the love of my life from the very first moment I’d seen her in that yellow dress, and now I was contemplating a future without her in it. “Over the next few months, the family spent as much time together as we could. Melitta wrote a note to each of the children to be read after she died. She was putting on a brave face and so was I, but inside, it felt as if my heart was physically breaking. “By April 2015, Melitta’s health started to decline and she died, surrounded by family, that September. I was completely lost without her. I kept thinking if only I’d reminded her to go for her smear test. I decided I wanted to raise awareness for cervical 82

cancer in her memory and then an idea struck me – a walk around the UK. Melitta and I had loved walking, so I knew she’d approve. “I’ve taken a break from my role as a Director at the World Bank to walk the 3,500 miles of the coast of England and Wales, to raise awareness that we can eliminate cervical cancer. All funds raised go to a Cancer Research UK-supported researcher who’s identifying ways to raise awareness about preventing cervical cancer. “The tragedy is it doesn’t have to be this way. Cervical cancer is the first cancer which can be eliminated, through HPV vaccination and good screening. Progress has been dramatic in the past few years. The main barrier is awareness. “I still miss my wife every single day, but knowing I’ve made a difference gives me comfort.”

About cervical cancer Cervical cancer is caused by a virus, HPV. Around 8 out of 10 of us are exposed to it sometime in our lifetime. A safe, effective vaccine exists. In the UK and Australia, 10 years after its introduction, HPV infection among young women has fallen by 85-90 per cent! Regular cervical screening is also critical for women aged 25-64. This can catch cell changes before they become cancerous. In the UK, around 28 per cent of women miss their screening appointments. If that number falls, more women will live.

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K U D O S S E P T E M B E R /O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9


Profile for Kudos Kent

Kudos 36  

Sept/Oct 2019 issue

Kudos 36  

Sept/Oct 2019 issue

Profile for kudoskent