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Your family lifestyle magazine for Kent & Sussex

Jan/Feb 2020


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WELCOME TO KUDOS

Hello

Contents 5 Kudos loves...

Welcome to the January/February issue of Kudos We’re getting the new year off to a flying start... and making education the focus of the magazine, with some great stories and viewpoints from local schools and Headteachers. We also highlight Children’s Mental Health Week, and actress Sally Phillips explains why she is supporting local charity, Fegans. We show you how to bring some Scandi style to your home, visit a stunning kitchen designed for family life and look at what needs to be done in the garden over the next couple of months. It’s cold outside so we serve up some winter warming recipes that won’t break the bank, and explore some of the myths surrounding the food we eat.

8 News & events 12 Love celebrity 14 Love family 22 Love education 40 Love home & garden

Hannah Tucek

48 Love food and drink

Publishing Director

Managing Director: Robin Tucek / Publishing Director: Hannah Tucek / Editorial Director: Ann Wallace / Creative Director: Neil Constant / Sales Manager: Vikki Hyder Kudos is published bi-monthly by Bad Betty Media Ltd. 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.

Twitter, Instagram & Facebook: kudoskent

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Web: www.kudoskent.co.uk

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K U DOS LOV E S

Things we love this issue

Drink for health

Making sure children get the right amount of vitamins doesn’t just keep them healthy now – it can help them avoid health problems later in life, too. Children get most of the vitamins they need through their food. This sugar-free multivitamin drink with natural flavours is a way for them to get a little more. Choose from Apple & Blackcurrant (helps growing bodies stay healthy), Orange & Mango (supports the immune system), and Raspberry & Blueberry (supports growing bones). £10.99 for a pack of 12 Available at Tesco & Amazon

Whey hey

The dairy industry annually wastes 870,000 tonnes of whey, a byproduct of milk and cheese production. A new range of luxury body washes makes this unwanted whey a key ingredient. Enriched with aloe vera, sustainable poppy seed oil, vitamins and natural extracts, the creamy formulations cleanse the skin leaving it feeling soft and silky smooth. In a take on traditional milk varieties, Byre Bodycare Body Washes are available in three different options: Full Cream, a rich and thick body wash; Semi Skimmed, smooth and whipped; and Skimmed, light and airy. £5 Available exclusively at Sainsbury’s

Smooth operator

Rita Hazan’s Shine Balm works double-duty to tame flyaway hair and frizz while also providing deep nourishment. Botanical sunflower, jojoba, moringa and camelia oils help preserve color, while Vitamins A, C and E repair dry or damaged strands. Simply warm a small amount between your fingertips and apply before styling. £25 www.net-a-porter.com

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K U DOS LOV E S

Sleep easy

As the cold draws in and the colds come out make Snufflebabe’s new Vapour Bath Bubbles part of your night-time routine to ease congestion in your little one so that both them and you can sleep peacefully! Simply add a small drop of the Vapour Bath Bubbles to warm water and mix for a gentle and soothing bath. Formulated with eucalyptus, camphor, thymol and menthol essential oils, Vapour Bath Bubbles is your new bath-time essential. Available for £4 from Morrisons

Skin deep

Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate is an energising and protective serum that reduces visible signs of skin ageing, restores its tightness, and strengthens it by 28 per cent in one week. It contains ImuGeneration technology which uses strong natural extracts to promote your skin’s ability to stay healthy and help restore it to its ideal condition. Your skin will be smoother, more elastic, more hydrated, intensely energised and radiant. £93 for 75ml www.notino.co.uk

Magical oil

Candle power

These delightful artisan candles are presented in understated translucent white vintage-style apothecary glass jars, which can be reused for storing bits and bobs. Fragrances include Mint Leaf Cardamon; Rosemary Sea Salt; Fresh Meyer Lemon; and Juniper Magnolia to bring refreshing aromas to your home. £18 each www.hurnandhurn.com 6

Liha Organics is a British brand elevating classic ingredients found in many West African households to a different level. Idan is the Yoruba word for magic, which is the only way to describe this sublime moisturising oil. Made with natural, cold-pressed coconut oil into which a tuberose flower has been immersed, the wonderful scent of this night-blooming flower is absorbed naturally into the oil by a traditional African process of enfleurage. As well as smelling divine, tuberose has naturally warming and aphrodisiac qualities. You can use this for absolutely everything, from facial oil to leave-in hair conditioner, or if you’re feeling really indulgent, slathering it head to toe before bed and rinsing off in the morning for truly silky fragranced skin. £39 for 100ml www.lihabeauty.com

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LOV E N EWS

Upfront What’s new and happening Saving Billy Medway teenager meets life-saving air ambulance team A 13-year-old boy and his family have been reunited with the Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex (AAKSS) team who saved his life in September after he’d been hit by a car while riding his bike. Billy McLaren, who lives in Lordswood, and his parents and younger sister visited the AAKSS base at Rochester Airport and met members of the crew who were involved in the mission to stabilise his condition and then take him for specialist treatment at King’s College Hospital, London. The Greenacre School pupil was out cycling with friends on a Sunday afternoon when a car struck him as he was crossing Wayfield Road in Chatham, causing severe injuries to the right side of his head and body. An NHS ambulance crew took the injured teenager to Rochester Airport where they rendezvoused with an AAKSS emergency medical crew. They had been flown in to take over Billy’s treatment and stayed with him as he was bluelighted by road to London, accompanied by his father, Michael McLaren. Suffering severe lacerations, a broken leg, a fractured skull and damage to his frontal lobe, Billy had reduced levels of consciousness on the journey and the AAKSS team had to intubate him to protect his airways and breathing. He was put into an induced coma by AAKSS to minimise the impact of his head injuries. His mother, Karina Ridley, paid tribute to everyone who was involved in saving her son, who is now back at home recovering from his injuries after three weeks in hospital. She said: “We are so grateful to everyone who helped save my son’s life – from the unknown person who put him in the recovery position to the NHS ambulance crew who first responded and the air ambulance doctor and paramedics who took over his treatment and saved his life before getting him specialist help from the trauma team at King’s College Hospital.

“The AAKSS team were just amazing and incredibly kind to us. I am so grateful to them because without their help, I don’t believe Billy would be here today.” It costs £38,740 per day to keep the air ambulance flying, with 89 per cent of that money generated by public donations and fundraising. For further information on the work of Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex visit www.aakss.org.uk. Pictured with Billy are, left to right: paramedic Lewis Allam, paramedic Al Crawford, father Michael McLean, mother Karina Radley, sister Elsie McLean, paramedic Dave Hawkins and dispatcher Carol Lewis.

Get a buzz at The Hive New-concept enterprise that connects business and community in the heart of the Weald As Cranbrook’s first full-service hot desking and social hub for local businesspeople and the community, The Hive is a brand-new concept, incorporating elements of a new-age internet café and a collaborative co-working centre, but delivering so much more. The Hive provides an environment that stimulates enterprise, and allows local businesspeople to take a break from home-working and interact with like-minded individuals. The venue is also open to the public, where they can use the Buzz Lounge to meet friends and enjoy free Wi-Fi during the day, or relax with delicious food and drinks across other areas of the hub after 5pm, when The Hive “goes social”. Key features include highly-flexible hot-desking space with hyper-fast Wi-Fi and IP internet; dedicated areas for organisations to promote themselves and/or host meetings; workshops; one-to-one mentoring; access to funding; and a diverse range of business and social networking events throughout the year. An ongoing exhibition of art by talented local artists and guest international artists, and delicious Anglo-Greek cuisine combining authentic and local produce also feature. The Hive co-founder, Emma Wood, said: “As the number of self-employed professionals and homeworkers has increased over the past few years, hot desking has become a popular way of connecting otherwise isolated individuals, although there still is a marked lack of co-working opportunities in more rural communities such as The Weald. The core objective of The Hive is to provide a central support hub for local businesspeople to work how and when they want. 8

“Apart from providing flexible working opportunities, The Hive also offers a vibrant social calendar including regular charity, networking and exhibition launch events throughout the year. By combining corporate and social networking opportunities in this way, The Hive caters to the needs of the whole community.” K U D O S J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0


LOV E N EWS

Three of the best Hever Castle is winner in three categories at top industry awards Staff at Hever Castle are celebrating after getting a hat-trick at the Beautiful South awards. The historic attraction scooped a gold award in the Large Visitor Attraction of the Year category and a joint gold with Blenheim Palace in the Wedding Venue of the Year category. And Hever Castle’s five-star bed and breakfast went on to win a bronze award in the small hotel of the year category. Run by Tourism South East in partnership with Services for Tourism, the awards recognise achievement in the tourism industry over the last 18 months. This year, the prestigious evening was compered by travel journalist and broadcaster, Simon Calder. As well as a detailed awards application, those putting themselves forward in each category underwent a mystery shopper visit plus a judging panel in order to be named as a finalist. Duncan Leslie, CEO of Hever Castle said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have won two gold awards and one bronze at the Beautiful South Awards – the top industry awards for the tourism industry. To be named Best Large Visitor Attraction and Best Wedding Venue in the South East is a huge honour and is testament to the hard work and dedication of all our staff across all the departments.” Mark Smith, Chairman of Tourism South East, said: “What a night! I was blown away by the sheer quality of the tourism businesses and experiences celebrating the trophies. Through some incredibly hard work, talent and determination, they have all achieved well-deserved success and will be a great example to others. I am certain that they will inspire other businesses across the UK. I also want to recognise and thank the awards sponsors and voluntary judges who make the awards possible. Our headline sponsor, The Grand Brighton, pulled out all the stops to make the awards a very special celebration. I am now looking forward to our winners taking on the rest of the country at the VisitEngland National Awards.”

Saving the planet Zero-waste health food store arrives in Brighton Brightonians use 242 million pieces of single-use plastic a year. Now The Source Bulk Foods store is here to revolutionise the way you shop. A packaging-free health-food store, The Source Bulk Foods is a zero-waste shopping advocate, helping the UK to shop healthily. Targeted at foodies and eco-conscious shoppers looking to reduce waste in their daily lives, the store is set to revolutionise the way people shop, for the better. Following the success of the brand’s existing stores in Chiswick and Battersea, where they have helped their communities save an estimated 600,000 single-use plastics, the originally Australian concept offers over 450 quality ingredients housed in eco-savvy containers. The affordable range caters to vegan, paleo, dairy-free, organic and gluten-friendly food diets – from nutritious wholefoods, healthy treats and cooking liquids to household and personal care products. With Brighton accounting for 242 million pieces of single-use plastic used every year (a small percentage of the 59 billion nationwide), The Source Bulk Foods offers customers a package-free shopping experience in which they reconnect with their food as they scoop items into their own reusable containers from home, glass jars sold in-store, or recyclable brown paper bags. Customers can even pull their own honey, buy Kombucha on tap and refill their laundry liquids, shampoos and cleaning products. The Source Bulk Foods store allows customers to buy what they need without any unnecessary packaging, including single-use plastic. Makayla Drummond, Managing Director at The Source Bulk Foods, commented, “We feel truly proud and excited to be expanding The Source Bulk Foods family into Brighton. We believe the community here is as enthusiastic as we are when it comes to decreasing the amount of single-use plastic, and we can’t wait to welcome our new customers.” K U D O S J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0

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LOV E G OI NG OU T

Diary dates Out and about with the family Lego Before Lego: A secret history Running until 25th July Brighton Toy and Model Museum This special exhibition tells the story of the early days of the Lego Company, from its original wooden toys (yes, wooden!) of the 1930s-40s, to the popular plastic toys of the 1960’s – when the building-brick sets became an essential part of modern childhood. The Hatley Lego Collection includes original toy-shop signage, scale vehicles, building blocks, farm vehicles, lovable characters and pull-along toys. www.brightontoymuseum.co.uk Family Science Day 18th January Maidstone Museum Become a mad scientist, play with crazy liquids and conduct exciting science experiments using everyday household materials. What wacky things will you create? www.visitmaidstone.com Skip’s Family Workshop – Peter Pan 18th January Theatre Royal Brighton Take a trip to Neverland and encounter pirates, mermaids, an angry crocodile and a boy who never grew up. Arts and crafts, a look on stage, drinks and biscuits and maybe some play acting are all on offer. www.atgtickets.com/theatre-royal-brighton RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 25th-27th January Nationwide Joining in with the Big Garden Birdwatch is simple and enjoyable for the whole family, and a great excuse to watch your garden birds. Grab a hot drink, your favourite biscuits and settle into a comfy chair to watch and count the birds in your garden, then tell the RSPB your results. www.rspb.org.uk Stargazing 1st February Western Lawns, Eastbourne Run by Eastbourne Astronomical Society, enjoy a family-friendly tour of the night sky suitable for all. Members will point out constellations, features on the moon and some planets using their own and society’s telescopes. www.eastbourneas.org.uk Room on the Broom – Live on stage Saturday 1st February & Sunday 2nd February EM Forster Theatre, Tonbridge School IGGETY ZIGGETY ZAGGETY ZOOM! Jump on board the broom with the witch and her cat in Tall Stories’ fun-filled award-winning adaptation of Room on the Broom, the best-selling picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. The witch and her cat are travelling on their broomstick when they pick up some hitch-hikers – a friendly dog, a beautiful green bird and a frantic frog. But this broomstick’s not meant for five and – CRACK – it snaps in two… just as the hungry dragon appears. Will there ever be room on the broom for everyone? www.emftheatre.com Snowdrop Walk From 8th February Hever Castle Put on your wellies, hats and scarves and enjoy the sight of 80,000 10

snowdrops throughout the grounds. Named Galanthus (gala from the Greek for milk and anthos for flower), these non-native flowers are ‘mythic’ to many and viewed as an early sign that spring is coming. Award-winning garden writer Galanthophile Val launches the 2020 snowdrop season with a talk entitled The Wonderful World of Galanthophilia on 8th February. Head Gardener Neil Miller says: “Horticultural superstar Val is a preeminent galanthophile and will travel miles for a rare snowdrop! I heard Val talk last year about her passion for snowdrops and knew that we had to invite her to Hever to share her wonderful stories and knowledge.” www.hevercastle.co.uk Imagine Children’s Festival 12th-23rd February Southbank Centre, London For a special family trip to London, take your little ones on a creative exploration of stories with world-class music performances, literature, comedy and parties. www.southbankcentre.co.uk Living with nature 15th-23rd February Hever Castle Get back in touch with the great outdoors this February half term and discover more about wildlife and nature. Watch the falconry displays and learn about the work of different wildlife charities, as well as taking part in children’s activities. Follow the nature trail in the grounds to investigate animal footprints and tracks, create a ladybug or bumble bee in a free craft workshop or transform into an animal with Hever’s fabulous face painter (small additional charge). Rye Bay Scallop Week 22nd February-1st March The picturesque Sussex coastal town of Rye hosts this nine-day event every February – its mouthwatering locally-caught scallops are said to be some of the best in the country and are at their plumpest and most succulent in the winter months. A mainly restaurant-based event, the festival features cookery schools, scallop-themed menus and scallop-shucking demos. This is all accompanied by an exciting programme of live events in hostelries around the town. www.scallop.org.uk K U D O S J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0


LOV E CEL EBR I T Y

Why parents of special-needs children need support Actress Sally Phillips lends her voice to local children’s charity Award-winning writer and actor Sally Phillips has been announced as an ambassador for the charity Fegans, which provides children’s counselling and parent support across the South East. The Bridget Jones, Smack the Pony and Miranda star has received plaudits from many for her campaigning work highlighting the issues children with Down’s Syndrome face and is keen to continue that work in supporting children with a variety of mental health and family challenges. It is a cause close to her heart. Shortly after she gave birth to her eldest son Olly 15 years ago, she was told by a sad-faced doctor and crying midwife that he had Down’s Syndrome. It came as a complete surprise as none of the pre-natal tests had picked up on it. “You go home to deal with the ‘bad news’ and you have friends and family who come round and get drunk and talk about the ‘bad news’ and it’s all like something dreadful has happened,” she told The Daily Telegraph. “And something important has happened and you’re going to have to let go of some of the dreams you had, but it’s really not as bad as everyone makes out.” She wishes, looking back, that the doctor and the midwife who told her about Olly’s diagnosis could have been more positive. “I think I would have been really served by having someone around standing up and saying ‘This is a good thing.’” In 2016, she presented and co-wrote a one-hour BBC documentary entitled A World Without Down’s Syndrome? The 12

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LOV E CEL EBR I T Y

programme examined the issues around Down’s Syndrome, and featured not only Sally but Olly, too. He emerged as a chatty and engaging boy who often has his younger brothers, Luke and Tom, in hysterics. Said Sally: “Down’s Syndrome is not a disease and it is not a tragedy. Olly seems to enjoy life so much more than the rest of us. He appreciates the little things. Every day he asks how I slept and how my day at work was. Life’s not always plain sailing, but it is interesting.” Speaking about the acute mental health needs of children and young people, Sally says: “Our children are not coping and our parents need support. The work of Fegans is so desperately needed. Their parenting advice has been a great help to me, and that is hard to find because when you have a child with special educational needs, parenting courses can feel incredibly judgmental.” Since 1870, Fegans has been dedicated to creating a world where children are free to be all they are created to be. Today they provide counselling for around 400 children every week, bringing freedom to children facing severe bullying,

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emotional, physical and sexual abuse, anxiety, depression and self harm. Despite doubling in size in the last six years and seeing more children year-on-year, the charity’s waiting lists never go down, and demand for its services is greater than ever before. Ian Soars, CEO of Fegans (whose Head Office is in Tunbridge Wells) is thrilled that Sally has agreed to become Fegans’ ambassador: “It is an honour to have Sally’s passion and commitment about family and children join with ours. Sally is articulate and persuasive about the need for our culture to rethink how we prioritise children, particularly those who are vulnerable or with additional needs, issues that are the core of why we exist as an organisation. We fully support Sally as she speaks out on sensitive issues and welcome the amplification she has brought to us as we do the same.” Sally concludes: “You may have money, or it may be that you have connections or it may be that you have time or skills that you can offer. Please consider what you can do.” To find out more about the work of Fegans and their work with vulnerable children go to www.fegans.org.uk

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L OV E FA M I LY

Family first

From food myths to mental health issues in the young

Myths Brits believe – and why they are wrong Oranges are the best natural source of Vitamin C Strawberries actually contain more Vitamin C than oranges (57mg/100g compared to 42mg/100g for easy-peeler oranges). Just seven strawberries provide the recommended daily amount of Vitamin C, which contributes to the normal function of the immune system along with the reduction of tiredness and fatigue. Cooking fruit and vegetables reduces its nutritional value Cooking does destroy some heat-sensitive vitamins such as folate and Vitamin C. The longer that fruit or vegetables are exposed to heat, the more nutritional value they lose. However, in some instances health benefits are unlocked through cooking. Too much of any fruit rots your teeth Fruits which have a high acid content can damage the enamel of your teeth if eaten excessively. However, the sugar in most fruits will not rot your teeth. Carrots help you to see in the dark This is a myth but carrots do contain Vitamin A which is important for good vision. Eating celery burns more calories than you gain by eating it In reality, there are no negative-calorie foods. Even though celery has low calories, high water density and high fibre, your body still doesn’t use as many calories to process it as there are in a celery stick. Organic fruit is healthiest There is a negligible nutritional difference between organic and nonorganic fruit.

Healthy eating

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Chocolate is an aphrodisiac There is limited evidence that chocolate is an aphrodisiac as there are such small amounts of the substances which have an effect on desire in chocolate.

Dr Emma Derbyshire looks at the truth and myths surrounding some of the foods we eat

Drinking fruit juice is as nutritious as eating whole fruit Whole fruit contains vital fibres and nutrients that are removed when juicing.

Carrots help you to see in the dark, oranges are the best source of vitamin C and avoiding fruit in the evening are food ‘facts’ we get completely wrong, according to experts. But now, nutritionists have shed some light on the truth. While more than a fifth of adults think juicing your fruit is as nutritious as eating it whole, Public Health nutritionist Dr Emma Derbyshire, who is working with Love Fresh Berries, said vital fibres and nutrients are removed in the juicing process. And although nearly half believe eating too much fruit rots your teeth, Dr Derbyshire confirmed most sugar found in fruits will not do this. She said: “We are in the information era yet it seems that ‘over’ information could be confusing the lay public. We must remember to utilise information that is evidence-based rather than trusting popular followers. With social media, people’s views on food are now openly public. When it comes to fruit there are many myths but we should not let these impact what we eat. The benefits of fresh fruits far outweigh any mythological drawbacks.”

Dried fruit and fresh fruit have equal nutrition The heat used in drying fruit can decrease the amount of some heatsensitive nutrients like Vitamin C. However, one piece of dried fruit does contain similar nutrients as fresh fruit, just in a smaller portion. It takes seven years to digest chewing gum While your stomach doesn’t digest gum the same way as other foods, it still makes its way through your system the same way. Fruit shouldn’t be eaten after 2pm Fruit is healthy at any time of day. Fruit should only be eaten on an empty stomach There is no scientific evidence to suggest negative side effects of eating fruit before other food. K U D O S J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0


L OV E FA M I LY

Not up for discussion Parents spend almost three hours a week negotiating with their kids Research carried out among 2,000 mums and dads found almost two thirds believe parenting is just a constant round of mediation. The average parent also spends 24 minutes of every day doing ‘deals’ with their offspring in an attempt to secure a compromise or get them to behave or eat food. Around one in three negotiate by threatening to take away something, such as their favourite toy, while 42 per cent threaten a TV or screen ban. Other parents polled by children’s vitamins firm Wellkid said they remove the choice of sweets or dessert, confiscate their computer, games console and gadgets. Holding back a chunk of pocket money is also an option for many. Bribery is commonplace too, with 20 per cent offering to let their children stay up later if they carry out a task, while 16 per cent offer extra pocket money as an incentive. It also emerged that dads are the biggest pushovers at home, with mums most likely to call the shots when it comes to the time children spend watching TV or playing computer games, the amount of sweets or fizzy drinks consumed and bedtime. Mums are most likely to lay down the law when getting children to do their homework, eat everything on their plate or try new foods. But dads are the strictest parents when it comes to dealing with their children’s behaviour and discipline. The study also found four in 10 parents say they and their partner often adopt a ‘good cop, bad cop’ approach to parenting. Forty per cent of mums and dads would describe their parenting style as ‘soft’ while just 31 per cent reckon they are usually strict with their children. It also emerged more than one in three parents believe mealtimes and food are the biggest reason for disagreements in their household, with 37 per cent admitting they tend to be stricter on what their child eats than anything else.

Four in 10 bribe their children with rewards to try and get them to eat their food, while another 38 per cent threaten to take things away from their youngster if they don’t eat what is on their plate. It doesn’t always work, though, with 76 per cent of parents saying they have had times where they have worried about whether their child is eating the right foods or getting enough. And one in five of those polled have even sought advice from a professional to try and get them to eat more or have a better diet.


L OV E FA M I LY

How to make the best of a break-up Divorce coach Amanda Gardiner explains how she can help smooth the choppy waters of a marriage break-up, with positive results

What’s your business background?

I spent most of my career as an Operations Director for a start-up in financial services and latterly for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. When my children came along, like many, I took a few years out to enjoy them. However, I knew that as the girls grew up, I would need a career that stimulated me intellectually whilst also fitting in around my family. So, I took a postgraduate course in Executive and Business Coaching and set up my own practice in 2016. Today, alongside Reset Divorce Coaching, I coach senior executives and entrepreneurs to optimise their potential.

What is Divorce Coaching?

Divorce coaching, in short, is practical and emotional support which enables those going through divorce to positively survive the experience and avoid the pitfalls that make it such a destructive process. Through a series of expertly guided conversations, clients reframe this difficult time in their life and change it into an opportunity. They seize control and achieve a positive future.

How did you come up with the idea for Reset Divorce Coaching? What was your motivation for setting it up?

My long-term marriage broke down in 2017 and the ensuing divorce was long, emotionally agonising and cripplingly expensive. The futility of the process frustrated me as relations with my ex-husband got worse and I continued to pay out thousands of pounds a month to lawyers whilst seemingly achieving very little. It seemed to me that I could offer my coaching skills to others going through divorce. Undeniably, divorce is one of life’s most difficult challenges but given the right support and guidance, it can be faster, less painful and less expensive.

When did you set it up and how successful has it been so far?

Whilst I have been coaching for a number of years, Reset is a relatively new venture. Divorce coaching is huge in other parts of the world, particularly in the US where it is now considered invaluable and an integral part of the process. The initial response to Reset has been very positive. As well as direct clients, I work with a number of family law practices who see the benefit to their clients of this service. Customer feedback has been incredibly positive and I am now starting to get referrals from previous clients which is, of course, the ultimate compliment.

What are the benefits of using a divorce coach?

Divorce coaching helps my clients to positively survive divorce. By providing practical, pragmatic support and guidance, clients are able to keep sight of what they and their family need to achieve. Coaching is unbiased and nonjudgemental; it provides a safe space for clients to explore their options and understand what they want to do and what is the least destructive way of getting there. Primarily, Reset can help my clients achieve a less expensive, faster and less emotionally painful divorce.

How difficult was it setting up the business?

Setting it up was not difficult. Having an idea and getting a website live, is in many ways the easy bit. For me, marketing the product and selling my services has been more challenging and these are new skills that I have had to develop. It was important to know my strengths and to use my network 16

of contacts to help me learn new skills. To help with this, I set up a business buddies group with local small business owners; this has been invaluable in terms of sharing skills and knowledge as well as offering support and being held accountable.

How do you juggle work and family life?

As a single parent of three daughters, this can be challenging but I have an amazing support network of family and friends and I’m also fortunate that I can largely manage my diary around family commitments. Additionally, as my children spend some weekends with their dad, I can use that time to run weekend clinics, which my clients have found really helpful.

What advice do you have for other women setting up a business?

Running your own business is exhilarating and terrifying in equal measure. You have to stay focussed on your goal and not let the terrifying aspects knock you off course. If you have an idea that you believe will be profitable and you’ve done your market research, then be confident and commit to your goal. Every successful business started with somebody somewhere having an idea – that could be you! More practically, I would say it’s essential to use your network. The fantastic thing about women is that we are enormously supportive of each other. If you are not good with accounts, I bet you’ll have a friend who is, so ask for help.

Do you have plans to develop the business?

Yes, absolutely. A regular blog on all issues divorce related is in the pipeline and I’m also looking at establishing a regular weekend retreat for those going through divorce which will offer rapid transformation therapy and be hugely positive and future focussed. www.resetdivorcecoaching.co.uk K U D O S J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0


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Mental health: When children suffer Children and young people can suffer from mental health issues as much as adults, so be aware of the signs and be prepared to help

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Children’s Mental Health Week from 3rd-9th February was set up by children’s mental health charity Place2Be, and shines a spotlight on the importance of children and young people’s mental health. Although we may think stress and depression are more commonly felt by adults, for children and teenagers there are many aspects of modern life that can lead them to feel stressed, anxious and worried, from peer pressure to academic expectations. The wellbeing experts at CABA reveal some of the common triggers and offer their tips on how to support a child who is experiencing stress.

counselling sessions on exam stress during 2016-2017, which is an 11 per cent increase on the previous two years. Those aged 12-15 were most likely to be asking for help about exam stress, with the top concerns centering around not wanting to disappoint their parents, fear of failure and general pressures linked to academic achievement. As a result, young people contacting Childline said exam stress can not only lead to depression but also anxiety, panic attacks and feelings of low selfesteem.

Six common triggers and how to help

Most adults think of their childhood as the happiest time of their life. But we forget too quickly that being a child – even as young as one – can be stressful. Stress, of course, can have a direct effect on mood, which may explain why many experts believe it can lead to depression. So, is it any surprise that studies show almost one in four young people will experience depression before they’re 19 years old?

3. Making friends and peer pressure When children start a new school, making friends can put them under pressure. Those who don’t make friends easily may also feel isolated. Children can also worry when they argue and fall out with their friends. Additionally, making friends can be difficult and as such, many children feel under pressure to fit in – and sometimes, this means they do things they may not feel comfortable with or are unsure of.

1. School and homework Many children feel under pressure to do well at school. And for some, all the lessons they have to learn during the day – plus the homework they have to do in the evening – can seem overwhelming, and if a child falls behind, this can lead to stress. It can often mean they don’t have enough free time to play or do other fun activities.

4. Bullying During 2016/2017 there were more than 24,000 Childline counselling sessions with children about bullying. And according to the NSPCC, studies suggest more than 16,000 young people are absent from school due to bullying. As a parent, there are certain things you can look out for that may suggest your child is having a problem with bullying. These include:

2. Exams Exams can put children and teenagers under pressure, so much so that a recent report by Childline revealed the service delivered more than 3,000

• Becoming withdrawn, nervous and losing confidence • Performing badly at school • Not wanting to go to school (for instance, pretending to be ill)

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• Losing personal belongings (or personal belongings becoming damaged) • Not eating or sleeping well • Having unexplained injuries such as bruises 5. World events It’s impossible to keep disturbing news about things like war, natural disasters and terrorist atrocities from children these days. As a result, some children may worry about their safety as well as that of their parents, family members and friends. 6. Family difficulties or changes From moving to a new house to parents separating, family difficulties and changes to the norm can be tough on a child or teenager and can cause signs of stress. How you can help… If you suspect your child is under a lot of stress, here are some of the things you can do to help:

Make time for them

All parents are busy these days, but it’s important to spend more time than usual with your children if you think they’re worried about something. Make yourself available for fun activities or just being in the same room as them. Ask them about their day and show an interest in things that are important to them. But try to avoid forcing them to talk about their worries – they’ll open up when they feel comfortable talking about them.

Encourage healthy sleep

Getting the right amount of sleep and rest can help children become more resilient to stress. Children need different amounts of sleep at different ages – find out how many hours your children need by visiting NHS Choices.

Feed them healthy food

Good nutrition is also essential if you want to boost your child’s coping skills. Try to make sure they’re eating at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day. If your children are resistant to eating fruit and veg, there are lots of ways to get them into their diet. Visit www.nhs.uk/live-well/ eat-well/5-a-day-and-your-family for tips.

Make stress normal

It may be useful to remind your children that some level of stress is perfectly normal in life, and that everyone is affected by it and has to find ways of coping. Explaining that it’s okay to feel what they’re feeling could give them the confidence they need to manage their stress levels. If it helps, try talking about times when you’ve been stressed, and explain how you tackled it.

Keep them active

Physical activity can help children and adults alike manage stress, so make sure your children are getting plenty of exercise. Other things you could try with them include relaxation techniques and even things like breathing exercises. Also try leading by example – if you use these methods to manage your own stress levels, your children are more likely to follow in your footsteps. Meanwhile, if you think your child may be depressed, don’t try to handle it on your own – make an appointment for them to see their GP. Your child’s doctor can refer them to your local child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) for specialist help. These services can provide access to a team of experts, including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses, support workers, occupational therapists and psychological therapists. For more mental and physical wellbeing advice and tips, visit www.caba.org.uk/help-and-guides www.childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk

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Chill out Could CoolSculpting be the non-surgical answer to shifting stubborn fat? Tunbridge Wells cosmetic surgery clinic Bella Vou explains the procedure – and shows the results If you’re considering cosmetic surgery, then you want to be confident about the clinic you choose. Bella Vou, based at the Pantiles Clinic in Tunbridge Wells, is the only cosmetic surgery clinic in the South East to be awarded an Outstanding rating by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), and also featured in the BBC series Plastic Surgery Undressed. Here, Bella Vou explains the benefits of CoolSculpting, an alternative to liposuction.

What are the benefits of the treatment?

If you have tried everything to shift stubborn fat and yet still haven’t achieved your desired results, CoolSculpting is a non-invasive fat reduction procedure that involves no anesthesia, needles, or incisions. This is a non-surgical alternative to liposuction. The CoolSculpting fat-reduction procedure is specially designed for those who have unwanted fat in targeted areas. Good candidates for the procedure have noticeable bulges in the submental area (under the chin), thigh, abdomen and flank (love handles), along with bra fat, back fat, underneath the buttocks (also known as banana roll), and upper arm. At your initial consultation, our doctors will create a customised treatment plan that’s tailored to your body and your individual goals. CoolSculpting is not a weight-loss procedure and should not replace a healthy diet and active lifestyle.

How is the treatment carried out?

CoolSculpting cools fat cells to the precise temperature at which they crystalise and die (a process known as apoptosis). The skin and surrounding tissue is unaffected. Your body then naturally metabolises these cells, before removing them through an inflammatory clearing process. During treatment, your practitioner will place an applicator on the desired area. Controlled cooling then targets these fat cells, while preserving the skin and surrounding tissues. It’s common to experience some feelings of pulling and pinching during the process, but overall the procedure involves minimal pain. The provider typically will massage the treated areas immediately after treatment to breakup any frozen deep tissue. This will help your body begin to absorb the destroyed fat cells. Some people complain that this massage is slightly uncomfortable. After treatment, the body naturally processes and removes the fat cells. Once the treated fat cells are gone, they’re gone for good.

Above left, before, and above, right, three months after a second CoolSculpting session. The patient received five treatment cycles at each of the two treatment sessions using the CoolCore and CoolMax applicators. Images courtesy of Allergan.

Above left, before, and above, right, 12 weeks after second CoolSculpting session. The patient received one treatment cycle at each of the two treatment visits, which occurred six weeks apart, using the CoolMini applicator.

Above left, before, and above, right, 27 weeks after second CoolSculpting session. The patient received 12 cycles of treatment over two treatment visits using the CoolCurve, CoolCore and CoolFit applicators.

How long does the treatment take?

The length of your CoolSculpting treatment will vary depending on the number of areas being treated during one visit. The latest technology of CoolSculpting at Bella Vou can treat a patient within 35 minutes per area. Our doctors and practitioners will explain the process and establish if this is a suitable option for you.

What is the recovery time?

There is little to no recovery time after a CoolSculpting procedure. Most people are approved to resume normal day-to-day activity immediately. In some cases, some minor redness or soreness may occur in the area treated, but all minor side effects typically subside within a few weeks.

How many sessions are needed?

It depends. Some people need several treatments before they get the results they are after. Others might see the results they wanted with just a single treatment. 20

Above left, before, and above, right, seven weeks after fourth CoolSculpting session. Patient received 12 cycles of treatment over four treatment sessions using the CoolCurve, CoolCore and CoolFit applicators. For your free consultation call 01892 257357 or email hello@bellavou.co.uk www.bellavou.co.uk K U D O S J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0


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Heads up!

Top local head teachers give their views

In May last year, for the second time in 2019, more than 1.5 million young people in more than 125 countries walked out of schools, colleges and universities in the biggest day of global climate action ever. Children are grasping the severity of the climate crisis better than adults in power. How does your school educate and inform on climate change?

Craig Austen-White, Director of Studies

Battle Abbey School, Bexhill and Battle Independent co-educational day and boarding school for boys and girls aged 3 months-18 We include environmental impact in a number of curriculum subjects, perhaps most notably Geography and Science. Our HALO extra-curricular club plant trees annually and we do all we can to keep environmental issues very much in the forefront of pupils thoughts. We have two very enterprising Key Stage 3 pupils whose idea for making jewellery from beach plastics led to a school-wide drive to collect bottle caps. Other pupil- and staff-led initiatives include all our paper shredding going to a local stable as horse bedding, our food waste going to a local farm and a recent pupil-led book recycling scheme sees our older books going to help local children. Much of the school’s lighting is now triggered by movement so as to be more energy efficient. All light fittings are now LED. Both our recentlydeveloped Sixth Form Centre and brand-new purpose-built Nursery have the highest ratings for heat retention and efficiency. Our Sixth Form Centre features underfloor heating and state-of-the-art insulation which maintains a constant temperature ensuring low energy consumption. We recycle all our rubbish, and over half our bins are allocated to recycle paper, card and plastics. Being a stone’s throw from the coast, our pupils are particularly focused on the beach and sea. Our Prep and Senior Schools have both been involved in regular beach cleans in the last academic year and our Forest School helps manage our woodland environments. Our Textiles Department often works with reclaimed materials and we ran a sustainable fashion competition for all schools in the area in July, with children in Years 5-13 invited to apply. The competition invited young designers to re-invent, upcycle or create from scratch, garments, accessories or whole outfits from thrown-away materials. We have a duty to ensure that all our pupils realise that not everyone in the world is as lucky as them. We have developed a modern, holistic curriculum that equips students to thrive in the globalised world we live in. This ranges from discrete lessons in subject areas such as Geography to links with partner schools in Sierra Leone. 22

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Craig McCarthy, Headmaster

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

Like music, art and mathematics, learning about the world’s climate and our impact upon it is a universal theme, forcing us all who work in education and beyond to reflect upon who we are as a species. As a school, what we are not is about fuelling ‘eco-anxiety’. Pupils in our school understand that they cannot change the world by themselves. However, being in school they can learn and be inspired to become the next generation of informed policy makers. To that end we strive to provide experience of high-quality Science, Maths and Humanities lessons so that our children understand their time and place in the world, together with the fundamental science behind the complex chemistry of the biosphere. In English, Drama and Children’s Philosophy, our pupils learn to think, to question and to express their opinions clearly and with conviction but without excessive emotion. At Russell House, we have measured our carbon footprint and are working on a programme to reduce it. Next to our outdoor classroom, we are soon to open our sustainable space with home-grown vegetables, free-range chickens and a raised pond enhancing the learning experience. Children measure and interpret key environmental factors, charting trends in the data and assessing their role. The pupil-led School Council and Eco Committee’s work to improve our sustainability, influencing their peers and the school management, continues our journey towards carbon neutrality. It is presumptive arrogance that has humans acting as if we own the planet. On geological timescales it is clear that we are only borrowing it until our time is over. However, I am immensely encouraged by our pupils’ and the younger generation’s awareness of the climate crisis and the behavioural changes that are needed, not to mention giant strides being made in science and technological innovation. Russell House remains optimistic.

Joff Powis, Headmaster

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

Here at Vinehall we are lucky enough to be surrounded by exceptionally beautiful grounds which are a daily reminder of the wonder of our planet. As a school we focus on the ways we can improve our own immediate environment, as well as the global environment. Our children are at the very centre of environmental awareness and eco projects at Vinehall. As 1.5 million students walked out of their schools last summer, our pupils in fact walked up onto the stage in order to present their views and actions to their peers. The environment is part of the school curriculum in Geography, Science and Life Skills. We also have an Eco Committee, which concentrates on reducing waste and energy usage in the school, and there are recycling points at various strategic points around the school. We have recently banned all single-use plastic bottles, and the children met with the catering department to express their concerns regarding the use of individually-portioned butter, jams and so on. As a result, this was immediately changed. The staff at our Eco meetings are impressed by the abundance of thoughtful ideas expressed by our children and the passion behind their views. We have two of their visions already well into the planning stage. The first is our ‘Feed the Fish’ project; this will involve a large chicken wire fish into which we will stuff all our plastic packaging to make a thought-provoking piece of art. The second project will see ‘Ecobrick Plots’ consisting of raised beds with stuffed plastic bottle walls, filled with rich soil from composted kitchen waste. And the children didn’t stop there, as their eco-gardens will apparently lead out into an orchard and wild flower meadow to feed our school bee hives. In our Pre-Prep, we regularly discuss the environment, too, and how we all have a responsibility to ‘do our bit’. Even our Kindergarten children get involved by taking things to the recycling points, and in December we built a Christmas igloo out of plastic milk bottles. Of course, junk modelling is one of the most enjoyable ways to recycle unwanted packaging and receptacles! We are aware that there is still much to do, but there is passion and enthusiasm amongst both staff and children to develop a sustainable future within our school and in the wider community. K U D O S J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0

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Emma Neville, Headmistress

Rose Hill School, Tunbridge Wells Co-educational preparatory school for boys and girls aged 3-13 Rose Hill School has always been mindful of this hot topic and for many years this has been woven into the fabric of our curriculum and culture. Rose Hill School’s Eco Committee empowers pupils to lead change within our community. The Eco Committee is made up of pupils of all ages and we positively encourage pupils to develop their knowledge and understanding of environmental issues. Members of the committee also get the chance to develop their leadership and teambuilding skills, therefore improving well-being and behaviour. The Eco Committee has put forward a number of initiatives to the school, which have included small and large changes in the way we need to make a positive effect in reducing our environmental impact. One of the greatest environmental concerns Rose Hill School has been tackling is plastic, especially single-use plastic. We have asked our community to watch the film by Olympian Hannah Mills and agree to sign up to the Big Plastic Pledge in the hope that we have a united approach and then influence our friends and families. As a school we now consume less water and energy and produce less waste – in turn saving money that can be allocated elsewhere in the school – essentially for the benefit of future generations.

Andrew Webster, Headmaster

The Mead School, Tunbridge Wells Co-educational preparatory school for boys and girls aged 3-11 Recently, The Mead successfully renewed its status as a ‘Green Flag’ school. This was a significant undertaking and required a great deal of preparation from our pupil-led eco-council. The team had to produce an environmental review which outlined all of their achievements this year and set out a development plan moving forward. Successful initiatives to date include a reorganisation of our recycling programme, a walking to school competition, a promotion of ‘Switch Off Sunday’, a drive to reduce idling in the car park, a reduction of plastic and disposable items in the dining hall, a food composting system, and talks on waste management from South East Water and Bakey’s Plastics, a local company and producers of edible and biodegradable cutlery and plates. In addition, since September, we have been developing a new Geography and Science curriculum built around the UN’s sustainability goals. As a result, the children have been involved in real-world projects such as an investigation into technologies that can combat flooding in vulnerable corners of the globe and a design challenge to build a model of a floodresistant house of the future. We’re proud that our Heads of Geography and Science qualified as the first UN sustainability ambassadors in Tunbridge Wells. The next major project set for the spring is to develop our newly-acquired school allotment and plant in time for a bumper crop later in the year, thereby allowing our children to acquire a greater connection with and understanding of the natural world around them and the impact each of them can have upon it. Perhaps the aspect of all of the above we’re most proud of is how driven it’s been by our children. It’s inspiring to see them take ownership of their futures and bluntly refusing to accept any adult apathy in their mission to protect their planet. 24

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Viewpoint Local schools have their say

How pupils’ well-being is key at Rose Hill School Imogen Scarbrough, Head of Pastoral Care & Upper School

Pupil well-being is the prime concern of each member of the Rose Hill School community. Staff fully appreciate that the positive connections they make with pupils are based on mutual respect and the appreciation and value given to recognising and promoting everybody’s individual strength. We are lucky enough to have our school dog, Frank, who, alongside our therapy dog Benson, boosts the confidence and well-being of many of our pupils. The children can often be seen laughing when he arrives, and the opportunity for a little wave or a stroke can really enhance their day. We offer a vast range of clubs and activities before, during and after school. These are chosen to provide as many opportunities to excite and interest our pupils as possible, and this extensive co-curricular programme is closely monitored to ensure that there is something for everyone to choose from. The choice of activities changes termly and allows children to try new activities they may never have experienced or to practise skills they enjoy. Despite the opportunities to join in a club we recognise that playtimes can still be challenging for some children. For this reason we have buddy benches and our Friendships stops to try to ensure that everyone is having a happy playtime. We also have a group of pupils who are our PALs (Playground Assistant Leaders). They initiate a game and invite anyone to join in the fun. We strive to provide an environment where praise and reward are actively promoted. Younger children receive stickers and stars and older children are rewarded with House points. Particular academic or personal efforts and achievements are recognised with congratulatory postcards being sent home and all achievements are celebrated in assemblies. Through a whole-school approach, all our pupils strive to develop their growth mind set. We have adopted our 5 keys to success: persistence, 26

organisation, resilience, getting along and confidence. These are all held together with their keyring of integrity. These vital life skills are also inherent in our school aims. In the PrePrep children learn and talk about 5 different characters who embody our 5 keys to success so that they are aware of and can endeavour to focus on these challenging concepts. As they progress through the Prep School pupils are rewarded with a key when each of those attributes is demonstrated. We place a great deal of importance on boosting the self-confidence and self-esteem of our pupils, especially those in Year 7 & 8. This prepares them for their transition into secondary school. They each receive an individualised leadership role which promotes their particular strengths. At the beginning and end of each academic year the pupils from Year 2 to Year 8 are asked to complete an online survey called PASS (Pupils Attitude to School Survey). This enables the pupils to freely express their thoughts and feelings about school, their teachers and lessons and their learning. Any pupils who have concerns about any aspect of school life can then be supported with a wide range of strategies. Frequently, the form tutor is the first adult they choose to talk to about any concerns they may have and form time is a crucial element of our timetable. We recognise the importance of building this vital relationship. In addition to this, pupils can go along to our drop-in sessions where specific staff are available to listen and chat to informally at certain times of the week. Some of our pupils are offered the opportunity to have an active listener which is a 1:1 session with a designated member of staff. Other pupils prefer to chat to their own age group so they are invited to have a peer mentor. Being able to offer a range of strategies enables us to support our pupils in the most effective way for each individual. K U D O S J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0


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The chance to dream in Nepal… and Kent Education has the power to make dreams come true. It opens up new horizons of opportunity, enabling children to strike a path to a future they imagine and wish for. That’s why a new project at Russell House is so exciting

One of the privileges of working in a family school like Russell House is seeing children flourish, growing in confidence and independence. We see first-hand how education shapes and changes lives. How amazing then, to be able to bring that opportunity to children in Nepal and to share experiences between our two schools. Our community at Russell House is funding a new school in Ishma, a rural village of about 1,600 inhabitants located in the foothills of the Himalayas. It will provide education to around 200 children in the village, where before there was nothing. The thrill that rippled through our school hall when we launched the project was unmistakable. Our partner charity, United World Schools, described the country – its beauty, mountains and treacherous roads – and why it’s difficult for some children to access an education there. Most exciting were photos from Ishma, where the foundations for our school were already under way. Pupils were introduced to Surya from Nepal who described how, as a child, he got up at four in the morning to take the goats to the field and collect water before heading down into the valley to school, which started at 10am. Sometimes he never made it, more attracted by fishing in the river than completing the journey to school. “I was one of the children who walked three hours to school,” he explained. “My mother believed education was important. She wanted me to learn to read, write and count – and therefore to dream. She dragged me to school and left me there. Even then, sometimes I climbed out of the window at the back and went home! Then my mother heard about studying in the capital, Katmandu. I walked 28 hours to take an exam allowing me to study there and that is the reason I am here with you today.” Surya recently met with the community of Ishma who were really keen for a school to be built in their village. Most of the villagers are involved in agriculture and their homes are typically without running water and have little electricity. Their children currently do not have a school they can go to. Many of the adults didn’t go to school, but they know how important it is. With our support, the community started building the foundations in the lush green valley as soon as the rains had passed in September. By the time you read this article, the school will be open and, for the first time, around 200 children in the village will be going to school, learning to read, write and count, enjoying art and science, Nepali, English and maths lessons and starting to dream. It is a life-changing project for the local community. We think that our involvement will be a life-changing experience for our children, too, here in Kent. The learning opportunities are as exciting as they are varied. It is a project in global citizenship, opening our children’s eyes to other people’s lives in a way they can relate to. Before Surya left us, our children drew pictures to welcome the new pupils to their school and recorded a welcome video: “Hello, we are Russell House. Good luck! Hope you have a good day at school – and don’t climb out the window!” Funny, exciting and tangible. This is the start of a project that will enrich many lives. K U D O S J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0

Russell House pupils during the recording of a video to welcome children to their new school in Ishma

In the verdant valley, lush and green following the monsoon rains, foundations for the new school building are well underway

Russell House children drew pictures of themselves to say hello to the new pupils of Ishma

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Part of the furniture Vinehall School’s new Deputy Head, Dom Britt

As I packed up the last few things in my house on 29th August 2019, the realisation that we, as a family, were moving away from the surroundings that had been so familiar and secure for a decade suddenly dawned on me. This was it and, though I think I just about managed not to appear panicked, I was certainly preoccupied with what could be on the horizon and whether the right decision had been made. It made me realise that, however much reasoned discussion one has about anything and whatever exciting things might have been awaiting us at Vinehall, any change is daunting. Fast forward a few months and life in East Sussex has become the norm. Busy days with talented colleagues and eager children have taken over and the exuberance of young (and old) that is palpable in every corner of the grounds has a familiar air to it, as though I’ve been here for years. It got me thinking as to how this had all happened so naturally and why I didn’t feel like the new boy any more. At Vinehall, a lot of emphasis is put on instilling in the children the confidence to operate successfully in life by using a set of dispositions. Pupils are encouraged to be inquisitive, collaborative, resilient, reflective and courageous in everything they do and this system begins right at the start of their time with us here. My twoyear-old daughter knows all about ‘Terry,’ our resilient tortoise (in puppet form!) and how he works hard at things, whatever life throws at him. It is often said that, as teachers, we are readying the children in our care for a world that will look very different. In endeavouring to instil in our charges a sense of purpose via these dispositions, we are preparing them for the challenges they will face and it is a system that I have come to grow very fond of in a short space of time. As a result, the children here are full of confidence and love to overcome challenges. It occurred to me that it must then, surely, be this innovative outlook that made me feel so at ease? However, the more I thought about it and, despite the obvious value that such skills afford individuals, it was still hard to pinpoint how any one of these, or even a combination of them, could have impacted on me enough to feel as at home as I did. As everyone knows, if you want the answer to anything in a school, you should probably ask the children. So, in a bid to understand, I headed to the Pre-Prep. It was listening to a young lady called Florence in Kindergarten talking about her friends when I realised I probably should have worked the answer out for myself all along. She explained that her friends had helped her to build towers and how kind that had been and how it had made her feel happy. I realised that is exactly what my own experience had been about. In everything I had done since my arrival, there had always been a helping hand (ranging from the very small to adult-sized) to point me in the right direction and, whilst I had not yet had an opportunity to play with the Lego in Pre-Prep, I felt sure that there would be many willing helpers to aid me in constructing a tower or two as well. The school’s motto is Pro aliis optimum agere (to do our best for the benefit of others); such benevolent sentiment today conjures up images of grand charitable acts for those less fortunate than ourselves. These gestures are absolutely of the utmost importance and the school engages in such activities throughout the year. However, it was the day-to-day embodiment of this motto that I’d looked beyond without realising. In a rapidly-changing, fast-paced world, it is always a great comfort to know that someone has got your back. It is, it goes without saying, an even greater comfort to know that an entire community is looking out for you and making sure you don’t do anything stupid (particularly in your first term!) 28

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Out of the box Angela Culley, Vice President Independent Schools Association (ISA) and Foundation Governor at Rusthall St Paul’s CofE Primary School

At the time of writing, the world of children is full of secrets – the anticipation of Christmas is magical. The thrill of wrapped presents, surprise outings, treats, community and family sharing, the joy of giving as well as receiving. Schools move away from timetables and into a different realm. We discover, recognise, understand and appreciate different ‘sides’ to the children and they of us, which in itself is both thought provoking and positive. Whilst fully acknowledging, and in truth, loving working to a wellconstructed timetable which celebrates a rich and broad curriculum encapsulating the rhythm of school life and by which we all feel safe and secure, I know it is the ‘Out of the Box’ moments and experiences which will be remembered and cherished. These bring a zest, excitement and reality to learning, from which future learning is naturally extended and broadened. Life is a tapestry – full of colour, beauty and meaning on the front but tangles and knots on the hidden back. It is, however, these very tangles and knots which create the seen beauty; without them the picture would not work. It is during the ‘Out of the Box’ moments that children, and us, learn to face up to adversity and challenges, become more creative whilst digging deep to discover hidden reserves of persistence, determination, resilience and confidence. Relationships are built and respected. The final moment of unexpected triumph and achievement can only be described as euphoric – full of awe and wonder. Did I really do that? Is that mine? Every school should be able to cite their own ‘Out of the Box’ experiences. At Rusthall St Paul’s the termly ‘Learn a New Skill Day’ is greatly anticipated by all. The curriculum and school uniform are firmly put inside a box and 30

firmly shut! The range of workshops on offer is enormous; parents, grandparents, governors, volunteers and staff descend on the school to share their personal interests, passions and skills. This term all the adults were served tea by the Life Skills group who also cooked and served healthy soup, learned to hammer a straight nail and practised elementary first aid in order to deal with the inevitable mishaps! Other groups tried new and different sports, baking, music and movement, art, sewing, outdoor skills. Everyone took their new skills back into the classroom the next day when the timetable and curriculum were released from their box! May 2020 extend all our thinking and experiences and open some very interesting and unexpected boxes! K U D O S J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0


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In the spotlight Quickfire questions for Mike Piercy, Headmaster, The New Beacon in Sevenoaks When I was a child I wanted to…

Join the navy! My father was in the navy in the Second World War and, although he never spoke much of his experiences, it seemed like an interesting, exciting life. I often talk to the children about ‘disappointment’ as opposed to ‘failure’ – something I have written about previously in Kudos. My ambitions to join the navy were scotched for two reasons. Firstly, while I am interested in science, engineering and technology, my brain lacks sufficient scientific brain cells to pursue the interest academically. It followed, therefore, that I should aim to be a deck officer. Aged 11, sitting at the back of the classroom, it transpired that the blackboard was a blur and glasses soon followed. That put paid to my ambition!

What’s my guilty secret?

The double bass. I was much involved in music in my school days, singing in choirs, playing the piano (badly!) and then taking up the double bass. It is a wonderful instrument – if somewhat cumbersome and inconvenient. For that reason I stopped playing after leaving school. A few years ago my father-in-law, a double bass player himself, had his old instrument converted for a left-hand player and generously gave it to me for a significant birthday. My guilty secret: I don’t practice or play it enough. The boys (a boys’ school!), who themselves practise their instruments regularly and without nag, gently tease me about it!

What’s my pet hate?

Just over a year ago at Prizegiving, I reflected in my speech about a number of the many things which had changed in 20 years of Headship. Some are very obvious: the exponential rise of technology and, as a consequence, social media; the immediacy of communication; news and fake news. The world is getting faster and faster. Above all – and this is my pet hate – a sense of ‘entitlement’ seems to be pervading society. Children in independent schools are incredibly fortunate – and many receive financial support to enable them to attend schools such as The New Beacon. We remind the boys of this, often; of their contribution to society and never to take it for granted.

A piece of wisdom to pass on to a child

How long have I got and must I stick only to one thing? Two great pieces of advice in literature: If by Rudyard Kipling and Polonius to his son Laertes who is leaving for France. My own piece of wisdom to children: be kind! K U D O S J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0

Where do you see the future of education heading?

We are in a bit of a mess, aren’t we? Recession, austerity, Brexit, along with an ageing population, bring a funding crisis for whichever government – probably most keenly felt in the NHS and education. Class sizes are growing and financial pressures on the independent sector of education will inevitably result in more pupils joining maintained schools. My solution would be a voucher, token or tax break to the equivalent amount the government funds for a pupil. This would increase choice for parents while also reducing class sizes. Schools of every type and shape, independent and maintained, should work together for the future of our country: we’re all trying to do the same thing! 31


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In the spotlight Quickfire questions for Matt McKinnon, Director of Sport at Vinehall School Sum up your own school days in five words Rewarding, fun, challenging, enjoyable and memorable.

Which teacher most inspired you in your school days?

There was not one single teacher, but a couple. I was very lucky to have grown up on a school site very similar to that of Vinehall. There was a fantastic community feel, where the teachers were friendly and approachable. Nothing was ever too much trouble and they would always go that extra mile, from help with work to throwing balls at me in the cricket nets.

The piece of wisdom you would pass on to a child?

Play to the whistle! I would be a rich man if I received a £1 for every time pupils stop playing when something happens and the whistle has not gone. Advantage is a marvelous thing!

What is the ethos of your school?

The term ‘sports for all’ gets banded around a lot; however, this is our ethos at Vinehall. The sports department plays a huge part in everyday life for every pupil. We provide a sports programme that is very much based around inclusivity, enjoyment and performance. We provide a broad and varied sporting experience for all the boys and girls. Our programme starts in the Pre-Prep where from Nursery through to Year 2 they take part in weekly PE, Gymnastics and Swimming lessons, all taught by specialist teachers. The Prep school is no different, with every pupil given the chance to represent the school from Year 3-8 in friendly, competitive matches against local schools. The pupils are exposed to a variety of different sports in their PE and co-curricular lessons, allowing everyone to find a sport in which they enjoy participating. The more able athletes look to gain entry to their senior schools through the sports scholarship route, with many having gained success in recent years. This year is no different with seven pupils looking to gain entry in this manner. Vinehall also offers entry to the school through the scholarship route for children in Years 4-7 with our scholarship day taking place in early 2020. For more information on the sport, academic, music, art and drama scholarships available for September 2020 entry visit the Vinehall website, www.vinehallschool.com.

Why did you want to become a teacher?

I have always had an interest in sport. Having spent a gap year in a PE department with some amazing coaches, I knew I wanted to study teaching. There is no better job in the world; you get paid to wear trainers and tracky bottoms and spend the best part of the day outside. Result! 32

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In the spotlight Quickfire questions for Adrian Brindley, Head of PrePrep at Rose Hill School Sum up your own school days in five words Laughter, friendship, football, challenge and anxiety.

Which teacher most inspired you in your school days?

Mr Cartwright – a great teacher but more importantly someone who was adaptable to the people in front of him.

What makes you smile?

Children being sincere with others, and being with my family.

What frustrates you?

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

What’s your favourite book and why?

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

Laziness and those who show a lack of courtesy. The book I am currently reading is The Barcelona Way – How to Create a Winning Team. I am fascinated by motivation and group culture.

Continuing to be an example of excellent practice for all.

I was well taught but more importantly improved as a person.


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

In on the act Mayfield School celebrates re-launch of prestigious Caedmon Dramatic Society Last October saw the re-launch of Mayfield School’s prestigious Caedmon Dramatic Society that has nurtured and encouraged the talent of many famous names over the years, including Caroline Goodall (Schindler’s List; Hook; Cliffhanger; The Princess Diaries), Rosie Cavaliero ( Jane Eyre, Little Dorrit,Jam and Jerusalem), and Fenella Woolgar (Bright Young Things, Call the Midwife), on their journey to success on stage and screen. Caedmon was originally founded at Mayfield in 1933 when the girls chose and produced the plays themselves, and the greatly-anticipated first play that the newly-formed Caedmon performed was Jean Anouilh’s adaptation of Sophocles’ tragedy, Antigone. The re-launch party was attended by Caedmon members past and present including Mayfield’s talented Drama Scholars, Year 13s Olivia, Genevieve, and Megan (the new Head of Caedmon), and Year 12s Samantha and India who have a wealth of experience developed in school performances and external productions. Each girl achieved Distinction in their LAMDA Gold examination, with Samantha and India awarded perfect scores, an impressive accomplishment. These girls also achieved outstanding marks in their Drama GCSE and are currently studying A Level Drama and Theatre in combination with a broad range of other subjects, including Spanish, Economics, Politics, Maths, English and Psychology. During the event, the current Mayfield Scholars had the opportunity to engage with alumnae and were inspired by their varied experiences. Mayfield’s long tradition of dramatic excellence extends throughout the school, involving all age groups in staging plays, set design, costumes and makeup. The next whole-school production is Alan Parker’s classic musical Bugsy Malone, which is being held on the 12th and 13th February. Girls in Years 7 to 10 are currently auditioning for a promenade production of Alice in Wonderland, which will see the White Rabbit guiding the audience

around Mayfield’s historic grounds for different scenes of the play, in what will undoubtedly be a colourful and engaging performance this May. Head of Drama, Mrs Sally Gerstmeyer, commented: “I am absolutely thrilled to be bringing Caedmon back after all these years and it has a special place in the hearts of Mayfield girls past and present. We are all looking forward to watching the next generation take this prestigious society forward and making it their own.”

Result! 11+ increase for Rose Hill Rose Hill School pupils celebrated recently following a very successful year of 11+ results with nearly 90 per cent of children passing the Kent Test. The pass rate has risen from 72 per cent in 2018 to 88 per cent in 2019, a significant increase under the new leadership of Head Emma Neville and Deputy Head Philippa Lang-Daly. Emma Neville said: “I am delighted at the 2019 results; Rose Hill School pupils have continued to respond impressively to the changing demands of the Kent 11+ system. These results will offer our pupils a fantastic choice when it comes to selecting their future schools.” A significant proportion of pupils also achieved the highest scores in Maths, English and Reasoning following significant curriculum development since Philippa Lang-Daly’s appointment a year ago. She said: “Rose Hill staff are highly reflective and use evidence-informed teaching to improve outcomes for pupils year on year. Added breadth and a personalised approach means we are able to support and extend the individual talents and aspirations of all of our pupils.” 34

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Star turn Former Marlborough House pupil set for music stardom Marlborough House School is delighted that former pupil, 17-year-old singer-songwriter Elo Quitmann, recently performed two beautiful solos on KMTV’s Bassed in Kent and released her third single on Spotify, where she already has a strong following of fans. This is the latest achievement from a rising star, whose passion for music developed at a young age, within the thriving music department at Marlborough House. Singer-songwriter, piano player and guitarist, Elo first picked up a guitar aged 10 and soon began performing at school concerts under the guidance of Ms Day, Head of Music. Elo’s talents were subsequently recognised by Eastbourne College which offered her a Music Scholarship. Elo said: “Marlborough House gave me the confidence to express myself through music and ignited my enjoyment of performing to an audience.” Ms Day said: “Elo was always a delight to teach. She had a great sense of fun and really enjoyed music and singing. During school she was someone who worked hard and deserved her music scholarship to Eastbourne.” Ms Day claims that from Elo’s first performance it was clear she was in her element; “It was spine-tingling”. At Eastbourne College, Elo joined the singer-songwriting workshop run by professional music artist Tom Williams, which was a focus of an interview for BBC’s Music Day 2019. She has since written a number of songs available on Spotify and other music platforms, about family, relationships at school and teenage life. Her style has been shaped by an upbringing on a cocktail of Squeeze, Tracy Chapman, Lily Allen and Jake Bugg amongst others. Since her early days, Elo’s music has been described as “thoughtful, sincere, natural and from the heart”. Her songs all clearly depict the unique style she possesses, many of them resonating with people of her own age. Elo really comes to life on stage and regularly performs at The Grey Lady in Tunbridge Wells as well as local gigs and festivals, including the Woodland Festival 2019. So watch this space as Elo’s talents take off.

Riding high Marlborough House are South East Riding Champions! Over the last year, children from the Marlborough House Riding Team qualified for the NSEA South East Grass Roots Inter-School Championships, which the school team went on to win in the recent championship event at Sands Farm, Horsham. Kate Dipper, Marlborough House Riding Team Manager, said: “We were absolutely thrilled that our riders won the first competition of the day, the 40cm class, which was judged on performance and riding style, making them the South East Grass Roots Champions!” To add to the excitement, three of the team also qualified to compete individually and had great success, coming 1st, 5th and 7th. Having got off to a flying start, the school riding team finished on a high with a beautifully speedy round, to be placed 9th in the 60cm class. It was an especially busy weekend for the team; on the Saturday two more of their riders flew the flag for the school at the NSEA Inter-School Show Jumping at Petley Wood near Battle. Both boys jumped fantastic rounds, jumping clear in the 70cm class and just one pole down after a tight turn in the 90cm class. K U D O S J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0

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It’s a dog’s life New four-legged recruit at Spring Grove Spring Grove School has recently gained a new four-legged recruit, and the children have been very excited to welcome Acker, the SG dog, into the school community. The idea of having a school dog has long been discussed, but Acker was clearly the ideal candidate – calm and very used to having children around him (he belongs to a family with three girls, all pupils at Spring Grove). Nevertheless he underwent a range of stringent tests and assessments – all of which he passed with flying colours – before he was accepted for the role. Acker is now based in the school office, but spends time with the children in various settings around school, at playtime, and occasionally in the classroom. He is also a regular visitor to Spring Grove’s award-winning Forest School, where he loves joining in with the children’s exploration of the natural world around them in the woods near Wye. Many studies have shown that working with a dog improves children’s behaviour, social skills and self-esteem. It also helps to educate them about how to behave safely around animals, and how to take responsibility for another living being. As part of this learning strand, Jo Cullum-Fernandez from the Dogs Trust recently visited Spring Grove. Jo ran workshops for all the children from Year 1 upwards to encourage them to think about caring for dogs, how to be responsible dog owners and how to stay safe around dogs. Since Jo’s visit it has been noticeable that all the children are more aware around Acker, taking care to be calm and respectful in the way they approach him. Spring Grove believes that there is no better place to educate children on how to treat animals than the school environment – as well as Acker, they have school chickens, which are also cared for by the children. As Jo commented: “Our experiences with the Dogs Trust show that teaching compassion, care and respect towards animals can also enrich children’s lives in many other ways.” www.learnwithdogstrust.org.uk www.springgroveschool.co.uk

Top performing school Setting standards at Beacon Academy League Tables confirm Beacon Academy is the top-performing school in Sussex and one of the highest-achieving schools in the country, as confirmed by the Department for Education’s national league tables. Beacon Academy is the number one school in the county for the third year running under the headline Progress 8 measure, and in the top 1.8 per cent of all schools nationwide. Progress 8 is the Government’s main performance measure, and reflects the value that schools add to the progress of their students in respect of their final GCSE grades, compared to that of their peers of similar prior attainment across the country. The school’s 2019 published Progress 8 score is 0.97 which places it at the top of the table in East Sussex and in Sussex overall for the third year in a row. Headteacher Anna Robinson said: “As a non-selective, non-denominational, non-fee-paying school, we are incredibly proud and delighted to have received this confirmation of our high-ranking position of being in the top 1.8 per cent of schools nationally. We are also delighted to find ourselves in an esteemed group of 6 per cent of schools nationally who are now categorised as ‘well above average’ for the third year in a row. It is also phenomenal to think that there are approximately 25 schools nationally who have been above us for each of the last three years – 0.7 per cent of all schools. “As ever, this is a reflection of our vision and our determination to consistently provide the best possible education for all of our students, and to become an exceptional school for our community, both locally and nationally. “We are absolutely delighted for our students, our staff and the wider community to have sustained our exceptional outcomes. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate and acknowledge my Headteacher colleagues and their staff within the local area who have also achieved some absolutely stunning outcomes for their students. As a body of staff, we remain beyond proud of all of our students and what they have achieved and as ever, we would also like to thank our parents and carers for their immeasurable 36

support. For the third year running, this accolade is a reflection of an exceptional amount of hard work, dedication and resilience throughout the academic year. Together we have all ensured that our students were in a prime position to achieve the very best outcomes, regardless of their starting points, to support and enable them to fulfil their ambitions for their futures. “What our students have achieved via the progress and attainment that they have made will empower them to go and be successful in life, whether in education, employment or training, allowing them to stand shoulder to shoulder with their contemporaries, whether locally, nationally or globally in whatever area they choose to pursue and in doing so, we want them to be happy and successful. This is exactly what we want for all of our students at Beacon Academy.” K U D O S J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0


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Life skills Sport, money and ingenuity on the agenda for Rose Hill pupils Forty-five Rose Hill School pupils and staff recently travelled to Eindhoven in Holland for a football and hockey sports tour. During the trip the boys were lucky enough to train with Dutch Giants PSV Eindhoven, whilst the girls trained with the Dutch National Hockey Champions Oranje-Rood. An added bonus to the tour was that the group was accompanied by Roy of the Rovers author Tom Palmer, who is researching his new book. The trip was organised by Head of Sports Simon Hinchliffe and is the second time that Rose Hill School have taken pupils on such a trip. “The pupils had an amazing trip and have been put through their paces by brilliant coaches. The tour is not about winning but the opportunity to develop different sporting and social skills. The PSV team motto ‘together we are strong’ was the perfect takeaway for our pupils and is exactly the same message we promote in the sports department at Rose Hill School. Well done to everyone who came on the trip and worked so hard.” Finance was on the agenda when the school launched their HSBC SchoolBank in September 2018, one of many initiatives introduced since Imogen Scarbrough was appointed Head of Pastoral Care in September 2017. “The SchoolBank provides our Upper School pupils with key life skills such as commitment and responsibility as well as imparting the important message of saving,” says Imogen Scarbrough. Working with the local branch of HSBC, Year 7 & 8 pupils are given roles and responsibilities including Branch Manager, Marketing Manager, Customer Services Officer and Cashier. Year 7 and 8 pupils then help Rose Hill pupils in the Prep School open their own HSBC account. The Prep school pupils are encouraged to regularly save their money, however small an amount, which fosters a life-long skill of saving. Twenty-two pupils have opened accounts and deposited savings in the first year. The second year of the project got off to a successful start with the new team having applied for and been given their roles. Emma Neville, Head at Rose Hill, says, “I am hugely supportive of any scheme which helps educate students about the importance of saving money. I am really impressed how seriously our Upper School pupils have taken their responsibilities over the past year and I look forward to welcoming our new recruits.” The school also enjoyed an amazing week of activity focused on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) subjects, with the overarching theme of the week being the ingenuity of the human race. The week was co-ordinated by Richard Mansfield, Head of Science, and Barry Izzard, Head of Design Technology, who said: “These disciplines have a direct impact upon our daily lives. The modern world is driven by data and technology, it is imperative that we give our pupils the tools necessary not only to cope, but to excel in the ever-changing world we live in.” K U D O S J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0

Clockwise from top left: Group photo of the Rose Hill football team; the hockey team line up; the HSBC SchoolBank ‘staff’; pupils enjoying STEAM week

The week was jam-packed with activities including bridge building, a whole school pulley challenge, helicopter models, drone racing, and investigating famous inventors, with a circus skills session as the grand finale. The school also hosted the 21st Sir Humphry Davy lecture with a visiting speaker from University of Kent who spoke to a large audience of local schools about radioactivity and polymers. Emma Neville said: “The end results of a week like this are that pupils who take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, persist in problemsolving, embrace collaboration, and work through the creative process will become the innovators, educators, leaders, and learners of the future. STEAM week continues to be an important part of our curriculum.” 37


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Enjoying Today. Educating for Tomorrow Reflecting on the Pre-Senior Baccalaureate at Marlborough House Launched in September 2019, the Pre-Senior Baccalaureate (PSB) is Marlborough Houses’s exciting new framework for Years 7 & 8. Marlborough House is at the forefront of the PSB movement, sitting alongside just 30 other prep schools who have transitioned away from Common Entrance and towards a knowledge-rich, skills-orientated framework, built upon character and learning virtues, fit for the 21st century. Four months into PSB @ MHS, the school reflects on their inspiring new curriculum and the role it plays in stimulating and engaging pupils of all abilities. Why create a new Year 7 & 8 curriculum? The way senior schools select pupils has changed significantly over the last five years with the introduction of ISEB Pre-Testing. Common Entrance no longer serves as the entrance test to Independent Senior Schools. We consistently hear from senior school Headteachers that children leaving Prep schools lack independence, a thirst for learning and the skills to thrive in senior school and beyond. This has provided an opportunity to evaluate and modernise our academic curriculum, allowing our children the opportunity to rediscover their love of learning. Quotes from leading senior schools include: “We are delighted that you are considering introducing a curriculum which is more relevant in preparing students for their move to secondary school and we fully support this initiative.” Katy Ricks, Headmistress of Sevenoaks School. “At Tonbridge we have moved away from the requirement to pass CE to confirm entry and have done so, in large part, to allow schools such as Marlborough House to offer a programme of study which will better suit the needs of their pupils as they grow up in the 21st century.” Andrew Leale, Director of Admissions at Tonbridge School. “We certainly appreciate – indeed applaud – the desire to develop pupils’ broader learning and critical thinking skills, and appreciate that a move away from CE would provide the space for you to enable and cultivate that in a more meaningful way.” Alison Withers, Registrar, Brighton College. What is the PSB? The Pre-Senior Baccalaureate at Marlborough House School is a framework designed to highlight and develop the importance of skills in a modern, 21stcentury education. A wide variety of skills are developed and applied during the learning process; skills that will increase capabilities, competence and success in future personal and professional life. The PSB skills framework interacts with and underpins our approach to teaching and learning at MHS. Skills and virtues will be profiled in a Certificate of Achievement.

The new PSB @ MHS fuses our established character education programme with a refreshed, vibrant and modern take on a rigorous, engaging, enriching curriculum, developing the skills children will need to thrive as adults in the 21st century. This provides children with the foundational knowledge, the future skills, the self-belief and the sheer, unbridled joy of learning they deserve. This is ‘Enjoying Today. Educating For Tomorrow’, the aims of the new curriculum. We are developing an inspiring, challenging and flexible curriculum to stimulate and engage pupils of all abilities. We believe that children should be engaged in their learning and they should have frequent opportunities to explore topics and concepts that interest them. We know that it is the skills and virtues children develop and acquire, through their learning, which propel them through life. Our aim is that the 13 year olds who leave us will have acquired foundational knowledge in all the GCSE subjects, but more importantly, that they are equipped with independent learning skills, the ability to think critically and solve problems, to communicate effectively and to collaborate with others. We aspire to nurturing self-aware, confident and considerate young people ready to thrive within their senior schools and life beyond. Why PSB @ MHS? The PSB @ MHS is a wonderful opportunity to inspire, enrich and deepen learning in every aspect of school life. The buzz amongst teachers and children in our current Year 7, who’ve started their PSB @ MHS journey, is testament to this fresh and engaging approach to learning and skill development. The PSB will enable children to leave Marlborough House with a toolbox full of skills rather than just a briefcase of grades, fully preparing them for happiness, purpose and success in senior school, work and life.

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Garden notes

Tim Sykes of Gardenproud on jobs to do in January and February So, we are all refreshed from our Christmas break and full of plans for our “Roaring Twenties” garden! January and February are always a good time to plan and prepare your garden for the year ahead.

Here are a few jobs to put in your diary: •S  pike your lawn with a fork or aeriator and brush lawn sand into the holes •C  ut back the old leaves from your perennials and oriental grasses, but watch out for the new shoots •L  ook to split any established clumps of perennials to improve flowering • Clean up your tools in readiness for all that work in the spring • Plan and order your summer flowering bulbs • Plant shrub roses, and continue to plant shrubs and trees and fruit •C  ut back any overgrown hedges before they put out new growth and birds start establishing their nests For further information, or advice on garden planning please contact Tim Sykes at Gardenproud on 07725 173820


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All together now The solution to a small kitchen was an extension and a beautiful space, perfect for family life

Images copyright Ryan Wicks Photograph K U D O S J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0

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When Kate and Daniel Mason wanted a new kitchen, they went to six different companies before settling on Rencraft and designer Sarah Cooper. “Sarah was really good at listening to what we wanted and the one person who I felt really understood our family,” says Kate. “By the time I had spoken to all of the kitchen companies, I definitely had the experience of thinking, ‘I really don’t think you get this’. A lot of them were really into gadgets and although we have a steam oven and an induction hob, which we love, we didn’t need or want a super-whizzy kitchen. “To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure at the beginning what we wanted but the more I planned it with the different companies, the more I thought, ‘Yes, I do want that’ and, ‘No, I definitely don’t want this.’ What we have ended up with is a really flexible space which, when we clear the piles of kid clutter, looks amazing.” The Masons had lived in their house near Sevenoaks for a few years but the original kitchen was becoming too tiny for their growing family. The solution was an extension for a new kitchen. “We have four kids who are all quite young,” says Kate, “so we wanted a big, really flexible space where they could have their friends over, family could visit, and we’d have enough room for everyone. “When we designed the extension, we wanted lots of light, so we have windows and doors on two sides. But we wanted the kitchen to feel like a solid room rather than a glass house. “Rencraft were great throughout the process, but it has been the service afterwards that has most impressed me. For instance, I suddenly decided I needed another shelf in one of the cupboards and a week later I got it. They’ve been really helpful. “We had a party last night for about 30 friends and the extra space makes such a difference when entertaining. The kitchen is really well planned. We have a huge island where we had someone preparing everything, and there was still enough space around it for people to potter around, and canapés and drinks to circulate. It works really well for our family life. “We didn’t want any glass-fronted cupboards because we’re not a very tidy family. So last night when everyone arrived, it looked completely stunning, but actually behind the doors it’s a bit higgledy-piggledy because that’s how we live. “In my ideal world I would have had an AGA, however Sarah managed to design the area around the hob so I feel as if I’ve got my country kitchen. I love the huge island, it is such a big useable space. The stools fit under and there are half cupboards that you can’t tell are cupboards – Sarah has really maximised all of the storage space, which is very clever. And I love my larder cupboard. “The kids love the breakfast cupboard, which has a pull-out drawer with bowls and all the cereals above so they can easily help themselves. They’re all things that make it easier to tidy. “I think we’ve ended up with a kitchen that will work for decades if we need it to. We would totally 100 per cent recommend Rencraft – I’ve already told my parents, who are currently having an extension built, that I couldn’t recommend Rencraft highly enough. We are really happy with our kitchen. It’s where we all live.” Sarah Cooper’s brief from the Masons was to design a large, familyorientated kitchen with space for everyone to spend quality time together. They wanted a classic design with traditional elements. Says Sarah: “I designed the kitchen with a nod towards more traditional features, such as the mantel shelf on the chimney breast, in order to help smooth the transition between the original period property and the new extension. The chimney breast is the feature in this kitchen. It gives it a traditional feel with the practicality of still having ovens at eye level. The island works well, with seating for four children and a large amount of workspace not only to prep but also to serve up.” Challenges came in the form of the large amount of windows and minimal space for wall units. “But by making the wall units a reduced depth, they sit between the windows without looking too heavy and bulky,” explains Sarah. She is particularly proud of the breakfast cupboard which is a double unit with an internal drawer at the base for cereal bowls and a shelf above for the cereals, all within easy reach, and the hidden storage on push catches under the overhang for the children’s games, craft things, and bits 42

and pieces. Other note-worthy features are the brass handles (bang on trend) and the oak spice racks to help maximise storage. As an added bonus, the kitchen was instrumental in getting Rencraft, who hand-make all their kitchens in their workshop just outside Sevenoaks, shortlisted as finalists in the Best Bespoke Kitchen Maker category at the EK&B Business Awards in December. Said Sarah: “I felt extremely proud that we were nominated, especially as this was a project I particularly liked working on.” K U D O S J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0


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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. www.rencraft.co.uk

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Scandi cool Timeless, natural and pared back, Scandinavian-inspired interiors never go out of fashion. Clean lines with understated elegance and warm functionality create a homely feel – the epitome of hygge

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Clockwise from top left: Darlings Of Chelsea Richmond grand split four-seater leather sofa with scrolled arms, £2,300 www.darlingsofchelsea.co.uk; Cove back-to-wall bath with beautiful curves by Waters Baths of Ashbourne, £1,695 www.watersbaths.co.uk; Cuckooland Discovery 1 child’s canopy bed in a choice of 26 colour finishes, £825 www.cuckooland.com; Scandi- style sideboard, €489 www.designbotschaft.com; vintage wood plank anti-slip tiles from Walls & Floors, suitable for use on both walls and floors internally and externally, £49.95 sq m www.wallsandfloors.co.uk; Carmen Daybreak Scandi Birds Patterned Roller Blinds, from £24.10 www.englishblinds.co.uk

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Opposite: Sandrine ceramic stoneware handcrafted serving bowls and plates, from £48 www.thefindstore.co.uk. This page, clockwise from above: Dobbies Stockholm chair, £299, large hexagonal storage box, £129, small, £100, monochrome rug, £69, cream sheepskin rug, £19.99, large LED lantern, £14.99, aloe vera plant, £9.99, orchid in white pot, £10, tealight holder, £6.99 www.dobbies.com; gorgeous Cuckooland 4You single canopy four-poster bed will see them through from toddler to teen and beyond with the adjustable height feature, £345 www.cuckooland.com; Scandi-inspired white matte steel signs, £100 www.lisasarah.com K U D O S J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0

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Winter warmers Delicious family meals that won’t break the bank

Chicken Stew

Serve this warming stew with rice or boiled potatoes Serves: 4 Cooking time: approx 1 hour 15 minutes Ingredients

• 2 tbsp olive oil • 4 chicken thighs • 1 large onion, sliced • 4 stalks celery, chopped (optional) • 2 carrots, peeled and thickly chopped • 2 cloves garlic, chopped • 120ml chicken stock • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes • 2 tbsp tomato purée • Salt and pepper • Chopped fresh herbs to garnish (optional)

Method

• Heat the oil in a pan over a high heat and fry the chicken until lightly golden. • Add onion, celery, carrots and garlic, sauté for a few minutes before adding the stock.

• Turn down the heat, add the tomatoes, tomato purée, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer on a low heat for 50-60 minutes.

• Season with salt and pepper and serve.

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Potato & Chorizo Bake

Serve this spicy dish with crusty bread Serves 4 Ingredients

• 350g potatoes, roughly cubed • 2tbsp olive oil • 150g chorizo, roughly chopped • 1 onion, sliced • 1 small bulb garlic, crushed • 100ml red wine • 1 red chilli, sliced • 2 tsp chilli flakes • 400g tinned chopped tomatoes

Method

• Boil the potatoes for 6-8 minutes until softened. Drain and leave to cool. • Add a little oil to a pan and fry the chorizo until starting to crisp then add the potatoes. Cook until golden, transfer to a bowl and set aside.

• Sauté the onion and garlic adding more oil if necessary, add the wine and reduce. Add the chilli flakes and stir.

• Add the tomatoes and cook for fifteen minutes on a gentle heat. Pour over the potatoes and chorizo and serve.

Potato Hash

A tasty mix of potato and corned beef Serves 4 Cooking time: approx 40 minutes Ingredients

• 675g potatoes, cubed • 2 tbsp vegetable oil • 1 onion, chopped • 340g tin corned beef, diced • Salt and pepper • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce • 3 eggs

Method

• Place the potatoes in a pan, cover with boiling water, add a little salt, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until just cooked. Drain.

• Heat the oil in a large frying pan and sauté the potatoes for 10 minutes until golden. Add the onion and fry for 5 minutes.

• Stir in the corned beef, seasoning and Worcestershire sauce and return to the heat for 10 minutes or until piping hot.

• If serving with eggs, fry them in a little oil over a medium heat and place on top of the hash.

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LOV E FOOD & DR I N K

Beef Casserole & Dumplings

Tender beef topped with fluffy dumplings Serves 4-6 Ingredients

Winter Vegetable Pie

A veggie take on Shepherd’s Pie Serves 4 Cooking time: approx 1 hour 15 minutes Ingredients

• 2 tbsp olive oil • 2 onions, sliced • 1 tbsp flour • 300g carrots, cut into batons • ½ cauliflower, broken into small florets • 4 garlic cloves, finely sliced • 400g can chopped tomatoes • 200g frozen peas • 900g potatoes, cut into chunks • 200ml milk • 150g Cheddar cheese

For the dumplings

• 250g self-raising flour • 125g really cold butter • 1tsp mixed herbs (optional) • Salt and black pepper • 1 egg, beaten

Method

• Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large pan. Add the potatoes, carrots, onion, leek and celery and heat gently without browning for 5-10 minutes.

• Add the mushrooms, stir for 2 minutes then add the vegetables to a casserole dish.

• Heat the remaining oil in the pan and brown the beef, in batches if necessary. Add to the casserole dish.

• Add the flour to the pan and mix with the meat juices, then add the beef stock, tomatoes, red wine and Worcester sauce.

Method

• Season with salt and pepper, bring to the boil then add to the casserole

onions and cook for 10 minutes until softened, then stir in the flour and cook for a further 2 minutes. • Add the carrots, cauliflower and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until they begin to soften. • Tip the tomatoes into the vegetables along with a canful of water. Cover with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes, then remove the lid and cook for 10-15 minutes more, until the sauce has thickened and the vegetables are cooked. Season, stir in the peas and cook for 1 minute more. • Meanwhile, boil the potatoes for 10-15 minutes until tender. Drain, then place back in the saucepan and mash them until smooth. • Stir through enough milk to make a fairly soft consistency, then add the remaining olive oil and season. • Heat the grill. Spoon the hot vegetable mix into a pie dish, top with the mash and sprinkle with the cheese. • Place under the grill for a few minutes until the cheese has melted and the top is golden brown. Serve immediately.

• Heat oven to 160°C/140°C fan/gas mark 3 for 2½-3 hours, until the

• Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a flameproof dish over a medium heat. Add the

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• 4 tbsp vegetable oil • 4 potatoes, cubed • 2 carrots, sliced • 1 onion, chopped • 1 leek • 2 stalks celery, finely sliced • 75g mushrooms • 500-700g casserole beef • 2 tbsp flour • 1 pint beef stock • 400g tin chopped tomatoes • 100mls red wine • Dash of Worcester sauce • 1 bulb garlic

dish with the whole garlic bulb. Stir well. meat is tender.

• W hen cooked remove the garlic bulb. • For the dumplings, turn oven up to 190°C/170°C fan/gas mark 3. Put

the flour into a mixing bowl and, using a coarse grater, grate very cold butter into the flour. • Add the herbs, if using, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Using your fingers, gently rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add a little cold water to help bind it into a firm dough. • Divide the dough into 12 balls and brush with beaten egg. Place the dumplings on top of your cooked stew and cook in the oven for 30 minutes until golden brown.

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Profile for Kudos Kent

Kudos Magazine  

Jan/Feb 2020 issue

Kudos Magazine  

Jan/Feb 2020 issue

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