Partnerships & Volunteering Review 2020
A student reflection of this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Partnerships & Volunteering at Kingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Widening Horizons and Developing Skills
PA R T N E R S H I P S 2 0 2 0
he King’s School has a rich history of partnership, inspired by our roots in the Augustinian tradition in which the pursuit of truth through learning is balanced by the call to behave with love towards one another. We take our commitment to working with and learning from our partners in the community very seriously. Even in these challenging times our staff and pupils have volunteered to make protective equipment, write pen pal letters to our care home neighbours, raise money for the homeless and more. But what our young people gain through their involvement with partnerships is immeasurable; this excellent publication demonstrates the many skills and changed mindsets which result. This year saw some new initiatives to encourage and inspire more pupils to take part in volunteering initiatives around Canterbury. Firstly, the appointment of a Monitor to work alongside our Head of Partnerships has created a bridge with the pupil body, and Daniel has surpassed his remit in this role, as this review (his initiative) demonstrates. Secondly, Daniel’s appointment of a Partnership Leader for each House has galvanised the pupils into action and finally, the twinning of each House with a primary school has helped to cement our relations across the City. A King’s education is not just about exam results but in developing young women and men who have a full understanding of society and are ready to make their contribution. I hope that you will enjoy reading about their journey in these pages.
Message from the Head of Partnerships
Editorial Learning Beyond the Precincts
1. Primary Schools 6
Volunteering Overview Our Commitment to Others
St John’s Morning Club “A happy start to a new day”
Cathedral Spires Sharing Our Heritage
Leadership Our Role in the Local Community
Participation Opportunities & Involvement
2. East Kent Schools Together 18
East Kent Schools Together Going Forward, Together.
From the Student Voice
3. Science Partnerships 23
Science Partnerships Making Science Accessible
Looking Ahead Thinking About the Future
4. Sounding Out 29
Sounding Out Musical Inspiration
Sounding Out The Power of Music
The King’s School CT1 2ES 01227 Editor Daniel Koo The King’s School Partnerships www.kings-partnerships.co.uk Instagram: @kingspartnerships Twitter: @Kings_Partners Scan the QR code for more
K I N G ’ S PA R T N E R S H I P S 2 0 2 0
From the Head of Partnerships CHRISTINA ASTIN
King’s education would be incomplete without developing compassion, empathy, integrity and reliability – none of these measurable in any exam, but values I’ve seen pupils demonstrate time and time again through volunteering within our partnerships programme.
Aristotle observed that education is “an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity”. The privilege of a King’s education is not worn ostentatiously as an ornament but shared with those in adversity: the addict you met in the homeless shelter, the hungry child you played with over breakfast, the student you taught to debate, the elderly man you wrote to. Reading these pages has reminded me of how much we can learn from our neighbours when we open ourselves to learning with humility and seek to broaden our horizons. I’m so proud of all that all the pupils have achieved this year, encouraged by their Partnership Leaders led so inspiringly by Daniel Koo, the author of this excellent publication. Christina Astin, Head of Partnerships 2014-2020
Learning Beyond The Precincts
School Monitor 2019/20 Partnerships & Volunteering
he word ‘school’ originates from the Greek word ‘skholē’ meaning ‘lecture place’ - a physical venue where lectures are delivered. The 21st century idea of a school is much more than a lecture place - the constantly evolving concept of a school, its responsibility and impact on pupils’ lives have made the modern way of teaching and learning to go beyond the school campus. One of the ways that King’s Education, the world’s oldest continuing education, has explored and expanded its boundaries of learning is by its emphasis on the principle of working collaboratively with others which is embedded in our volunteering and partnerships programme. The partnerships and volunteering programme offered at King’s is a twoway street: the more one contributes to the community, the more one gains back in the form of learning. From Saturday Smarties, the science department’s flagship programme for aspiring primary school scientists, to the Cathedral Spires activity, where King’s pupils guide students from Spires Academy around the Canterbury Cathedral, pupils are offered a wide range of volunteering activities to choose from based on their interests. For example, many pupils wishing to experience and learn pastoral care sign up to volunteer for the Fifth Trust, a Kent-based charity that supports adults with learning difficulties. Many of our best public speakers have helped introduce students to debating in the East Kent Schools debating workshops. Therefore, volunteering works as a platform for pupils to extend and develop their interests and academic knowledge, while gaining important qualities such as leadership, communication, patience and empathy, which are vital for the future.
When I was appointed as School Monitor in charge of Partnerships and Volunteering at the beginning of the academic year, I was astonished by the number of hours that members of the school dedicate to volunteer and take part in the school’s wide range of partnership programmes. Towards the end of my time as School Monitor, I was, yet again, pleasantly surprised by the number of volunteering opportunities that I haven’t stumbled upon even after a full year in the role. Based on my experience, I believe there are two key aspects that sets volunteering at King’s apart and makes it a truly special experience. First, King’s is undoubtedly a very busy school - King’s volunteers are highly motivated and committed in other aspects of school life, whether that is in music, drama, art or sport. This diversity of talent makes the volunteering environment at King’s truly dynamic. It is incredibly refreshing and exciting to see fellow students fully engage in activities to utilise their talent and share their knowledge with others. This creates an environment like no other. Second, the pure enthusiasm and willingness of pupils to spend their time helping others creates a healthy environment where individuals are self-driven and motivated in making a positive change. As the speed in which the volunteering opportunities fill up suggests, pupils find (but in most cases, make) the time to volunteer and are eager to give something back to the wider community. Being surrounded by, and working close with, such an enthusiastic pupil body makes my role incredibly exciting. Alongside supporting Miss Astin, I had the privilege of working with an excellent group of 17 Partnership Leaders, each of whom brought unique and creative ideas to the table. The continually increasing
“Pupils’ willingness to spend their time helping others creates a healthy environment where individuals are self-driven and motivated in making a positive change”
interest for volunteering from the wider pupil body meant that we, as a team, were able to make ambitious plans for the future. It has been a very exciting year to be at the forefront of a strong effort to promote new volunteering and partnerships opportunities to a very committed pupil body. This year, we have seen one of the biggest developments in the partnerships and volunteering aspect of King’s education. On top of our established work with partnered schools, hospices, charity shops and organisations, our joint effort helped to establish links between every house and a local primary school which is designed to help build a stronger relationship with the local community.
The traditional connotation associated with the word ‘skholē’ still exists today, though in a much wider sense. The Volunteering and Partnerships Programme at King’s plays a big role that enables us to expand and liberate the boundaries of our learning environment from a closed classroom to the wider community beyond the Precincts. I hope this review provides a glimpse of the work we have done this year to broaden our horizons and contribute positively to our wider community as a school. Daniel Koo June 2020
Canterbury Minilympics September 2019
Primary School Partnerships Emily Onuh Partnership Leader (Jervis House)
Our Commitment to Others
ne of the most important aspects of King’s is its love and support for the wider community. This year, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to participate in numerous volunteering activities that have collectively helped me to build my confidence and intensify my love to help others. The Fifth Trust is a Kent-based charity that supports adults with learning difficulties. I had the chance to meet funny, kind and truly beautiful people. Volunteering at this charity taught me to always be resilient to work past my deficiencies; although these adults were learning impaired, they still showed up every week with broad, happy, and eager smiles. I’ve learnt to celebrate everything, no matter how small, because this experience reminded me that the accumulation of the small victories eventually adds up to a milestone. Volunteering at the Fifth trust not only gave me a sense of purpose but has also allowed me to embrace my own learning difficulties as I have learnt to respond with empathy and gentleness. Volunteering activities at King’s have inspired me to strengthen my love for the wider community outside the King’s bubble. I learnt that, to genuinely love people you have to be willing to give up time, which I considered to be something very small, but resulted in being immensely powerful. I had the opportunity to participate in reflexology which involved working with children and adults with special needs. This experience gradually taught me patience, care and support for others. I have discovered the uniqueness of each child I worked with, all of whom have their stories and backgrounds, making every encounter with them special and a great learning opportunity. I also had the opportunity to be the Partnership Leader of Jervis House this year. One of the things I learnt through this experience was the importance of teamwork. I could not have achieved anything by myself, however, through the support of my house and the fellow Partnership Leaders, we were able to make the project work. Being a Partnership Leader highlighted the importance of unity and cooperation. Overall, volunteering at King’s gave me purpose and self-discipline. I learnt to use my time wisely and the numerous skills I assimilated along the way also reflected in other areas of my school life. It amplified my appreciation and gratitude for the opportunities I had been given. It made me generous in terms of my time and I was able to use my time to show kindness to someone else. All the volunteering activities I’ve done this year have inspired me to take up sign language so I can communicate with more people in my community.
“A happy start to a new day”
St John’s Morning Club
Above: St John’s pupils visit King’s for breakfast 2019
first started volunteering in the summer of 2019, when I stood in for my brother, who was doing his GCSEs, and therefore could no longer participate in the breakfast club at St. John’s Primary School. I enjoyed it so much that when I had the opportunity to take part myself in Remove, I jumped at the chance.
see their happy faces as we arrive. It’s a real treat for everyone when the children come to King’s for breakfast, especially when their eyes light up as they see the food on offer (particularly when they walk past the pancakes). It is a great pleasure knowing that they are having a positive start to their day with a full cooked breakfast.
This year, Breakfast Club has changed its name to “Morning Club” because we no longer have breakfast with the children (they now have it at a later time). Rather than helping the children to butter and cut up their toast, we have more time for games and fun. A typical morning starts at 7:45 when we arrive at St. John’s, with the unknown surprise of how busy (or quiet) it’s going to be since the number of children varies each time. The younger children prefer to play “princesses”, while the older ones are up for a game of Jenga. I’m happy to play any sort of game and it is really rewarding to
I’ve gained a number of skills through the experience of helping out at St. John’s. I’ve learnt how to communicate better with the children and I’ve developed strategies to make sure everyone is included in the games and no one is left out. It is a commitment and involves getting up a bit earlier one day a week, but what I get out of it is well worth the effort.
Morning Club Volunteer
Morning Club Volunteer
Morning Club Volunteer
t John’s Morning Club is where pupils at the King’s School visit the primary school and help out with the children who are required to come to school early. When volunteering at the primary school, you are able to teach the children the importance of working together and what it is like to help their peers out in a group situation as many of the activities we do highlight these important lessons. I was also able to gain a great insight into how important it is to volunteer as it could really help the development of the children in how they interact with others. In the process, it gave me an opportunity to build on my motivational and leadership skills. I found the experience very rewarding as I got to see and be a part of children’s development.
olunteering at St John’s Morning Club was an amazing experience for me, and it was something I looked forward to at the beginning of every week. I volunteered at the primary school because I wanted to be involved in a different part of our community and I’ve always loved engaging with children. I loved speaking to and interacting with the children whilst trying to help them enjoy school more and attempting to take their minds off anything in their lives that was upsetting them. Volunteering at St John’s was very fun, and it helped me gain more confidence as well as new communication skills which I will now keep and use forever.
Mutual Learning Christine Yeung Morning Club Volunteer
started volunteering for Morning Club last year because I love making children happy. I be-lieve it is very important for a child to have a happy childhood and I am glad to have played a small part in making a child’s morning brighter by volunteering for morning club. The experience is very rewarding, especially when it teaches me new skills and techniques in communicating with young people. I am sure many people will agree with me that dealing with children is not the easiest thing – it involves patience that is suitable for these young people. By the end of each session, I look forward to the next one so that I can see them again as the interaction with kids helps me remember my own childhood and often carries the stress away.
Left: Cathedral Spires Celebration Event at St Augustine’s Refectory 2019
Cathedral Spires: Sharing Our Heritage Cara Bromley Cathedral Spires Volunteer
n Cathedral Spires, we are involved in teaching the year 7 pupils of the local Spires Academy about Canterbury Cathedral as a process of helping them become more knowledgeable about the area in which they live and breaking the bubble between the King’s community and the rest of the city in a practical way. We do this in the hope of inspiring them to do research of their own and become familiar with meeting new people. I volunteered to help with this as I am interested in history and this is a great way of making use of our ancient surroundings and learning new skills in a new area of King’s life.
I saw such a positive impact that the sessions had on the children; with them becoming much more confident and enthusiastic about learning new facts each week about the history of Canterbury. Seeing the pupils engaged and excited about learning and getting comfortable forming relationships with new people through the different activities was gratifying. It demonstrated to us, as volunteers, how helping other people can be so fulfilling. Along with this, I developed my teaching skills and improved my ability to communicate and get along with new people. Possibly the best part of this activity was seeing the children become more confident in talking to the older King’s pupils and wanting to share stories about their lives with us.
Although my participation in volunteering with the local Spires Academy was cut short this year, I am happy to say that
Our Role in the Local Community Maddy Davis Partnership Leader (Broughton House)
anterbury is a beautiful, diverse city and we are so fortunate to be based in the city centre. As a Kings pupil, however, I am conscious of how easy it is to only see Canterbury from the so-called ‘Kings Bubble’. I applied to become a Partnership Leader because I wanted more students to appreciate how privileged we are and how we should use more of our exceptional resources to help the wider community that we are blessed to be a part of. My role as a Partnership Leader is not only to encourage my peers to be more involved in the many volunteering opportunities King’s has to offer, but also to discover new ways in which we as a school can branch out and help others. For instance, this year, I got in contact with a group within the Diocese of Canterbury (the part of the organisation which provides for people in need) and we were able to organise a programme where multilingual King’s students help refugee children with English reading and writing. The Diocese of Canterbury also pointed me in the direction of Porchlight. My target is to create an opportunity for students to volunteer at the soup kitchens that Porchlight orchestrate. Small acts like these, that only take a few hours a week, can greatly improve the lives of others and our community as a whole. Some of my fondest memories at King’s have been at volunteering events such as Saturday Smarties, St John’s Morning Club and Lily’s Bistro (which provides food for homeless people). Furthermore, organising and executing your own idea to help people requires the development of skills and maturity that cannot be learnt in a classroom. King’s is already doing a lot in the aspect of giving back to the local community but there is always more we can do and more who can get involved!
Eva Camilla Knutsen
Partnership Leader (Linacre House)
Partnership Leader (Galpin’s House)
eing a Partnership Leader is not, to quote Churchill, about engendering follow-ship, but more about mucking in and getting involved. I decided to apply for the position of Linacre’s Partnership Leader after my experience of volunteering at St John’s Morning Club, where I met some of the loveliest children I have had the privilege of talking to. The Partnership Leader position seemed like an excellent capacity in which I could advertise my experiences to my boarding house, in the hope that even more students could get involved. Having volunteered for a year and a half in various capacities, I found that my communication and patience had developed exponentially and that I was happier in myself. The Partnership Leaders meet fortnightly, updating Miss Astin and Daniel of our progress on various fronts; the most exciting of which being the twinning of the King’s boarding and day houses with primary schools in the Canterbury area. In Lago’s (Partnership Leader for Luxmoore) and my case, this was Parkside Community Primary School. Parkside is run by a kind and no-nonsense headmistress, with a dedicated team working with her. Sadly, however, Parkside is one of the most disadvantaged schools in the area. We designed and proposed new after-school clubs and activities ready to be introduced in September 2020, which would be run by students of all years at King’s, in conjunction with Parkside. These include sports, reading, drama, dance and music, though this list is by no means exhaustive. The initiative showcased a wealth of interest and dedication from students in both houses, and hopefully as soon as school reconvenes, this vision can be realised. In my time as Linacre’s first Partnership Leader, the house having topped the volunteering leader board alongside Bailey for the first term of this academic year, I hope to have laid the groundwork for a very successful relationship with Parkside and encouraged others to involve themselves in such a rewarding and wonderful activity.
applied to become a Partnership Leader so that I could bring something new with my experience to the community outside of King`s. After having been an active Sunday school volunteer at my local church when I lived in Spain, I had many ideas about how Harvey House could do similar tasks and events at our paired primary school, St Stephen’s. Having the role of a Partnership Leader has taught me many valuable skills, perhaps the most important one being responsibility. As a partnership leader I was thrown into unknown territory and had to learn how to effectively take charge of a situation. Contrary to what many believe, leadership is not just a position, but about empowering, motivating and guiding fellow teammates, and I have very much enjoyed being able to do so this academic year.
Orville Chung Partnership Leader (Galpin’s House)
ne of my favourite quotes from the Bible is “It’s more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35)” and this motto motivates me to help others to the best of my capacity. It was the prime motivation for me to become a Partnership Leader. Throughout the year, I was given the task to communicate with our twinned primary school, St Stephen’s, to promote volunteering to pupils in my house and answer their enquiries about volunteer work. I organised a community litter pick for the house as a taster to the many opportunities that are on offer and to encourage more people to volunteer. The house effort in the litter pick not only made streets cleaner, but also resulted in creating a stronger bond between the members of the house. The experience has helped me to gain confidence and communication skills. The partnership programme acts, not only as a precious lesson for myself, but a reciprocal activity that can share the love to the rest of our society. “No man is an island”: working as a Partnership Leader this year, especially at a time when unprecedented global events were taking place, reminded me of these echoing words. Contributing positively to our society requires nothing but our total dedication to charity work to rebuild a better world - this should never stop.
“I felt a great sense of responsibility because I was constantly trying to get people involved”
Partnership Leader (International College)
Partnership Leader (School House)
Throughout the year, I really enjoyed helping with the litter picks and the Minilympics. Both events gave me a real sense of warmth. Although the litter pick took a long time, there certainly was a feeling of accomplishment.
What I learnt this year was undoubtedly an invaluable experience and I am looking forward to working with the Partnerships Team next year.
hen I saw what the Partnerships Team did for the wider community, I was instantly interested in joining and helping them with their projects. A key reason I joined was because I felt that I could bring a unique input to the team. This mainly came from my keen interest in sports which could help drive certain sporting activities within the partnership. I also wanted to try and develop my interest in other areas as well, hence I volunteered for the Morning Club. I thoroughly enjoy working with people so with these factors in mind, and for this reason, I thought it would be great to join the partnerships programme as a Partnership Leader.
When being a Partnership Leader, there are many skills that one develops which would not easily be attained elsewhere. Personally, I felt a great sense of responsibility because I was constantly trying to get people involved. In order to do this, I had to email the house often to encourage specific individuals to participate in events; it was ultimately my job to get my house involved. I really enjoyed being a Partnership Leader and I hope I was able to contribute to the ongoing development of the partnerships programme.
his year, I have been working as the Partnership Leader of the International College. When I was initially teamed up with Orville and Eva, Partnership Leaders of Galpin’s and Harvey House, respectively, I felt a great sense of responsibility and excitement to be working on a new project. Hence, I was slightly nervous, but this was quickly overcome as I love working with younger students, which is why I am a regular participant of the Morning Club. Although activities with our twinned primary school will have to start next year, I was able to develop and build upon my communication skills and the ability to work with others as a team.
1080 A big step forward
Hours of recorded volunteering participation between September and December 2019 17
PA R T I C I PAT I O N
Opportunities and Involvement
started volunteering in Shell because I realised that not everyone is as privileged as me and are able to go to an amazing school, which serves three meals a day and offers a wide scope of learning opportunities through an extensive range of activities.
were paired to form a partnership with Parkside Primary School. Josh, my counterpart in Linacre House, and I were at the forefront of establishing the new partnership by visiting the school and meeting with the headmistress in order to suggest new activities that could start as early as the summer term.
Firstly, I started volunteering at St Johnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Primary School for their Breakfast Club activity. I went every Monday and sometimes even on Fridays, and even though we simply played games with the children and sat with them while they ate, I could tell it made a big difference because the activity changes their day from their regular routine and young students get the chance to meet and interact with older pupils, who are considered both as friends and role models.
Kingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s continues to offer a vast range of activities in order to suit its pupil body which consists of pupils with a variety of skills and talents. There is always an opportunity to make a positive impact on the local community, from helping young children as a volunteer for morning club to participating as a member of the EKST, and work collaboratively with others to develop valuable leadership traits. I have personally gained many skills and values through volunteering, such as the value of commitment, responsibility and an overall improvement in understanding and interacting with people from different socio-economic backgrounds.
In the Remove year, I joined the Student Voice for the East Kent Schools Together partnership (EKST) and became the schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rep for it which involved attending various EKST events. In the following year, I joined the Partnership Leaders programme and was appointed as the representative for Luxmoore. Luxmoore and Linacre
Partnership Leader (Luxmoore House)
East Kent Schools Debating Workshop October 2019
EAST KENT SCHOOLS TOGETHER Going Forward, Together Imogen Taylor
Co-Chair of East Kent Schools Together Student Voice 2019
ack in 2018, I decided to join the EKST community after attending one of its Student Voice meetings. I had previously taken part in the school’s Breakfast Club at St John’s Primary School and volunteered for Saturday Smarties, but otherwise had little experience of taking part in volunteer programs. After attending my first Student Voice meeting and hearing that the position of becoming chair was open, I decided to take a punt and apply to the organisation which I felt could do so much for the wider community. When I sent my application letter in, I had many ideas of where I wanted to take EKST, some of which were very much out of reach at the time, but with the help of Miss Astin and the shared ambition and engagement of other Partnership Champions, we were able to launch programmes and activities which have benefitted so many people. When I started in this position co-chairing with Matthew at St Anselm’s, we realised how important communication between the student reps was. We began to set up small fun meetings at Starbucks and other places around Canterbury to allow the reps to get to know each other and brainstorm ideas for the organisation. During our first meeting, it was clear to see that everyone was very enthusiastic about charity work and how activities surrounding this could bring schools and communities from different backgrounds together, which is ultimately one of our main aims at EKST. This led to our first major student-led event, the Colour Run, where students from the partnered schools raised money and ran the colourful race together as a community. Over the next year, we went onto create many other student events like the Big Sing, the Big Explore and the planned mentoring programme.
Over my time at EKST, the organisation has grown an enormous amount. When I look back at the first assembly we held, where only a handful of students knew of this organisation, I realise how far we have come and how many people enjoy and want to participate in these events we have created as a group. For me, the organisation gave me an opportunity to interact with others who have different lives than myself, providing me with a platform to gain leadership experience and help other people. None of this could have been made possible without the amazing support of all the school reps and teachers pushing these events and inspiring people to take part. The organisation has done so much for me during my time at King’s and I would strongly encourage many people to take part in EKST’s work and see the opportunities it has for them.
Co-Chair of East Kent Schools Together Student Voice 2020
n my experience as part of the Student Voice and co-chair of EKST, I have found a real sense of togetherness with my peers. The involvement of each school and the feeling of community each student brings to the table is unique and listened to. I put myself forward to express my interests in volunteering and helping others. As cochair, I take ideas from each student and bring it to the Partnership Champions. Partnership Champions are two teachers from each of the seven EKST schools (and Canterbury Christ Church University) who meet up six times a year to discuss how to manage the activities and aims of the partnership. In this collaboration, we hear everyone’s voices and thoughts clearly. My objective is to put all our ideas forward in a fair and equal way and through our Instagram page to raise awareness of our activities. We will also be starting to fund raise for Whizz-Kidz, a local charity which provides wheelchairs for children. I have learnt so much by being part of the Student Voice. I have gained strong group and independent skills from interacting with many year groups and teachers across all the different schools which has allowed me to develop leadership skills that I share equally with the rest of the student voice.
“[At EKST,] we hear everyone’s voices and thoughts clearly. My objective is to put all our ideas forward in a fair and equal way”
â&#x20AC;&#x153;Being a part of the EKST has given me more confidence and I have also improved on skills such as public speaking and leadership skills.â&#x20AC;?
Member of the East Kent Schools Together Student Voice
his is the first year I have been involved in the East Kent Schools Together (EKST) Student Voice and it has been a real eye-opening experience for myself. Not only have I met people with similar interests as me, I have also been able to participate in many activities organised by the EKST. In September, I took part in The Big Explore and have also taken part in a debating workshop. Having come from a state school before joining Kingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, I had a different experience from most independent school students and this may have been my motive for joining the Student Voice; to bring experiences otherwise unavailable to state school pupils and also raise money and volunteer for charities. As a member of the student voice, I attend termly meetings with those from other schools in the partnership. Being a part of the EKST has given me more confidence and I have also improved on skills such as public speaking and leadership skills. I look forward to being involved again next year and seeing what the coming years have in store for the partnership.
Family Science Day March 2019
Making Science Accessible Jenny Hardwick Michael Foale Scholar 2019/20
s the Michael Foale Science Scholar, one of my jobs over the last three terms has been to recruit and coordinate the body of volunteers for our science outreach events like the Junior King’s Science Afternoon and Saturday Smarties. Most of what I do for this is fairly administrative - I receive replies to the volunteer call and put pupils’ names and details in a spreadsheet in order of time of email. I do this so that we can ensure the fairest ‘first come, first served’ system of selecting volunteers. With the volunteering opportunity presented by Saturday Smarties having grown in popularity over the last year, this has been especially important! After the volunteers have been selected, they are required to attend a briefing where I assist Dr Nelson in outlining what the session will entail and how to conduct each experiment in an exciting (and safe) way for the children. For Saturday Smarties, local primary schools in Canterbury send in two or three of their most interested scientists in years five and six. In total, we usually have around 24 children in attendance. Each volunteer takes a group of two or three of the children through some fun and interactive scientific activities while helping the children to fill in their booklets that they then take home at the end of the morning along with a tub of Smarties! On behalf of the volunteers, I can say that helping out with the science outreach events has been not only enjoyable and highly rewarding, but an experience that has aided all of us in our personal development as people and citizens alike. From an academic perspective, volunteering has helped me cement key scientific concepts since explaining scientific ideas and thinking in a concise and simple way to younger people requires and reinforces a deep understanding of the subject matter. Other than this, the most impactful thing I have taken from the experience has been the reaction of the children to the science; their pure fascination with what they are shown has restored my spark for the subject which can sometimes become lost in the day-to-day learning of science for exams later in school.
Shared curiosity King’s offers science masterclasses for Year 5 and 6 pupils from primary schools in and around Canterbury as part of its Canterbury Primary Science Partnership. 48 “Saturday Smarties” pupils are selected by their schools and attend three sessions across the year, each of which focuses on a different scientific theme.
S C I E N C E PA R T N E R S H I P S
Alexandra Bond Saturday Smarties Volunteer
t Kings, there is an extensive range of volunteering opportunities to help give back to the community. I regularly volunteer for Saturday Smarties because I believe the programme is incredibly beneficial to both the children and the volunteers. The programme runs for the entire year. In the Autumn Term we teach light and the colour spectrum, forensic science in the Lent Term and climate change in the Summer Term. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fascinating to watch aspiring scientists strengthen their understanding and love for science. Volunteering at Kings
has taught me a wide range of skills. It has taught me to be flexible with my teaching, as we need to be prepared to demonstrate and teach an extensive range of activities and experiments. The experience has helped me to improve my communication skills, as everyone learns at different speeds and in different ways. I believe that volunteering is a good way to give back to the community as well as helping volunteers develop important social skills and gain valuable experience. I find it enormously rewarding and look forward to continuing with this programme for the duration of my time at Kingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s.
Saturday Smarties Now in its sixth year, nearly 300 pupils have been part of the Saturday Smarties programme and our feedback has shown that many have been inspired to consider studying science later on at university.
S C I E N C E PA R T N E R S H I P S
THE FUTURE Elena Merican Michael Foale Scholar 2020/21
think I can speak for everyone involved when I say that taking part in the science volunteering opportunities offered at Kingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s this year have been both enjoyable and genuinely rewarding. A personal highlight was the forensic-science-themed Saturday Smarties session, during which the children were tasked with identifying the culprit of a crime using various investigative techniques such as analysing soil, using chromatography to compare ink and collecting fingerprints (a crowd-pleaser). Besides showcasing the real-world applications of science, participants also developed scientific skills like plotting graphs, identifying anomalies and drawing conclusions from evidence. Personally, my favourite part of being a volunteer was answering questions about the science behind the activities that we were doing, which demonstrated the engagement and excitement of the budding young scientists, and, of course, seeing all the participants leave with smiles on their faces.
Due to the current situation, science volunteering in the coming academic year will probably look very different as the usual in-person enrichment programmes may not be possible. However, there is still scope to interact with students in our partnership schools online through video demonstrations as well as instructions on how to carry out science activities at home. Indeed, high-quality submissions to the ongoing Mitchinsonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Science Prize competition would be well suited for this purpose. As the Michael Foale Scholar for 2020/21 academic year, an activity that I am keen to promote in particular is composting and growing an edible food garden, which will be supported by written and video guides. Aside from teaching biological concepts, these skills also empower students to potentially help their communities by donating their produce to local food banks, which are currently facing increased demand during this crisis. If anything, the COVID-19 pandemic has only highlighted the value of scientific literacy, so it is important that during lockdown, students in our partnership schools still have the opportunity to grow as scientists.
Dr Geoff Nelson Head of Science Partnerships and Research
Sounding Out 30
Founded September 2019
Musical Inspiration Eliza Percival Sounding Out Volunteer
hen I was younger, before deciding to take up an instrument, I remember being inspired by the music played by musicians who were older than me. At the age of 8, I felt most connected to the cello and therefore decided to pursue it. This decision was mostly inspired by those people whom I watched play, who made me feel like I wanted to be doing exactly what they were doing. By being a part of Sounding Out, I am trying to inspire younger people in the way that I remember I was inspired when I was in their shoes. I am well aware that some of the people that I play to have not had access to music lessons, making playing to them even more important. This is such a wonderful opportunity and I am glad that these children are able to experience music in this way since I think it could be life changing; not necessarily on the outside, but definitely on the inside. I hope that they gained something from the experience as much as I enjoyed playing to them. There is something contagious about a childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s smile, so when there is a group of children smiling and fixated on what you are doing, it is very hard not to get the same glowing feeling and a bit of a boosted confidence. I really hope that I helped someone to see the joy in music and I will continue to do so to the best of my ability.
Sharing the Power of Music
Sounding Out Volunteer
was recently involved in the second phase of the Sounding Out Initiative. This includes the introduction of the clarinet to children of a young age. I was lucky enough to get the chance to help inspire the next generation of musicians by going to local primary schools to play the clarinet and saxophone as part of presentations carried out by Mrs Evans (Head of Music Partnerships). The presentation included getting the children to sing, demonstrating the range and versatility of the instruments and playing a few pieces to them. On one occasion, I took along a mini (Eb) clarinet and a larger (Bass) clarinet.
The idea behind this is to encourage pupils from the primary schools to sign up for lessons with professionals each Saturday at Kingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. These primary school visits also served a second purpose since many of the children had never heard or seen an instrument performed live before. Coming from a musical family, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard to imagine this, so it was a great privilege to get to provide this experience. I learnt time management skills in the process as I was allowed to choose my own music with only the time as my limit. This is definitely a skill which I will use a lot in my musical endeavours throughout my life.
Left: Launched in September 2019, Sounding Out is an initiative offering music lessons to local primary school children. We hope to do our bit to reverse the widening gap between those who have access to learning a musical instrument and those who do not.
The Kingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s School Canterbury Kent CT1 2ES UK
+44 (0)1227 595501 www.kings-school.co.uk www.kings-partnerships.co.uk Scan the QR code for more
Edited and Designed by Daniel Koo Photography by Matt McArdle, Christina Astin & Peter Cook Many thanks to Christina Astin & Kieran Orwin