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Hythe travel company shows local students potential careers in technology 

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

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

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

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

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

Nicola Boston, Culture & Experience Lead, said:

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

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

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

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

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

KENT SCHOOL TRUST WINS NATIONAL RECOGNITION FOR CAREERS EDUCATION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seamus Murphy, Turner Schools’ CEO said:

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

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

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

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

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

Folkestone students learn about technology careers with Holiday Extras

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

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

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

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

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

Nicola Boston, Culture & Experience Lead, said:

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

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

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

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

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

Turner Free School hosts chess tourney

Students at Turner Free School have welcomed competitors from two other Kent schools  for an exhilarating chess tournament. The contest, which saw fierce competition among teams from Dover Grammar School for Boys, Harvey Grammar School, and Turner Free School, showcased remarkable talent and strategic prowess from the young chess enthusiasts. Read on...

With five rounds of intense gameplay, the tournament witnessed captivating moves and tactical manoeuvres from all participating teams. Players had to display all their focus, determination, and skill, as they battled it out on the chessboard.

Despite the fierce competition, the Harvey A Team emerged as the victors, with their teamwork and strategic acumen clear throughout the tournament. Three of the best individual players also hailed from the Harvey A Team, further highlighting their talent and dedication to the game.

The players from Turner Free School showed their own commendable sportsmanship and determination throughout the tournament. 

Max, a Year 9 student from the Turner Free School team, said: 

“I really appreciated the fact that there were many competitive players. I was very proud of the team as we had a great team performance!”

Francesca Fozard, who runs the Turner Free School chess team, said: 

“Congratulations to the Harvey Grammar School A Team on winning this fantastic chess tournament. They showed considerable ability, dedication, and strategic insight over the course of the day and really deserved to come out on top. 

“I would like to thank all our players for showing such sportsmanship and commitment to the game, which helped make this such a successful event. Well done to the Turner Free School team as well, as Aidan, Dhan, Max, Johan, Oscar, and William, all demonstrated their passion for the game and competed with unwavering determination.”

The tournament not only provided an opportunity for students to showcase their skills but also fostered camaraderie and sportsmanship among participants. As chess continues to inspire and engage young minds, events like these serve as a testament to the enduring appeal and intellectual challenge of the game

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Visually impaired Folkestone student wins Remarkable Achievement Award in recognition of musical skills

A Folkestone student has been honoured for overcoming incredible challenges with his remarkable commitment to music. Theo Oakley, who was born blind due to Norrie Disease, was recognised for his exceptional skills in music at the Wards Children’s Awards. Read on...

Theo, from Turner Free School and previously Morehall Primary, received the Remarkable Achievement Award. This was in recognition of his passion, skills, and accomplishments in music despite the challenges he has faced. 

He takes part in Folkestone Academy’s weekly Folkestone Music Lab to further develop his musical skills. He also hosts a weekly Sunday morning show on Folkestone Academy FM from 0900 – 1000.

Theo enjoys making music through remixing songs and experimenting with drum machines. In partnership with his Music Lab tutor Oli they have explored production sounds and deepened Theo’s understanding of musical progressions, chords, and different instrumental sounds. They are now working on further developing Theo’s remixing skills at the Music Lab.

The Folkestone Music Lab runs every Saturday morning in term time at Folkestone Academy. The Music Lab also offers some financial support to those families who are interested in pursuing further musical experiences but are unable to access these.

The Wards Childrens Awards have been running for 20 years and are designed to celebrate the amazing achievements of children, families, and charities in Kent despite the challenges they may face. The awards are organised by estate agents Wards and supported by the KM Group and Kent Community Foundation, and this year were hosted by Good Morning Britain’s Charlotte Hawkins.

Theo said: It’s great to get an award especially  as sometimes it’s difficult for me to access music lessons due to being blind. I love to be creative with music and enjoy the remixing of tunes.”

Mandy Sangiuseppe, Inclusion Development Manager at the Folkestone Music Lab, said:

“Theo is a truly inspiring and committed young individual, who has a wonderful sense of humour and committed ideas of what he wants to achieve in the sessions… We are immensely proud of what Theo has achieved in his time whilst attending the Lab and look forward to following and supporting his musical journey!“

Turner Schools and U Can Too provide Folkestone students with a whole day of interactive workshops designed to showcase power of technology

Year 9 students from Turner Free School have enthusiastically embraced a day of hands-on workshops introducing them to the exciting realms of programming and electronics. The initiative, organised by the Turner Schools Trust, was conducted in collaboration with local computing training company, U Can Too with the aim of igniting the young students’ eagerness to learn. Read on...

During these engaging workshops, students embarked on a creative journey where they designed their own ‘crazy golf’. Armed with microbits, small yet powerful programmable devices, the students delved into the fascinating world of coding, learning to program their designed golf courses with precision and ingenuity. The microbits allowed the students to control the movement of golf balls around their courses and even craft ingenious obstacles and challenges for players to conquer.

During the workshops students also learned how to program servo movement and control this using light sensors and programmable LED lights. Under expert guidance, the students used these to create moving robots and innovative gadgets which responded dynamically to light levels.

The workshops were a great success with students learning about the basics of programming and electronics, as well as being encouraged to explore and experiment.

Belle, a student at Turner Free School, said:

"I really enjoyed the crazy golf workshop. It was great to be able to design and build our own courses, and then program them using microbits." 

Oscar, a student at Turner Free School, said:

"The light sensor and LED light workshop was really cool. I learned how to create devices that could respond to light levels."

Mr Papworth, Lead Teacher of Computing and Art at Turner Schools, said: 

"We were thrilled to witness the enthusiasm and creativity displayed by our Year 9 students during these workshops. We are immensely grateful to U Can Too for their invaluable support in making this initiative a resounding success and we are looking forward to running similar workshops in the future.

“Turner 25 aims to provide enriching experiences as well as the opportunity for students to apply their learning in a practical, real-world, context. These workshops have done just that, as well as fostering a sense of innovation and creativity which we hope will serve our students well over the course of their studies."

Turner Free School Celebrates First Ever Set of GCSE Successes 

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

At Turner Free School, part of Turner Schools, staff have gone above and beyond to ensure students were prepared and confident while sitting their exams. Pupils had access to a range of bespoke intervention sessions, after school study hubs, holiday study clubs, Saturday revision and in addition, an intensive 3 day revision residential at Kingswood. The extra support paid off with many students achieving excellent results in a wide range of subject areas. Read on...


A number of pupils have achieved exceptional individual results including:

Jenni van Deelen, Head of School at Turner Free School, said:

“We are all so pleased to celebrate this first ever set of GCSE results at Turner Free School. These excellent results reflect the incredible work that our students and staff have put in over the last few years as we all pulled together to overcome every challenge. These successes are well-deserved and I am so proud of them all.”

Seamus Murphy, CEO of Turner Schools, said:

“Congratulations to all our young people who are celebrating their GCSE results today. It is wonderful to see so many happy faces and to hear these excited voices celebrating their results. These GCSE results will give them a solid foundation for their next steps, and it is clear to see that the future is bright for these brilliant young people.” 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aaron Hughes, a Turner Free School student, said: 

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

Dylan Dodd, a Turner Free School student, said: 

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

Cillian Moss, a Folkestone Academy student, said:  

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

Leeton Gentry, a Folkestone Academy student, said: 

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

Kelly Jarrett, Careers Advisor at Turner Schools, said:

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

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

Local students learn about healthcare careers from employers across Kent 

More than 20 local employers and providers have showcased what they offer at the recent Turner Free School Health, Social Care & Wellbeing Careers Fair.  Read on...

This annual event gives businesses  from across Kent the opportunity to explain to Folkestone pupils more about careers in their sector. They can offer guidance about which academic pathways to follow at this stage of their education, as well as explaining the requirements of different roles.

Pupils of all ages learned about the vast range of careers available in the health and social care sector and the skills they would develop if they were to choose one of these paths. They also had the opportunity to engage in a wide range of activities to deepen their understanding of the variety of roles available in the sector.

Evie-Jane Evans, a Year 9 student at Turner Free School, said: 

“I found the experience very helpful and interesting, helping me understand what jobs they offer and how they got to where they are in their careers today, as well as what qualifications they needed.”

Roxy Williams,  a Year 9 student at Turner Free School, said: 

“Today I got to understand where I can go after I leave school and learnt about different apprenticeships I might like.”

Dylan Jackson, a Year 11 student at Turner Free School, said: 

“It has given me a better understanding of the career pathways available to me and of the industry as a whole.”

Jessica Burton, a Year 11 student at Turner Free School, said:

“I discovered how to apply for the job I want through speaking to ASK.”

Kai Oliver, a Year 11 student at Turner Free School, said:

“I found the diverse opportunities available through apprenticeships interesting.”

Clementine Newsome, Careers Advisor at Turner Schools, said:

“I have been really pleased with feedback received from pupils, staff and exhibitors from our careers fair. Part of the success I believe has been due to targeting the Health, Social Care and Wellbeing sector, which gives more of a focus and allows us to create resources related to the industry, to help prepare pupils for the fair and make the most of the opportunity. 

“It was important to keep the fair as fun and as interactive as possible, so we had a range of activities for our pupils to engage in to help their understanding of the variety of roles available in the sector. 

“Just a few of these included VR headsets for pupils to experience life through the eyes of dementia sufferers, checking the pulse of an extremely life-like mannequin used to help train care workers, learning how to administer CPR and trying out software used to build specialist websites for care providers. We now need to decide which sector to focus on for next year!”

ENDS

Notes to editors

The full list of attendees is as follows:

Daniella Sherriff and Joe Donnelly (2gether Support Solutions) 

Chelsea Stradiotto (ASK/CXK), 

Mohammed Ali (Care at Home Services), 

Karen Paine and Campbell Glazier (Digital Innovation), 

Molly Smith and Leanne Walledge (Folkestone College), 

Josh Oatham and Megan Maslak (Folkestone Football Academy), 

Natasha Kerrigan (Earlsgate Podiatry) 

Jo Shapter (East Kent Footcare), 

Jaden Osborne (Hilton Nursing Partners), 

Jenny Tomei (Jenup), 

Neil Staveley, David Keningale and Giles Barnard (Kent Community Warden Service), 

Rebecca Stroud-Matthews and Jodie Knowles-Baker (Kent & Medway NHS & Social Care Partnership Trust), 

Jennifer Evans, Jessica Palmer and Maria Konstantoula (NELFT Emotional Wellbeing Team), 

iwona king (East Kent Hospital Trust, NHS), 

Mossie Razzaq Holt (School Counsellor), 

Rachel Haden and Colin King (Shepway Sports Trust), 

Shane Forster (The Education People), 

Ern Marnden, Thomas German, Tomris Scott (The Fifth Trust), 

Frank Martin and Hannah Chant (Young Lives Foundation), 

James Sheridan and Kelly Gowar (Bannatyne Health Club), 

Mary Langford (Kent & Medway Medical School).

Turner Schools’ Diversity and Inclusion Week teaches local young people about those who might be different from themselves

Over the last fortnight (w/c 30th January and w/c 6th February), thousands of pupils from across Folkestone have taken part in a number of activities to enhance their understanding of others. In all, 2,650 pupils from the Turner Schools trust have participated in Diversity and Inclusion Weeks within their schools to learn more about the world around them.Read on...

The five schools within the trust - Folkestone Academy, Turner Free School, Morehall Primary, Folkestone Primary, and Martello Primary - worked together and independently to organise activities as part of the trust-wide community engagement programme.  

Throughout the week pupils took part in a range of lessons, presentations, and workshops to celebrate different aspects of diversity. Guest speakers shared their knowledge and experiences; the overall aim being to develop pupils' awareness, appreciation, and understanding of those who may be different to themselves, and to inspire and provide role models for those pupils who may not not see themselves reflected in everyday life.

Some of the main activities this year included:

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

“As a trust, we're passionate about developing our pupils into well-rounded individuals with open minds and an appreciation for a diverse society. Whilst inclusion is part of our everyday practice, we use these weeks to really celebrate and focus on diverse topics. Essentially, our goal is to develop our young people into well rounded, open-minded adults who appreciate living in a diverse society.”

Am’e Moris, Principal at Morehall Primary said: 

“It’s incredibly important that our children learn about inclusion. Diversity Week encourages kindness, understanding and empathy. The children have had lots of fun participating in the activities this week, but most importantly, they have developed knowledge and an appreciation for a diverse society.”  

Ben, Year 12 pupil at Folkestone Academy said: 

“The talks this week have been really interesting. They have broadened my perspective; I really enjoyed the talk on LGBT history.”

Sophie, Year 9 pupil at Turner Free School said: 

“Diversity week has made me think more about others and the importance of being kind to each other.”

Olive, Year 5 pupil at Martello Primary said:

“This week we have learnt that it doesn’t matter if you are different, or think that you are different, everyone is important and special. Everyone deserves to be treated the same way and not different because of the way they look or feel.”

Ofsted confirms Turner Free School is offering a Good education 

Staff and pupils at Turner Free School are celebrating after Ofsted inspectors have confirmed that the school offers a Good quality of education. In its first full inspection since opening, Turner Free School was rated as Good across every category. Read on...

The Ofsted inspectors highlighted the support that the school receives from Turner Schools, commenting that “trustees and governors are skilled, knowledgeable and extremely well-informed about the school’s standards”. They also noted that “pupils enjoy coming to this well managed, calm and orderly school”. 

Other key highlights recognised in the report include:

Kristina Yates, Executive Principal at Turner Free School, said: 

“I am so proud of the wonderful staff and pupils we have here at Turner Free School, and we are all delighted to have this glowing Ofsted report. This is the end result of a tremendous amount of hard work from everyone here and it is fantastic to have these efforts recognised by Ofsted. 

“From starting out in portacabins to settling into our superb new building, it has been a real journey for all of us here. But we all know this is just the start for Turner Free School and everyone here is committed to using this inspection as a foundation we can continue to build upon.” 

Seamus Murphy, CEO at Turner Schools, said: 

“Congratulations to everyone at Turner Free School on this glowing report. They should all be extremely proud of themselves for their efforts and for their success. We all see the great work taking place every day at the school and I am so pleased that Ofsted have recognised and praised this. I look forward to seeing the school continue to move from strength to strength and continue to develop their provision for the future, as we continue to do everything in our power to support them.”

Turner Sixth Form Introduces New Entrepreneurship Course

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

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

Festive Hampers Delivered To Folkestone Families

 This Christmas, staff at Turner Schools delivered 100 families from across the Turner community a Christmas food hamper. On Friday 23rd December, Turner staff volunteers will packed up 100 hampers and delivered them to homes across Folkestone.. Read on...

The hampers included ingredients for a Christmas dinner, excluding meat products, and helped bring festive cheer to families across Folkestone. The project was funded by a £2,000 donation from Folkestone Rotary Club and £900 from Folkestone Town Council, as well as £415 donated by Turner Schools staff. This last figure was match-funded by the Trust.

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

“We were delighted to offer families across Folkestone these festive hampers. We know how tough life is right now for too many families and so we wanted to do what we could to help out. Hopefully this brought a smile to people’s faces and allowed them to have a really special Christmas. Thank you to the Folkestone Rotary Club, to Folkestone Town Council, and of course to our fantastic staff for their support in making sure we can offer these hampers.”

Sarah Morgan, Director of Secondary Improvement at Turner Schools, said:

“Our aim was to bring festive cheer to those in need and to show everyone the Turner spirit. I am so proud of the staff members who donated to this project, as well as those who offered their time to help us pack up and deliver these hampers. I am delighted that we have been able to offer these hampers to so many families this Christmas.”

Christmas Charity Concert

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

Tickets are available from our Eventbrite booking page: 

BBC Visit for Pupils

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Steve Shaw, Head of School at Folkestone Academy said: 

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

World memory record holder teaches tips to help with their studies 

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

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

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

 Katy Tibbles, Community Engagement Manager, Turner Schools, said

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

 Alfie, Year 9 pupil said: 

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

 David Thomas said:

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

 

Notes to Editors

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

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

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

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

She will be greatly missed. 

Turner Schools organises Community Day for thousands of pupils

Pupils from across Folkestone have come together in a series of activities to celebrate and support their local community. More than 2,000 pupils from across Turner Schools spent the day giving back to the people around them in the organisation’s first ever ‘Community Day’. Read on...


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

 

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

 

Seamus Murphy, CEO at Turner Schools, said: 

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

 

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

 

 Katy Tibbles, Stakeholder and Community Engagement Manager, said:

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


Year 8 pupil, Folkestone Academy, said:

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


Year 4 pupil, Folkestone Primary, said: 

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

Turner Schools Hosts Creative Arts Exhibition to highlight pupils’ talents

Pupils from across Folkestone have showcased their artistic talents at the second ever Turner Schools Creative Arts Exhibition. In total the exhibition saw more than 1,500 entries from the schools in the trust, with pupils collaborating on a number of projects to make up the finished exhibits.  Read on...

In addition to the range of artwork on display, pupils from the three primary schools as well as Sixth Form pupils from Folkestone Academy performed a series of live shows. The Folkestone pupils sang, played the piano, danced and busked throughout the evening. After the performances there were speeches from notable dignitaries followed by prize giving. 

Councillor David Monk, Leader of Folkestone & Hythe Council, and Deputy Mayor Councillor Belinda Walker attended the exhibition, along with school governors and other notable figures from across the trust. Councillor Walker and Turner Schools CEO Seamus Murphy presented prizes to the winning pupils.

 The theme of this year’s exhibition was ‘We Are Folkestone’. This theme has allowed pupils to examine the town in which they live, looking at the past, present and future and creating a body of work which puts young voices at its heart.

 Seamus Murphy, Turner Schools CEO, said:

“I’m incredibly proud of the resilience and strength of character that our pupils have shown throughout the past year. The quality of work that they have continued to produce both in school and via home learning has been fabulous. This exhibition was an opportunity to showcase just some of the talents that they have demonstrated throughout the year. I am especially pleased that we also have the creative scholars showcasing their work this year, a new initiative at Folkestone Academy.”

Michelle Foxwood, Turner Schools Creative Arts Director, said: 

“We are not just five institutions working independently to tick off Ofsted criteria, but instead, a united collective invested in the continual regeneration of our town through its most important asset: young individuals who as a community will take us into the future.”

Exhibitions:

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

Award winning actress Jessica Hynes on judging panel for school talent celebration

Pupils from across Turner Schools had the chance to wow their peers at the first annual Turner’s Got Talent showcase at Folkestone Academy. In total, ten acts from across the trust performed their acts, including musicians, dancers, singers, and gymnasts. The ten finalists were given the chance to compete after each school held its own heats with more than 170 pupils across Turner Schools participating and showcasing their talent.  Read on...

During the final showcase prizes were awarded by a panel of judges including renowned actress Jessica Hynes, Seamus Murphy, CEO of Turner Schools, Krissy Yates, Principal at Turner Free School and Local Councillor Jackie Meade.

 The Turner’s Got Talent crown was taken by winners Holly, Peter, Zach and Josh from Folkestone Academy who performed ‘Come as you are’ by Nirvana. 

 In addition to the grand prize, Adela from Morehall Primary School was named Best in Primary for her cello performance of Spring Song by Frank Bridge, while Isabelle from Turner Free School won Best in Secondary for singing ‘Traitor’ by Olivia Rodrigo and Sienna from Martello Primary won The Murphy Prize, a prize that recognises potential talent in the future,  for her rendition of ‘Try Everything’ by Shakira. 

Holly, Year 9 Folkestone Academy pupil, from the winning band, said: 

“I was very happy to win this great prize! We rehearsed this song for a couple of months and it’s nice to see that our hard work paid off. We have named our trophy ‘Benny’.”

 Jessica Hynes said: 

“Well done to all the performers, there was a fantastic amount of talent on the stage. We chose the winners because they showed incredible talent, dedication and amazing potential.  We all agreed they had a kind of magic and an alchemy of fantastic performance skill. I really hope they go on and keep doing it because they really have got something.”

She continued: “Nothing is impossible, it’s really important thinking about performance and the Arts it sometimes seems unreachable. It isn’t! All you need is talent, focus, dedication and to keep on working. Any dream, no dream is too big.”

Seamus Murphy, CEO at Turner Schools, said: 

“Congratulations to Holly, Peter, Zach and Josh on being named winners of the Turner’s Got Talent competition, and to every single one of our performers for their hard work. The competition was a resounding success and really highlighted the depth of talent across Turner Schools, which was absolutely fantastic to see. I’m sure these pupils will continue to showcase their skills over the coming years and I look forward to watching them do so.”

Folkestone pupils mark Queen’s Jubilee with tree-planting ceremony

Pupils across Folkestone have marked the Queen’s Jubilee by planting trees in celebration. Pupils at Martello Primary School, Morehall Primary School, Folkestone Primary, Folkestone Academy and Turner Free School planted a tree outside the school buildings as part of a national campaign of celebration. Read on...

The initiative, organised by The Queen’s Canopy, calls for schools to get involved and celebrate their outside spaces. In total more than one million trees have been planted in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The project is a unique tree planting initiative and invites people from across the country to plant their own trees to celebrate this historic milestone.

The Turner Schools team sourced their trees through Kent Historical Trees from Brogdale Collections, planting five trees, including two cherries, two acers and one ornamental plum in total. The pupils were also warded a commemorative plaque by the Queen’s Canopy initiative in honour of their efforts.

This is just the latest action by Turner Schools pupils to raise awareness of climate change and to look at how they can be more environmentally responsible. Pupils at Folkestone Primary and Martello Primary School have formed an Eco Council to look at addressing the school’s environmental impact, while their peers at Morehall Primary voted for Eco Champions to represent them and to decide which eco-friendly projects they should implement.

Cayden Collins, newly appointed Head Boy at Folkestone Academy Sixth Form, said:

“I feel very privileged to be a part of the tree planting at Folkestone Academy.  The Year 7 pupils that accompanied the Head Girl and myself will get to watch the tree grow during their time at the Academy.  I’m looking forward to coming back in years to come and seeing the progress the tree has made, knowing that I was a part of its beginning.”

Seamus Murphy, CEO of Turner Schools, said: DRAFT

“It’s fantastic to see our pupils are so keen to find out more about nature and the joys of spending time outside. They are really environmentally conscious and are so keen on doing what they can to raise awareness of climate change and to make a positive impact on the natural world around them.

“The Queen’s Canopy initiative is a fantastic means of getting schoolchildren out in the fresh air and to highlight the great wellbeing benefits of spending time with nature. These trees will form a lasting monument to this historic milestone.”

TFS Celebrates Official Opening

On Friday March 18, staff and pupils at Turner Free School celebrated the school’s official opening at a ceremonial ribbon cutting. Dr Jo Saxton, former CEO of Turner Schools and now Chief Regulator of Ofqual, cut the ribbon to mark the official opening of the school. Read on...

The ceremony was attended by a number of high-profile guests, including Damian Collins MP and a number of Folkestone’s local councillors. They were treated to a tour of the school’s new permanent buildings followed by presentations from Principal Kristina Yates; Mike Buchanan, Chair of Trustees of Turner Schools, and Dr Saxton, as well as a speeches from current pupils and a performance by the school choir. The ceremony ended with Dr Saxton cutting the ribbon.

Kristina Yates comments: "We are absolutely delighted that our pupils and staff are now able to make the most of the incredible facilities we have on offer. We have been so proud of our pupils, who have coped brilliantly with the many challenges and delays caused by the pandemic. 

“Finally TFS pupils are enjoying their learning in specialist spaces, including an engineering suite, a fully-equipped food technology room, and our fantastic lecture theatre. Our large, open-plan, Heart Spaces also enable the TFS community to take part in Family Dining and work as a cohesive team every day."

Turner Free School, a secondary school for 11 to 18 year olds, opened to Year 7 pupils in September 2018. Permission was granted for the new build in October 2019, with work completed in May 2021. Turner Schools – a family of five schools in the Folkestone Area – the school aims to nurture 11-18 year old pupils with a passion for learning, who have the confidence, knowledge and ambition to go out into the world and fulfil their potential.

Schools celebrate their community through ‘Folkestone Talks’ 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interested in becoming a parent governor? We would love to hear from you.

Please complete the form below if you are interested in becoming a parent governor. For more information, visit our governance page or email governance@turnerschools.com.

Return your nomination form to the school office by Friday, 28th January.

Christmas Home Science Experiment

Struggling to find Christmas decorations? Why not make your own! Watch our Science pupils show you how to make crystal snowflakes using everyday household supplies!! 

Folkestone Pupils Take Part in Diversity and Inclusion Week 

School leaders across Turner Schools have worked together to launch a trust-wide Diversity and Inclusion week. Pupils in all year groups across all five schools took part in a range of activities throughout the week including subject specific lessons, workshops and presentations from a range of guest speakers. Read on...

The aim of the week was to broaden pupils’ awareness of what is meant by diversity and inclusion; to encourage pupils to develop a greater sense of empathy and understanding towards those who are different to themselves; and to gain an appreciation for the diverse community in which we live.

Events included:

A Year 7 pupil from Folkestone Academy said:

“This week I have learnt to be more respectful and considerate of other people's feelings. We should celebrate the differences between us; no one should experience discrimination.”

Seamus Murphy, CEO at Turner Schools, said:

“As a trust we embrace the diverse culture in which we live and we want our pupils to grow up having confidence in themselves, no matter what their situation may be. This week, pupils have had the opportunity to explore a wide range of issues and have heard first hand from people with diverse backgrounds. Pupils from all age ranges have approached the week with interest and maturity and I know that they have gained a huge amount from these experiences.”

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

“It has been a privilege to work with such a diverse group of people throughout the week. I am incredibly grateful for the contributions made by members of the wider community and the stories that they have shared with us.”

Anti-bullying Week News Feature

ITV Meridian 15.11.2021

Pupils at Turner Free School spoke in a news feature about anti-bullying.

TFS Anti Bullying Piece_ITV Meridian_151121.wmv

Folkestone pupils meet French peers through message in a bottle

Pupils at Turner Free School have made contact with French students from Calais after sending messages in bottles across the Channel. Turner Free School was contacted by fellow students from the French school Collège Louis Blériot, who found their messages washed up on a nearby beach while studying tidal flows. Read on....

The Message in a Bottle project was launched over the summer at Turner Free School, as a means of encouraging pupils to develop their writing skills and to provide a means of expressing their emotions. Pupils produced simple written pieces which they then placed into bottles so that Nick Brooks, the teacher behind the project, could launch these into the Channel at Dungeness. 

One of these bottles was then found by students from Collège Louis Blériot, who excitedly contacted their English peers to tell them they had discovered the messages and were keen to translate them. They wrote about the experience on their school website and are looking forward to sending their own messages in English to strengthen the fledging relationship. 

Staff at Turner Free School have also now made contact with the French teachers there to see what else the two schools can learn from each other, and to discuss how they can work together. They plan on continuing to exchange messages to discover how their education differs over the coming months. 

Nick Brooks, Turner Free School, said:

“We wanted to give our pupils the opportunity to work on their writing skills by drafting simple messages outlining their experience of the past couple of years. Instead of just keeping this in school though, we also wanted to encourage them to reach out to others, and we thought that sending the messages to France was a great way of showing them how far their messages might go. 

“The pupils were all so excited to hear back from the French students and it’s fantastic to know that they’re translating and reading our messages at the moment. This is a great opportunity to reach out to Collège Louis Blériot and see how else we can work together to support our mutual students.” 

Kristina Yates, Principal at Turner Free School, said:

“This is really exciting for all the pupils involved with the Message in a Bottle project, and I’m delighted that the French students have made contact. It’s such a great way to build relationships with their counterparts in other countries, and it’s fantastic that the messages were found by students of similar ages. We’re all looking forward to what comes next and working with our new French friends.” 

DfE Covid 19 Guidance

Please take some time to read the DfE Covid 19 guidance for parents/carers. (Click Gov.uk link)

Our school has updated our Covid 19 risk assessment to reflect the changes made in July.

Term 1 Start Times