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WKISSP's first event


The West Kent Independent State School Partnership (ISSP) is a partnership of eight secondary schools - Beechwood Sacred Heart School, The Judd School, Kent College Pembury, The Malling School, Mascalls Academy, Oakley School, The Skinners’ School and The Skinners’ Kent Academy.

We are so fortunate to have many types of schools in and around Tunbridge Wells, all offering something different and each with their own strengths.  Whether state, grammar, academy, independent or a special educational needs school, each provides an excellent education. The partnership was set up with the aim of sharing resources and together, provide high aspirational learning opportunities for our pupils that we are just not able to offer on our own. The projects will not only benefit pupils, but also enable teachers to extend their professional development, free from curriculum constraints. 

This term, to mark the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, the WKISSP hosted their first event; an evening’s lecture, on Tuesday 21st May at The Judd School, for students in years 7 and 8 and their parents.

Mr Matt Wilson, a teacher of History of Art and a published writer, provided an overview of Leonardo’s career and legacy, and incorporated a selection of his paintings and drawings. Matt then discussed Leonardo’s extraordinary and unprecedented work in art, anatomy, botany, engineering and mathematics. Mrs Haley Tomlinson, who works at the Conservation Department of the National Gallery, then spoke on Leonardo da Vinci’s Virgin of the Rocks: materials and methods. The talk provided an introduction to the materials and methods that were used to create this great work, from the preparation of the wooden support and the creation of the design, to the gradual build-up of the paint layers and application of the details in gold. Particular attention was paid to the sfumato paint effects for which Leonardo was so famous. The students and their parents then had the opportunity to ask the guest speakers questions.

Over 120 students and parents from across the 8 schools attended the hour long lecture. Below is some of the feedback received.

“The evening was interesting, engaging and informative –thank you”

“Absolutely fantastic full stop!”

“It was great. We both really enjoyed it and I am looking forward to hearing what is coming up next. Brilliant idea to help bring kids and parents together in learning and a pleasant, social, low key, local night out.

“It's rare that parents and children have learning opportunities at the same time and so I really enjoyed that about the evening, we could then discuss what we'd learned together. Normally it's the child learning and the parent supplementing their learning so it was good for the kids to see that we enjoyed learning too.”

The WKISSP Operational Steering Group Committee are now working towards their second event; Masterclasses for years 7 and 8 on Saturday 15th June, which will be held at Mascalls Academy. The cross-curricular day, which will be led by outstanding teachers from the Partnership schools, will allow students to learn more about Leonardo da Vinci and sign up for sessions on Anatomy and Art, Engineering and Ethics, Politics and Media, Engineering and Textiles and Beginners’ Italian. Please email for more information. 

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Posted: 10/06/2019 at 16:24
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