In 2009, Sevenoaks School was approached by the Local Education Authority, Kent County Council , to be the educational sponsor of a new all-ability school in Sevenoaks.
The aim of the partnership has now matured into one seeking a mutually supportive relationship, both for staff and pupils, and there is a commitment to fostering links further.
Initially the aim was to bring our expertise, enthusiasm and commitment to learning to help Knole Academy establish as a school for all abilities. The aim of the partnership has now matured into one seeking a mutually supportive relationship, both for staff and pupils, and there is a commitment to fostering links further.
In 2009, Sevenoaks School was approached by the Local Education Authority, Kent County Council , to be the educational sponsor of a new all-ability school in Sevenoaks. Governors supported the idea, and senior members of staff were involved in the steering group which both formulated the vision and plans for the academy and advised on the appointment of the Principal and senior staff. The Head and Senior Deputy Head are Governors, and the former Senior Deputy Head is Vice-Chairman of Governors.
The Head and Senior Deputy Head are active members of the Knole Governing Body and the trust, and also serve on the Education Committee. As such, they provide challenge and support to the Principal and her team and support a number of functions over the year. The Senior Deputy helps with subject reviews and the Head has actively helped recruit new members to the Governing Body to enhance its skills set.
One of Sevenoaks Schools’ strengths in supporting Knole Academy is its expertise in working with the more able students. A member of Sevenoaks staff runs an enrichment discussion group for some of their grammar stream pupils, and there has been a joint discussion group. A selection of our Higher Education events are open to Knole Academy students and staff, such as university information evenings. Some Knole Academy pupils have taken advantage of our cricket coaching, and their places were sponsored by Sevenoaks School. Knole Academy pupils regularly attend our science week events and have attended a special workshop as part of ‘Making It’, an exhibition that featured the work of former Sevenoaks School pupils who have been successful in the world of art and design. Mathematics teachers have previously helped with A level maths teaching and have coached Knole Academy mathematicians. As part of the raising aspirations programme, two students each year are selected to benefit from the Kent Academies Network University Access Programme which is being hosted at Sevenoaks in 2015-16.
Three annual teacher training sessions are held jointly with Knole Academy involving up to about twenty five newly qualified teachers or those new to the profession. In addition, Sevenoaks School staff undertaking a PGCE with QTS usually serve their placement at Knole Academy. Both schools are proactively involved in the Physics Partners scheme, which aims to share ideas about Physics teaching and provides valuable professional development to the science team at Knole Academy.
The Sennocke Centre Manager provided consultancy to the Knole Academy on the fitting out of their new gymnasium, and Knole Academy staff may approach the Director of Marketing services for advice.
Good relationships between the two schools exist.
Knole Academy pupils have benefited from improved science resources which they do not have at the academy.
Teachers have benefitted from improving their skills and knowledge, particularly in Science.
The pupils are all secondary school age (11-19), and fully co-educational. Knole Academy has a well-developed grammar stream, and these students particularly are engaged in activities with Sevenoaks School.
It is a long term, on-going partnership, with a range of activities. Senior staff, including the Head and Principal, are committed to the partnership and are always looking for opportunities to expand these, whilst recognising practical restrictions.