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068 EDUCATION


indexmagazine.co.uk


School report


New nurseries offer exciting opportunities for youngsters, primary school application deadline looms, is Ofsted coming under fi re?, plus a round-up of local education news


Caroline Knight New nursery for The New Beacon


From September 2019, The New Beacon School in Sevenoaks will be accepting girls and boys in the term they are rising three years of age. From Reception to Year 8, The New Beacon will remain a boys’ school. The Nursery will offer a warm and stimulating environment where great care will be given to make all children feel safe, comfortable, and nurtured. It will offer experienced, highly-qualifi ed staff within the happy and caring New Beacon family. A wide range of exciting learning activities will be provided to ensure the development of each child’s innate curiosity whilst embedding lifelong skills, which encompass the seven specifi c


areas of learning within the Early Years Foundation Stage.


The nursery pupils will have access


to the fi rst class facilities within The New Beacon’s 22-acre site as well as the dedicated Early Years outdoor learning area and an enclosed adventure playground. They will also benefi t from a whole host of indoor activities where they will interact with specialist teachers in music, swimming and physical activity. The fees start at £360 per morning per term or full-time per term at £3,250. • Visit newbeacon.org.uk, contact the Registrar on 01732 452131 or email at registrar@newbeacon.org.uk


Ofsted under fi re?


HEAD OF SEVENOAKS SCHOOL TO LEAVE FOR NEW ROLE


After nearly 17 years of leadership at Sevenoaks School, Dr Katy Ricks (pictured) is to leave the all-IB independent school to take up a new post as Chief Master of King Edward’s School, Birmingham, where she will become the fi rst female Chief Master in the school’s 466-year history. Dr Ricks has been Head of Sevenoaks School since 2002 and during that time she has overseen the completion of the school’s full transition to the IB,


the introduction of its own externally moderated exams, the development of the school campus and further curriculum innovations. Under her leadership, Sevenoaks has twice been the Sunday Times Independent Secondary School of the Year, and the school has grown its infl uence in the local community through the sponsorship of Knole Academy, the creation of Kent Academies Network and the fostering of other community partnerships.


It is felt by some that the current school inspection procedures are damaging to schools and their staff, also impacting on pupils with the National Audit Offi ce questioning whether Ofsted is inspecting schools effectively and whether inspections are having a disproportionately infl uential effect on schools. The NAO has reported that Ofsted is under-funded and is unable to demonstrate value for money. There are also questions over its effectiveness, particularly whether or not school inspections are having a long-term positive impact. There is no doubt that Ofsted


does provide much valuable evidence and guidance for schools but it has been suggested that a clearer vision for school inspection is required, with a complete overhaul of inspection processes a possibility.


© David Merewether


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