03 December 2020

KAN November meet up

We had fantastic attendance at our virtual November meet up and really positive feedback from the students.

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We had fantastic attendance at our virtual November meet up and recieved really positive feedback from the students.

The day started of with a session on Dealing with Stress and Anxiety with Lucy from West Kent Mind. The session was a short introduction session to mental health and wellbeing, highlighting some tools for how to keep ourselves well. Exploring stress, what causes us stress and the impact. How to recognise in ourselves and others when we start to feel at capacity and tips on how to implement healthy coping strategies earlier.      

‘I really enjoyed today’s session on Anxiety and Stress as I found it interesting and useful. I also enjoyed our mentoring sessions as it’s always useful to get advice from our mentors.’

Students then had forty-five minutes of mentoring before going into an academic session of their choosing. On offer was an interactive debating workshop on the US Election with Harry (mentor), or Game Theory: Maths and Morality, with Mr Rhatigan (Sevenoaks teacher), or Social History and Fine Art with Rebekah (KAN alumnus and current mentor). Also on offer was an Applying for Medicine focus group with Sevenoaks teacher Dr Parsons.

After the academic sessions students went into cohort break-out rooms to discuss what they’d learnt. Following this, we had some university focused workshops.

Students from Years 10 and 11 were looking at super curriculum options to support their studies and for future University applications with Siân Bex (SLO at Queens’ College Cambridge). After an introduction and a bit of background about Cambridge we talked about what we looked for from applicants, what we meant by super curricular and why it’s good to make a start on looking at super curricular material. We looked at some examples of the sort of books that could be read, emphasising the point that they do not always have to be highly academic, before moving onto other sources such as podcasts, websites and documentaries. Super curricular should be enjoyable and its often about sparking interest and leading you to other reading to learn about the things that interest you.

‘I learnt about how to apply to universities based on GCSE subjects’


Meanwhile the Year 12s were with Maria McElroy (also SLO at Queens’ College, Cambridge) in a personal statement workshop. After a warm welcome, Maria delivered an overview of the purpose of the personal statement from universities’ point of view, and what Cambridge are looking for before moving on to how the candidates can position themselves to be able to write high standard content. A short exercise required the students to think about the subject they might want to take at university and write down their engagement with that subject so far.

‘It was really good to hear about Medicine applications from Dr. Parsons and also what Oxbridge really expect when looking at personal statements’

Finally, the Year 13s took part in a session on academic reading, focused on preparing them for their university studies. This was created and delivered by an experienced mentor. Effective methods for finding and obtaining relevant information from academic papers were discussed. This involved an introduction to a range of online resources such as Google Scholar, Science Direct and Jstor. The students were also shown how to access primary research from Wikipedia articles. This was followed up with a discussion on various note-taking strategies. Finally, the session finished with a brief demonstration of OneNote and Mendeley, a really useful citation manager.


‘I learned a more efficient way to reference my work, how to find good information online and how to pick and choose the importance’s of that information’

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