17 July 2017

KAN programme – a student case study

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As the final term has drawn to a close, I have sampled an abundance of new experiences which have been both exciting and interesting.

I’m part of the KAN programme, an acronym for the Kent Academies Network, and our final residential of this school year took place from the 2nd to the 8th of July at Tonbridge School. It was an utterly fantastic week which was full of opportunity to cultivate and develop new skills, share information and enjoy exciting experiences.

KAN requires an immense amount of commitment and dedication: the days are long and intense and as such, it is vital to remain focused and present at all times. Typically, our days are full of activity and centred around lessons and lectures. What is so wonderful about KAN is that we don’t only have the space to expand in our chosen areas and the compulsory curriculum, but our eyes are opened and our interests are piqued in unfamiliar fields and subjects.

For instance, we had a particularly interesting Eastern Culture lesson which explored social and cultural differences and as such, gave us the chance to try different teas. This led me to discover my love of black tea!

We had a day trip to the Reach out Lab, located in The Imperial College of London, where we had a tour; a lecture on biomechanical engineering; and joined scientists in the lab where tests are ongoing to find ways of preventing the spread of malaria. It was the most incredible day and I loved every moment of it. The Imperial College is one of the universities I am interested in applying to and it was such a fantastic opportunity to spend the day there.

I also thoroughly enjoyed studying Greek, politics and economics: all subjects I wouldn’t otherwise be acquiring knowledge in or growing such an interest and passion for. During the week, as part of our politics class, we worked towards a debate which took place on our last day.

We had a week to study the Scottish Referendum and prepare our argument and I was elated when my team won! Whilst the task was, of course, focused on informing and educating us: it’s always good to keep that healthy sense of competition!

We have such a camaraderie between us, and KAN really is like a family and a "home from home": we’re building wonderful friendships that I hope will last all of our lives and we are making wonderful memories along the way. I’d strongly encourage any pupil who is given the opportunity to apply for a place on KAN to go for it: it is an absolutely incredible process to be part of and I’m excited to see where we will all go in the future, and how the support of all involved will propel us into the next phases of our educations and our lives.

We are very fortunate to have this available to us at Oasis and I think it’s a valuable reminder that our only real obstacle in the pursuit of our aspirations, is ourselves – we can achieve all we wish to, if we are prepared to work hard enough for it.

Following this fun and challenging week I commenced my work experience placement. It really has been a busy few weeks! I chose to work at Sheppey FM and it was a brilliant week packed full of new experiences, building on important skills and overcoming challenges. I’d recently been a part of the team selected to host a live radio show on Sheppey in World War 1 (an experience that I really enjoyed), and this fuelled my enthusiasm to go back to the media centre for a longer period of time.

Since I’m currently interested in pursuing a career in astrophysics and aeronautical engineering, my placement wasn’t related to a career interest. However, my passion for our island, our community, and the work the radio is doing for so many here prompted me to get involved with Sheppey FM. I’ve realised, since completing the week, what an invaluable experience it has been and it has awarded me far more skills than I had initially contemplated.

I believe all who have been fortunate enough to secure a placement there have expanded in their confidence and social skills, and truly grown from the opportunity. I presented news and weather, introduced songs and was interviewed by presenters as well as completing research and development tasks and furthering my production skills. It was such a rewarding, enjoyable and thrilling week that I’ve decided to go back in my free time as part of the Youth Radio Project.

With the summer holidays just around the corner, keep in mind the numerous opportunities down at Sheppey FM. Pop down to the media centre or tune in to 92.2 for more information about training opportunities for all ages and how you can get involved! They are a great bunch of people down there and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them once again for all they do for our community. I’m sure most students and teachers alike are more than ready for the summer holidays at this stage, and I do hope you all have a great summer break and come back refreshed and excited for a new school year, in September.

Kian Trainor Year 10.

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