11 November 2018

Kent Academies Network Event

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The KAN UAP annual autumn meet-up event was held at Sevenoaks School in November, and was once again a resounding success. The opportunity to bring all four cohorts together at the same location is always a special event because it gives students invaluable access to their peers and this can be a powerful resource for them in pursuit of their goals.

Thirty students from five Kent academy schools enjoyed the privilege of being the first group to use the multi-purpose space in the basement of the new Science and Technology Centre, one day prior to the official opening ceremony. The flexible space allowed multiple sessions tailored for each year group to run concurrently and made possible seamless transitions between the sessions.

KAN UAP currently comprises five academy schools from across Kent and three independent schools, including Sevenoaks School. The aim of the programme is to help students reach their full potential by proving academic and cultural enrichment opportunities and guiding them towards applications for places at high-ranking universities. The scheme started in 2012, and graduates from the first cohort who left the programme in 2017, came to November’s event to share their experiences of university life with the students currently involved with KAN UAP. Hearing directly about life at LSE and Reading University was inspiring for the young people preparing to take steps along the road to similar destinations and for many this was a highlight of the day.

Young and energetic motivational speaker Carl Konadu, from 2 to 3 Degrees, enthused students in Year 10 about following their dreams and the value of making a strong first impression. One Year 10 student said: ‘I enjoyed being able to see how your self-confidence defines you.’

After the session on managing stress, led by Azzees Minott, one Year 11 student said: ‘It helped me to realise that pressure and stress can be resolved and how to do that.’

 Students in Year 13 who are currently making university applications were given one-to-one feedback on their UCAS applications with Wendy Heydorn, Sevenoaks School’s Director of the Institute of Higher Education and Professional Insight. Additionally, all Sixth Form students were introduced to the Unifrog software platform and were shown how they can use it to find the best courses at the right university for them.

Speaking about the day, Henry Langdon, Director of Community Education Programmes at Sevenoaks School, said: ‘It was fantastic to see the KAN alumni inspiring their peers to achieve similar heights with their advice and insights on how to best prepare for and thrive at university. We were delighted that Future First were able to facilitate these discussions and thread them with their expertise on the UCAS process as well. The workshops from Unifrog and 2-3 Degrees received similarly excellent feedback from the students and we look forward to bringing their energy and expertise to bear at future KAN events.’

The next KAN UAP event to be help at Sevenoaks School will be a five-day residential during the Easter break. This annual event is incredibly enriching for the students who enjoy coming together to work with like-minded people. As well as building friendships, the residential gives students the chance to learn about new subject and to consolidate knowledge ahead of public exams. 

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