Invicta Academy

During half term, 13 students volunteered to work with Invicta Academy, an online pop-up school founded in Kent, with the sole purpose of helping the children of the United Kingdom catch up on missed learning.

Tom Edwards (Lower Sixth) writes about his experience:

When the opportunity to help with Invicta Academy arose, 13 students from the Sixth Form jumped at the opportunity. Invicta Academy is an online school which was set up to combat the gaps left in children’s education as a result of school closures during lockdown. It targets some of the less well-off families in Kent through providing free lessons to those in receipt of free school meals. This allows those children most in need of support to receive it.

As a group, we wanted to support the children in their education and boost their confidence and success in later life. I was motivated having heard first-hand from a Gravesend primary school headteacher of the impact lockdown was having on children’s learning. She described how some students had received no formal teaching for six months. I personally found this to be unfair as children were deprived of their education. It is therefore fundamental that schemes like Invicta are supported, so that a child’s progress is not limited by their circumstances.

I was teamed with a teacher and teaching assistant and around 60 Year 3 and 4 students on Zoom. During the morning there would be English and Maths lessons. In English, our lesson focused on articles and when to use ‘a’ or ‘an’. Through encouragement in both the question box and live on the lesson, we watched the students’ confidence grow as they would attempt more and more questions hoping their names might be read out for getting their ‘a’s and ‘an’s the right way round! I found this to be one of the most enjoyable things to observe over the course of the week.

From my time with Invicta, I found my own confidence grew at explaining concepts at a level which would be both comprehensible and helpful for the children. I also learnt to be more patient, whilst I was giving children more time to answer the question.

Overall, having finished my experience with Invicta I feel satisfied and proud of the great work they have done in empowering children with confidence and helping them recover lost teaching time. I’m glad I was able to be part of the academy and I’m hopeful looking forward to the future for the further success Invicta will have within the community.

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