• December_2017_c

Creativity in the school curriculum

Federation Executive Principal of The Malling Holmesdale Federation, Patrick Hannaway, writes in response to Ian Hay, Kent Messenger letters 08 February 2013:

It saddens me to read that Mr Hay takes the cynical view that local schools view league tables as the be all and end all of education.  Whilst it is true that the means by which the attainment of our students, and therefore the success of our schools, is measured currently seems to be focused on narrow, academic criteria, the picture of learning and teaching taking place in our two schools on a daily basis is very different.

At The Malling School we have a vibrant art department where students of all years learn to express themselves in the broadest possible range of media from Year 7 upwards.  The art and photography work of our sixth form students is of an astonishing quality and we are happy to celebrate our students’ creativity by using their designs on our school Christmas card.  I even have framed prints of their work on my office walls.

At Holmesdale Technology College students work on real life practical engineering projects with British Aerospace and others alongside experts in the field, putting their classroom and laboratory learning into practice in real workshops, exploring the possibilities of materials and pushing the boundaries of their own inventiveness.

Across the Malling Holmesdale Federation we have a thriving performing arts partnership allowing students to collaborate across our two schools on school musical, choral and theatrical performances.  The quality is such that you would barely know these are school productions.  Similarly, the federation schools both excel on the sports track and field, with many of our students going on to become elite sportsmen and women in their own right.  One of our current students is already signed with Gillingham FC and a recent former sixth former, already a junior commonwealth medallist whilst still with us, is now training alongside other world class athletes at the University of Alabama.

Everything we do for our students is underpinned by the full support and backing of our trust board partners.  These include all 4 Kent universities as well as a range of major corporations with local interests, notably Smurfit Kappa and Kimberly Clark.  These partners support our teachers to ensure that the young people in our care explore every possibility for their future, whether a degree in Fine Art or Textiles at the University of the Creative Arts (UCA) or an apprenticeship in paper recycling management.  Of course, English, mathematics and science remain important in that they allow our students access to a wealth of other opportunities to learn and develop.