The King’s School, Canterbury and 21st century education
Whilst it is not the first time that the School and the Cathedral Precincts have been forced to take severe measures to deal with pandemics or other emergencies – as in WW2 when King’s had to evacuate to Carlyon Bay in Cornwall – the wonders of modern technology have allowed the School to continue providing a King’s education, even during the lockdown periods.
The innovative ‘King’s Education Online’ has meant that pupils have continued to receive a dynamic, personalised, inspiring, creative, and effective programmes of learning. Every subject was taught as normal.
The co-curricular side was also adapted, with over 70 different activities available to pupils online. One co-curricular element that has continued is the popular King’s Talks. Live Zoom webinars have replaced the more traditional in-person talk but thought-provoking topics. A number of OKS (Old King’s Scholars – www.oks.org.uk) have taken up the opportunity to speak with pupils about their time at the School and their life beyond it from the comfort of their own home.
Recent topics included ‘Deserts, Mountains & Covid-19: Life as an Expedition Doctor’ was delivered by Dr Nathan Hudson-Peacock, NHS Emergency Department Physician; ‘From King’s to UNICEF: Development in Uganda’ by Miriam Lwanga, Communication for Development Specialist for UNICEF Uganda; and ‘The Changing Face of the Fashion Industry: Eco brand building and is there such thing as a sustainable brand?’ by Pip Durell, Founder of sustainable fashion brand With Nothing Underneath.
2021 and beyond offers challenges but also opportunities. The School is midway through ambitious development plans which include the transformation of the King’s science teaching facilities, a project that could not be more apt in its timing with Covid-19, demonstrating the importance of scientific research. The construction of a state-of-the-art science building comprising of four floors, eight laboratories, break out areas and a science auditorium continues as King’s looks to inspire the next generation of scientists.
Virtual Open Mornings are set to stay. Live events have allowed prospective parents and pupils to hear from senior members of staff, and more importantly, from current pupils, about life at King’s in a time when a visit has not been possible.
The superb efforts and achievements of the current pupils continue to impress. The King’s hockey players that recently attended England trials, the musicians performing at Canterbury Festival and the inspiring fund-raising exploits of so many are testament to a School that allows pupils to flourish in their chosen endeavours whatever the circumstances..