14th July 2020
Education Secretary and MP supports Pop Up Invicta Academy
Secretary of State for Education, the Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE and MP for Sittingbourne and Sheppey, Gordon Henderson, have given their backing to the Invicta Summer Academy which has launched in Kent. The pop-up initiative which is completely free to use, will kick-start a month-long effort to help children catch up on missed schooling.
Gavin Williamson said: “Activities which support the education and well-being of children will no doubt be beneficial ahead of their return to school in September. The pop up online school, Invicta Summer Academy in Kent, is a great example of the community coming together to provide support for local children. This summer, schools can use their catch-up premium funding, part of our £1billion package, to set up summer schools. The Government’s Holiday Activities and Food programme is also running in 17 local authority areas and holiday clubs are able to open their doors to all children from the end of term.”
The brainchild of Former Academy Governor and Sevenoaks District Councillor Anna Firth, and Folkestone primary school teacher Stephen James, the Invicta Summer Academy is also supported by the majority of Kent MPs who recognise that many children need a helping hand to be ready to restart school in September.
Gordon Henderson said: “I am delighted to support this initiative. Some of our local children have not been to school for many weeks and by the time our schools reopen in September, they will have lost half a year’s education. Hopefully, the Pop Up Invicta Academy will provide them with a helping hand and prepare them for the new academic year.”
Cllr Anna Firth explained: “We are all concerned about the effect of the necessary school closures on the education of our children and I feel passionately that we have to come together and offer Kent children an opportunity to get back on the front foot for September”.
Sporting the motto ‘Veni Didici Vici’ – Latin for ‘We Came, We Learnt, We Conquered’ – and run by an army of volunteers, the Academy will provide lessons for Keystages 1 – 4 beginning on Monday 27th July, and finishing on Friday 28th August.
Stephen James added: “Teachers and schools have done an amazing job during lockdown, often working extended hours through their holidays and the complete redesign of schools for social distancing has been nothing short of extraordinary. Teachers and school leaders need a break, which is why we’ve set up the Pop Up Summer Academy.”
Weekly “aim high” inspirational sessions will be delivered by successful people from the worlds of sport, media, business and the arts to talk about their personal journeys and inspire children to stick with learning and return to school with confidence. Skeleton Bobsleigh double Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold has volunteered to deliver a session and TV Michelin starred Chef, TV chef, Mark Sargeant, will explain how to get to the top of his profession.
All lessons will run to a timetable through which parents and guardians can sign up their children via a website.
Liz Carter, Executive Head at The Federation of St Martin & Seabrook CEP Schools in Kent, said: ”It is really beneficial for all children to continue their learning journey throughout the Summer, particularly those children who have not attended school. As well as learning provided by schools, Invicta Pop Up Academy will provide some much needed routine and consolidation of learning over to summer to get the children of Kent ready for September. I feel that any opportunities to keep learning alive and enable children to revise their previous learning is going to have huge benefits for their mental health as well as their academic progress come September”.
“It’s all hands to the pump”, said Invicta Academy’s safeguarding lead, Caroline Platt, “We have had so many offers of help from educators keen to give their time to help our local boys and girls get back up to speed before September.”
For more information please visit www.invictaacademy.com or to speak to someone from the Pop Up Invicta Academy, please call: Linden Kemkaran on 07740 818526, Anna Firth on 07807 857230 or Stephen James on 07545 862810 or email [email protected].