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    Masterclasses Hit the Mark

    Kimbolton School is shortlisted for its outreach work with local primary schools, in the 2016 TES Independent School Awards. 

    Kimbolton School Chemistry MasterclassKimbolton School has been shortlisted for its outreach work with Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire primary schools in the 2016 TES Independent School Awards. Our ‘Masterclasses’ programme, launched in 2005, is one of four contenders in the category of ‘Best Independent-Maintained School Collaboration’.

    Our annual series of History and English, Mathematics, and Sciences classes – as well as a popular one-off Chemistry lecture demonstration – together attract around 1,000 Year 5 and 6 children from 68 maintained primary schools across the Eastern and Midlands regions. Children are nominated by their school to attend either a single free 90-minute evening Chemistry demonstration (with plenty of audience participation!), or a series of free six one-hour sessions on Saturday mornings in History and English, Mathematics, and Sciences.

    All of the Masterclasses are designed for youngsters who have a genuine interest and ability in their subjects, and aim to extend the academic skills of more able pupils. They offer an opportunity for children to meet and work with others from a wide range of schools, and help to instil a tangible love of learning prior to secondary education.

    Headmaster Mr Jonathan Belbin said: “Our close relationship with local primary schools reflects our ongoing involvement with, and commitment to, our community.  We are all striving after the same goal, excellence in education.  Our work complements the excellent teaching taking place in a wide variety of schools in our locality. Our staff find the Masterclasses professionally rewarding and are able to develop their own skills at this pre-senior school age group.  Our academic staff, and their passion for teaching, really are the driving force behind our Masterclasses - and there are more, including Spanish and Philosophy, in the pipeline.”

    Mrs Kate Lund, Head Teacher of St John’s C of E Primary School, Huntingdon, added: “The Masterclasses give pupils an opportunity to work at an appropriate challenge level with a wider range of peers, and to enjoy the facilities that a larger school like Kimbolton can offer. Participation helps our children to boost their thinking skills and they benefit from the challenge of academic enquiry. As a result, they return to their primary school with confidence boosted and feeling better prepared for life in secondary school.”

    The TES IS Awards are among the highest accolades in secondary education. They applaud excellence and reward innovation by individuals and teams making remarkable contributions to independent schools across the UK. The winners will be revealed at an awards ceremony in London, on Friday, November 27.