Kent Academies Network - November Meet-up Event
On 8 November, we were delighted to welcome our Kent Academies Network (KAN) students to Sevenoaks for their meet-up event.
The day began with registration and refreshments followed by a welcome talk about why and how KAN aims to remove barriers to Higher Education.
For an ice-breaker activity the students spelt out K-A-N in their cohorts for a drone image and then began their workshops with 2-3 degrees. Many students said that this session was the best part of the day as it really helped them connect with their peers, who they were meeting for the first time in-person (or re-connect in the case of the year 12s and year 13s).
After a lunch, the year 10s and year 11s chose between three academic sessions: Physics (experiment with static electricity, with Sevenoaks teacher Lena Krass); a medicinal Maths session or an introduction to Psychology (both mentor led). Meanwhile, the year 13s had one-to-one conversations with higher education advisors and there was also a session about over-seas applications for year 12s.
For the rest of the afternoon students rotated between workshops on using Unifrog, an introduction to Pathways CTM and an Emotional Health workshop led by the Samaritans. The afternoon closed with an excellent Research Beyond Revision Skills talk by Mark Beverly from the Sevenoaks School Institute of Teaching and Learning.
In total we had 45 students attend (76% of the students engaged with KAN), 35 of whom completed a feedback survey. When asked the best thing about the meet-up day, the main themes were the chance to meet new people and/or see everyone again (after being online due to Covid) or specific sessions: 2-3 degrees and the overseas applications talk.
We also found that:
- Most students agreed (51%) or strongly agreed (34%) that the meetup day exposed them to new ideas, and 14% were neutral.
- When asked if the sessions were interesting and well delivered, most students agreed (66%) or strongly agreed (26%), and 6% were neutral.
- When asked if they now felt more enthusiastic about their schoolwork, most students agreed (49%) or strongly agreed (9%), with 40% feeling neutral.
- When asked if the meet-up day improved their understanding of their options beyond school, most students agreed (49%) or strongly agreed (29%), with 20% feeling neutral.
- When asked if they would like to study at university, most students agreed (26%) or strongly agreed (57%), with 11% feeling neutral and one student disagreeing.
- When asked if KAN helps them to feel more confident, most students agreed (57%) or strongly agreed (23%), with 14% feeling neutral and one student disagreeing.
- When asked if they knew what they would need to do in order to apply to university, most students agreed (49%) or strongly agreed (14%), with 34% feeling neutral.
- When asked if they felt part of a KAN network of students and mentors, most students agreed (66%) or strongly agreed (23%), with 9% feeling neutral.
- When asked if they felt supported by their KAN network, most students agreed (49%) or strongly agreed (31%), with 17% feeling neutral.
When students were asked what KAN means to them many mention the word ‘opportunity’ and most mention the value of having an ambitious peer-group and the chance to build their confidence.
The KAN programme has given me a lot of valuable guidance about the direction that I’d like to take my education. It has re-enforced my goal to attend university whilst also exposing me to other alternative options beyond school. I found myself becoming more self-assured and independent in the way that I approach opportunities outside of school since joining, which has helped me immensely in stepping outside of my comfort-zone. The people I’ve met through KAN have been absolutely wonderful and equally inspiring. This alone has made the programme for me worthwhile.
Student from the 2021 cohort