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Towers School in Ashford opens its doors to Kennington CE Academy Year 6 pupils

Year 6 pupils have been getting a taste of the future after being allowed to move into a nearby secondary school.

Children from Kennington CE Academy in Ashford returned last week, but instead of going to their usual Upper Vicarage Road site went to Towers School in Faversham Road.

Kennington Academy's Year 6 pupils have been getting a taste of the future this month
Kennington Academy's Year 6 pupils have been getting a taste of the future this month

Head teacher Richard Billings permitted use of the art block to allow for social distancing and staggered entry and exit times.

Sixty of the Kennington school's 90 Year 6 pupils have come back, with Towers providing each child with Chromebook laptops to use during their time there.

The primary's head of school, Lynn Seal, and Year 6 staff spent three weeks setting up the "mini school" and have lauded Mr Billings for giving them permission to use the art block and sports facilities.

Many of the pupils will be joining Towers full-time in three months' time when the new school year starts in September.

Mrs Seal said: "It's been an absolute blessing for us to be able to go up there and use five of their rooms.

Kennington pupils have access to sports facilities at Towers
Kennington pupils have access to sports facilities at Towers
Kennington Academy teachers have thanked Towers staff for letting the pupils move in
Kennington Academy teachers have thanked Towers staff for letting the pupils move in

"It enables the critical workers' and vulnerable children to attend our usual school in small bubbles and then the 50 or so other pupils can go to Towers.

"About 90% of our students go on to Towers and this gives them an ability to really get a feel for the school which they wouldn't get in normal circumstances.

"A huge thank you to Richard and his staff - nothing's been too much trouble and they've been so accommodating.

"It's been a really good partnership."

The primary head teacher says she does not know how long the arrangement will be required, but could stay in place until the summer.

Pupils are enjoying their stay at Towers School
Pupils are enjoying their stay at Towers School
Pupils have access to the Towers astro-turf
Pupils have access to the Towers astro-turf

Mr Billings said: "I approached them because we didn't have many of our students in.

"We're looking after key workers' kids but we only have about 20 or 30.

"I know the Kennington Academy has very small classrooms and has issues with pick-ups and drop-offs due to its locality so thought we could help.

Richard Billings, head teacher at Towers School
Richard Billings, head teacher at Towers School
Towers has opened its doors to the Kennington Academy
Towers has opened its doors to the Kennington Academy

"It's going brilliantly, they have their own area of the school - or bubble as they call it now - so they're separate from my staff and students and they also have their own designated toilet to avoid contact as much as possible."

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