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Pop up online school Invicta Academy plans to offer free teaching to all Kent pupils this summer

A pop up school will go live this summer with the support of a £30,000 fundraising campaign, offering free online lessons to pupils all across Kent and Medway.

Around 200 classes will be offered to children from key stage 1 up to key stage 4, in the hopes of preparing pupils to return to school in September after the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The academy plans to offer online lessons for all pupils across Kent and Medway
The academy plans to offer online lessons for all pupils across Kent and Medway

The community interest company (CIC) has been set up by Anna Firth, national voluntary director of the Conservative Policy Forum, and Stephen James, teacher at Sandgate Primary School.

Mr James said: "We were inspired by Cllr Wayne Daley in Northumberland who set up pop schools in his county, also Rt Hon. Robert Halfon MP (Chair of the Education Select Committee) who is worried about a generation of educational poverty for some children across the UK as a result of Covid.

"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."

The duo plan to offer online lessons for a month between July 27 and August 28, focusing on core subjects like Maths and English.

Stephen James and Anna Firth are behind the project
Stephen James and Anna Firth are behind the project

These classes would run Monday to Friday, excluding Wednesday.

They also hope to invite along successful people from across the county to offer "showcase lessons" where they can talk to the children about their chosen profession and career path.

Mr James won Kent Teacher of the Year in 2018, and said he would be taking the lead on making sure the offering of the pop up school is "educationally robust."

Mrs Firth is a former academy governor, barrister and district councillor in Sevenoaks who will be leading on ensuring the opportunity is available across Kent, in addition to liaising with the education authority to ensure regulatory compliance.

Due to the online nature of the classes, Invicta Academy should be able to offer the lessons to all pupils across Kent and Medway.

As part of their plan, the online academy is looking to reach out to educational specialists in the hopes they will help teach some of the classes remotely this summer.

Mr James and Mrs Firth are calling on current and recently retired teachers, graduates, and skilled teaching assistants to teach lessons in English and Maths.

Mr James said: "The number of lessons we can provide will depend on how many qualified teachers come forward to take part.

They are also reaching out to Kent businesses to support their £30,000 fundraising target, in the hopes that the classes could begin to take place by the end of July.

Mr James added: "How amazing would it be if we could mobilise an Army of educators across Kent and Medway to help ensure that the our children are raring to go for school in September?"

To find out more about teaching classes at Invicta Academy this summer, click here.

To visit the gofundme page, click here.

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