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Free travel for school visits as Gatwick announce new partnership

The partnership covers travel costs to Kew’s Botanic Gardens, Wakehurst.

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Wakehurst Place, Picture by Jim Holden

London Gatwick has today announced a new, year-long partnership with Kew’s wild botanic garden Wakehurst to support a bursary programme for schools in the South East. It will cover the cost of travel to the site for schools with students from disadvantaged backgrounds, enabling them to learn about seed conservation and the research work of Kew’s scientists.

Wakehurst, is funded and managed by the Royal Botanic Gardens (RBG) Kew. Located in Ardingly, West Sussex, there are more than 500 acres of botanic gardens, woodlands and a nature reserve containing wetlands and meadowland to explore. It is also home to the Millennium Seed Bank, the largest seed conservation project in the world.

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Wakehurst also provides a wide variety of educational activities for students, which meet curriculum targets across a range of subjects including: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

The RBG Kew schools bursary programme is aimed at Key Stage 2 (7 to 11 years old) students at schools with a higher level of pupil premium funding. These are often situated in catchment areas with a range of social and economic challenges and where achievement is below the national average. These schools are less likely to be able to raise funds for out-of-school visits.

In support of the bursary programme, Gatwick Airport is funding the travel costs for these schools to visit Wakehurst, which receives an average of 10,000 school children annually.

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The partnership, which also provides corporate membership benefits for the airport’s staff, sits within Gatwick’s Community Engagement ‘Inform, Inspire, Invest’ education strategy, including partnerships with other STEM initiatives, such as the Big Bang Fair and Learn Live broadcasts.

Gatwick Airport’s Head of Community Engagement, Alison Addy, said:

“We are delighted to be partnering with Wakehurst to provide an opportunity for students to visit and develop their understanding of the important conservation work which takes place at the botanic garden.

“It is our aim to inform and inspire the next generation of young people to take an interest in STEM related opportunities such as this, which will in turn help them develop the skills they need for their future careers.”

Tony Sweeney, Director of Wakehurst, said:

“There is so much to see and learn at Wakehurst. We find that students are fascinated by the incredible plants, trees and landscape as well as what’s happening inside the science labs of the world class Millennium Seed Bank.

“We are 100% committed to sharing our knowledge and passion for plants with students, hoping to inspire a love of the natural world so they become its champions, guardians and perhaps future researchers, We are thrilled to be bringing more students to experience this thanks to the new partnership with Gatwick Airport.”

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Education

Forget The Greatest Showman – Crawley school introduce “The Greatest Teachers”

St Wilfrid’s are back with another fantastic recreation… watch out Hugh Jackman!

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Over the past few years, students and teachers at St Wilfrid’s Catholic School in Crawley have recreated moments from popular productions and uploaded them onto YouTube.

Performances like Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk and recreating scenes from Love Actually have contributed to give the school over 206,000 views on its YouTube channel.

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The school is renowned for the quality of the productions; their latest will be no different.

This Summer, St Wilfrid’s staff have come together to do a small recreation of The Greatest Showman.

Marketing Executive Sarah Gildea said:

“This year there were over 60 members of staff involved and it has been by far our most ambitious attempt at a film yet.”

The film was directed by Media Technician Josh Smith and Digital Marketing Apprentice Demi Broadhead, while Megan Kennedy and Jo Lintern-Goodall did the choreography.

Josh Smith, who came up with the master plan and organised the rehearsals and filming, said:

“We took a great risk this year with choosing such a popular and iconic film as we constantly try to surpass our own expectations on what we can achieve in such a tight amount of time and with limited resources.

“The whole thing was shot on a single camera and painstakingly edited to match the film’s original camera movement.

“Our new member of the team, Demi Broadhead, has been a great addition and has ensured that everything was planned and went ahead on schedule for filming sessions and that Megan and Jo were briefed on which bits they were choreographing.

“It has been the most challenging project in 7 years but the end result and the students reaction today as been well worth the blood, sweat and tears!”

The new production comes after the success of previous videos. Fan favourites include the school’s incredibly well-organised flashmob and the hilarious “St Wilfrid’s Actually”.

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