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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.



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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Celebrations for Crawley school now ranked in top ten

Smiles all round for the Crawley school for making it into the top 10 out of 283 schools.



Pupils, Parents & Carers, Governors and Staff were all celebrating at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Primary School this week, after it emerged the school, located in Langley Green, has been ranked 7th (out of 283 schools) in this year’s Key Stage 2 West Sussex School League Tables.

Chair of Governors, Maja Jasko, said:

“this is an amazing achievement and the result of the hard work, commitment and determination of the children, OLQOH staff, Parents & Carers and Governors, over many years. The OLQOH Governors would also like to congratulate our Key Stage 1 Pupils and Teaching Team, who also achieved fantastic outcomes in 2017/18, with 93% of children passing the ‘Phonics Check’, and combined outcomes in Year 2 exceeding the WSCC County Average.”

Deputy Head Teacher, Jan Miles, went on to comment:

“OLQOH recognises that academic outcomes represent just a fraction of the vital work that all primary schools are doing, preparing our children and young people for both secondary school and adult life. Nonetheless, these result build on the excellent SATs scores achieved at Our Lady’s over the past 5 years and reflect our school mantra ‘Better Never Stops!’.”


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