Leeds Castle English Revision Conference

38 talented English students, spanning five of our Leigh Academies Trust Academies, were selected to participate in a truly unique and invaluable GCSE English revision conference; this was held over half term on the 16th February 2016, at the impressive Leeds Castle. The conference was fully funded by the Trust, as a means of supporting some of our most academically promising students and encouraging them to aspire to achieving the very top A/A* grades. Some of our most gifted and dedicated English specialists led the revision sessions, all of which focused on honing the skills required to achieve academic excellence this summer. Each student had the opportunity to attend five discrete revision sessions, in very small groups of no more than 14; in addition they experienced the thrilling, ancient art of falconry, led by the Head Falconer at Leeds Castle.

Student comments:

  • “It was amazing…”
  • “Totally engaging…”
  • “It was so good to be outside the classroom…it was very relaxed and wasn’t so intense…”
  • “It made us feel like adults…I loved it!”
  • “The teachers were really kind and always there to help. I feel much more confident because we worked on all the skills I needed.”
  • “Amazing! It was a beautiful place…”
  • “I definitely feel more confident…”
  • “I think the venue was absolutely beautiful. I would have my wedding here!!”
  • “I found the environment ideal for learning and the teachers were really good at explaining problems…”
  • “The rich, colourful environment and vibrant history made for an interesting visit.”
  • “I feel much more confident about my understanding of the English exam, as I have been taught in lots of different ways.”
  • “I now know better methods of approaching exam questions…”
  • “It was very useful and I was able to refresh my knowledge.”

Teacher comments:

  • english-revision-conference-3“The students behaved exceptionally well and it was a stunning venue…”
  • “Beautiful and awe inspiring venue…”
  • “It was a great way of getting students out of their comfort zone…”
  • “Students were engaged throughout every session…”
  • “Such a delightful day and I enjoyed running my sessions in such a grand space!”
  • “Students all said they enjoyed the sessions…”
  • “Some students had never visited a castle before and it’s not their normal “hang out” during the holidays so it opened their eyes to something new.”
  • “It was really nice to accompany the children to their falconry sessions, watching them learning something new and experience something they will never have done before and probably
  • never will again! On a personal level, I thoroughly enjoyed it ­ especially Twiglet the Tawny owl.”
  • “It was a brilliant day and a fantastic opportunity for the students to learn in a mature environment which should set them up for the future.”

english-revision-conference-1On a final note, I would like to thank everyone who participated in the day and for making it a thoroughly productive and memorable experience. In particular, the wonderful staff who sacrificed a day of their holiday to support the conference; Mrs Burwood from Wilmington Academy, Ms Howlett from Mascalls Academy, Ms Williams from Longfield Academy and Ms Ball from Stationers’ Crown Woods Academy.

Caron Clifford
Director of Improvement, English

February 2016