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Belgian MPs head to Dartford and Gravesend primary schools to learn about children’s university

PUBLISHED: 12:34 11 October 2017 | UPDATED: 12:34 11 October 2017

Bruno De Lille, chairman of the assembly’s education committee, and Belgian MP Khadija Zamouri, pictured with Nate Hope, Sahib Chodha, Evan Davis, Katelyn Buckland, Athene Sparks, Param Chodha and Ruby Sparks.

Bruno De Lille, chairman of the assembly’s education committee, and Belgian MP Khadija Zamouri, pictured with Nate Hope, Sahib Chodha, Evan Davis, Katelyn Buckland, Athene Sparks, Param Chodha and Ruby Sparks.

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The Kent Children’s University encourages students to learn outside of school

Senior Belgian MPs have heaped praise on two Dartford and Gravesend primary schools after a visit last week.

Westcourt Primary School and Temple Hill Primary Academy welcomed a delegation of the Assembly of the Flemish Community Commission, who had arrived in north Kent to learn more about Kent’s Children’s University.

The KCU programme has been set up to encourage youngsters to keep learning, even when they’re outside of school.

Carla Dejonghe, chairwoman of the assembly and a former teacher, said: “It’s been lovely to find out about the activities the children do and how the Kent Children’s University scheme motivates them to do other things.

“It’s nice to hear they can take their KCU passports into museums and other places and get a reward for the activities they are doing.”

With the visit focusing around the extra-curricular activities available here in the county, seven Westcourt Primary pupils spoke with the visitors on Thursday, as the school is already putting on after school and holiday clubs, which include sport, reading, knitting and Lego building.

Mags Sexton, head teacher at Westcourt Primary, said: “As a school we felt extremely honoured to be chosen to be part of the Belgium visit and to be recognised as a good example of how children can be engaged in learning beyond the curriculum.

“We have decided to take part in Kent Children’s University as we want to provide opportunities and encouragement for the whole family to take part in learning. We believe that our children will benefit from having richer and more diverse learning opportunities whilst having great fun with their parents or carers.”

Bruno De Lille, chairman of the assembly’s education committee, added: “The way these schools manage these extra-curricular activities, and the way they put the children first, that is something we are trying to do too. There is much more variety of activities here than there is in Brussels. This has been an interesting exchange of ideas.”

Roger Gough, cabinet member for education, said: “We are delighted the Assembly of the Flemish Community Commission selected Kent as an example of an authority that offers high quality extra-curricular provision.

“Kent Children’s University is a fantastic way for children, and their families, to gain knowledge in a fun way while exploring some of the fantastic locations and attractions within the county and beyond.

“We are grateful to the two schools for welcoming our visitors.”

Following the visit, the delegation expressed an interest in setting up a Brussels Children’s University in the future.

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