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University Challenge for Young Learners at Newington Community Primary School.

University Challenge for Young Learners at Newington Community Primary School.

Newington Community Primary School.

Children as young as four have signed up to the University of Newington as pupils of all age groups have enrolled and explored a week of university style learning at Newington Community Primary School in Ramsgate.

Each teacher ran a course and pitched their information via video and pupils from Reception class to Year 6 were able to choose the subjects they wanted to discover more about.

The courses were diverse – party planners arranged their dream parties, while microbiologists learned all about how bacteria spreads, tested their own hands for bacteria and watched it grow in Petri dishes over the week!

‘Zookeepers’ researched about different zoo animals and made lion masks, while referees and sports leaders honed their football skills and tested their fitness and stamina.

Jewellery makers created a range of accessories including owl badges and necklaces made from clay; florists learnt flower arranging skills and made floral crowns; and beauty therapists styled hair, and practiced manicures, pedicures, and hand massage.

Community heroes were litter picking, and they also learnt some sign language and explored how it must feel for members of our community who have sight and hearing difficulties.

Paleontologists were digging for dinosaur bones and old pottery in a special dig in the school grounds, while young photographers developed their skills in composition and in taking pictures outside.

Other courses focussed on construction, the military, estate agents, hospitality, politics, dentistry, music, dance and the performing arts, art, and languages.

Teacher Dani Jamieson co-ordinated Newington University 2018. She said:

“The focus of the week is to provide the children with an insight into the world of work, develop new skills, collaborate with different children and adults and learn which jobs they might be interested in when they’re older. The pupils responded well and were engrossed in their new studies.”

Visiting guests included a beauty therapist, florist, and an artist, and the week received support from the University of Kent.

Head Teacher Cliff Stokes:

“This is one of the most eagerly anticipated and exciting parts of the school year as pupils develop their knowledge, skills, and understanding of possible careers that they have an interest in. The courses are designed to be fun yet highly educational. We hope this different type of learning experience will raise aspirations for our children and encourage them to look to university once they leave their secondary education. Newington pupils have gone on to Oxbridge and other university education pathways, and we see our Newington University week each year as a vital foundation in their learning experience which is fun as well.”


Newington Community Primary School and Nursery is a recently expanded primary school. The school has been open for ten years and is situated on the outskirts of Ramsgate. The school is set in beautiful surroundings and is well resourced in every sense. The school has a committed and enthusiastic staff who are determined to enable every child to achieve their potential. OFSTED visited in June 2012 and agreed with the judgement that they do a good to outstanding job for the children in their care!

Newington Community Primary School.


What an exciting week for all the pupils and staff at Newington, it certainly sounds as though not only was it a great week, but plenty of new experiences were had and lots of new exciting things were learnt.

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