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Originally a small riverside settlement, the old village comprises around 60 houses, many of which were formerly shops. One pub. a Post Office and four small independent shops remain. Aylesford has expanded rapidly over the past thirty years to gain a population of around 5,000.

The Parish of Aylesford covers more than seven square miles, stretching north to Rochester Airport estate and south to Barming. [1] and has a total population of over 10,000, with the main settlements at Aylesford, Eccles. Blue Bell Hill Village and (part of) Walderslade. [2]

Aylesford Newsprint, a long-established major employer in the area, is the largest paper recycling factory in Europe, manufacturing newsprint for the newspaper industry.

History Edit

There has been activity in the area since Neolithic times. There are a series of chamber tombs north of the village, of which Kit's Coty House. 1.5 miles to the north is the most famous; all have been damaged by farming. Kit's Coty is the remains of the burial chamber at one end of a long barrow. A similar structure, just south of this, Little Kits Coty House - also known as the Countless Stones is lower down the same hillside.

Bronze Age swords have been discovered near here and an Iron Age settlement and Roman villa stood at Eccles. The village has been suggested as the site of the Battle of the Medway during the Roman invasion of Britain although there is no direct evidence of this.

The manor of Aylesford was first owned by William the Conqueror. the church of St Peter and St Paul is of Norman origin. Here there is a memorial to the Culpeper family, who owned the nearby Preston Hall Estate.

The Friars Edit

The Chapel and Altar at The Friars

In 1240, Ralph Frisburn, on his return from the Holy Land. founded a Carmelite monastery under the patronage of Richard, Lord Grey of Codnor: the first of the order to be founded in Europe. He was followed later by Simon Stock ; who, in 1254, was elected Superior-general of the now mendicant Carmelites. The relics (remains of his head) of St Simon Stock are retained at the friary, having been preserved in Bordeaux for centuries before being returned to Aylesford in July 1951.

Following the Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII in 1536, ownership of the site was transferred to Sir Thomas Wyatt of nearby Allington Castle. Following the rebellion against Queen Mary by Sir Thomas's son, Thomas Wyatt the younger. the porperty was forfeited back to the crown. It was later granted into the possession of Sir John Sedley by Mary's half-sister Queen Elizabeth. [3] Although the Sedley family made some changes to the priory, it was the next owner Sir John Banks that was responsible for the rebuilding of the Friary during the 1670s. [4]

The main part of the house was destroyed by fire in the 1930s. The Carmelites took it over in 1949 and have successfully restored it to its former glory: it is now a place of retreat and a conference centre. The friary has some notable artwork such as the ceramics created by Adam Kossowski. The remains of the manor house present at the foundation of the Priory are believed to lie under the Great Courtyard. This could date from as early as 1085.

River Medway Edit

Due to the village's location on its banks, the River Medway has been a key influence on its development. Aylesford takes its name from an Old English personal name, and literally denotes ‘Ægel’s ford’. Its first recorded use is from the tenth century, as Æglesforda.

It was also the place where one of the earliest bridges across the Medway was built, believed to be in the 14th century (although the wide central span seen today is later). Upstream from Rochester Bridge it became the next bridging point. The river was navigable as far as Maidstone until 1740, when barges of forty tons could reach as far as Tonbridge. As a result wharfs were built, one being at Aylesford: corn, fodder and fruit; and stone and timber were the principal cargoes.

Due to increased traffic in recent years, the ancient bridge has now been superseded by a modern structure nearby, but remains in use for pedestrians.

The village Edit

St Peter and St Paul's church sitting above the village

The oldest parts of the village lie north and immediately south of the river. Many of the buildings are of great antiquity: the Chequers Inn and the George House (formerly a coaching inn ) and the almshouses among them. St Peter and St Paul's church, parts of which date back to the Norman invasion. [5] sits on a hill in the southern part of the village. Major construction took place during the Victorian era. when houses were constructed to serve the nearby quarry. The brick and tile industries have been replaced by a large area of commercial buildings; and what was once the huge Aylesford paper mills site has now been regenerated by a leading newsprint plant surrounded by newly developed private estates featuring high value accommodation.

Recent expansion has been to the southern side of the river, where a substantial suburban housing estate has grown up, partly because the village is served by the railway, with connections for Maidstone and London. Many of these homes were originally owned by employees of the paper mills, which are now closed and which have been replaced by a number of smaller industrial estates with a variety of specialist businesses that include engineering, manufacturers wholesale and others.

In spite of the above the village has not lost its original integrity and it is a popular place for visitors.

Schools Edit

Henry Arthur Brassey (1840–1891) was a great benefactor of Aylesford, and as well as financing major repairs to the church, also provided the village with a school. This was replaced in the 1960s with a new building to the south east of the village, next to the site of the local secondary school (now Aylesford School - Sports College ) which was housed in buildings largely built in the 1940s by Italian prisoners of War. The old school buildings were totally rebuilt on the same site, in 2008. The original village school - now known as the Brassey Centre - is used as a church office and community hall.

Railway Edit

The original station buildings - gabled and highly decorated, built in Kentish ragstone with Caen stone dressings, with windows which replicate those at Aylesford Priory - have been used as a fast food restaurant in recent years following restoration to an award-winning standard in the 1980s.

Royal British Legion Village Edit

Located to the South of Aylesford, on the A20 London Road, The Royal British Legion Village was founded after the First World War to help injured soldiers on discharge from the nearby Preston Hall hospital. It was first the centre of a small farming community known as The Preston Hall Colony.

When The British Legion was founded in 1921, it became one of the first branches and, by 1925, was known as Royal British Legion Village.

A thriving community has since developed, providing nursing homes, sheltered housing and independent living units, as well as employment and social activities, helping all disabled veterans living in, or moving to, the area.

In 1972 the Poppy Appeal headquarters moved to the village, which now forms one of the main centres of Legion life and activities. An industrial complex in the village houses Royal British Legion industries, including the manufacture of road and public signs used throughout the UK. [6]

Demography Edit

As of the 2001 UK census, the Aylesford electoral ward had a population of 4,548. The ethnicity was 98.2% white, 0.8% mixed race, 0.9% Asian, 0.1% black and 0% other. The place of birth of residents was 96.2% United Kingdom, 0.5% Republic of Ireland, 1% other Western European countries, and 2.3% elsewhere. Religion was recorded as 77.4% Christian, 0.2% Buddhist, 0.5% Hindu, 0.1% Sikh, 0% Jewish, and 0.2% Muslim. 12.8% were recorded as having no religion, 0.1% had an alternative religion and 8.8% did not state their religion. [7]

The economic activity of residents aged 16–74 was 41.1% in full-time employment, 14.5% in part-time employment, 9.3% self-employed, 1.9% unemployed, 2.2% students with jobs, 2.5% students without jobs, 15.3% retired, 6.7% looking after home or family, 4.4% permanently sick or disabled and 2.2% economically inactive for other reasons. The industry of employment of residents was 19.6% retail, 13.6% manufacturing, 9.2% construction, 13.2% real estate, 9.7% health and social work, 6.1% education, 8% transport and communications, 4.8% public administration, 3.6% hotels and restaurants, 4.7% finance, 1.1% agriculture and 6.4% other. Compared with national figures, the ward had a relatively high proportion of workers in construction, and a relatively low proportion in agriculture, education, hotels and restaurants. Of the ward's residents aged 16–74, 14.3% had a higher education qualification or the equivalent, compared with 19.9% nationwide. [7]

See also Edit References Edit External links Edit

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Other articles

Heavy snow forces hundreds of schools to close

Heavy snow forces hundreds of schools to close

Several major cities were also hit, with 105 school closures in Manchester. 30 in Liverpool and scores more in Leeds.

Schools were closed across South Yorkshire due to the snow, with around 65 shut in Rotherham, 30 in Barnsley, 10 in Sheffield and three in Doncaster.

Nearly 130 schools were closed across the Bradford area.

South west England, which also saw a smattering of snow overnight, was affected with around 95 schools in Cornwall and 20 in Devon closed.

Reasons for the closures varied from failed heating systems to staffing shortages as teachers were unable to reach work.

Several major roads, including the A66 in Cumbria, were shut due to the snow and freezing weather, preventing parents getting children to school.

Greater Manchester was also plagued with congestion on the M6, M62, and M60. Its airport was also forced to close due to ice and snow on the runway.

In south and west Wales, which also saw the mercury plunge below freezing, dozens of schools were closed.

Worst affected were western council areas where education chiefs were forced to shut a total of 93 schools.

In Carmarthenshire, 29 county primary schools and seven secondary schools were closed, while in Pembrokeshire, a total of 13 were shut - three secondary schools and 10 primary schools.

Further west in Ceredigion county, 51 schools were forced to close - eight secondary schools and 43 primary schools.

In Neath Port Talbot county, four schools shut and in the county of Powys, Mid Wales, a total of 35 secondary and primary schools were closed because of the weather.

In Kent, parents condemned Aylesford School Sports College, in Aylesford, after it confiscated warm coats worn pupils because they did not conform with the school's uniform.

They described the attitude of teachers as "disgusting" after the pupils, who had walked to school in 25F (-4) temperatures, were forced to hand over their winter jackets.

Eight pupils walked out of the school after refusing to give up their coats.

Adel Ankers, whose16-year-old daughter Charlotte was told to remove her coat, said: "It’s absolutely disgusting. The school is putting its uniform policy ahead of her education."

Doug Lawson, the school's head teacher, said: "We told pupils about the uniform policy and 32 coats were confiscated, but only until the end of the day.

"We did not tell pupils they had to go home but eight pupils decided not to hand over their coats and, supported by their parents, left the school. We will be treating this as truancy."

Venue and leisure facilities for hire at Aylesford School, Maidstone, Kent

Welcome to Aylesford School - Sports College


Aylesford School - Sports College in Maidstone, Kent has recently been re-built. It now has exciting newfacilities available for hire. Completed in Winter 2007, it is the perfectvenuefor yourleisure activities. What’s more, it’s available on your doorstep.

When are they available?

The facilities are available outside of school hours, weekends and all school holidays, except bank holidays.

Term time
Monday – Friday 6.00pm – 10.30pm
Saturday & Sunday 9.00am – 10.00pm

School holidays
Monday – Sunday 9.00am – 10.00pm

What’s available?

It is perfect for sporting activities and a host of other uses. Hire out the home economics room or ICT suite; if it’s just a classroom you want, there’s a whole school to choose from!

  • Sports hall with sprung floor, markings for football (sideboards available), basketball, indoor hockey, netball and badminton
  • Hardcourt area with markings for tennis. netball and basketball
  • Sprung floor gymnasium for multi-purpose use
  • Pitches with changing rooms
  • Assembly hall with stage suitable for performances
  • Indoor climbing wall. harnesses, helmets and ropes provided
  • Light and spacious cafeteria area
  • Food technology rooms
  • Classrooms
  • Meeting rooms
  • Disabled access.

Click on the photos below to see an image gallery of Aylesford school's facilities.

Aylesford School – Sports College

Aylesford School – Sports College

Aylesford School – Sports College is a secondary school in Kent. England. Situated in modern campus buildings in Teapot Lane, the school serves an area to the west of Maidstone. Aylesford is a mixed-sex school comprising years 7 to 11, plus a Sixth Form for pupils in years 12 and 13. The School achieved Specialist status as a Sports College in 2004, which ensured that a focus on sport was introduced to all aspects of the curriculum.

Reconstruction [ edit ]

The school site at Teapot Lane, originally built largely by Italian prisoners of War during the 1940s, was redeveloped in 2005-2008, as part of a KCC -sponsored PFI scheme which also included two other local secondary schools, Holmesdale in Snodland. and The Malling, in East Malling. and three others elsewhere in Kent. Construction of the new school was headed by Costain. Unlike the other schools involved, space constrictions on the site meant that the new buildings had to be built over the original foundations, so a "temporary village" of classrooms was constructed on part of the site to house the majority of pupils and staff during the reconstruction period. [1]

Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families. Ed Balls. accompanied by local MP Jonathan Shaw and officials from KCC, officially opened the new school buildings on 28 May 2008. Referring to the three local schools, the Minister said: "If we can do around the country, what we've seen in these three schools, we could really transform education in Britain." [2]

Because of the restricted site at Aylesford School, it was necessary to rebuild the school largely in the same location on the site that the old buildings occupied. This required careful planning and a certain amount of disruption to both staff and pupils. When the school was housed in the old buildings, its reputation was very poor. Even with the news that new buildings were on the way, the school was still considered to be underperforming. During the rebuilding process many of the old buildings were demolished and replaced with 23 small mobile classrooms, which become known as the Learning Village. Only B block (Science), C block (Technology and Art) and M block (English, and the library) remained in use from the old school. The mobile huts were difficult to maintain in a clean and tidy manner, especially as they were often surrounded by construction work and materials, and teaching was considered very difficult. Many believe this is the reason why many teachers and pupils left. Over 40 teachers have left since 2005. [ citation needed ]

The School now consists of 4 Main Buildings named after famous sporting venues: Twickenham. Lords. Wembley and Wimbledon. Wimbledon - formerly known as C-Block, is the only building to remain from the old school, and has been fully refurbished. The School also boasts a large Hall with a performance stage, an indoor sports hall containing 6 badminton courts and mechanically retracting basketball nets, a separate gym with dance mirrors, gymnastics/trampoline facilities and an indoor climbing wall, an outdoor assault course and fitness area, and a Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA). Funding was being sought for an Astroturf football pitch; though these plans have now been scrapped. [ citation needed ]

The school is also equipped with state-of-the-art ICT facilities, with over 500 desktop PCs, over 200 staff and student laptops, fixed and portable projectors, interactive whiteboards and interactive learning zones. [ citation needed ]

Organisation [ edit ]

In 2007, Aylesford introduced a new structure: although most teaching and learning continues to be carried out in year-based classes, instead of pupils being in year-based tutor groups, they join small mentor groups with pupils from all years. These meet regularly to focus on removing the barriers to education, so improving pupil's behaviour and achievement levels, through generating a family-based sense of belonging. [ citation needed ]

Each mentor group belongs to one of four larger groups known as 'Schools of Learning' (SoL). Each SoL is named after Famous Pioneer. These include:

Schools of Learning allow for peer group mentoring to take place naturally, greater involvement for each and every child and more of a competitive atmosphere when it comes to Sports Day and similar events, as well as reducing incidents of bullying and intimidation, breaking down barriers across year groups, easing year seven pupils into secondary school education, and helping to build civil responsibilities and shared experiences for all. Each School of Learning has a Director of Learning (DoL) who acts as a mini Headteacher for that particular "School" and a dedicated Pastoral Support Manager (PSM) who deals entirely with student issues, parental contact in school hours and helps the students on a more personal level. [ citation needed ]

Students wear school uniform. The uniform has been selected to be practical. Aylesford School is an 'No Hoodie zone.' Any Hoodies worn by students will be confiscated by a member of staff. [ citation needed ]

The sixth-form is part of the Medway Valley Sixth-form Consortium - collectively known as WHAM [3] [ dead link ] - a collaboration with Wrotham School, Holmesdale Technology College and The Malling School], which offers a wider range of A-level and equivalent courses than any one of the schools could provide individually. Aylesford has a particular strength in Business Studies provision. [4] [ dead link ]

Ofsted and results [ edit ]

The school was inspected by Ofsted in March 2013, February 2012, September 2010, May 2008, and before that, in December 2003.

In the 2013 report the school was rated overall as "Satisfactory", and the Sixth-form: "Good".

The 2013 report also comments that:

"Students are proud of their school. It provides a safe environment for learning and students behave well. They speak highly of the staff who work with them and who are very supportive of their learning." [5]

This was reflected by the school's 2012-2013 GCSE results: 96.2% of pupils achieved 5 A*-C grades (47.6%% including both English and Maths). In 2008, Kent County Council and the Sports College Trust recognised Aylesford School's achievement revealing it was the "most improved school in the county" [6] and second most improved Sports College in the country.

Percentage of all pupils attained five GCSEs grade A* to C including English and mathematics.

January 2010 Winter Coats Incident [ edit ]

On 5 January 2010 it was reported that, because of severe cold weather with hard frost and snow. many pupils came to school in non-uniform winter coats, and that several were confiscated by staff. Eight pupils refused to surrender their coats and walked out of school. A number of parents protested to the school, complaining that the school uniform coat was too thin to be warm enough in extreme cold weather. The school's head teacher, Doug Lawson, defended his decision:

"We told pupils about the uniform policy and 32 coats were confiscated, but only until the end of the day. We did not tell pupils they had to go home but eight pupils decided not to hand over their coats and, supported by their parents, left the school. We will be treating this as truancy." [8] [9]

Notable people [ edit ]
  • Sharon Bennett. English Illustrator, designer, artist and author
References [ edit ] External links [ edit ]

Aylesford School – Sports College - Wikipedia, Photos and Videos

WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

Aylesford School – Sports College is a secondary school in Kent. England. Situated in modern campus buildings in Teapot Lane, the school serves an area to the west of Maidstone. Aylesford is a mixed-sex school comprising years 7 to 11, plus a Sixth Form for pupils in years 12 and 13. The School achieved Specialist status as a Sports College in 2004, which ensured that a focus on sport was introduced to all aspects of the curriculum.

Reconstruction [ edit ]

The school site at Teapot Lane, originally built largely by Italian prisoners of War during the 1940s, was redeveloped in 2005-2008, as part of a KCC -sponsored PFI scheme which also included two other local secondary schools, Holmesdale in Snodland. and The Malling, in East Malling. and three others elsewhere in Kent. Construction of the new school was headed by Costain. Unlike the other schools involved, space constrictions on the site meant that the new buildings had to be built over the original foundations, so a "temporary village" of classrooms was constructed on part of the site to house the majority of pupils and staff during the reconstruction period. [1]

Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families. Ed Balls. accompanied by local MP Jonathan Shaw and officials from KCC, officially opened the new school buildings on 28 May 2008. Referring to the three local schools, the Minister said: "If we can do around the country, what we've seen in these three schools, we could really transform education in Britain." [2]

Because of the restricted site at Aylesford School, it was necessary to rebuild the school largely in the same location on the site that the old buildings occupied. This required careful planning and a certain amount of disruption to both staff and pupils. When the school was housed in the old buildings, its reputation was very poor. Even with the news that new buildings were on the way, the school was still considered to be underperforming. During the rebuilding process many of the old buildings were demolished and replaced with 23 small mobile classrooms, which become known as the Learning Village. Only B block (Science), C block (Technology and Art) and M block (English, and the library) remained in use from the old school. The mobile huts were difficult to maintain in a clean and tidy manner, especially as they were often surrounded by construction work and materials, and teaching was considered very difficult. Many believe this is the reason why many teachers and pupils left. Over 40 teachers have left since 2005. [ citation needed ]

The School now consists of 4 Main Buildings named after famous sporting venues: Twickenham. Lords. Wembley and Wimbledon. Wimbledon - formerly known as C-Block, is the only building to remain from the old school, and has been fully refurbished. The School also boasts a large Hall with a performance stage, an indoor sports hall containing 6 badminton courts and mechanically retracting basketball nets, a separate gym with dance mirrors, gymnastics/trampoline facilities and an indoor climbing wall, an outdoor assault course and fitness area, and a Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA). Funding was being sought for an Astroturf football pitch; though these plans have now been scrapped. [ citation needed ]

The school is also equipped with state-of-the-art ICT facilities, with over 500 desktop PCs, over 200 staff and student laptops, fixed and portable projectors, interactive whiteboards and interactive learning zones. [ citation needed ]

Organisation [ edit ]

In 2007, Aylesford introduced a new structure: although most teaching and learning continues to be carried out in year-based classes, instead of pupils being in year-based tutor groups, they join small mentor groups with pupils from all years. These meet regularly to focus on removing the barriers to education, so improving pupil's behaviour and achievement levels, through generating a family-based sense of belonging. [ citation needed ]

Each mentor group belongs to one of four larger groups known as 'Schools of Learning' (SoL). Each SoL is named after Famous Pioneer. These include:

Schools of Learning allow for peer group mentoring to take place naturally, greater involvement for each and every child and more of a competitive atmosphere when it comes to Sports Day and similar events, as well as reducing incidents of bullying and intimidation, breaking down barriers across year groups, easing year seven pupils into secondary school education, and helping to build civil responsibilities and shared experiences for all. Each School of Learning has a Director of Learning (DoL) who acts as a mini Headteacher for that particular "School" and a dedicated Pastoral Support Manager (PSM) who deals entirely with student issues, parental contact in school hours and helps the students on a more personal level. [ citation needed ]

Students wear school uniform. The uniform has been selected to be practical. Aylesford School is an 'No Hoodie zone.' Any Hoodies worn by students will be confiscated by a member of staff. [ citation needed ]

The sixth-form is part of the Medway Valley Sixth-form Consortium - collectively known as WHAM [3] [ dead link ] - a collaboration with Wrotham School, Holmesdale Technology College and The Malling School], which offers a wider range of A-level and equivalent courses than any one of the schools could provide individually. Aylesford has a particular strength in Business Studies provision. [4] [ dead link ]

Ofsted and results [ edit ]

The school was inspected by Ofsted in March 2013, February 2012, September 2010, May 2008, and before that, in December 2003.

In the 2013 report the school was rated overall as "Satisfactory", and the Sixth-form: "Good".

The 2013 report also comments that:

"Students are proud of their school. It provides a safe environment for learning and students behave well. They speak highly of the staff who work with them and who are very supportive of their learning." [5]

This was reflected by the school's 2012-2013 GCSE results: 96.2% of pupils achieved 5 A*-C grades (47.6%% including both English and Maths). In 2008, Kent County Council and the Sports College Trust recognised Aylesford School's achievement revealing it was the "most improved school in the county" [6] and second most improved Sports College in the country.

Percentage of all pupils attained five GCSEs grade A* to C including English and mathematics.

January 2010 Winter Coats Incident [ edit ]

On 5 January 2010 it was reported that, because of severe cold weather with hard frost and snow. many pupils came to school in non-uniform winter coats, and that several were confiscated by staff. Eight pupils refused to surrender their coats and walked out of school. A number of parents protested to the school, complaining that the school uniform coat was too thin to be warm enough in extreme cold weather. The school's head teacher, Doug Lawson, defended his decision:

"We told pupils about the uniform policy and 32 coats were confiscated, but only until the end of the day. We did not tell pupils they had to go home but eight pupils decided not to hand over their coats and, supported by their parents, left the school. We will be treating this as truancy." [8] [9]

Notable people [ edit ]
  • Sharon Bennett. English Illustrator, designer, artist and author
References [ edit ] External links [ edit ]