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Kent puts out its hand to Europe

Europe Day may have passed virtually unnoticed by the great British public yesterday but in one corner of England there was a flurry of European activity.

In the Kent village of Whitfield (last roundabout before the Dover ferry), the primary school suspended its normal timetable and let pupils choose from 35 workshops, visits and activities with a European flavour, from lace-making to mini-Olympics.

The school's 380 pupils were asked to dress in the colours of a flag from a European country and the school was to be draped in bunting and several large European Union flags.

Kathy Alcock, the school's key stage 1 co-ordinator and animatrice of the festivities said: "We're trying to educate the children so that later in life they've got a sound basis on which to decide whether they want to be part of Europe or not."

Kent is the corner of the United Kingdom most likely to feel part of Europe. In 1994 the county council formed the Sans Fronti res programme in partnership with the nearest local authority across the water, the Conseil General du Pas-de-Calais, and this has since grown to embrace Belgium and the province of Uusimaa in Finland.

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