When most people think Dartford, they think of the Dartford Crossing. Made up of two tunnels and the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge, the crossing carries as many as 160,000 vehicles a day making it a major part of London’s orbital route. But what else has Dartford got to offer?
Dartford Adult Education Centre boasts a large state-of-the-art dance studio with a sprung form dance floor which is enjoyed by many of our Pay as You Go (PAYG ) dance students including line dancing, kettlercise and pilates. The Dartford centre is unique as it houses the only Kent Adult Education woodwork studio where you can learn basic skills as well as developing on to longer extended projects. The centres creative provision has nearly doubled in recent years, so you can now enjoy courses including sugarcraft, stained glass and floristry like never before. The centre also offers an IT suite, art studio, comfortable and clean classrooms for languages, ESOL, maths and many other subjects.
The Dartford centre also facilitates the greatest number of accredited courses, and many learners study with us to help them progress their career. This includes courses training future teaching assistants, helping you get your European Computer Driving License (ECDL) or even study for a GCSE. As well as this, the Dartford centre has had the highest number of learners studying for their diploma in counselling.
Dartford is famous for its Indulgence Evenings. Every year Dartford AEC invites the general public to browse their indulgence market laden with homemade craft and beauty products, to pick up a few bargains from tutors and learners past and present. You can even de-stress with a treatment from a fully qualified beauty therapist carried out in our salon or complementary therapy suite. The next of these is a Christmas themed Indulgence Evening which is planned for the 26th November.
“Pairing old elements with new gives the centre its quirky charm.”
Perhaps you’d like to sit down with a friend and enjoy a coffee after your class? Try Café Ed – the onsite coffee shop which is famous for its assortment of delicious homemade cakes and snacks. The venue also plays host to many a charity fundraiser – the centre staff going out of their way to participate in raising money for many worthy causes throughout the year.
But the Adult Education Centre isn’t the only feature of Dartford that often goes-unnoticed. Home to the Mick Jagger Centre, Dartford’s popular performing arts venue is situated on the same site as Dartford Grammar School. It is eponymously named, of course, after Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger, who was a pupil at the school. It houses two performance spaces, a rehearsal studio, recording rooms, a bar and an arts gallery, which are enjoyed by many thousands of people annually. As well as this, The Orchard Theatre is located in the centre of Dartford, and was famously opened by the Duke of Kent in 1983. The theatre hosts a range of popular music, comedy, dance, drama and classical music, as well as an annual festive pantomime.
Another event for all the family is Dartford Festival, a fantastic two-day event held in Central Park in the summer months. In the past it has seen thousands of locals enjoy acts including Nolan Porter and The Feeling. There is usually a bouncy castle for the children to enjoy as well as stallholders and exhibitors, demonstrating and running activities for the whole weekend.
Dartford AEC is tucked away from the main flow of traffic on Summerhill Road, a street full of residential homes and businesses. Opened in 2009, it is one of our youngest centres, yet it is a real establishment in the local community. Located on the same site as a toddler group, Westgate Primary school and Dartford Technology College, it is also used as a venue for a dance school. Dartford AEC is a real community hub.
The building originally opened on 16th March 1931 as a local school for boys and since, it has seen many changes in patterns of education. As it stands today the building was designed and renovated specifically to facilitate adult education. Part of this modernisation involved updating to a sensored light system, giving many of the learning rooms a bright and modern feel. Pairing old elements with new gives the centre its quirky charm.
Want to feel the same sense of community? Discover Dartford and be more with Kent Adult Education.Back to the Magazine