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Study Groups

  • Group Administration

    How Groups Work
    Study groups are organised by subject and each subject group is listed on this website.  Go to Groups by Category tab and the Group Index tab to find out more details about a specific subject.

    • If you want to join a new group that is advertised, please contact the Group Organiser to find out more about the group and how it runs.  The members carry out research and make presentations to the others and you will need to decide if you wish to contribute in this way.  Everyone in the group helps with the work and shares in its success.
       
    • Make sure you can attend all or most of the sessions.  If you have to miss a meeting, please let the Group Organiser know as soon as possible.  If you decide to leave the group, tell the group Organiser in order to free up a place for another member. 
      (N.B. :   Group Organisers :  please let the Web Team know about any vacancies which may arise, so that we can advertise the vacancy to members on this website. Just as importantly, please let us know when those vacancies are filled.)
      Use the link below to contact the Group Development Team.    
    • If there are no current vacancies in the subject of your choice, leave your name and contact details with the  Group Organiser as members may leave groups during the year or, if there are a number of people interested in a subject, with their help we will try to start a new group.  Please go to the National Subject Advisors tab for further details.
       
    • If you are an existing member of a continuing group, you should inform your Group Organiser if you wish to remain in the group for the forthcoming year.  You must be a current U3A member to join any group. Further information for Members and Group Organisers can be found in the Group Organisers’ Guide and under Study Groups.

    Our Insurance Policy covers U3A members and the occasional non-member.  Sevenoaks U3A allows non-members intending to join our U3A to attend group meetings or outings as guests on a one-off basis.

     

  • Group Categories

    Each heading below contains a list of all the subject groups within that category. To find out more about any specific group, click on the link for that category and it will take you to the page which contains full details of each group. Please then click on the tab for the group you are interested in.

  • Group Index

    NOTE: Below is the list of all our subject groups. To find out more about any specific group, click on the link for that group and it will take you to the Category page.  Please then click on the tab for the group you are interested in.

  • Groups Timetables
    • Monday

      Monday Morning

      Monday Afternoon

      Current Affairs (3rd)

      Apple Group (4th)

      Garden 5 (2nd)

      Chess (3rd)

      Italian Conversation (2nd & 4th)

      Computer Open Group (3rd)

      London Studies 2 (1st)

      Music Appreciation A (3rd)

      Science Discussion 1 (1st)

      Music Appreciation B (4th)

      Singing For Fun (1st, 3rd)

      Science Open Group (2nd)

      Writing - Sevenoaks Scribes (2nd, 4th)

    • Tuesday

      Tuesday Morning
      Churches (3rd)
      Crosswords (1st
      Cycling (Weekly)
      Digital Camera 1 (3rd)
      Digital Camera 2 (2nd)
      Garden 1 (3rd)
      Garden 2 (2nd)
      History of Art (4th)
      Local Studies (4th)
      Military History (Fortnightly)
      Literature (4th)
      Philosophy (1st)
      Photography 1 (3rd)
      Photography 2 (1st)
      Theatre Studies (1st)
      Walking - Strollers (3rd)

       

      Tuesday Afternoon
      Churches (3rd)
      Exploring World Faiths (3rd)
      European Film Studies (2nd)
      Geology (1st & 4th)
      German Conversation (1st, 3rd)
      Industrial History (2nd)
      Investment (Evening - 3rd)
      Local Studies (4th)
      London Studies 1 (3rd)
      Migration (3rd)
      Needlecraft (2nd & 4th)
      Taking an Age (2nd & 4th) 

    • Wednesday

      Wednesday Morning

      Wednesday Afternoon

      Bridge for Pleasure (2nd, 4th)

      Book Circle Wednesday (3rd)

      Churches - London (3rd)

      Books - Slim (3rd)

      Cycling (Weekly)

      Churches - London (3rd)

      Researching Family History (4th)

      Crochet (4th)

      Gallery Group 1 (1st & 2nd)

      European Affairs (3rd)

      Wire & Beaded Jewellery Making (2nd)

      Gallery Group 1 (1st, 2nd)

      Post Classical History (1st)

      Monthly Meeting (4th or 5th)

      Scrabble (2nd)

      Peace & Conflict Studies (2nd)

      Tai Chi (Weekly)

      Stockmarket Discussion (3rd)

      Walking - Ambling (3rd)

      Whist (2nd, 4th)

      Wine Appreciation 3 (2nd)

      Writing - Creative Writing For Fun (1st)

      Writing Short Stories for Pleasure (1st, 3rd)

    • Thursday

      Thursday Morning

      Thursday Afternoon

      Art - Painting (Weekly)

      Art - Wot Is Art ? (1st)

      Books - Comparing (3rd)

      Book Circle - Thursday (2nd)

      Botanical Painting (1st & 3rd)

      Digital Image 2 (2nd)

      Ethical Dilemmas (2nd)

      German Language (3rd)

      French Discussion (2nd & 4th)

      Jazz & Blues 1 (4th)

      German Language & Culture (3rd)

      Jazz & Blues 2 (1st)

      History of Transport (3rd)

      Snooker (2nd & 4th)

       Italian Improvers (2nd & 4th)

      Wine Appreciation 5 (Eve 3rd)

      Science Discussion 2 (1st)

      London Villages (3rd)

       

       

    • Friday

      Friday Morning

      Friday Afternoon

      Aviation (3rd)

      Circle Dancing (2nd & 4th)

      Digital Camera 5 (2nd)

      Gallery 2 (2nd & 4th)

      Europe Today (2nd)

      Garden 4 Visits (3rd)

      Gallery Group 2 (2nd & 4th)

      Garden 6 (1st)

      Garden 4 Visits (3rd)

      Industrial Heritage (3rd)

      Garden 6 (1st)

      Psychology (3rd)

      Opera (1st)

      Walking 1 (3rd)

      Poetry 1 (1st)

      Walking 2 (2nd)

      Poetry 2 (Last)

      Science - Our Universe (2nd)

      Walking 1 (3rd)

      Walking 2  (2nd)

      Walking 2 (2nd)

      Wine Appreciation 2 (Last)

    • Group Timetables:  This section provides a listing of when each current study group meets
      Click on each day of the week tab to find details

     

    KEY

    1st, 2nd, etc = week of the month

    W =  Weekly
    F = Fortnightly
    M = Monthly

  • Group Vacancies

     GROUP VACANCIES - SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS

    Vacancies in various Groups come and go throughout the year.  If there is a Group that you are interested in joining, please see the contact details for the Group Organiser in the relevant section of this website under Group Categories or the Group Index (Tabs above) or in the Handbook. 

     If there are any vacancies, it will usually say “New Members Welcome”. Alternatively contact the  Group Organiser directly

    For Open Groups (see Tab above) there are not normally restrictions on numbers attending. They are normally open to all U3A members but enquiries should be made to the appropriate Organiser before attending.

  • Open Groups

    Sevenoaks U3A runs a wide range of groups which are open to all members of the U3A this means that members can just turn up on the day but for those groups that operate as teams please check with the Group Organiser.

    Open Groups are for all Sevenoaks U3A members.  You do not have to sign up for these groups as you would with specialist groups. Just turn up on the day

    PLEASE NOTE
    Car parking is always difficult at both Otford Village Memorial Hall, St Nicholas Churh  and the Bat & Ball Community Centre, so please share cars if it is at all possible.

    • Bridge for Pleasure
      Bridge for pleasure 300

      BRIDGE FOR PLEASURE

      Intermediate level Chicago Bridge.  These sessions will appeal to players of some experience who want to improve their Bridge in a friendly atmosphere.  The group meets in Otford Village Memorial Hall.  A small charge covers the hire of the hall and coffee.
      Open Group. Bridge for pleasure 300
      Contact :  Sue & John Christy
      Meetings :Wednesday,  2nd & 4th,  09.50 - 12.15
       

    • Monthly Meetings

      MONTHLY MEETINGS are expected to return to the Community Centre in the Autumn. Meetings are held on the 4th Wednesday afternoon, 2-4 pm.  After the talks, tea and biscuits are served, free of charge.

      PLEASE NOTE THAT CARS ARE LEFT IN THE  CAR PARK AT THE OWNER’S RISK.  MAKE SURE THAT CARS ARE LOCKED AND ANY VALUABLES ARE LEFT OUT OF SIGHT

      MONTHLY MEETINGS PROGRAMME OF EVENTS

      2020

       

       

       

      2021

         January 27th

       The Life & Times of Edith Cavell

       Melanie Gibson-Barton

      February 26th

       A Sign of the Times

       Chris Shaw

      March 24th

       A talk about Hong Kong & SGM

       Paul Laundy

      April 28th

       The Queen’s Police Officer

       Richard Griffin

      May 25th

       TBA

       

      June 23rd

       AGM

       

      Note: due to the Corona Virus pandemic the General Meetings will be conducted as virtual meetings using Zoom.

      Monthly meeting 2
    • Computer Open Meeting

      COMPUTER OPEN GROUP MEETINGS
      O
      pen to all members of Sevenoaks U3A
      Held at Otford Village Memorial Hall, normally at 2 p.m on the third Monday of each month (October to May).
      Entrance 2, includes tea. 
      There is usually a talk on a topic of interest, followed by a question-and-answer session.  Talks are normally illustrated and projected onto a large screen.  Members may also raise problems they are having with their computers.  A reciprocal agreement with Knole U3A means that members both U3A organisations are welcome to attend each other’s Computer Group meetings.

      2021 Programme
      For more information, contact the Group Organiser.

      Note: due to the Corona Virus pandemic  the Computer Meetings will be delivered via Zoom.

    • Science Open Meeting

      SCIENCE OPEN GROUP MEETINGS

      These are held in the Otford Village Memorial Hall Club Room.
      Entrance fee 1:00, including tea.

      The group usually meets at 2.00pm on the second Monday each month, between October and May, for talks on a wide range of scientific and technology topics.  In addition to the talks, one or two visits are arranged each year to places of interest.  There are, also, occasional special events.

      The Science Group has an open membership (no need to ‘sign up’) and all members of Sevenoaks U3A are welcome to attend any of the meetings and to join group visits
      Further information can be  obtained from the Group Organiser.

       

      2020 - 21 PROGRAMME

      October 12th

      The manufacture of Ammonium Nitrate based fertiliser products and some major Ammonium Nitrate accidents

       Rob Weighill (Zoom)

       November 9th

      Low Cost Sustainable Ground Floors for Housing

       Chris Shaw (Zoom)

       December 14th

      Development of Technology in modern Hearing Aids

       Adam Chell (Zoom)

      2021

      January 11th

      Big Cat Sanctury - Conservation of endangered species

       Gemma Bailey (Zoom)

         February 8th

      Cassini-Huygens Space Mission

        Prof David Southwood

      March 8th

      Artificial Intelligence in Video Surveillance Systems

       Bernard Jones

      April 12th

      From Dioscorides to Darwin

       Tim Betts

      May 10th

      Alexander Graham Bell

       David Wells

       

       

       

      Note: due to the Corona Virus pandemic the talks programme may be subject to change with some talks being delivered as webinar talks. Talks in the Spring of 2021 will be delivered as Zoom Webinar talks for which registration will be  required by contacting the organisers via the link:

      :

    • Walking Ambling

      WALKING (AMBLING)

      Our circular walks cover about 4 miles in 2 hours, taking time to admire and appreciate places of interest and the countryside.  An optional pub lunch follows at a local pub.  We encourage members to contribute ideas and lead walks.  Open to all U3A members and details of monthly walks are advertised in the newsletter and on the Calendar page of this website.

      Contact :   Nick White

      Meetings :   Wednesdays, 3rd, 10 am.

      Walking ambling 300
    • Nordic Walking

      WALKING - NORDIC  WALKING

      This new group is walking for exercise with poles. A training walk of about 3 miles with exercises will be undertaken followed by an optional pub lunch

      This group is shared with Knole U3A and is seeking new members. If you are interested in joining contact Nick White (Sevenoaks Members) or Ian Galletti (Knole Members)

      Walking half-day 300

      Contact :   Nick White

      Meetings :   Wednesday,   1st,  10:30  a.m

      #

    • Walking Strollers

      WALKING (STROLLERS)

      A gentle walk of about one and a half hours, starting at 11 am, followed by a pub lunch, if desired.  Members are encouraged to take turns in leading the strolls.  Sensible walking shoes are required (not wellingtons).  We frequently pass through fields with animals, thus we are unable to take dogs.  An email contact is needed in case of alteration/cancellation due to adverse weather.  Details are normally posted in the Calendar section of this website.

      Contact : Group Organiser

      Meetings :   Tuesday,   3rd,   11 am.

      Walking Strollers 300
    • Table Tennis 1-2-3

      TABLE TENNIS 1

      We play at the Sevenoaks Leisure Centre with various levels of skill. Equipment supplied.   Modest charges.

      TABLE TENNIS 2

      We play at the Leisure Centre with various levels of skill. Equipment supplied.   Modest charges.

      TABLE TENNIS 3 (Knole Group)

      We play at the Sevenoaks Leisure Centre with various levels of skill. Equipment supplied.   Modest charges.

      New members welcome and membership may be shared between the three groups.

      Contact : Gill Clayton

      Meetings :  Wednesdays 2nd & 4th
      ,  10.00 - 12.00

      Contact :   Diana Esler

      Meetings : Wednesday,  1st  and 3rd, 10.00 - 12.00

      Contact : Margaret Thorpe (Knole Group)

      Meetings :  Thursday Afternoons
      , 2.00 - 4.00 pm

    • Meeting Suggestions

      SUGGESTIONS

      We welcome input from members with suggestions as follows:
       

      • Speakers for Monthly Meetings

       

       

      • Speakers and Topics for Computer Meetings

       

       

      • Speakers for Science Meetings

               

       

      • Visits they have undertaken with other societies and which may be of interest to U3A members

       

       

      • Topics for Study Days or New Groups

       

       

       

      • for Visits members may have undertaken with other societies and which would perhaps interest our U3A.
        Contact : Social Events
        social@sevenoaksu3a.org.uk

        We are also keen to re-develop Study Days, so that they become an integral part of the Annual Programme.  Members and Group Organisers can help either by suggesting a topic and, if possible, a Speaker.  Or they might offer to lead a Study Day by working with others in their Group, and perhaps liaising with parallel Study Groups who are taking a different angle.
  • Shared Groups

    Computers
    computers@knoleu3a.org.uk
     

    French for Improvers
    frenchimprovers@knoleu3a.org.uk

    These shared groups are run by Knole U3A and may have spaces available for Sevenoaks members. 

    Please email the relevant group organiser for more information and inform our Groups Development Co-ordinator.


     

    Genealogy for Beginners
    genealogy@knoleu3a.org.uk
     

    Golf
    golf@knoleu3a.org.uk

        Medieval History
        medieval@knoleu3a.org.uk
     

    Money Matters
    moneymatters@knoleu3a.org.uk
     

    Poetry 2
    poetry2@knoleu3a.org.uk
     

    Poetry 3
    poetry3@knoleu3a.org.uk

        Science (Open Group)
        science@knoleu3a.org.uk
     

    Spanish for Beginners (4)
    spanish4@knoleu3a.org.uk

    Spanish Intermediate
    spanishintermed@knoleu3a.org.uk
     

     

    Review of agreement on Groups shared by Sevenoaks U3A and Knole U3A

    In 2010 Knole and Sevenoaks U3As drew up an agreement to set up shared groups. The agreement has worked well and we believe that we should continue to collaborate, wherever there is mutual benefit.
    Groups can be advertised to members of the other U3A as shared groups where:

    • There is a specialist subject group which cannot attract enough support in one U3A to be viable, and there is no parallel group in the other U3A; or
    • There would be difficulty in meeting the hire cost of a hall or other facilities; or
    • Having more members will significantly reduce the meeting costs per head;

    Group Organisers who wish to offer spaces in groups which meet the above criteria should continue to contact Elaine Knight-Elston  Groupdev@Sevenoaksu3a.org.uk first and she will discuss the proposal with Knole.

    These arrangements only apply to Sevenoaks and Knole members. In time we may need to set up similar agreements with other local U3As and these will be assessed on a case by case basis depending on their membership status.

  • National Subject Advisors

    NATIONAL SUBJECT ADVISORS

    The Third Age Trust have a number of Subject Advisors. These people are here to help anyone starting a new interest group or to advise on problems in established groups. For more details please see the Third Age Trust Resources web page.

    U3A-RGB

  • In Depth Study Groups

    If you would like to pursue your favourite subject in greater depth, the U3A would like to hear from you.  This would be an opportunity to study a subject in greater depth than is currently possible within the current U3A group set-up.

    The range of subjects to be offered depends entirely on what U3A members want, but there is the potential for all kinds of exciting develpoments in informal adult education.

    The U3A Trust is initially seeking to run pilot groups, making use of the internet.

  • New Groups

    Where members have suggested new group ideas they will be posted on this page. If you have ideas pleaee contact the Group Development Officer details below.

    Nordic Walking

     See Contact Details

    London Villages

     See Contact Details

     

    Elaine Elston-Knight

  • News from the Groups

    This News from the Groups section provides updates on Group Activity. It will be updated periodically

    Sevenoaks U3a - Summary of Group reports - June 2021
    Aviation
    The group did not meet after the initial lockdown in March until October 2020 when we started meeting monthly on Zoom.  We agree a topic for in advance of each meeting and look for material to support the subsequent discussion.  Recent topics include: biofuels; drones; hydrogen as a fuel; additive manufacture (3-D printing); revival of supersonic airliners.  Recently we have also watched DVDs of aviation interest.  Currently we are a small group and would welcome one or two new members.  We meet in the morning of the third Friday in the month. 
    Group  Organiser:  Frank Matthews  aviation@sevenoaksu3a.org.uk
    Book Circle - Wednesday
    We read mainly modern fiction, but not exclusively. We meet in members’ homes from May to October. Books are chosen by members plus suggested titles from Sevenoaks Library.
    New Members Welcome
    Group  Organiser:  Mary Arthur or Anne Evans  booksweds@sevenoaksu3a.org.uk

    The Industrial Heritage Group has continued to meet on Zoom throughout the lockdowns.  In the last few months we have had presentations on such diverse subjects as the History of Winemaking in SE England, Orchards in Kent, Industry in the Ashdown Forest, Gunsmiths and Electric Traction on the rails. We have a good program which will take us through to December. and will cover more eclectic subjects such as Pins and Needles, Joseph Lucas and the History of Astronomy.
    Group  Organiser: David Gardener                              iheritage@sevenoaksu3a.org.uk

    Garden Group 2
    Throughout both Lockdowns the group continued to hold monthly Zoom meetings to discuss future gardens to visit, and found sites we could visit on line and then discuss.
    A few members did book and visit gardens that were part open.  Most members are keen gardeners, including those who don’t garden now, all enjoy the outings.
    We sometimes manage two gardens in one day if they are close to each other.
    Group  Organiser:  Cherry Moss                                  garden2@sevenoaksu3a.org.uk

    German – Language and Culture  - This group meets monthly via Zoom.  We subscribe individually to the publication ‘Presse und Sprache’ which prints topical articles from German newspapers which we read aloud and discuss.
    Group  Organiser: Isabel White                                 germanculture@sevenoaksu3a.org.uk

    London Studies 1 - Meeting monthly using Zoom, we have taken it in turns to talk about either a London-based topic, or reviews of past visits and visits we had planned to take last year & hope to make in due course. Also we have had talks about the work of particular London architects and about people commemorated by Blue Plaques & statues. 
    Group  Organiser:: Diana Goymer              londonstudies1@sevenoaksu3a.org.uk

    Tai chi
    During the lockdown relaxation period last summer, when it was permissible to meet outdoors, we continued having sessions on the patio at the back of my house. Everyone was masked & suitably distanced. We have now started again recently in the open air again. but depending on the governmental policy may soon be able to meet again at St. Edith's church hall every Wednesday morning.    
    New members need to be familiar with the ‘24’ form and, if not, it is suggested they start by joining the Sevenoaks Adult Education Centre to learn this form.
    Group Organiser: Magdalen Kit Fong-Fry               taichi@sevenoaksu3a.org.uk

    Wire and Beaded Jewellery Making
    This Group has continued in fine form throughout the Lockdown, not only exchanging emails and texts but also directly using Zoom and recently even in the garden (suitably distanced).  We enjoy exchanging ideas, learn and help each other or even sometimes with the help of a professional jeweller.
    The first ‘proper’ meeting will be in June on the 2nd Wednesday.
    Group Organiser:  Cherry Moss                           jewellery@sevenoaksu3a.org.uk

    Other Groups
    The following Groups have already restarted or are looking forward to restarting very soon, showing the person to contact if you wish to join. Contact details are in our Handbook.
    Snooker.                                                            David Gardner
    Crossword.                                                       Sheila Bonnett
    Chess                                                               Magda Sweetland
    Digital Image Manipulati on 1, 2 and 3           Janet Austin
    Researching Family History                             Jean Stirk
    Folk dancing                                                    Peter and Lyn Nixon
    History of Transport                                        Michael Harwood
    History of Art                                                   Lyn Mead
    Wot is Art?                                                       Lyn Mead
    Migration of people                                         Lynda Alleeson
    Poetry 2                                                            Hilary Walker
    Issue Dated 23 May 2021
    Previous Group News January 2021
    Previous Group News March 2021
    Previous Group News May 2021
    Previous Group News
     

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