Weekly Bulletin 02/03/2018

Bronze Medalist Izzy Atkin visits Duke of Kent School

Duke of Kent School was fortunate enough to be visited by one of Team GB’s Winter Olympic heroines, Izzy Atkin, who made a flying visit to talk in an impromptu school assembly. Visiting her uncle, a leading light in the Peaslake Players, Izzy had just flown back from Pyeongchang and, despite being jet lagged, agreed to come and see us after receiving an email from Mrs Trotman.

Izzy is the first British skier to win an Olympic medal after a courageous final run earned her bronze in the ladies’ ski slopestyle. The 19-year-old, who was born in the US to a British father and Malaysian mother, was in fourth place going into her last of three runs, but then landed all her tricks to claim bronze. Despite growing in the US Izzy very much feels at home here. She told the School, “I grew up on Marmite and Ribena”.

During her inspirational talk Izzy discussed the resilience and mettle that it takes to be an Olympian. She talked openly about the setbacks that she has faced and the determination that is required to keep pushing herself to the limit. Injuries, such as a nasty accident that led to a broken collarbone, and a demanding training regime that requires time in the gym as well as on the slopes, all require perseverance, courage and tenacity.

The School would like to say a big thank you to Izzy for taking the time to visit and we all wish her every success in her future career.

Mr Seeley

Spanish trip to Valencia

Year 10 and 11 Spanish students spent an action-packed and rewarding four days in Valencia last week. An early start allowed us to enjoy a laid-back lunch in the Plaza de la Virgen before embarking upon a walking tour of the city to orientate ourselves and learn about the city’s varied and fascinating history and architecture. The first round of chocolate con churros was enjoyed by all participants, though Alex B was defeated by his, a concept incomprehensible to me! At dinner, Dugald P’s birthday was celebrated in true Spanish style with a huge chocolate cake, a lively rendition of “Cumpleaños Feliz” and the traditional ear tweaks; one for each year!

Day 2 started with a two hour Spanish lesson in the bright and friendly International House. There, the pupils revised their grammar and spent a solid two hours speaking and listening to Spanish, which they were then able to put into practice in the afternoon, ordering their lunch and ice-creams, chatting with locals on the bus and playing football with some Spanish boys on the beach. As evening drew in and the glorious sunshine dipped, tinting the buildings pink, we visited the Lonja de la Seda (the silk exchange) which explained the architecture of the building, its original use and the role it played in Valencian history.

The following day saw the pupils back at International House before a visit to the colourful food market for a well-earned lunch. Next up was a flamenco lesson (the highlight of Mr Allen’s trip!) which involved a walk in beautiful sunshine through the park now occupying the old river bed. Dominic A and Oscar L were justifiably nominated “best dancers”, although Chloe E-L, Alex M, Sam G, Max T and Señora Cabanes cracked out some impressive moves too! Guy R even joined the musicians and played the cajón expertly, really picking up on the sevillano rhythms. I think they would quite happily have kept him on full time! After paella for dinner, more chocolate con churros.

The sun continued on the last day, this time accompanied by wonderful warmth! First up was a visit to the museum of Las Fallas where the best ninot (model) from each year of the festival is kept and displayed. We were to experience some of the festivities later in the day. After a pit-stop at El Parque Gulliver where enormous fun was had on the huge slides, we made our way to El Oceaogràfic where we were lucky enough to see an astonishing dolphin show, raising the awareness of conservation on the Spanish coasts, as well as many species of shark, extra-terrestrial looking jellyfish, walruses, seals and, to Fraser’s great excitement… Nemo!!! The day gave the pupils all sorts of original language to use in preparation for the speaking exams! After a wander around the architecturally extraordinary and super-modern science museum, it was back to the historic centre for one last ice-cream before the journey home…hindered somewhat by the beginning of the Fallas festival which meant roads and bridges were blocked by marching bands, firecrackers and excited crowds! What a scene to round up our trip! The return to England and sub-zero temperatures was something of a shock! Huge thanks to Señor Allen and Señora Cabanes for accompanying the trip, and to all 24 of the pupils for being such fun and pleasant company.

Miss Francis

Year 9 Enterprise Day

On Friday the 23rd February Year 9 attended an Enterprise day at Notre Dame School in Cobham. The students looking very smart in their business clothes worked in groups with the girls from Notre Dame. The presenters from Bright Futures Enterprise Experience lead them in a variety of business themed challenges. One task involved designing and making a roller coaster ride, there were some very imaginative ideas and some great team work went into producing a variety of successful rides. Another activity involved a fast paced business game aimed at developing their enterprising and entrepreneurial skills. At the end of the afternoon we all gathered in the theatre to listen to the radio advertisements that the groups had been working on for their roller coaster rides.

Mrs Coackley

UKMT Team Challenge

I took a team of four year 8 & 9 Mathematicians to this year’s UKMT Team Challenge - Regional Finals held at Churcher’s College at Petersfield. Oscar Boatswain, Aurthur Bourke, James Fulcher and Monte Gatley took part with great enthusiasm and worked beautifully together as a team. There are 4 rounds of approximately 40 minutes each of high energy mathematics problems to solve under pressure of time. The rounds are designed to ensure that team dynamics play as much a role in your success as your mathematical ability. Our team demonstrated both qualities in abundance, in addition to great social skills and admirable manners and politeness. Thirty-three schools from Surrey and Hampshire took part and we finished with a strong mid-table result. Well done team!

Mrs LaCroix

Pre-prep Cross-cultural Day

As the world's Jewish and Hindu communities were busy preparing for two of their most important annual festivals this week, the Pre-prep pupils joined in with a special Cross-Cultural Day of creativity and colour. Both the Jewish festival of Purim and the Hindu festival of Holi celebrate moments when good overcame evil, and we were especially lucky to have two adherents of both faiths from our own school community retell the stories to the children. Inspired by these two tales of triumph, the children made an array of decorative masks and crowns, t-shirts awash with colour, baskets of treats for loved ones, and noisy 'groggers' to drown out the name of evil Haman. To top off a day filled with excitement and discovery, staff and pupils covered each other in colourful confetti and indulged in some Bollywood dancing to welcome in springtime (ignoring the wintry snow as it fell outside!). Thanks to all the staff who helped make it such a rich experience for the children. We are especially grateful to Mrs Pakenham for bringing the various activities together, and Mrs Burr and Miss Anand for sharing their cultural traditions with us all with such enthusiasm.

Mr Wright

This Months Featured Books

For Prep:

Frida Kahlo and her Animalitos by Monica Brown

Learn about the life of an amazing painter, and the animals that inspired her.

The fascinating and influential Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is remembered for her self-portraits, her dramatic works featuring bold and vibrant colours. Brown's story recounts Frida's beloved pets - two monkeys, a parrot, three dogs, two turkeys, an eagle, a black cat, and a fawn - and takes on a fable-like quality as it explores how Kahlo embodied the loveliest characteristics of each species.

For Seniors:

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

It's an ordinary Thursday lunchtime for Arthur Dent until his house gets demolished. The Earth follows shortly afterwards to make way for a new hyperspace bypass and his best friend has just announced that he's an alien. At this moment, they're hurtling through space with nothing but their towels and an innocuous-looking book inscribed with the big, friendly words:


This is the story of two human beings who survive the Earth's senseless destruction, and their adventures in space and time while attempting to discover the meaning of life or, in Arthur's case, simply find a decent cup of tea (which can sometimes constitute the same thing).

Miss Blake

Pause for Thought

I had the pleasure of spending a day with Pre-Prep on Tuesday as we celebrated Cross-Cultural day. It was a whirlwind of a day as we made masks, T-shirts and baskets with sweets to mark Holi, a Hindu festival and dressed up, made groggers (shakers), crowns and ate Hamantaschen to celebrate Purim, a Jewish festival.

It reminded me of the diversity and richness of our world and how much we have to learn from each other. We all have much more in common that binds us together in humanity than we might first think.

Both Purim and Holi remind us that good triumphs over evil and that there is a power greater than us at work in the world, that some call God. Although perhaps a simplistic view and one that may not seem obvious when one looks at the state of parts of the world, there is a force of love that is undeniable and always shines through. We just have to have the eyes to see.

Mrs Pakenham

Whole School Reminders:

Friday 9th March:

House Music Finals

Senior School Reminders:

Monday 5th March:

Year 9 to Sayers Croft for orienteering practise 13:30 - 16:30

Friday 9th March:

Senior School Careersa Assembly 8:30

Prep School Reminders:

Monday 5th March:

Year 3 trip to Kew Gardens

Tuesday 6th March:

Years 4 & 5 trip to Milestones Museum

Pre-Prep Reminders:

Tuesday 6th March:

Pre-Prep Parents' Meetings 15:00 - 17:00

Wednesday 7th March:

Year 1 Parents' tour of Prep School 09:00

Thursday 8th March:

Pre-Prep Mothers' Day parties

Dan D Pole Vault Success

On the 24th and 25th of February the England athletics held their age group National Championships for U15’s, U17’s and U20’s. In order to enter the Championships, you have to have achieved the qualifying time, jump, throw. I was entered into the U15’s Pole vault competition having achieved the required entry height of 2m and 80cm.

The championship was held at The English Institute of Sport in Sheffield and is the biggest indoor athletics Championship of the year. There were 12 competitors in the U15’s pole vault final and I managed to clear a new PB (personal best) 3m 21cm, increasing my existing PB by 10cms, which meant I finished in a very respectable 5th place.

Well done Dan!

Miss Vernon and Dan D, Year 9

World Book Day

On Thursday morning, a joint team of students from all houses competed against a Duke of Kent School staff, English specialist, ‘Eggheads’ team in an episode of the show.

It was fiercely fought with the competitors from Hillary and Whittle being knocked out before the final round by Mr Coote and Mrs Fremont-Barnes respectively. The competitors from Armstrong and Chichester fared better, knocking Mrs Southee out on a tie break and Miss Anand.

The final came down to a tie breaker question - the victors being the Eggheads!

Well done to everyone who took part, especially those who subbed in at the last minute!

Following on from the success of our World Book Day celebrations, some of our senior students took the time to go and read a book to some of the Prep pupils. Happy World Book Day all!

Mr Southee

The Duke of Kent School Readathon

I am delighted to announce that this year’s Readathon winner is Ella S (Year 5) who read 20 books! Over the last few weeks, Ella has read a broad range of literature from different authors; I was impressed to see a high level of detail in her bookmarks. Ella is now the proud owner of her very own Kindle! A special mention to Leo H (Year 6) who came runner up in the competition – you were a close second and I hope you enjoy reading your new bundle of books!

Well done to all our students from Year 5 to Year 8 who took part in this fantastic competition! 

Miss Anand

3SN's Assembly

On Wednesday, 3S gave a fantastic performance during their class assembly. Our theme was focused on our attitude to learning attribute for this term - Independence. They used the story of the three little pigs, with a twist, to show that independence doesn't necessarily been working on your own. It is about creating your own path to grow to be the best version of yourself. All of the children were committed to their roles and put on an entertaining show. Well done 3S!

Miss Nott

A message from the Prep School Council

The Prep School Council have chosen to donate the proceeds of the disco- £230 to the the Rainbow Trust in Leatherhead. This is a small local charity who support over 2000 families in England who have a seriously ill child. The pupils felt that families in this position would need as much support as possible and they particularly liked the idea that the money they had raised from a really fun event would be used to help seriously ill children enjoy a special day with their families.

Mrs Lock

Music Department News

As we approach House Music finals day (Friday 9th March) we have nearly worked through all the semi-finals. As I write I am hoping we can see the final candidates today (Friday) and those who have made it through will know who they are by the end of play and have a week to prepare for the finals! The standard of entries has been the highest ever this year and it has been incredibly tough to choose who to put through from some categories! Well done to all 112 children who entered and good luck to those who make it through to the finals.

Glive tickets are still available so if you have not yet ordered yours please do via bookings@dokschool.org

Mr Rye

E-Safety Tips

You may have heard a few months ago that Facebook released an app aimed at children younger than 13 called "Messenger Kids". As facebook has an age limit of 13 to create a profile, this app was designed so that those who were younger could still chat and connect with friends and family. However, research done by Bernardos has found that 90% of parents have concerns with the safety of the app, and 51% of parents would not let their children use it. While children should be allowed to enjoy the internet and use it to stay in contact with the people they know, it is always important to stress standard safety practices such as avoiding communication with people you don't know, and reporting those who are abusive online.

Here is the article in question:


Thanks for reading!

Mr Win-Pe