Year 11 Trip to Sorrento
After arriving at school before 4am the students were surprisingly spritely as we made ourselves to Gatwick for an early flight to Naples. A short bus transfer took us to our 4* hotel allowing all to drop their bags and head into Sorrento itself for a little free time looking around the port and extraordinary clifftop buildings. Day two consisted of an exciting tour of Pompeii with Gianni before we embarked on a short, steep walk to the crater of Vesuvius where we could witness just how much rock was blasted away in the eruption of 79AD that covered Pompeii.
Day three saw us go high into the mountains along the Amalfi Coast and descend the notorious ‘Walk of the Gods’ all the way down to Positano before taking a boat back around the coastline to Sorrento. During the following day and a half we also found time for pizza making classes as well as sightseeing trips to Amalfi and the simply stunning hillside village of Ravello, as well as a couple of well-earned dips in the sea and a little pool time inbetween. A simply stunning adventure for all involved.
Silver Duke of Edinburgh Awards
On Tuesday five intrepid Year 11 explorers started their Silver DofE Award Qualification Expedition. Alex B, Jago G, Adam N, Felix R and Austin R then spent three days successfully navigating their way westwards across the southern chalklands. Escaping from Lewes (prison.....[sorry, couldn’t resist it]) to Amberley, the route was, in the main, based around the South Downs Way in Sussex. However, due to particular road crossings and the need to get to and from their campsites they had to plot their routes especially carefully. Needless to say, all three days were HOT, lovely for views, less so for steep slopes and blistered feet on what was, in places, a ‘cheeky’ route. Having met the boys after scaling up to Chanctonbury Ring I can also vouch for how lovely and warm the days had been.
The DofE Award (and Duke of Kent School for that matter) promotes resilience, personal challenge, teamwork and a good dose of fun. Plenty of the above have been in evidence throughout this event. We enjoyed England’s win against Columbia courtesy of Austin’s phone nestling on the woodland floor in Parkwood Scout Camp (Poynings) - a spectacular setting, noteworthy for its thoroughly spartan conditions. We spent the next night in Washcamp (Washington) and spoilt ourselves by having showers(!). I don’t think I have ever seen so much pasta consumed by five people over three days, in fact, eating something (anything) at all times appeared to be an internal contest between them. In terms of physical courage and organisation it has also taken at least a few of them to manage their blistered feet extremely well indeed.
We all owe a vote of thanks to our External Assessor, Mrs Sarah Williamson, who took leave to come and validate the expedition each day. She was, incidentally, highly impressed with the maturity and positive attitude of all the boys, particularly on the first day when, under our guidance, they had to redirect themselves due to overly dangerous road crossings which were incorrectly shown as paths on the OS maps (most recent editions!).
Adam N and Jago G will be the first ever recipients of the Silver DofE Award - very well done indeed to them. I trust they will not be the last. They will also receive their Bronze Award certificates on Parents Day, together with Alex B, Connor De V, Harry H, Alex MacD, Andy McN, Josie M, Felix R, Austin R, Albie S and George V (at time of going to Press - may yet be more). Anyone who does not complete the Award in time for Parents Day can of course finish it thereafter - until their 25th birthday, but more practically as soon as possible during the holiday while I can still assist.
All the recipients are a credit to themselves and DoK School - very well done to them all.
Last Thursday Years 7,8 and 9 presented their version of the play 'Oliver Twist', adapted from the original Dickens novel by Neil Bartlett. Imaginatively directed by Mrs Honey this was a wonderfully dark and realistic depiction of Dickensian London and the murky world of Fagin, the Artful Dodger and Bill Sykes. With stellar performances from the whole cast of forty, mention must be made of Dan D as Fagin, Nick E as Bill, Blue R as Nancy, Charlie B as Oliver and Jack A as Dodger, who all acted with character and authenticity, supported wonderfully by a strong ensemble of ladies, gentlemen, wretches and urchins! With a fabulous set and spectacular costumes the whole evening was a feast for the eyes and ears and the cast did themselves proud.
Mrs Fremont-Barnes' Leaving Concert
On Saturday 30th June the top car park was transformed into an outdoor concert venue and the school held a leaving concert for Mrs Fremont-Barnes. With the sun gently dipping behind the school, and the building providing a natural acoustic amplifier for the performers this was a joyful event, with a wonderful, relaxed atmosphere and excellent performances from the school ensembles and groups. We had three original compositions written and performed by pupils, orchestral visits to The Hall of the Mountain King and Game of Thrones, African songs, 80's classics, musical theatre, body percussion, rock bands, ukuleles, ocarinas, Mum's choir and more - it was a wonderfully eclectic programme that truly celebrated the music we create in the school. After a massed choir finale that involved all performers Mrs F-B then requested an encore and we managed to cobble together the wonderful tune 'Shackles' with audience participation and, what was perhaps the highlight of the night, Connor de V getting Mrs F-B up to dance! It was a very lovely evening and all those involved, from the team that help set up to the brilliant performers, deserve huge thanks.
Year 11 Leavers' Dinner and Concert
On Monday the Year 11 assembled at school for their Leavers Dinner and Concert. With everyone done up in their finery, we witnessed some outstanding musical performances from Guy, Felix, Lexi, Jas and George… before the whole year group (and much of the audience) finished the concert with a wonderful rendition of the Beatles classic: ‘Let it Be’.
After a few drinks and canapes, we were treated to a sublime dinner in the dining room where stories of the pupils’ time at Duke of Kent were shared and a few parting gifts were awarded. Undoubtedly, this is a year group of many talents and the school will be poorer for their departure. We wish them all the best as they move on, hope they will keep us updated with the many triumphs they will have in the coming years, and applaud them for their fine efforts whilst here at the Duke of Kent.
Year 7 Watersports Day
In this current spell of hot weather the Year 7 water sports day at Southwater Country Park was a perfect way to cool down, have fun and celebrate the end of their first year in the senior school. They took part in kayaking, canoeing and what was meant to be stand up paddle boarding but seemed to involve more time falling in, sitting on and back flipping off than actual standing! Mr Usher impressed everyone with his kayaking skills and everyone enjoyed the pontoon jump at the end.
Years 5 and 6 Trip to the British Film Institute
On Tuesday, the whole of Years 5 and 6 enjoyed a trip up to London to watch some French films at the British Film Institute. The day started with a history of French cinema delivered in an engaging way which encouraged the pupils to think about how technology has developed and how that has affected story-telling. Despite the simplicity of these early films, it was so lovely to see the children so involved in the stories, desperate to know what would happen next. Use of target language was encouraged in their responses, and the speaker highlighted how there are many French/ English cognates and how this can help us to understand texts. Charlie N and Henry P even had a stint on stage, performing their version of a scene from one of the short films we had seen. After a lovely picnic on the “beach” at The Southbank, the afternoon session commenced, during which we enjoyed the feature-length film “Vie de Chat”, an unusual animation which had the children hooked, and immersed in the French language. Despite busy trains and the hot weather, the children behaved admirably and were a pleasure. Thank you to Mr Coote, Mr Ellarby, Madame Fellous, Miss Francis and Mrs Turner for their hard work on the day and to Mr Gritton , Mrs Hopwood, Miss Jones, Mr Macdonald and Mr Vallance-Webb for driving the minibusses; a veritable team effort!
Year 6 Bridge Building Project
On Wednesday, for the final part of their bridge building project, Year 6 tested the strength of their constructions. Bridges are an essential part of our everyday lives and play a vital role in keeping our infrastructure connected. This was a team-based management project that promoted and understanding of the structure and forces that must be considered in the construction of successful bridges. This formed the basis of our work in both DT and Creative Curriculum this term. Each company researched, designed, promoted and built a prototype model or 'proof of concept' suitable for testing their unique design. Key skills that were developed included: teamwork, structural design, engineering design, forces, geometry, accounting and budgeting, marketing, management and presentation. The testing itself was exciting with some dramatic results. One bridge was able to hold more than 45kg before failing, which was pretty impressive given the limited resources allowed in construction. Thank you to Mr Usher for all his hard work and well done to all the companies for producing their unique designs.
Year 6 Final Assembly
On Wednesday, Year 6 gave their final assembly as members of the Prep School. The location was bright and sunny out on Front Pitch and it was lovely to have so many parents join us. We were treated to many memories and highlights from each of the children that spanned their time so far at Duke of Kent. They also spoke of their own personal achievements that made them proud and what they learned along the way. They also spoke about one of their peers - what they liked and admired about them - and a how they have been inspired by them. Finally, the children gave thanks to the teachers that have helped them over the years and, importantly, their parents for 'generally being brilliant'. It was wonderful to hear their warm , heartfelt sentiments and reflections of their time with us in the Prep School. Thank you Year 6, we wish you all the very best in September as Year 7 students!
Pre Prep Sports Day, Water Fun and Discovery Centre Trip
Over the past few days, Pre-prep have been involved in some highly exciting events. With temperatures soaring last week, we treated the children to an hour of "water fun" in the Pre-prep playground. Each armed only with a plastic cup (and a boat load of water for refuelling), the pupils were thrilled to have a chance to soak each other and, most of all, their teachers who, despite being massively outnumbered, managed to hold back the tide with an array of well-aimed water cannons. Whoops and squeals of delight could be heard from afar...and the children were quite excitable too. The following day, the competition was just as fierce but much more fair at Sports Day, as the children threw, jumped and ran with all their might in front of a delighted audience of friends and family. It was a special treat to have some impressive demonstrations from the senior athletes at school, and we were most grateful for the support of the GCSE students. Lastly, the department headed off to the Lookout Discovery Centre in Bracknell for a wonderful end-of-year trip, which had a little bit of everything. The time just flew as the children explored model castles and ships, tested themselves on climbing apparatus, hunted for minibeasts in the woods, worked on a construction site and experimented with a host of hands-on scientific exhibits. There was even time for a much needed ice lolly before heading home. Hopefully, despite all this activity, the children have saved some energy for this week's Summer Dance Show - watch this space for news and photos!
Pre-prep Dance Show
What a show the Pre-prep pupils put on this week, not once but twice - on the same sweltering day! In the morning the children's first full dress rehearsal was a triumph, drawing some wonderfully excited and generous praise from the Prep School audience members, many of whom were reminded of their own fond memories of performing lower down the school. In the afternoon, the children did it all again for parents and grandparents, and somehow with even more spring in their step. Mrs Fremont-Barnes remarked on how much pleasure was evident on all their faces as they shimmied, hopped and twirled across the stage, rivalled only by the joy on the faces of their audience, whose grinning cheeks still ached hours later, I'm sure. It was marvellous to hear staff from other sections of the school describe the event as their highlight of the year, and I would like to echo that sentiment. Well done, Pre-prep -and a huge thank you to the inspirationally ambitious Lisa Lee for holding us all together throughout.
PADoK - Thank you!
PADoK would like to say a huge "Thank You" to Mrs Hunter for being a brilliant Chairperson for the last 2 years. Harriet always pours her heart and soul into everything she does and this is very much appreciated. We have all had SO much fun helping out with the social events. Mrs Trotman will take the Chair role from September.
Thank you from Mrs Fremont-Barnes
A huge thank you for the wonderful and generous gift presented at my farewell concert. I absolutely love it and will treasure it for years to come. I can't quite believe I am now the proud owner of a Chris Wright original ! It will have a special place in our home. Thank you all so much.
A Few Match Reports
Cricket : U14 v Shoreham College
The Year 9 cricket team carried on from their impressive chase last week with a brilliant performance in their last cricket game of the season at Shoreham College. Duke of Kent School batted first and scored 162 from 15 overs. Alex W top scored with 91 not out during his brilliant innings (12 4's and 6 6's). This was followed by clinical bowling to win the game. Alex W and Archie L both claimed 3 wickets and Harry P got 2. Well done on a great end to the season and in particular the man of the match Alex W.
Rounders: U12/13 v Farlington
On Wednesday afternoon, the U12/13B team played their last match of the rounders season away at Farlington. On winning the toss, the girls fielded first. Playing only with 7-aside the girls were covering multiple positions out on the field and adapted brilliantly.The girls opened the innings fielding well; fast bowling from Issy B and some key catches from Aiofe W on 2nd post kept Farlingtons’ score to 4 1/2 rounders. Whilst batting, rounders were scored by Ellis M, Issy B, Amalie W-B and Zara H giving is a strong score of 7 rounders going into the second innings.
The girls pulled out all the stops whilst fielding in the second innings and bowled out Farlington after just 19 balls. Excellent catches were made by Daisy M and Amalie W-B plus Zoe L and Aiofe W stumped out a number of Farlington players on first and second post respectively. Some early rounders from Ellis M, Issy B and Zara H scored us 4 1/2 rounders in the second innings so the final score stood at 12 1/2 to 8 in Duke of Kent Schools favour.
A special mention to Issy B and Aiofe W for being nominated as batter and fielder of the game. Well done to all the girls that have played in the U12/13B team this term who have had an unbeaten season - I wish you all the best of luck in September as netball season gets back underway!
Rounders: U12/13A v Farlington
On Wednesday afternoon, Duke of Kent School's U12/13A team travelled to Farlington for a rounders match in some warm sunshine! The girls batted first and initially struggled to get the ball past Farlington's very strong fielders. However, as the girls got into the game they began to strike the ball with more consistency as Milly B and Martha M found some spaces to score rounders and finish the innings with a good score of 7. Next, Duke of Kent School fielded well with some great catches in both innings from Issy F in second deep and consistent bowling from Alice S. This ensured that Duke of Kent went into the second innings ahead by two and a half rounders. Once again they batted well and improved throughout the innings, Charlotte W and Daisy K were the last two players in and managed to continue to score for the team, with Duke of Kent School finishing on 13 rounders in total. Farlington had a lot to do to catch Duke of Kent's score, they played a tactically brilliant game and scored rounder after rounder. On the last ball, Farlington needed one rounder to win, the ball was hit with power towards 2nd deep, Charlotte W watched the ball with great care and caught the ball beautifully! Well done to the U13/12A's for an UNBEATEN rounders season!!
On Thursday afternoon the U8/9 B team played their final rounders match of the season against Longacre. The first innings the girls fielded well with Edie H stumping out one of Longacre’s batters with the half time score of 8-6 in Longacre's favour. The second innings, the Duke of Kent School team upped their game with both Eddie H and Rose S stumping out the Longacre batters and kept their score down to just 4 1/2 rounds. Duke of Kent School girls had to score a total of 7 rounders in the second batting innings - it all came down to the final bat! The final score was 13 to 12 1/2 to Duke of Kent School.
Well done to all of the girls that played, especially to Annabelle B for being nominated as Girl of the Game! You have put in a super effort in rounders this term and should all be proud of what you have achieved. Good luck in September during netball season!
Morogoro International School, Tanzania
Mr Hubbard presented an assembly on Monday about Tanzania and Morogoro International School.
He is moving there with his wife in August to take over the role of Headteacher.
The school offers a British curriculum from nursery to A Level. There are 270 students mainly from the local area but 70 of them are full boarders.
They embrace a ‘whole child’ approach to education with great emphasis on personal and moral development, teaching respect for the self, for others and the environment.
Duke of Kent hopes to keep an active link with the school in the future with the possibility of a visit in years to come. www.mis.co.tz
Whole School Reminders
Wednesday 5th September
Autumn Term Begins 8:20am
E Safety Tips
Some users of Samsung phones have recently reported that picture messages were sent to random contacts without their permission. The bug, which originates on Samsung's own default messaging app, has not yet been found and there is no way of knowing who it has sent pictures to or what the pictures were of. Samsung are apparently aware of the matter and are investigating further, and encourage concerned owners to contact them directly .
Until an official patch or update comes out I would recommend Samsung phone users to switch from the Samsung messaging app to a third party app such as one by Google, and take away the permissions for messaging apps accessing your photos.
This will be the last bulletin item from me until September, so until then please have a pleasant and safe summer!
Here are some articles for further reading,
Thanks for reading!
Pause for Thought
Well, I'm officially a Reverend!
Sunday was a joyous day of celebration for the eleven of us that were ordained at the Cathedral, and I'm looking forward to the adventure ahead!
But, I must admit to needing a holiday!
May I wish you all a restful, peaceful and fun filled summer break and I'll see you in September.
With every blessing
PADoK 100 Club Winners
1st prize, £250 - Mr and Mrs Stephen Williams
2nd prize, £150 - Mr and Mrs Carr
3rd prize, £100 - Mr and Mrs Holland