Weekly Bulletin 08/02/2018

Ballet Club Trip to see Giselle

What an amazing day Ballet Club had on Friday! We had the pleasure of watching the Royal Ballet's Giselle at The Royal Opera House at their special Schools' Matinée. Before the performance, we enjoyed our packed lunches in Floral Hall and learnt how pointe shoes are made from Freed of London.

We were very lucky to be allocated amazing seats in the Stalls Circle from where we were excitingly close to the action! The Ballet Clubbers were able to see some of the steps they have been learning in action, as well as learning how the storyline is communicated through mime, movement and body language. The dancing was, of course, sublime throughout, and Francesca Hayward and Kristan McNally's acting in the emotional final scene of the first act was enthralling.

After the performance, we were extremely privileged to make our way to Stage Door and to be taken backstage by First Artist, Nathalie Harrison. She was able show us the Act 1 set, now behind the stage, before taking us side of stage where we got a brief glimpse of Laura Morera, that evening's Giselle, rehearsing; what a thrill! As if that wasn't enough, as we emerged from the wings, I found Ballet Club merrily chatting away to Kevin O'Hare, director of the Royal Ballet. He seemed genuinely delighted to hear how much we had enjoyed the performance and very kindly delayed his rehearsal to have a photo with us! Nathalie then took us into the girls' dressing rooms (Ben H-F and Mr Kaye waited for us very patiently outside!) and showed us the headdresses which had been worn in Act 2, the enormous hats from Act 1 and how heavy the villagers' dresses are! We saw the dancers' rest area with a view right over London and the studios where the dancers rehearse and take class. Apparently, you can see right into one of the studios from the London Eye! Nathalie patiently answered all our questions and made the whole experience so exciting. We are all so grateful to her for giving us her precious free time so willingly. The girls were all delighted to be given a dancer's pointe shoes to take home, as a memento of their magical day.

The children's behaviour was impeccable all day and I was particularly touched by the older girls taking the hands of the prep school girls as we walked over Waterloo Bridge, with no prompting from Mr Kaye or me. Also, huge thanks to Mr Kaye for dropping his plans for the day at the very last minute, driving the minibus and accompanying the trip!

Miss Francis

Year 5 History trip to The Old Rectory, Ewhurst

On 26th Jan and 2nd Feb Forms 5E and 5T visited the Old Rectory Nursing Home in Ewhurst. Our aim was for the children to learn from, and enjoy the company of, people who were children (or young adults) during the period we have been exploring (1930s-40s). Under the eye of Mrs Honey, 5E performed a rendition of the 1930s ‘hit’ ‘Underneath the Spreading Chestnut Tree’ while 5T took turns to tell the residents what has inspired them about the subject so far – these included the delights of Laurel & Hardy (‘adults who act like children’), poetry inspired by poverty at the time, learning about their own families, Churchill’s speeches and, not least, the origins of the Kit-Kat and Mars Bar, both invented in the 1930s!

The residents and children really appeared to enjoy each other’s company and this was tremendous ‘living history’ to witness. Their stories are too numerous to mention in their entirety but a particularly poignant recollection came from a lady who used to regularly catch the ‘2 o’clock train from Cranleigh to Bramley’ during the War. She was sixteen years old when, on the 16th December 1942, she caught an earlier train. Her usual train was attacked that day by a German bomber – eight people were killed and many more were wounded. There is a memorial to this incident close to St Catherine’s School. Having survived the War she now lives (with her husband) at the Old Rectory after an impressive 65 years of being married to one another.

Other special highlights and reminisces included listening to a lady who served as a radar operator in Kent during the war (and was an expert dancer), an ex-Serviceman who shared his souvenirs from serving in the RAF (including a very rare propaganda leaflet which was supposed to have been dropped over Germany but got stuck in the bomb-doors of the aircraft), favourite snacks (liquorice often the ‘only sweet available’ and sugar on bread), the names of best friends (‘Mavis, Annette and Christine’), not having oranges to eat, having to move houses due to bombing, a lady who had met Princess Margaret (the Queen’s late sister), favourite subjects including ‘History, PE, English, Maths, Art, Tennis and Experiments’, and having to go home for lunch as there wasn’t any at school!

I must pass on many thanks are to the gracious and patient residents and staff of the Old Rectory, Mrs Honey, Mr Ellarby, Mrs Turner and also, the children of Year 5 who helped make this a lifetime memory – perhaps to remember when they are of a similar age!

Mr Lodge

Pre-Prep Science Day

On Tuesday, Pre-prep Science Day gave everyone in the department the opportunity to put on some goggles, roll up their sleeves and delve into some serious investigating and experimenting. In the morning, we ventured off to the Senior Science labs, where Head of Science, Mr Kettle, treated us to some amazing demonstrations. The children watched on in awe as chemicals were mixed, particles were charged and a whole range of scientific wonders unfolded before their very eyes. With everyone well and truly excited about the day ahead, we returned to the department for some hands-on activities of our own. In one area, the children learnt about how temperature affects liquids and solids differently, using their own body heat to reveal items hidden inside ice and discussing the melting of polar icebergs for real world inspiration. In another classroom, the children experimented with the mystery of magnetic forces to move objects in exciting and unexpected ways, culminating in a launch of their very own friction-fuelled rocket ship! Meanwhile, elsewhere, pupils applied keen observation skills to the topic of buoyancy, predicting whether objects would sink or float, and using a steady hand to create beautiful rainbow density towers. It was a joy to watch the children engaging with such enthusiasm; typically, they impressed their teachers with their knowledge and curiosity, as well as some exceptional thoughtfulness towards the younger children around them. As they were heading home, a few pupils were heard saying "I want to go back in time and start Science Day all over again!" With the imaginative spark in these youngsters, one of them might just invent a machine to make it possible in the years ahead! Thank you to Mrs Henry and the Pre-prep team for coordinating the day's activities, and to Year 6 for pitching in as well.

Mr Wright

This Months Featured Books

For Prep:

The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris

‘A breathtaking book. Jackie Morris has created something that you could spend all day looking at. This is the kind of complexity that can enthral a child as much as an adult. Refreshingly accessible . . . Magical’ New Statesman

All over the country, there are words disappearing from children's lives. These are the words of the natural world - Dandelion, Otter, Bramble and Acorn, all gone. The rich landscape of wild imagination and wild play is rapidly fading from our children's minds.

The Lost Words stands against the disappearance of wild childhood. It is a joyful celebration of nature words and the natural world they invoke. With spell-poems by award-winning writer Robert Macfarlane and hand-painted illustration by Jackie Morris, this enchanting book captures the irreplaceable magic of language and nature for all ages.

For Seniors:

The Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye is the defining novel of teenage angst and alienation. The critic Adam Gopnik calls it one of the ‘three perfect books’ in American literature and says that ‘no book has ever captured a city better than The Catcher in the Rye captured New York in the 50s’. Book and author quickly acquired a mystique, partly abetted by Salinger himself, who cultivated his obscurity to the point of mania, becoming as secretive and self-obsessed as his protagonist, Holden Caulfield.

The Catcher in the Rye is a crazy, and often very funny, distorting mirror in which generations of British and American teenagers have examined themselves. At the same time, it instructs them to give nothing away to ‘the phonies’ who ruin all our lives.

Miss Blake

A few match reports from this week

Rugby: U11 v. Cottesmore

A cruel wind was blowing over the picturesque lawns of Cottesmore as we warmed up for the U11 Rugby game. Once the game got underway, however, the boys showed that rugby is beginning to ignite their passion as they gave a red hot performance, full of guile and desire, which warmed the cockles of the assembled spectators. With tries from Archie L, Luke I, Calum McK and Leo H we came away with a hard fought 45-35 win with a last minute try sealing the victory. Notable mentions for Toby C for some outstanding line breaks and for Charlie N for some very committed tackling. Well done boys!

Mr Seeley

Hockey: Years 5 & 6 House Matches

On Monday saw the Year 5 and 6 play their House Hockey competition. There was some excellent team play from all the houses involved with each of the matches being close games with brilliant skills on show.

Final Placings:

  1. Armstrong

  2. Hillary

  3. Whittle

  4. Chichester

Mr Green

Senior School Reminders:

Tuesday 20th February:

Year 9 Spanish trip to the BFI, London

Thursday 22nd February:

GCSE Spanish trip to Valencia departs

Friday 23rd February:

Year 9 Enterprise Day at Notre Dame School

5T Debates

Inspired by the Michael Morpurgo Book, Kensuke’s Kingdom, 5T presented the first debate for the Spring term, kindly chaired by Mr Coote.

The motion,

“This House believes that sailing around the world with your family for a year is a good idea,”

was given lively and thoughtful consideration by all of the members of 5T. Arguments for the motion, enticingly offered the opportunity to learn new skills as a sailor and embark on a fresh adventure as a family. Why not see the Wonders of The World and marine animals first hand rather than listen to a teacher talk about them, or have to read about them in a book?

The arguments against were also persuasive and mostly focused on the dangers and risks one might encounter. These included, sea sickness, sunburn, falling off the boat and sailing over the top of sea volcanoes.

In the end the motion was not carried and voted decisively against, by 49 votes to 24. The children of the Duke of Kent School are reassuringly very content to remain in the life they already know.

Mrs Turner

Year 1 Assembly

On Wednesday 7th February Year 1 took their first class assembly. The theme was transport and travel and we dressed up as pilots, cabin crew and people from other lands.

We began by testing the Prep School’s knowledge of flags and were most impressed at how many they could identify. We then took the school on a trip around the world complete with aerial photos and commentary from Year 1 members about the countries we passed.

We ended with a song and a prayer which was beautifully delivered by Henry. Congratulations Year 1 on a great performance and on speaking up so clearly !

Mrs Crabtree

Safer Internet Day

This past Tuesday we recognised Safer Internet Day, and Years 3, 4, and 5 celebrated the occasion as part of Creative Curriculum. This year's theme is about how we can create a better Internet by being kinder online, with Year 3 and 4 looking at stories and performing plays about how to be a better friend over the Internet. Also, over the past few weeks Year 5 have been making informative videos with e-safety tips, in the hopes that they help other people and pupils stay safer online. We hope you find them helpful!

Mr Win-Pe

Music Department News

On Wednesday evening Duke of Kent School hosted the District Meeting for the IAPS, at which approximately 30 Heads of Surrey Prep schools were present. During their drinks reception they were entertained by some of our Senior Pupils who sung and played beautifully for them, giving them a real showcase of the wonderful musicians we have here at school. So, a big thanks goes to Lexi B, Parsons, George V, Ava H, Tyla W, Toby H, Dexter B, Constance C, Jago C and James F for being brilliant!

Much of what they performed will be repeated at GLive so grab your tickets while you still can! bookings@dokschool.org

Mr Rye

E-Safety Tips

YouTube Kids

This half term I'm sure many of us adults and children will take a break and relax with some time online. One option is YouTube Kids, an app that is designed so that children can find and watch videos unaccompanied. However the recent burst of disturbing videos being shown to viewers is apparently is still continuing after more were found, despite YouTube saying that they had tackled the problem.

Telling a trusted adult and reporting the video or site is the first thing people should do when they encounter something upsetting online. Also, it may be necessary to watch the videos through first before children do, so that you can be sure of its safety.

Here are some related articles:



Thanks for reading!

Mr Win-Pe

PADoK News

The Krypton Generation - Friday 2nd March

Tickets are now on sale for PADoK’s spring event: the Krypton Generation, a mashup of rounds taken from iconic ‘80s gameshows.

Tickets are £15 per person, this includes supper. Tickets can be booked with your PADoK Rep or by emailing padok@dokschool.org

We look forward to seeing lots of you for an evening of fun & laughter.

The PADoK Team

Pause for Thought

Welcome to the beginning of half term! For most of us the alarms are kicked under the bed and the normal routine is suspended, albeit briefly!

On Wednesday of half term the period of Lent begins. This is a time of reflection and reparation in the Christian calendar. A time when we have the opportunity to take stock of our lives and reflect on what is important to us, and why.

For Christians it provides a chance to unclutter our lives and focus on the teaching and life of Jesus; the fundamental questions of the meaning of life and how our lives are reflecting the radical message of the inclusivity of love that Jesus taught. We become aware of the ways in which we fall short of the greatest commandants,

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind.’[a]38 This is the first and most important command. 39 And the second command is like the first: ‘Love your neighbour as you love yourself.’[b] 40(Matthew 22:36-40)

Please follow the link below for a quick clip for an explanation of Lent.


Mrs Pakenham