Weekly Bulletin 12/01/2018
St. Clement Danes Carol Service
On Sunday 10th December the Senior Chamber Choir fought its way through the snow to sing in the annual RAF Benevolent Fund's Carol Service at St Clement Danes Church on The Strand. Duke of Kent School have had the honour of performing at this service for over thirty years now and it is always a wonderful occasion.
Despite the snow this year keeping the attendance lower than usual (and sadly stopping the mulled wine van from attending!) there was still a lovely atmosphere in the beautiful church and, as always, our Senior Choir acquitted themselves excellently, singing beautifully and behaving with courtesy and consideration. It was a lovely day for all those involved and a big thank you is due to the staff and parents who came along to support.
GCSE Computer Science Trip to Bletchley Park
In a fantastic start to the term, the Year 10 and 11 GCSE Computer Students embarked on a trip to Bletchley Park this past Monday. For those who might not know, Bletchley Park was the site of British code breaking efforts during the Second World War. Unrecognised until after the war, the efforts of the men and women who worked there are widely considered to have shortened the war by two years, and it's no exaggeration to say that Bletchley Park gave birth to the computer age we currently live in! Its profile was recently raised due to its inclusion in a biopic of Alan Turing, regarded as the "Father of Computer Science", who worked there during the war.
The sights included the code breaking huts, surviving documents and artefacts from the war - such as the German Enigma Machines, and most impressive of all: a rebuilt mechanical bombe, which helped in the deciphering encrypted German messages and was one of the first computers ever built. After a guided tour around the site the students were able to have a hands on experience of code breaking by looking at the common ciphers and codes of the time, and also use an actual (and very valuable) Enigma Machine from 1938!
The students were exemplary and showed real enthusiasm and passion in this fascinating part of both British and Computing history, a brilliant outing all round!
Galapagos Conservation Trust Talk
On Thursday 11th January we were fortunate to have Jen Jones from the Galapagos Conservation Trust spend the day at Duke of Kent School. She presented to all year groups from three to eleven, explaining the rare natural beauty that exists in the Galapagos Islands and the role the trust plays in conserving the area. We learnt about the colonisation of these (relatively) young islands and the reasons behind the marine area containing such a great degree of biodiversity. In particular the unusual behaviour of Sea Lions, Whale Sharks, Blue-footed Boobys, Galapagos Penguins and the various tortoises were analysed alongside the different groups who have a vested interest in the area and how they can be satisfied sustainably. Pupils were wonderfully behaved throughout and pertinent questions were posed by Ben D and Andy McN, amongst others.
Marcus Sedgwick's Virtual Visit
In English during the Autumn Term, Year 6 read and studied 'a terrifying story of ancient magic', 'The Dark Horse' by Marcus Sedgwick. On the final Thursday of term, we were lucky to be joined by Marcus in a live session via Skype as Marcus lives in France. We were shown his writing studio, his collection of books and the numerous different copies of The Dark Horse that have been translated into different languages. He also shared some of his writing practices and insights that will no doubt be useful in our next creative writing task. Year 6 also prepared some questions to ask Marcus on a range of topics including writing, his career, The dark Horse, his childhood and his approach to challenges. It was fantastic to be able to connect with the author of a much-enjoyed book, to ask questions and glean tips and inspiration for the future. Enormous thanks to Marcus, and well done to Year 6 for their interesting questions and enthusiasm.
This Months Featured Books
The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
It is Midwinter's Eve, the night before Will's eleventh birthday. But there is an atmosphere of fear in the familiar countryside around him. Will is about to make a shocking discovery - that he is the last person to be born with the power of the Old Ones, and as a guardian of the Light he must begin a dangerous journey to vanquish the terrifyingly evil magic of the Dark.
This is the second book in the gripping The Dark is Rising sequence.
The Wild Places by Robert Macfarlane
Non-fiction/ Nature writing
‘The wind was rising, so I went to the wood . . .’
Are there any genuinely wild places left in Britain and Ireland? Or have we tarmacked, farmed and built ourselves out of wildness? In this bewitching, inspiring book, Robert Macfarlane sets out in search of the wildness that remains.
A few match reports from this week
Rugby: U11 v. Ripley Court
Against Ripley Court the Duke of Kent School U11 Rugby team fought back in the second half scoring 5 excellent tries. Callum McK scored two after some excellent running, Luke I also scored two with some neat footwork and Archie L went over after a slick team move. Max S was impressive at the break down, whilst Leo H passed the ball well and made some important tackles. Charlie N also played well and was unlucky not to score in the corner after being tackled just short of the line. Some mazy running from Alfie C gained good territory and put in his best performance to date. It was an impressive comeback from all the boys who fought hard to draw the second half, but lose 10-5 overall.
Hockey: U12/13 A, B & C's v. St. Edmund's
On Wednesday afternoon, Year 7 and 8 travelled to St Edmund's local sports centre to play their first hockey match of the term. First up on the glorious Astro were the A and B teams, all the girls involved played some brilliant hockey showing their ability to dribble and pass effectively to their team mates. It was goals all around as the A team won 6-0, thanks to some fantastic play from Charlotte W in defence and wonderful goal scoring from Poppy S at centre forward. Meanwhile, the B team worked well as a team and tried out a variety of positions whilst Bea H enjoyed a restful match as goal keeper, the Duke of Kent School girls took the match 2-0. Finally, it was up to the Cs to continue the successful afternoon of hockey, Zara H, Emily B and Emma B linked up nicely to secure a goal in the first half. The girls continued to fight well and the score ended with an impressive 1-1 draw. Congratulations to all of the girls involved, we can't wait for our very own Astro at Duke of Kent School!
Whole School Reminder:
Monday 15th January:
Author visit - Peter Murray
Senior School Reminders:
Friday 19th January:
Year 9 Girls and Boys Final School Booster and MenACWY immunisations
Year 9 GCSE Options Meetings 16:46 - 19:00
Saturday 20th January:
Senior Trip to see England v. New Zealand Netball match, London
Pre-Prep Stars of the Week
Nursery: Tombi W for displaying increased confidence when selecting activities independently and for working hard.
Reception: Alex G for showing a great attitude towards his work and making good estimations in Maths.
Year 1: Emily C-G for taking great care with her handwriting and presentation.
Year 2: Elliott S for making excellent progress in reading.
Music Department News
As the Easter Term gets underway there is a feeling of calm in the Music Department as we enjoy some rare moments of relative peace (although it's still pretty noisy!) and reflect on what a successful and busy term it was last term.
However, pretty soon it will pick up as we have our usual timetable of events planned for this term. House Music, GLive!, the Pre-Prep Spring Concert, the Senior Choir Tour to Holland, trips to concerts and visits from visiting professionals are all taking place this term, so watch this space for more info.
It must also be reported that we had a 100% success rate in the music exams taken last term, so congratulations to all those pupils.
Safer Internet Day 2018
For this first bulletin of the year, I thought it would be good to draw your attention to Safer Internet Day, an annual global event about e-safety. This year the event is on the 6th February, with the tagline "A better Internet starts with you". On the site are resources aimed at children of all ages, as well as parents and carers, with activities and discussions about the topic. Being a proactive part of a more positive Internet is something I have advocated here before, so I'm really looking forward to its focus on this Safer Internet Day.
Please go to the site for more details.https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/safer-internet-day/2018
Thanks for reading!
Paws For Thought
Happy New Year and welcome back!
If you're anything like me it has been a bit of a shock to return to the dark early mornings and routines! At the beginning of the year we are encouraged to 'start afresh' with new years resolutions; actually use the gym (not just the coffee shop!), dust off the juicer, take up a new and challenging hobby, stick to the revision timetable......... the list goes on. For some the new year is seen through the eyes of opportunity with feelings of excitement and enthusiasm, but for some it can feel daunting and scary.
Whichever outlook resonates with you our underpinning foundation is one of hope and love. The certain hope that we do not face our daily challenges alone and the sure and certain knowledge that we are loved beyond all doubt - regardless of whether we ever get out of the coffee shop or skip a revision session.
As the apostle Paul says in his letter to the Romans 'May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit'.
With every Blessing