Weekly Bulletin 28/04/2017
Duke of Edinburgh Practice Expedition
Last Saturday Yr 9 turned up for a magnificent pre-hike DofE breakfast. First to arrive was Caitlin P, whose dubious reward was to be the first participant to begin cleaning the school trangia stoves! After some judicious repacking of rucksacks to include tents and lunches the five teams set off on circular routes that included Peaslake, Gomshall, Shere and of course a few noticeable 'ups'. They were accompanied and advised by Mr Green, Mr Gritton, Mr Vallance-Webb, Mr Hubbard and I. Mr Gritton and his group will surely have developed either a love or dread of kazoo music, courtesy of Oscar L's playing for a good 13km.... By 3.30pm, via a variety of intriguing routes, all had managed to return safely before pitching their tents on Lower Field. My trangia lesson, focusing on the creation of a mug of hot chocolate, preceded a myriad of wild and wonderful meals from everybody with, on the whole, tasty or at least edible, results. The evening was completed by marshmallows around the camp fire and much singing before a night spent under canvas. Mr Kettle, Miss Coxhead and Duke surely deserve Commendations for overseeing all of this.
After de-camping and an al-fresco breakfast all groups departed efficiently early. This time they were unaccompanied but monitored by Mr Wilson, Mrs LaCroix, Mr Usher and I. All groups finished much earlier than the previous day - which proved they had the strength, resilience and motivation to get home! A number of the students struggled on despite painful feet, lower limbs or other ailments. Several staff commented on the noticeable 'togetherness' of Year 9 and the whole year-group deserve positive recognition of this. There was also a theme of 'topknots' among several of the boys - this at least meant we stood out from any of the other DofE groups in our area! I am always very pleasantly surprised by DofE expeditions and this was up with the very best - well done to all of them and we now look forward to the Qualification Expedition, probably to run in the Autumn term.
My thanks also go to so many of the superb Duke of Kent School staff who also make these expeditions possible, including Mr and Mrs Southee, Miss Anand, Mr Riches, office staff, kitchen staff and nursing team of Mrs Davenport and Mrs Sarjant.
Stretch and Challenge Trip to London Heathrow
In 2016 London Heathrow handled over 75 million passengers and over 470,000 flight movements. All of this was under the watchful eyes of the Heathrow Air Traffic Controllers. Last Tuesday students from Years 9 & 10 had the opportunity to witness this feat in action.
Having worked our way through the thoroughness of airport security (and watching cabin crew endure the same searches that ordinary passengers endure), we weaved our way through Terminal 3 to the control tower. We started with a question and answer session with a live screen showing the happenings outside as questions were answered and live illustrations provided. The discussion was relaxed and informative with everyone gaining a greater appreciation for the skill and professionalism of ATC.
Undoubtedly the greatest highlight was being taken up to the top of the control tower; "seeing the whole view of Heathrow and the looking out to the skyline of London" (Sam G). After the hustle and bustle of the airport, the control tower was a place of serenity as the controllers calmly passed instructions and messages to the pilots of the behemoth aircraft passing underneath us.
Some other comments from the students:
"I learnt how complex, and intense working in air traffic control is.... [it has] inspired me to learn more about pilots and air traffic control" (Adam G)
"The view was brilliant and the tower was very interesting, particularly the monitor which showed the angle of descent." (Will J)
"I was interested to learn that there are multiple frequencies that are used, so that no one frequency is congested with lots of traffic" (Jago G)
A special thank you must go out to NATS for their hospitality and for allowing us to have this truly unforgettable and very unique experience.
GCSE Songwriting Workshop with Annie Bailey
On Wednesday morning session singer and commercial songwriter Annie Bailey gave a song-writing workshop to future and present GCSE Music students from Years 10 and 11. Annie is a successful country music songwriter, working most recently with the chart topping duo 'Ward Thomas' along with many Nashville artists and musicians. She spent a morning discussing and demonstrating song-writing technique and process and then helped the pupils write their first country song. Soon to be heard on a radio near you!
And it's Goodnight from Me...
6W's talks this week saw two double-acts - the Bens and the Freddies - share some new and interesting perspectives with the Prep School. Ben W and Ben D gave a very illuminating presentation on "Lifehacks", highlighting a few troublesome tribulations we might all encounter in our daily lives, and offering ingenious, practical solutions to help us easily overcome them. Keeping one's takeaway pizza warm on the heated passenger seat for the drive home is definitely one I'll be using in future. Thanks for the tips boys! Freddie B and Freddie N then moved the conversation to "Addiction". They talked informatively about smoking and texting, and encouraged their audience to consider when a harmless hobby or interest, such as fidget spinners, can turn into a harmful habit. A topic for continued discussion in the classroom, no doubt. Well done to all of you.
Prep School Council Meeting
The Prep School Council discussed continuing the work that they had started on Food Waste. They have decided to hold a poster competition to try and encourage pupils to think about how much food they waste at meal times. The Year 6 Council members will introduce this in assembly next week and the winners of the competition will have their work displayed in the dining hall. The Council also discussed School uniform, Year 5 and 6 girls are particularly keen to be allowed to wear trousers in the winter. It was decided that this would be an excellent topic to be debated by the whole of the prep school, so one of the Forms will prepare a debate and then the issue can be voted on. The results of this can then be discussed with the Head of Prep School and the Head.
A few match reports from this week
Rounders: Senior A v. Box Hill School
On Wednesday the Senior A Rounders team played Box Hill School at home. The girls won the toss and started off fielding in the first innings. There were fast and accurate throws from Bridget C, at backstop, to Erica K who managed to stump out four Box Hill School players on 1st Post. The girls’ all communicated well and were quick to stop the players from scoring. When Duke of Kent School went into bat they were consistent and were all able to add to the total. Hollie B was able to send the ball soaring on a number of occasions bringing the score up quickly. After the first innings the score was 5 – 7 to Duke of Kent School.
In the second innings Box Hill came out hitting hard and focused on bringing their score up. They hit well and found gaps in our fielding but once our girls had settled they were fielding well and able to stop them from scoring. Sophie C bowled in the second innings and was able to keep Box Hill players on their toes with a variety of balls. She also made a brilliant catch half way through Box Hill’s second innings, well done.
Duke of Kent School then went back into bat and weren’t able to find the gaps but were able to take some well-timed risks and score a lot of half rounders. The final score was 16 ½ - 6 to Duke of Kent School. Well done all and a special mention to Emily C for umpiring and to Mia D in her first ever rounders match, her throws were outstanding!
Rounders: Seniors B v. Box Hill School
On Wednesday the Senior B Girls had their first rounders match of the season against Box Hill School. Pleasingly the rain stayed away and the sun came out. Box Hill batted first, it took them a while to warm up and all the girls were being cautious so as to not get out early on but this was short lived as the Duke of Kent School girls displayed excellent throwing and catching skills between back stop and first base with a number of their players being stumped out at first. After the first innings the score was 7 1/2 – 3 with Duke of Kent School in the lead.
The next innings started with rounders being scored one after the other by Tyla W, Chloe E-L, Jazz P, and Ava H. Again, some great play both in fielding and batting leaving the final score at 5 - 12 ½ to Duke of Kent School. Half rounders scored by Siena T, and Izzy K with excellent fielding from Anna D, Constance C, Lucy W and Caitlin P.
I was impressed by how nicely our team played together and how encouraging they were to each other throughout. Well done ladies!
Rounders: U13 A v. Box Hill School
On Wednesday the Under 13 A team played Box Hill. A memorable match not only for some excellent play but also some unbelievable weather. There was some very tight fielding, and strong teamwork which meant that two Box Hill girls were out in the first two balls of the game and they scored a total of 5 in the two innings. The hitting from all of our team was excellent, Martha McA and Bella R-B were particularly consistent and accurate. The final score was 18-5, a fantastic start to the season. Well done girls.
Rounders: U13 C v. Box Hill School
On Wednesday, the U13 C Rounders team played against Box Hill School. The girls demonstrated some fantastic fielding skills, in particular Laura A who was relentless in ensuring that the batters were under constant pressure! When it was Duke of Kent School's turn to bat, Zara H certainly gave the other team the run-around and managed to achieve two rounders! Josie M was named as "Girl of the Game" due to her competent bowling skills throughout. Unfortunately, we lost 6 1/2 - 10 but as always, the girls were complimented for their excellent sportsmanship throughout! Well done girls!
Cricket: U12 A v. Christ's Hospital
On Wednesday, the U12 A team competed against Christ's Hospital School. After winning the toss, Arthur B decided to bowl first. We got off to a good start with some tight bowling from Arthur and Jonathan H, picking up a couple of early wickets. All of the bowlers bowled a tight line and length, with Archie S-B picking up 2 wickets in his first over, including a partnership breaking wicket. With Christ's Hospital on 58-5 off 16 overs, the heavens opened and unfortunately that was it for the day's play. The game ended with a no result. However, the team bowled and fielded really well, and I look forward to the season ahead.
Whole School Reminder
Monday 1st May:
School closed - Bank Holiday
Thursday 4th May:
Lunchtime cello and piano recital for students of Emily Young - 12:45 - 13:30pm
Saturday 6th May:
PADoK Summer Ball
Senior School Reminder
Friday 5th May:
Year 8 Parents' Meetings - 16:45 - 19:00pm
Friday 5th May - Saturday 6th May:
Year 10 DofE Qualification Expedition
Prep School Reminder
Thursday 4th May:
Years 5 & 6 Parents' E Safety Advice - 17:00 - 17:45pm
Year 4 Go Back to The Victorian Era in Class
On Monday 24th April 4L were taken back in time to the Victorian era! They dressed up as Victorian children and learnt what it was like to go to school in Victorian times. First they had handwriting, using the Victorian style of joined up writing and using a piece of chalk to write on a slate. No left handers either! They had to stand up whenever they were asked a question and call Mrs Lock Ma'am! They had a short PE lesson- exercises on the spot! They had to hold their hands out for a hygiene inspection because the Victorians believed that cleanliness was next to godliness. There was also a Dunces Hat (made by Annabelle) and anyone who was not able to answer a question or whose behaviour was not up to Victorian standards got a chance to experience standing in the corner, wearing it! (this seemed to be most of the class!) Great fun was had and everyone agreed that teachers were very strict in Victorian times and that using a piece of chalk to write was pretty tricky!
Pre-Prep Stars of the Week
James McC for
settling into Nursery so happily and for displaying such a keen interest and
knowledge of the natural world.
Finley R for displaying excellent listening skills and settling into Nursery with such enthusiasm.
Tom C-G for focusing carefully on his phonics and for being very careful and patient when his arm was in plaster.
Millie D for working with great care and attention to detail, especially on her 'spring work'.
Lucy P for showing focus and interest during PSHE and demonstrating great empathy and compassion.
Music Department News
This term sees a full calendar of events for the Music Department, with our first concert on Friday 28th April (today!) and then the lunchtime concerts for each of the peripatetic music teachers spread throughout the term, the first of these being for the pupils of Mrs Young next Thursday 4th May at 12.30 in the PA Hall.
A number of pupils from Years 5 and 6 are off to see the London Philharmonic Orchestra at The Royal Festival Hall next week and then thirty pupils from Years 8-11 will be attending a concert given by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Dorking Halls on 12th May.
This week I would like to bring to your attention two very worrying online trends.
Blue Whale Challenge – This is a reasonably new challenge that involves a series of 50 challenges over 50 days, including several self-harm challenges, and culminating in the 50th challenge, suicide. A tell-tale sign is challenge 11 where the participant carves a ‘blue whale’ into their forearm. The challenge started in Russia and there have been around 150 deaths attributed to the challenge and it is now making its way across the UK with several cases being reported. You can find out more information here:
Pass-Out Challenge – This has been around for a while but seems to be making a comeback, particularly on Snapchat. Participants hold their breath, and then have to stand up and try not to faint, or another similar variation. More information can be found here:
Ex Pupil Marathon Success
Theo C, former pupil of Duke of Kent School who left in Year 8, 2012 ran the London Marathon on Sunday 23rd April in a well earned 5 hours and 36 minutes. He ran on behalf of The Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice in Farnham and raised an amazing £2,500 for this worthy local charity and all of Duke of Kent School are undoubtedly very proud of him! What an achievement, well done, Theo!