Weekly Bulletin 26/05/2017

An Evening of Original Works

On Thursday the 25th May, a group of intrepid, creative souls stepped out of the relative comfort of Duke of Kent School, to perform an evening of original musical compositions, creative writing and photography at the Wilson Rooms in the grounds of Ewhurst Church.

Billed as 'An Evening of Original Works' it certainly lived up to its name. The assembled crowd were treated to a cutting edge creative writing, a selection of photography and digital montages, as well as musical compositions ranging from classical piano to the blues and avant-garde electronic minimalism. The evening was a great success and a wonderful opportunity for students to get a taste of what it is like to perform and showcase their work outside the school setting to a more informal audience.

This really was a celebration of excellence and a great opportunity for the students to show the way in which they have developed into mature, creative beings with the support of the English, Music and Art departments.

Creative writing was performed by Siena T, Louis C, Max T, Sam G, Will J, Guy R and Jago G.

Musical compositions by Dexter B, Pablo C, Hamish P, Bastien H, Jazz P, Lexi B, Noah T were played by their composers, or by Mr Rye, Mr Kaye,  and Miss Macauley. Miss Barnes added backing vocals to a group piece written and performed by Jas P and sung by Lexi B

Photography and digital Art was produced by Siena T, Issy K, Ben P, Megan-Rose A, Lucas W and Milly B.

Mr Watson

Pre-Prep Disability Awareness Day

On Thursday Pre-prep held their first ‘Disability Awareness Day’. The day began with an assembly, during which we discussed the words ‘disability’ and ‘awareness’ as well as thinking of some examples of disabilities that we already knew. We were fortunate to have some visitors who told us about their experiences in these areas: Miss Williams spoke to us about her work here at Duke of Kent School, where she supports pupils with a visual impairment; Rachel spoke to us about Jigsaw School and the pupils there, who have autism; and Mrs Teresa Hanley demonstrated some sign language.

During the day the children took part in three activity sessions. In the Year 1 classroom, the children talked about challenges that someone with a visual impairment might have to overcome in day to day life. They looked at examples of and wrote their name in braille, supported each other to complete a blindfolded obstacle course and gave instructions to help their partner draw a detailed picture, and used their other senses, smell and touch, to identify various food items.

In the Reception classroom, the children learnt how to sign the alphabet and the importance of turning off their voices and looking at the person who was signing. They were all able to sign, “My name is ….” and sign the letter their name begins with. They then learnt how to say how many people are in their family and how many brothers and sisters they have. A favourite activity was learning how to sign and show what pets they have - we particularly enjoyed the sign for dog as our hands turned into paws! To finish they took turns at choosing a nursery rhyme to sing and sign. This was very tricky! The children then thanked Mrs Hanley by touching their lips with their fingers and laying their hand flat.

In the Year 2 classroom, the children heard about a young man named Ali Abbas who tragically lost both arms whilst living in his home country, Iraq. Following this he moved to England and whilst at school in Wimbledon our very own Mrs Caroline Nicholson was his tutor. The children watched a short clip on how Ali has had to adapt his practice to complete daily activities and we looked at some of his fantastic illustrations. The children considered how they might create a picture without using their arms and then had a go at painting using their feet and mouth. The children showed a deep appreciation of how challenging this task was, developing not only a profound admiration for Ali but also working on our own perseverance skills!

A big thanks to all the staff and a huge well done to the children.

Miss Coady

Watts Gallery Trip

On Friday 22nd of May a group of 16 art students visited Watts Gallery in Compton as part of the Art Department’s Stretch and Challenge programme. We were treated to a tour of the gallery and the newly opened Watts Studio. Here student were able to meet and speak with Watts Galleries resident restorer who discussed her career and some of the fascinating projects she has been invited to work on. Many students were interested in the way her understanding of science and art met in her role as a restorer. When we visited she was in the process of minutely reconstructing, thread by thread, a Watts canvas where a student (from another school) had tripped and accidentally poked a pencil through it!

As you will know we have a strong link with the Watts Gallery through our adoption of ‘Under a Dry Arch’, which is currently on show in the main gallery area. ‘Under a Dry Arch’ was painted by Watts between 1848 and 1850, and is part of a series of socially conscious paintings, produced in response to the poverty and inequality of the Victorian period that so shocked Watts. Our students correctly identified houses of Parliament and St Pauls behind the beleaguered figure sheltering under the bridge as symbols of power and opulence. This understanding of symbolism allowed them to go on to explore the symbolism, often used by Watts and his contemporaries, through other paintings in the gallery. They also touched on gestalt theory in the viewer’s perception of an image and how this related to some of Watts’ early work.

During the practical element of the day, Students worked with one of the resident teachers, using a Watts portrait to explore painting technique, colour mixing and how to use ground and base colour in the development of an image. Each of them developed their practical understanding through this process and gained an insight into Watts’ favoured techniques and processes.

Mr Watson

Year 9 Visit the Houses of Parliament

On Monday the Year 9s braved the rush hour and travelled to London by train for the annual trip to the Houses of Parliament. Walking across Westminster Bridge to the twenty five chime accompaniment of 9 o’clock (work it out…) was quite a greeting and in the morning sunlight the Palace of Westminster looked absolutely magnificent.

There are no MPs there currently as they ready themselves for the General Election, but we were taken on a tour of both the House of Lords and Commons, through the famous central lobby, around the various state rooms used by the Queen and into the magnificent Westminster Hall, a thousand years old and scene of some of the most dramatic events in English history!

We then took a quick look at Westminster Abbey, Westminster Square and its famous statues, and after a detour past 10 Downing Street and Horse Guards parade, we ended up in St James’ Park to enjoy a picnic in the glorious weather.

After lunch we visited the Cabinet War Rooms, Churchill’s maze of basement rooms used as the hub of British intelligence during the Second World War. This was a fascinating experience with the original rooms restored to how they would have looked, and an excellent museum dedicated specifically to Churchill.

Well done to all our students who behaved beautifully, of course, a big thank you to Mr Seeley, Miss Anand and Miss Francis, and to the English weather which ensured that London looked as good as any of us have seen for some time.

Mr Macdonald

Senior and Prep School House Photography

With each passing year entries for our annual photography competition get not only more numerous, but increasingly difficult to judge! The standard across the school was so high that this year we have awarded two prizes; one for Senior School and one for Prep School. Points have been awarded for each winner and for each person entering. There will also be a prize for the winner of each area, courtesy of the Art Department.

The photography competition is always open ended. Students are encouraged to explore whatever theme they find interesting. This said, overarching themes tend to develop organically among the students. This year was no exception and with a large number of portrait shots being entered and a lot of domestic animals under the scrutiny of our photographers lenses!

        Senior: Megan-Rose A                          Prep: Sydney R

Congratulations to all those who took part and in particular to our winners. In the Senior School Megan-Rose A and in the Prep School is Sydney R.

Mr Watson

A few match reports from this week

Rounders: U11 v. Farlington

On Wednesday 24th May, the U11 Rounders team played Farlington at home. It was a stunning afternoon for a match and the Duke of Kent School girls won 14-11 ½.

We batted first, it took us a few hits to warm up and all girls were being very cautious so as to not get out early on in the match. We then fielded; Bea H performed well as bowler and the link between backstop, Zoe L., and second, Katyana W (captain), was fantastic. There was also some great fielding by Alanna H and Hannah M, whose quick reactions resulted in players being stumped out.

After the first innings the score was 6-4 with Duke of Kent School in the lead. The next innings started with rounders and half rounders being scored one after the other by Bea H, Zoe L, Katyana W, Sienna D, Maddie I, Hannah S and Emma B. Again some great play both in fielding and batting. Final score 14 – 11 ½ to Duke of Kent School. Player of the match was Bea H, excellent work bowling. A glorious victory and a delicious match tea in the sunshine!

Mrs Singleton

Cricket: U11 A v Ripley Court

Duke of Kent School batted first against Ripley Court in a 20 overs game. Matthew A top scored for Duke of Kent School helping the U11 team to a score of 89. This was a slender lead to protect and the Duke of Kent school boys did it superbly. There was an excellent display of accurate bowling and some great fielding; Freddie B, Freddie N, Marcus D and Ben W all took two wickets. Duke of Kent School only conceded two wides in 18 overs, eventually bowling Ripley Court out for 64. A great win for the boys. Well done to all that played. Mr Herbert.

Mr Herbert

Cricket: U9 A v Ripley Court

If you look carefully you can see Rufus B hitting a 6 towards the bell tower!

Duke of Kent School U9 team played Ripley Court in a very quick 10 over game on Thursday afternoon. Our boys batted first scoring 149 with some strong hitting from Toby T and Rufus B. Duke of Kent School boys all bowled one over; very accurate bowling from Sam S helped to keep the Ripley Court score down. Ripley needed 4 runs from the final over, however a superb over from Rufus B and some great fielding from Toby T helped Duke of Kent School record a very good victory. Well done to everyone who performed so well.

Mr Herbert

Whole School Reminder

Second Hand Uniform Shop open on:

Wednesday 7th June:

15:00 - 16:00pm

The second hand uniform shop is adjacent to Ness Hall and the Red Bus.

Friday 9th June:

BBC Music Day Assembly

UKMT Intermediate Maths Challenge

Congratulations to Max T in Year 9 who qualified for the Kangaroo follow on round in the UKMT Intermediate Maths Challenge.

Mrs Coackley

The Carnegie Book Award

The CILIP Carnegie Medal is awarded annually to outstanding and original fiction aimed at teenagers and young people. Now in its 80th year, Duke of Kent School is once again taking part in the shadowing of this award process. A small number of pupils from Years 7, 8 and 9 (and Mrs Douglas and Mr Southee), have chosen a book from the shortlist nominated this year. After half-term we will meet to discuss our own responses to our chosen book and vote on which we think should win the medal, which is announced on the 19th of June. Past winners have included: Northern Lights by Philip Pullman, Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyce, Skellig by David Almond and The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan. The shortlist contains some of the best contemporary fiction for young people published that year and generally they are fantastic reads.

After half-term, there will obviously then be a chance for any of the students to borrow the copies of the books that we have purchased for the school, with the benefit of being able to read the reviews by this year’s participating students. There are also many of the past nominated texts and other titles by a great number of the nominated authors within our reading areas, which I urge you to try.

Thank you to our readers this year; please feel free to volunteer for next year’s shadowing and….Keep reading!

Mrs Douglas 

Year 4 Prep School Talks

On Thursday 25th May, the Prep School listened to two talks from some of the pupils of 4L. The first one by Rian P and Charlie F was on the England football team and the second by Henry P, Alex F and Johnny McM was on Jurassic Park. The pupils had all worked hard to make interesting power point presentations and spoke clearly and confidently. They clearly knew their subjects well.

Mrs Lock

Pre-Prep Stars of the Week


Mac Y for making brilliant constructions, working hard and showing sensitivity towards others.

Teddy S for playing collaboratively with his friends.


Martha G-A is continually growing in confidence and choosing more self led activities where she can work independently.

Year 1:

Millie D for working hard on her reading and making great progress.

Year 2:

Rollo G-A for showing great motivation and concentration and for trying his best.

Miss Coady

Music Department News

On the afternoon of Friday last week there were two piano recitals for piano pupils of Miss Macaulay and Mr Kaye.

With the PA Hall set up 'in the round' it was a lovely, relaxed and intimate atmosphere for the Prep pupils, who were on first from 4.45 - 5.45, and then the Senior pupils who took the later slot, 6.30 - 7.30. There was a great turn out from parents and teachers to both recitals, and all the pupils performed brilliantly, gaining invaluable performance experience whilst showing their parents what they've been up to. A huge thank you to Mr Kaye and Miss Macaulay for all their hard work and of course a big 'congratulations' to all the pupils who played on the day.

Mr Rye

E-Safety Tips

This week I would like to point you in the direction of an investigation that has been hitting the headlines this week. The Guardian have been investigating the reporting and monitoring on Facebook and have found lots out about what is accepted, and what is not, on the social media site. The link sends you through to the front page of the investigation where there are several interesting articles.


Mr Southee