Weekly Bulletin 13/11/2015

Miss Coady & Mr Green's Malawi Trip

In half-term Mr Green and I set off, alongside ten other British teachers, to Malawi. Following our visitor, Sayfred Majomeka, in September we were both very excited about returning the visit to our partner school Salima LEA.

Upon arriving in the country we were transported to our accommodation for the week, which was on the south-western corner of Lake Malawi. The lake, which is 580km long and 75km in width, looked more like the sea! The water was beautifully clear and the scenery was absolutely stunning.

Over the course of that weekend we visited a local orphan day care centre called Glad Tidings which is operated by Starfish Malawi – the charity through which we found our partner school. We also went to a wildlife reservation park where we saw zebras, gazelle and a very bold ostrich!

On the Monday morning we arrived at Salima LEA School for the first time. We were given a very warm welcome, being greeted by personalised banners and a choir. Throughout the week, we spent our time observing lessons of a variety of subjects and with an array of ages. The pupils at the school were aged between six and eighteen years, however, the system in Malawi is different to our own in that children are grouped according to their current level of ability and will only progress up a year if they have mastered the skills taught throughout that ‘Standard’. Therefore, any given Standard would have children of different ages in it.

Prior to our visit, the school - which has 2199 registered pupils - had just one netball and two footballs. Due to mine and Mr Green’s interest in sport we had taken some equipment with us, which we presented to the children. The pupils were overjoyed and many of them came and joined us in using it as part of an after school club on the Tuesday afternoon, where Mr Green ran a football activity and I a netball session. I also taught an English lesson to the Standard 8 class on the Wednesday morning. Whilst I had been very nervous about teaching a group that would be more than 60 children I needn’t have been, the pupils were very enthusiastic and demonstrated an excellent attitude towards their learning. We had a great session together; however, it was a lot more marking than I am accustomed to!

On our final day in school, the learners and staff had organised a spectacular send off for us. Both Mr Green and I played in a pupil vs staff football and netball match respectively, the children performed some traditional dances, read poetry and demonstrated the variety of dialects that are spoken in the area that we were visiting. This was followed by speeches with the staff and a presentation of gifts!

The teachers and pupils at Salima LEA were most grateful for the money that we raised as a result of our sponsored swim. As mentioned at the time, the senior management team at Salima LEA have decided that this money will be best used by beginning the construction of another school building. During our visit there were about eight classes receiving their lessons outside. Whilst this wasn’t too much of a problem during the hot and dry season (despite the 36o heat!), as they enter the rainy season it means that the school have no other option but to cancel lessons and send the children home. Consequently, I am sure that you can imagine the difference that your generosity will make to the pupils and their education; thank you again!

Miss Coady

Duke of Kent School Remembers

For this years’ Remembrance Assembly pupils were invited to think about how World War One influenced attitudes towards pacifism and patriotism and to reflect on their own attitudes to peace. Through a series of readings and poems, presented ably by Charlotte, Andrew, Rory and Alex, pupils were asked to think about the contrasting impacts of non-violent action and terrorism. The objective was to encourage discussion of issues around the themes of world peace, reconciliation, disarmament, tolerance and mutual understanding.

In our assembly we explored the idea that hoping for peace is not enough to achieve it. Sometimes, paradoxically, peace can only be attained by conflict. The soldiers who survived the trenches of the World War One had their own views on what peace meant. They are now all dead but their experiences live on in archive audio and video recordings. The fallen of World War One remain graphic witnesses to history.

Following the Senior Assembly the whole School assembled around the flag pole for our Act of Remembrance and two minutes silence. Wreaths were laid by representatives of the Nursery, the Prep School and the Senior School.

Mr Seeley

PADoK News

Tickets are now on sale for our fabulous Christmas shopping and pamper evening to be held at Manns department store on Monday 23rd from 7pm.

Tickets are £5 (cost to be added to next terms bill) To secure your place please email padok@dukeofkentschool.org.uk

Sports News

On Tuesday afternoon, 10 November, a combined U14/U15 team took on a side from St Edmund’s school, Hindhead, on ‘Front Pitch’. This turned out to be a compelling match on an unavoidably heavy and muddy pitch, and full marks are granted to both sides for their industry and effort. Duke of Kent began briskly with captain Tom C leading by example. An early goal was scored by Taylor B and the score was doubled by another goal from the skilful Blake F-P. St Edmund’s committed themselves hard, managed to score before half-time and so the score at the interval was 2-1.

The game hinged on a chance for the away side shortly after half time. The opposition striker found himself on a ‘one on one’ with the DoK keeper, Lucas D. Lucas made a brave save at the feet of the striker but was injured in the process and had to leave the pitch. He was replaced by goal-scorer turned goalkeeper Taylor B. DoK were also reduced to 10 men by Lucas’s enforced retirement but the home defence (Austin R, Hamish P, Bertie B and Alex F) ‘stood tall’ and valiantly protected their goal for the remainder of the game.

The midfield of Daniel H, Felix S and Tommy H stood ‘toe to toe’ with their competitive counterparts as the match became an exciting end-to-end contest. The ‘galloping’ Fergus W ably supported the forward line, led by the continually excellent Blake F-B. A succession of corners was rewarded by a neat goal from Felix S to make the (final) score 3-1 but the opposition never gave up and forced Taylor B to make a number of vital saves. DoK’s better set-plays, together with Lucas’s painful match-saving effort, were the difference between the two sides and DoK should be proud of themselves.

Mr Lodge

Competition Winner

The winner of the Literature & Arts Festival musicals competition is Anouk, her family will receive £100 of family theatre vouchers!