Weekly Bulletin 18/01/2019
From Mrs Knox
This has been a big week on the political front! However, hidden amongst the news, you might have missed the announcement that the new Ofsted framework is proposing to recognise schools for how they help children develop character, resilience, confidence and independence. These are an integral part of education and we must, as a society, put a value on them. These qualities have been very much at the fore during my second week at Duke of Kent School and are what the school does extremely well. I have been spending much time in the classroom observing the teaching and learning activities and have seen some superb examples. Well done to the Year 11 pupils for working extremely hard this week in their mock GCSEs.
Finally, and totally out of the blue, the highlight of my week has to be when a Pre-Prep pupil came up to me and said: “Excuse me, Mrs Knox”…… “I love you” and then promptly continued to busy herself with her activity. Enjoy your weekend.
Year 9 trip to see The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
After the regular London traffic, we arrived in the vibrant area of Piccadilly. After a short two minute walk, we arrived at the Golden Square Gardens in Soho where we tucked into our lunch. Following a quick group photo, we strolled to the theatre. We found out when we got there that we were early . However this wasn't a bad thing as it allowed us to: buy concessions, take our seats and admire the strangely neat, but chaotic set. Those who had chosen to stay behind purchasing concessions were serenaded by an amazing pianist. As soon as the other schools arrived, and after a couple of sound checks, the play started...
We were greeted by a whirl of sound and lights as we got launched into the world of Christopher Boone which was a very exciting. I am not going to mention the plot just in case you want to go and see it for yourself. However, what I will tell you is that this play was full to the brim with special effects, flashing lights, a live rat and a live puppy. This play was very enjoyable due to the fact that it was set in a box, which appeared to represent Christopher's mind, which heightened rather than limited the performance from the actors. The use of physical theatre, amazing graphics and confusing sound track created a chaotic world of change in the mind of Christopher. If there was too much change, we would be hit with a cacophony of noise and strobe lighting.
Personally, I thought that it was an astounding performance which I think blew all the Year 9's minds with all the many effects and lights featured. I feel like the book gave me a fraction of what it felt like to be autistic. I think the play really opened my mind and eyes into the world of an autistic person, as I'm sure it did for the other Year nines as well. Therefore I feel it is appropriate to thank Miss Anand, Mr Wiley, Mrs Punter and Mr Win-Pe. This was a very inspiring and enjoyable trip and hope it will be run for future Year 9 students.
Ben H-F, Year 9
Tanzania Project 2019
In October 2019 a small group of students will be taking part in Duke of Kent School’s ‘Tanzania Project 2019’. Students from Years 8, 9 and 10 will be travelling to Morogoro in central Tanzania. We will be hosted by Morogoro International School where our previous Deputy Head, David Hubbard, has taken up a headship. In Tanzania we will be working with local charities, spending time in African classrooms, getting involved in joint school projects, taking a safari in Mikumbi National Park and trecking in the Uluguru Mountains.
Last Friday a number of students took part in the selection process for the Project. They were asked to complete a piece of work on any area of Tanzanian life that they found interesting. These varied from a Powerpoint on the Tanzanian football team, to a scrapbook of Tanzanian wild dogs and included video interviews, poetry, photography and painting. All the students who presented were awarded a well deserved commendation for the passion with which they spoke about their chosen area and the enthusiasm and determination in completing such individualised pieces of work. The quality of entry made the selection process incredibly difficult. All the students who put themselves forward should be incredibly proud of what they achieved and the qualities they displayed. The students who will be going to Tanzania are; Arthur B, Sophie D, Millie B, Alex G, Ben G, Daisy M, Ben P, Izzy P, Blue R, Tom S, Ross S, Fred V and Fynn W.
Prep School Council Meetings
The Prep and Pre-Prep Council met on Monday morning to complete the 'Renovation Activity'. This is a task that Mrs Knox had created to find out how the School Council felt about the school. There were four boxes to complete: Must Keep, Throw! Add and Change. The pupils had some excellent ideas for all the categories apart from 'Throw'! They couldn't think of anything they wanted to 'Throw' out of the school at all! Some of the ideas for the other boxes were: keeping Forest School, Adding different evening activities and changing how we use Junior Jungle.
People Who Help Us
Reception and Year One are looking at the topic of ‘People who help us’ this term and on Tuesday the Cranleigh Fire Service came to school! The children really enjoyed looking at the vast array of equipment that is carried on the fire engine and everyone had a go at holding the hose whilst spraying water onto the field. We all climbed into the cab and experienced how the inflatable cushions could raise a bench off the ground whilst we were sitting on top!
The children asked some interesting and pertinent questions such as, “Where do you get water from if you run out from the engine’s tank?” The answer is: From other sources available such as lakes, rivers and even swimming pools!
The fire fighters told us about how to keep safe in our houses by ensuring that our smoke detectors are working and the children shared their experiences of when the smoke detectors go at home.
The fire fighters commented on how well behaved the children were during the visit and we thanked them for coming to see us at school helping us to understand better the important role that the Fire Service plays in our lives.
Teddy Bears' Picnic
Reception enjoyed a Teddy Bears’ Picnic as part of their maths work. We made sandwiches and used cucumber and fruit to cut into halve sets of 2,4,6,8.
We discovered what happened when you tried to divide an apple between 7 people. We used vocabulary such as half, halve, quarter, the same, even numbers, odd numbers.
Finally, once we had made our picnic we enjoyed sharing it with our toys!
Pause for Thought
In our busy and demanding lives we employ a number of strategies - probably subconsciously! - in order to cope, keep calm and help us navigate life. These can include shopping, comfort eating, social media and box set binging (I may have personal experience of some - if not all- of these!). There has been a buzz word around for some time now, another more healthy coping mechanism, that has soared in popularity in recent years.
To counter act our busyness and help our stress levels people have re-discovered Mindfulness. This is an ancient practice stemming from the practice of contemplation and meditation. Originally a religious pastime it has now been seized upon by the rest of society who have researched the effects. By practicing Mindfulness for around 20 minutes daily it has been found to be deeply restorative and helpful in assisting well being and reducing our levels of anxiety.
There are a myriad of different definitions out there but put simply Mindfulness is simply the practice of training our brains to focus on the present moment. By choosing to notice the now we become less overwhelmed by the anxiety of the past and the worry of the future.
On Monday lunchtimes I will be offering our pupils the opportunity to explore this discipline. The school day can be full on and overwhelming for some and I hope this will offer them the space to pause, breathe and take a break from all the demands and challenges they face.
With every blessing
A few match reports from this week
Rugby: U15 v. Shoreham College
In a hard fought contest the Duke of Kent School boys showed plenty of grit, determination and heart. In a strong start we dominated possession with Joe P and Harry B getting over the gain line. Tylan T and Sam I also made some good breaks as we strove to break down a hard tackling Shoreham College side. Alex W marshalled his troops well from scrum half and scored an impressive hat-trick of tries. In the second half the extra pace of Shoreham began to tell and they came out narrow winners by 25 points to 17.
Girls' Hockey: U13 A&B v. Pennthorpe
On Wednesday afternoon, Duke of Kent School’s U13 A & B girls hockey teams took on Pennthorpe School. The weather was not on our side with non-stop rain pouring down throughout the afternoon. However, this did not stop all the girls from getting stuck in and trying their best. This was the first chance the girls had to put the skills they have learnt so far this year into practise. All the girls who took part gave it 100% and began to apply effective tactics during the game. Well done to all the Year 7 & 8 girls involved for a great afternoon of hockey!
Netball: U12 v. Cottesmore
On Wednesday afternoon our U12 netball team played Cottesmore at home. Both teams started the game with very fast play and slightly chaotic passes but after the first quarter settled and started to have great flow and movement arounf the court. Jasmine K (GD) made well timed and accurate interceptions and worked hard to put a very able GA under a lot of pressure. Ruby K worked well with Hannah A, Alanna H and Sophie S to weave the ball down the court to our shooters to get some crucial golas bringing the half time score to 6 - 7 to Cottesmore. In the second half we had some great goals from Poppy K and Maddie I and our defence worked hard to close down spaces and put pressure on their mid court players but Cottesmore kept away from us and managed a well deserved win with a final score of 17-15. Well played to all the girls and to Maddie I for recieving Girl of the Game.
Netball: U11 v. Cottesmore
On Wednesday afternoon our Under 11 team faced Cottesmore in their final netball match for this academic year. At the end of the first quarter, Duke of Kent School were 1-0 ahead. Cottesmore scored an early shot in the second quarter and it looked like it was going to be a close, demanding game. Undeterred our girls dug a little deeper and went from strength to strength. Spectators were privy to fantastic passing up the court, aided by crucial movement into space by Ava W, Esme P and Frankie M, some outstanding shooting from Alex K, Ariane, Rose S and Esme, as well as some top class interceptions by Fleur. Each and every team member took their moment to shine but everybody’s superb individual performances also resulted in a brilliant team performance and a consequent 9-2 win! Enormous well done and congratulations to Pippa S, Ella S, Josie B, Annabelle R, Esme P, Frankie M, Alex K, Ava W, Rose S, Ariane L and Fleur B; what a fantastic end to the netball season!
Senior School Reminders:
Saturday 19th January
Years 9, 10 and 11 optional trip to Vitality Netball International Quad Series
Monday 21st January
Year 11 University trip
Prep School Reminder:
Friday 25th January
Year 5 visit to The Old Rectory, Ewhurst
Tuesday 22nd January
Nursery trip to Little Street, Frimley
Duke of Cat
It has been a purrrfect week at the Duke of Kent School.
I do have to admit that I found last week particularly exhausting. Having to be nice to soooo many people and accept sooo many treats has quite tired me out. I may have to negotiate a flexi-time arrangement in my contract; one day on, one day off seems like a purrrrfect solution. Or perhaps even one day on, two days off. I must be careful to preserve my energy levels. This week, I particularly enjoyed sitting in a Maths Department meeting, snoozing on top of the filing cabinet in the Bursar’s office and having attention lavished upon me by almost everyone I meet. Such a busy life!
Duke of Kent School Hoodies
Forms are now available from the front office for Senior School pupils to order their DUKE hoodies. Hoodies cost £36, this amount can be added to your end of term school bill.
Stars of the Week
Nursery: Flossie H for working hard in all areas of learning and with a conscientious attitude.
Reception: Herb M for excellent work in all areas and great progress in reading.
Year 1: Rupert L for excellent focus and fabulous enthusiasm when the fire-fighters visited.
Year 2: Harry L for a consistently brilliant approach to learning and for commendable behaviour.
Performing Arts News
There are still tickets available for the Music Evening on 8th April. The night will be a mixture of top professional artists with some Year 10 and 11 pupils performing along side them. We shall transform the PA Hall into a jazz club for the night and the music played will be a mixture of jazz, blues, folk and original material. It promises to be a lovely evening with all ages and all styles on show - book now on firstname.lastname@example.org to secure your tickets. £10 for adults and £5 for children (senior school pupils only please).
We are delighted to announce that the following pupils passed their instrumental exams last term:
Daisy N in Year 5 - Grade 1 piano
Laura A in Year 9 - Grade 1 guitar
Maddie I in Year 7 - Grade 1 piano with Merit.
Well done girls!
Starting this coming week students in PSHE will begin a unit of study relating to staying safe online, as we move closer towards an important date in our calendar - Safer Internet Day, which will be celebrated on the 5th February. For those who may be unaware, Safer Internet Day is a worldwide event that focuses on making our relationship with The Internet and technology more positive.
Every year there is a specific focus for the day, this year being "Together for a better Internet". Students will have an assembly and lessons on the day to do with e-safety, but for parents there are plenty of resources and materials for things to do at home on the Safer Internet Day website. It's important that the message is not just coming from the school but from the home as well, so that together we truly can come together for a better Internet.
Here is a link for more details:
Thanks for reading!
Just a quick thank you to all the parents who e-mailed in response to the inappropriate Instagram account that has since been taken down. Also, I would like to commend many of the students who have condemned the account and assisted in getting it removed.
We are incredibly lucky to have such a supportive community at Duke of Kent School - it is what makes us such a special place!
PADoK Charity Ball
The evening will be held at the prestigious Denbies Vineyard in Dorking and will begin with drinks, followed by a three-course dinner, tea/coffee during which a charity auction (with all proceeds going towards abbiesfund.com) will be held and the evening will naturally end with much dancing to Mr Rye’s fantastic band “The Accidentals”
Tickets are limited and once sold out, we are unable to accommodate any more guests.
PADoK Walking Group
Our Next Walking group will be on Friday 1st February, meeting at 8.30am in Control car park 3 (near the windmill pub). I hope many people can join us for a lovely walk in the Surrey Hills, followed by tea and cake on your return to the car park. Everybody and dogs very welcome.
Just A Polite Reminder
Prep and Seniors do not finish their school day until 4:45 so please do not arrive early and park in the Top Car Park as Pre-Prep need these spaces for their collection times. Thank you very much.