Weekly Bulletin 23/03/2016
Prep School Production - Guardians of Destiny
This year's Prep School production took us on a journey of enlightenment from present day, back through the 20s, 50s, 70s and 80s allowing the guardians to bring happiness and contentment through the sub conscience to the unwitting time travellers. Another Macdonald masterpiece, directed by Mrs Lock with music by Mr Rye saw the audience entranced and enjoying beautiful moments of comedy genius. It was clear to see that every pupil enjoyed their role in this joyous production.
Year 7 and 8 Trip to Hampton Court
If you have read Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall you’ll remember Ralph Sadler, the young lad taken into the household of Thomas Cromwell, who quickly ascended to prominence eventually becoming Principal Secretary of State to Henry VIII. On Friday, however, he took on his toughest challenge yet as he become our guide through the religious turmoil that dominated the Tudor period. In an entertaining and informative talk Ralph Sadler took the pupils of Year 7 and 8 on a ‘religious roller coaster’ from Henry to Mary as we explored the palace, treading the very boards once paced by the key historical protagonists. This was followed by a tour of the Baroque splendor of William III’s apartments and Fountain Court, both creations of the inimitable Christopher Wren. The gardens, maze and gift shop were also fully surveyed in what proved to be a stimulating and instructive, if rather cold, visit to the palace.
On Friday 18th March students in Year 9 were joined by 50 students from Notre Dame School in Cobham for an Enterprise day. They looked very smart in their business clothes and many had taken the brief of ‘dress to impress’ very seriously indeed. Two presenters from Bright Futures Enterprise Experience lead them through a variety of fast-moving, team-based challenges aimed at developing their enterprising and entrepreneurial skills. The students worked very well together and came up with some very imaginative designs which particularly impressed the visiting presenters. The day ended with a selection of teams with the best design and business ideas pitching their new products to rest of the students.
Duke of Edinburgh ‘Taster’ Weekend
Most of Year 9 were exposed to the ‘fresh’ delights of mid-March camping overnight between 18-19th March 2016. In fairness, good humour and an intrepid spirit were in evidence right from the start of the event. Pupils quickly changed out of their smart business suits worn from Enterprise Day and into their outdoor kit before proceeding to pitch their tents in the woods near New Ground. I was impressed by their eagerness and creativity!
Overnight, one tent tipped up (a unique occurrence which even I had never seen before), much to the confusion and hilarity of the boys within, but order (and secure pegs) were quickly restored. A fire, excellently prepared by Mr Riches, provided a hub for the singing and marshmallows (thoughtfully acquired by Miss Reynolds) before all retired. Glow sticks provided a trail for all who were impressed by how disorientating (even very familiar) woods can become at night.
After a chilly awakening the campsite was cleared ready for the navigation exercises. The walks on Saturday all required the students to navigate to Peaslake and back to DoK across a range of routes. The students worked hard on their navigation skills, but all are encouraged to practice related map-work whenever feasible.
Thanks also go to Mr Usher, Mr Southee and Miss Reynolds for overnight monitoring and sports supervision, as well as the staff who accompanied the walkers: Mr Green, Mr Wilson, Mr Hubbard, Miss Coxhead and Mr Coote; and also the chefs (Maureen and Cameron) who supplied breakfast at a very early hour on Saturday! Year 9s will now register with DofE and, I trust, engage well with all the DofE requirements before ‘graduating’ with the Bronze award as soon as possible.
Pre-prep Easter Show
The children of Pre-prep put on a spectacular end of term show on Tuesday afternoon. The story of Alice in Wonderland was retold through dance and song. There was even some live instrumental music from some of the Year 2 children. All the children performed superbly! The Nursery bunnies hopped and skipped in time, the Reception flowers grew and swayed, the Year 1 girls made an impressive impact as the caterpillar and the Year 1 boys were fabulous as the playing card soldiers. The Year 2 children took on the main character roles. Another fantastically creative show choreographed and directed entirely by the fabulous Lisa Lee!
Combined Schools Concert at G-Live
Duke of Kent School were once again lucky enough to be invited to perform at the annual Rotary Combined Schools Concert, held every year at GLive in Guildford. This year we took over 100 children from the Rock Choir, The Ukes of Kent, Senior Chamber Choir, Junior Chamber Choir and the Year 8 Musical Theatre Group.
It was a fantastic day with all the children behaving brilliantly and showing professionalism and patience during the long rehearsal process that takes place throughout the day. Splendid behaviour was also shown in Zizzi’s pizza restaurant, where we took all the performers before the show. We booked a table for 115 and were in and out within an hour!
The show itself was a wonderful event, with all four schools showing great talent and some lovely musicianship, but I have to say that I thought Duke of Kent School were by far the most consistent and entertaining! Our soloists Charlotte V., Hannah M. , Antonia G and Ava H. were exceptional and the ensembles exuded personality, joy, and musicality on stage. Thank you to all the children who worked so hard in their preparation and to Miss Macaulay and Mr Macdonald for accompanying on the night. I was a very proud Head of Music!
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Blue is for Autism
Guildford Cathedral will be lit up in blue lights from the 31st of March until the 5th of April to raise awareness of autism. World Autism Awareness Day is actually on the 2nd April and many other famous landmarks around the world will be lit up in the same way.
The lighting of Guildford Cathedral has been organised by the Jigsaw Trust, based at Dunsfold. The trust includes a school, life skills centre and working café environment designed to support people with autism from an early age. We were visited earlier this year by the trust and plan to work in partnership to fund raise and support this excellent cause. Look out for opportunities to get involved and sponsor students' fundraising in the near future.
More information about:
Sports Relief Success
Jasmine B and three friends from her athletics club, Horsham Blue Star Harriers took part in a sponsored 4 x 100 continuous relay for 1 hour.
They completed 194 x 100 runs, no walking at all in the hour!
They have raised £270 so far for Sport Relief.
On Saturday 5th March dancers from the Danceramix Dance Studio performed two outstanding back-to-back shows at Princess Hall, Aldershot. This show is performed only every two years and the dancers train long and hard to reach the necessary standards in Contemporary, Modern and Ballet disciplines. Duke of Kent students – and a few parents – made up a significant proportion of the dancers. As a parent of one of the dancers it was wonderful to see so many other students represented from across all three DoK schools. Congratulations go to: Hannah M, Hollie B, Fleur B, Josie M, Tilly B, Tess G, Millie H, Annabelle B, Daisy N, Mia O’B, Lucy P, Annabelle R, Ella S, Ariane L, Rose S, Isla W and Ava W.
Dungeons & Dragons
The Duke of Kent School Dungeons and Dragons Adventure returns! Follow the link or read on the Activities page of the VLE to see what our heroes have been getting up to!
Egg-citement in the Forest
In Creative Curriculum this term Years 3 and 4 have been studying orangutans, and learning how to send emails to raise awareness about their plight. Also keen to do some fundraising, they organised an Easter-egg hunt for all the Pre-prep children this week, who seemed to thoroughly enjoy the chance to spend time with the older children and explore the school's beautiful woodland campsite. The teachers were very proud of how thoughtfully the Year 3s and 4s assisted and patrolled their younger counterparts as they tore off in different directions in search of hidden bunnies. At the end of the event, having relocated his charge, an exhausted looking Josh exclaimed, "Now I know how my parents feel!"
Four student members of Student Council got the fantastic opportunity to attend the Queen's Commonwealth Service on Wednesday 16th March. They attended the service in Westminster Abbey and saw most of the Royal Family including the Queen herself, plus David Cameron and many other key figures and visitors from all over the commonwealth. Eagle eyed views will be able to spot us outside and inside the abbey as the programme was televised live for the BBC. Mrs LaCroix
Fond Farewells to
Head of Pre-prep Kathryn Macdonald
and Catering Manager Paul Hatch
We wish them all the best in their new career paths...