Our second week of term has seen pupils and staff settle into the rhythm of virtual learning. A few tweaks have been made to the provision to ensure the balance is right and we will continue to monitor as we move forward. When we receive the “road map” for reopening schools, we will develop our plans very carefully and communicate with you. For the moment, however, I am enjoying the virtual contacts I have with the pupils. I must say the Happy Birthday rendition to Captain Tom by our senior pupils brought a tear to my eye. We do miss them! Take care and have a lovely weekend.
Prep and Pre-prep News
What a busy week for Prep and Pre-prep it has been! Well done to the pupils for maintaining their effort and high standards after a great first week; and thank you to the families working so hard to support their learning, too. The Prep School podcast (https://youtu.be/PqPR0Q7Evp8) featured several staff notices this week. Thanks to MrHerbert, Mrs Sarjant, Mr Gritton and Mr Rye for updating us all, and also to Mr Ellarby who stitches it all together so seamlessly. I wonder who guessed the voice of the mystery teacher, whose colleagues all think she has a second career in voice-over to fall back on, should she ever need it! There were also nine Values Certificates awarded this week, celebrating examples of pupils' Effort and Kindness. Do please let us know if you think your child has done something particularly worthy of a certificate by demonstrating these, or our other three School Values of Honesty, Respect and Responsibility.
Values Certificate recipients this week were:
Rhys W, Annabelle B, Elliott S, Charlie C, Jamie C, Jessica I and Henry O'B for Effort
John B and Levi L for Kindness
I'd also like to thank Miss Vickers for creating a video and other resources offering Pre-prep children lots of ideas on how to stay active, ans well as suggesting skills they can be practising whilst at home. We look forward to seeing some videos of what you've been up to, some of which we will share on the DoK instagram.
It's been lovely this week interacting with some students in my "virtual" medical room. Prep and Senior School students can access this in their PSHE Google Classrooms, and get in touch directly with me with any health questions or general worries, so that I can continue to offer pastoral support and advice. Thank you to those students who have already been in touch to let me know how they are getting on - I'd love to hear from more of you next week. Do remember also to let me know if anyone in your household has had coronavirus symptoms, so that I can track who has had it.
Poetry in Year 11 English
Year 11 were set to study John Copper Clark poetry and had to write a poem themselves based on the style he used in the poem they chose. Some of their poems were read out in today's assembly and below are a further two examples by Sophie B and Monte G. The English department were impressed with the effort and creativity the pupils showed in this task. Well done Year 11.
Inspired by Majorca
The plane is packed with screaming children
You are about to bring up your all inclusive ‘air cafe’ meal again
You've already had enough but then,
You touch down in sunny Majorca
IKEAs finest hotel decor
As soon as you enter your jail cell door
The waiter smells of fake Dior
Your complimentary orange juice on pour
In the exotic land Of Majorca
The pleasure of securing your 10 pound deck chair
Burning Brits are everywhere
Sun cream and chlorine is in the air
In the package deal that is Majorca
By Sophie D, Year 11
Inspired by Art ‘n Crafts
On the turntable goes the record,
A song plays the perfect chord,
The rides started get onboard,
To the land where you're never bored.
The music fills my body and soul,
Pushing away all the cold,
Down memory lane I take a stroll,
Reminding me of when I wasn't old.
A riff plays and then a hook,
Open up my old yearbook,
Remembering the photos that I took,
And all the things I overlooked.
By Monte G, Year 11
Charity Miles for the NHS
Zac W, Year 6, has been busy clocking up the miles running and mountain biking to raise money for the NHS to say thank you for all the work they have done over the isolation period. He’s clocked up over 170 miles since Duke of Kent School started remote learning and will continue even if he passes his target of 250. Below is a link to his Just Giving page below where you can see how Zac is doing and his total raised so far. Well done Zac, this is a wonderful thing to do for charity and to support our NHS. Keep it up!
A big thank you to those who have so far contributed to the whole school Three Little Birds project. BUT, keep them coming! Please do get involved and send in whatever you can so we can build up the number of participants for the final video. The end of half term is the deadline.
During the holidays we launched the school composition competition. This is open to all pupils at the school and we are looking for a school song or theme! Pupils can compose on their instruments, with their voice or with any kind of technology they have. Closing date for entries is the end of term so plenty of time to create a masterpiece!
Information for this will be going out on May 11th so watch this space!
Mr Rye’s Weekly Podcast
These are podcasts about music and all things musical.
This week a journey through the colours of the rainbow with links to songs and musical artists. Plus why the Earth is in the key of B! Click the link below to have a listen.
As part of the overall effort to counter COVID-19, an app is being developed to let people trace who they have been in contact with that may have become infected. Such apps are already being used in several countries around the world such as Australia, Germany, and Egypt. These apps would users to become notified in case they have come close to or had contact with someone who later contracts the virus and would make it much easier to trace outbreaks and hopefully help ease restrictions on movement.
However, there are concerns with how the Government would handle the data of app users, considering over half of the entire population of the UK (almost 45 million people) would need to use the app in order for it to be effective. All tracing data would be handled by centralised servers as opposed to being exchanged between phones, as was originally proposed by Apple and Google. There are also worries that using the app would be a requirement for returning to work or being able to go shopping and leave the house.
The app itself should be ready by mid-May and will hopefully give us more insight into the spread of the virus and how effective social distancing measures have been.
As the time in lockdown goes on the feelings of isolation, anxiety and frustration can really overwhelm us. If this is you, you are definitely not alone. We are all experiencing feelings that we would normally be able to distract ourselves from but it is hard to run away from this situation.
I have found mindfulness to be really helpful in calming the storm. When we feel we are being tossed around in an uncontrollable boat, not knowing which direction we are heading in, worried about falling out and going under, these simple exercises can calm our minds and restore in us a sense of peace.
For Christians, and most of the major religions in the world, believe there is a peace which passes all understanding even, and especially, when the world seems in chaos.
Take a breath, be kind to yourself and give these exercises a try.
Despite the current situation PADoK still continues to bring parents together. Over the past few weeks, Via Zoom, PADoK reps have been holding coffee mornings and afternoon teas with most year groups, it has been a great way for parents to catch up and share challenges and joys of the lockdown. Every day last week Mrs Knox joined the individual year groups at their zoom meetings it was her chance to check in with everyone and answer any questions or concerns from the parents. We were very grateful to Mrs Knox for taking the time out of her days to do this for our parents.
PADoK has purchased a Zoom account, please talk to your year rep if you wish to book some time to catch up with other parents. Or do let us know if you have an idea you wish to share of how to bring Duke of Kent parents together in this strange world of social distancing.
PADoK ‘Virtual’ Book club met up last week to discuss “Close to Home” By Cara Hunter. Claire Reed our book Club organiser said the new revised format worked very well. We hope to hold another book club before the end of term, more details to follow soon.
Lucy Burr, our PADoK Singers organiser, has been in discussions with Mr Rye with an idea to include the PADoK singers into the end of year concert. Look out for more information in next weeks newsletter. This will be an event open to all parents.
We are working towards an event for next term. We hope (if social distancing rules allow) to have a big dinner dance in November. Its going to be a fantastic evening with live music and entertainers, a sumptuous supper and finishing with dancing. We believe by then everybody will be ready for a good party and we are planning a big one!
As I’m sure most of you are aware this was my daughter's last year at The Duke of Kent School and I shall be stepping down as Chairlady at the end of this term. I am pleased to say Camilla Phillips who has children in Years 5 & 3 will be taking over from September. Camilla has been working alongside me as PADoK Secretary for the past 2 years, she is the obvious choice to take on the job of chair of our fabulous PTA and I know she is going to do a brilliant job. Camilla is eager to get started and I will be gradually handing over to Camilla during this term to ensure a seamless start in September. Sarah Smith will continue as PADoK treasurer and Claire Reed will be stepping into Camilla’s shoes as PADoK secretary.
Remote learning hasn't stopped Year 3 from having Forest School. Here are the natural collages they have made from resources found in their gardens at home #RemoteLearning #ForestSchool #Nature #OutdoorLearning https://t.co/ZfmilvPEmF
Our Artist in Residence programme has gone digital! We have a number of 'Virtual Artists in Residence' and students will be able to explore the work of artists through videos and will then be set tasks and activities for the students. Our first V.A.R is @ollysuzi #Collaboration https://t.co/6MaqYdTxnS