Welcome back to the Summer term! A huge well done to all of our pupils (and parents) for adapting so well to our new way of working. Accolades are also due to our staff for their hard work in delivering engaging and thoughtful lessons and upskilling themselves so professionally as we move to on-line delivery. The ethos of the Duke of Kent community still remains as strong as ever, despite the distance, and will remain until we can be together again. To all of you who are juggling many, many, many balls in the air (metaphorically not literally… but let’s not talk about my juggling!) and wondering if you are getting it right, my message is: You are enough.
Teaching and Learning Updates
After our second week of delivering remote learning to the Duke of Kent School pupils, teachers have once again been filled with admiration at the accomplished way in which they have risen to the new challenges placed before them. It is remarkable how purposeful and resolute our young people are showing themselves to be and how they seem to be approaching lockdown, with its associated trials and tribulations, to further galvanize that indomitable spirit that we are so used to seeing at the School.
During this difficult time of quarantine, we have watched our key workers continue on bravely, seen frightening images on the news and all had to adapt to living, working, teaching and studying from home. It has therefore been a real pleasure to see the wonderful children in our community embark once again, enthusiastic and undaunted, upon their school work.
Nevertheless, it would be wrong to assume that remote learning has been without its challenges; family battles for bandwidth, worries over WiFi and cries of ‘can you hear me?’ on the conference calls, have become everyday occurrences. I have therefore put together some top tips for parents and pupils as we move towards another week of education in lockdown.
Keep a Daily Routine
It is essential to maintain a daily routine as if still in school, in order to maintain some normality and encourage students to be productive. Make sure to start each day with a good breakfast and a clear idea of what the day ahead involves.
School is more than just academic education. Make sure you are following the School’s daily PE updates, continue to explore your creative outlets with plenty of ideas provided for Drama, Music and Art, and keep working on your ‘new skill’ which you can showcase when we return to School. Try to build these concepts that encourage creativity into your daily routine, as well as undertaking the required academic work that you have been set.
Have a Dedicated Work Space
In order to encourage good focus, and not be distracted by the comforts of being within your home, try to create a clear workspace away from all distractions that you can utilise during school hours. Keep phones and devices off social media and concentrate fully on the task in hand
Take Regular Breaks
Taking regular short breaks can be as essential to your learning as the rest of these tips, as it creates a balance of work and relaxation and allows you to digest work in healthy amounts.
Create a Daily Plan
You have your timetable as a guide, but make a clear plan for how you are going to use your independent study sessions. Regularly check your subjects on Google Classrooms and keep up to date with the work set. Don’t just wait until it’s time for your lesson because teachers will also be setting some preparation activities. Creating a plan for the day, including small breaks and a lunch time included, will help you maintain motivation.
Further in depth advice, for parents and pupils during lockdown, has been provided by our partners at ‘Inner Drive’, who have run many successful workshops at the School. Please follow the links for a range of blogs with some excellent hints and hacks:
I hope you found these useful and that you and your families are all well. Stay safe.
Senior School Updates
The Senior School have returned to working ways this week with gusto, embracing the new technology and contributing maturely in lessons. In spite of a few hiccups along the way I have been hugely impressed by the attitude of the students; accepting the few inevitable technological teething problems and working with teachers to get this right moving forward. We have had some great work being produced with commendations earnt across a range of subjects including French (descriptive writing), English (book spine poems), Geography (independent topic research) and Spanish (speaking assignments). It has been particularly pleasing to see so many involved in their Form Group meet sessions each morning and to be able to share in the collective positive social time they are experiencing. I am excited to see what excellent work they will inevitably generate over the coming weeks.
Prep and Pre-prep Updates
Pupils in Prep & Pre-prep have picked up where they left off last term, settling back into routines with their remote learning tasks wonderfully well. They've also put a smile on their teachers' faces greeting them in the mornings at their Google Meet sessions.
In Pre-prep, our Star of the Week winners are:
Nursery - Finn H, for putting in lots of effort this week, displaying independence with mark making and in creative work
Reception - Savannah L for being kind and helpful at home and wonderful piano playing!
Year 1 - Eva W, for writing to all of her classmates to put a smile on their faces
Year 2 - Rupert L, for running 5km to support our NHS heroes and donating £5 of his own pocketmoney
In Prep School, Values certificates have been awarded to the following children:
Matilda R in Year 6, for Kindness, which she has shown towards her younger sister, Eliza, during the last week of term and throughout the holidays
William M in Year 5, for Effort, resulting in him making an array of culinary delights, including a vegan curry complete with roti, and scones topped off with his own homemade jam!
Ben W in Year 3, for Effort, noted by Miss Nott and clearly visible in every piece of his school work during the last week of term
Well done everyone! And remember: Stay safe! Work hard! Have fun!
Three Little Birds
As yo may well have seen by now, over the holidays members of the Performing Arts Team put together a remote video version of the Bob Marley classic 'Three Little Birds' as a little message from us to you...
This is now a whole school challenge! We need as many of the pupils (and parents!) to get involved, recording themselves singing along, playing an instrument, dancing, showing off a new skill, playing a sport - anything!
The video should then be uploaded to the relevant Google Drive folder:
We will then edit every contribution into a massive split screen video! Please, please do encourage your children to get involved as it would be amazing to have the whole school in it in some way or another. Thank you.
In between the Easter eggs, Arthur and Rufus B have been making up face shields over the Easter weekend which are provided to NHS staff and other carers free of charge. The parts are provided by a small group of volunteers with 3D printing equipment based in Portsmouth and assembled by volunteers (like them) at their kitchen tables. Although they are not tested to be compliant with legal standards, we hope they contribute towards the need for PPE. If the school community knows any group who needs them, they can put in a request via http://www.keepthemsafe-southhampshire.co.uk. The 100 masks Arthur & Rufus made today are going to the ambulance service in East Surrey.
A big welcome to Robyn Christine Nicholson, entering the world on Thursday 2nd April, weighing 8lb 6oz. Elsie has been taking on her duties as big sister and all getting used to becoming a family of four! We look forward to meeting you all soon.
Welcome to the world Max Constantine Glynn Vermeulen; at 8lb 11 he certainly made an entrance into the world on Tuesday 7th April! He’s bringing us much needed joy (and endless parenting tasks) during lockdown and we now can’t wait to show him off to friends, family and a visit to Duke of Kent School when we’re allowed!
House Competition Week 1
We are running a series of House competitions throughout the remote learning period. The first competition we will be running is for 'The Best Joke'. These need to be original and not from google, we also ask that jokes submitted are kept clean and appropriate. Submit your jokes to your form classrooms and then they will be sent to the judges, Mr Herbert and Mr Rye. Entries to be sent in by next Tuesday when a winner will be decided and prizes awarded in the form or House Points. Good luck!
Mr Macdonald and Mr Gritton
Cranleigh U14 Rugby Season Round Up
Our U14 rugby team had a great season overall which was hampered by the endless rain and now the Coronavirus which has unfortunately brought the season to an early end. Up until this point we had played and won most of our games, some of which were against much bigger clubs than Cranleigh which was particularly pleasing. We were also taking part in the Waterfall Cup competition which puts teams across Surrey & West Sussex against one another and until the season came to an end we had won 3 out of 4 matches, with notable wins against Wimbledon, Richmond and Barnes. We therefore would have gone into the finals weekend top of our group which is a huge achievement for such a small club.
The virus also meant that our end of season tour had to be cancelled. This year we were going to Bognor Regis where there's a large rugby festival for teams across the country, so it’s a shame that we have missed out on this because our previous 3 tours have been great fun.
Cranleigh is an excellent local club and welcomes new members across the Mini and Junior sections.
Marcus D, Year 9
Performing Arts News
Despite the school being shut the show must go on!! And we in the Performing Arts Department are determined it will. So we have lots of things planned to keep the music playing and the actors acting.
The composition competition launched at the beginning of the Easter hols is in full flow. Mr Rye will send a reminder out about this next week via Google Classroom.
The Summer Concert will still take place - sort of! Mr Rye has asked pupils who would have liked to be in the Summer Concert to record themselves performing their piece and send it in. He will then edit the pieces together and we will look to stream the concert 'live' after half term.
There will be House Drama competition this term - details to follow next week.
We would normally be holding a House Music Finalists concert early this term for the parents of those children who took part last term. So, instead video footage of that concert can be watched here on Youtube.
Mr Rye has been busy making weekly music podcasts during lockdown. These are podcasts about all things musical, featuring an eclectic and wide ranging mix of artists, composers bands and genres. Something for everyone! Plus a weekly musical fact and surprise guests. They are released every Monday via the school Instagram and Twitter accounts - Episode 4 coming next week. To listen to past episodes please follow this link. https://soundcloud.com/nickryemusic/sets/mr-ryes-music-podcasts/s-tIxuCNhilwD They will certainly help while a way an hour or so!
As we transition into a world that does its work online, not just its leisure, it is even more important to have considerations of security and safety not just for our children but now for us as well. This leads me to mention the app "Zoom". You have probably heard of the app as it has emerged as one of the leading platforms for distance meetings and conferences (as well as the occasional pub quiz and games night).
The app has existed for while, but has never been under so much traffic or scrutiny and this has led to the exposure of holes in its security and privacy as many millions of people adopt the program. There are lots of articles around the internet concerning issues such as "zoombombing" where anyone is able to enter a meeting even if they were not invited and how the company handles their user data, so I will not describe them all here.
However, these are not affect every user and occur when meetings are advertised online publicly for anyone to see. Zoom say that they are releasing updates to their app which should improve security, so it will be good to see how much of an impact that has.
For the time being, if you are using Zoom I would make sure that you arrange the meetings using secured messaging like emails and whatsapp and prepare to have alternatives in case zoom is not viable, e.g. Skype, google meet, etc.
Parent Feedback:"I'm blown away with the level of thought and effort that has gone into the ongoing programme of teaching, it's really very impressive. The online setup seems to be working really well, the podcasts, assemblies and singing are amazing" #ThankYou #TheDoKWay
Year 7 have been creating 'Book Spine Poems' as part of their SPAG lessons. The English department have thoroughly enjoyed listening to them all. Here is Kai G's poem for you to hear #English #GettingCreative #EducationInLockdown #TheDoKWay https://t.co/xWgiHSOe9K