Our Open Morning this week was very well attended. The feedback was super with prospective parents commenting most favourably on our Year 8 tour guides. They were also impressed by the general "feel" of the School and the sense of positivity from pupils and staff. Thank you very much to PADoK who joined us for coffee and gave a parental perspective of our School. I also thoroughly enjoyed hosting Year 7 to afternoon tea this week hearing about their experiences so far in Year 7 and what would they change if they were Head for the day. It gave me a fantastic insight and some ideas I now need to consider! I can't quite believe it is half term in a week - the weeks seem to have flown by. Have a lovely weekend.
This week started with an outstanding Senior School assembly regarding the Lunar New Year, also known as the Chinese New Year and, in China, as the Spring Festival. Mrs Knox was joined by a vast array of pupils to welcome in the New Year of the tiger and explain the meaning behind the festival. Wednesday saw the Music GCSE pupils head up to London by train to watch a matinee performance of the musical 'Wicked', conducting themselves impeccably throughout and engaging fully with the material. On Thursday it was wonderful to see the Year 8 pupils helping with our hugely successful Open Morning; acting with grace, honesty and decency throughout. They really were a credit to the School. Year 9 and 10 pupils also took part in the Intermediate UKMT Maths Challenge the same morning, and we now await the results with bated breath.
Commendations this week have been awarded to Jack A, Emily B, Charlie B, Marcus D, Bea H, Matthew K and Ben W (Year 11) for their fantastic efforts in Biology culminating in a maturely conducted class debate. To Sam S (Year 9) for demonstrating outstanding deductive skills when tackling a new grammar topic in French, and to Quentin J, Henry C and James B (Year 8) for their outstanding labelled floor plans entered into a French Architecture Competition. Commendations have also been awarded this week to Daisy R and James B (Year 8) for leading the Lunar New Year Assembly, to Natasha B (Year 10) for volunteering to assist last minute at the school Open Morning and to Alex F (Year 9) for his ongoing outstanding efforts in Geography. Congratulations to you all.
It’s been a week of themed days across Prep and Pre-prep. Monday saw our first ever Prep School Public Speaking Day. Pupils in Years 3 to 6 were off timetable for the day, taking part in a variety of workshops to help hone and improve the techniques associated with this important skill. Following an assembly where we looked at renowned examples of public speakers who have influenced, changed and shaped the history of our planet, pupils took part in four workshops. They unpicked what makes a ‘good’ public speaking performance and created a list of success criteria; considered how their information and content should be structured in order to best assist their audience’s understanding; evaluated the impact that body language can have on a public speaking performance; and considered how the vocabulary and language chosen can influence their listener.
After lunch, the children combined the knowledge and experience acquired throughout the morning to prepare and present their own performance on their chosen topic. After some knock-out rounds within their Houses, each House selected a representative to take part in our final competition. Layla B, Elliott S, Patrick W and Jenson P were voted for by their respective peers and took to the stage for their final performance. It was a difficult decision for our judging panel but Patrick emerged victorious, following his enthusiastic and clearly delivered talk on dogs.
On Thursday, pupils in Nursery and Reception came off timetable to celebrate the Lunar New Year. This festival is a significant event in many Asian cultures and pupils enjoyed exploring the meaning and history of this celebration as well as some of the associated traditions. With the help of a video created by Year 6, the children were able to develop an understanding of the story behind the Zodiac symbols. Everyone was keen to find out which Zodiac they were born in and each child coloured in their relevant mask, which turned out to be a monkey, rooster, dog or pig. 2022 is the Year of the Tiger so pupils discussed some facts about this magnificent creature and some famous people who were born in the year of the tiger, including Queen Elizabeth II and Sir David Attenborough. A wonderful painted tiger was created, some cultural clothes were tried on and the children also got to taste some seaweed, prawn crackers and fortune cookies.
Also on Thursday, pupils in Years 1 and 2 participated in sessions on the Japanese festival, Setsubun. In Japan, it's customary on this day to eat your age in soybeans, plus one extra for good measure! Doing this is said to bring good will and luck into your life. The Japanese also practise 'Mamemaki' which is the ritual of throwing soybeans at depictions of monsters whilst chanting, "Monsters out! Happiness in!". The children loved painting their own pictures of monsters and found it hugely releasing to throw handfuls of beans at their creations whilst chanting the special phrase! Pupils finished their day by making Japanese inspired cake rolls complete with seven (the lucky number) sweeties on top. During Setsubun Festival, it's customary to eat the rolls in absolute silence whilst facing the 'lucky direction' - the children certainly found some of these elements easier than others!
Ivan K, Bea T-R, Penny A, Erin C
Responsibility - Harlyn S
Effort - Rommy B, Ruby W, Elizabeth S, Year 6 for their contribution to Mrs Knox's Lunar New Year assembly
Stars of the Week
Nursery: Ali S for his continued progress in all areas leading to improved confidence and independence.
Reception: Josh B for his positive approach to learning across all areas.
Year 1: Obie Mfor a detailed and imaginative description
Willow B for challenging herself in English lessons and including capital letters and full stops in her work.
Year 2: Elizabeth S for superb independence and striving in lessons and for making our visiting pupil feel so welcome!
GCSE Music Trip to Wicked
On Wednesday our Year 10 and 11 GCSE Music pupils headed into London to see a matinée performance of the hit musical 'Wicked' at the Apollo Theatre, Victoria. This musical is part of the GCSE Music curriculum, and it was wonderful for our pupils to see the musical in its natural setting - a theatre! Being able to put the songs the pupils study into context is a vital part of understanding the musical in its entirety. Furthermore, in these Covid times, it felt special to be part of the West End's road to recovery and witness a young and energetic cast doing what they do best!
As always, our pupils were brilliantly behaved, showing consideration for others throughout the day and acquitting themselves excellently in the theatre and the restaurant beforehand. Not only that, they were great company.
This week the House Craft Competition was launched for students in Pre-Prep, Prep and Senior Schools, the deadline to enter is Monday 28th February. A copy of this information sheet was posted in the House Classrooms and as ever, every student who submits an entry will earn 3 House points. We are looking forward to seeing what masterpieces are created!
A huge congratulations to Buzzard who have leapfrogged Hawk into first place, however, their new lead is very narrow! The impressive number of Values Awards and Commendations that Kestrel have earned so far this year has allowed them to bring that elusive 3rd place even closer into their grasp! You can use the weblink to open the current leaderboards to see just how close the competition is!
ISA Steam Competition 2022 (8-18 years)
ISA’s STEAM Competition encourages you to investigate and solve problems from today’s world through skills such as teamwork, thoughtful dialogue, and problem solving. Deadline for entries 10th February 2022. If you plan to enter please contact email@example.com. More detail and how to enter can be found here - https://www.isaschools.org.uk/arts/steam-competition
DSWF Global Canvas Competition (4-18 years)
The theme for the DSWF Global Canvas 2022 competition is “Forests of Land and Sea”. Forests are found all over the world, both on land and beneath the waves. They are home to a vast number of our planet’s wildlife, providing food, water and shelter for invertebrates, amphibians, mammals, reptiles, birds and even fish. All entries must be received digitally by Friday 11 February 2022. More detail of how to enter can be found here - https://davidshepherd.org/events/enter-global-canvas-2022/
Guernsey International Poetry Competition (11-17 years)
The Guernsey Literary Festival presents a competition that could deliver your work to thousands of readers. Winning entries will be displayed on Guernsey buses a smaller selection will take part in a second, larger display at Guernsey Airport, then all over the islands. For more information visit https://poemsonthemove.com/. Deadline for Entries is 15th February 2022.
Email scams are when you receive an email from someone purporting to be a genuine person or company, but is actually an online fraudster trying to trick you into disclosing personal information. This is often referred to as ‘phishing’. Normally, people click on the links in an email assuming that they will be directed to a trustworthy website – but fake sites, closely resembling the real thing, are increasingly being set up by cyber criminals specifically to capture your personal information, which could, in turn, jeopardise your financial, emotional and possibly even physical wellbeing.
In the guide, you'll find tips on a number of potential risks such as viruses, financial damage and personal safety.
Next week is Place to Be’s Childrens’ Mental Health Week. Their theme this year is ‘Growing together’. The importance of personal growth is something we explore often in school, encouraging a growth mindset that promotes challenging oneself in order to facilitate not only academic but social, moral and emotional growth.
The idea of ‘growing together’ is that children embrace the idea of helping others grow and consider themselves part of the greater community allowing all to grow and flourish. It is important to consider the diverse and individual nature of any community, including our school community. This week particularly it would be beneficial for students to consider the experiences of every individual, not just their own. Educating themselves and considering the experience of those from neurodiverse or disabled backgrounds, different races, the LBGTQI+ community and more can help them to grow emotionally and develop understanding of the growth of others. Exposure to different perspectives and experiences can help the individual to recognise not only others’ differences but their similarities, and possibly a greater understanding of their own struggles. Ultimately, this is the development of their skill of empathy for those whose experience is different from their own.
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” – Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
This link provides tips, activities and ideas for parents in encouraging mental health growth for their own children.
GLive tickets are selling well but we still have plenty available. This wonderful event at the GLive venue in Guildford is always a highlight of the year for many pupils, so please do come along and support the choirs and bands that will be performing. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your tickets.
Our Senior School LAMDA showcases are next Monday and Tuesday at 6pm in the PA Hall.
Years 7 and 8 are performing on Monday and Years 9, 10 and 11 are on Tuesday. Doors open at 5.45pm and there will be some wine and soft drinks available in the entrance to the PA Hall.
Please go to our Covid-19 microsite for this week's updates - we have had some new cases of Covid 19 confirmed at School this week:
Next week sees the Covid 19 immunisations for 12 to 15 year olds at School on Wednesday 9th February. If you have given consent for your child to have their immunisation at school, please can you make sure they know they are going to be having it. Your child should attend school wearing a short sleeved shirt, blouse, or games top on Wednesday for ease of access to upper arms. Thank you!
At School, rugby season progresses well despite a few cancelled matches. The boys are making great efforts in developing their skills in this sport (which they were unable to play last season due to Covid restrictions). Inevitably however, there have been a couple of knocks to the head during training and matches. We take head injuries seriously at school, and are particularly mindful of the risks of concussion. We follow RFU England's "Headcase" guidance. To find out more about concussion, please go to the Headcase website -https://www.englandrugby.com.
Any pupils who sustain a knock to the head at School (whether during sport or at any other time), should always attend the medical room for assessment by the nurse, or get checked out by a first aid trained member of staff. We give pupils a head injury leaflet to show parents, and will also contact parents by email or phone to alert you to their injury.
Please be aware however, that not all knocks to the head lead to concussion (thankfully!). The vast majority of pupils will recover quickly and get back on the pitch in no time.
Have a great weekend - we hope all the rugby fans enjoy the Six Nations opening matches.
The School Nurses
Rugby: U15 v. Kingswood House
The U15 Rugby team took on Kingswood House on Tuesday afternoon. Kingswood had some strong runners and were powerful when rucking and scrummaging. They went into half time with a 21-19 lead. The Duke of Kent School tackling, rucking and passing improved after the interval and with a superb performance from a Tom H particularly, the lead changed hands. The final score was 37-21, another good win for the U15 team!
Girls' Hockey: Seniors v. Farlington
On Tuesday afternoon, a mixture of Year 9, 10 & 11 girls made the short journey to Farlington School for a hockey match. After some tactical discussions and skills practice during their afternoon games session, the girls were ready to go for a 4:30pm start at Farlington. The match began at a quick pace with both teams showing some excellent running on and off the ball. The defenders were called into action early in the first half with multiple clearances from Esme P and Helena K. Farlington managed to create some good chances but found it very difficult to get through our defence. Meanwhile, the midfields and forwards were working tirelessly ensuring they were setting up the press and putting pressure on the strong Farlington side. Jasmine K had a brilliant game in goal, making well over 15 saves throughout the match! With the last play of the game, Frankie M and Alex K almost scored a breakaway goal but it wasn't quite to be! The score finished 2-0 to Farlington. Importantly, Duke of Kent School showed great determination and effort throughout the game and played brilliantly as a team, well done to all the girls involved and particularly Tilly C for earning girl of the game.
Netball: U13 A v. Dorset House
On Wednesday Afternoon the U13 A's travelled to Dorset House for a Netball match. Both teams were strong and had some great set play thought out which led to an exciting match from start to finish. At the end of the first quarter it was 4 all and both teams were keen to take the lead for their School. Sydney R (GS) and Jess I (GA) worked so well together supported by Daisy R (WA) and Bella S (C). They were having a high success rate and were able to push Duke of Kent School out in front with a half time score of 9-6.
In the second half Sydney R got her eye in for some brilliant long distance shots closely followed by Jess I having a consistent set of play. Niamh A (GK) and Saoirse W (GD) were fantastic in defence, they were closing down all passes into the circle and were always ready to support as the ball moved up the court. Emma F (WD) was working hard in the middle supporting attack and making some well timed interceptions, her tenacity was great to see. The final score was 18-9 to Duke of Kent School. All the girls played brilliantly, I was extremely proud whilst umpiring and I think we all, supporters included, left Dorset House on a high! Well done girls.
Please make a note of our events this term. Macmillan Afternoon Tea Party on Friday 25th February and the PADoK Quiz Night on Friday 11th March.
PADoK Book Club
Our new book is The Promise by Damon Galgut, which was the winner of the 2021 Booker Prize for Fiction. The Promise, set in South Africa explores the interconnected relationships between members of a white South African family navigating the end of apartheid and its aftermath. We do hope you will join us when we meet up on Thursday 17th March.
Last Friday we met for a walk around Pitch Hill. We had a great turn out of parents from a variety of year groups. It was enjoyed by all but mostly the dogs who had great fun chasing each other around the Surrey Hills.
Our next walk will be Friday 11th February at 08.30am, car park 3, Hurtwood Control, Pitch Hill. Please do come along.
Second-hand Uniform Shop
The Second-hand Uniform Shop will be open on Wednesday 2nd February from 3pm to 4pm.
We cannot accept footwear donations due to lack of space. As soon as this changes we will let you know. Thank you.
Optional Senior School Hoodie
The Senior School hoodies have been redesigned by members of the School Council and the finished product can be seen above. They have done a fantastic job at putting this design together and now finally getting to see the finished product.
This new hoodie is available from Stevenson's on their website: https://www.stevensons.co.uk/. There is also the option to have your child's initials printed onto the front of the hoodie for a slight additional cost, something we would advise to avoid mixing up tops with other pupils. This hoodie is not an essential item of School uniform, so there is no expectation for pupils to have it.
If you wish to see the sample, please pop into the Main Office to see me and have a look at the new hoodie.
School Social Media
At Duke of Kent School we have three social media platforms;Instagram (dukeofkentschool), Twitter(@DoKSchool)and Facebook(Duke of Kent School).
Our Twitter and Facebook accounts are public however, our Instagram account is private to keep it strictly for the Duke of Kent School community only. To follow the School Instagram account you will need to request to follow the account.
We recommend following all three accounts to receive push notifications with news, updates, educational articles, interactions with other schools, communities and public figures.
We look forward to welcoming families to our Open Morning today. The tours led by pupils and staff will allow you to see @DoKSchool in action firsthand. Families will also hear from our Head, Mrs Knox and Heads of School, Casper and Kora. #OpenMorning #CoEd #SurreySchools https://t.co/U8o7qSUzUr
What a wicked day out for our GCSE Music pupils from Years 10 and 11. They ventured up to London to see the No.1 musical, Wicked. #TheDoKWay #GCSEMusic #Theatre #Wicked #WickedWednesday @WickedUK #MusicalTheatre #SchoolTrip #DefyingGravity #Elphaba #Glinda @laurapick91https://t.co/xYLkRCT4xF