World Book Day was thoroughly enjoyed by all from Nursery right through to our Year 11s. The staff are to be highly commended on their wonderful costumes too. The sense of togetherness was palpable as we celebrated the world of books and the joy of reading. A highlight for me was watching the older pupils read books they had written and published to the younger children who were totally absorbed in the wonderful tales. Thank you to Miss Anand and our English Department. This morning, assemblies on the situation in Ukraine enabled our pupils to engage with the facts and explore a range of perspectives. This will be followed by discussions in form time next week. The Charity Committee presented 4 charities for us to support as a School and The British Red Cross was selected by the pupils. They will be holding a bucket appeal outside the School each morning next week to raise funds. House Music was also a fabulous end to another very busy week today. Well done to all of the performers. Have a lovely weekend and I look forward to seeing many of you at G Live next week!
Reminders for next week
Tues 8th March 8.30am Parent Seminar - Building Resilience - Dr Blackwell
Year 3 visit Kew Gardens
Weds 9th March G Live - Combined Schools Concert
Thurs 10th March 8.30am Parent Meeting - Forum Garden Project
Friday 11th March Coding Workshop with RGS & Wonersh and Shamley Green
Filiming of DOK School Video
7.30pm PADoK Quiz Night
Daily drop off and pick up
Following some concerns raised by members of the School community, please can I ask you all to exercise extreme care when dropping off, picking up and parking in the top car park. Given the volume of traffic in the car park at peak times, it is essential that you keep your speed to an absolute minimum and ensure that your children are either dropped or collected from outside the main entrance in a safe manner. If you are parking then please take extra care, particularly when reversing, given there will be pedestrians and other vehicles circulating. Please ensure that your children are under your strict supervision until they are inside the school buildings or your vehicle.
For those of you feeling energetic, please feel free to park in the lower car park which will help ease the volume of cars in the top car park at busy times.
Thank you for your assistance in this matter.
World Book Day
Yesterday, Duke of Kent School celebrated its annual World Book Day festivities - it was a fantastic day as all staff and pupils embraced dressing up as their favourite literary characters to mark the 25th anniversary of this charitable event. There was excitement as Mrs Knox (‘The Mad Hatter’), and Mr Macdonald (‘Bill Sikes’ from Oliver Twist) welcomed the children into their own ‘Hogwarts’. The day started with the usual parade of costumes with the Seniors assembling across the top bank with the Pre-Prep and Prep pupils dancing their way through a tunnel of clapping and cheering. Mrs Tattan-Robb as ‘Severus Snape’ and Mr Seeley as ‘Greg Heffley’ from the ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ were amongst some of the staff interspersed in the celebrations.
Lucy P and Kora W focused on the charitable deed of celebrating literature and having fun dressing up! All of the children donated £1 for the International Book Aid Charity; this is a charity we chose to support because it provides books to those children who are less fortunate to access books. Miss Anand (‘Queen of Hearts’) led the assembly by reminding the pupils about the day's purpose - reading! Mrs Punter (‘Alice’) and Mrs Southee (‘The White Rabbit’) took to the floor to discuss their love for children’s literature, particularly Alice in Wonderland. Mrs Punter even bought her first edition of Lewis Carroll’s story collection to show us all. Mrs Southee told us all about her love for children's literature, and Mr Wright’s incredible rendition of ‘Albus Dumdledore’ sharing some of his wise (and humorous!) wisdom was also a delightful touch...
The pupils took part in some shared reading activities with the Prep School. A particular highlight of the day was the Year 9 ‘Becoming an Author’ project led by Miss Anand, Mrs Punter and Mr Boden. In their English Skills and Computer Science lessons last half term, the pupils were asked to create their own children’s book, using ‘plot mountains’ to devise their plot, characters, settings and themes. In Computer Science, they used a specialised ‘Storyjumper’ app to create their book in a digital format by customising their settings, characters and page designs. Each book also had a QR code which the pupils could scan with their Chromebooks so the book could convert into an audiobook. It was a brilliant experience for the children to become their own “published authors”. Hearing the Year 9 read their stories to the Pre-Prep pupils in action was both heartening and endearing - the Pre-Prep staff were also so complimentary about both the books and how engaging and animated the Year 9 pupils were with the Pre-Prep children. Congratulations to Year 9 for all their efforts on this project.
A special mention and thanks must go to Mrs Punter, Mrs Southee, and Mr Wright for helping to organise the assembly and a special thank you to Mr Wright and Mrs Green for helping manage the morning parade.
Senior Sustainability Committee Meeting with Hannah Irvine
On Friday 25th February the Senior Sustainability Committee met with Hannah Irvine, the Sustainability and Environmental Manager for our school's catering company, Holroyd Howe. A fascinating discussion ensued with pupils considering the impact of food miles, different farming practices and seasonal produce to increase sustainability within the food industry. Hannah spoke about her work on palm oil in particular; trying to reduce the usage of unsustainable palm oil and outlining also the actions that still need to be taken. We also focused on avoidable and unavoidable food waste, what this entails and how to reduce the former, as well as the size and locations of the farms Holroyd Howe use and the certification they look for with regards to all products (Red Tractor Assurances, MSC fish, sustainably certified oils etc.).
The committee raised the issues of single-use plastics and asked questions regarding how Holroyd Howe manages this. Hannah explained that although cling film is avoided wherever possible it was necessary to use it to avoid cross-contamination in fridges and possible allergic reactions. She also raised the issues of cucumbers wrapped in plastic and the shelf-life of these foods (Holroyd Howe must use unwrapped cucumbers in 3 days, those wrapped in plastic have 14 days) and how sustainable these may be.
Composting certain food wastes was also discussed with an aim to get this up and running at the school at the start of the next academic year. Currently all Holroyd Howe food waste goes into an anaerobic digester to produce renewable energy but composting on the school site, on a smaller scale, would also certainly be beneficial.
A hugely enlightening talk with a wonderful array of pertinent and relevant questions put forward by the Sustainability Committee. Thanks go to Hannah for coming to see us and to all those who attended, participating maturely and respectfully in a hugely interesting discussion.
2022 National Apprenticeship Show and Higher Education EXPO, Sandown Park
On Wednesday morning all of Year 10 visited the 2022 National Apprenticeship Show and Higher Education EXPO at Sandown Park. They spent the first hour visiting Employers and Organisations that offer Apprenticeships up to Higher Degree level. One such example was PwC UK, a company that offers non-core business services such as legal, actuarian, tax, AI, Data Analytics, IT support to businesses such as Amazon, Pret etc. They offer Level 6 apprenticeships called “Flying Start Degrees” in accountancy, digital technology or business management. The degree is fully funded (no tuition fees) and they would be paid a salary throughout the degree programme (at respected universities such as Briston, Queen Mary College, Nottingham etc). The programme includes work placements with PwC on client projects.
There were many levels of apprenticeship to discover at the show from the traditional ones such as childcare, landscaping, events and hospitality to Military (RAF, Army and Royal Navy) and business such as those on offer from PwC.
In a separate section of the conference centre the students were able to visit the stands of many universities and higher education establishments including those that specialise in the music industry and the creative arts industries - again offering many career-focused opportunities to explore.
Year 10 behaved in exemplary fashion prompting some lovely comments from the organisers regarding their behaviour. It was lovely to see our students engaging with all manner of people and hopefully gaining some food for thought for their next steps after Duke of Kent School.
During Tuesday's Senior School Council Meeting we were fortunate to welcome both Rob Hanvey, our school Head Chef, alongside a regional representative of Holroyd Howe, our school catering company. They fielded a huge number of questions from pupils across the age range as we look to refresh our food options in line with student preferences and health concerns. These will be taken on board, alongside information from both the wider student community survey and the parent survey (available to complete here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1touoR5WlEonK5F-yryi8NbplZeBb1l6Fvy28IajrMwk/edit ).
The week started with a fascinating assembly from Mr Southee and Mrs Douglas, our Head of Wellbeing, celebrating LGBTQ+ History Month and outlining the importance of tolerance and empathy. We also got to enjoy a wonderful World Book Day on Thursday, with the spirit and enthusiasm of the pupils prevalent throughout. The annual parade proved a huge highlight with all pupils showing a great appreciation for the efforts of those from other classes and year groups throughout the school. In Friday assembly Mr Watson and Mr Lodge (Head of History) spoke clearly, concisely and accurately regarding the conflict in the Ukraine. Although this is a concerning topic we felt it important that the pupils were able to receive some clear information regarding this and, hopefully, clear up a few mistruths which appear to be filtering into conversations. House Music is upcoming this afternoon (Friday) and I, for one, cannot wait to see the various musical talents within the student body.
Commendations this week have been awarded to Oscar H (Year 11) for his excellent approach towards his ongoing GCSE Geography revision and Annabel O (Year 8) for her outstanding spelling results in English throughout this half term. Congratulations to you both.
World Book Day on Thursday was, as ever, a highlight of not just the week but - for many - the whole term. So much thought had gone into preparing costumes, we absolutely loved seeing the brilliant interpretations pulled together at home; it really helped bring an air of excitement to the department, so thank you for supporting the children in their dressing-up. One of the things we most missed during periods of Remote Learning was the feeling of togetherness, and a whole School celebration such as World Book Day is immeasurably important for us all. We also loved seeing the Senior pupils visiting Prep and Pre-prep classrooms to hear their younger counterparts read - a real delight!!
In class, Years 1 and 2 worked together to do a STEM project on Tuesday. Their challenge was to build a raft using materials that float. They worked really well together and had a great time designing in their pairs.
Every raft floated, although some did topple onto their sides…reminding us all that Science teaches us great life lessons all about learning from experience, adapting things to improve them and then trying again. Year 5 were also busy experimenting in Science this week, tasked with helping a Nepalese family transport their tomato crop over mountains to reach the market. The children demonstrated remarkable care and resilience to design, construct (and in many cases rebuild!) pulleys to make the task easier. I can't report that no tomatoes were harmed in this assignment, but most made it safely to market!
Lastly, Prep Production rehearsals are hotting up. This week the pupils had a full costume photoshoot for the programme, and are working hard at perfecting their lines, songs and dance routines. Don't forget to mark your diary on Monday 14th or Tuesday 15th March, when we will be warmly welcoming families to come along and watch.
Effort - Alexander I, Tansy B-T, Rebekah S & Solomon S-B
Responsibility - Douglas S and Violet W
Respect - Alfie H
Stars of the Week
Nursery: Charles lfor working with concentration and focus
Reception: Olivia P forgreat enthusiasm in everything she does and for giving detailed descriptions and fabulous ideas in creative writing.
Year 1: Annabelle T for coming back into school with a lovely attitude to her learning, she is so enthusiastic.
George D for his enthusiastic reading and consistent positive attitude. George always puts so much effort into his work.
Year 2: Logan N for reading with great expression and enthusiasm.
Senior Girls' House Netball
On Tuesday afternoon, all girls in Years 9, 10 & 11 took part in the annual house netball tournament! The atmosphere was fantastic with all teams giving it their all! Each house played 3 matches against the other 3 houses and the team with the most wins would be crowned House Netball Champions! After 2 matches, the scores were even for Kestrel and Peregrine with 2 wins each, meaning the final match of Peregrine v Kestrel would be the final. Meanwhile, Hillary and Whittle were fighting it out for 3rd place. Both matches were extremely close, Kestrel managed to win 6-5 whilst Buzzard beat Hawk 8-4. Well done to all the girls involved for their positive attitude and excellent effort throughout the afternoon despite some quite horrible weather! See below for the final results:
1st - Kestrel
2nd - Peregrine
3rd - Buzzard
4th - Hawk
Girls' Football: U11 Belmont Football Tournament
On Wednesday afternoon, the U11 girls made the short journey to Belmont for the annual girls football tournament! All the girls were very excited at the idea of lots of short matches against a variety of different schools! First up, we played Longacre, it was a great first game with all members of the team getting stuck in and making some strong tackles, the game ended 0-0. The girls performed brilliantly in their second game with Holly B scoring a breakaway goal as we managed to get a 1-1 draw against Reigate St Mary's, the team who went on to win the tournament! Incredibly, the draws continued throughout the afternoon as Poppy F in goal made countless saves and Erin C played brilliantly clearing the ball left, right and centre! We went on to draw against Pennthorpe and Belmont in some more end to end games. Isabella N and Lola C found their stride during the last few games and got so close to scoring! Isla W, Penny A and Grace M played well in the midfield, they also made great improvements in their tactical understanding and passing accuracy throughout the afternoon, making great contributions to the team. Towards the end of the afternoon, we eventually stopped drawing matches (!) - with a loss against a strong Park Mead side and we finished the tournament with a win against Belmont with a cracking goal from Tansy T! What a great afternoon of football - well done to all the girls involved for their brilliant enthusiasm and effort throughout the afternoon, despite the cold and wet conditions!!
U11 & U13 Hockey Tournament
Duke of Kent School hosted their annual 6 a-side hockey tournament last Friday afternoon. The sun was shining and the standard of hockey from both ages was very impressive. We were extremely lucky to have James Mazarelo (England Hockey Goalkeeper) visit us for the afternoon to give out the medals and talk to pupils. James also offered an amazing one to one lesson with Ben W (our U16 goalkeeper) in his GCSE practical lesson before the tournament started.
The U11 tournament was won by Handcross Park with all of the other teams finishing with the same amount of points. Duke of Kent narrowly missed out on second place on goal difference. The U13 tournament was won by the Duke of Kent team who were unbeaten in the tournament and played extremely well throughout.
Well done to all who took part.
Year 7 and 8 Mixed House Hockey
On Wednesday saw all of Year 7 and 8 boys and girls play in their mixed house hockey competition. It was brilliant to see all of them getting involved and showcase their skills they have been learning throughout the year. All pupils showed great determination which resulted in some close matches. The final results are as follows:
Year 7 Mixed Hockey
Year 8 Mixed Hockey
Badminton: U14/15 v. Belmont
Two teams of eight players took part in a badminton match against Belmont on Tuesday. Belmont hosted one match and Duke of Kent the other. This was an extremely enjoyable event with some great sportsmanship shown from both schools. The matches were very close with Belmont winning the match at Duke of Kent and Duke of Kent winning the match at Belmont. Particular praise should go to Sam S and Johnny M who managed to win all of their games in the afternoon.
Well done to all who played, we hope to offer more matches like this in the future.
Boys' Hockey: U10/11 v. Longacre
This Wednesday, the U10/11 Red Team played a hockey match against Longacre. It was a great match in which all of the team played some great attacking hockey, with some great passes leading to lots of goal scoring opportunities. Throughout there were some great skills on display from Arthur H and Patrick W, after the first half of the match the teachers came together and decided to mix up the teams to make it more enjoyable for all involved. This lead to some nice passing moves and hockey being played. Well played to everyone involved and well done for the great display of teamwork and sportsmanship.
Years 3 and 4 Tag Rugby
On Thursday afternoon, all the boys and girls in Years 3 & 4 took part in House Tag Rugby. The girls learnt the rules and some of the key skills and then they spilt into their houses for the start of the competition. All the teams played some brilliant tag rugby with plenty of tries being scored from all four of the teams! Peregrine and Kestrel had a thriller game, finishing in 5-4 to Peregrine. Meanwhile, there were draws for Kestrel v Buzzard and Peregrine v Hawk making for some very close final results! Well done to all of the pupils involved for demonstrating great effort and determination throughout the afternoon! See below for the results:
1st - Peregrine
2nd - Hawk
3rd - Kestrel
4th - Buzzard
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I hope everybody enjoyed a wonderful World Book Day yesterday; it was delightful to see so many of the pupils dressed up, sharing their joy in reading and enjoying the day.
This week I have enjoyed reading with Years 1 and 2 and learning all about how Worry Monsters can help humans with their worries. We looked at the book ‘The Very Hungry Worry Monsters’ by Rosie Greening which tells the story of Frettie Fluster and how she benefits from the worry monsters in her life who are happy to munch, crunch and chew some of the worries she has like, being afraid of the dark and getting a question wrong.
Years 1 and 2 talked with me about some of their worries and we talked about what we can do when we are worried. They had some great ideas like: telling a grown up; closing their eyes and breathing deeply; playing football in the garden or imagining their favourite place.
They were also delighted to receive their very own worry monsters - this will enable them to write down a worry when it comes to them and feed it to their monster. The class teachers and myself will monitor the worries and periodically address them as a class.
Finally, I look forward to seeing a number of you next week at our breakfast forum with Dr Siobhan Blackwell who will be presenting a short introduction to the importance of resilience for young people. This takes place from 8:30-9:30 on Tuesday the 8th of March in the Meetings Room. Tea, coffee and pastries will be provided, so please do let Jenny Monk know if you would like to attend.
I wish you all a worry-free weekend!
With some very important and exciting school events coming up (G Live, Pre-Prep Spring Concert, Prep Production, Liverpool Choir Trip to name a few....), we would strongly encourage everyone to follow this guidance, in order to keep Covid-19 cases at school as low as possible, to prevent too many people missing out on all the fun that's coming up in the calendar. Please be aware that although the legal requirement to isolate has ended, school staff and pupils are currently still encouraged to isolate for a minimum of five full days if they test positive as we follow the current UKHSA guidance as is good practice, for the health and safety of everyone in our school community. Please let Mrs Sarjant know if any pupils test positive (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Finally well done to the year 8&9 pupils who had their HPV Immunisations on World Book Day - the visiting nurses commented on what lovely children we have at Duke of Kent School!
The School Nurses
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.
Running Technique Club
PADoK parents running technique group update; all of our runners progressed really well from week one and were able to practice what they learned in our first session. Building on that week by week we are focusing on activating the muscles of the lower limb to help improve stability. This meant lots of hopping like kangaroos and a bit of fast rope skipping to practice fast cadence with control of the pelvis. So far our group is made up of year 7 parents and we would love other year groups to join us and hopefully some dads!
Wednesday morning 08.30 at the sports hall until 09.15.
PADoK Macmillan Coffee Morning
PADoK and the Charity Committee hosted a Macmillan tea party on Friday and thank you so much to all of you who supported the event. There were lots of delicious cakes and savoury treats to choose from and I think the Pre-Prep and Prep children thoroughly enjoyed them!. Thank you to the school kitchen team for supplying tea, coffee and soft drinks. A big thank you to Sarah Smith, Jinny McMonigal and the rest of the PADoK team who made the event the success it was. We raised £437 so a big thank you to you all.
We met last Friday for our walk up Pitch Hill. There was a good turn out of parents, some with dogs, some without and some who wished they hadn't got dogs when they misbehaved!! We all had a good chat and catch up as we got some fresh air and exercise. Next walk is on Friday 11th March, 08.30, Pitch Hill, car park 3 Hurtwood Control. Everyone is welcome.
PADoK Quiz Night - Friday 11th March
We have a really good number of tables for the Quiz Night next week. If you would like to make up a table or join one, then please do let us know by Wednesday so we can make the final arrangements. It is a Bring Your Own refreshments so do remember glasses and bowls for your table. Look forward to seeing you there.
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.
Congratulations to Helena K, Oscar H, Natasha B and Eva L who successfully completed the @roysocchem (RSC) Top of the Bench competition. The practical element of this competition will be run as a House Competition during Science Week. #TheDoKWay #StretchAndChallenge #Science https://t.co/Igy5yoLv8U
We have an exciting opportunity for a level 3 qualified practitioner to work in our vibrant and nurturing Pre-prep Department.Head to our current vacancies page on our website for more information! #TheDoKWay #JoinOurTeam @teshttps://t.co/Hjyx8pMSoZ