Watching the pupils playing football and hockey this week, I felt sad that we are not able to share this special time with you, our parents and grandparents. I realised that it was one of the highlights of my week chatting with you, sharing your enjoyment as we cheered the children on and enjoyed a cup of tea and lemon drizzle cake. However, on the bright side, as we cannot play inter-school matches yet, Mr Herbert assures me the pupils are really benefitting from the skill development! I do hope that at some point this academic year we will be able to welcome you back to school, as we do miss you. You are a very important part of Duke of Kent School. In the meantime, do keep looking at our social media feeds which are updated daily with photos and stories. We are also planning a number of virtual events and more information on that soon. The daily routines are now well established and learning is in full swing. The pupils continue to respond well to our new routines and are to be applauded. We welcomed a new Science teacher, Dr Matt Baron to the Science Department this week and very, very soon Mr & Mrs Ellarby hope to welcome a new addition to their family. More on that next week perhaps! Finally, it was lovely watching the children enjoying ice-creams this afternoon in the remaining Autumn sunshine. Enjoy the weekend.
GCSE Art Trip to Hannah Peschar
Over the last few months, many of us have re-established our connection with the natural beauty we are lucky to have on our doorstep. It has provided a peaceful, contemplative place in an uncertain and confusing world. The Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden in Ockley builds on the existing natural beauty of the Surrey Hills. It is a sympathetically landscaped gem; a wild garden that forms an oasis of architectural planting, studded with fabulously curated contemporary sculpture.
This week, the Year 10 GCSE Art group used this magical space as a starting point for their themed project on 'Organic Forms'. The day was spent drawing in the unseasonable sunshine. Students were encouraged to react to the space individually, making their own choices of media and technique in response to the shapes and forms, natural and manmade, that presented themselves. The variety and individuality of student's responses reflected the diversity of visual forms in the Gardens. Nature provided specimens as diverse as 10 foot 'Dinosaur Rhubarb' plants with unfeasibly big leaves, to delicate fungi and lichen. Local artists brought figurative and abstract sculptures into the space; some harmonising with the natural forms, while others contrasted the soft greens of the garden with architectural, neon structures. Students pulled charcoals, watercolours, fine-liners and soft pencils out of their pockets for a feast of experimentation and mark making. They filled their sketchbook pages with the techniques and skills they have developed in the Art Studio over the last few years, from crosshatching and watercolour washes to experimental frottage drawing and mixed media explorations.
If you would like to know more about the Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden please follow this link http://www.hannahpescharsculpture.com/. They are a local enterprise that is well worth supporting.
The pupils have done extremely well in our adjusted environment since we have all returned to school, however, we are finding that a number of Prep and Senior School students are still struggling to follow the social distancing guidelines we have given them at school, particularly at break times.
It is so important to us that Prep and Senior school children make efforts to socially distance from each other and staff AT ALL TIMES where possible at school. They must try to adhere to the NO TOUCH rule, which means no holding hands, hugging, wrestling, piggy-backs, back-patting at break time. The staff and I would really appreciate it if you would reinforce this message at home.
Please can I kindly ask you all to speak with your children this weekend, and remind them that the school remaining open during the coming winter months relies heavily on them doing their utmost to follow the simple rules they have been given. Thank you.
It has been amazing to have pupils taking part in PE lessons since the start of term. The enthusiasm, determination and enjoyment that has been witnessed is wonderful to see. Having pupils arrive in their PE kits on busy days has not only helped avoid overcrowding in the changing rooms but also enabled the pupils to have more time on the sports fields.
The PE team and all of the staff that help with PE lessons have worked very hard to ensure all protocols are being met and we are strictly using the guidelines set out by the government and the national governing bodies of the sports that we are currently teaching.
Unfortunately, we are not, at this time, able to offer matches against other schools; this is a decision Duke of Kent School and all of the other schools we play have taking to reduce any potential risks. The ISA competitions are currently on hold and we have just had notification that there will be no regional of national events until January at the earliest. With less matches we have had extra time to offer more options to the pupils and greater time to develop individual skills and improve the fitness levels of the students. We very much look forward to the moment where we are able to travel to and host fixtures and have the great support of the Duke of Kent School parents on the touchlines once again.
Pre-prep Stars of The Week
Nursery - Archie H for showing kindness towards his friends and persistence and independence when putting on shoes and wellies.
Reception - Bodhi G for thoughtful, quick and accurate problem solving with patterns.
Year 1 - Mila-Rose S for following all of the school’s values in particular her effort, respect and kindness.
Year 2 - Evie B for having a positive attitude towards her learning and for being a kind and caring friend to the younger children in the department.
Pre School News
What a wonderfully sunny week, finished off with hordes of happy faces covered in ice cream; thank you, Mrs Knox! I was delighted to award our very first Values Certificate of the term on Wednesday to Grace M in Year 4. Mrs Nicholson had been hugely impressed with how she had tackled some challenging work in her Maths, showing resilience and determination - well done, Grace! We also had a chance to meet our new School Head Girl and Boy, and their deputies in Assembly. It was lovely to welcome Milly B, Oscar B, Martha McA and Fynn W back to the Prep Library, especially as it doesn’t seem so long ago that all four of them were, themselves, Prep pupils, looking up admiringly at Senior Prefects! Next week, we will be announcing more positions of responsibility, namely School Council representatives and the Year 6 House Captains. Until then, have a great weekend.
Senior School Reading Lists
It's a new school year and another chance to get yourself stuck in with an exciting new read! Remember that we would like all pupils to have a reading book with them everyday. Please stop by the English department if you would like some suggestions of what to read or please take a look at the year group reading lists on the link below.
As we are settling into the term, I am delighted with how the pupils have adapted to the new ways we are having to teach music and drama in the school. A full programme of lessons is now running, and it is heart-warming that so many pupils have jumped straight back into instrumental and LAMDA lessons.
Our choir of 60 has split into four choirs of 15, following Government guidelines, and each choir is learning a different song in preparation for Christmas. Whether our Carol Service will be virtual, live or pre-recorded will be clearer nearer the time, but rest assured there will be one!
Our Prep Christmas Concert will also still take place although again this may be in a new format. Perhaps a live-streamed remote concert, after the success of last term's Summer Concert, or perhaps even a live concert broadcast straight into your homes!
Eleven Year 11 pupils have begun rehearsing for our Senior production of 'Little Shop of Horrors. Sadly a massively reduced cast, for obvious reasons, but they are already working hard and sounding fab. Watch this space!
And finally our Pre-prep pupils are learning the songs for their Fizzy Christmas show. It promises to be wacky and wonderful and full of the usual Fizzy joy!
Are they sharing their location through apps?
Make sure their geo-location is disabled to keep their whereabouts private.
Explain why it is important why they never share personal information with people they don't know online.
We are looking forward to having our first Virtual Open Morning of the Autumn Term today. We have more dates available, so to register and see all that Duke of Kent School can offer, visit our website for more information #SurreySchools #CoEducation https://t.co/CdA0kiUf64https://t.co/Trlulx6ulc
In year 8 English, as part of their gothic literature topic, the pupils visited the Bell Tower with Miss Anand and Mrs Punter to learn about how Duke of Kent School is a Gothic setting in itself ♂ #English #Literature #GothicLiterature #BellTower #SpotTheGargoyle https://t.co/8bof9J2W9O