As we reach the end of this half term, I made my way round the school seeing what everyone is up to today and was filled with joy to see Pre-prep pupils making some lovely heart shaped cookies for Valentine's Day this Sunday. It's these small moments that I get to see and enjoy on a daily basis that make me feel lucky to be part of this Duke of Kent School community.
I want to thank you all so much for the wonderful support you have given to us as a School and to your children. Each and every one of them is to be applauded for the determination and effort they have shown these past six weeks. They are a real credit to you and to the School. I wish you a happy break and am hopeful that our return will be accompanied by news of an imminent return to School.
Senior School Updates
With Half Term now upon us it is important to reflect on this remote learning period and acknowledge the hard work and application that has been so prevalent in the households of our students. The extra challenges of working from home can be an intense source of frustration but the mature way such challenges have been dealt with is a huge credit to them as we all strive for a positive outcome. Fingers crossed we are very much on the home straight now and I for one cannot wait to see our students back in school as soon as it is safe to do so.
Commendations this week go to Rose S, Rufus B, Annabelle R, Ella S and Bobby F for their fabulous work in Spanish, learning and performing a tongue twister and following a Spanish recipe in the kitchen. Also in Year 8, Kai G is receiving two commendations this week, one for his outstanding composition in Music and his second for his poem The Hoodie in English, for which Bobby F also received a commendation. In Year 7 Moxon K, Fraser R and Daisy R receive commendations for their ongoing efforts in Science, Niamh A for her outstanding work regarding why people choose to live near volcanoes in Geography, Zac W and Moxon K (again!) for their ongoing efforts in English. Tom S, in Year 11, our DofE Ambassador, is also commended for making a hugely helpful and informative short film about how to use the DofE App. Well done to all of you! It is great to hear of such wonderful work being produced.
I wish you all a restful and happy half-term.
Prep and Pre-prep School Updates
Some members of Pre-prep and Prep were lucky enough to have some very special visitors online this week. Year 4 took part in an Ancient Egypt workshop hosted by Leeds City museum on Tuesday morning, and Year 2 enjoyed a workshop with author Jonny Duddle. Our sincerest thanks to Mr Faulkes who donated his prize of the session with Jonny Duddle to the school!
The unity and team spirit of Year 2, as they appeared on their Form Meet wearing matching 'Home School DoK Class of 2021' t-shirts, nearly brought Miss Able to tears. What a wonderful surprise, well done Year 2! Nursery have enjoyed ordering life-sized penguins; their 'penguin waddle' along the corridor to begin their activity was certainly one of the highlights of my week! Year 3 have also been thinking about creatures and their habitats, learning about deforestation and what they can do to help protect the rainforest.
Year 5 showed excellent enthusiasm and focus during Science, working collaboratively to discover information about different machines and how they can make our everyday lives easier. Year 4 culminated their Science topic on Sound by making their own musical instruments, finding ways to vary both pitch and volume.
Mr Seeley announced the winners of the Year 6 Castle Building competition in Wednesday morning's Prep School Assembly. A reminder of the results:
In joint 1st place: Willam M and Eva P-R
In 3rd place: Chester S with a very innovative computer version made using Minecraft.
Honourable Mentions: Heath P, Tom S, Jack M and Rose S.
I hope you all enjoyed creating your castles as much as Mr Seeley enjoyed using his green screen to display them in our assembly!
Pen Pal Wanted: There are two French children, a girl (8) and a boy (10), known to Madame Fellous, who are seeking an English pen pal. If your child would be interested in having a French pen pal please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Madame Fellous will provide help with writing letters and such.
Effort - Chester S, William M, Sam R, Charlie L, Eva P-R, Eddie P, Patrick W, John B, Ben Wr and Ben Wi.
Responsibility - Freddie P, Charlie C, Levi L
Kindness - Rose S
Respect - Edie H
Stars of the Week
Nursery - Joshua B for application in maths activities and his positive and cheerful attitude.
Reception - Finn H for consistent effort and fantastic work in maths throughout Remote Learning this half term.
Florence H for superb Topic work on 'Shopkeepers', your effort was amazing!
Year 1 - Norah C for extra hard work in maths.
Year 2 - Simon and Oscar F for having a remarkably positive attitude towards every aspect of Home Learning and for completing an abundance of work each day.
Well done everyone! You have ploughed an incredible amount of effort into this half term. Enjoy a well-earned rest over this next week!
Coming Up After Half Term
Monday 22nd February
Half Term finishes
Tuesday 23rd February
House General Knowledge Quiz
Senior School Council 8:35am
Wednesday 24th February
Entries to the House Craft Competition in today.
Thursday 25th February
Pre-prep Virtual Parents Evenings
3:30 - 6:00pm
Friday 26th February
House Dance Competition closes.
Attach all videos to the House Dance Assignment on Google Drive.
Duke of Kent School does Potter!
We are excited to announce today the launch of a new school creative idea, similar to last summer's Three Little Birds project, but this term focused on the film 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'.
Involving Years 3 - 11 this will see the pupils recreating classic scenes from the film at home using whatever they can get their hands on as props, scenery, costumes and special effects! It is being run through forms and all the information has gone to the children today in form time and via Mr Rye's assembly. All the clips will then be edited together into a final film.
If you want a laugh then do watch the staff version below, which some of them made earlier in the week as 'inspiration'. It will also give you an idea of what we are trying to achieve. It would be a perfect half-term activity!
On Tuesday, Year 4 went on a school trip - all the way to Leeds City Museum! Our talk was delivered by Natalie, who gave us a tour round the Ancient Worlds Gallery, where we particularly focused our attention on the final resting place of Nesyamun, a 3000 year old mummy. We then looked more closely at specific features: he had no nose, but the fact that his tongue was sticking out was a sign that perhaps he had died from an allergic reaction, maybe from an insect bite; his teeth were in relatively good condition which suggested he had lived on a diet that was largely plant-based and low in sugar; he had been discovered with a small leather ornament, with 'Rameses the eleventh' written on it. This indicates the time in which he would have lived. In fact, he is the only known mummy to hail from the 20th Dynasty. We also looked at sarcophagus, which was beautifully decorated with hieroglyphs, and discussed why it might have had two lids. The children made excellent suggestions such as 'to protect the mummy from grave robbers' and 'to protect it from wild animals'.
After our tour of the museum, we were talked through the process of mummification, using props that we had already gathered. While a doll was used to show the process at the museum, we replicated the different stages at home by hooking out slimy strands of cooked spaghetti through a hole in a bag to represent removing the brain through the nostril. Then we put our hands into bags to remove the other 'organs' (squelchy wet sponges and flannels). We had also brought along spices such as cinnamon and cumin to get a sense of what the mummies might have smelt like, once they had been carefully preserved in natron and perfumed with incense.
It was a fantastic insight into the life of an individual and we came away feeling we had made rather a connection with Nesyamun. 4N were wonderful ambassadors of the school - inquisitive, polite and fantastic historical detectives!
Year 2 Meet Jonny Duddle
On Friday, Year 2 were gifted with the amazing opportunity to participate in a one hour Zoom call with the brilliant children's author and illustrator, Jonny Duddle. Jonny spoke to us from his very own home studio in Wales! He read one of his amazing books, Gigantosaurus, to us and we all giggled in delight as Jonny brought the book to life with his enthusiastic reading. He then showed us his top-secret sketch book and explained to us the importance of persevering when it comes to drawing; he told us he wasn't a very good drawer in primary school but, with thanks to lots of effort and practice sessions, he managed to achieve his dream of becoming an illustrator.
Jonny taught us how to draw an impressive T-rex dinosaur as well as a mischievous pirate 'Dobby'. We followed along, step by step, and were blown away with the sketches we managed to produce! We finished the session by asking Jonny lots of questions about his sketches and books. I have a sneaky feeling a few Year 2 children might follow in Mr Duddle's footsteps and become brilliant illustrators! A wonderful experience today - thank you so much, Jonny Duddle!
"Like you said, I've got to keep on going and try again until I like my sketch" Rufus S-C
"I love my T-rex drawing!" Eva W
The days are beginning to get longer....spring (believe it or not) is just around the corner. It's that fabulous time of year when we announce the launch of our annual Duke of Kent School Photographer of the Year competition. This year's competition has been set by our Artist in Residence (and ex-pupil) Gemma Brunton. Gemma is based in Sailsbury and has recently completed a photographic investigation into the positive side of childhood in lock-down. Gemma has sent us a really instructive video, filled with tips and ideas, to kick the competition off with. It contains this year's theme so make sure you watch it before you start shooting.
You can use anything from a top end SLR to a cracked smart phone to capture your images, and feel free to use image editing software if you would like. The competition will run from now until the half term holiday after Easter. Just keep uploading your best photos to the Photography Competition google classroom as you take them, ready for Gemma to judge.
Parents have been emailed a fantastic video from Tom S (Year 11), one of Duke of Kent School's DofE Ambassadors, explains the advantages of logging onto the DofE App on your phone rather than on another device. Make sure you give it a watch!
Now for anybody wondering what to do for their Physical activity might consider the BBC Sports 'Couch to 5Km' App (Apple and Android). This is a very popular way of getting fitter by walking/running very steadily and gradually improving each week.
This smartphone app will get you confidently running 5k in just nine weeks. Add another 3 weeks topping up and that's your Physical done!
Perhaps do this with a friend or family member? You could be inspired by Laura (a mum!), who got back into running during lockdown. She is one of five virtual coaches you can choose from who will guide you through the nine weeks with tips, hints and motivational advice. Laura joins comedian Sarah Millican, Radio DJ Jo Whiley, 13-time Olympic and World Championship gold medallist Michael Johnson and comedian and actor Sanjeev Kohli in the app.
This week we launched a House Crafts Competition which the Prep and Senior pupils can get stuck into during their half-term break. They have until 24th February to submit their homemade masterpieces for judging. All of the necessary information can be found on the House Classrooms or you can use this link to access the Google Doc:
An updated version of the Leaderboards was posted in each of the House Classrooms this afternoon and the following link will allow you to look through them if you wish to (House Leaderboard- End of Spring 1). This copy also includes the overall results from the MFL Idiom competition and shows how each House has improved over the last week.
Congratulations to Tansy-Bela T and William T, who won the Prep MFL Idiom Competition, as well as Violetta P and Chester B who won the Senior competition (see below).
We very much enjoyed looking through the impressive attempts that were submitted for the Picture Recreation competition. It was certainly a challenge to pick two winning entries! However, a decision was made.
Congratulations to Violetta and Auberon P who submitted incredible recreations from the Eddie the Eagle film and Mary Poppins. Overall, Whittle won the competition, with Chichester close behind them in second place.
As we approach the Half Term, my hope is that pupils, parents and staff are able to take a break from remote learning and enjoy a well-deserved rest. The importance of rest and sleep in particular, is well documented, yet it is something we never really consider until it becomes a problem. This week I want to focus on the importance of sleep and some tips for those struggling.
For those who already suffered with sleep issues, the pandemic and the impacts of lockdown may have further exacerbated these. Those who don’t usually suffer from sleep disturbance, may have found they have begun to experience sleep problems. The added stress and anxiety during the uncertainty of changing lockdown rules has added to a difficulty in sleeping, as has the change in normal routine and a disruption of usual circadian rhythms. Increased screen time affecting light level exposure and social isolation can also affect our sleep patterns. In turn, poor sleep can then be detrimental to our ability to cope with daily life and our ability to maintain our mental health; it becomes a vicious circle. Thinking clearly and managing our own emotions is more difficult when we are tired.
Ensuring we do everything we can to allow for good sleep is really important to protecting our mental health. The following tips may aid better sleep.
Avoiding eating, caffeine and exposure to screens at least 30 minutes before going to bed
Getting regular exercise and fresh air during the day
Sleep environment should be cool, dark, quiet and comfortable
Pre-bedtime routines - mindfulness, breathing, warm drink, bath, reading etc.
Managing worries/anxieties by talking about them in the day, or writing down in a journal to deal with in waking hours
Making sure your family gets the right amount of sleep is crucial to healthier offline lives. Remove the temptation and improve their sleep quality (and perhaps your own) by ensuring phones and other devices are charging outside the bedroom at night.
Performing Arts News
We have had a flurry of last minute entries, which was wonderful, and I am delighted to announce the following people are through to the next round of House Music. Congratulations to them - the deadline for the next round is Wednesday 24th February.
Beginners: John B – bass and vox
Intermediate: Oliver Y - piano, Calum M - sax, Esme P - vox, Abi W - vox, Violetta P – vox.
Advanced: Ellis M - vox, Martha McA – vox.
Group: Tom and Pippa S, Abi W and Ava W
Beginners: Eddie C - horn, Poppy F - vox, Chester S - clarinet, Tiago W - drums
Intermediate: Frankie M - vox, Maggie B -cello, Ben H-F- clarinet, Jess I – vox. Lucy P – guitar and vox
Advanced: Alfie C - cello, Maddie I – piano and vox, Emma M - vox, Zara H – vox , Sandy T - vox,
Group: Daisy N and Maggie B, Zara and Alannah H, Maddie and Jess I, Ella S and Rose S
Composition: Jess I, Maddie I
Beginners: Freddie P - vox
Intermediate: Jas K – piano, Lucy P - vox , Iris R- guitar and vox, Scarlett R -piano
Advanced: Kora W - piano and vox, Kiki B – vox , Henry W - vox
Group: Abi W and Ava W
Composition: Lucy P
Beginners: Ben W – piano, Pat W – piano, Thibaut J - vox
Intermediate: James B – piano and vox, Quentin J – vox , Johnny Mc – clarinet, Bobby F – guitar , Tom H - guitars
Advanced: Amelie W-B - vox, Harley B - guitars, Milly B – vox, Freddie B - clarinet
Group: Rose S, Oscar and Harley B
The latest member of Barry's Band that we get to meet this week is Duke the Uke - the poshest and hippest ukulele player in town! He raps and bops and strums like a pro...check him out below!
This week, Covid-19 infection rates locally have continued to fall, (we have had no further positive cases amongst our school community to my knowledge), and the vaccine roll-out has continued in full flow. Any of your relatives in England aged 70+ who have not yet been invited for a Covid-19 vaccine, are now encouraged to contact the NHS or their GP to make an appointment to have their first vaccination.
Despite all the progress being made, we do of course remain in lockdown, with "stay at home, protect the NHS, and save lives" still being the main message from the government (even for those who have been fortunate to have had their first vaccination). Therefore, we are going to all have to think of innovative, but safe ways to entertain ourselves during the break, that do not threaten to undo all of our hard work. With this in mind, please follow the link below to some advice from Public Health England on how to stay safe this half term.
Please join the PADOK Book Club and read this term’s PADOK Book Club choice, “The Midnight Library" by Matt Haig. We look forward to getting together again for a glass of wine over a Zoom catch up on Thursday 18th March at 8pm.
Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices . . . Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?”
A dazzling novel about all the choices that go into a life well lived. Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?
The PADoK Team
School Social Media
At Duke of Kent School we have two social media platforms, Twitter (@DoKSchool) and Instagram (dukeofkentschool).
Our Twitter account is public however, our Instagram account is private to keep it strictly for the Duke of Kent School community only. You will need to request to follow the account.
Please do follow the accounts to receive the regular updates and to see highlights from each day at School. There is a link to the Twitter account below.
Today we launched a combined Prep and Senior creative initiative. We are attempting to recreate Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, form by form! Check out Mr Rye's assembly for all the info. And do watch our staff version of the Sorting Hat scene! #Potter #TheDoKWay https://t.co/iJlVPrfyl1