A fantastic end to Remote Learning this week as we celebrated a brilliant virtual World Book Day and our House Music finals this afternoon. Well done to Armstrong and some superb performances. Congratulations to all performers - such incredibly talented pupils!
We are fully prepared for the pupils’ return from Monday and are really look forward to welcoming them back to School. For our Senior pupils, do refer back to the emails this week regarding the testing upon arrival. Some changes to note regarding calendar dates - the last day of term will be a full day ending at usual times and the first day back for the Summer term will be Monday 19th April, one day earlier than previously listed.
I am sure there will some butterflies in tummies over the weekend, but please reassure the children that all will be OK. Enjoy the weekend and see you next week!
Coming Up Next Week
Monday 8th March
Return to School Prep and Pre-prep. Years 11 and 7.
House Wellbeing challenge commences.
Tuesday 9th March
Return to School Years 10, 9 and 8.
Wednesday 10th March
PADoK Uniform Swap Shop Open 3 - 4pm.
Virtual World Book Day
Yesterday was a Duke of Kent School first - a Virtual World Book Day event! The English Department pulled out all the stops to ensure that the pupils and staff did not miss out on their usual World Book Day festivities. All the pupils, staff and parents were invited to dress up as characters from their favourite books so that we could share a love of books across our community - even if we weren’t all together in the school building!
The Pre-prep staff dressed up as Mr Men and Little Miss characters! The Pre-prep did an amazing job of organising fun-filled activities including an adventurous scavenger hunt and challenges such as ‘Guess the book?’. In the Prep and Senior School, there was a virtual costume parade in form time followed by the virtual House competition ‘The Masked Reader’ hosted by Mr Southee.
In their live lessons, the Senior and Prep pupils had the opportunity to engage with a range of book-related activities, carefully devised by their subject teachers. Throughout the day, the pupils and staff had the chance to take part in competitions such as ‘The Best Costume’ and Miss Vernon posted literature-based challenges on social media such as ‘The Emoji Code’ where the pupils had to guess the book title from the emojis using their decoding skills. We are delighted to announce that the winners of this competition were: Esme P, Harry D, Tilly C, Chester B and...Miss Francis! Well done to everyone who participated - the winners of ‘The Masked Reader’ competition and the ‘Best Costume’ for pupils and staff will be revealed over the next few weeks so watch this space!
Overall, the day was a huge success, and we hope it has provided the pupils with a fresh sense of energy and enthusiasm as we look forward to welcoming them back to School next week. Whole School events cannot happen without the support of all our staff, parents and pupils so many thanks to every single person in our community who supported us with the delivery of World Book Day 2021 - the English Department is so grateful! Please continue forward any pictures of your day to Miss Vernon or Miss Anand - see you next week!
Here is the weekly update of our "Travel to Tokyo" challenge.
Since we launched the challenge last week, we have already made it to France, Greece, the USA, Brazil. Australia and now China!
We are aiming to reach Toyko in time for the rescheduled 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games this Summer so the challenge will continue when we are back at school.
Keep going team, we are doing brilliantly so far!
Remeber to keep an eye on our social media platforms for updates.
Senior School Updates
With new rules and regulations guiding our return to school it is hard not to approach next week with a little trepidation but nonetheless I am certain that pupils will quickly adapt to the demands and we will safely get back to the buzzing, vibrant school we all long for. Remote Learning has had a huge impact on all concerned but to continually experience such positivity and endeavour in the classroom, even six weeks into the process, really is a huge credit to you and to them for managing the situation so successfully. Fingers crossed we will not have to experience anything similar anytime soon.
Commendations this week go to Frankie M in Year 8 for her outstanding ongoing effort in Geography and for Isaac P in Year 7 for his excellent History presentation completed during the half-term break. These will be issued next week upon our return.
Prep and Pre-prep School Updates
As our final week of Remote Learning draws to a close, here are some of the highlights from Prep and Pre-prep.
Year 2 have continued their learning about interesting countries by finding out about Italy. They've learnt how to say good morning, good evening and have spent time considering an Italian menu, with some children opting to cook some Italian cuisine!
As part of their Topic, People Who Help Us, Reception and Year 1 pupils have participated in various activities surrounding postal workers. Reception pupils have also been learning how to tell the time, so they definitely won't be late for lunch next week!
Year 1 turned their attention to churning and made butter in Science! Pupils enjoyed watching the different stages of the process before eating their final product! Keyworker children enjoyed the outcome of their efforts on a hot cross bun, whilst others at home smothered it on bread and Norah C made scones to appreciate her butter on, a truly homemade snack! Similarly, Year 6 were investigating reversible and irreversible changes in their Science lessons, applying heat and cold to many edible substances such as cheese, butter, marshmallows, jelly, and eggs. Some truly delectable discoveries taking place!
In Wednesday morning's assembly, Prep School pupils were given a sneaky peek into their teacher's home spaces, meeting various pets, babies and viewing Mrs Lock's beautiful spring bulbs. Accompanying the Pre-prep Star of the Week Assembly today was the Pre-prep talent show, and what a talented bunch you are!
Next week, in the Prep School, we will be celebrating Pi Day on... We will be holding a weeklong Times Tables Rock Stars house challenge, so get as much practice in as possible to build up your score. There will also be a prize for the pupil who can learn the most digits of Pi by Friday morning. I believe the current record stands at 50 digits, I look forward to seeing if we can beat it!
Effort - Felix C
Responsibility - Thibaut J
Stars of the Week
Nursery - Joshua B for improved focus and care with craft and tool activities.
Reception - Ottilie H for amazing remote learning and great spelling in your daily calendar entries.
Ivy H for fantastic remote learning and super reading in our group sessions.
Year 1 - Henry H for brilliant reading and beautiful handwriting.
Year 2 - Eva W for fantastic independence at Key Worker school and for always tackling tasks with positivity.
Last week the Prep and Senior pupils had the chance to test their knowledge by taking part in the House General Knowledge Quizzes. All of the 58 pupils who took part earned 3 House points and their marks went towards the grand totals to decide which Houses won overall. Well done to Chichester who won the Prep and Senior quizzes! However, the results were very close between second and third place in both quizzes. You can use this link (House Leaderboard- 5th March) to see the most up-to-date results and positions, which include all of the rewards earned so far this term and the results from House Music.
Mrs Douglas and Miss Anand have been hard at work creating a House Wellbeing Challenge for the students to attempt when they return next week. More information will be posted on the House Classrooms when the competition begins.
Whittle are still in pole position but Hillary is sneaking up on them to regain the lead. A strong two weeks for Armstrong and Chichester has seen the battle for third becoming even closer!
Duke of Kent School Facebook
The Duke of Kent School Facebook has now launched. It is a public account which is accessible without having to follow however, we encourage you to like and follow the account to receive push notifications with news, updates, educational articles, interactions with other schools, communities and public figures. The content shared is more formal and focused on showcasing the educational strengths within the school. The Facebook handle is Duke of Kent School, please click the link below to visit the page directly.
In recognition of World Book Day this week, I thought I would focus on the words of this year’s reading manifesto: Knowledge, Choice, Power, Growth.
To me, they resonate the incredible gifts that reading can give us and they also apply to ways we can view our own mental health.
My own career to this point has focused on Literature and the joy of reading. I have found reading an incredible source of comfort, escape and occupation throughout all three lockdowns. I wanted to combine my love of literature with my passion for improving mental wellbeing. The World Book Day 2021 manifesto words link beautifully to conditions for good mental health.
Knowledge - In books, we can read of others’ lives, hopes, dreams, adventures and feelings, it is vital, however, that we don’t remain a closed book to ourselves. Knowing what is important to us; our own values, beliefs, behaviours and emotions is an important step to acknowledging patterns we want to change.
Choice - We cannot control everything or everyone but we do have opportunity to make choices about the way we behave and react. We can choose to accept others’ criticism or not. We can choose to do what we feel is right rather than what we feel we should. We can choose whether we change or not.
Power - Only we have the power to make changes to the things that are damaging to ourselves. Once we have knowledge and recognise we have choice, we are empowered to be who we want to be. Voicing what our needs are, gives us the power to have them met.
Growth - We are constantly changing and growing, striving to become the best that we can be. As a plant needs water and light to grow, so we need to reflect and learn in order for personal growth to happen. Knowledge gives us power and choice to keep growing.
Mrs Douglas, Wellbeing Coordinator
Are YOU smartphone secure?
PRIVACY CHECK: Are you keeping things private? Social media privacy policies and settings change regularly, so check them every term!
LOCATION CHECK: Have you turned off location sharing functions? Only leave location related services on when you need them, and only for those who need them. Otherwise, turn off!
BLOCKING CHECK: Do you know how to spot trolls and effectively block them? People won’t be told you’ve blocked them, so don’t worry about making someone feel bad or angry.
REPORTING CHECK: Do you know how to take appropriate action? Tell the platform you’re using or an adult you trust if something is upsetting you online.
Performing Arts News
House Music 2021
Today was House Music Finals day with the winners being announced in an assembly this morning by guest judge Pete Honoré.
Pete was blown away by the talent and creativity on display from our pupils, and he found it incredibly hard to choose winners. But, as he said, there have to be winners in a competition, so choose some he did. The full list of winners is below.
Our GCSE Music pupils then had a virtual Q&A with him after lunch, during which he discussed his career as a top session guitarist and how he subsequently became one of the biggest music influencers on the internet! Finally, all the finalists had a chance to ask him questions later in the afternoon in a live-streamed Q&A, during which a couple of the videos were played and Pete was on top form! The livestream can be seen here:
Massive congratulations to all those who took part, from Round 1 through to today - it has been a great example of how our brilliant pupils can still engage and participate even when they are stuck at home!
Compositions Seniors - Maddie I
Compositions Prep - Lucy Ph
Ensembles Advanced - Oscar and Harley B
Ensembles Intermediate - Maggie B and Daisy N
Ensembles Beginners - Tom and Pippa S
Soloists Advanced - Martha M
Soloists Intermediate - Lucy Pa
Soloists Beginners - Freddie P
Special Multi-track Multi-cam editing award - Harley B
Danish Pete's Instrumentalist Award - Henry W
Watch This Space
Watch out for news on our Spring Concert. Usually just a Pre-prep affair but this year we have extended it to the whole school. Pop 6pm on 25th March in your diary - more info to follow.
Also, keep an eye out for information on a combined schools charity single - to be released before the end of term - more info to follow!
A Message from the Medical Room
Last Sunday, the Government announced that household members who live with school-aged children can now access twice-weekly lateral flow device (asymptomatic) coronavirus testing. This can either be booked at your local testing centre, or you can collect home test kits from the test centre, or there is a limited supply that can be posted out to you....see the links below. (Please be aware that the school does not have any kits available for household members). I would encourage as many parents/household members as possible to take up this offer, as on top of pupil and staff testing, this gives us an extra layer of reassurance that we are doing everything possible to keep Covid-19 away from Duke of Kent School. (Please be aware that Pre-Prep and Prep School children are still not required to take part in asymptomatic testing).
Meanwhile, the testing clinic in Ness Hall is all set to welcome the senior school children from Monday morning. The testing team had a successful "dry run" this week, testing some staff on site, and we are confident that we are ready to assist your children with the testing process. Unsurprisingly, we've heard form a number of you that your children are quite nervous about the testing. This is entirely understandable, and I'm sure a lot of the children are feeling the same way, but please be assured, that in true Duke of Kent School style, we will meet this challenge with professionalism and above all with kindness.
Latest update from our School uniform provider Stevenson's:
Second Hand Uniform Shop
Opening times next week:
Wednesday 10th March - 3pm - 4pm
Wednesday 17th March - 3pm - 4pm.
Please note the following - this is due to the ongoing Covid restrictions.
We ask that you wear a face mask while in the shop.
We will only be able to have one person in the shop at a time.
Have an idea of your child's size as there will not be the option to try on clothing.
If the size is wrong then it can be returned.
Please be patient. The ladies will work as quickly as possible to help with your uniform requirements.
Please put any uniform donations in the box outside the shop.
PADoK Book Club
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 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.
The test centre is ready to welcome Year 7 and Year 11 pupils on Monday morning for their Lateral Flow Testing. Thank you to staff, parents and pupils for all of their cooperation with this. This is the first step to having a full School community again, we can't wait #TheDoKWay https://t.co/hcrDyvrNFZ