This has been a truly magical week. The silent corridors have simply burst back into life. Laughter, chatter, music and joy fill the school. It is so good to have the pupils back! There is a real sense of normality as the pupils respond without fuss to our new ways of working. They and their teachers are to be commended most highly.
Our Pi assembly this morning was super as we "virtually" came together to celebrate this important mathematical concept. Huge congratulations to the pupils who entered the competition and, in particular, to Saoirse W in Year 7 who recited it to a phenomenal 108 places in front of the whole school. Bravo!
Happy Mother's Day to all the special Mums on Sunday.
Coming Up Next Week
Wednesday 17th March
PADoK Second Hand Uniform shop is open from 3 - 4pm
Friday 19th March
Comic Relief Assembly
Social Media - Reminder for Students
Please could all parents remind their children not to send friend requests to members of staff on social media. This puts staff in a very awkward position. Students have been reminded of this and how it contravenes the IT Acceptable Use Policy they signed at the start of the year.
Duke of Edinburgh Updates
It is my pleasure to announce another two Year 11 DofE pupils have completed their Bronze Awards by completing their Volunteering, Physical, Skill and Expedition sections and can wear their badges with pride!
Johnny H has proved to be an able cricketer, drummer, tent manager and explorer! According to his coach at the ‘Pride of Lions’ club Johnny significantly improved his batting footwork and the accuracy of his bowling. This was testament to his ‘hard work and concentration’ which was also evident at DofE Club where he was one of the most proactive members in assisting Mr Lodge and Mr Wyllie by cleaning and storing tents and cookers. On his expeditions Johnny ‘worked brilliantly as part of a group and really shone through as a team player’. Johnny also worked on improving his drumming. According to Mr Rye ‘Johnny is now able to play along with a piece of music, either in a band or on his own, with a solid sense of timekeeping and pulse. His stick technique has improved, along with his rhythm sense, and he is a solid drummer'.
Henry W also achieved this Award by a wide variety of activities, with communication being an on-running theme, whether fielding telephone enquiries, finding his way on the ground or via music! He managed the diary of a local charity company who described his as 'a reliable and cheerful member of our Saturday Team' while his hill running improved not only individually but in terms of helping others.Mr Rye noted 'Henry's commitment to the music department in general is first class and he is to be commended for all his efforts'. He was a wonderfully committed and a valuable member of the Senior Chamber Choir. 'His bass singing has improved and his skills in harmony, recall and tonal control have developed brilliantly and he is able to hold a harmony line in a 4 part harmony piece'.
I look forward to handing out more badges very soon!
Senior School Updates
It has been wonderful to have the opportunity to welcome the Senior School pupils back into the classroom this week and their conduct, both throughout the testing process and when back in school, has been magnificent. It speaks volumes about their character and resilience that they can embrace such changes with apparent ease and we are truly grateful for the way they have reacted to the new expectations upon them.
Within the classroom there have been many successes, not least the magnificent application shown in the Senior School Art Club during their 'draw off' on Wednesday lunchtime (pictures attached). Within the History classroom Year 7 took on the roles of advisors to the new Queen, Elizabeth I, in 1558. They had to use all their expertise to advise the 25-year-old Elizabeth on how to solve the religious, economic and political problems that she faced when she took the throne, with success being rewarded with honour and titles, whilst failure ran the risk of losing their heads! In Geography pupils reacted to the reports of the erupting volcano on Montserrat island and strategically worked in real-time to safeguard the people of the small Caribbean nation as the forthcoming disaster grew ever more real.
As we celebrate Pi Day today we also crown a new Senior School champion of Pi in the form of Saoirse W (year 7) who managed to recite an incredible 108 digits of Pi! The fact she was in front of the full (virtual) school makes her achievement even more impressive - well done Saoirse!
Prep and Pre-prep School Updates
In the paraphrased words of Julie Andrews, the Schooool is aliiiiiive with the Sound of Chiiiiildren! And how wonderful it has been to welcome them all back this week. For their part, the pupils seem delighted to be here; almost as if they've never been away! For some classes, there's been time spent reflecting on what they achieved during Remote Learning, with the Year 6s receiving an expert tutorial on paper-plane making from William M, whose Endeavour project earned him a Sapphire badge. Jamie C and Tom S will have the chance to share their own 'Sapphire' projects - on survival skills and cooking respectively - next week. Year 2 have been reflecting on what makes each of them uniquely special, creating 'positivity jars' into which they can dip any time they feel they would like to. Year 5, meanwhile, have also been excited to start 'Goodnight Mr Tom', further exploring their knowledge of WWII in English lessons through the lens of this exciting and poignant story. The theme for this week's Assembly was 'Inclusivity', and we discussed the importance of showing kindness by reaching out to others and involving them in games at breaktimes.
Effort - Henry R
Stars of the Week
Nursery - Archie H for displaying good focus and improved skills during craft activities, in particular his lovely firefighter drawing.
Reception - Angus D for a super positive attitude in his work.
Obie M for focus and improvement in her letter formation.
Year 1 - Douglas S for his outstanding improvement in reading throughout lockdown.
Elizabeth S for for her fantastic improvement in Maths throughout lockdown.
Year 2 - Eliza R for coming into school every day this week with a beautiful smile and a bucketful of positive energy!
The Prep and Senior students are halfway through the House Wellbeing Competition. They have a selection of activities that promote mindfulness, which can be attempted at school or at home. Everyone that enters will earn points for each activity that they complete. More information can be found on the assignment posted in the House Classrooms.
The race to be the House of the Year is the closest it has been for some time! As the Spring Term comes to a close, Chichester have been making excellent progress in closing the distance to 3rd place. Armstrong have a clear lead with the number of Commendations and Whittle have collected the most Values Awards (both are worth 15 House points each). Hillary have earned the most stars this week by a notable distance. You use this link (Leaderboard- 12th March ) to view the leaderboard for this week to see a more detailed breakdown.
It has been wonderful to welcome pupils back into school and I have relished the opportunity to have many face to face social interactions with pupils and colleagues. Humans are essentially a social species, thriving on other human contact for cooperative support, and also emotional comfort. The return to school has allowed for many social interactions with friends and teachers after a period of prolonged virtual interaction.
Whilst this has been welcomed and enjoyed by most, it is important to remember that it may also lead to some feelings of being overwhelmed or exhausted by the end of the day, as we cope with the readjustment.
Allow yourself time and the permission to readjust - rest your bodies and brains in preparation for each new day and the promise of reconnecting with missed friends and colleagues. You will not always be at the same energy level at the same time and it’s important to be aware and respect each others’ needs in that moment - that’s what friends do.
Mrs Douglas, Wellbeing Coordinator
HOW TO SPEAK DIGITAL
The essential dos and don’ts of family communication
DO - Be a team Everyone prefers a democracy to a dictatorship. Discussing and agreeing your family’s rules around digital with your child will help them remember, enforce and respect what you agree on.
DO - Be consistent If you’ve decided not to allow phones at the table or in bedrooms, stick with it or make a point of changing the rule or making an exception.
DON’T - Use their device against them If they do break the rules, punishment by confiscating or banning devices can do more harm than good. Try old fashioned time-outs or getting them to do chores instead.
Performing Arts News
With only a couple of weeks to go there is still time to squeeze in some Performing Arts events!
Combined Schools Charity Single
This week would have been our annual combined schools GLive! concert; sadly cancelled due to COVID. However, we have got together with the other schools that were involved last year and recorded a charity virtual choir version of the fabulous Coldplay song 'Fix You'. Led by us this is in conjunction with The Rotary Club to raise money for one of the charities they support. The charity is called Challengers Guildford and they mission statement is to provide an environment for disabled children and young people across the South East.
The song and video are currently in 'post-production' and will be available towards the end of term. Watch this space for more info.
Spring Concert - 25th March 6.30pm
We have decided this term to extend our annual Pre-prep Spring Concert into a whole school affair. This will be a live streamed event featuring a combination of live performances and pre-recorded videos. The Senior Choir are working at speed to learn a song for the concert and there will be performances from all three sections of the school. This will be a wonderful end to a strange old term!
A Message from the Medical Room
Thank you so much to the Senior parents for consenting for your children to take part in the lateral flow test clinics at school - we've had outstanding uptake. The children have really impressed us; they dealt with this slightly surreal return to school in true Duke of Kent School fashion, with maturity, courage, and humour when needed - we are so proud of them - well done seniors! I'm very pleased to tell you that so far, all the tests have come back as negative.
I'm aware that some of the pupils may be worrying about the stigma associated with a positive test result if that were to happen. Please be reassured that any positive cases would be handled with appropriate sensitivity. There is absolutely no shame in testing positive - this is a cunning virus, and even with following the rules by the letter, there is no 100% guarantee we can keep everyone free of Covid-19 - anyone can become susceptible to picking up the virus, but the measures we put in place do hopefully mitigate the risk.
The Senior pupils have one more lateral flow test at school next week (Years 11 and 7 on Monday, Years 8, 9 and 10 on Tuesday), and then we hand them over to your care. Packs of home test kits will in theory be available in school by then for us to send home with the children. My recommendation would be that you aim for the children to perform tests twice a week on Sunday and Wednesday evenings or Monday and Thursday mornings (only if you have time before school - they take 30 minutes to "cook"!). Please ensure results are logged with NHS Test and Trace as per the instructions. If any child tests positive, please let us know at school as soon as possible, and follow household isolation rules (10 days isolation for the whole household). Home test positives need to be confirmed with an additional PCR (laboratory) test (book through 119 or www.nhs.uk).
Don't forget that parents and household members can also do their part in protecting the school, by accessing lateral flow home test kits to use twice a week. Use this link to order a delivery. https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests Please remember to log your results with NHS Test and Trace (instructions come in the pack).
Have a lovely weekend everyone.
Second Hand Uniform Shop
Opening times next week: 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.
We welcomed back James F (Head Boy 2019/20) to be presented with his ISA Whitbread Memorial Prize 2020 today. James was awarded this for his outstanding contribution to school life and academic excellence. Huge congratulations to James for his award, we are all so proud of you. https://t.co/OS1txTFBRn
Our ISA award for Excellence and Innovative in Performing Arts has arrived. Mr Rye and his department are so pleased with their award and it's sitting pride of place in the Music Room. Well done again, this is such a brilliant award to have won. #PerformingArts @ISAartsUKhttps://t.co/5ap3EBdq4R