We had a lovely day today celebrating Red Nose Day. It was such a joy seeing the children, on a beautiful sunny day, enjoying each other’s company. We are now one year on from the start of the first lockdown and there is a sense that the end is in sight. Plans for the Summer term are well underway and a printed calendar will be sent home during the Easter holidays. Thank you for joining us for our Zoom meetings this week. It was a very valuable exercise and we enjoyed seeing you “face to face”. We have a busy week of learning next week which will culminate in our Easter Service and Final Awards assembly on Friday. Have a lovely Spring weekend.
Coming Up Next Week
Thursday 25th March
6:30pm Spring Concert - livestream
Friday 26th March
11.00am Easter Service (School only)
End of Term - pick up, activities and buses as normal
Red Nose Day
For 35 years our nation has been donning a red nose in support of charities and good causes all over the world! Comedians and public supporters across the country have been 'unleashing the power of laughter' to promote understanding and empathy, raise awareness and, most importantly, raise money to help those in need.
Not only can we 'unleash the power of laughter' to raise money, this fabulous substance also has great health benefits. Laughter reduces stress, produces hormones that make us feel positive, increases our immune response, makes us look younger and even exercises our abs! After 8 weeks of Home Learning, some laughter sounds just the ticket! So, during Friday morning assembly, Martha McA, Daisy K, Laura S and Milly B. from 11W, toured the School's form rooms 'unleashing the power of laughter' with their jokes and one-liners. Particular favourites included; What shoes do frogs wear? Open toad sandles! What do you call two robbers? A pair of knickers! Do you want to hear a construction joke? YES! Sorry, I'm still working on it!
The assembly ended with a fabulous reading of Spike Milligan's 'Laughing is Infectious' by Pre-Prep, so appropriate a response to our times. Link below.
According to research the benefits of laughter can even be experienced if you are faking it! So if the jokes aren't funny ....laugh along anyway!
As you enjoy this evenings Red Nose, televisual spectacular and make your donations, remember how much good it is doing you as well as those your money is supporting!
The Prep School Council
The Prep School Council had a lively discussion about where the new “Friendship Toadstools” should be located. All the council members had elicited opinions from their forms and were keen to persuade the rest of the council of the merits of their particular location. Everyone felt that it was important that the Toadstools were located somewhere where they were clearly visible - so that it would be easy to notice someone sitting on their own, but at the same time they felt it was important that they could also be a place where pupils could enjoy a little bit of quiet time if they wanted to. It was unanimously agreed that they should be put near the flagpole - I am sure may of you will have noticed them already!
The Council also discussed some ideas for meals and snacks that they would like included at lunch and snack time. The food choices made were in within the school’s healthy eating policy and were discussed before a selection was agreed and will now be passed onto our Catering Manager, Mr Hanvey.
Senior School Updates
It has been another busy week at school as students have returned to the classroom with vigour. Year 7 have started their paired work in English, creating a charity of their own and running a campaign to raise awareness. They are creating leaflets, posters, mock social media accounts and persuasive speeches to raise awareness of a cause they feel strongly about. They have started incredibly well and will be presenting their work in the final week of term. Year 11 have set into their routine of in-class tests with purpose and I am certain this system of testing interspersed with teacher feedback and constructive advice will see them do very well.
In Year 10 they have been investigating blindspots in Science and attacked the topic of moles with gusto whilst year 9 have dissected a heart this week, investigating the different workings. In Art Club tin foil sculptures have been made whilst investigating movement and dance whilst year 8 have made a great start composing advert soundtracks in their Music lessons.
Commendations have been awarded to Ruby K and Natasha B in year 9 for their ongoing outstanding efforts in Geography as well as to Alanna H, Max S and Alex S for their 3 in a row Biology quiz success. Lastly, commendations have also been awarded to Kora W, Maddie I and Lucy P for their outstanding musical performances in Monday's assembly, showcasing some of the entries from the recent virtual House Music event. The House Music Finalists Concert, due in the evening of Friday 30th April, is sure to be exceptional.
Prep and Pre-prep School Updates
The theme for Assembly this week was ‘honesty’. Many of the pupils enthusiastically contributed experiences of how it can sometimes be hard to tell the truth, but also acknowledged that we usually feel better about ourselves if we do. Being honest inspires trust, and although we all make mistakes, the children were reminded that it's how we react to a mistake and choose to act afterwards that is most important.
In their Science lessons this week, Year 5 have been studying the water cycle, creating their very own evaporation and condensation packs so they can observe the changes that occur in class. Lastly, as a celebratory treat for the great effort and kindness they demonstrated in Remote Learning, Reception and Year 1 had a Teddy Bears' Picnic. Everyone brought in a cuddly toy for the event and the children made teddy bear ears, drew their teddies and shared homemade rolls and chocolate cake, yum!
As we look ahead to next term, Mr Green has sent out the Summer Term Activities Programme, if your child's choices can please be returned by Wednesday. It is with great disappointment that I inform you that, in order to best ensure our pupil's safety, Prep School pupils will not be able to enjoy our usual residential trips to the Isle of Wight and PGL during the upcoming Summer Term. We will remain hopeful that we will be able to return to our usual programme of events in 2022, and will of course take into account year groups that have missed out on these milestone events.
Mrs Knox and I will be holding a 30 minute Zoom call for Prep School parents on Wednesday 24th March at 10am to touch base. This will be a general information session covering topics such as the return to school, assessment and reporting, plans for the Summer Term and a Q&A at the end. It is open to any parents in Years 3 to 6 and is entirely optional. Please don't worry if you are unable to join us as we will email a summary out at the end of a session. So that the session is informative as possible, please send any questions that you would like addressing to email@example.com. Joining details for the meeting will be sent out on Monday.
Honesty - The whole of the Prep School and Levi L
Effort - Ben W and Penny A
Stars of the Week
Nursery - Gracie B for her enthusiastic participation in all activities.
Reception - Willow B for having such a great attitude in every subject and progress in reading.
Year 1 - Mila-Rose S for improved concentration in English.
Violet W for her much improved attitude and behaviour in the classroom.
Year 2 - Evie B for working exceptionally hard in Maths to master her times tables.
Over the last couple of weeks I have been delighted to see and read a number of pupil’s entries into the House Wellbeing Challenge. The last date for entry is today and Mr Gritton, Miss Anand and myself will decide on winners and points allocation to be announced next week. Pupil’s were encouraged to take part in a bingo-style challenge, crossing off various activities as they completed them. A copy of the challenges can be found in the house Google classrooms and include activities such as:
Writing a letter to a missed friend or family member
Collecting an object of interest whilst out on a walk (leaf, twig, pebble etc.)
Weather inspired emotion art
Reading a book
Planting a bulb or seed
Having a mindful snack
Though the challenge ends today, I would encourage pupils to continue to be inspired by these challenges as a way of continuing to manage their own wellbeing. Just as our physical health is maintained through diet and exercise, our mental health needs to be maintained by ‘feeding’ healthy and positive thoughts and ‘exercising’ our right to choose activities that enhance our mood.
What digital boundaries are right for your child?
How to set the right rules at the right age.
4-7 years - Curious explorers
Children at this age are starting to become curious about the world around them. It’s important to allow them some freedom to explore the online world but also to do it more safely. Apps like YouTube Kids may give filtered access to social media – but some inappropriate content can occasionally slip through the net, so keep an eye on what your child is viewing. Games for older children might be starting to appeal (e.g. those rated PEGI 12) but be aware that some contain violent content and in-game chat functions.
Sleep: NHS recommends 10½-11½ hours a night
Content: PEGI 7; BBFC U, PG, 12A
Screen time: Maximum 1hr a day
8-12 years - Becoming independent
Children are likely to have a growing interest in social media, through friends and role models. Many social media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, have age 13+ restrictions, but this will not stop your child from being attracted to them. Show an active interest in the platforms they are talking about, whether that’s discussing how sharing selfies makes them feel or the realism of images they see online. Children’s moods can be affected by social media, so it is better to be involved and help them explore in a safer way.
Sleep: NHS recommends 9¼-10 ¼ hours a night
Content: PEGI 12, BBFC 12A, 12
Screen time: From 1hr, progressing to 1.5hrs a day, as they get older
Performing Arts News
Next week is a busy one for the Performing Arts Department!
Combined Schools Virtual Choir
The Combined Schools Virtual Choir charity song - "Fix You' - will be released, with all proceeds going towards the brilliant Challengers charity. The link for this will be released early next week and the final video features over 80 pupils from across the four schools involved (Duke of Kent School, Prior's Field, George Abbot and Christ's College). It's worth mentioning that 40 of our wonderful pupils have managed to get recordings in!
Virtual Spring Concert - March 25th 6.30pm
Our virtual Spring Concert is shaping up nicely and looks to be an eclectic and entertaining mix of videos and live acts from across all three sections of the school, with dancing, singing and performing all on display. Don't miss what will be a delightful end to the term!
A huge thank you from the entire testing team goes to the Senior School pupils for completing the lateral flow tests at school, and to the teaching staff for being patient with the inevitable disruption to lessons. The whole process ran smoothly and we are thrilled that there were no positive tests recorded!
The pupils are now well practised at the swabbing technique, and should have brought home their test kits by now in order to commence their twice a week tests every Sunday and Wednesday evening starting this Sunday (21st March). Please can parents encourage all children to continue to do these tests regularly as per government guidelines. You will also need to help your child with the process of processing the test through the lateral flow device, reading the result, and with logging the results with NHS Test and Trace (full details in the bag sent home with your child). Do please ensure you inform us of any positive test results.
The PADOK Book Club met on Thursday evening to talk about The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. The story takes us on a journey through the life of Nora Seed and a dramatic decision she makes that takes her to The Midnight Library, which leads to many journeys of the alternate lives she could have lived.
We all agreed that we would highly recommend the book to friends and family. It was a really fun evening and delighted to say there were more of us on the Zoom call this month.
We will be meeting up again on Thursday 6th May to discuss our next book choice, The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman, and look forward to seeing you then.
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.
Congratulations to Humphrey in Year 6 who has been awarded a Performing Arts scholarship at @DoKSchool. #performingarts #scholarships #drama #seniorschool #futureschools #LongacreLife #longacreschool #PrepSchool #SurreyPrepSchool #ReadyForTheNextAdventure https://t.co/HbwH3NYk8t
The Combined Schools Virtual Choir Charity song, Fix You, will be released next week! All four schools involved have contributed to this joint venture raising money for @D_Challengers. Information for where you can donate will be coming out soon! #Music @coldplay #ChrisMartin https://t.co/4JaUrPJhYA