I am sure for all of us it has been a bit of a rollercoaster of a week, one way or another. However, it was lovely to be able to bring a little bit of sunshine to you on Thursday as we entered our second lockdown.
Thank you for your lovely comments back to us. The children have returned from their half term break full of energy and it has been super watching the learning get speedily underway. I am so pleased the government have prioritised the well-being and long-term futures of our young people. Take care and enjoy the family time this weekend.
Duke of Kent School Senior School Sustainability Project
With the assistance of David Attenborough’s ‘A Life on Our Planet’ we have today launched our Senior School Sustainability Project, looking at how we can make both individual and school-wide changes to create positive, lasting change. In line with the school’s strategic plan to ‘implement environmentally conscious projects through the School’s practices, infrastructure and curriculum’ we will be reflecting on the impact our day-to-day practices have on the environment and deciding how we can work together to improve our own habits, actions and lives so as to help to make a difference for our planet!
As part of this project I am hugely excited to be forming our inaugural Duke of Kent School Environmental Sustainability Group later in the term which will be formed of proactive, inspirational leaders from across years 7-11. This group will work with various adult decision-makers from within the school hierarchy to encourage change; looking at current practices and proposing ideas which can reduce our adverse ecological footprint. As part of their manifesto the group will particularly focus on food usage, energy usage, water usage, travel arrangements, biodiversity and school supplies here at Duke of Kent School and seek to improve our practices. They will also look at how we can encourage change across a range of scales, both within the school and local community as well as investigating how our actions can have an effect nationally and globally.
I am hugely excited by the lasting impact such a group can have on our school and look forward to the innovative and productive discussions that will no doubt take place over the coming weeks.
Year 2 Ocean Day
On Tuesday, Year 2 had their very own 'Ocean Day' in the classroom! The children (and teachers!) came into School dressed as their favourite sea creature, complete with props and headpieces. We had sharks, Orca whales, jelly fish, squid and so many more sea animals bopping and swimming happily around - it was so wonderful to see the children 'get into character' and enjoy the dressing-up experience!
We began the day with a 'show and tell' session which gave the children an opportunity to tell their peers what creature they were dressed as. Next, we played some fun ocean themed games and read our favourite sea life book, 'Commotion in The Ocean'. After morning break, we were lucky enough to have the chance to make some vegan biscuits! We worked superbly as a team to measure and mix the ingredients before cutting the dough into the shapes of sea creatures with the help of Miss Able's special cookie cutters!
Then it was time for some fabulous Science activities! Our first centred around learning how whales and other animals survive in the freezing temperatures of the Arctic and during the second, we learnt how a shark stays buoyant without a swim bladder (which is an important organ that helps many other fish stay afloat).
The afternoon lent us the opportunity to take some 'time out' after a busy day; we wound down with some ocean themed yoga and then ate our cookies whilst watching some incredibly interesting sea creature fact videos!
Year 2's 'Ocean Day' was a truly marvellous one filled with lots of learning, creativity and wonder! As always, I was so very impressed with the children's behaviour and their positive attitude towards each of the tasks I'd prepared. I hope you loved Ocean Day as much as I did, Year 2!
"It was a ten out of ten day!" Eva. W
"I loved EVERYTHING about Ocean Day!" - Seren. G
"I enjoyed learning about how sharks float!" - Oscar. F
SAMARITAN'S PURSE CHRISTMAS SHOEBOX APPEAL
This morning's assembly was hosted by the School Charity Committee and watched by the Prep and Senior Schools. The Charity Committe recapped on the fantastic work we did as a School supporting Clic Sargent and Zack at Morogoro International School, our link in Tanzania. We raised close to £3000 for these causes and we are incredibly proud of what we achieved under some difficult circumstances. Zack is now Head Boy at MIS, something he would never have been able to achieve without our support.
This year the School Community voted to support Access Adventures. Tim Farr, one of the charity's founders, sent us a video message which was played to the whole School. If you would like to see his message of thanks, please follow this link. https://youtu.be/7GcHs2NLCCE. We will be supporting Access Adventures for two years as fund raising opportunities have been made challenging in the current situation.
The Charity Committe have also chosen to support the Samaritan's Purse Christmas Child Appeal this year. Students have been encouraged to fill a shoe box with inexpensive gifts for a child at Christmas. These will be sent to Children all over the world who are facing serious challenges this Christmas. The Charity Committee would really like to encourage you to get involved with this initiative; please follow this link for information on how to pack your shoebox:
A limited number of empty shoe boxes have been collected by the Committee should anyone be struggling to find one. These are available from the Art Studio. Once you have filled your shoebox students can drop them off with Mr Watson in the Art Studio by the 14th November. If you complete your gift through the web site you will be able to track which country your present is sent to.
If you would like to keep up to date with the Charity Committee's work please have a look at the notice board in the School entrance hall.
The Charity Committee
Alumni Charity Poppy Run
Ex Duke of Kent School Head Boy. Bastien H is in the OTC at University ( Officer Training Corps - East Midlands Regiment ) and he and his fellow unit members are aiming between them to run 1000km to raise money for the British Legion Poppy Appeal.
The 1000km is calculated from their training centre in Nottingham to Gheluvelt in Belgium and back. The finish line was chosen a this is the site of the 1st Battle of Ypres where the battalion fought in WWI. The runs will take place locally with each member doing their bit and we don't doubt lots of support from family and friends, albeit socially distanced!
Below is a link to his fundraising page if you would like to sponsor Bastien and his fellow runners:
Good luck to Bastien and his friends from everyone at Duke of Kent School, we can't wait to hear how you got on!
A Message from Matron
This week I've had the opportunity to speak to each of our 3 bubbles in their Assemblies, to update them on current Coronavirus figures, and to remind them of our school protocols and what's expected of them at school during this new half term and the national lockdown to help us manage the risk.
As ever, it would be hugely appreciated if parents could continue to encourage the children to use "Hands, Face, Space" protection both at home, as well as in school, to back up our message to the students. We continue to find that they need frequent reminders, particularly with regards to social distancing. Face coverings continue to only be required for senior school students and staff (however, Prep School children should ideally wear a face covering if they are travelling on the school bus), but Prep School students have been encouraged to avoid touching their faces where possible - this can be surprisingly challenging!
Outside of that, it's been a real pleasure to be able to teach years 6 and 9 this week in their PSHE lessons, on topics entirely unrelated to coronavirus (thank goodness)! Real-life skills and knowledge have been shared and discussed, related to puberty (year 6) and STIs and Contraception (year 9); all hugely important for our pupil's future health and well-being. I hope they've found the lessons informative and interesting!
Have a lovely weekend despite the lockdown restrictions.
Prep School News
Prep pupils have returned in fine fettle after the half term break. Highlights this week have included the start of the hotly contested House Draughts competition, a very informative assembly led by the Seniors showcasing the important charity work the School is supporting, and the screening of the first part of David Attenborough's inspiring new film. In spite of all this, I suspect Year 3 may report that the best part of their week was having Sydney join them in their classroom for a whole hour-long Topic lesson. I'm not sure how much she learned about the Ancient Greeks, but she was no doubt grateful for a cosy spot in the reading corner! Next week, Miss Nott and Mrs Nicholson are looking forward to catching up with Year 3 and 4 parents on virtual meetings - so do please book a slot with them if you haven't already done so.
Values certificates for this week go to:
Responsibility - Thibaut J, Arthur H, Harry L, Henry O'B and Ben W.
Stars of the Week
Nursery - Harry R for displaying greater confidence and resilience at school and for careful work during craft activities.
Reception - George F for showing great effort in all his work and working well with his peers.
Year 1 - Henry H for coming back to school with a great attitude , participating in class discussions and for focussing on his neat handwriting.
Year 2 - Eva W for a superb attitude towards her learning and for not being afraid to make a mistake. Well done!
The Performing Arts News
This half of the Autumn Term is traditionally one of the busiest of the year in the Performing Arts Department and, despite lockdown and the necessary restrictions, this one remains no different! There are events across all three sections of the school so please see below for details about each one and put the 4th and the 9th December in your diaries!
Pre-prep Christmas Show - A Fizzy Christmas! This will be filmed at school then edited together as a final film version and made available as a downloadable video and also sent out as a DVD to each Pre-prep parent.
Prep Christmas Concert - Friday 4th December -7pm - This will be similar in nature to last term's Summer concert with the participants recording pieces in advance at school and then these being streamed live at 7pm on Friday 4th December - with some help from the Prep School teachers in the live links between each number! Watch out for a fancy dress competition...
Little Shop of Horrors - Year 11 production - This will be filmed at school and then released as a DVD. We hope also to be able to hold a screening later in the year.
School Carol Service - Wednesday 9th December 6pm. - There are now five small choirs in the school, due to the Covid restrictions, so each choir will pre-record one winter song and then these will be streamed live, either from the church or from school, with live readings in between each song - this promises to be a reflective and beautiful event.
Here are some steps and tips to help parents keep their children safe online.
Set your child's device up before you give it to them, so you know they are safe online as soon as they start playing.
Set parental controls on your broadband to prevent your child from seeing things they shouldn't.
Other platforms could be found by doing a quick search or getting in contact with your supplier.
Christmas Hamper Raffle Will Still Go Ahead
We are asking for your generous donations please.
Chocolates, alcohol, bubble bath, unwanted gifts to name a few - anything you think you might like to win in a hamper!
PADoK will be collecting donations as you do the drive by drop off on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday morning next week. We will have 2 people stationed up at the top car park and one person at the changing rooms. We will be wearing masks and gloves and asking you to drop donations into our basket from your car window -
Please note that no donations to go into the school
PADoK Christmas Hamper 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.
#ThrowbackThursday - 2019 Ski Trip to Les Deux Alpes, France. That time when a certain member of staff couldn't stop and went into the WARNING sign instead of round it! ⚠#ThrowbackThursday #SkiTrip #LesDeuxAlpes #SchoolTrip #Whoops #RoundNotThrough @Equitytours@ChemmySkihttps://t.co/w0xZsrUNgH
In Year 11 Computer Science, pupils are building a model to explain how the Central Processing Unit (CPU) works, this is commonly referred to as the brain of the computer #ComputerScience #GCSE #LearningThroughBuilding https://t.co/mBylDDbemz