Today, I was invited to join Prep School pupils in "The Den". This is a wonderful part of Junior Jungle where the children have created a house which has multiple bedrooms, a lounge, a medical room and lovely entrance area.
We also visited the holiday home which was equally beautifully constructed. I was introduced to a range of sticks who all have names and personalities (Greta, Mabel and Shaun) and was invited back next week to see the hole they are digging to Italy.
Isn't one of the best things about childhood being free to explore and use your imagination? It was a joyful 30 minutes as I was allowed into their wonderful magical world. Imaginative outdoor play is just as beneficial to us adults as well. It is a great way to let off some steam and spend quality time with children. For me, this was a super end to our Mental Health Awareness week and I would like to particularly thank our Wellbeing Coordinator, Mrs Douglas and Mr Southee for all of their initiatives this week bringing the important issue of Mental Health to the fore and giving us all opportunities to talk, discuss and to share. Have a lovely weekend.
Face Covering Update
From Monday, in line with Step 3 of the Government’s roadmap, face coverings will no longer be required for our Senior pupils in classrooms or communal areas. Face coverings will also no longer be required for staff in classrooms. However, staff and visitors will continue to wear a face covering in situations outside of classrooms where social distancing is not possible. All pupils will continue to wear a face covering when using School minibuses, unless they are not able to do so for medical reasons. Unfortunately, we are unable to welcome parents to our sports fixtures, although we will keep this under review in line with Government advice.
Year 5 Social
Year 5 enjoyed a social evening at School last week, allowing them to have to enjoy each other's company and get involved in a variety of activities. The evening began with building table forts in the Prep Library in preparation for the Castles quiz, which has become a popular game with the students. After a tightly contested match, it was time for a quick pit stop in the Dining Room before we finished the night with a series of hide and seek games. Some ingenious hiding places were discovered! All the pupils thoroughly enjoyed the night and it hopefully strengthened the friendships amongst the year group.
Prep School News
Maths lessons have been a highlight for many pupils this week, Reception pupils have been looking at time and made their own clocks with moving hands! Year 2 have been using water and containers to learn about capacity. The children had a great time estimating and then investigating how many egg cups, yoghurt pots and mugs would equal 1litre. Year 6 have been collecting data, gathered from other Year 6 pupils, on a topic of interest and have been processing it to see what they can find from the use of averages. They have enjoyed the collaborative element of this task and produced some outstanding work on topics such as reaction times and animals at home. Interestingly, the average number of pets at home for a Year 6 child is 5.6 animals!
Continuing the theme of animals, Prep School council met with the Prep School House Captains this week to discuss the possible renaming of the School Houses. If the House names do change then they will become Birds of Prey. There was an excellent discussion about why Birds of Prey would be more appropriate than using the name of local birds and some really fantastic suggestions about how the names of different birds would be most appropriate for certain houses.
Year 1 have been recording facts about their chosen rainforest animal, to accompany their amazing artwork. These elements have been combined to create a short information film, which they shared with the rest of Pre-prep in today’s Star Assembly.
Nursery pupils have enjoyed a particular focus on Science this week. They have made sugar crystals and baked cakes, measuring all the ingredients to weigh the same as the egg. I'm told they were absolutely delicious too!
Well done everyone for another week of excellent enthusiasm, concentration and effort!
Stars of the Week
Nursery - Ottilie H for demonstrating super listening skills during music and circle time.
Reception - Angus Dfor enthusiastic reading and a huge improvement in handwriting!
Year 1 - Henry H for being confident in approaching teachers about his worries.
Year 2 - Herb M for using impressive alternatives to common verbs. You are a vocab King!
Senior School News
It's been another busy week in the Senior School, with wellbeing at the forefront of our considerations as we continue to recognise Mental Health Awareness Week and the importance of embracing nature and taking a moment to enjoy our surroundings. With this in mind, one of the History GCSE groups have been out in the school grounds re-enacting the march of the Tolpuddle Martyrs whilst the other has been simulating Harold Godwinson's march from his successful defeat of the Vikings at Stamford Bridge (near York not Chelsea) to Hastings.
In Music Years 7, 8, and 9 are all doing a Battle of the Bands in groups, soon to be culminating in a winner for each year, whilst Art club have been producing giant, collaborative drawings of trees. In Drama Year 10 are putting the final touches to their Drama devising mock GCSE; creating and developing ideas from a stimulus that communicate meaning for a 20-minute devised theatrical performance.
In Science, they have been making the most of being back in the lab, with Year 7 completing endothermic reactions, thermal decompositions and reactions to prove the law of conservation of mass. In Chemistry, Year 10 have started looking at the reactivity of metals in a range of demos and practicals, finishing the week using the carbon in a match to extract iron from iron oxide. Year 11 observed what happens when electrons in metals get excited with some beautiful rainbow flames whilst in Biology, Year 9 have been doing an "Art Attack" style lesson to show how white blood cells work. Year 10 meanwhile have learnt about terminal velocity, with the help of tennis balls, to show that the mass of an object does not affect how fast an object falls to the ground!
In PSHE our School Nurse Mrs Sarjant had a hugely informative and important lesson with the year 7 girls about puberty, with many great contributions from the girls regarding how to cope with all the physical and emotional changes they are dealing with.
Commendations this week have been awarded to Tilly C, Macy B, Maddie I, Imogen C, Tom H, Luca H for their outstanding efforts in Geography, Natasha B and Poppy K for their ongoing excellent attitude towards Biology and to Sophie S, Rufus B, Luca H (his second this week!) for their fantastic contributions in sports fixtures against Moon Hall and Cottesmore respectively. Well done to you all!
Rounders: U16 v. Box Hill School
On Tuesday afternoon, the U16 girls travelled to Box Hill for a rounders rematch that turned out to be an absolute thriller of a game! Duke of Kent School fielded first, Box Hill batted very well giving the girls some tricky fielding challenges. They rose to the task with some very accurate throwing and kept Box Hill's score to 6 rounders after their first innings. The U16s were slow to start with their batting but soon the rounders flowed with Kiki B, Laura S and Martha McA all scoring for the team, helping gain a total of 5 rounders. Duke of Kent School fielded fantastically in the second innings, with Martha McA bowling with great accuracy and making some reaction catches! The girls had set themselves a tough task to score 8 rounders in their second innings to win. After a few early catches from Box Hill, the U16 girls fought back as Milly B and Millie L both made key contributions to the team's score. Duke of Kent School finished with 13 rounders to Box Hill's 12 1/2, what a great win, well done to all the girls involved!
Girls' Cricket: U12/13 v. Cranleigh Prep
On Wednesday afternoon a mixed team from Years 7 and 8 played Cranleigh Prep School away. The girls lost the toss so started the match bowling. They were terrific with very few no balls and Helena K not given any no balls away and taking a wicket on her final bowl which set the team up with a comfortable target to beat.
Cranleigh were up to bowl next with our pairs ready and raring to bat. First in was Niamh A and Ava W who worked brilliantly as a pair and accumulated three 4's which was a great early start. This was followed by some more superb batting from Esme P and Daisy R assisted by great decision making from Bella S and Lucy S when running for those extra runs! The whole team played so well and it was a well deserved win.
Girls' Cricket: U10/11 v. Frensham Heights
On Wednesday afternoon, all of the girls in Year 5 & 6 travelled to Frensham Heights for a cricket match. The girls had some time to prepare before the game and used this time wisely by practising their bowling technique. Duke of Kent School batted first, with Erin C getting the team off to a wonderful start with two 4s in the first over! The runs continued to flow with Eve M and Rose S up next, they worked well together and were the highest scoring pair in team with lots of singles and a 4. Further strong batting came from Edie H and Tansy T later in the innings. Frensham Heights also batted well, testing the U10/11s fielding skills and keeping them alert at all times! Huge well done to Clara H-S, Tansy T, Edie H and Isabelle S for producing some fantastic and extremely accurate bowling. A great team effort in the field made for an extremely close finish with Frensham Heights needing 8 runs off the last 6 balls. Amazingly, the game ended in a tie with both teams scoring 160 runs. Well done to all the girls involved for a very enjoyable afternoon!
Boys' Cricket: U14/15 v. Moon Hall College
Tuesday 11th May, the U14/15 boys took on Moon Hall College in a 12 overs a side match, due to time constraints. Duke of Kent School batted first scoring 91 with Freddie B playing a fantastic innings, scoring 48 not out, it was an innings full of boundaries helping the team post a very competitive score. Moon Hall College batted second scoring 71 in their 12 overs, which was a very solid score, but thanks to some great wicket taking bowling from both Ben E and Max S, Duke of Kent School were able to hold on for the victory. Well done to all the players and I hope they are all looking forward to their next matches.
Boys' Cricket: U13 v. Cottesmore and Copthorne
Further to the crushing defeat of local rivals Belmont, the U13 boys have had two further victories against Cottesmore and Copthorne, traditionally strong opponents.
Against Cottesmore last week a towering total of 181-3 was achieved in the main by a stunning opening partnership between Rufus B and Luca H. With shots all round the ground against a good attack it was a sight to behold with Rufus retiring on 67 and Luca on 60. In the field we dominated too, again with Rufus and Luca in the wickets. Chipping in also were Felix R with two wickets and Sam S with a wicket, and the opponents ended on 59 for 8 with their team manager conceding defeat as the rain clouds opened. Result: Won by 122 runs
Copthorne decided to bat first against us and could not escape the shackles of our fine bowling and fielding. They managed just 70-7 off their 20 overs, with Jasper B, Casper C, Rufus B and George P getting wickets. We also had two run outs (Jack B and Isaac P) and a good catch from Charlie G. In spite of losing two early wickets we reached the Copthorne total with overs to spare. Toby T produced an assured performance to see the team home (28*) and Harry F batted with maturity to keep him company until the end (10*). Result: Won by 8 wickets.
In these games Toby T has captained with great skill, moving the field around, making the bowling changes and keeping the spirits high. Jack B has kept wicket bravely throughout and the team seems to be coming together as a strong unit. Keep it going boys.
Boys' Cricket: U12/13 v. Copthorne
Duke of Kent School's awesome U12/13 C VIII team took on their counterparts from Copthorne side on Front Pitch on a sunny Wednesday afternoon. The visitors managed to score 85 runs after a blistering start halted only by Kai G’s knocking over of the free-scoring opener’s stumps. Xander S and Tom B also each bowled out an opposition batsman. Captain Bobby F anchored one end of Duke of Kent School’s reply while the crashing bat of Max A produced a flurry of boundaries before he was bowled for 24 runs. Xander again featured before being bowled for 13 runs. Alex F and Tom B saw the team home, overtaking Copthorne’s score with a few overs to spare. Alex G, Kai G and Oscar D-K did not bat on this occasion but bowled and fielded impeccably. Well done to the whole team for their enthusiasm and support for each other and for the whole game.
Boys' Cricket: U12/13 v. Copthorne
The U12/13 B XI Boys took on Copthorne on Wednesday 12th May, Duke of Kent School were put into bat first and after a slow start the runs started to pick up in the middle overs. Duke of Kent School ended on 117 from their 16 overs thanks to a great batting partnership between Jack D and Tiago W. With a strong score on the board the team was confident, and the confidence grew with another great partnership with the ball between Josh W-D and Will R. Josh W-R bowled a fantastic maiden in the first over of the innings and Will R followed up with one of his three wickets in the second over. Copthorne ended their innings scoring a total of 75 runs, leading to a well-earned win. Well done to all the players involved and I hope you are all looking forward to the next match.
Boys' Cricket: U10/11 D v. Copthorne
This Wednesday the U10/11 D team faced Copthorne for their last pairs cricket match of the School year. All of the boys approached the match with a positive attitude and lots of effort. The bowling became increasingly accurate as the game progressed and the boys batting confidence grew. The team should be proud of the immense improvement in their second overs. However, the standout performers were Ben K for his cat-like reflexes while fielding and Henry R for his astute batting, which resulted in the only 6s in the match! Well done boys.
Boys' Cricket: U11 v. Copthorne
On Wednesday the U11 C team took to the astro for a fast and furious game of pairs cricket. With short boundaries and plenty of bounce with the incrediball, runs were expected…and they were delivered! Duke of Kent went into bat first and the boys started steadily and then the introduction of Eddie C to the crease caused the run rate to shoot up - three sixes in one over! Copthorne came into bat and Tom R on his first match for Duke of Kent AND his first ever cricket match took a superb wicket and an extraordinary catch - well done! Copthorne managed to get over the line and take the victory by 11 runs, but a great afternoon was had by all and every one of the boys had a moment to be proud of during the match.
Performing Arts News
ISA Composition Competition
Congratulations to Martha M in Year 11 and Maddie I in Year 9 for entering the ISA Composition Competition. Open to all 550 school in the ISA, the winner of this will be announced towards the end of term. Good luck girls!
Dates for the Diary:
With things slowly opening up we are hopeful that we will be able to hold some live events - at last!
Watch out for:
Wednesday 23rd June 6.00pm - 'Little Shop of Horrors' Screening: This will be held in the PA Hall and all parents of the cast and crew, and of course the kids themselves are invited to come and view the production, together, in the same room on the big screen. There'll be popcorn and candy! And of course it is a chance to celebrate together this wonderful event.
Friday 25th June 6.45pm - An Evening of Original Works: Usually held off site, this year we are holding at school the celebration of the amazing original work that our Senior pupils create. There will be art works, photos, poetry, short stories and music on display.
Thursday 1st July 2.30pm - The Pre-prep Dance Show: Always a highlight, this year promises to be as wonderful as ever. Featuring some live music this year as well to make up for the cancellation of the Spring Concert, expect the usual amazing performance from Nursery, Reception, Year One and Year Two!
Monday 5th July 6.00pm - The Leavers' Concert: Held before the Leaver's Dinner this is a lovely celebration of the wonderful Year 11 musicians and a fabulous start to what is always a great evening.
Saturday 10th July 2.00pm - DokFest: We are setting up a stage on the bottom pitch and holding a festival style concert, providing an opportunity for all those who have missed out on performing this year to have a go. Watch out for choirs, bands, solos and more - it will be awesome!
This week we have been celebrating Mental Health Awareness Week and considering its theme of ‘Connect with Nature’. The Mental Health Foundation’s aim is to keep conversation about mental health front and centre in the public consciousness and this year to focus on the calming and therapeutic benefits of interacting with and in nature.
Our aim this week has been to encourage pupils to go outside when they can, including taking lessons outdoors. It has been so lovely to see so many of the pupils from Nursery to Year 11 getting involved and considering their own mental health.
I thoroughly enjoyed lying on the ground cloud watching and doing animal yoga with Pre Prep, as much as sitting on the deck with Year 11, mindfully focusing on how our 5 senses are stimulated when outside.
We began the week with an assembly on the well researched therapeutic benefits of connecting with nature for our physical and mental health and Mr Southee addressed the feedback from the pupil wellbeing surveys in his assembly this morning. Pupils had the opportunity to enjoy outdoor music this lunchtime and can continue their connection with nature by taking part in our sunflower growing competition.
It is important for everybody to consider and look after their mental health so I hope parents will enjoy the seeds handed out at pick-up and the staff who were able to join me for the wellbeing walks enjoyed a brief break from their busy days. The pupils and staff have whole-heartedly embraced the theme of the week and long may we all continue to both care for our natural world and let it care for us.
Things will go wrong online. How you respond when they do will make all the difference in the long term.
… Your child has been trolling or bullying someone
KNOW: The truth is, most children slip into some bad behaviour at some stage in their growing up. It doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong or that they are getting into bad habits. It does mean you need to deal with it firmly and quickly.
REACT: Don’t be tempted to step in until you have heard every side of the story. Give your child the chance to explain exactly what has been going on and be ready to listen to how they feel.
RECOVER: Make sure they understand what is and isn’t acceptable on and offline, and agree together how they are going to put things right. For more on bullying, visit the Digital Parenting online hub.
A Message from Matron
The announcement came this week that the UK Covid alert level has now reduced to level 3 (we were at level 5 in January, then moved to level 4 in late February). This allows us to continue on the planned roadmap out of lockdown with the move to "Step 3" this coming Monday 17th May.
So what's changing on 17 May in England? One major change is of course the relaxation of rules for international travel. People will be able to travel abroad to green list countries without having to quarantine when they return from next Monday! More good news is that "cautious" hugging of loved ones is now going to be "legal" - as long as common sense is applied.
For us at school, the most important change in Step 3 of the roadmap, is the removal of the face coverings rule for senior pupils in classrooms and communal areas, although they should still wear them on the bus to school please, and continue with good hand hygiene and social distancing wherever possible. Staff will not need to wear face covers in class, but will wear them in any situations where they are unable to socially distance along with any visitors to school (for example, corridors and communal areas). The rule changes still do not allow for parents to attend school fixtures unfortunately - it looks likely we may have to wait until 21st June for that rule to change.
Here at school, we've had a number of children at the younger end of school suffering with cold like symptoms recently. Please do think about whether your child is fit for school before sending them in. If they have a very runny nose, or are sneezing frequently, it may be kinder to keep them at home a day or two to recover, in order to prevent the spread of germs among pupils and staff. Any children with any of the three symptoms of Covid should isolate and get a PCR test to rule out Covid before coming to school.
It would also be very helpful for teachers to know if you have given your child any medication (eg calpol). Please just email the relevant teacher first thing in the morning, to explain how much they had, and at what time. Thank you for your consideration.
Finally, a big thank you to all the staff and pupils who took time to wish me a Happy Nurses' Day on Wednesday - I was quite touched!
The School Nurses
As part of the next stage of the House renaming process, the School Councils and House Captains met to put form shortlists of 8 names of birds of prey which they believe should be put forward to the students and staff to vote on. The members of the teaching staff who lead a House have also had the opportunity to share their opinions on the list. We will be asking them to pick their 4 preferences. The 4 names with the most votes will become the 'new' House names. The survey will also include the option to vote for the current names to remain. It will be posted as a Google Form in the House Classrooms on Monday.
Hillary still maintains their clear lead in pole position In the competition to see who will be crowned House of the Year but Whittle is still in the race! Armstrong and Chichester have had strong starts to the Summer term which will help them close the gap on the other two Houses. You can see the current totals and a summary of the results from the first renaming survey by following this link- House Leaderboards- Summer wk 4
Dates for the Diary!
The Second hand uniform shop will be open on Wednesday 19th May from 3:00pm to 4:00pm.
The next PADoK walk will be on Friday 21st May – 08.30 at Hurtwood Control car park 3.
PADoK Book Club
The PADoK Book Club enjoyed catching up on with each other last Thursday evening to discuss “The Thursday Murder Club” by Richard Osman. We thoroughly enjoyed discussing the book and had new readers joining the chat about what we really thought about the book. The story is about four unlikely friends who meet up once a week to investigate unsolved murders - it's full of twists and turns, with charm, humour and wit and the majority vote from the group was that this a book they would definitely recommend to friends and family.
We are hoping to meet in person for the next PADoK Book Club, and we would love to see you then to discuss “Restless” by William Boyd. “Restless” is a brilliant espionage book and a vivid portrait of the life of a female spy. Full of tension and drama, and based on a remarkable chapter of Anglo-American history, this is fiction at its finest. We look forward to discussing it at our next Book Club evening. See you all there!
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.
Mrs Knox was invited by the Year 5 girls to see their dens in Junior Jungle. It was great to see the progress and hear about their grand plans for the future! #MrsKnox #ChristopherWren #OutdoorLearning #Dens #ConnectWithNature https://t.co/bTk9UIpecq
Year 10 have been learning about the use of carbon to displace oxygen from ores and produce pure metals. To investigate this they used the carbon on the head of a match to displace iron from iron oxide. They could see they had produced pure iron by using a magnet #Science https://t.co/FGIexJx8G1