The Governing Board is delighted to announce that our Head, Mrs Sue Knox, has been elected as an Executive Councillor to the Board of the Independent Schools’ Association (ISA). She will be invited to sit on one of the National Committees advising on the strategic and operational direction of the Association. The ISA is one of the oldest independent schools’ organisations and supports over 600 independent schools in the UK and overseas. We highly value our membership and the extensive programmes and professional development opportunities which benefit our staff and pupils. I am sure you will join me in congratulating Mrs Knox.
The Governing Board and I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our teachers and pupils on the resilience and determination they have again shown this term. We keep closely up to date with all that is going on in the School and are so impressed by the innovative activities and the positive way the pupils and staff continue to respond to changing situations. I look forward, all being well, to Parents’ Day on the 10th July when we can celebrate the wonderful achievements of the pupils, reflect on an extraordinary year and enjoy an afternoon of picnics, music and company.
Mr Brocksom, Chair, Board of Governors
The DoK 'Three Peaks' Challenge
Following a downpour of truly epic proportions, 26 hardy members of the Senior School set off to complete their Three Peaks Challenge, ably supported by Mr Allen, Mr Lodge, Mrs Punter, Mr Boden and Mr Breed (kindly assisting with the operation). Having taken minibuses over to the village of Coldharbour it was soon time to start the ascent to Leith Hill, the highest point in South East England standing 294 metres above sea level. After a short moment to take in the view the team marched on along the Greensand Way, the Long-distance footpath that runs all the way from Haslemere to Hamstreet in Kent (a challenge for another day perhaps!?).
Having stopped for a water break with Mr Wilson in Holmbury St. Mary, the team made quick work of the ascent up Holmbury Hill and were back to school in record time, still relatively dry from the waist up but unanimously muddy from the waist down (especially Ava W and Alex R who were more mud than legs). With the option of stopping there or completing the final climb of the challenge, up Pitch Hill, it was heartwarming to hear that every member of the group was keen to complete the final leg, from Year 11 veterans like Henry W, Oscar B and Ellis M to enthusiastic newcomers such as Johnny M, Isaac P and James B. After taking in the glorious views from the top the team returned to school for a well earned packed tea, a fantastic achievement for both the experienced runners such as Tiago W and the less experienced, such as Macy B, taking part in her first run over this distance.
I was hugely impressed by not only the grit and determination of every competitor but also the conscientious nature of our cohort, ably supporting and assisting each other to help them complete the challenge as one team. Well done everybody! Time to start training for next year….
Year 6 Social
Year 6 stayed late after school last Friday as a treat to spend some informal time in each other’s company. After so much disruption to our daily lives over the past year, one of the biggest things we’ve missed has been the ability to gather together socially, so it felt extra special this time around. We made excellent use of our fantastic grounds, taking in Macrobert for a frantic few games of Capture the Flag (with a special Mr Ellarby twist), Southbank and Junior Jungle for a quick spot of Manhunting, then over to New Ground for Dodgeball, and finishing up in Old Hall. After all that activity, most sensibly settled with their smoothie to a quiet board game but some still had enough energy to contort themselves on the twister mat! When all the scores were totted up, honours were shared between the forms, with 6W prevailing at Capture the Flag, and 6E proving themselves worthy winners of Dodgeball (in no way related to their superior numbers). It was just brilliant to see the children having such fun together. “Can we do it every week?!” I was asked...erm...
Year 3 Assembly
On Wednesday, Year 3 were tasked with performing the first class assembly in over a year! Based on a story called 'The Thing' by Simon Puttock and Daniel Egneus, the children shared messages about how important it is to show compassion, collaboration, friendship, inclusion and respect. They all did a marvellous job of learning their lines and cues and should be incredibly proud of themselves. They absolutely loved the experience and were desperate to perform again immediately after!
Year 1 Rainforest Day
On Tuesday, Year 1 had their Rainforest Day. We started the day by learning about insects and using our imaginations to search for insects around our rainforest, being sure to check the four layers: emergent, canopy, understory and the forest floor. Later the children made some rainforest music where they used body percussion to create the sounds of the rainforest and used instruments to recreate the sounds of a thunderstorm - this was very loud and realistic!
After lunch Year 2 joined us and we had a zoom call with a company called Zoo Lab, here we saw some rainforest animals and learnt which layers they would live in. We saw a tarantula, a stick insect, a frog and a snake. We learnt lots of information about these animals, discussed deforestation and learnt that there are many different types of rainforests in the world. The children particularly enjoyed when the frog jumped onto the camera. The children were able to ask questions and share the knowledge with the talker and their friends. This was an excellent talk and delivered brilliantly to the children. Year 1 finished their rainforest day by creating there very own rainforest insect.
Prep School News
Nursery began a dinosaur themed fortnight this week, where many members of the class have demonstrated exceptional prior knowledge and enthusiasm! They have made dinosaur eggs, junk model dinosaurs and enjoyed a sandy dinosaur filled swamp!
Reception have been busy baking, mixing up some honey and banana flapjacks. They discussed the health benefits of the various ingredients during the process and, as part of their mini beast topic, particularly focused on where the honey involved comes from. Reception have also enjoyed watching their butterflies emerge from their cocoons this week, what a wonderful thing to witness!
Year 4 have been putting the finishing touches to their 'Meet the Victorians' podcasts using GarageBand in Computer Science. In Endeavour, some members of Year 4 made butterfly feeders to go in their newly planted butterfly garden, whilst others practised their square-lashing skills to construct the walls of our new den in Junior Jungle. Year 5 have also been busy in Endeavour, working hard to put the finishing touches to their presentations for their Public Speaking badge, which they will be presenting next week.
This week's Values Certificates are awarded to:
Effort - Sam P-R and Rommy B
Kindness - Tom R
Stars of the Week
Nursery - Maddie C for showing kindness and helpfulness towards her peers and staff.
Reception - Finn H for showing kindness to others in a variety of situations.
Clementine R or superb effort in handwriting and wonderful enthusiasm during swimming lessons
Year 1 - Tombi W for always making an effort to think of others before himself.
Year 2 - Jack C for learning his assembly lines by heart and for using buckets of expression when reciting them. Well done!
Senior School News
The upper corridor has been alive with the sounds of Years 7-10 pupils completing their French and Spanish speaking and listening assessments this week whilst most other subject classes have been preparing in earnest for our upcoming Exam Week. Although this remains an integral part of school assessments it is certainly not the only way the students are assessed, and Mrs Douglas (Wellbeing Coordinator) has spoken to all year groups about how to prepare sensibly and develop the resilience needed to make such exam series' a worthwhile and productive part of their learning.
Commendations this week have been awarded to Sandy T and Ashley A, in Year 11, who have now completed their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Awards. Well done both! Josh W-D and Anna S have also received commendations for their outstanding Montserrat volcano rebuilding plans in Geography and Zac W, Jamie P, Jake L, Alex K, Troy K, Harry F, Jack D and Niamh A have been awarded Commendations for their perseverance in producing a History essay on the Spanish Armada.
Max S, Jamie L and Luke I have received Commendations for their theme park presentations in English whilst Emily B has also received one for her outstanding effort in Geography. They have also been awarded to Freddie S, Josh McG, Max S, Fraser R, Maddie I, Leo H and Imogen C for excellent effort and verbal contributions in Biology. Well done to you all!
Boys' Cricket: U13C v.Cottesmore
On Wednesday saw the U13C team travel to Cottesmore for a hard ball game of cricket. We elected to bat first to try and apply some pressure on the opposition, and we managed to score 80 runs from our 20 overs. This was due to a big 38 run partnership from Alex F and Henry C and Henry Y and Oliver W helped the run rate with a 4 each too. Unfortunately, this was not enough runs as Cottesmore managed to capitalise on the small leg side boundary and got to Duke of Kent School total. However, their chase was slowed down due to Chester B, Henry C, Ozzie H and Oscar D-K taking a wicket with accurate bowling. Well done to all the boys involved and as this was their first match with a hardball.
Boys' Cricket: U11B v. Windlesham
On Wednesday the Under 11 ‘B’ team took to the Top Pitch wicket to take on Windlesham House. Rain was expected but it held off until the last over, meaning a full game of pairs cricket was played. Duke of Kent School bowled first Oliver G picked up two wickets in his first over and Robert S achieved the same feat a few overs later. With sharpness in the field and constant bowling, Duke of Kent School kept the score down. In response, the opening pair of Levi L and John B kept the ship steady, then when Patrick W and Theo C arrived at the crease as the final pair the string ramped up leading the team to a 10 run victory. For the second week running I was super impressed by the behaviour, dedication and commitment of the boys - well done!
Boys' Cricket: U10/11 v. Windlesham
The Colts A Cricket team headed south this week to face cricketing heavyweights Windlesham House, in an eagerly anticipated fixture. Windlesham won the toss and elected to bat, but were immediately put under pressure with some excellent bowling form Sam R and Felix C. An in swinging yorker from Felix was far too good for their opener who lost his off stump, giving us an early breakthrough. Our tight bowling continued with two further wickets from the excellent Chester C and another two from the canny Kit B. However, it was a deceptive loopy delivery from the unassuming Jamie C that manged to dislodge their key man, sending the field into delirium. Our sensational bowling display gave us a chance, but the boys' brave efforts with the bat were not enough in the end to chase down 114. A glorious effort and a lovely afternoon's cricket.
Boys' Cricket: U10/11C v. Windlesham
The U10/11 C team hosted Windlesham House in a paired cricket match. All the boys displayed an excellent attitude throughout the warm-up drills and the match. Good communication between the pairs and some deft batting (Tom S did well to find gaps in the fielding to score repeated boundaries) allowed the team to build a total of 73 runs with only one wicket. A solid team effort while fielding and increasingly accurate bowling prevented the away team from building momentum, with a great slow ball from Tom R taking the team's solo wicket. Well done to all the boys!
Girls' Cricket: U15A v. St Edmund's
On Tuesday saw Duke of Kent School U15As host St. Edmund's school on front pitch for a cricket game. We were inserted on a wet wicket but Molly G and Zoe L got Duke of Kent School off to a flying start scoring 23 runs. The runs kept flowing with Hannah S and Amelie W-B coming to the crease. Duke of Kent School managed to amass 92 runs from their 8 overs. The U15s restricted St. Edmund's to 6 runs due to tight bowling from Kora W, Aoife W, Issy B and Celine C which was backed up by some alert fielding. Well done to all the girls involved for a very enjoyable afternoon!
Girls' Cricket U15B v. St Edmund's
On Tuesday afternoon the U15B girls' cricket team played an exciting match against St. Edmund’s School. Despite the rain the girls were all very eager to play and put their newly learnt skills to the test. As we fielded first the girls played a fantastic game showing their knowledge of the game and playing extremely well. Each girl bowled exceptionally and sproved to be a strong team with accurate and powerful bowls. The girls all batted really well and made some brilliant decisions allowing no wickets to be scored. Emily B and Layla S scored a thrilling 27 runs allowing the team to get ahead and win the match! The final score was St Edmund’s School 244 runs to Duke of Kent School 254 runs. Well done to everyone who played!
Girls' Cricket: U13A v. St. Edumnd's
On Wednesday afternoon the U13 A cricket team faced St. Edmund's at home. Weather reports were threatening to call our match off but luckily the sun shone, and we had just a little sprinkling of rain.
The girls had lots of practice before the team arrived so when they went into bat they were feeling confident and ready to hit some 4's. Our pairs did really well with some high scoring coming from Ava W and Helena K, our first batting pair who scored a fantastic pair score of 41. The whole team had some excellent batting and were ready to defend their lead when St. Edmund's came into bat.
Helena and Ava led the way again opening with very strong bowling and managing to keep the first pairs score below double figures. Alex K had a lightening speed bowl which helped keep their score long assisted with some great fielding resulting in catches and wickets from Alex, Ella S and Helena K. This was a strong performance and you can see every players' confidence has grown since their last match. The final score was 314 - 264 to Duke of Kent School. Well done girls.
Girls' Cricket: U13 B v. St. Edumnd's
On Wednesday afternoon the U13 girls welcomed St. Edmund's School to play a fantastic cricket match. We went into bat first and the girls hit some fantastic balls allowing lots of runs to be scored. All of our girls managed to score double figures in their pairs score allowing them to get a strong lead as they went into bowl. As we started to bowl it was clear we were a strong team, as we bowled almost no wide bowls. Ariane L bowelled fantastically only allowing St. Edmund's to score two runs from two overs. The end of the match ended on 334 runs to Duke of Kent School with 268 runs to St. Edmund’s School, a fantastic match and well done to everyone who played!
Performing Arts News
On Monday morning the Performing Arts Department held an assembly with the focus on creativity and positivity.
Mrs Honey and Mr Rye created a 'One Show' style chat show which was streamed to all the form rooms via YouTube. Good news and positive creativity was the focus, with positive news from around the school (and the world) broadcast to the classrooms!
Mr Wilson made a guest appearance to discuss how music helped him during lockdown and then professional singer/songwriter Gary o' Brien was featured. Gary has worked with Robbie Williams, Mark Ronson and more and was interviewed earlier in the week by Mr Rye. He played and sung two songs for the pupils and also discussed how creativity has been a powerful coping tool for him during lockdown.
You can watch the assembly here. It's worth it just to see Mr Rye and Mrs Honey's chat show personas!
This week, with the Summer examinations scheduled to begin and continue up until Half Term, I have delivered the last of my presentations to each Senior year group on how to manage exam stress and anxiety. We began by discussing how each individual was feeling about the upcoming exams; feelings that ranged from: anxious, ok, worried, nervous, overwhelmed to physical symptoms of headaches, tummy aches and disturbed sleep.
I was able to deliver a little psychoeducation focusing on the brain function of the pre-frontal cortex, hippocampus and amygdala and their functions, in order to highlight that anxiety is actually our body’s early warning system, designed to protect us. If we listen to our body’s anxiety rather than shutting it down we can instead embrace some coping, calming behaviours and protect ourselves from those feelings overwhelming 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 sexting
KNOW: Sending or receiving sexual images to or from a child is illegal – but context and common sense are important. Schools and police forces have guidance that allows them to consider your child’s best interests when dealing with these incidents.
REACT: Stay calm. Your child will be feeling embarrassed and worried, so however tempting it is to get cross, it’s important to remain composed and provide reassurance.
RECOVER: Decide who else should be informed and then deal with the practical things that can be done to limit any negative impact.
A Message from Matron
School health-related policies reminders:
Please can all pupils and parents remember that due to several of our pupils having severe nut allergies, that we are a "nut free school". Pupils should not need to bring snacks to school, as there is plenty of food on offer from our catering team. Any food brought into school for whatever reason, must be nut free please for the safety of our pupils.
If pupils start to feel unwell during the school day, they should visit the School Nurse in the medical room. Pupils should not be contacting parents directly to ask for an early pick up, without checking with a member of staff first.
Please can Senior School pupils remember to bring a face cover to school if they are due to go on any away matches or on School trips where they will be travelling on the minibus.
However you choose to enjoy your new "step 3" liberties this weekend, please do so with caution as advised by the Government, and continue to apply "Hands, Face, Space" guidance where possible. Clearly the Indian Variant is one to watch, with warnings from the Prime Minister that it has potential to impact the move to Step 4 out of lockdown (currently due for June 21st), due to its potentially increased transmissibility.
Finally, as we head into exam revision weekend for must pupils, please remember to take regular breaks and squeeze in some time for fun, rest, and relaxation - it's so important to get the balance right for both your physical and mental wellbeing. Good luck for next week!
The School Nurses
This week, pupils and staff have voted to decide what four birds of prey will become the new House names from September 2021 or if the current names remain. The votes will be collated over the next week and the outcomes announced after the half-term break. The submissions for the Motivational Poster competition have been judged this week. Congratulations to Annabel R (Senior - Hillary) and Ben W (Prep - Armstrong) for winning the House Motivational Poster competition. The purpose of this competition was for the students to create a poster that encourages a positive mindset or action. It was felt that both of these posters were innovative and shared a message/action which we could all learn from! Well done to everyone who entered - remember you earn 3 House points just for entering! A special thank you and to Mr Watson for helping out with the judging! Armstrong and Hillary have had a strong week and the amount of House points they have earned has allowed them to make good progress in the race to be the House of the Year. You can use this link to see the leaderboard in more detail- House Leaderboard- Summer Week 5
A new title has been chosen for the PADoK Book Club and we really hope you enjoy what appears to be an exciting read! We are hoping to meet in person for the next PADOK book club on Thursday 1st July, location to be confirmed. 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.
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.
It is fantastic to welcome guests to our Open Morning today. Tours are now underway and families can see the @DoKSchool in action firsthand. They will be shown around by staff, meet pupils and have the opportunity to speak with our Head. #OpenMorning #Welcome #TheDokWay https://t.co/Z9aD48sjyv
Well done to everyone that took part in our very own '3 Peaks Challenge' on Monday evening. Pupils started their ascent to Leith Hill along the Greensand Way and then back to Pitch Hill. This was a great challenge and a huge achievement! ⛰ #PitchHill #HolmburyHill #LeithHill https://t.co/hIWM4a9uAX