As we draw to the close of this half term, I know both staff and pupils are looking forward to a short break. It has been a very busy 6 weeks with a lovely sense of normality beginning to return to the School. The pupils in Prep and Senior School are to be commended on the way they have managed their examinations this week. They are an important element in the process of learning and allow us to support the pupils in setting future targets. Next half term will be another packed one as we (hopefully) are able to welcome you to the School to celebrate the achievements of our pupils and say farewell to our Year 11 leavers. Have a lovely break.
Attending Matches at School
With guidelines changing regarding spectators at sporting fixtures, we are delighted to start welcoming Duke of Kent School parents to our home fixtures after the half term break. Until further notice, Duke of Kent School parents are not permitted to travel to other schools and parents from the away teams are not able to travel to Duke of Kent School; we will review this when hopefully restrictions ease on June 21st. When attending sporting fixtures, the following guidelines will apply:
Parents should not gather in groups larger than 30 (this number is not the total number that can visit the school at one time as the matches are spread out in different areas of the school grounds). The current socially distancing rules should still apply.
Parents should park at the bottom of the school site and only enter the main school building if you need to use the toilet. Please use the toilet opposite reception and make sure that you sanitise your hands and wear a face covering as you enter the building.
There will be no match teas for the time being. Please feel free to bring your own coffee in a closed in cup.
For a list of matches taking place please refer to the Blue calendar and find details for the week’s matches on the Parent Portal or the noticeboard in the entrance to the Old Hall.
We look forward to seeing you at matches in the near future.
Buddy Session in Pre-Prep
Year 1 and 2 are currently having their first buddy reading session, they have partnered up with someone from the other class and are taking it turns to read a page of their reading book each. This really is very lovely to see.
On Friday Key Stage 1 are going to be making some vegan flapjacks to celebrate all the amazing learning we have had this term.
Prep School News
Nursery have continued their dinosaur themed learning this week. They went up to the woods and built an enormous nest, in which they put the eggs they made last week.
The children took it in turns to try and open their eggs, which proved a satisfying challenge! To finish their week, they took a trip to Southwater Park to see the real life dinosaur fossil that was found in the lake there and play in the dinosaur park.
After watching the butterflies emerge from their cocoons last week, Reception released their butterflies out into the wild on Thursday and Year 1 have been learning the difference between evergreen and deciduous trees and enjoyed a tree hunt around the school site to find examples of each.
Years 1 and 2 hosted our assembly on Wednesday morning, with a re-telling of Jack and the Beanstalk. Feedback from the Prep School pupils included: 'Wow Year 1 and 2, you put lots of effort into your assembly!' from Ruby and 'Definitely a five star rating!' said Alexander. 6W also sent Years 1 and 2 a video of them clapping along to the song 'One Fine Cow!'
Years 3 - 6 have been busy undertaking exams this week. We've seen some excellent perseverance, determination, independence and initiative, and all the pupils should feel proud of the way in which they have prepared and tackled the papers. We look forward to sharing and celebrating your results with you after Half Term.
This week's Values Certificates are awarded to:
Responsibility - Isla W
Kindness - Seren G
Stars of the Week
Nursery - Eliza H for settling into Nursery life with increasing confidence, stamina and enthusiasm.
Reception - Ottilie H for superb effort in everything she does, especially independent writing.
Florence H for fantastic effort in P.E, especially in the long jump!
Year 1 - Joey S for brilliantly explaining fractions to his classmates.
Year 2 - Eliza R for producing an incredible diary entry from the perspective of Samuel Pepys. Your similes brought your text ALIVE!
Senior School News
It has been a hugely busy week in the Senior School with Years 7 to 10 having their exams and Year 11 completing a number of GCSE assessments across the subject range. As Years 7 and 8 have never completed an exam week in the Senior School we have been very aware that the experience may feel a little overwhelming for them and have worked on ensuring they see this as an opportunity to showcase what they can do rather than focusing on what they cannot do. With that in mind, I must commend all the Seniors for their attitude throughout the week and hope that they feel they have done themselves justice. All mistakes provide an opportunity to improve!
Commendations this week have been awarded to Milly B (Year 11) for completing her Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award (her skills including singing, peer mentoring within school and cooking) and to Annabelle R (Year 8) who has received two commendations this week, relating to her outstanding independent work in History and excellent written piece regarding homelessness in RS. Awards go to Johnny M and Will R (Year 8) who are also commended for their outstanding work relating to homelessness in RS. Well done to you all.
I wish you all a restful half-term break and look forward to an exciting final few weeks as we head towards the Summer.
Rounders: Years 9,10 and 11 House Rounders
On Tuesday afternoon all girls in Years 9, 10 and 11 played in some very competitive House rounders matches. All girls played excellently and worked well in their teams to field with confidence. Kora W and Alice S played incredibly throughout for Chichester with wonderful fielding and batting. Izzy B and Molly G hit some powerful shots allowing themselves to score lots of easy rounders for their team, Armstrong. Tilly C was very quick in the field, reacting to any balls hit her way and got that back to either second or fourth base stopping the batter from scoring. Macy B and Martha McA fielded fantastically for Whittle catching some hard balls and getting players out. Ruby K played outstanding through all matches for Hillary scoring lots of rounders and Bea H fielded with great confidence in deep field throwing very accurate and powerful balls back to fourth base to stop the player scoring a full rounder. Well done to everyone who played and made it such a wonderful afternoon of house rounders!
Girls Cricket: U13A v. Dorset House
Wednesday afternoon was a beautiful sunny afternoon and was made even better with a fantastic cricket match from the U13A girl’s team against Dorset House. The sun was shining down as we fielded first; Helena K and Frankie M bowled excellently only letting the team score very few runs from their bowls. Each girl bowled very few wide balls, which shows their skills and what they have been learning and practising in lessons. The girls showed wonderful teamwork and communication, backing each other up making sure that ball was not crossing the boundaries. Violetta P and Alex K both caught hard balls scoring a wicket and getting batters out. As we went into batting the girls knew they would have to work hard to win the game. After the first few overs the girls were confident they had the win, each girl hit multiple 4s and 6s within their 4 overs and fought hard for the win. Our strongest batting pair was Emily B and Alex K scoring 45 runs between them! The end of the game came and Duke of Kent School had won with a whopping 335 runs to Dorset House 265 runs. Well done to everyone who played!
Girls' Cricket: U13 B v. Cranleigh Prep School
On Wednesday, the U13 B team travelled to Cranleigh Prep School for a thrilling cricket match. The girls went straight into bat with determination. It was also great to see the pupils coaching each other ahead of taking the crease. All the girls had great communication and hit the ball well. A special mention to Esme P who got four 4's in the game taking the team into bowling with a strong score of 286.
Cranleigh came out strong and focused but with some accurate bowling from Ariane L and Rose S the team were able to stop any big scores coming from their hits. As we went into the final over the score was leaning in Cranleigh's favour but the penultimate bowl from Esme P resulted in a wicket and won the game for Duke of Kent School. This was a fantastic game and all the girls played brilliantly.
Girls' Cricket: U12A v. Dorset House
At last, a sunny Wednesday afternoon! The U12A team were raring to go and enjoying a slightly warmer cricket match than they had been used to this term. The team welcomed Dorset House for a game of pairs cricket on the Wilsons' Pitch. Duke of Kent School batted first and got off to a flying start with Niamh A and Jess I hitting multiple 4s and 6s within their 4 overs. The incredible batting did not stop there with boundaries scored left, right and centre! The strongest batting pair were Bella S and Sydney R, as a team they hit over 10 boundaries and helped the U12 team to finish with an exceptional number of runs.
The team remained focused when fielding and showed excellent teamwork and determination. Isla B and Saoirse W stopped multiple balls just before the boundary, helping to keep Dorset House's run rate down to a minimum. The whole team bowled fantastically with great accuracy, well done in particular to Emma F and Belles H for getting wickets and bowling with great power. Duke of Kent School managed a brilliant win with the highest score so far from any Duke of Kent School girls cricket team this term! Huge congratulations to all the girls involved, I was extremely proud of the team as the girls put into practice so many skills they've learnt in lessons!
Girls' Cricket: U11B v. Dorset House
The Under 11 Bs also headed to Dorset House on Wednesday afternoon. After winning the toss, Isabella, who was Captain for the day, chose to bat first. Each pair faced three overs and Duke of Kent closed their batting on 137 runs. Well done to Eva P-R who made some excellent contact with the ball and hit a 4! It was then the turn of Dorset House. Despite some excellent run-outs, we couldn't keep their batting at bay and Dorset House won the game with 170 runs. It was a performance of which to be proud, with some excellent perseverance, progress and good humour on show! Congratulations to Eve who was voted batter of the game and Poppy who was named Bowler of the game by the opposition.
Boys' Cricket: U10/11C v. Kingswood House
The U10/11C team continued their winning run with a narrow victory against Kingswood House on Wednesday. The scores finished 107 against 106! Solid fielding throughout the match and exploring the space in the opposition fielding allowed the boys to maintain a narrow lead throughout. Most impressive of all was the improvement in the quality of bowling from each of the boys as the game progressed. Well done boys!
Performing Arts News
The second half of term is set to a busy one, restrictions depending. We have everything crossed that they will be lifted on 21st June so all our wonderful events can take place. If they are not rest assured that we will once again adapt and make sure the pupils still have performance opportunities of some sort!
Please have a look at the list below and pop in your diary any that are relevant.
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!
After a long week (and for Year 11’s a few weeks) of assessments and exams, I am hoping all pupils are able to take a well-earned break from School and focus on opportunities to mix again with friends and families. The opportunity to switch off and focus on something else entirely is an important part of self care and preservation.
Many of us: pupils, parents and teachers will be feeling emotionally and mentally exhausted given the changeable nature of the past year, coupled with (for some) the rigours of academic testing. Just as I suggested the need for regular breaks when revising, it is also important to allow ourselves prolonged breaks to fully rest and recharge. This half term should be an opportunity for just that.
It is important to listen to your physical and emotional self and recognise what you need in this break. For some it will be a break from early mornings and extra sleep, for others activity and physical and social pursuits - what is important to recognise is that we are not all the same and neither are our needs.
What is it you need? Take time to recognise that and enjoy your break in whatever form it takes.
Some activities to occupy and boost mental health over this break from Place2Be:
Your web browser lets you control content and search options, including blocking or tracking history, preventing apps being downloaded, and blocking sites containing nudity, violence, and inappropriate content. Don’t forget to apply suitable settings to all the browsers used on every family computer and device.
Privacy settings on social networking sites like Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram help you manage what your child sees, who contacts them and how they interact with others. They can also be used to report inappropriate content.
You can use parental controls to manage your child’s online gaming, as well as who they play and communicate with. Options include time and spending limits, and managing access to content, sites, and purchases.
A Message from the School Nurses
There have been quite a few people suffering with sore throats and colds at school this week. It's really important we all continue to adopt the "catch it bin it kill it" strategy and keep up with good hand hygiene, to stop germs from spreading, especially as we head into a week of socialising and catching up with friends and family during half term.
On the Covid-19 front, the government have this week urged caution regarding travel into the following the "Indian Variant" hotspot areas:
Bedford, Blackburn with Darwen, Bolton, Burnley, Kirklees, Leicester, London Borough of Hounslow, and North Tyneside. Surge PCR testing is also taking place in Hampshire within the postcode areas GU11, GU12, GU51 and GU52.
Staff and pupils without symptoms should continue with their twice weekly lateral flow tests during the Half Term, ensuring they perform a test on the evening of Sunday 6th June in order to return to school safely on the 7th. Anyone who develops symptoms (temperature, or cough or change/loss of smell/taste) should book a PCR test (ring 119).
At School this week I've started making plans for first aid and medical provisions for the many School trips coming up after half term. It's so nice to finally plan for the pupils to enjoy fun days out after such a long time! Please can all the Year 10 parents make sure you return the medical form regarding the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Expedition coming up in July (by Monday 7th June please). This form was sent by email on Monday 24th May.
Enjoy a restful, sunny, and happy Half Term - here comes summer at last!
The School Nurses
The end of the voting stage for the House Renaming project has arrived! The majority of the students and staff voted in favour of birds of prey and selected 4 names from the shortlist which was formed by the Student Councils, House Captains and House Leaders. As a result, we are pleased to announce that the school will be moving forward with the process of renaming the Houses after 4 birds of prey from September 2021. There will be a special assembly on Friday 11th June to acknowledge this significant milestone and have a ceremony to randomly allocate a new name to each House, which they will use from the start of September. This is the first stage of an exciting process that, over the course of the next academic year, will breathe new life into the House system while finding ways to consciously acknowledge the importance that the current House names have had in shaping the school into what it is today.
Hillary continues to maintain their lead over the other Houses. However, the race is far from over as there are plenty of opportunities to earn lots of House points with events like House Chess. There are sign up sheets on the Prep School and House Classrooms which the students can add their name to if they wish to take part in one of the chess competitions. You can use this link to see the up to date totals- House Leaderboards
Wow, that was a fresh, blustery start to the day, cobwebs officially blown away, along with a cap or two! Another fantastic hour of laughing with each other and at the dogs, who were thoroughly enjoying themselves this morning! It’s such a brilliant way to start the day and you don’t have to have a dog by any means.
Please do come and join us if you can for our next PADoK walk on Friday 11th June (our first Friday back after Half Term), Hurtwood / Pitch Hill Car Park, straight from drop off. We tend to head off by 08:30. Would be lovely to see you. Thanks to all.
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.
Year 11 have almost finished their final year at Duke of Kent School so it's great to have these moments to catch up and spend time with them before they leave and go into their next phase of education. #Year11 #Leavers #TheDoKWay #GCSEs https://t.co/9kgDLLHkP2