Today has been a joyful day. We started our morning with a renaming ceremony as we announced Duke of Kent School’s new House names and, with mystery boxes and balloons, unveiled the new name for each of our existing Houses. As we celebrated the start of a new era it was also time to say farewell to our Year 11s as today was their final day at school. We heard funny stories and fond memories from Year 10s and Pre-prep sang songs to them as we acknowledged their wonderful leadership and contribution to the School. For a few, this was the end of 13 years of schooling and an important milestone as they all transition now to new beginnings. We look forward to saying our final farewell at the Leavers’ Dinner and Parents’ Day. A super end to an extremely busy week. Have a lovely, sunny weekend.
This morning there was excitement in the air! The Prep and Senior School attended an assembly where the new House names were announced to the School community for the very first time. Once it was announced that Buzzard, Hawk, Kestrel and Peregrine were the most popular names from the vote, it was time to start the renaming ceremony. It had lights, a drumroll, and 'mystery boxes' which held each of the names. Just to add an extra pinch of drama, the results from the riddle quizzes were used to decide which House got to pick their box first. The Year 11 House Captains opened the box and a balloon rose out of the box to unveil what that House's new name would be.
The renaming process is complete so now we look to the future. The House Afternoon on Monday 5th July will celebrate this significant milestone for the school and celebrate the outgoing names. This will signify the start of the next process which focuses on enhancing the House System and looking at opportunities for the outgoing names to remain a notable influence in school.
The House of the Year contest is entering the final stages with Hillary still maintaining a lead over Whittle. The battle for 3rd place is still incredibly tight between Armstrong and Chichester. You can use the following link to see the up to date totals- House Summer Leaderboards
World Oceans Day
World Oceans Day has been celebrated on June 8th every year since 1992; the theme for this year is Life and Livelihood. The aim of the day is to raise awareness of how precious the oceans are to us and to help pupils understand what an important resource they are. World Oceans Day helps encourage pupils to take responsibility for their actions and understand how we can make a difference if we work together.
To celebrate the day the Prep School pupils enjoyed an assembly performed by members of Year 6 informing them about plastic in the oceans followed by a carousel of different activities. They worked together to create each part of an exciting story about the sea and created a vibrant display about different creatures in the ocean. They also enjoyed a fantastic Maths quiz on ocean numbers and devised different beach scenes in Drama-there was even a bit of ocean breathing to relax them and some role-play involving floppy sun hats and sunglasses!
A wonderfully exciting and informative day was enjoyed by everyone. Well done to everyone for their enthusiasm and hard work.
UKMT - Maths Challenge
Congratulations to pupils in Year 7 and 8 on achieving some fantastic results in the UKMathsTrust Junior challenge. In total 25 certificates were received including silvers for Matilda R, Anna L & Florrie P in Year 7 and Bobby F & Ozzie H in Year 8. Particular congratulations to Pippa S (Y8) and Henry C (Y7) who were not only awarded gold certificates but also qualified for the follow up Kangaroo round.
Mountain Bike Club
This week at Duke of Kent School's Mountain Bike Club they cycled over to Winterfold to shred the area’s epic trails. They were practising flat to downslope roll-downs, rollable drops and descending on technical terrain.
There were some great moments, and they all did such a great job learning and mastering these new skills. Please click the links below to see some of the things they've been working on:
There are 80 million refugees and internally displaced people across the world. This accounts for 1 in a hundred of the world's population. The displaced population of Syria alone is the equivalent of the populations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland being forced from their homes. These global issues affect the whole of our interconnected world, and cause untold individual suffering.
Next week Duke of Kent School will be getting involved with Refugee Week 2021. As global citizens, it is essential that our students have a sound understanding of this under-reported and often misunderstood crisis. Through Refugee Week students will spend a short time exploring the theme of refugees in the context of their different subject areas. On Friday we will be rounding the week off by welcoming some virtual visitors. Our speakers, who recently addressed the 2020 G7 Youth Summit, will share their refugee experiences with the School. In addition, there will be QR codes around the School that student can read using their Chrome books and iPads.
While we will be exploring a number of positive, hopeful stories and case studies, it is inevitable that some of the concepts and issues covered in Refugee Week will be difficult to hear. The material students will be working with has been checked by our Wellbeing Officer and Safeguarding leads and deemed appropriate. If any students would like to discuss thoughts and feelings arising from the Week they are encouraged to speak with any teacher or member of staff they feel comfortable with. Should you wish to discuss Refugee Week with your child there are some fabulous resources on their website, https://refugeeweek.org.uk/. For those of you looking for a way to start this converstation, a member of the School's parent community has directed me to the Lampedusa Cross from the British Museum collection:https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/H_2015-8039-1.
Pupils in Prep and Pre-prep ventured under the water this week, in celebration of World Ocean's Day. Some Year 6 pupils began the day with an assembly, highlighting not only the problems humans are causing for ocean habitats, but also explaining how we can implement solutions to protect marine environments - at global and local scales. Pupils were especially horrified to learn that a rubbish truck sized load of plastic enters the ocean every minute and that there is now more plastic in the ocean than fish (the equivalent of 57,000 blue whales). However, they were encouraged to know that with the right marine reserves in place, fish stocks could quickly return to former levels and provide millions of people with more secure sources of food and livelihood. Children spent the day rotating around a range of 30-minute ocean themed activities, including a Maths quiz, story writing, musical meditation, species evolution and art.
Year 1 conjured some wonderful descriptions of rainbow fish, using a lovely array of adjectives, and later breathed further life into them with their spectacular wax resist paintings.
Later in the week, we also celebrated 'Empathy Day', reflecting on how we can not only better understand the world if we spend some time looking at things from others' perspective, but also imagining what it feels like to be in their shoes, so we can offer people more kindness and compassion. Books, in particular, are a fantastic way of spending a few hours, days or even weeks experiencing life as someone completely different, challenging our preconceptions, validating our own emotions, not to mention providing some good old escapism and fun! Below you'll find a poster of book titles with empathy related themes your children might enjoy.
This week's Values Certificates are awarded to:
Responsibility - Tansy-B and Isabella N
Stars of the Week
Nursery - Archie H for his remarkable recollection of dinosaur names.
Reception - Rocket M for taking on the challenge work in comprehension and showing continued perseverance in all tasks.
Year 1 - Norah C for her excellent effort in her English work all week.
Year 2 - Olivia W for working hard to check and edit her writing to ensure it’s the best it can possibly be.
Senior School News
It's been wonderful having parents back onsite as we have been able to welcome home spectators to attend sporting fixtures. This has certainly helped add an extra incentive to the performances, with some great team and individual displays! We have also said goodbye to our Year 11 cohort today (Friday) as this is their last compulsory day. Although we look forward to more celebratory events with them over the coming weeks, including the Leavers' Concert and Dinner on the 5th July and Parents' Day on the 10th, it does nonetheless mean we have to recognise their time at the school is drawing to an end. A hugely talented, considerate and resilient group, they will be very much missed.
Next week we are looking forward to recognising Refugee Week and Mr Watson has been hard at work organising guest speakers and many thought-provoking activities throughout the week. Commendations today have been awarded to Violetta P (Year 8) for being incredibly helpful, stepping in without notice to translate with a Swedish parent, and to Ross S ( Year 11) for completing his Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award whilst developing his IT, horse tacking and football techniques in the process! A commendation has also been awarded to Emma B (Year 10) for her superb ongoing effort in her non-fiction lesson. Well done to all of you!
Rounders U13 v. Belmont
On Wednesday afternoon the U13 Rounders team played Belmont at home. After winning the toss the girls set out to field. There was some fantastic fielding from the team and lots of communication between them which led to keeping Belmont's score low. Duke of Kent School went into bat and were focused and determined to chase the score Belmont had. There were superb hits from Alex K, Ava W and Esme P and the girls' attention to the number of 'good balls' resulted in some well-timed risks. At half-time the score was 13 1/2 to 6 1/2 to Duke of Kent School. Belmont came out with grit and determination for their second innings and they managed to get lots of rounders but not without our girls bringing their total number of rounders as low as possible. Duke of Kent School had a strong final innings and managed to hold on to their winning score led by Captain, Helena K. Well done girls, what a fantastic win.
Rounders U12 v. Belmont
On an incredibly sunny Wednesday afternoon, Duke of Kent School U12s welcomed Belmont for a rounders match. It was some of the U12s first rounders match, so they were eager to put their skills into a game situation. Duke of Kent School fielded first and demonstrated great awareness and communication throughout the innings. Jess I bowled with confidence whilst Saoirse W and Bella S teamed up well as backstop and 2nd post. When it was Duke of Kent School's turn to bat, they started slowly but grew into the game with Sydney R, Emma F, Niamh A and Isla B all making good contact and scoring rounders for the team. After a quick break, the U12s went back out to field. They showed their versatility by playing a variety of positions, Maggie B did a fantastic job in backstop whilst Anna L made some great catches on 2nd post. All the girls remained focused and kept Belmont's score to a minimum. In the second batting innings, the team performed brilliantly, with some accurate hitting and risky running! Duke of Kent School's U12 team managed to score 24 rounders in total to win the game. Well done girls, a great result!
Year 9-11 House Cricket.
It was brilliant to see all of the boys from Years 9-11 representing their houses playing hardball or softball. The B team competition was played in great spirits on the Wilson's pitch. There were some fantastic shots and hard hitting on show from all those taking part. Well done to all the boys involved as everyone managed to bowl and bat, showing the skills they had learnt throughout the year.
Boys' Cricket: U12/13 XI v. St. Edmund's
The U12/13 C XI played a hard ball match against St. Edmund's on Wednesday. The game started with Duke of Kent School bowling and the game could not have started any better, on the first ball a platinum duck, bowled by Josh W-D who started the innings bowling very well. The pick of the bowlers in the middle overs included Jamie P and Alex F, both bowling very consistently, with then Ozzie H bowling a great over to finish the innings. St. Edmund's ended their innings on 75, with 76 needed to win Duke of Kent School got off to a slow start and unfortunately could not get going throughout the innings ending on a score of 55. Well played to all the players involved, especially during the first innings and continue to work on your cricket skills.
Boys' Cricket: U11 A v. St. Edmund's
The U11 A Team cricketers won their second game in a row after an extremely exciting game against St. Edmund's, that went down to the very last ball. Sam R was the pick of the bowlers with 4 wickets, including two in the final over, with Chester S, Myles C and Kit B also taking a wicket each. There was some excellent fielding from the whole team plus some great catches from Chester S, Jude B, and Felix C (2). Myles C top scored with bat with an unbeaten 17, but this really was an all-round performance. The key moment was a stunning diving catch from Felix C in the final over to prevent a 6 (the crowd went wild!) with the other team only needing a few to win. An excellent performance.
Boys' Cricket: U9 v. St Edmund's
On Thursdays saw the Under 9 A's travel to St Edmund's. Rommy B won the toss and decided that Duke of Kent School would bat first. Harry L and Thibaut J opened the bat and scored 27 from their 3 overs. Next in bat were Rommy B and Arthur H, who were restricted to 17 from their 3 overs. Lastly, Henry O and Ben W scored 42 from their overs, due to some excellent running. Duke of Kent School kept St Edmund's scoring down due to some tight fielding and won the game by 22 runs.
I couldn’t let today’s bulletin pass without bidding a fond farewell to our Year 11 pupils who have their official last day today. As a Year 11 Form Teacher and teacher of most of the year group over their time at Duke of Kent School, I understand that both their experiences and feelings about leaving will be very mixed. Endings can stir up emotive responses and it's helpful to consider your feelings about an experience, relationship, job or school before it ends. It is possible to have a good ending (whilst it may be sad) if you prepare for it.
Endings have been disrupted for many of our pupils, parents and staff over the last 18 months in many senses and acknowledging this can be beneficial to accepting those endings.
I am also aware that this week can be an emotive and difficult time for many pupils across the Senior and Prep School as they receive their exam results. While for many there will be joy, there are also those who may be disappointed - it is necessary they are given the opportunity to voice and reflect on those feelings. As parents, you can aim to listen without judgement and focus on future goals with your children rather than focusing on what is perceived as ‘lost’. The exams signify their own ending, as the culmination of an academic year which has been unusual and uncertain for us all. The hope is that we can accept this ending without regret and allow enjoyment of the present.
Go online with your kids and explore their digital world
Share your own online experiences
Learn from each other and have fun
Be a Good Digital Role Model
Curb your own bad digital habits
Know when and where to unplug
Show your kids how to collaborate and be kind online
A Message from the School Nurses
Covid-19 cases are on the rise again (7,540 new infections on Wednesday 9th June; and a 66% increase in infections in the 7 days leading up to Wednesday). The Government is due to weigh up the latest data regarding the Delta Variant versus the impact of the vaccination programme, and come to a decision regarding the next step out of lockdown on Monday 14th. We at School will be looking closely at what's said, and how that may impact our plans for the last few weeks of the school year (we will of course be in touch with you as soon as we possibly can with any relevant updates).
We have been notified of a handful of positive cases of Covid-19 in Schools not a million miles from us recently, so Covid-19 has definitely not gone away just yet - we need to remain vigilant and continue hand hygiene, social distancing and regular asymptomatic testing please.
Meanwhile, summer has most definitely arrived at School, and it's been a glorious week! Please do remember that all pupils are expected to have a named bottle of sun cream at School, as they will need to reapply regularly. A sunhat and full named water bottle are also essential. Please can Year 9 pupils heading off on their DofE walk next Friday be particularly careful to be "sun safe". I enjoyed teaching them some basic First Aid yesterday, and recommended that they all download the St Johns Ambulance app on their phones for any real-life scenarios they encounter. I would highly recommend all parents get this app too - you never know when it may be useful!
The School Nurses
This year, Duke of Kent School is delighted to be sponsoring the Ewhurst Carnival in August. They have a programme every year, and they are running a 'Cover competition'. This competition is open to all artists 8 years of age and under, the winner will receive not only prizes, and the honour of having their design on the event programme, but also the glory of officially opening the carnival on 7th August. The deadline is 15th June and all entries will feature in the programme. If your child/ren would like to have a go this weekend, please visit https://www.ewhurstcarnival.co.uk/cover-compfor more details.
Second Hand Uniform
The Second Hand Uniform Shop will be open on Wednesday16th June from 3pm to 4pm.
The Summer Term PADoK meeting is being held on Monday 14th June at 09.30am via Zoom - if parents would like to join the meeting then please contact your class rep for details. Everyone is welcome and we look forward to seeing you there.
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 at 8:00pm, 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.
#ThrowbackThursday Duke of Kent School Year 11 Leavers' Concert and Dinner 2014. We've always loved these evenings celebrating Year 11 and all they had achieved through their time at Duke of Kent School and of course, saying a final goodbye. #LeaversDinner #TheDoKWay #Memories https://t.co/6DikyMzNzU
Year 10 form groups are enjoying lunch with Mrs Knox, Mr Macdonald and their Form Teachers this week to discuss moving up into their final year at @DoKSchool and their upcoming Prefect interviews. Thank you to our catering team for a delicious lunch! #HeadsLunch #TheDoKWay https://t.co/kOAmUKfj60