It was a pleasure welcoming new pupils and their families to our School this week as part of our Familiarisation Day. We hosted these events in a pop-up Circus Tent which the remainder of the School also enjoyed as they learnt to juggle and spin plates. It was joyful hearing the children laugh and gasp in amazement at the skill of the circus performers. The deer have caused quite a stir this week as they now take pride of place on the lawn. I have already been asked if one of them is Rudolf and whether he will be pulling a sleigh at Christmas. Now there is food for thought! Have a lovely weekend.
Fi Morris Visits Duke of Kent School
On Friday afternoon, pupils ranging from Year 3 to Year 10 were given the opportunity to take part in some cricket masterclass sessions with Fi Morris, a professional cricketer. The afternoon began with an optional session for Prep School at lunch time. There was a fantastic turn out with over 20 pupils arriving at the Sports Hall to meet Fi and show her their bowling skills! Some of the Year 6 boys shared their fantastic cricket stories with Fi and asked some great questions including how she got into cricket and what inspired her to be a cricketer. Throughout the rest of the afternoon, around 20 pupils in each year group took part in some bowling, batting and fielding drills and benefited from some encouragement and top tips from Fi. Excitingly, some of the pupils had the chance to bat against Fi's spin bowling! This resulted in a few wickets from Fi but also some good strikes from Duke of Kent School pupils! The pupils had a great time and some even managed to get Fi's autograph.
If you are interested in following Fi's cricket over the summer, you will be able to watch the Hundred cricket competition on Sky Sports and the BBC. See the link below for more information about the competition, Fi plays for Southern Brave in the Hundred. A huge thank you to Fi Morris for taking the time to travel up to our school and inspire the next generation of cricketers, what a brilliant afternoon!
On Friday Year 9 stepped out into the rain to practise their navigation, cooking skills, teamwork and sense of humour. This represented the peak of their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Expedition training so far, after spending some time inside and outside School practising their map and compass skills and their first aid awareness with myself and Mrs Sarjant.
The route was just over 10km long but included some notorious slopes in Winterfold Woods. Overseen by staff (Mr Wyllie, Mrs Tattan-Robb, Mrs Vermeulen, Mrs Punter, Mr Wilson and Miss Anand) all the Year 9 groups completed the training requirements with an outstanding ‘can do’ attitude in the face of some real climatic adversity. Using the trangia camping stoves, the pupils also managed to cook some ingenious concoctions including variations of pasta, bacon and, notably, duck pancakes shared by Tom H, a dish not often seen on these occasions!
Year 9 can now look forward to their Bronze Qualification Expedition next academic year. They will need to have also submitted reports for their DofE Physical, Skill and Volunteering sections in order to achieve their Bronze Awards, and then potentially move onto the next level of Silver!
Year 2 Great Fire of London
On Monday, Year 2 started their week off with a bang! As part of our Great Fire of London Topic work, we warmly welcomed Kat, from The Freshwater Theatre Company, into our School. She led an incredible drama workshop where the children were given the opportunity to go back in time and re-enact the dramatic events of 1666; one minute they were pretending to be Thomas Farriner, the owner of the bakery where the fire began and the next, they were moving their bodies in angry, fearsome ways as they took on the role of the Great Fire!
Throughout the workshop, the children were able to show Kat how much they already knew about how the fire began, why it spread so quickly, how it was stopped and finally, they told her all about Christopher Wren, the architect who helped to rebuild a safer London. The workshop gave the children the freedom to escape into another world and what an amazing time they had!
"I loved pretending to be the grocers in the market!" Simon F
"Pretending to be the rats was so fun! Lots of the rats in London had The Plague and were killed off by the fire" Olivia W
"I loved how we were taken back in time to 1666. Kat changed into 'Mary Porter' and suddenly had a very funny accent!" Herb M
Year 4 Assembly
On Wednesday morning, Year 4 were delighted to welcome their parents back to school to watch their form assembly. Their performance was based on the Dr Seuss book, Oh the Places You'll Go! The story tells the tale of a traveller's journey through life's ups and downs. The traveller was played by Harry and he managed to navigate confusing directions, Bang-ups, Hang-ups, Slumps, races against his friends, storms of tissue paper being thrown at him, the fearsome howling Hakken Kraks and the most useless place of all - the Waiting Place. Luckily, he also found the place where Boom Bands were playing when the class gave a wonderful rendition of Believer, showing their fantastic drumming, singing and rapping. They left their audience with an important message to us all: "You're off to Great Places. Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting so get on your way!".
New Optional Senior School Hoodie
The Senior School hoodies have been redesigned by members of the School Council and the finished product can be seen below. They have done a fantastic job at putting this design together and now finally getting to see the finished product.
This new hoodie will be available to pre-order from Stevenson's from today on their website: https://www.stevensons.co.uk/. There is also the option to have your child's initials printed onto the front of the hoodie for a slight additional cost, something we would advise to avoid mixing up tops with other pupils. This hoodie is not an essential item of School uniform, so there is no expectation for pupils to have it.
If you wish to see the sample, please pop into the Main Office to see me and have a look at the new hoodie.
Prep and Pre-prep School News
It was wonderful to welcome so many new faces to our community this week, as Familiarisation Day rolled into town complete with a Circus Big Top! The buzz of anticipation, as pupils and parents arrived in the morning, was palpable. Whilst we would have loved our newcomers to have had more time meeting their new classmates and teachers, it was a wonderful opportunity for them to meet each other and visit the School to help get their bearings ahead of September. In the afternoon, everyone in Prep and Pre-prep was treated to a professional circus performance, followed by smaller group workshops in which each child had the chance to try some of the skills they'd just been admiring. I'm reliably informed no-one was eating fire or swallowing swords, but it was nevertheless exciting, challenging and enlightening in equal measure.
For our current pupils, Thursday allowed them a chance to spend time hearing about what they'll be learning next year, seeing their new classroom and getting to know their new teacher, ahead of what we hope will be a more 'normal' return following the Summer holidays. As well as looking forward to next year, the Year 6s were making the most of their final two weeks in Prep School; tasked with designing a package that could protect an egg when dropped from a 3m height, they impressed with their teamwork and ingenuity. The aim was to recreate the way in which a woodpecker's brain is protected from all its head-banging (at a rate of 22 pecks per second!). The winning team's egg package weighed 103g and its cargo remained completely unscathed, much to the amusement of the passing Governors who witnessed them being launched from a nearby window. Lastly, we were delighted to have parents in attendance at a Prep School Assembly this week for the first time since February 2020. As Mrs Green commented afterwards, it had certainly been worth the wait - well done, Year 4!
Stars of the Week
Nursery - Jack McM for his positive attitude towards fine motor activities and his friendly nature with his peers.
Reception - Ivy H for good effort in your writing about caterpillars.
Year 1 - Mila S for her lovely attitude to her work and for being honest and kind with others in the class.
Savannah L for much better presentation and making a real effort in presentation.
Year 2 - Evie Bfor creating an amazing toucan using oil pastels and collage.
Senior School News
During a rather damp week, many sports fixtures have still been able to go ahead with a good level of application shown across the year groups. LAMDA (drama) exams have also taken place on Tuesday and Friday this week and it is really incredible to see the confidence and maturity with which so many of our cohort take to performing. A wonderful life skill. Thursday saw Familiarisation Day take place across the school with many visiting joiners coming in and much fun had by all, the highlight for many being the incredible circus show and skills workshop on the front pitch. A special mention must go to Mr Monk, who coped so admirably as the circus performers tried to knock a breadstick from his mouth using only the juggling clubs they were launching around in the Big Top. I for one was on the edge of my seat!
Commendations this week have been awarded to Natasha B for her amazingly detailed French prep, to Emma M and Will W for their tremendous ongoing effort in Geography lessons and to Teddie J for his outstanding preparation and application in readiness for his Geography summer exam. Well done to all of you!
Rounders: U15 v. Box Hill
On Tuesday afternoon, the U15 girls travelled to Box Hill to play a rounders match. The girls were in great spirits on the journey and keen to keep up their epic rounders win record! Captain Molly G elected for the team to field first and they started well, keeping Box Hill to just half rounders. Some great catches and run outs came from Amelie W-B in backstop, Lucy P on 1st post and Kora W on 2nd post. The girls got off to a fairly slow start in their first batting innings but soon gained confidence and scored multiple rounders with Izzy and Kora scoring 6 rounders between them! The team went into the second innings of fielding with great confidence and remained focused throughout with Aoife W and Celine C both making good catches in deep field. Bea H played an important role on 2nd post with Zoe L and Molly G fielded with speed and accuracy to continue stopping Box Hill from scoring rounders. Amazingly, Duke of Kent School had already won the match before batting their second innings so were able to hit with more freedom. There were some fantastic rounders from Amelie W-B, Molly G and Izzy B, demonstrating excellent striking of the ball as well as some clever placement. Duke of Kent School finished the match on 20 rounders and were the deserved winners!
Rounders: U13 v. Box Hill
On Wednesday afternoon, the U13 girls welcomed Box Hill to Duke of Kent School for a rounders match. The U13s batted first, the whole team were consistent with their strikes and created plenty of opportunities for rounders and half rounders. Great rounders came from Helena K and Alex K and the girls finished the first innings on a strong 7 and a half rounders. Box Hill also showed great batting skill, Abi W and Violetta P did particularly well in the deep field with accurate pickups and throws into Frankie M on 2nd post. Meanwhile, Emily B made an incredible deep field catch and continued to use her strong overarm throw with great effectiveness! The scores were very close with Box Hill just 1 rounder behind after the first innings. Duke of Kent School's U13s kept their concentration with Ava W and Violetta P scoring important rounders for the team. The girls knew the game was going to be very close, so they remained focused in the field. Ava W made two catches at backstop as Alex K continued to bowl with excellent accuracy. Esme P and Ella S communicated well with the team in field and ensured some important run outs and catches throughout the innings. The score finished 13 and a half rounders to Duke of Kent School to 13 for Box Hill. An amazing team effort from every player and a brilliant win! Well done to Alex K for being awarded batter of the game and Violetta P for receiving fielder of the game.
Years 3 and 4 House Rounders
On Friday morning Years 3 and 4 took part in their House Rounders matches. Everyone was eager to get started, for the first round we had Chichester v. Hillary and Whittle v. Armstrong.
In the first round, Chichester won and were then facing Whittle in the final. The final game came and all teams were getting ready to win their Houses more points! William T and Thibaut J hit some fantastic balls for Hillary whilst Arthur S and Grace M caught out several players for Whittle. Harry L bowled lovely balls for Chichester with Romy B scoring lots of rounders throughout the morning.
Both games ended very closely and the final the results are:
Well done to everyone who played!
Boys Cricket: U14 v. Frensham Heights
On Tuesday saw the U14s travel to Frensham Heights. Duke of Kent School batted first with Leo H and Luke I opening, scoring 15 runs before Luke I was bowled. Calum M (10) came in next and batted nicely with Leo H (36) scoring 77 runs in 12 overs and Duke of Kent School finished on 92 from our 15 overs.
Things started well with Alex W getting a wicket in the first over, Fraser R getting 1 wicket, Charlie N with a wicket, Ben E with 2 wickets and Luke I with a caught and bowled. Alex W and Luke I also got a run out with a powerful throw and a direct hit. Duke of Kent School came out as winners by 14 runs. It was a brilliant team performance, with sensible batting and accurate bowling, backed up by excellent fielding and catching.
Boys' Cricket: U12 A XI v. Handcross Park
On Wednesday, the U12 A XI played against Handcross Park. Captain Harry F won the toss and decided to have a bat, the innings started well with some good positive cricket being played. Handcross Park bowled very well making it very tough for the Duke of Kent School batsmen to score many runs. Once it came to Duke of Kent's turn to bowl it was very tough bowling against some solid batsman, but the team kept going and got a couple of wickets for their reward. With Moxon K bowling well, Tiago W being very impressive behind the stumps and Harry F with a couple of fantastic catches. Well done to all the players involved and it was good to see the team keeping high spirits throughout even during a tough game.
The Senior School Chess tournament began this week with a live draw to decide the competitors' first match before the winner advances to the next round. The pool stages of the Prep Chess competitions have finished. Congratulations to the pupils who have made it to the semi-finals:
Beginner- Henry O'B, Charlotte C, Auberon P and Edie H
Advanced- Theo C, Charlie L, Sam R and Jack M
They will be competing for the chance to play in the finals and earn a victory for their House. There will also be bronze finals to decide who finishes in 3rd and 4th place. The results from these matches could prove decisive as we enter the final stages of the race to be crowned 'House of the Year'. You can use this link to see the current totals for each House-House leaderboards- Summer.
June is UK Pride month and I wanted to acknowledge how important it is to be able to express and accept your own and others’ choices about who they love. Pride is a time of celebration for the LGBTQ+ community where they can openly discuss and celebrate the freedom to choose who they are and who they love. The month of June pays reference to the anniversary of the Stonewall riots - a pivotal point in history which led to a greater fight for gay rights and an acceptance within and as part of society.
As a School community we encourage acceptance of everyone regardless of their lifestyle and choices. Diversity is what makes the world a rich and vibrant place and we celebrate it.
I want to reiterate that as a Humanistic Counsellor, conversations with myself in the context of wellbeing support are characterised by confidentiality, non-judgement and unconditional positive regard.
A child-friendly explanation of Pride and its origins as a conversation starter with your children.
The Surrey Safeguarding Children Partnership have put together some practical tips to help you PROTECT your children online.
* P is for …Parent proactively setting boundaries and expectations. How long can your child be online for? Which sites and games can, or can't they visit? What can and can't they pay for?
* R is for …Research online risks and with your child agree a plan to stay safe. Risks include dangers from people who want to exploit young and impressionable children and vulnerable adults for sex, crime, or fraud. Also be aware of upsetting and inappropriate content.
* O is for …Observe your child's behaviour. Look out for changes in mood, things they say, who they're talking to and what they talk about.
* T is for …Talk to your child. Take time to check-in with them at the beginning and end of each day and ask them about the games they enjoy and the friends they connect with.
* E is for …Explain the online world to your child. Help them understand the benefits and risks of being online and support them to develop confidence.
* C is for …Connect with other parents. Most parents will share your worries and concerns and together you can develop solutions.
* T is for …Train and trust your child. Remember trust is earned and give them opportunities to build trust.
Performing Arts News
Exam season is here in the Performing Arts Department!
We have had two full days of LAMDA exams this week, with 34 pupils taking either a solo or a duo entry.
A number of pupils have also taken instrumental exams and a couple of results have already come back! So congratulations to Jasmine K in Year 9 who has passed her Grade 1 Double Bass with a merit and Annie B in Year 6 has passed her Grade 1 Violin.
Good luck to all the pupils as they wait for their results - and watch this space!
There is only one more week before auditions close for next term's Senior Musical. The pupils can send them in via the Google Classroom direct to Mr Rye.
A Message from the School Nurses
All adults in the UK are now able to book their first Covid-19 vaccination if they haven't already had it. For adults above the age of 40, your second immunisation will now be offered 8 weeks after the first (moved forwards from 12 weeks). Surrey County Council say this about arranging your second vaccination: "Please wait - you will be contacted by the NHS or your local GP-led vaccination site. You do not need to contact the NHS. Please don't contact the CCG or your GP practice about your 2nd dose appointment except if you have not been contacted by the 11th week. We are asking people to be patient you will be contacted."
For more information about the vaccination programme in Surrey please follow this link:
Back at school, please be aware it's "tick season” - we've had a couple of "passengers" appear on pupils. It's worth all pupils having a good check each evening - especially the legs/ankles/behind knees. Please see this link for details on how to safely remove ticks:
Hayfever season has also returned with the sunshine, so do remember to medicate your child before school if they need it. As ever, sun cream, sun hats and water bottles are a must during the warmer days too.
The School Nurses
This year, Duke of Kent School is delighted to be sponsoring the Ewhurst Carnival on Saturday 7th August. It is sure to be a fun packed day for all the family.
The day will include Vintage Vehicles, Fun Dog Show, Food stalls, Children's rides, Open Mic, Craft stalls, The Fabulous Nobodies + support and so much more.
Don't miss out on this wonderful village fund-raising event.
Teddy Bear Collection for the Ewhurst Carnival Teddy Tombola
Thank you for those of you who have kindly donated cuddly toys. PADoK Reps will be outside Old Hall on Wednesday 30th June at drop off so you can hand any donations to us rather than having to get out of your car. If that day doesn't work for you, the collection boxes are located in Old Hall and in the entrance to Prep/Pre-prep if you would rather hand them in on other days. Thank you again for your support.
PADOK book club is on Thursday 1st July at 8:00pm. We will be discussing the William Boyd book, Restless. Due to restrictions we will be meeting on Zoom, the details will be sent out by your class rep next week. If we find a venue where we can meet safely we will update you.
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.
What a day for the Circus! It's Familiarisation Day at School and it has been wonderful meeting all of the pupils joining us in September. We hope you had fun! Our own pupils are now having fun at the Circus and learning new tricks! #TheDoKWay #CircusSkills #FamiliarisationDay https://t.co/ZC3Bk2s4Xp
#ThrowbackThursday - Caught on the Austrian slopes in 1992 is the much loved Mrs Ives! Mrs Ives taught at @DoKSchool from 1983-2016 and ran the infamous Arriba course, taught languages, was a wonderful Deputy Head and so much more! We hope you visit us soon! #SkiTrip