A Mexican wave ended our year today as, for the first time, we held a full School assembly outdoors. End of term prizes were awarded, pupil achievements acknowledged and our House Sports Captains announced. Well done to Marcus D, Amelie W-B, Celine C and Ben W. The House relays were a wonderful way to end to our School year. Congratulations to winning House, Chichester. School resumes on Tuesday 7th September; more information to follow in due course. In the meantime, have the most tremendous Summer break.
Year 11 Leavers' Concert and Dinner
On Monday night we hosted a wonderful Year 11 Leavers' Concert and Dinner. It was filled with singing, performing, food, memories, prizes and a few emotional moments. We hope they all enjoyed what was a wonderful evening and the perfect (minus the rain) farewell to our 2020/21 cohort. We all wish you the best of luck with the next chapter of your education and remember you are always welcome back anytime!
For all bus queries please contact Jacqui Browning, and we now have a dedicated email address – firstname.lastname@example.org from the 1st September
We have recently been working on streamlining our processes and we will be reviewing our minibus service in its entirety next academic year to ensure we aim to meet everyone’s needs, as our bus service becomes ever popular.
Thank you to those parents who have already booked a place / places on one of our morning bus runs. We appreciate booking an afternoon bus is dependent on pupil choice and participation in our activities programme. We would recommend contacting Jacqui as soon as is possible into the new term to choose either the 4.55pm or 6.20pm bus, as we will be running a first come first serve booking system. We would like to anticipate meeting all parents’ needs, and if an afternoon bus for your child/ren is paramount, it may be worth booking a space on both and then removing one once activity choices are confirmed, to avoid disappointment.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Garry Harding, one of our bus drivers, who has announced his retirement. Garry has worked for us for the past 5 years and we are so very grateful for his commitment and dedication to the School. The pupils’ have been so lucky to have such a wonderful driver to ensure their safety and wellbeing in getting them to and from School. Thank you Garry!
Duke of Edinburgh
Year 10 braved the elements and each other during their recent DofE Bronze Qualification Expedition. Six groups were dropped off at St Martha's Hill car park before setting off at staggered intervals. Their aim was to navigate to Shamley Green via Chilworth, the wildness of Blackheath Common and Bramley. This was achieved excellently by all the groups, despite a false alarm over a lost phone. Groups passed through checkpoints manned by Mrs Punter and Mr Allen, while Mr Wyllie and myself patrolled the areas in question. Back at School, the tents were put up in a variety of unusual ways and shapes, and a creative array of meals were cooked on our long suffering trangia cookers. This was followed by all-in Rounders matches and roasted marshmallows during the evening. An interesting evening followed that included a rumoured viewing of a ghost on MacRobert pitch, although a startled deer may have been more accurate.
On Saturday all groups completed a circular route to and from the viewpoint at Holmbury Hill. This was a typically soggy DofE day but all managed to finish it. The encouragement from Mr MacDonald and Mrs Knox at the two main checkpoints was especially welcomed, particularly when percy pigs were on offer at the latter! Well done to all the participants and the many supporting School staff who made the expedition possible.
Year 8 History Trip
Year 8 enjoyed a surprise visit to the Museum of Military Medicine in Aldershot on Thursday morning. This linked directly to this year's study of the English Civil War of the 17th century, and also to next year's work on WW1. There was also the added value and excitement in visiting a military camp, namely Keogh Barracks. The museum itself packs in a huge number of artifacts linked to surgery, nursing, dentistry and veterinary developments over the last 400 years. Bullet extractor tools, false teeth made in a Japanese prison camp, an iron lung, and highly realistic scenes demonstrating treatments in wartime were among the intriguing exhibits on display. Year 8 students toured the site in 15 min 'bursts' as only six were allowed in at a time, yet this concentrated their minds and focus brilliantly! A trip to a beautiful cafe on the Basingstoke Canal completed the experience. Thanks also to Mr MacDonald, Mr Usher and Madame Fellous for their company and supervision.
House Photography Competition
This year's Duke of Kent School Photographer of the Year Competition was set by photographer and Duke of Kent School alumni, Gemma Brunton. In her virtual message to spupils, she set the fitting theme of "New Beginnings". Our pupils responded in a characteristically creative Duke of Kent School way. This year's winners are.... drum roll.... in Prep School, Wilfred K (1st image)and in Senior School Rose S (2nd image). Gemma also chose Violetta P to be highly commended.
Gemma has given all our winners some lovely feedback:
"I’ve loved looking through all your images! I really liked Wilfred's lovely abstract pattern of the leaves gently cupping the frost, kind of symbolised to me the feeling of hope – new shoots of growth pushing through even though it was still winter. Pretty detail and interest. I loved it! Well done Wilfred.
For the Seniors – two striking images really caught my eye and I’ve had such a tough time choosing between them.
But my winner is Rose S– a beautiful capture, technically really impressive and well lit, wonderful detail, and of course encapsulating that feel of ‘New Beginnings’. She also had some other really interesting images and shows great promise as a budding photographer. Many congratulations Rose!
The other image, which I think deserves a Highly Commended is Violetta 's. The feel of her image really answered an alternative interpretation of the ‘New Beginnings’ theme – her striking silhouette on the swing really illustrated a sense of freedom as we emerge out of lockdown. The shape she’s making, along with the swing, make for a really interesting composition and the overall image is very striking against the clouds. Really lovely and it was honestly very tough choosing between them!"
Canadian Psychologist Paul T.P. Wong once said, "adversity is an opportunity for creativity, it forces one to dig deeper and consider something new about oneself." This year's GCSE Art graduates are the very embodiment of this sentiment. After weeks of remote learning, squinting to study and share visual ideas in virtual art lessons, they burst back into the Art Studio to create a variety of individualised and exciting works. From abstracted portraiture to surrealist drawing, architectural observations to Marvel super heroes. Between them they covered the considerable length and breadth of the art world. I hope you enjoy the work in the link below as much as I did watching it evolve in classrooms both virtual and real.
The whole school was part of House Day on Monday. The falconry company Two Birds Experience visited the School to showcase the impressive animals that our Houses will be named after from September. The pupils in Pre-Prep were delighted to hear that they would be joining a House next year. They had their own workshop in the morning and enjoyed meeting the birds which the 4 Houses will be named after.
All of the Prep and Senior School gathered on Front Pitch to watch a falconry display. They gained an insight into the training the falconers use. Some ‘lucky’ members of the audience got a close encounter with Nola the barn owl as she displayed her agility while soaring over the assembled crowd. In the afternoon the students and staff in each of the four Houses went to a short workshop where they met their new namesake and learned about their impressive qualities, which will be incorporated into the new House display. For the rest of the afternoon, the pupils created designs for their House’s new emblem.
The challenge was to include a reference to the outgoing name and their new name. All of the designs have been collected and will be judged by the Heads of Houses and House Captains in September. The winning design will be turned into an emblem for the House and will be displayed for many years to come. There was also a quiz about the figures behind the current House names and birds of prey. House points were awarded to those pupils who took part in the quiz and a vital bonus of 100 House points went to Hillary who scored the most marks.
Over the course of this week, several competitions have drawn to a close. Congratulations to these pupils who won:
Prep Chess, Beginner - Henry O’B
Prep Chess, Advanced - Sam R
Senior Chess - Sam S
Prep Photography - Wilfred K
Senior Photography - Rose S
There have been over 3000 House points awarded from different competitions this week. The home straight in the race to be crowned House of the Year has been very dramatic and has gone right down to the wire! The result was announced to the whole school once the Senior relay races were completed this afternoon. The final positions will be shared on the school’s social media soon.
This has been an exciting year for the House system at Duke of Kent School. There have been many close competitions and of course, the momentous changing of the House names. These new names will shape the future of the school for years to come, while always acknowledging the impact the outgoing names have had on Duke of Kent School.
Year 7 Watersports
On a very wet and windy Tuesday 6th July, Year 7 travelled to Mercers Park near Redhill to take part in a variety of water-based activities. There was some great team work in evidence in the raft building and resilience was tested as weather conditions were not ideal, but fortunately no one got blown away and all returned safely to shore at the end of the day with smiles on their faces.
Prep and Pre-prep School News
What a week it has been for Prep and Pre-prep pupils! Where to begin...?!
Monday saw us welcome birds of prey to the school site for our House event. Pre-prep pupils enjoyed a 'Meet and Greet' and Prep pupils enjoyed a flying demonstration and workshops to learn more about the characteristics of their new House names and mascots.
Year 6 hosted a tear-jerking assembly on Wednesday morning. Year 6 parents and the rest of the Prep School listened on as pupils shared some of their favourite memories, described attributes of their peers, handed out staff awards and delivered a fantastic rendition of their very own song. Enormous congratulations to the children, for your efforts on Wednesday morning, but also throughout your time in the Prep School. We are so proud of you and wish you all the best as you head into Year 7!
Pre-prep pupils visited Leeds Castle on Wednesday. They enjoyed a tour of the castle, where they saw how it had changed over its 900 year history. They saw live owls, participated in some role play and explored the maze and grotto.
On Thursday, Prep School pupils headed out on their trips. Years 3 and 4 enjoyed a day at Butser Ancient Farm, Year 5 participated in activities such as rock climbing at Blacklands Farm and Year 6 took on a shepherding challenge at Saddlescombe Farm. Great fun was had by all!
Pre-prep pupils then enjoyed their Sports Day on Thursday afternoon. There was some superb throwing, impressive skill in the obstacle races and amazing sprints! Well done to everybody for participating with such great spirit!
Alongside all this, regular lessons have also been prevailing! As part of their work on evolution, Year 6 carried out two investigations. The first saw them pretending to be one of Darwin's finches, using scissors, a spoon, a peg and tweezers to represent different types of beaks. They had to try and pick up different foods such as paper clips, marbles, cereal and elastic bands with their beaks. It quickly became clear that certain beaks were better for certain foods than others! In the second challenge they had to pick up paper moths from either newspaper or black paper, demonstrating how the peppered moth had adapted to survive. Year 1 have been determined to finish Danny the Champion of the World, and have just one chapter remaining for the final day of term! Reception have enjoyed a special Minibeast day where they made magnets and masks.
As you can see, Prep and Pre-prep have certainly finished the academic year in style! I wish all the pupils and their families a wonderful Summer holiday - you certainly deserve a good rest!
Senior School News
The final week of term has seen a huge amount occurring with many year groups out on trips, where possible, and a wonderfully positive Sports Day managing to take place in spite of the changeable weather. The Year 11 Leavers Dinner on Monday was a magnificent occasion, a fitting send off to a year group we hold in such high regard, and Friday's final assembly outdoors allowed an opportunity for so many achievements to be recognised. The resilience and determination shown throughout the Senior School cohort during such a difficult year has been quite remarkable. I hope they are all proud of their efforts and enjoy the summer break.
Commendations this week have been awarded to Harry S, Oli Y, Leo H and Ben E (Y9) for their outstanding effort and performance in History, to Pippa S, Sophie S, Amber C, Natasha B and Rose S (also Y9) for their ongoing fantastic efforts in Geography, and to Freddie S, Josh McG in Year 10 for their excellent improvement in Biology. We also have commendations going to Izzy P, Hannah M, Ruby K and Tilly C for their excellent Biology models and to Annabelle R, Johnny McM, Ariane L, Ozzie H, Bobby F, Ella S, Violetta P and Kia G for their outstanding effort in History.
Johnny McM and Alex F also receive a commendation for their creative Geography prep and Josh W-F, Zac W, Daisy R, Daisy N, Belles H, Jack D and Phoebe A are to receive a commendation for their creation of an informative and attractive website on Sir Francis Drake. Lastly, we also have commendations going to Amber C and Maddie I for their hugely professionally approach to a Chemistry practical. Well done to you all!
Performing Arts News
Battle of the Bands
The end of term has seen the finals of our Senior Battle of the Bands competition taking place across Years 7,8 and 9.
Each year group, in their teaching sets, created bands in their class music lessons and learnt a 4-chord pop song, which they then had to perform in their final music lesson. The winner of each set then battled it out in the finals, held over lunch breaks this week. The winners were;
Year 7 - Daisy R, Oscar H, Tom B, Xander S, Moxon K
Year 8 - Ozzie H, Bobby F, Abi W, Ariane L
Year 9 - Maddie I, Jasmine K, Fraser R, James L
Big congratulations to each band!
The Senior Musical
Next tern's musical has been cast and scripts will soon be on the way to the cast. We are very excited at the thought that we will hopefully be performing a full school production next term, and this one promises to be huge amounts of fun. Please can the cast check the Google Classroom for more info.
It is really important to chat with your children on an ongoing basis about staying safe online.
Not sure where to begin? These conversation starter suggestions can help.
Ask your children to tell you about the sites they like to visit and what they enjoy doing online.
Ask them about how they stay safe online. What tips do they have for you, and where did they learn them? What is OK and not OK to share?
Ask them if they know where to go for help, where to find the safety advice, privacy settings and how to report or block on the services they use.
Encourage them to help someone! Perhaps they can show you how to do something better online or they might have a friend who would benefit from their help and support.
Think about how you each use the Internet. What more could you do to use the Internet together? Are there activities that you could enjoy as a family?
Making screen time count
Rather than being anti-social, lonely, and isolating, screens can be social, connecting, and creative. Playing games together, looking up new places to visit or finding out ‘what’s on’ in your area are great ways to share screen time in a positive way and making a digital scrapbook of holiday photographs, mementos and links to places visited means your family can also have a lovely record of the holidays to treasure.
As the last day of term has arrived, I like most of us, are looking forward to an extended break to rest and recharge batteries, ready to return revitalised for the new school year. It has certainly been a long and ever-changing school year, something none of us could have really predicted. It is important, therefore, to recognise that it is our minds and emotions as well as our physical selves that need to rest.
Here are some ways we can best holistically rest ourselves, focusing on all of our needs:
Physical - relaxation, sleep, deep breathing, gentle stretching, lounging on sofa, massage
A final reminder to everyone taking part in the sunflower-growing competition - don’t forget to continue nurturing and watering your sunflower plants over the holidays. Please take measurements and photos toward the end of their flowering time, and send to email@example.com. I will be awarding prizes in the new term. Don’t forget that the faded heads make a great bird feeder!
A Message from the School Nurses
I would like to extend a huge thank you to all parents, pupils and staff for every effort that has been made to adhere to government guidelines this academic year in order to keep our school and our community safe from Covid-19.
The Government has made announcements this week about the change of Covid policy for schools from 19th July onwards with the move to Step 4, including ideas for how the return to School in September may look. We have not been given a lot of time to plan, given we are heading into our summer holidays today, but we hope to contact you all via email next week once we've had a chance to interpret the new guidelines, in particular with regards to plans for Covid-19 lateral flow testing for the return to school in September. Please check your inbox and junk mail next week for this important update. In the meantime, it is clear the government would like for all staff and senior pupils to continue twice weekly home testing throughout the holidays.
Speaking of emails, I have to apologise in advance, as I know you have recently received multiple communication from school about the many fluctuating end of term celebrations. The change of academic year inevitably brings with it a fair amount of health paperwork. You will therefore also be receiving an email next week with regard to:
1) The annual medical questionnaire,
2) The autumn term Nasal Flu Immunisations for Reception to year 11 pupils inclusive
3) The year 8 HPV Immunisations in the autumn term.
If your child is in Years 4,5,6 or 10 in September you will have already received medical questionnaires for their forthcoming Autumn residential camps too - thank you to those who have already returned their forms!
If you could all complete the relevant health paperwork for your child by the end of the summer holidays that would be hugely helpful.
I wish every single one of you a very healthy and happy summer holiday. Have a jolly good rest and lots of fun; you've all earned it!
The School Nurses
It has been a quiet term for PADoK due to the ongoing restrictions. When we return in September PADoK will be promoting the event for the Autumn Term. Tickets will go on sale early in the term so keep an eye out for this as it will be popular.
The Charity Summer Ball should have been held in May, a much-enjoyed event by parents and staff of the School and one where we raise much need funds for a carefully chosen charity. We hope that next year we will be able to resume our calendar of events.
Holding the PADoK Walk every other week has been popular and they have been well attended. Book Club is growing too and we are keeping everything crossed that choir and maybe netball can resume in September.
Please remember that if you are hoping to visit the Second-Hand Uniform Shop on either of the August dates, you need to book a slot with Mrs Westen. You should have received an email from your class rep with the details.
Please can I take this opportunity to thank you all for supporting the events that we have been able to run and to thank the PADoK team for all they do.
Have a lovely summer.
The 100 Club
1st Prize - £240 – Mr and Mrs Staples – parents of Harry in Nursery
2nd Prize - £135 - Mr and Mrs Tickner – parents of Sandy in Year 11
3rd Prize - £100 – Mr and Mrs Percy – parents of Will in Year 9
These amounts will be credited to the Autumn term bills which will be sent out later in July.
PADoK Book Club
The PADoK Book Club got together on the 1st July on what we believe to be our last get together on Zoom as we are hoping to meet in person next term. The book we discussed was Restless by William Boyd and we all agreed that the title did not do the book justice - this story of wartime espionage should have been called Anxious or Spies, Lies and Family Ties! The book takes us to before and during the second world war, and to the summer of 1976. Before WW2 Eva Delectorskaya is recruited into the British secret service and the heart of the novel concerns a scheme to plant maps that contain misinformation about Nazi intentions in Latin America. It has many twists and turns and we all agreed this this would be a book we would highly recommend to our friends and family.
We look forward to meeting in September to discuss our next PADoK book choice, Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell, a moving story about Shakespeare's marriage and the death of his son and the resilience shared as the family overcomes devastating obstacles and events. We look forward to welcoming more members to our club next term to meet in person to discuss the book together.
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.
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.
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.
Final assembly is outside today and for the first time in 16 months we are all together as a whole School! This is a moment to celebrate everything at Duke of Kent School, acknowledge some tremendous achievements, say some goodbyes and award prizes. #TheDoKWay #WholeSchool https://t.co/nFHreyEAVi