Another joyful week as our Christmas celebrations began in earnest on Wednesday with Year 3 decorating the Christmas Tree in Old Hall. This was followed by a super Year 4 assembly on advent around the world and the Bake Sale raising money for Access Adventures, our chosen charity, where the majority of delicious cakes were Christmas themed. The Prep School Christmas concert this evening will, I have no doubt, be another fabulous musical event and will finish off our week splendidly. I have to admit to being a bit nervous as I have been learning the Ukulele with the Ukes of Kent and this will be my first ever performance! There have been some great football matches from both boys and girls this week with some very skilled performances on the pitches. All in all, a super week.
School Uniform Shop
Stevensons will be closed from the 20th December 2021 to 3rd January 2022, and we encourage online orders to be placed by 15th December to ensure in stock items are dispatched prior to the branch closure.
Web orders will still be being processed, but customers may experience longer delivery time frames.
Careers and Sustainability Assembly
This week Mrs Pflug addressed senior school outlining her career from a degree in textiles at Manchester University to her current role as Global Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) for Ikea. She described her career as very “non-linear” having worked for many global brands (including Nike and Ikea), in many diverse roles. Although she started out in a mostly creative career she quickly developed her customer-centric skills with global brands and her career took many turns. With Ikea, she was clearly spotted as not only creative in her thinking but also as a leader in business and as an impressively adaptive thinker. Her current role as Ikea’s Global leader for sustainability has called on all her skills to work in this new and vital field.
Mrs Pflug expressed clearly the responsibility she and her employer feels toward creating a more sustainable business and using their global position to influence and change the way other businesses operate for the good of not only the planet, the people but also for a fairer and more socially responsible way of doing business. She was also able to give immense insight into the recent COP 26 conference in Glasgow and, although she accepts that much, much more needs to be done by all concerned, how hopeful she felt especially at the involvement of the voice of our youth at the conference. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience with us and for inspiring our pupils to pursue a career with the expectation that anything can and will happen and for inspiring our school to do our bit for the planet.
Last Friday and Saturday the School was buzzing as the Senior Production of 'Moby Dick - A Whale of a Tale' took place in the Performing Arts Hall. To say we are proud of the pupils is an understatement! As a Performing Arts Department we were bursting with pride and joy at how our huge cast pulled off another triumph, against the odds, with the spectre of Covid looming over the production and the worry that it might not even happen a real possibility.
It was a joy to listen to the audience laughing so much at the cheesy and hilarious jokes, to feel the energy from our young cast as they performed with spirit and commitment, and to have a live show once more being performed to a sell out crowd. The power of the performing arts in times of adversity is exceptional and this was truly one of those times where what was created by the kids was a real example of this. Every single member of the cast and crew, half of whom have never even done anything like this before, is to be congratulated on a wonderful achievement which will no doubt remain in their memories for years to come.
House Bake Off Final
On Monday the two Prep and Senior School finalists met to battle it out for the Bake Off crowns. However, it would be a tough challenge to impress the prestigious judging panel made up of Mr Hanvey and former Great British Bake Off finalist, Steven Carter-Bailey. Because of the calibre of the judging panel, the brief was a huge step up from the previous rounds! The finalists were encouraged to unleash their imagination to produce 8 cupcakes that made the judges say “Wow!”. They could be as creative as they dared with their design. However, there was a catch! They had to follow the same recipe for their bake and all of this had to be completed within 2 hours!
What each of the finalists presented was exceptional and the judging panel was thoroughly impressed. Congratulations to Erin C (Buzzard) and Alex F (Peregrine) who won their finals. All the pupils should be extremely proud of their efforts and the joyous atmosphere that they formed while baking. There were 40 entries this year, so it is an impressive achievement just to reach the final!
All of the pupils who entered this year’s Bake Off earned 3 House points and with the finals concluded, the overall positions have been decided:
1st Buzzard- 118 House points
2nd Hawk- 98 House points
3rd Peregrine- 69 House points
4th Kestrel- 46 House points
A big thank you to Mr Hanvey and the catering staff who were excellent judges during the finals and to Steven Carter-Bailey, who took the time out of his busy schedule to come to our School and make our final an unforgettable experience for the pupils.
Online Careers Talk with Alexander Horowitz
Last week over 40 Senior School pupils interested in gaming attended a talk from Game Audio specialist Alexander Horowitz.
Alexander spoke about his involvement in the design of games such as Red Dead Redemption 2, Grand Theft Auto 5 and soon to be released Hogwarts Legacy. It was interesting to hear about the secrecy behind game development which meant he wasn't about to discuss his current work projects due to always being held to non-disclosure agreements. Pupils learnt about his career journey and the various stages of his pathway.
Pupils benefited from Alexander's advice of how to start now preparing for a career in the game industry. He mentioned how creating a portfolio was hugely important and starting now by using specific software to practice their skills in different areas would be hugely beneficial.
Pathways into the industry can vary greatly, with Alexander mentioning how entry through University degrees is common, however also experience and developed expertise are seen as very important by gaming studios meaning there are alterative routes.
It was particularly useful that Alexander shared with us software that can be used now with the help of tutorials to create games, some can be created within only four hours!
Overall it was a really enlightening talk that I am sure inspired many students as well as providing information to those already determined on this career pathway.
Ho Ho Ho! Christmas has arrived in the Prep and Pre-prep departments this week: decorations are up, Nativity outfits tried on and Christmas Fayre games are being perfected! Year 4 brought the festive spirit to the fore on Wednesday morning with their assembly about Advent. They explained the meaning and symbolism of the advent wreath and then Mother Christmas, along with her trusty reindeer and elves, travelled around the world to find out how advent is celebrated in different countries. On opening their Random Acts of Kindness advent calendar, Year 4 found out that their good deed for the day was to regale their parents with a hearty rendition of Jingle Bells - which they did with aplomb!
Sustainability Club members launched 'Switch-off Fortnight' in Prep School with an assembly on Monday morning. Their message was very much about each taking responsibility to do whatever small things we can to make a big difference overall. Pupils were given a two-week diary, in which they are recording things they do each day to save energy, and we very much hope this becomes a regular habit!
Sticking with the theme of assemblies, following last week, Mrs Knox has placed a ‘battery box’ in the Prep School corridor, ready to collect any old and used batteries to be sent off for recycling. Batteries contain many metals such as lead, copper and zinc and, if they end up in landfill, can be harmful to the environment. Collecting batteries allows the extraction of some of the metals, which can then be re-used and made into new products. Should pupils have batteries from their Christmas toys that need to be disposed of, they’re most welcome to bring them into school and we look forward to hearing what our donations go on to be made into next!
This week our Rising Readers are: Y3 Layla B; Y4 Mac Y; Y5 Henry O'B; Y6 Eddie C, and Poppy F, Halle S and Rebekah S have been selected as our Aloud & Proud group, for their efforts in Monday’s shared reading session. Well done to you all!
Effort - Charlotte P
Responsibility - Alfie H
Star of the Week
Nursery: Humphrey G for settling into Nursery life with boundless enthusiasm and a charming, friendly and kind attitude towards others.
Reception: Olivia Pfor working well on consonant/vowel/consonant words and bringing a smile to everyone’s face!
Year 1: Finn H for being super kid to other children in the department and for always persevering with his work.
Ivy H for having a super enthusiastic attitude to her reading. She is persevering with her flash cards and becoming so confident.
Year 2: Logan N for showing wonderful kindness to others, particularly when they’re upset.
Boys' Senior School House Football B Team
Hawk vs Peregrine
Man of the match: Thomas B
The match started even with both teams struggling to create good goal scoring opportunities. Then suddenly two good chances, one for each team and two goals scored. With the score at 1-1 both teams were working hard to get ahead, with confidence high for both teams there were more and more opportunities to score. This led to the final score being 7-5 to Hawk, Peregrine kept putting on the pressure which led to Tom B making some great saves to be awarded Man of the match. Well played to everyone involved and congratulations to Hawk.
Kestrel vs Buzzard
Man of the match: Charlie G
The match started with a great intensity with opportunities from both teams. Buzzard edged the lead by scoring a spectacular goal to start off proceedings. This encouraged Kestrel to fight back with a determined attitude. Ozzie H hounded the goalkeeper to make a mistake to make it 1-1. Before the half-time whistle the match was end to end, with Buzzard adding three more goals to their tally. In the second half both teams came out with a renewed confidence and it was all to play for again! Kestrel had many shots on target but it was Buzzard’s goalkeeper, Harley B, that kept on pulling off save after save. Buzzard went on to score a few more goals in the second half leaving the final score 8-1. Well played to everyone involved and congratulations to Buzzard.
Boys' Senior School House Football
This week, we witnessed the incredibly well contested conclusion to the House Football Competition in Years 7-11. All matches were exciting, full of effort and determination and played with a wonderful spirit of sportsmanship.
The Year 7 & 8 matches were played on Wednesday afternoon. One tournament was played on the Wilsons' Pitch and the other on the Front Pitch. The winning team on the Wilsons' Pitch was Hawk and on the Front Pitch it was Peregrine. The match on the Front Pitch was decided by a fabulous goal by Jamie P.
Year 9-11 also had tournaments being played simultaneously. The winning team on the top pitch was Hawk who played out a 7-5 thriller against Peregrine. Hawk also won the final on the Front Pitch against Buzzard. The standard of football in all of the competitions was great to see. Well done to all who played, the final results are as follows:
Wilsons’ or Top Pitch
Years 7 & 8
Years 7 & 8
Hockey: U14/15 Hockey v. Farlington
On Tuesday afternoon, the U14/15 girls' hockey team prepared themselves for a late fixture against Farlington. They spent some extra time at school with Miss Vickers, going through some tactics and positioning both in the classroom and on the pitch. It was dark once the girls arrived at Farlington but luckily not too cold! The match was exciting from start to finish with fantastic team work on display! Duke of Kent School went 1-0 up with a fantastic break away goal from Alex K. Shortly after, Farlington came on the attack and Fleur S made some great saves to keep the team ahead. The attacks just kept on coming and eventually Farlington broke through the epic defence of Helena K, Esme P, Abi W, Tilly C and Ava W. The score was 1-1 with all to play for. The play continued to be end to end with both teams creating scoring opportunities. Farlington scored a well worked goal just before half time so went 2-1 up. The U14/15 team regrouped and discussed the importance of going towards the player with the ball to apply pressure to their pass or shot. Everyone upped their game in the second half, with our midfielders, Emily B, Frankie M, Violetta P, Eva L and Macy B working tirelessly to attack and then come back to help defend. An opportunity arose early in the second half and Duke of Kent School took advantage with Ella S finishing off the goal after some well worked passes from Frankie M and Maddie I. The last 5 minutes were very exciting with both teams having an opportunity to win the game but neither team could convert the goal so the score ended a very fair 2-2! It was a brilliant experience for the Year 9 & 10 girls to play an 11 a-side game on a full sized pitch. Most importantly, it was great to see how much they had remembered from the team talk earlier that day! Well done to everyone involved for a great game of hockey!
Girls' Football: U13/12 A v. Belmont
On Wednesday afternoon, the U13/12 A girls made the short journey to Belmont for a football match. After a quick warm up, the teams were ready to go! Duke of Kent School started well with a wonderful run and goal by Niamh A after just a few minutes of play. However, Belmont were fighters and they continued to create opportunities to score throughout the first half. The game was very even with end to end play and some quality football on display. Saoirse W, Anna S and Sydney R rotated in the defence with Daisy R in goal, they made countless epic tackles and managed to keep the game to a 2-2 draw at half time. After a quick team talk, the girls were ready for the second half. Bella S and Jess I continued to demonstrated good dribbling skills and created some great opportunities for Niamh A and Sydney R to score. Belmont continued to press and went 3-2 up. Then, one of the most exciting moments of the game was an epic pass from Niamh A into Sydney who connected perfectly with the ball and hit the cross bar with her shot with just minutes left to play! The game was extremely close until the last moment of play. Well done to all the girls involved for a brilliant game of football!
Girls' Football: U13/12 B v. Belmont
On Wednesday the girls' played Belmont away in football. The girls played exceptionally well from the very start. Clara H-S was brilliant in defence making multiple strong tackles and clearing the ball down the pitch when needed. Up from was a team effort between Tidly C, Maggie B, Tabbie S-B and Iona H. The girls worked so hard making tackles, passing the ball into space and determination to finish their hardwork with a goal. The girls finished this brilliant game with a score of 5-0 thanks to some great goals from Iona H and Maggie B. Special mention to 4 goal Iona! Iona scored an astonishing 4 goals in this match and we were all so proud of her. Well done to the whole team!
What Parents Need to Know About Cryptocurrency:
Cryptocurrency is software enabling the exchange and storage of digital ‘coins’ representing financial value. To monitor who owns which coins, platforms save an online record of every transaction, called a ‘ledger’ or ‘blockchain’. This is secured by cryptography: a set of methods for protecting sensitive information. Bitcoin, released in 2009, was the first cryptocurrency; other platforms have since launched such as Ethereum, Tezos and Filecoin. As cryptocurrency becomes a more established part of digital life, young people are bound to encounter it – so it’s vital that trusted adults understand its risks, and how it can be explored and used safely.
This competition will once again be judged by Steven Camden AKA Polarbear. The prompt for this year, “My Big Mouth”, is taken from Camden’s 2021 poetry collection.
Closing Date for Entries is 14th December 2021.
Get your design skills out and create you own storyboard or cartoon. See below for the correct theme.
– Key Stages 1 and 2: Zero Waste
– Key Stage 3: Healthy Eating (focused on sugar)
– Key Stages 4 and 5: Fair Trade
As we reach the end of the penultimate week of this term, I have been very aware of just how many of us are ready for a break from the daily routine.
There has also been a return to the wearing of masks and continued debate over travel, vaccinations and restrictions to socialising. As this is all debated so publicly and reported continually, it can be a very confusing and uncertain time for our children and young people.
This uncertainty is difficult to live with and can trigger feelings of disappointment, anxiety and stress. Particularly those who fear changing plans and missing loved ones for the second Christmas in a row. Indeed, there are already many in our School community who have had to cancel plans and rethink who, with and where they will spend the Christmas break this year.
For these people, as well as those who are experiencing other life stresses it can be difficult to join in the festive spirit that many others are displaying.
So whilst for some the uncertainty is a good excuse to begin decorating and celebrating early, for others time to process what the changes mean for them is important.
It is ok to feel the festive spirit and it is ok to prefer to remain more subdued this year - we have a choice and should respect others’ choices.
Please spend the Christmas break in the way you need; whether that is bedecked in tinsel at the centre of the party or quietly reflecting at home. Be empathetic to how others feel during this festive period.
A Message from the School Nurses
Here's a summary of the key information regarding Covid changes:
Cases of Covid 19 are rising again at School - particularly in Prep and Senior School this week.
At School, we encourage all close contacts to book a PCR test as per government guidelines, but also to perform daily LFD tests whilst their contact isolates.
The new "Omicron" variant of concern has reached the UK.
Close contacts of confirmed cases of the Omicron Variant all have to isolate for 10 days regardless of exemption status.
People returning to the UK from abroad are to isolate and book a day 2 PCR test (this may impact your Christmas holiday plans)
12-15 year olds will now be offered a second vaccination a minimum of 12 weeks after their first - we wait for news as to whether this will be given at School or in the community
Staff and Senior School pupils to perform a "mass lateral flow test" on January 4th 2022 to facilitate a safe return to School in the New Year - more details to follow.
Please do continue to isolate pupils who have any potential symptoms of Covid 19 (fever, cough, loss/change of smell or taste) as we make our way towards the end of term. They need to have a PCR test booked, as LFD tests are not reliable or sensitive enough for cases where symptoms are involved (reports state they miss 50% of positive cases). Thank you for understanding, we do appreciate it can be very frustrating to have to repeatedly follow this guidance. All PCR tests are to be reported to Chloe Sarjant at email@example.com. If any parents/visitors test PCR positive within 48 hours of attending a School event, can they also please let us know. Thank you.
Wishing you all a happy weekend - get your tinsel out, and pop on your favourite Christmas album and eat some mince pies - festive season has begun!
The School Nurses
Thanks to your wonderful donations we have managed to wrap up 19 amazing hampers!!
Just a reminder that ticket sales will close on Saturday 4th December so please email firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of that day to get your tickets for a chance to win one of the 19 hampers.
Please be assured you will be emailed your raffle ticket numbers - we have lots of emails to work through so don't worry if you haven't received them yet.
The draw is on Monday 6th December in assembly. Good luck.
We hope you have all received your Ecokids bags and they are helping you clear out no longer needed toys or outgrown clothes. None of the items received go to waste so it is a great cause for us to support. Please write the name of the school on the bags. Thank you.
Times for dropping off the bags are as follows:
Sunday 5th December - 11am to 12pm - Outside the changing rooms/Second-hand uniform shop.
Monday 6th and Tuesday 7th December outside the changing rooms at drop off. No bags at the top of the school site please.
*The bags are being collected by Ecokids on Tuesday 7th December at 10am so all bags must be delivered by then please.
Duke of Kent Singers
Due to covid cases in the area we have sadly had to put singing on hold for the remainder of the term. Singing will resume as soon as we are allowed.
Optional Senior School Hoodie
The Senior School hoodies have been redesigned by members of the School Council and the finished product can be seen above. They have done a fantastic job at putting this design together and now finally getting to see the finished product.
This new hoodie is available from Stevenson's 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.
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.
Rugby success for DoK alumni, Jamie Barden has been selected to play in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens 2022. He's due to play a second tournament this week in Dubai and we wish him the very best of luck. Below is Jamie's interview with @WorldRugbyhttps://t.co/Q1lqD1FtWB #TheDoKWay https://t.co/EfCbWMKsUS
It was such a joy to welcome back a past Duke of Kent School Deputy Head Boy, James Harrison 2013/14. He joined us for the opening of our brand new Science Laboratories. Thank you to everyone involved in the project and we are thrilled with our new Labs. #TheDoKWay #Alumni https://t.co/Ty1faeEo2B