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Headmaster's Blog

Final Flings

Posted Friday, 21 March 2014  /  Written by Justin Chippendale

The final week has been its usual whirlwind of fun and it is worth noting how much vibrancy there has been in the last seven days even though people are feeling a little weary.  The involvement of so many children in various events and activities continues to be impressive and so it is no coincidence that King’s Hall children are purposeful, enthusiastic and assured.

Those qualities were on display from Year 6 as they put on a terrific production of ‘Flipside’.  The intentions of Mrs Keirle to immerse the children in all aspects of a theatrical experience were evident and it was genuinely a case of every part matters.  Very well done to all involved and there is a little more about it later in the Newsletter.

Parents and staff have been busy, too, and well done to Mr DJ who sang as part of the St John Passion performed at King’s College last Friday evening and to fathers who put their knees, hamstrings and lungs to the test in a football match against King’s College staff that ended in a 2-2 draw on Sunday.

The Pupil Council have led us in another response to support those affected by the local flooding through the ‘Phil The Bag’ charity and it has been nice to have feedback of how important and welcome the support is from those on the Levels.  

The children have been building towards the House Music competition with their usual fervour and cometh the hour they have, once again, impressed with their talent and energy. I thought the parents certainly added richness to the sound when asked to join in – well done!

So, look in the Newsletter to see another good dollop of fact and fun to bring the Lent Term to a close and I hope you all have a good Easter holiday with your families.


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Calling all two year olds – fun to be had here

Posted Friday, 14 March 2014  /  Written by Justin Chippendale

The highlight of the week has been the official Opening of The Pelican Nursery for two year olds and we were so lucky to have lovely weather for the occasion.  A gathering of Pre-Prep children and staff was complimented by the architect and a representative from the construction company and nearly all the Governors, topped off by the presence of Maureen and Peter Willson.  I took advantage of the recent Scholarship news to explain that the nine children in Year 8 who joined the school in 2004 when they were just three years old have gained eleven awards between them in 2014 for academic, sporting, dramatic and musical prowess: it all started with playing in the Nursery and the woods! Maureen was as impressive as ever and unsurprisingly still able to captivate the younger ones – it was so good to have her and Peter with us.  The plaque she unveiled bears the date of birth (obviously not the year bit!) of one of her children and I shall leave you to discover whom.

About 18 hours before that I was in the dining room being creative with the junior boarders as their evening activity. Some were decorating mirrors but I was treated to Wilf (Year 1) showing me his plasticine Star Wars fighter and we were deep into who was the pilot.  It was definitely from The Dark Side and in the end it turned out to be Darth Maul not Darth Vader in the cockpit.  Meanwhile, at the same table, we were enjoying a sing-a-long with Sound of Music songs.  Felicity (Wilf’s sister in Year 3) must be the best 7 year old Julie Andrews substitute ever as she was casually belting out Do-Re-Mi and Edelweiss as the rest of the room joined in without really knowing they were doing so. It was rather lovely, actually.

House Music next week - the secrecy between Houses is becoming more apparent (or covert) as routines are finessed behind closed doors!

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Top and tail and a little bit of history

Posted Friday, 7 March 2014  /  Written by Justin Chippendale

You will see in the Newsletter a very long and hugely impressive list of Scholarships won by Year 8 children recently. I mentioned a few weeks ago about how proud I was to be sending all our candidates into the fray as they are a talented, purposeful, assured and upbeat group. It is a measure of the range of very high quality activity they have embraced here at King’s Hall that they have gained about 35 awards between them (I say ‘about’ as there is still the odd result to come in) and this is a remarkable total. Very well done to all who took part as everyone should feel proud to have been in good company and prepared to put themselves forward to be counted.

Next week, on Wednesday, we have the official opening of our Pelican Nursery for two year olds. Pyrland Hall was an all boys, mainly boarding, school and in 1987 Maureen Willson was responsible for establishing both girls and a Pre-Prep here and was the first Head of King’s Hall School. It seems fitting that as she brought the very youngest children to the site she should be here as we grow to welcome another age group and I am delighted that Maureen, with her husband Peter who was Bursar for longer than she was Head, has agreed to do the honours.

I was at a meeting on Wednesday in regard to a terrific concert that is being held next term in Exeter Cathedral. About a dozen Prep Schools in the South West, including King’s Hall, have involved 14 pupils each in collaboration under the banner of ‘Songs For All Seasons’. I know those involved here have enjoyed the experience thus far and there should be a memorable evening ahead on May 16th.

We head into the final section of term after a weekend break with the Year 6 play next week and House Music the following week to conclude the term. Do I see even the merest suggestion that we are in spot of sustained high pressure next week? Fingers, toes etc, all crossed.

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