HM Blog Archive

Have you had a chance to catch up with the latest news and events from @KingsTaunton? It was a time of celebration… - 18 hours ago

Fabulous Food, Former Pupils and the Start of Some Fond Farewells!

Published on: Friday, June 29, 2018

This week has been as busy as you’d expect for this time of term with several special meals thrown in, too.

I have just had a beautiful lunch outside in our garden with all this year’s Head and Deputy Head Girls and Boys – what a pleasure to eat outside and thank you to Mrs Chippendale for such yummy food! The children were, quite rightly, all full of what lies ahead for them, with a few reminiscences about memories such as accidents, matches, School of Rock and past teachers thrown in. Along with the rest of Year 8 they’ll be terrific ambassadors for King’s Hall.

Earlier in the week, on Wednesday, we had a similar evening but for grown-ups. The inaugural Family Farewell Feast was a terrific occasion and the glorious weather allowed us to host it amongst the roses and splendour of the Inner Quad (‘we could have been in an Italian courtyard’ commented one guest the next day).This was certainly a warm hearted way to say thank you to families who leave us for the last time this term – some after making nearly 10,000 school runs over the last 22 years! One can only be in admiring awe of the stamina and commitment of the Drysdale family for that and the Thomas’s are not far behind at an impressive 18 years as parents here.

Working back to Tuesday evening, Claire and I hosted the Year Reps for supper as a thank you to those important bods who do such a great job within their age groups and the previous night we had dinner with the Headmaster of the College who was entertaining a former pupil returning from Hong Kong for the first time in 48 years! Mr Lui then visited us here on Tuesday morning to gain greater insights as he is involved in a project to provide better educational opportunities for disadvantaged children in Hong Kong.

Also this last seven days, we have properly made clear the Adventure Playground plans we have for the front of school – you may have seen the boards up by the Rose Garden.This is to be our Annual Fund project this year and we have already had a significant donation as well as several valued contributions from our Year 8 families.The idea of the Annual Fund is that it can enrich the lives of the children by providing enhancements to the site beyond the core provision from school fees. Bikes, weather stations, spotlights, archaeology pits, specialist sports equipment, printing presses, pianos and staging are all amongst items facilitated by past philanthropy.The structure is intended to be a modular construction and if we can raise as much as £50,000 we will be able create a stunning addition for the children.Attached to this email is a short project brief giving a little more insight and do contact Julian Mack if you feel able to support the project in any way.

The fab weather is set to create a lovely day for Sports Day tomorrow, so I’ll see those of you with Year 5 to 8 children tomorrow afternoon.

In the Presence of Impressive People

Published on: Friday, June 22, 2018

This week, which has had our fabulous Arts Week programme at its heart, has been one where I have found myself regularly in the presence of impressive people.

I watched Abi Elphinstone captivate our children with not only some insights about ‘finding a story in anything’ but also her very powerful message of relentless endeavour. Her natural charisma will have been inspirational to all those who spent time in her company.

The ease with which the West End in Schools Shakespeare group created an atmosphere of dramatic expression amongst the children was amazing, and equally remarkable was Mike Jones of Earth Wrights, who led the children very subtly to realise their imagination in making models of how an Adventure Playground might look here at the school.

Marcus Sedgwick connected with Year 8 via Skype from the Alps and just today we have had our own impressive people in Year 4 regale parents with a spectacular performance of Sleeping Beauty.

Just before the opening of the Science Faculty, we had a high octane performance with insight to the instruments from the King’s College Big Band – many of whom had been here at King’s Hall not that long ago.

Having the children, and ourselves, surrounded by so many examples of confident, persistent people who have followed their enthusiasms and hobbies and hence turned them into a fulfilling and purposeful way of life has been very uplifting.

I may see some of you this evening to enjoy this glorious spell of weather, otherwise have a lovely weekend before we enter the final leg of this academic year.

And so comes the summer...

Published on: Friday, June 15, 2018

After a slightly gentler week with various groups being out at different times, tomorrow we welcome back Year 7 who have clearly had an amazing time in Switzerland; no doubt we will get to see some evidence of their exploits in next week’s Newsletter. Year 8 had a terrific time in Devon recently as well as starting their post-exam programme which includes careers advice, First Aid training and an awareness of the Magistrates’ courts.

Just today, our Year 8 Common Entrance candidates have had their results. We are very, very proud of this cohort who have not only all passed to a range of schools but have put together a genuinely impressive set of grades.The academic journey that they commenced, as long ago as 10 years in some cases, has borne fabulous fruit as they have collaborated with their teachers over a period of time to maximise their potential. Sure foundations followed by increasingly aspirational targets and intellectual challenges have led them to this high level of performance and they now move ahead to take on future exams such as GCSEs with great confidence and a valuable experience under their belt.

Summer exam results mean that time is passing and we must be moving to the final weeks of the year. Can you still remember New Year? Well, before I write next week’s HEADlines we will have passed the longest day of the year: Thursday 21 June is the Summer Solstice and should see us enjoy approximately 17 hours of daylight.

This time of year sees our Arts Week start on Monday with all the excitement it brings and ending on Friday afternoon with the King’s College Big Band and the Science Boffins coming along to open our Science Faculty. Later that evening, you are invited to return to enjoy ‘Cocktails and Jazz’ with the Band regaling you further as you tuck into your picnic. Do reply to the links about these two events to help us plan appropriately.

Finally, I am told that a revamp of our website is going live today – I hope you enjoy the refresh!

It's Oh So Quiet ... But Not For Long!

Published on: Friday, June 8, 2018

Today has been so quiet! Year 8 have gone to Okehampton and surrounds, Year 7 are heading to Switzerland, many of Years 6, 4 and 3 have been involved in sport whilst Pre-Prep have had many children on visits off site, too!

It’s a far cry from last week when I enjoyed the bustling sights, sounds and sensations of a few days in Hong Kong with some of our current families and alumni. It was a terrific visit with King’s connections aged 7 to 70+ where the enduring warmth and generosity of parents and friends was overwhelming. Thank you again to all those we met for your extremely affable welcome and it was a pleasure to spend time catching up with old acquaintances as well as forging strong relationships with those a little newer to the King’s family.

All of the Year 8 CE candidates have conducted themselves with great poise this week as they completed their important exams. I hope they enjoy a mixture of fun activities across Devon as well as a chance to ‘chill’ together as their minds inevitably turn to thoughts of life after King’s Hall.

Back at King’s Hall this week, I have been around the fields at breaktimes, in RS, maths, Latin and Science lessons as well as finding myself joining the chorus for a Year 4 play rehearsal! There is a huge amount going on as usual at this time so one needs to be right on top of the diary!

Speaking of the diary – I hope you have 22nd June listed as an afternoon to join us and do sign up for the FoKHS Cocktail and Jazz evening that day.

We'd Like a Little More Sunshine Please!

Published on: Friday, May 25, 2018

So, the lovely stretch of sunnier weather we have been having has broken and the old joke about ‘Well, that was summer, then!’ has been heard a couple of times in the last 24 hours. With June just around the corner let’s hope it brings a return to fine weather and might we even see a ‘flaming June’ this year?

It has been a relatively peaceful week in the Prep due to exams and Tuesday here was a particular oasis of calm as not only were Years 5, 6 and 7 taking exams but Year 3 headed up to Dunkery Beacon and Year 4 were enjoying the splendour of Lulworth Cove.

We have thrown in some energetic events along the way as Year 3 and 4 ran, jumped and threw at their Sports Day and today we ended with most of the Prep children committing enthusiastically to the King’s Hall Biathlon, running and swimming with vim before heading off into half term.

Another packed edition of our Prep Newsletter, full of reflections from the last seven days awaits your perusal.

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