6th December 2019
by Justin Chippendale
When writing HEADlines last week, we were about to dip our toes into the festive season with some still preparing for important exams. As I write this missive now, we have been well and truly up to our armpits in it this week, with full immersion in all things Advent, Christmas and Nativity taking hold from today.
Well done and thank you to the Friends of King’s Hall for a swashbuckling Barn Dance last Friday (and thanks to others who pitched in with help on the night itself) - if you seek some evidence of the footwork on display, then check out the video in the newsletter!
I know it was a Pre-Prep visit, but yesterday’s Journey to Bethlehem, so brilliantly organised by the Spencers at Volis Farm, was a real treat for me. Such realism for 4/5 year olds as they come to understand the wonder of the Nativity story all delivered in a calm, slick and matter-of-fact manner but with genuine impact on the children – a golden nugget of a Christmas experience!
It’s worth saying well done to those who took exams this week. Academic ambition and rigour run through the core of our time here and there seemed a very sensible, composed and purposeful approach from the vast majority of examinees. There is a chance to let up a little next week before some Year 8s will need to undertake holiday revision and then have their noses firmly to the grindstone next term. One of the most important learnings we hope to instil in the children is #shorttermpainlongtermgain even when faced with tempting distractions.
On this day in another week’s time we will have had the Boarders’ Feast and entertainment, our final Nativity from Pre-Prep, our Final Assembly and be heading into the Christmas break. We will also know the outcome of the General Election…… plenty to do between now and then, though, including the Carol Service on Sunday at the King’s College chapel: see you there.
This Week in Pre-Prep ...
by Claire Luckhurst
The gasps of delight as the children arrived in Pre-Prep on Monday morning captured the magic of the season perfectly as they opened their classroom doors to find the rooms transformed with a glorious array of tinsel, sparkle and glitz. A big ‘Thank you’ to the Pre-Prep elves who worked so hard to make it so special.
The magic has continued to build throughout the week culminating in the most heart-warming Nursery Nativity this morning, ‘A Miracle in Town’. Watching the Nursery Nativity is definitely one of my personal highlights of the year, not only because I never fail to be amazed at what such tiny people can achieve but also because it really embraces the true meaning of the season. This year’s performance is perhaps my new favourite; happy hip-swinging angels, bum-wiggling camels, boogying animals and the most welcoming Inn Keeper one could possibly hope to meet! Enormous thanks must be given to the Nursery staff team who all work so incredibly hard to ensure the children shine.
Woodland Adventures Christmas Holiday Club
With Christmas fast approaching why not give yourself some stress-free shopping, cooking or cleaning time and take advantage of the Woodlands Christmas Holiday Club where your children will have fun making Christmas decorations, cooking up Christmas treats, building Santa’s Grotto and toasting marshmallows and sipping hot chocolate around the campfire!For more information please click here To book your place(s) please click here
Reminders for the Week Ahead
Monday 9th December
Christmas Jumper (or one piece of festive clothing) Day
Tuesday 10th December
Years 3-6 visit to the Brewhouse Theatre to watch The Railway Children
Wednesday 11th December
Years 3&4 Golden Time
Years 5-7 Plus Rewards
Year 8 Christmas party and disco
Note: This is the last day of after-school hobbies
Thursday 12th December
Year 8 Town Time
Years 3-7 Fun Christmas activities followed by Christmas parties
Friday 13th December
School term ends at 3.30 pm and we ask that all children are collected promptly please
Please note that the School Office will close on Thursday 19th December and re-open after the Christmas break on Tuesday 2nd January.
The School Shop will be open on Monday 6th and Tuesday 7th January: to make an appointment please phone the School Office on 01823 285920.
A fantastic turn-out for the inaugural Friends of King’s Hall Barn Dance
Nearly 100 parents, children, brothers, sisters, grannies, nannies and hangers-on packed into Kingston St Mary Village Hall to turn their hand (and several ligaments) to some fine folk tunes.
Ably assisted by leading country dance band ‘Rare Abundance’ (and kept somewhat forcefully in place by caller Ray Goodison), the rumbustious but rhythmic crowd proved their do-si-dos were far from so-so.
A hog roast the size of Taunton was the perfect accompaniment, though there was enough apple sauce left over to block every drain between here and Yeovil. Many thanks to all the helpers on the night, especially those who tried so very hard indeed to finish the pork.
Can you see yourself in the video ...?
A few words from ... Daisy Rundell
This term's Deputy Head Girl
As we reach the end of the term we all are looking forward to the Christmas holidays!!!!!!! I know I am.
We are excited about a truly amazing carol service directed by Mr D-J and his choirs. And we can’t forget all the mince pies at the end. The school has decorated all the class rooms from huge blow-up Santas, to dancing Christmas trees that sing. As we get to the end of term the school gets ready for the adorable nativity play performed by the stars in Pre-Prep. This year they are doing the same play that I was in playing an Angel. The nativity is a real highlight of the festivities. How could I forget the fun Christmas party and Plus Rewards. Year 7 are going ice-skating at Hestercombe and Year 8 have Town Time for all that Christmas shopping.
I am very sad to say that I have played my last hockey match at King's Hall - it was against the Downs (we lost to them at IAPS but won this time). We had a cracking finale to the girls' hockey house matches with Bradfield winning overall and, very sadly, Gibbs came last!
See you all on Monday in your best Christmas jumpers!!
Year 4 visit to We The Curious
Last Friday, we took Year 4 to We The Curious in Bristol ...and what an adventure we all had! The children were blown away by the 3D show in the planetarium, taking a trip around our solar system including a visit to the Great Red Spot on Jupiter. We also had an interactive workshop examining the Earth, Sun and Moon in detail.
One of the greatest pleasures with a trip like this is the inspirational and indeed aspirational looks on young people’s faces as they soak up all the knowledge available and imagine the possibilities open to them if they pursue science further. It was a wonderful trip and the children are still talking about it. They represented our school brilliantly.
As we approach the end of term, pupils are always excited to find out which books they will be reading in preparation for their Book Club or Book Breakfast gatherings. Well, the wait is finally over and this Christmas our King’s Hall bookworms will be curling up somewhere comfy and cosy to enjoy these fabulous books …
If you would like to reserve a place for your child at Book Club or Book Breakfast, please respond by the end of term to the invitation you will receive through My School Portal. Happy festive reading to all!
by Anna Hardy, Head of Geography
I would highly recommend the BBC Seven Worlds - One Planet series that is on Sunday evenings if you haven’t been watching it.
Year 6 are currently studying the Earth’s main ecosystems and this series links so closely to the work 6K have just completed on designing ‘new’ animals for different ecosystems.
The Thorny Devil in Australia is a perfect example of how animals have adapted to suit their surroundings, but 6K have created their own equally ingenious animals with specific characteristics to suit the four main ecosystems.
I have been blown away by their creativity and attention to detail, as well as their understanding of what each ecosystem is like.
Mr Thomas' Year 7 tutor group
This has been a slightly unusual week for us as we have been taking exams. We reckon that like many such things: Monday mornings, cross country runs, dentists etc, the reality is not always as bad as the grim prospect, especially if you prepare properly. Anyway, we have all emerged smiling and people seem pretty pleased as to how things went, although the smiles may be through relief that the exams have gone!
In a rather (some would say typical) grumpy way, Mr Thomas said no Christmas decorations in the classroom until after the exams. Well, we had a bit of fun furtively putting up, initially, the odd low key decoration (paper chain, tinsel); he said nothing so we became braver and put more colour up and the room is now pretty festive. Mr Thomas still stayed quiet. He may have transformed from Scrooge into a kind, generous Christmas fairy or, despite the singing Santa and flashing lights, he might not have noticed! We suspect the latter! Indeed, Mrs Thomas came in and was a bit miffed that our classroom was more festive than hers and wondered what had overcome Mr Thomas. She suspected it was a good time to let him know how much she had spent on “Enjoy your Christmas through buying tack.com”, but, partly through our advice, decided against it.
Happily, this week has been dry enabling us to be outside at break and, crucially, getting some fresh air. The boys have generally been playing touch rugby and the girls have been playing one bounce – a game involving netball skills. The boys have occasionally come over to “show how it’s done” but it is pleasing to report that things are not always easy as they look!
Enjoy the last week and Happy Christmas to all!
A View from the Rose Garden
HISTORY BROUGHT TO LIFE
4F have been reading The Lion and The Unicorn by Shirley Hughes
This story takes place during WWII and is about Lenny, a young boy,who is evacuated to the countryside during the Blitz.
4F have written letters as the character Lenny. They developed empathy for the character and learned about the difficulties he faced as an evacuee. Some of the children have grandparents who fought in WWII and they brought in various items, such as a war diary, pilot log, bible from Jerusalem and significant war medals.
Tilly’s grandfather was the engineer who designed the IMPOSSIBLE BRIDGE and this saved many lives. His diary was very interesting and gave the children a sense of the danger at that time. He had notes on what to do if you escape from a POW camp: don’t walk like a soldier; slouch. He also wrote about hunting tanks and designing weapons.
Isabella’s grandfather flew Harvard, Hurricane, Spitfire, Beechcraft, Blenheim I and Blenheim IV, Wellington X-XIV, Vincent and Marauder aircraft. His pilot’s log is an important historical document and a good read, too!
Amber’s grandfather was on the HMS Campania and earned a war medal. Amber also brought in a picture of him as a dashing young fellow standing next to his motorbike.
by Snoops the Dog
Snoops Recounts the Tale of Riana and Rex
I hope you’ve all had a good week. I can’t begin to tell you how exciting things are here at King’s Hall at the moment. There are so many treats in store for the week ahead but I’ll write about them in my final diary entry for the term.
However, before I am overcome with all things Christmassy, I would like to share a wonderful, heart-warming story with you about one of our pupils, Riana, and her old dog, Rex. Rex was bought by Riana’s family when she was just two years old and the two were inseparable. Every day Rex followed Riana around the house and stayed at her side while she played with her toys.
A short time later, Riana’s family moved from Romania to the UK. It just so happened that around the same time a friendly neighbour was looking to get a dog, so Rex was rehomed. Even though 9 years have passed since Riana and Rex separated, she never forgot about her special canine friend and would often mention him to her parents.
In the recent October half term, while visiting Romania, Riana’s family decided to pay a visit to their old village. Hard as it was not to build their hopes up, it was their dearest wish to find Rex alive and well. At the beginning I said that this was a heart warming tale, so you have probably guessed that they did indeed find him, in good health and as sweet natured as they remembered from all those years ago. Riana and Rex played in the garden for over half an hour and much to everyone’s delight, the close bond between the two still existed.
The thought of Riana and Rex being reunited again gives my fur the warm fuzzies and I have told Riana that I would love to meet Rex one day.
Bye for now.
Your best friend,
Beauty and the Boarders
Mrs Clare Masters, Houseparent
Our boarders had a magical time at the Northcott Theatre on Friday, where they got to see this year's panto, Beauty and the Beast.
Read more about their visit on this week's boarding blog
Following last weekend's Tri Country XC championships at Bath Uni, Kendra, Katie and Cameron have been asked to compete in the SW Inter County Championships in January. They also have a chance of being invited to represent Somerset in the UK Inter County Championships. They had better keep doing the King's Loop as practice!
Well done Darcey on her outstanding water polo achievements. She is one of the youngest players in the South West team, and spent the whole weekend playing against teams such as Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the North East.
Before the end of next week, all children will be bringing their sports kit home so that it is washed and fresh for next term; this is also a good opportunity to ensure that all kit is labelled and hanging loops are secure please.
Next term during their Games lessons ...
|Kit required||Games top|
Blue games shorts
Long games socks
Outdoor trainers/astro shoes
As it is likely to be cold, children can also bring in navy skins, school hats and gloves (for netball, gloves must be dark-coloured, close fitting, have grip and no velcro) to wear; some items, however, may need to be removed when playing matches.
King's Hall School branded navy leggings are now available from the School Shop - please note that no other leggings can be worn.
PE lessons will continue as normal, with Year 4 swimming on a Friday until half-term and Year 3 from half-term until the end of term. All children will need to have their full PE kit and indoor trainers in school, together with any sports kit needed for after-school hobbies/activities.Fixtures and Reports Sports Twitter
King's Hockey Camp
Our camps are designed to be fun! You will learn and develop your skills with experienced coaches. Come and join us!
|When?||Monday 23rd December|
|For?||5-15 year olds|
|Time?||10.00 am - 4.00 pm|
Book your place
King's Netball Camp
Come and join our Netball Camp. The courses will be led by England Netball qualified coaches and are open to all and aimed at girls who want to have fun and develop their netball.
|When?||Monday 6th January 2020|
|For?||7-13 year olds|
|Time?||10.00 am - 4.00 pm|
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