11th September 2020
by Justin Chippendale
Isn’t it extraordinary how quickly being in a routine can make the time pass as it seems remarkable to note that we have been at school for ten days now?
The initial plans appear to be standing up with just a few alterations as to be expected now we have stress-tested them. There are already areas where we have inched forward as we better understand the context in which we operate. Next week sees the introduction of some Hobbies, the Year 8 drama production has been adapted, some inter-school sports fixtures will be played down the line and year group trips have been adjusted but will still take place. We have also had our assemblies and in Chapel we had acolytes robe up and process, readers and some gentle singing from the two Bubbles which were in the Arts Centre with all of it streamed to all classrooms. Boarders are enjoying all the site has to offer and settling to life as a new pseudo-family. Meal routines are better understood and more efficient and so we do hope to be returning to hot meals for Pre-Prep, too, before the end of the month. We are moving steadily through the gears in these early days but current signs are positive and my continuing thanks to everyone involved – children, parents and staff - for your collective willingness to adapt and overcome with great geniality.
Of course, it is a blessing to have us all back together for learning purposes (school works best with children in it) but it also throws up the all-important interactions with each other. That means there are children giggling and laughing, chasing each other, debating (arguing?) with each other, grazing their knees, getting into trouble for minor indiscretions (it happens!), sharing the joy of discovery in company, etc etc and you also get to hear some great lines: my favourite this week was from a girl with her arm in a sling (riding accident late in the holidays) who walked in to school in the morning and said to me, ‘Sir, is it our year group on the Adventure Playground today?’. Love that – obstacles simply don’t exist in her mind.
This Week in Pre-Prep ...
by Claire Luckhurst
The start of a new school year is always an exciting time but I think this year ‘top trumps’ any other in my 20+ year career for being that little bit more special. To have all the children and Pre-Prep staff team back on-site, operating as close to normal as we are currently allowed, has been everyone’s greatest wish since March 20 and, while there are some new routines to get used to, I am so proud of how well everyone has adapted to and respected the many decisions, protocols and changes as we have got this school year underway. The children have returned with the biggest smiles and it has also been lovely to have welcomed so many new families into Pre-Prep, all of whom seem to have ‘found their feet’ effortlessly and very quickly established themselves as part of our family. One of my biggest joys this week was to have a ‘real’ audience in assembly; as much as I enjoyed delivering them virtually last term, I did so miss the children’s reactions, questions and the obligatory collective chant of, “Good Morning Mrs Luckhurst”!
A Few Words from ... Zach Vukusic
This term's Head Boy
Hello everyone, I’m Zach Vukusic, I am your Head Boy for this term.
I hope that everyone has had a good start to the term. I was really happy to come back to school as I felt that I missed my friends and realised that I quite needed school!
Over the summer holidays, I went surfing a lot. I love surfing at Saunton Sands in Devon apart from the long walk to the sea when the tide goes out! I played cricket for Exeter quite a lot as I live fairly close to Exeter. This is why I am a boarder, I love boarding because I can spend time with my friends.
Good luck for this term, work hard, have fun and enjoy your sport.
A View from the Rose Garden - Year 3H
Two weeks in and everyone is really getting into the routine of things.
I thought I would ask the children what is better, worse or just different from last year without putting names on the comments to incriminate anyone!
All in all though, the Year 3s have settled very well and are working hard. It has been a really good beginning to the children’s time in the Prep. Please keep up the hard work 3H!
Things which are better
“The table tennis table is great fun!”
“DT, Art and Science, in a lab! All great lessons and there are lots of extra lessons”
“Having Houses and house tops for PE”
“Biscuits for snack”
“Different playgrounds – Adventure Playground, North Field and Rose Garden”
“An early lunch, being allowed to chat when eating and choosing hot or cold”
“Walking to different lessons”
“Not having to wait for everyone at lunchtime - we can go straight out to play having finished eating”
“ICT is fun”
Things which are worse
“We have pencil cases for lessons”
“We don’t get quiet time”
“It is a longer day”
“We don’t play on the hard area any more ”
“There are not so many playground toys”
“There are more lessons in the day”
“There is lots of maths to do”
Things which are just different
“We have a timetable”
“We are in a different location in the school”
“The tables and chairs are closer to the whiteboard”
“There are different subjects, such as Drama and History”
“We sit in same seat every day”
“Our trays are under our places”
“There are up to four play times!”
“Badminton and football for PE”
“Plus points, merits and HMCs are all new”
“You can get a pen licence if you are very neat”
Richard Morgan's Tutor Group - Year 8
The theme of the term so far has been very much the concept of ‘new’. Mr Morgan’s tutees have come together as a group for the first time and also welcomed two new pupils to the school, Henry and Matthew, who have settled and been looked after by their new friends extremely well.
Whilst it is wonderful to have everyone back in school, the group have also had to adapt to the new regime required by the Covid19 situation and have set an excellent example to the younger children by following the required routines and guidelines.
However, whilst everyone gets used to this new way of working and co-operating, the group have also understood well that some things don’t change and they have been impressive as senior pupils in their organisation and independence. They have shown a pleasing understanding that their behaviour will be copied and that they must be positive role models for the younger pupils.
As a tutor, it is always a pleasure to engage in discussion in our PHSE sessions with the senior pupils and to hear their thoughts and opinions on important issues and current affairs. There is certainly plenty to discuss in these unprecedented times and I look forward to plenty of rigorous debate this year!
by Snoops the Dog
It’s great to be communicating with you all again after the extended period away from school. I have to say that the last week and a half have been my best weeks so far in 2020.
I’ve been over the moon to see all my school and boarding buddies back on the premises. Let me tell you that without them here this building loses its heart and soul.
Over the last few months I’ve been walked so much that my legs feel as though they are a few inches shorter.
I’ve also welcomed back the hoomans that I spend time with when everyone else is in lessons (teaching and learning). I am part of a great team that works behind the scenes doing laundry, cleaning, cooking, maintenance and admin. (Okay, so I’m not allowed to do the cooking bit, even though I am an Ottolenghi fan). I must be a great help to them all because to show their appreciation they all bring in little treats for me and spoil me rotten. Please feel free to spoil me too!
Mrs Clare Masters, Houseparent
I cannot express how lovely it is to hear the sound of children back at King's Hall, it has been a lonely five months but I now feel we are back to a bit of normality and it feels good.
A huge welcome to our new boarders Matthew, Harry, Henry, Paul, Lucia, Vivian, Lucas and Max - it is wonderful to see how quickly you have all settled in.
Last weekend was a fantastic start to the term. On Saturday the children had Archery lessons on the front field and what a beautiful spot with the school looking so grand in the background. Later, they thoroughly enjoyed taking Snoops for a walk up into the woods, followed by speeding around the grounds on the go-karts and scooters. By the evening they were all exhausted, so time for a few games of tennis on the Wii and then a movie before bed. On Sunday, after the favourite breakfast of sausages, bacon, mushrooms, scrambled eggs, tomatoes and beans we went into the woods where the children spent the day with the chickens, ducks and guinea pigs, building fires, cooking sausages and marshmallows on sticks over the fire. A perfect weekend! A good night's sleep was needed as we begin another week.
by Stephen Watson - Deputy Head
I love English, History and most sports. I was lucky enough to have a great English teacher at my Senior school and we studied ‘The Great Gatsby‘, now one of my favourite novels. Its full of symbolism and it is set in a wonderful period. The opening of the novel is superb and told from the point of view of Nick Carraway, the book’s narrator.
He is a character which I grew to admire and like, in one of the Twentieth Century’s great novels. If you haven’t read it yet – try it.
“'In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since. Whenever you feel like criticising anyone, he told me, just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had'”
- Nick Carraway - Narrator of 'The Great Gatsby'
The pupils are delighted to use our brand new cricket nets. They showed their appreciation to our extremely hard-working grounds staff yesterday afternoon. Fantastic job, they are brilliant. The cricket session was fantastic tooSports Twitter
Hickstead – National Schools Equestrian Association Eventers Championships 2020
This year the equestrian calendar, along with other sports, was inevitably disrupted by the Covid pandemic. However, when we received news that the NSEA (National Schools Equestrian Association) were going to stage their National Eventers Challenge Finals at Hickstead – an event that should have happened back in May – we were all incredibly excited. It meant some last minute riding and training in preparation, but we were just relieved to be getting back out on the competition circuit again.
So it was that at the end of August, our teams set out to ride at the iconic venue, which is always is one of the highlights of the riding year. Our pupils had worked so hard to gain qualification for this event and in total King’s had 10 different horse and rider combinations entered over the four days – in both the championship and the show jumping classes.
Everyone did so well and rode brilliantly in all manner of weathers – sunshine, gales and torrential rain all meant that the riders were tested in the most difficult of conditions. But, team spirit was high and combined with their love of riding, the smiles were always sported widely from ear to ear! The championship classes were long and testing courses and included water jumps, arrowheads, devil’s dyke, and water trays along with the usual show jumping and cross-country obstacles.
Our youngest rider Wilf from King’s Hall jumped well in both of his classes and finished 19th overall in the 70cm show jumping class – after jumping a super clear round on his pony Milo.
King’s finished 7th as a team in both the 75cm championship class (Tilly, Dandi, Jamie, Josh all completing lovely clear rounds) and again in the 85cm championship class (Josh, Harriet, Tilly, Bella all doing extremely well) – a superb effort in what were huge numbers of competitors and with the optimum time often being quite tricky to gauge. King’s College pupil Josh C also picked up individual placings – 5th and 7th in both classes, having jumped some super rounds, going clear in all five of his championship classes. Older brother Sam was our only rider in the 1 metre championship class on Thursday and did very well to get around what was proving to be a very tricky course, finishing 15th overall.
Everyone finished the show on a real high and all played their part in some superb rounds – many going clear. It was great to be back out competing at a national level and despite the necessary restrictions, it proved to be a very successful and fun-filled four days away.
Top Dressage Score for Maisie
Year 7 pupil Maisie Henderson is a keen and talented young rider. She and her pony Serenity recently took part in a dressage competition scoring a particularly impressive mark. Competing against adults, Maisie came first in the dressage to music class and was overwhelmed to have beaten such stiff competition.
In the final comments box the judge said: “Just amazing, would love to see it again. Congratulations.” Maisie scored top marks (10/10) for her halts at the beginning and end of the test, for the harmony she displayed between her and Serenity, for her use of the arena, and her choice of music and interpretation. She scored 9/10 in all other categories.
Maisie has now been offered a place to join the King’s
Schools Equestrian team.
Calling all young creatives out there!
Do you fancy taking part in an event to help raise funds for animals and conservation work at ZSL?
There's still time to enter with a wildlife or animal inspired speech, poem, or recitation. Follow the get involved link below to take part in The GoodWord Festival of Speech
Get your entry noticed by one of the country's leading speech writers, Simon Lancaster, while helping to raise funds and awareness for London Zoo. By the way, £5 is enough to feed a giraffe for the day at the zoo.
The festival is supported by experts and everyone who enters will receive a certificate, a special letter of thanks and personal feedback on their entry.
Be empowered. Be inspired.
Doesn't our adventure playground look fabulous in the afternoon sunshine. So lovely to see the children enjoying outdoor play again! Click the link below to see them in action
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