12th March 2021
by Justin Chippendale
Boom! We have plugged ourselves back in to the mains!
We have switched from the reserve batteries and now the lights are shining so much more brightly. I have mentioned in writings how, for us all, this lockdown period has been harder, with a greater sense of it being an increasingly enervating chore, than last summer. People – children, parents and staff – have been remarkable, but motivation has been more of a challenge.
Well, this week back on site has put the ‘pow’ back in to our power and, by and large, it is the children’s zing that creates the dynamic and demands action – generating motivation for all. It is often more interesting, more fun, more exacting and hence more rewarding to do something for someone else.
A warm and smooth transition back to each other’s company has been a focus this week and seeing the sheer pleasure of simple human interaction has been as affirming as it was in September. This week’s Newsletter is evidence through the many pictures of children – actually here in person, together! It is different to being at home, of course, and there are a few tired children this afternoon. Not just physically being back at school, but the excitement and emotion of five days in a row together is something we haven’t had for a few months.
I saw an HMC from one boy earlier today. It was a Spring poem and I particularly liked his final line: ‘The world is yawning back into life.’ It not only speaks to the seasonal change but also aligns with our hopes about the step by step opening up of society ahead. For now, we are so pleased to be back on site and enjoying school full of happy, smiling children – just as it should be.
This Week in Pre-Prep...
by Claire Luckhurst
It was so lovely to welcome all the children in Pre-Prep back to school this week and by 9:00am on Monday morning it really did feel like they had never been away! I think there must be some invisible portal door between the tennis courts and their classrooms through which when they walked, they automatically readjusted to the rhythms, routines and expectations of school life.Please click here to read the rest of this week's Pelican News
by Clare Masters
Welcome back everyone! We have had months of a rather eerie boarding house so quiet and un lived in. I can’t tell you how lovely it is to have the children back all so excited to see their friends. Laughter, singing, squabbling and even more laughter, it just fills your heart to hear them all again. It may be for only three weeks, but we are definitely going to make the most of being together. Happy Days!
A Few Words from...Zhie Li
This term's Deputy Head Boy
I hope you are all doing well and enjoyed the few days of sunshine we got.
I feel so much better now we are out of lockdown and not just staring at a computer screen. Being around my friends and back in the boarding house has really been a highlight of my week. Another great thing about being back at school is getting to play sports.
Although being back at school is great, the masks that we now have to wear all the time, are not all that fun. But hey, if it gets us back to normal quicker I am definitely in favour of them. Year 8s also have mock exams coming up this week which I hope you’ve all been working hard towards.
There is however, only two weeks left of school and it will fly past, so I am going to enjoy it as much as possible before the holidays come as I am sure all of you will.
A View from the Rose Garden
Mrs Willmott - 4W
Throughout the lockdown period 4W worked extremely hard and it was a delight seeing their cheerful faces on my computer screen everyday. However, nothing has been more obvious than the sheer joy of being back at school this week.
The Rose Garden has been a place of smiles and laughter.
Hard work in the classroom has continued, but it’s the abundance of valued friendships and the appreciation of communal play that has prevailed.
by Snoops the Dog
I knew in advance that I’d have tail ache from all the wagging this week. There isn’t a lot to report from me, other than tail wagging because that’s all I’ve done, ‘meet and greet’.
Last Sunday I was consumed by excitement and unable to contain myself when the first boarder arrived back at school. I jumped into his car before he’d even had time to undo his seat belt and I gave him a good old face wash to say hello, as well as cleaning up the crumbs from the packed tea that he’d obviously just eaten.
In my heightened state of excitement I bounced into the driving seat and gave his parent an ear lick to say thank you for returning him.
I think I’ve said hello to just about every one at school and I’ve received lots of fur ruffles in return. I have to say that all my friends seem happy to see me, as well as each other.
I’ve spent a lot of my time at school during lockdown and what a difference the children can bring to a building. This week the place has been alive with a vibrancy that only smiles, happiness and laughter can bring.
I’m looking forward to a weekend of fun with my boarding friends, I know Mrs Masters will have plenty of treats in store for us.
Have a great weekend.
by Roger Neale - Head Groundsman
After a few nice days weather our Grounds team had begun cutting some grassed areas around the site. Unfortunately, it looks like we’re back to wet and windy weather.
The combination of sunnier days, daffodils, tree blossom, bumble bees, birdsong and the aroma of freshly mown grass fills the team with optimism for the days ahead. Nature never stops.
An inspirational chorus that has helped me through all of the lockdowns is ‘Don’t Stop’ by Fleetwood Mac.
“Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow, don’t stop, it’ll soon be here, it’ll be better than before... yesterday’s gone, yesterday's gone! ”
- Fleetwood Mac
Mr Rudkin's Year 7 Tutor Group – 7JR
Mr Stannett's Year 7 Tutor Group – 7ST
Mrs McDermott's Year 7 Tutor Group – 7SMcD
Mr Thomas' Year 7 Tutor Group – 7PT
7JR are pleased to be back and welcoming the new addition of Faith to the group. Although she started in January, this is her first week with her new Tutor group.
7ST – "It's so great to be back with our students, I am enjoying hearing about the things they have done at home with their families during lockdown. Sadly, Emmanuella has not been able to join us here at school this term, but we look forward to seeing her again soon! Really enjoying being back!"
7SMcD – "All have been really cheerful since returning to school and it has been lovely to hear the chatter at the start of the school day. We have welcomed Chee Yin, who has joined us from Hong Kong, having spent his first King’s Hall term, working virtually. Sport is a very important to many of the children, so they are delighted to be back!"
7PT – "As you can see from the photo, 7PT are 'very happy' to be back at school....actually they really are, see below! It's a delight to have them back in school!"
by Jamie Rudkin
Our History department is so pleased to welcome back the children into the classroom. They have worked so well whilst online and completed such tasks as pyramid building, plays, newspaper articles, speeches and of course, for Year 8, the odd essay here and there. There is nothing quite like having the pupils in the classroom in order to discuss meaty matters such as Year 7, who are assessing the threat posed by Mary Queen of Scots to Elizabeth I and how she should deal with her.
For our Year 3 children, the first half of term saw them continuing their study of the Celts. As ever the history work has been very practical to make it as interesting and real as possible. They made models of hill forts and round houses to demonstrate how the Celts protected themselves from attackers. They have explored Celtic artwork and followed Celtic patterns. The final few weeks of the term introduced the Ancient Egyptians, contemporaries of the British Celts, with the children investigating the development of Egypt as a nation and the importance of the Nile. They looked at one pharaoh, Tutankhamun, in more detail and experimented with Egyptian hieroglyphs.
In Year 4 this term, the children have been learning about the Anglo-Saxons. They have produced some excellent work and are now able to recount facts about many aspects of the period. Although they are currently researching Anglo-Saxon gods and goddesses, by far the highlight of the term has been the retelling of the story of Grendel, the monster, and Beowulf.
Year 5 have embarked on the Norman Conquest. They have taken part in an online election campaign where the children prepared a speech and placards and posters to campaign for their candidate. They worked really well in groups in the breakout rooms on Teams and managed to organise their campaigns. They all cast an online vote and in 5T William Duke of Normandy won and in 5K Harald Hardrada was victorious. We are now preparing to report from the front line and write a newspaper article on the Battle of Hastings. Exciting stuff!
Year 6 this term have been studying how Medieval Kings managed the Church and their Barons. In lockdown they investigated the ‘who dunnit’ of Henry II and Thomas Becket and since half-term how King John managed, or mismanaged, his Barons. On our return to school Year 6 were able to show off their newspaper articles in person with titles that showed their judgement on who was responsible for the death of Thomas Becket such as ‘Naughty Knights Murder Becket’ or ‘Horrid Henry Murders the Archbishop’.
Year 7 have continued their studies on the Tudor dynasty and this term’s focus has been on Henry’s children, Edward VI, Mary I and our current topic, Elizabeth I. With the religious roller-coaster that is the Tudor family there have been numerous interesting rebellions and plots to investigate. The debate on whether Mary Tudor deserved the nickname ‘Bloody Mary’ produced some excellent balanced arguments and very much split opinion.
And finally, for our Year 8 pupils, it's all been about preparation and focus on the scholarship exams, which took place after half term, and also, preparation for the essay section of Common Entrance. This work has entailed the revision of content from Year 7 as well as the development of the skills needed for a successful essay. Despite the ‘distance’ created by online learning, there has been some very good progress in this regard.
Return to Sport at King's
Back to school also means back to sport. Here are a few lovely photos of our Year 3 and 4 children enjoying a games session in the sunshine this week, plus our Year 8s enjoying their sports lesson. It’s great to have them back and running around!
The girls are back on the courts and fields, all full of energy, with so much laughter and enjoyment.
Mr Chippendale also captured a lovely short clip of the children running the King's Loop – see the link below.The King's Loop
Easter Sports Camps
Our Sports Camps are Back!
We're delighted to see the return of our popular sports camps over the Easter holidays.
Booking can be made using the online form via the button below.
All bookings will be done on a first-come, first-served basis.
Session capacity will vary, so do book early to avoid disappointment.Book Here
A Reminder of the School Shop Opening Times
Our school shop is situated next to our astro pitch and is signposted from the main car park. The shop is open every Monday and Wednesday (2.30pm - 5.00pm) during term-time. Existing parents do not need to make appointments during these opening times, however, parents of new pupils should make an appointment before attending the shop.
We ask that visitors to the shop wear face coverings and sign in using the NHS track and trace app.
Red Nose Day
Friday 19 March 2021
Please get involved!
Red Nose Day is back on Friday 19 March and this year it’s never felt more important to have some fun and raise money to support people living incredibly tough lives. We need the power of funny to turn laughs into lasting change. Our children and staff will be asked to wear funny or fancy dress.
Please can we ask for children to bring in a gold coin on the day or alternatively you can donate directly on the website using the link below:Comic Relief Donate link
Here are some of this week's brainteasers for you to try at home...
A) Mrs Willmott B) Mrs Foster C) Mrs Cole D) Mr Sprague
A) Somerset B) Sussex C) Lancashire D) Cornwall
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