13th November 2020
BY JUSTIN CHIPPENDALE
Just at the moment, it seems that the daylight hours are almost perfectly aligned to the main Prep teaching day. In the afternoon, the sun is about to go down as children reunite with parents at the 4.30pm pick up, whilst in the morning the gloom is lifting a little before we get underway - but I have been getting up in the dark for a good while now. The dog’s and chickens’ routines alter at this time; the chickens more than the dog’s. It’s good that the chickens don’t need letting out so early but then Meg and I are often heading out in the darkness after school. She needs her glowing red collar to reassure me where she is and, for her part, she just follows the noise of whatever podcast I am listening to (I’m not a big fan of headphones and usually there’s no one to disturb).
This is one of the more routine and traditional times of the year and, once again, on Armistice Day at 11:00am, we took time to pause and remember the fallen and, once again, it was a stirring occasion. I am sorry we were not able to have parents join us for this and other such events but I do encourage you to commit around 100 seconds to listening to the choir anthem which they sang so beautifully on Wednesday: you should find a link to it later in this Newsletter or on social media.
Lockdown out of school continues, of course, and I hope you enjoy a relaxing and cosy weekend with your families.
This Week in Pre-Prep...
by Claire Luckhurst
This really has been a week of two halves with the solemnity of Remembrance dominating the first half of the week and the joy of fundraising for Children in Need bringing the week to a close. I was so proud of all the children as we reflected on why we wear poppies in assembly on Monday and again on Wednesday when we gathered in our Pre-Prep community to observe a minute’s silence and listen to The Last Post. I am moved every year to witness such little people show their respect and pray their future lives are filled with peace.
Today has been a riot of fun, giggles and some impressive disco shapes as we enjoyed our Pudsey Discos and showcased some wonderful outfits. Thank you for supporting this wonderful charity; it is lovely to see our children helping other children less fortunate than themselves. I look forward to sharing with the children our fundraising total next week.
Remembrance Day - 11th November
A socially-distanced Senior Choir comprised of children from Years 6, 7 and 8 (recorded separately within their year groups and edited together) performed the poignant We Will Remember for Wednesday's Remembrance Service. Charlotte Mathew performs the trumpet part and, along with Monty Lindsay-Smith, also played The Last Post. #wewillremember A video of this beautiful tribute is included below.
Thank you to Father Mark for Wednesday morning's remembrance service. Our Year 8 pupils attended Chapel, while our other year groups watched online. Our thanks also go to Hubert Theed and Mrs Brazier for their readings, to Monty Lindsay-Smith, Charlotte Mathew, and Mr Paul for The Last Post, and to Leigha Gunning-Wright and Martha Durham for laying the wreath.We Will Remember
A Few Words from...Robyn Coad
This term's Deputy Head Girl
I hope everyone has had a great two weeks back after half term holiday. Over half term I had some time to look after our dog’s puppies. Sadly, they have to go to their new homes soon, so we have been making the most of the time we have with them.
On Wednesday it was Remembrance day, it was very important that we took time to remember those who died serving our country including hearing stories around family and friends.
We are looking forward to the run up to our Year 8 Plays. It’s a real shame we can’t perform in front of our families but we can perform to a few pupils, heres hoping we all remember our lines as we go!
Now we are in a second lockdown we sadly cannot carry on with our matches but we can still have fun at school, there has also been some hockey house matches for the girls which we have all been enjoying. Hopefully things won't be too different this half term as we have got used to the new rules of lockdown.
Well done to everyone who has taken exams this week, have a good weekend!
A View from the Rose Garden
Mrs Foster - Year 4F
Last week in our TPR lesson, we explored the beauty in Autumn. First, the children each found one leaf that had fallen on the ground. They each held their leaf silently for one minute; feeling it, holding it, tracing their finger around it. We focused on quiet breathing. After that, the children were encouraged to use leaves, sticks, moss and bark to create art in nature. It is important to be mindful of our surroundings, to take in the beauty that is around us and to appreciate our green spaces. After our lovely TPR lesson in the beautiful sunshine, we felt a deep contentment that stayed with us for the rest of the week!
by Snoops the Dog
I hope you’ve all enjoyed the autumnal colours this week. I intend to obliterate the soggy bits from memory because I’ve had some spectacular walks. (I do love frolicking in the crunchy leaves) This time last year I wrote about dogs in World War 1 so it is with immense pride that I’ve worn my poppy this week.
At the King's Hall Remembrance Service the choir sang a beautiful anthem and we all observed the two minute silence. Hearing the last post played so well by my friends Charlotte and Monty was very moving.
I took a few moments of my silence to remember the dogs and horses that also worked alongside those brave men. Did you know that pigeons also played an important role in both World Wars? In total 32 pigeons received the Dickin Medal. A carrier pigeon’s job was a dangerous one because enemy soldiers would try to shoot them down, knowing that they would be transporting important messages. These pigeons were well cared for by the troops and some became quite famous. One pigeon named, ‘The Mocker’ flew 52 missions before he was wounded. Another named, ‘Cher Ami’, lost one foot and one eye, but her message got through, saving a large group of surrounded American infantrymen.
I am humbled by all stories of bravery and as a meek fluffy hound the least I can do is spread happiness in my community and pray for peace.
Much love to you all.
by Clare Masters, Houseparent
We have had a busy week celebrating birthdays so this weekend was definitely a chilled one. Plenty of evidence of cookery hobby on Saturday, I got to taste some beautiful biscuits and cakes. Sunday we had to clean out the animals so the children helped tidy the vegetable garden and cut down the Elder and some children just sat and watched! Sunday afternoon was spent playing man hut and watching the first Harry Potter movie (only 7 more to go!).
Mrs Keirle's Tutor Group - Year 5K
5K are having a lovely term and enjoying school life despite all the differences around them both in school and in the wider community.
Here are some examples of what they have been up to (and it’s not mischief!) recently:
Performing Arts - All of the class love Drama, so this week and for the next three weeks, they are supporting Mrs Keirle (that’s her hoodie in the picture!) as she runs around helping the Year 8 successfully perform their Year 8 bubble plays. Alice, Alice and Mabel all love Drama and Performing Arts!
Newspaper Reports - Both Mrs Keirle and Mrs Willmott’s English group are busy reading ‘Kaspar Prince of Cats’ by Michael Morpurgo. Matthew, Bella, Margot and Elsa have written some super newspaper reports about the ‘Savoy Rooftop Disaster’.
Viking Ships - Room 8 is a small classroom and very packed at the moment with lots of books and work. It is also home to several brilliantly made Viking longships! Thomas, Matthew, Henry, Henry, George and James have made some brilliant ones and I believe earnt HMCs.
Geography - Mrs Keirle is always interested in seeing 5k’s work in prep time and has seen some neat geography maps of the Polar Regions. She might not be a Geography teacher but a globe is always useful in the classroom!
Hardworkers - Lara, Zoe, Tom and Grace - these four students are a pleasure to have in the classroom. Helpful, cheerful, always ready to have a conversation and make Mrs Keirle or others smile.
As always, pupils have been working hard on their year group projects in the DT department, managing to complete some wonderful outcomes - these will look fantastic on display.
This term our younger students are making picture frames using hand tools to cut and glue wood into a decorative frame. The Year 4's are learning about circuits and have been cutting plastic by hand to create torches in a variety of creative shapes.
The Year 5's are soldering components, cutting timber and creating aerodynamic shapes to make electric cars, with some fantastic results!
Our Year 6's have been enjoying completing their steady hand games this term and learning about electronic components.
Year 7 are enjoying completing their aprons, and starting on their pencil case project.
And Year 8 have been creating clocks, with some absolutely outstanding results!
Well done everyone!
Recently the Year 5 pupils have been studying forces as a science topic. Here you see the children exploring the way that pendulums behave. They investigated the ‘period’ of the pendulum and if this changed due the change in mass or the length of the string. During this activity the children drove the experimenting, reasoning and graphing, developing a more independent thinker within the child.
Assembly with Mrs Keirle
Professions in Drama
On Tuesday Mrs Keirle gave an assembly to Year 6 on ‘The benefits of Drama’. She told us that she had loved Drama at school and knew she wanted to work in the Drama industry so she chose the path of Teaching drama as she wanted to give children the opportunities she had had at school to perform.
Mrs Keirle said in Drama we are actually learning and Drama will help us get a job in the future. She reminded us that Drama teaches you many key skills that will be extremely useful in a variety of careers to a doctor, a lawyer or manager of a firm.
We came up with lots of key skills and Mrs Keirle told us lots more!
We learnt that Drama helps you with those skills but there is a huge list of job opportunities that you could aim towards which would require you to further study Drama at a higher level. In a time when Covid has passed and theatres reopen and drama is allowed you should follow your dreams.
We then had to guess the jobs from the prop that Mrs Keirle showed us. (Photographs) We loved seeing Mr Sprague in a wig (Hair and wig designer).
“Reading body language”
“Problem solving skills”
“Thinking in the moment”
“Divergent creative thinking skills”
Here are just a few of the jobs Mrs Keirle had on her list:
“Stage Combat Director ”
“Scenic Carpenter ”
“Special Effects Artist”
“Front of House ”
“Hair and Wig Designer”
“Writer for Stage or Screen”
“Film Director ”
“Theatre Outreach Worker”
“Theatre Education Officer”
“Deputy Stage Manager”
“Live Sound Technician”
Usually at this time of year, children in Year 7 and 8 would be taking part in a full large scale musical with lots of acting, singing and dancing.
Sadly, this was unable to happen but the Performing Arts team were keen that the children still had the opportunity to perform.
The decision to do 3 Year 8 serious plays, one in each class was made and everyone has risen to the new challenges that performing 3 plays, where everyone has lines and is involved has brought. Mrs Keirle is certainly very busy these last few weeks but it is a business she loves!
The 8S production took place this week, performed twice, once to a small group of Year 7's and once to all the Year 8's as well as some teachers. It was also filmed so will be available for parents and friends to watch.
The production was a straight play aimed at older audiences as the content is serious - It was called 'Twisted' and explored the themes of bullying, peer pressure, family relationships and self-worth.
Gretel is a fairly average teen. She falls out with her dad and has issues with her boyfriend. But in one-way Gretel is different - she is in a coma. How did she get there? In this tale full of twists and turs there is more than one suspect.
The play began with Gretel in a coma. The central question throughout was - what actually happened? In the course of finding an answer the story unfolded in a series of flashbacks, reactions and speculation. This allowed for the children to carry out ensemble work, choral speaking, monologues and other drama conventions. Throughout the whole play the audience thought they had worked out the answer to the central question but then finally at the end discovered the truth and it was not what they thought!
(More pictures will be in next week's newsletter!)
8H and 8K plays will be staged in another couple of weeks. They are performing 'The Terrible Fate of Humpty Dumpty' and 'Who Me? Yes you!'
The ‘Terrible Fate of Humpty Dumpty’ also explores the themes of bullying, peer pressure, family, friendship and responsibilities.
Who Me? Yes You! is a light hearted fun look at social responsibilities - a theatre in education type of play where the audience can learn. Hopefully the whole school can watch this one and think about bullying, celebrating differences, respect for the environment and many other issues.
More to follow in a few weeks!
Inspirational Quote by Simon Worthy - Director of Finance and Operations
From my MBA course, the one quote that struck a chord went something like: “There’s no such things as common sense; only uncommon sense.”
This has helped me to be even more understanding that my thinking may not be the same as others and that I may need to provide, for example, evidence for a particular recommended action which might seem obvious to me. Understanding of the different contexts of others is something a few people could do with to address the vitriol that takes place on social media.
On a more light-hearted note, this brings me to the essential quotes from the ‘Finance Man’:
“If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.”
“If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”
Collective County Cricket Success
Following on from news last week that a number of our pupils had been successful in gaining places onto the county cricket pathway, we are delighted to bring you the details in full.
The Somerset County Age Group Programme, or Somerset Pathway, gives players access to targeted and specific training in a suitable environment to develop and implement their cricket skills. With access to many opportunities through training sessions, development days and fixtures, the aim is to develop and broaden their game, focusing on a player’s role within the side and how their performance can influence the result.
To add a little clarification about the ‘pathway’, those players in the U10's and U11's are involved in a 'training squad' and anyone above that is involved in what is referred to as the 'county' set up. All the pupils on the list below are on the pathway.
U10 Training squad
Wilbur Mack (also with experience in the U11 training squad)
U11 Training squad
Nick Watson (with experience in playing U12 County too)
Jago Barclay (also selected for EPP)
Harrison Phillips (also selected for extra bowling sessions)
Thomas Rew (also selected for EPP)
Zach Vukusic (also selected for EPP Devon)
Due to the COVID restrictions, not all the trials have taken place, and the next stage of trials should be taking place in February. No dates have been confirmed, so no information will have made its way to parents yet.
At school, we currently offer cricket during the season, taught by our experienced and enthusiastic coaches. Out of season we offer it as part of our hobbies, which is open to certain year groups and works on a rotation basis to develop and extend everyone’s skills. For the children involved in the county cricket setup, who are now bowling extremely quickly some of them, we ask them to attend separate cricket sessions to stretch them, too.
probably know that Alex Barrow (ex-Somerset cricketer), who is one of our
regular games takers across all terms, works closely on cricket specifics
across both King’s Hall and at the College. Our High Performance Programme
(HPP) to our top cricketers which has been going for many years with older
children, has been extended further into King’s Hall to ensure they receive
coaching sessions that stretch them at an appropriate level. Alex coaches two sessions
on a Tuesday: one to a group of 10 girls, followed by a group of 10 boys.
During these practices the players take part in group tasks as well as
receiving that all-important one-to-one attention.
Congratulations to Year 8 pupil Darcie Cockburn. She had been looking to enter the South West Triathlon Series this year, but like so many things, most of the events in the series have not taken place. So, instead, she took part in a socially distanced Bath duathlon, consisting of a 1500m run and a 6k bike ride. Despite horizontal rain, missing the exit and little track experience on the bike, Darcie managed a very credible 3rd place!
The boarders were on good form and enjoying their Monday programme this week.
We have been playing lots of football at school in PE and games. Thank you to our Grounds Keeper, Roger for keeping the grass in such good condition and Bob Woolmer Sales for the new football goals.
Two more pupils have completed 12 Kings Loops, well done Tilly Hulme and Noah Jones.
Fantastic warm up for Year 6 pupils on Wednesday, see below clip.
Our girls are unable to attend the netball county trials because of COVID restrictions so they are completing their session from school.Warm up
Our equestrian centre is looking for suitable working livery horses and ponies for loan, during term time. We have twelve indoor stables, ample grazing, and experienced staff. Ideal horses and ponies are those capable of carrying a variety of riders, and who are safe and easy to handle on the ground. If you think you can help, please do contact Laura Bennett: LCBennett@kings-taunton.co.uk
Despite a little blustery weather, our Year 5 children had a great time at King's College Taunton, on Wednesday afternoon as they took part in a fun orienteering exercise to navigate their way around the site.
Although not sure everyone ended the right way up...!?
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