16th October 2020
by Justin Chippendale
Another week passes and, on this occasion, it delivers us to the door of the half term break.
I told the Prep children this morning, having reminded them that seven weeks ago I had said “I need your help” as we embarked on a term that would require us all to take responsibility and look after each other, that today I couldn’t really be prouder of how the whole school has come together and what we have managed to achieve. The ice cream van that appeared after lunch yesterday was not only a nice surprise treat for children and adults but was also a way of saying thank you.
Certainly we have been engaged in the art of the possible without being casual or complacent about the health situation and the collective effort has created a happy and purposeful school to this point. You should find your child’s half term report on MSP on Monday and they make for good reading. Another missive to read next week will be a short half term letter from me but, for now, it is time for a good rest over the next fortnight after which we will need to restart with similar discipline and enthusiasm for what is likely to be a busy and fun packed few weeks leading up to……… no, I can’t quite mention it yet, myself!
Children are a regular source of amusement without intending to be. This morning, one teacher told me that a child had just asked them, “Sir, did you teach Mr Chippendale?”. Of course the idea that either I may be seen as less old or that the teacher in question must be ancient is the amusement, but for a bit of context, and to give the child some credit, the teacher she asked did actually teach her father when he was at King’s Hall!
So, have a good break, and I hope that a metaphorical ice cream van pops up at some point as I am very grateful to you parents, too, for the important part you play in us collectively generating such a positive and encouraging experience for the children.
This Week in Pre-Prep...
by Claire Luckhurst
We reach half term in what feels like a really positive and happy place. We accept not everything is back to how we may wish it could be as we continue to live in a ‘covid’ world, but the children’s experience of school life is not too dissimilar to that which they knew pre-covid. If smiles and giggles could be used as a marker to measure their apparent enjoyment of the school day; I doubt the barometer would read much differently between now and prior to March.
A big thank you to the staff team for ensuring the children’s well-being is always at the heart of their day to day planning and decisions made to ensure this outcome.
The next two weeks will hopefully provide some much needed down time for everyone to refresh bodies and minds ahead of what could be described as the half of term leading to ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ and all the excitement it brings.
A Few Words from...Grace Eakhurst
This term's Head Girl
We're almost at the end of a busy half term. Rehearsals for the year 8 plays are going very well and everyone is starting to remember their lines. Hockey is also going really well; it's so nice to be playing matches again.
I’m not sure what we’re doing yet for our half term holiday, but I do know I need to do some singing practice for my grade that was cancelled due to Covid!
I’m also planning to do lots of riding, go on some family dog walks, do some running and cycling along the country lanes, and no doubt we will go to the beach.
Hopefully it will be nice and sunny and we can enjoy the Autumn weather. I can’t wait for the lovely leaves to change to the orange red colours! Fires will start to be lit, and more cups of tea will be drunk!
Have a good rest over the holiday because the run up to Christmas at King's Hall is always great fun but really busy!
Oh and Happy Halloween!
A View from the Rose Garden - Year 4W
4W on the Adventure Playground
It is of utmost importance that I mention 4W and their time on adventure playground this week. It was a playtime to celebrate as we have been plagued by a series of unfortunate events (mostly related to bad weather).
When we started the new term on Thursday 3rd September, it was a busy but exciting day as none of us had been on the school site since mid-March.
In amongst all the admin and new Covid rules, there was one pressing question from the children in 4W: “What day do we get to play on the adventure playground?” I consulted the timetable discovered that it was a Wednesday! Oops, we started back on a Thursday!
The following week, there was a countdown until the magical Wednesday arrived. It was a gloriously sunny day and a fabulous time was had by all on the swings and scramble nets.
I’m sorry to say that in week 3, in amongst continued good weather, there was one day of rain, on the Wednesday, and the adventure playground was closed.
It also rained on adventure playground days in weeks 4 and 5. However, I am pleased to report that the weather in week 6 looked much brighter, but as bad luck would have it, planned maintenance for the playground took place on the Wednesday.
I have therefore posted a very happy picture of 4W this week after their long awaited return to the adventure playground. Phew!
Half Term Treat!
Mr Chippendale arranged a surprise treat for the children (and adults) on Thursday to say thank you, as we head towards half term ...
The children reported to the tennis court area after lunch, all within their year bubbles, and were delighted with the sight of an ice-cream van ready to serve some tasty treats! There was much excitement with comments such as 'Is this real?' and 'I'm confused, there is an ice-cream van at school?!' It was a total delight to witness in the afternoon sunshine.
A huge thank you must go to Karl from Alfie’s Catering for bringing his van over and for providing such delicious ice-cream to us all. Look at the little faces of excitement in this video from yesterday!
by Snoops the Dog
Snoops and his Year 8 friends
I know what you’re all thinking but I’m going to say it first:
“I just can’t believe it’s Half Term!”
How did six and a half weeks fly by so quickly? After all that time away from school earlier in the year, I’m not looking forward to this at all.
Just to let you in on a little secret, I was a little worried when the Year 8's returned in September, all looking so grown up and sophisticated. I thought that they might have outgrown their fluffy school mutt. (I do try to keep up with current trends but I don’t always have a lot of say when my dog groomer gets stuck in). However, you will see from the photo that I’m still in there!
Just in case you’ve noticed a few amateur fringe cuts going on, it might be worth mentioning that a certain member of the boarding staff is forever cutting my fringe (and sometimes my eyebrows) with the little red classroom scissors. She obviously doesn’t realise that I’m trying to cultivate the cool, floppy haired look. She told Mrs Masters that my eyebrows fell off overnight ... not funny!
Anyway, have a great half term break, folks, and see you all soon.
Mrs Clare Masters, Houseparent
Harry celebrated his birthday on Sunday, first with breakfast, then afternoon tea and then again with supper celebrations, it was definitely a day to remember!
We would also like to wish Monty, Matthew and Lucas a happy birthday as they will be celebrating theirs during half term. After half term it will also be Herbert’s birthday on the Monday followed by Harry’s on the Tuesday so yet more celebrations to look forward to!
Wishing you all a very happy and restful half term.
Mr Thomas' Tutor Group - Year 7
Mr Thomas’ Tutor Group have been a happy bunch of campers over the course of the first half of term and it has been fun watching the pupils enjoying each other’s company. There have been abundant laughs – at the right time of course – and to their credit, they have avoided the dreaded C points. This means they can look forward to today’s Plus Reward treat without trepidation and take part in the now traditional treasure hunt which occurs at this time of year. The pupils have also worked hard and can relax in the knowledge that they are going home with pleasing half term reports behind them, well done!
There are only ten pupils in the group so it is a wee bit of a statistical anomaly that we have celebrated 3 birthdays in the past week; Thomas, Zane and Olivia. All 3 generously brought in sweets to share with their mates, conscientiously following Covid guidelines. Olivia took the trouble of sorting out individual treats for the whole year group. That was obviously welcomed and she deserved the Pastoral Care Award despite some strong opposition. The 3 children also showed wisdom in that they offered some goodies to their Tutor; not good for his waistline but it shows that they are learning how to curry favour when necessary!
Now we are well into Autumn, space is a little more precious at break times but the pupils are certainly relishing their football on the astro. The boys tend to set up their games and then are regularly joined by the girls. Phrases such as “sabotaging the game” or “enhancing the football” are comments made about the girls’ contribution; you can guess from which section of the school community each observation comes from. Happily, the games have been enjoyed by all and have been almost injury free. The one exception to the latter statement came about when one pupil hoisted a massive up and under. His mate waddled underneath it then looked skywards. He patiently waited for gravity to take over and allowed the ball to smack into his nose! I think anonymity ought to prevail.
Academic life – TPR
In recent lessons, Year 8 have been looking at some methods of philosophy and the lives of some famous philosophers, such as Plato and David Hume.They have been studying what is a truth claim and how it might be disputed.They have also been working out how a valid argument can be made and what makes an argument not only valid, but sound.
As with parables of Jesus, philosophers such as Plato also used allegories to make their points.This is the case in Plato’s famous Allegory of the Cave, where the importance of education is made clear through the simple story of prisoners being deluded into thinking that the shadows they see are real life.
Later on we shall also go on to look at the ethics surrounding topics such as life after death, punishment and prejudice.
by Jane Brazier – Deputy Head Academic
I honestly think that there must be a Maya Angelou quote for every day of the year and for every situation you find yourself in where you need a bit advice, comfort and support. I found it so hard to pick my favourite one, but here is one to suit the world we are living in now.
Maya Angelou was an inspirational writer, poet and civil rights activist – she managed to combine this with the most gorgeous, deep, eloquent voice and a wonderful sense of style; watch the clip below if you have never seen her speak.
I’m going to sneak another quote in here which goes hand in hand with this one and I hope it guides you through your day:
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.
I’m expecting to see lots of rainbows around school after half term ...Maya Angelou clip
Blackout Poetry Competition
Mrs Stuckes ran a competition that involved giving each English class an extract from a novel, with the challenge to create a poem using some of the words on the page, and blacking out the rest – hence the term Blackout Poetry. The were some very interesting outcomes! The winners were as follows:
Niamh De Souza
Click each image below to view the full poems.
It's been great having the pupils running and enjoying themselves. On Friday last week there were 50 runners from Year 7 and 8 supporting Patrick and Eddie – excellent spirit!
The loop is great form of rewarding commitment and effort.
Rewards for the pupils include:
6 = HMC
12 = King's Loop Badge
25 = King's Loop T-shirt
50 = King's Loop Hoodie
The quickest runners are then selected for Cross Country competitions and times are recorded so progress can be tracked.
Everyone is welcome (Year 5 and 6 on Tuesday and Year 7 and 8 on Friday)
Pupils run this in their own time during lunch and staff are also welcome to join in.
Although Mr Halls has not made King's Loop into a Segment on Strava, if the children have watches that can record them running, then this will give them some really useful data about their runs.
Last Man Standing
Last man standing ... If you've seen this advert from the British and Lions Rugby tour you'll appreciate this photo. We has a great afternoon of rugby with our Year 3 and 4 pupils playing 'touch'.Last Man Standing
Break Time Fun
Here are some lovely photos of our pupils enjoying break time. We have Year 5 and 6 pupils playing at break in the sunshine, and the boarders enjoying some water polo matches after school.
King’s Community Swimming – Relaunch
After the enforced closure due to coronavirus pandemic and then a second shut down thanks to a town wide power cut, we are pleased to announce that the King’s Community Swimming is finally back and running and we are looking to seeing our Community Swimming members back in the King’s College Swimming Pool for weekly lessons after the half term.
For anyone who might be new to the school and would like to take part in weekly swimming lessons, there will be a trial on Friday 23rd October. The trial is an opportunity for children to meet the swimming teachers, for parents to learn more about the Community Swimming Programme and for our Swim Teachers to ascertain the best classes for each child. Lessons will then begin week commencing 2nd November.
For anyone who cannot wait until then to restart their swimming, we will be offering private 1-2-1 and small group lessons (for family bubbles) and coaching sessions during the half term.
We also plan to run our very popular academy training session throughout half term, on Monday Wednesday and Friday. Academy swimming is akin to club swimming, and is available to anyone who has completed the learn to swim framework.
For more information about all the services that King’s Community Swimming provides, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We are very excited to be delivering these popular camps which run throughout the year (during the school holidays). Over time, this provision has developed and new camps have become established.
ND Hockey Camp
Monday 26th & Tuesday 27th October
10:00 am - 4:00 pm.
Age Range - 7 yrs - 16 yrs
We endeavour to offer an inspirational environment to learn, develop and play hockey. During the morning session players will work in small groups to maximise coach engagement time, touches of the ball and playing time. The afternoon will be a mix of 'skill schools' and a match play festival! ND Hockey is passionate about hockey and supporting growth of the game by providing a fantastic hockey experience for all.
As well as offering general camps, open to all abilities, we also have very specific days aimed at those with a passion for hockey and who are committed and willing to work hard to develop as a player.
Goal Keepers camps
These camps are designed for Goal Keepers of all abilities as the numbers are kept very low to allow for detailed individual support. GK's must have their own kit.
Sunday 1st November 9:00 am -12:00 pm. Under 13s.
Sunday 1st November 1:00 - 4:00 pm. 13 years and over.
Sunday 13th December 9:00 am - 12:00 pm. 13 years and over.
Sunday 13th December 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm. Under 13s.
Emerging Player Performance
These camps run 10.00 am - 4.00 pm
Age range: 11-13 years
By application only. Places are limited.
These camps are for players who have a passion for hockey and who demonstrate commitment to working hard to develop as players. They are aimed at those players looking to progress onto the England Hockey Player Pathway.
Aspire Performance Clinics
These clinics run 9.00 am - 12.00 pm
Age range: 14-16 years
By application only. Places are limited.
These clinics will be very closely aligned to the very latest information on England Hockey talent development. They will aim to really question and challenge the players on every aspect of their play. They are aimed at players who are already in the England Hockey Player Pathway who are really looking to progress to the next level.
All camps will be fully compliant with the most up to date Covid-19 guidelines and restrictions
Click below for further details of all of the Hockey camps available and to book places.BOOK HOCKEY CAMPS BOOK GK CAMPS ND HOCKEY
Back by popular demand, our rugby camp will be taking place over the half term holiday, for all rugby-mad boys and girls - 27-28th October.
Although our main camp is open to all, we will also be running a half-day Girls-specific rugby camp on the Wednesday 28th
Our camps will comply with all RFU Covid guidelines. If you would like your child to participate, or for details about our rugby coaches please click the respective links below.
If you have any questions, please contact Ben Thomas: BCThomas@kings-taunton.co.uk
See links below to book your place.
What a great way to finish the first half of term...with a bunch of good eggs!
Slightly larger than a baker's dozen, these children have been awarded our 'Good Egg' awards for their kindness, thoughtfulness, consideration, hard work, support to others, positive attitudes and good sense of humour, making them good all-round eggs! (also included in our batch of good eggs is Roisin, who was unable to join us for the photo this morning!).
Have a great half term!
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