18th September 2020
by Justin Chippendale
At the moment, each day I am waking up and reminding myself to really enjoy and take in the lovely weather we are experiencing – we all know that there will be wetter and colder ones to come and so I have this virtual bank I am depositing these fine ones into for virtual withdrawal later in the term!
As you know we are moving forward with various routines and offerings. Amongst recent additions are the safe opening of the pool and in the fine-tuning pipeline are plans for parent/teacher meetings ahead: more to follow in due course.
Whilst I am fully aware that part of school is taking tests, I don’t think any of us thought so many of the children would undergo testing at this early stage of the term! I jest, of course, but the ins and outs of poorly children seeking covid tests in the current climate have been one of the main threads of this last week. As with many other things in 2020, it is becoming part of our everyday existence. I understand the main challenge is not taking a test but analysing the samples in labs and with two more mega-labs being completed in Newport and Loughborough imminently it is hoped that the current day or two delay will be removed as we move into next month. Fingers crossed, as I know it is causing some frustration amongst those in need.
Speaking of 2020 and the quite extraordinary year of trials and tribulations it has brought (floods, impeachments, fires, wars, political assassination, Covid-19, nitrate explosions, exam grade melees, royal renunciations, recessions, race inequalities to list some) led someone to say “Whoever is playing Jumanji with the world at the moment, can they please end the game!”. 2020 still has a quarter left to run with Brexit and Presidential elections just two of the higher profile issues ahead, though. Of course, New Year won’t see a complete wiping of the slate but let’s hope 2021 as a whole is not quite as tumultuous as this year.
This Week in Pre-Prep ...
by Claire Luckhurst
A beautifully sunny week has helped give everyone a boost during this week which is famed for being the start of ‘The Slump’.‘The Slump’ is the period a couple of weeks into each new school year when the children show signs of being tired, fighting the obligatory Autumn cold and possibly a bit tearful in the mornings as their little bodies and minds work hard to get back into school routine.The novelty of returning to school has largely worn off and realisation dawns that, while lots of fun, school can also be quite hard work.I have also seen the struggle of children having to be a bit more disciplined about when they can refuel their bodies with food!If my own experience of living through lockdown with children and then into the summer holidays is comparable to yours, children seem to be permanently hungry! On my teaching days so far this year, one of the most frequently asked questions has been, “Is it snack/lunchtime yet?” and has been asked as early as 8.45 am! If your child is showing signs of ‘The Slump’ please be reassured it is usually a short-lived phase and disappears as quickly as it arrives.However, if your child is finding it a bit difficult to climb their way out, please do speak with your child’s class teacher as we have many years’ experience of helping them find their smiles again.
A Few Words from ...Grace Eakhurst
This term's Head Girl
I am so happy to be back at school even though everything feels a bit strange, we're all managing to settle in quite well. I hope all the new kids are finding their feet around the school. Hockey and Cricket are back and we're looking forward to matches.
Year 8 play rehearsals have just started and we're all looking forward to putting our best drama feet forward!
I've been at the school since nursery and I have looked up to the Year 8s through all the years and suddenly I have become one! It's a strange feeling knowing this is my last year. I'm so pleased that in spite of Covid Senior Choir is still on!
I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend; the weather looks fantastic; I'll be out in the sun with my book catching the rays!
A View from the Rose Garden - Year 4F
It is so lovely to see the beaming faces of the children, sitting at their desks with exercise books open. They are eager to learn and happily open up books first thing in the morning before registration to complete tasks. They are also enjoying outdoor learning experiences, such as mindfulness breathing in the Rose Garden. Happiness and contentment is found in so many different ways at school! We are happy to be back in the classroom!
by Snoops the Dog
I have had the most wonderful week playing outside in this glorious weather.
As I have mentioned before, I consider myself to be a very lucky pup as I’m allowed to mix between year group bubbles. This however causes a little bit of competition as I sometimes find myself torn between bubbles.
Let me explain: at break-times the Year 8s have the right side of the front field and the Year 7s have the left. The two year groups try to entice me into their particular areas with balls, sticks and the odd sneaky treat. It’s a difficult position to be in but I’ve been trying to share my time equally. Well, it tends be equal unless a particularly exciting game takes my attention. Dropped biscuits or even crumbs have the same effect too.
I hear that we are set for the same sunny warm weather at the weekend. The outdoor pool is up and running so I think we are in for some boarding fun with the inflatables on Saturday and Sunday. I’m not actually allowed in the pool but I’m putting a doggie life jacket on my Christmas list this year in readiness for all manner of water fun next year, so hopefully I’ll be able to take a dip. I’ve actually got my eye on a particularly cool life jacket with a shark fin on it. Hopefully I won’t scare the younger children!
Have a great weekend, all.
Love from Snoops x
Mrs Clare Masters, Houseparent
As I write this the boarders are all out in the inner quad enjoying eating Rocky Road, chocolate cookies, brownies and Oreo cupcakes which they baked this afternoon. The sun was out all weekend so we spent lots of time outside. Saturday, the boarders spent a fantastic afternoon at Hestercombe House exploring the wonderful gardens and enjoying ice-cream. Sunday, we played cricket, spent time in the Woodlands, played on the adventure playground and also did some cooking. We are loving having the children back and they are loving being back.
On a clear and sunny Friday morning we held our first House Meetings at various outdoor venues in the school. Our sports captains were chosen across the year groups, paper dart competitions were held and Mr Thomas regaled Bradfield on its history and founding father.
It was lovely to gather for the first time in many months and feel the house enthusiasm flowing.
Geography - Year 3
The children were set a challenge to design, and then map, a playground for ants. The idea was to introduce them to how maps work, gaining an understanding that they are a scaled down bird’s eye view. They had North, South, East, West, Entrance and Exit signs, then had to find leaves, twigs etc., to make slides, swings, climbing frames or any other pieces of equipment they thought the ants might enjoy. Some children made a zip wire, others a quieter pond area. They really enjoyed making the playground, but transferring what was in front of them into a map proved quite tricky!
by Father Mark Smith
The Buddha once summarised 45 years of his teaching in one sentence: “Nothing is to be clung to as me, my, mine”
It has taken me 60 years to learn how important it is to be able to hold things loosely to be willing to let go instead of clinging to attachments.
Sally McDermott's - Year 7 Tutor Group
Oh, how nice it is to be back amongst friends! It is clear to see that we have missed each other’s company. The sunshine has certainly added to the occasion and much fun has been had already on the adventure playground, astro and front field during break-times (and an extra biscuit too!). After a long time without practical lessons, we’ve enjoyed art, DT, sport and music. The long practices on Wednesday afternoons have been a clear favourite. We’ve welcomed Noah, Calum and Lulu and they’ve settled in really quickly. We have made locker labels that are magnetic to stick on our lockers. Many of us have even learnt a bit of ballet from Maisie!
Hobbies are back!
We have archery, fencing, choir, swimming, drama, Tae Kwon Do, XC running and fitness, sessions for getting 'rugby ready' ... the list goes on. What a great week for this to return as the September sun keeps on shining!
Our pupils are keeping pretty active.
It was fantastic having the them running the King's Loop again. Years 5 and 6 will be running on a Tuesday and Years 7 and 8 on a Friday, so that they can remain in separate bubbles for lunches too. The pupils really enjoyed their first run back and it was clear to see that some have been maintaining their fitness over the summer.
We are delighted to bring you details of our forthcoming rugby camps on the 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.ukRUGBY COACH DETAILS BOOK OCTOBER RUGBY CAMP BOOK GIRLS RUGBY CAMP
Head Boys and Girls
Say hi to our new head boys and girls – Zach and Grace are our Head Boy and Head Girl, and Wilf and Robyn, our Deputy Head Boy and Girl. They will be leading the way, setting the pace and generally being fantastic school ambassadors. Don't they make a great team?
We know that the children like to share birthday treats with their classmates and whilst we don’t want to stop them doing this, could we please request that any cakes/treats brought into school are individually wrapped? Mini rolls or some kind of chocolate bar/biscuit would be ideal.
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