200207 | King's Hall School Taunton


7th February 2020

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by Justin Chippendale

I thought I would reflect on what a fine bunch of people your children are. It is almost without fail a pleasure to spend time with them in almost all situations. Whether it be at breakfast, discussing the merits of various legal thresholds through childhood in Year 7 PSHE, practising handwriting or subtraction in Year 3, taking cricket nets on a Saturday morning, being amongst Year 5 as they prepare an election campaign set in 1066 and, most recently, with 8S as they seek to construct answers to questions such as: ‘Monarchs need to have an element of mystery to rule effectively’. How far is this true? or ‘In order to understand the past, one must escape the viewpoint of the present – and this is impossible’. How fair is this statement?

Also with Year 8, I have been offering some pointers about scholarship interviews ahead and, here again, it is always a delight to unearth depths, passions and curios within their increasingly mature and sophisticated minds.I am certainly proud of them as they head out representing themselves and King’s Hall.

As discussed with the Year 6 children before the 11+ Scholarship process, whilst there may well be varying degrees of momentary happiness and disappointment on hearing the outcomes, we don’t want anyone to celebrate too heartily or to carry any temporary sadness too weightily. We wish for all children to be stretched and challenged as they develop and for some the Scholarship framework provides this. The Scholarship process is not a destination but just one of a variety of experiences along the route to explore your full potential and foster resilience.

There will be more detail on all results once the 13+ process is fully complete but I can tell you that, at 11+, awards were made by King’s College to 14 King’s Hall children and 9 to children from other schools for academic, music, performing arts and sport. All Year 6 children who put themselves forward approached it with commitment putting their best foot forward – and no one can ask for more. Now, we carry on along the route seeking further opportunities to test ourselves and grow.

This Week in Pre-Prep ...

This Week in Pre-Prep ...

by Claire Luckhurst

We were treated to another two fantastic class assemblies this week by both Year 2 and Reception. Year 2 charmed us all with their lively assembly with told us all about ‘healthy bodies’; their rock song was a particular highlight! Reception took us on a wonderful journey into the jungle where we met tigers, parrots and monkeys and thoroughly enjoyed their rousing rendition of the pop song, ‘Roar’! Well done to staff and children for their hard work; it was wonderful to see how much they all enjoyed performing and the pride they each took in their individual roles. We are now looking forward to the final assembly in this series next week when Nursery take to the stage!

In our reflections on being part of a team this week I delighted in sharing a wonderful story in assembly called ‘The Gordon Star’ by Rebecca Patterson and Mary Rees. It tells the story of a messy, cheerful young lad (Gordon) who never earns a coveted gold star in class. This eventually leads to him declaring he is ‘rubbish’ at everything and become rather less cheerful. Thankfully his class friends have noticed how good he is at being kind, helpful, funny, and above all else, good at cheering people up. This in turn leads his teacher to awarding him his very first gold star and resolves to give a gold star out every day to someone who is just like Gordon which would be called, ‘The Gordon Star’. This helped us think about what it feels like when one might not feel as important a member of the team as one’s friends for lots of reasons such as not being as clever, sporty, musical or arty. We decided that while it is brilliant to be good at doing our school work or at scoring goals in football or creating amazing pictures it is perhaps even more important to be like Gordon. I’m hoping some of our merit awards this week are in honour of ‘The Gordon Star’!

<h2>Reminders for the Week Ahead </h2>

Reminders for the Week Ahead

Monday 10th February
Taunton Music Festival (vocal classes)

Tuesday 11th February
Safer Internet Day
Taunton Music Festival (vocal classes)
Lent Term Concert

Wednesday 12th February
Taunton Music Festival (vocal classes)

Thursday 13th February
Taunton Music Festival (choir classes)
Speech & Drama Cafe - 'Open Mic'
Friends of King's Hall Quiz

Friday 14th February
Parents' Coffee Morning (Woodard Room)
Half-term starts at 4.30 pm

Taunton Music Festival 2020

Taunton Music Festival 2020

The music competition kicked off on Monday and continues next week with the vocal classes - we could not be more proud of our wonderful musicians and singers who have taken part.

Last Thursday, our Chinese pupils were invited to King’s College for a delicious Chinese New Year meal.

Last Thursday, our Chinese pupils were invited to King’s College for a delicious Chinese New Year meal.

The children had spent all week looking forward to this annual event and they were not disappointed!

The tables were decorated with colourful, rat-themed, handmade placemats, beautifully folded Chinese napkins, bowls of Chinese sweets and prawn crackers whilst the walls were covered with red New Year lanterns, banners and decorations.

Following a speech by three senior pupils in Cantonese, English and Mandarin, wishing us all a very Happy New Year, it was smiles all round as the children began to eat, and eat, and eat!

It was a pleasure to see how much the children were enjoying this lovely meal and we are very grateful to Mrs Wrobel for organising such a wonderful event.

Read more about our Chinese New Year celebrations
A Few Words from ... Amelia Steele

A Few Words from ... Amelia Steele

This term's Deputy Head Girl

Hello, my name is Amelia Steele and I am very proud to be this term’s Deputy Head Girl. I joined King's Hall in Year 7 and have enjoyed every moment so far.

Well done to Year 8 CE for surviving their trial exams over the last few days, I am sure you all did very well. It’s always a very busy time for Year 8 and 8S are all working hard in preparation for their scholarship week later this month.

After all, you don’t get what you wish for, you get what you work for.

After what feels like a very long, wet, windy winter the sunshine is just managing to seep in. Finally, I think we can say Spring is around the corner and I expect everyone is looking forward to the longer and warmer days ahead. One of my favourite things about King's Hall is the beautiful grounds. The sunrise on a frosty morning never fails to fill me with warmth and smiles, memories that will last a lifetime of my days here. 

Only one week to go until our first half term when we can all re-charge, ready for another exciting and busy term. I wish you all some happy down time with your families and friends at home and away.

<h2>A View from the Rose Garden</h2>

A View from the Rose Garden

Following on from last week, the children have had fun writing their own play scripts and producing creative pieces about El Caminante, the tightrope walker.

Following on from last week, the children have had fun writing their own play scripts and producing creative pieces about El Caminante, the tightrope walker.

by Jacqui Willmott

The children have not only had to think carefully about the characters in their play, but also the importance of producing interesting dialogue and detailed stage directions; essential ingredients in the making of a successful playwright!

Early next week, they will be rehearsing and performing their mini masterpieces!.

Next term, we are delighted to be able to offer children in Years 5-8 the opportunity to work towards a RYA sailing qualification or to improve their level. ​​

Next term, we are delighted to be able to offer children in Years 5-8 the opportunity to work towards a RYA sailing qualification or to improve their level. ​​

The sessions will take place on a Wednesday afternoon over seven weeks at Wimbleball Lake, returning to school at approximately 6.30 pm and the cost is £15 per week. The children will spend 2 hours on the water with a Wimbleball (RYA qualified) sailing instructor and a RYA senior instructor (Mr Hands).

There are only 8 places up for grabs and for more information please contact Mr David Hands - DHands@kingshalltaunton.co.uk.

On Saturday 13th and Saturday 27th June, Mr Hands will be taking a group of children to the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Centre.

On Saturday 13th and Saturday 27th June, Mr Hands will be taking a group of children to the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Centre.

This is a fantastic opportunity for those more advanced sailors to try out different craft in the relatively calm seas of Weymouth Bay. The cost is £30 per session (to include the sailing, clothing, dinghy hire and instruction).

For more information please contact Mr Hands - DHands@kingshalltaunton.co.uk.

As always, the children have been working hard on their year group projects in the Art department ...

As always, the children have been working hard on their year group projects in the Art department ...

​by Miss Beccy Perkins, Head of Art

You may remember from my last newsletter report, that Year 4 had been working on Seascapes and focussing on Hokusai; they have been continuing with this theme this term and have been planning and designing their own seascape to include either a lighthouse or a sailing boat. Working in paint and collage, the children enjoyed the contrast between the sections and even worked towards texture to describe the rocks.

Year 7 have thoroughly enjoyed working on their Op Art hot air balloons where they have demonstrated 3D qualities and light effects.

Meanwhile, Year 8 are in the midst of their large-scale portraits and have been learning how to scale enlarge their chosen images at the same time as maintaining the proportions ... watch this space!

It has been a real hive of activity in the Design Technology Room ...

It has been a real hive of activity in the Design Technology Room ...

by Mr Jeremy Stannett, DT Teacher

Year 3 have been making flying birds using hand tools to cut plywood into a feathered friend.

Year 4 are using felt and hand sewing a variety of creative creatures.

Year 5 are soldering components to make a digital steady hand game, with some fantastic results!

Year 6 have been enjoying being in the cookery school, by the end of the term they have learned to how make shortcrust pastry from scratch and bake jam tarts, raspberry buns and pizza bread.

Year 7 are making a variety of mechanical marvels; our budding engineers are making automata so that they learn about mechanisms.

Year 8 are using our bank of sewing machines to create a patchwork cushion that incorporates their own images.


Mrs Keirle's tutor group have been thinking about all of the exciting things they have been learning about this term ...

... and here are a selection of the many subjects and activities they love

  • “Henry has enjoyed English and completed some super work on the Highwayman poem.”
  • “Edward has been successful in sport - in hockey he is a striker and right back and he thinks he has already scored at least 8 goals this term! Dalbi is also loving his sport – he is looking forward to playing football with Mr Halls and entering the IAPs competition. ”
  • “Annie and Frankie are immersed in Music – orchestra, festivals and concerts are all ahead and they are playing a violin duet in the Taunton Music Festival.”
  • “Isaac is a wiz at Science and has loved the Chemical Changes topic. He loves to tell Mrs Keirle all about the chemical change with sulphuric acid.”
  • “Tom has been successful in PE in invasion games. He is very active indeed!”
  • “Aimee has received an HMC for her Art work and is loving the new Aboriginal Art topic.”
  • “Jack was proud of his achievement in Maths – he received an HMC for multiplication!”
  • “Camille has been successful in her French family tree poster.”
  • “Isobel has been dancing around, encouraging her peers in Drama where the class are the ‘Cool Movers Dance Company’ inventing a dance.”
  • “Ru made a super Viking ship, which earnt him an HMC along with two more HMCs in English and French!”
  • “James enjoys Coding and has been learning about Sketch Up.”

This week in our Library ...

This week is Children’s Mental Health Week and in our Library we have dedicated Wellbeing Collections offering a range of books which help children to be able to understand and manage their emotions.

Within our fiction collections we also hold a wide range of fantastic stories for different ages and reading abilities that explore issues around mental health in gentle and age-appropriate ways. This develops their understanding, boosts empathy and encourages a dialogue around issues of mental health.

Here are some of Mrs M’s favourites:

<h2>Snoops' Diary</h2>

Snoops' Diary

by Snoops the Dog

Snoops Gets to Grips with Mental Health

Snoops Gets to Grips with Mental Health

Hello friends,

As you all know I’m a happy-go-lucky pup, but I’m going to admit to having my fair share of anxieties. Nothing major, but there are certain daily worries that I have to try and overcome.

The thing that unnerves me the most is being being left on my own. I’m okay when my boarding friends are at breakfast and supper because that is part of my daily routine and I know that they will collect me after a short period of time (also, my Milky Bone treat helps). However, if I am left alone at any other time I cry and get agitated. I know it's silly, and I tell myself so, but we all know how hard it is to shake off some of our smallest, silliest worries.

In school this week we have all focused on ways of dealing with, and in some cases accepting, common worries and problems that impact our every day lives. It is ‘National Children’s Mental Health Week’ and one of the most important lessons we have learned in PSHE is supporting others, as well as trying to help ourselves. The focus this year is on the theme of “find your brave”. The initiative aims to highlight that being brave does not mean coping alone.

Before I sign off, I’ll divulge my other little health issue as it’s one we can all have a chuckle about - I have squirrel OCD! The children all make jokes about not saying the ‘S’ word in front of me, and even Mrs Masters has had to hide the two boarding squirrel toys. I obsess about looking out of windows in the hope of spotting one and when I do make a sighting, my behaviour is totally over the top! (bordering on the ridiculous, in fact).

Anyway, as you humans say, 'a problem shared, is a problem halved’. Let’s hope so in my case!

Catch you next week,

Boarding Blog

Boarding Blog

Mrs Clare Masters, Houseparent

With such an amazing cookery school on site we would be foolish not to use it! So, on Sunday, we told the kitchens that the children would make their own lunch. Unsurprisingly, they voted to cook pizzas! They had no recipes to follow, but with common sense and a little guidance I think they made themselves a pretty tasty meal. There was plenty of dough flying around, lots of laughter and, following their feast, full tummies. A great way to spend a wet and grey Sunday.

King’s Community Swimming

King’s Community Swimming

This February half-term, King’s Community Swimming will be offering private and small group swimming lessons all abilities, both children and adults. Classes will be available every morning and 1-2-1 classes are a great way to focus on particular skills and accelerate learning. We can provide lessons for anyone who needs to learn strokes and technique and also provide coaching sessions for those swimmers who may wish to take their swim training to the next level. For more information, and to book your place, please email communityswimming@kings-taunton.co.uk

For anyone interested in joining the popular weekly Community Swimming programme, the next trial and assessment session takes place at 4.00 pm on Wednesday, 12th February, at King’s College swimming pool. To book, and begin your swimming and aquatics journey, please email communityswimming@kings-taunton.co.uk.

Hockey Camp (Half-Term)

Hockey Camp (Half-Term)

The courses will be led by England Hockey qualified coaches.

The camp is open to all and aimed at boys and girls who wish to come along, have fun and develop their hockey. We will focus on individual and team technical and tactical development in a games-based, decision-rich environment.

All places must be pre-booked and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. All players will be grouped according to age and level of experience.

When?17 February 2020
Time?10.00 am - 4.00 pm
For?5-15 year olds
Where?King's College
Click here for more information
Residential Sports Camp (Easter 2020)

Residential Sports Camp (Easter 2020)

Sport is pivotal to the all-round development of pupils at King’s. It provides engagement, responsibility and enjoyment. We aim to actively enable young people to take on a variety of challenges, helping them to build confidence, take leadership and initiative, and work as part of a successful team.

This Easter, KCT are excited to host their first residential sports camp for children aged 8 – 13. The camp is designed to help players develop their skills and techniques in a broad range of sporting activities, while having fun and making new friends in a safe and supportive environment.

Over three days, children will gain access to a team of experienced coaches, as well as the chance to explore some of our wonderful facilities, including our state-of-the-art Sports Performance and Cricket Centre, netball and tennis dome, and sprawling sports pitches.

The package will also include two nights accommodation in one of our seven boarding houses, all meals and a schedule of evening activities (think quizzes, games and more!).

Open to players of all abilities, this camp is the perfect opportunity to experience the sporting and social elements of life at King’s College.

When?7 - 9 April 2020
For?8-13 year olds
Where?King's College

Click here for more information and to register your interest
<h2>Do you Have a Story? Get in Touch!</h2>

Do you Have a Story? Get in Touch!

Has your child achieved something that you'd like to share with us? Email our marketing department: khsnews@kingshalltaunton.co.uk with your news and photos!


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