22nd January 2021
by Justin Chippendale
I do hope that you are all finding little ways to break up the day and the week; making sure to keep as much of a glass hall full view as possible with all going on around us – not always easy I know. There is no doubt that whilst Remote Learning 2.0 is an upgrade in terms of everyone’s skills, experience and technical understanding, it is true to say that there is a little bit more of Groundhog Day about the actual experience this time around. No doubt winter has a large part to play: viruses thrive in the winter months and the human spirit is usually somewhat suppressed for all sorts of reasons including the weather, day length, post-Christmas blues etc.
Furthermore, ordinarily, a Lent Term is something of the engine room within the learning year. Quite naturally, due to seasonal opportunities, there is less going on in terms of trips, the children are well settled in their groups and most end of year exams lie ahead in the Summer. Therefore, this is a time to put in some good, honest, uninterrupted teaching to consolidate and reinforce the unglamorous but crucial foundations for future growth. It’s rather like a winter training programme for a Summer performance athlete. When we see them on the track for a split second, we should remember that many unseen miles have been run, often in the dark, cold and wet with no crowd to cheer them on.
To finish on a lighter note, I don’t want to sound like Eeyore, but I thought I’d acknowledge that it isn’t always lashings of ginger beer (cross-pollinating my children’s fiction). All the more reason to celebrate the terrific communal sense of support, enthusiasm and energy that comes from the children, the staff and your families. I put on Twitter a day or so ago my favourite glass-half-full Winnie the Pooh quote should you want to click and read it.
Talking of books and quotes, one thing to look forward to is Mrs Stuckes’ invitation to an online Literature Festival in a couple of weeks’ time that you should have received some information about. She has also put some book suggestions in the Newsletter: one of the positives of this time of year is curling up in a cosy spot and transporting yourself – why not try some of the suggestions this weekend?
This Week in Pre-Prep...
by Claire Luckhurst
If the media is to be believed this week was doomed from the beginning as apparently it started with ‘Blue Monday’! However, I am pleased to report I have not seen any signs of it this week in Pre-Prep. In fact, quite the opposite as the children continue to engage so well with their learning and show such amazing resilience in the face of all the challenges we currently face. Again, I extend my thanks to all of you wonderful parents for going the extra mile to support your child’s learning journey at this time. Hopefully the slightly lighter evenings that have crept in this week, combined with signs of warmer days ahead in the guise of some early spring flowers beginning to pop up can lighten our hearts and provide that much needed hope we all yearn for.
National Winnie The Pooh Day!
18th January 2021
One of the cuddliest holidays around has to be Winnie the Pooh Day, celebrated on the birthday of author A. A. Milne and here is one of our favourite Winnie quotes ...
Here are some of this week's brainteasers for you to try at home ...
“In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory what was Charlie's Surname? Dinket, Pail, Bucket or Gloop?”
“How many minutes are there in two hours?”
“What is the name of the motorway which skirts the edges of Taunton?”
“In what wood does Winnie the Pooh live? Sherwood Wood, 100 Acre Wood, King's Wood or 1000 Acre Wood?”
“How old do you think Snoops is? 2, 3, 6 or 10 years old?”
“What colour is Copper Sulphate?”
Mrs Hayden-Briffett was extremely impressed with the way 3HB tackled their task to make their own hill fort using an imaginative use of materials.
Super work from the class!
Fed up with the cold, miserable weather, suffering from cabin-fever? Look no further than your bookshelves and be transported, by the power of literature, into an alternative mind, world, planet even universe!
This is exactly what all King’s Hall English classes are doing and what an experience they are having! Year 6, for example, have been transported to the Scilly Isles, as they follow the fortunes of two children living with the threat of the First World War rumbling in the distance in Michael Morpurgo’s wonderful story, ‘Why the Whales Came’. For Year 7, the date is 1816 and they are currently immersed in the mysterious world of early nineteenth century Switzerland in Emma Carroll’s novel, ‘Strange Star’: as the storm thrashes around outside, what stories might emerge from within the Villa Diodati? For 8CE1, the year is 1984, and despite coming up against every obstacle possible, Billy Elliot will never give up his dream to become a professional ballet dancer…. There are so many wonderful books waiting to be read – so go on, grab that book that’s been waiting on the shelf for you since Christmas, find a cosy spot and get reading!
The murder that shook the Middle Ages!
This is a classic 'who done it' or, more appropriately ‘who is responsible’, for the death of Thomas Becket?
On Tuesday 6K performed a virtual play on the killing of Thomas Becket complete with props and costumes from around the house. Each pupil was given a different character to play and they now have to empathise with and make a judgement on how responsible that character was for the killing.
Through the play, 6K have understood the story and the difficult position each character was in. Importantly, it was also a lot of fun, despite the odd technical glitch and we even had a special guest audience member in the Headmaster!
A Few Words from...Charlie Sidhu
This term's Head Boy
I hope everyone is staying safe and all is well.
This year hasn’t got off to the greatest of starts but luckily we have some great teachers keeping us active and setting us some fantastic challenges which we probably wouldn’t do if we were in school.
Since Christmas I have been playing some golf at Taunton and Pickeridge and football for Taunton town and Somerset so I was really busy until Boris said we have to stay home again! So, instead I have been having a lovely time exploring different beaches with my family and my lock down puppy, Dexter. On a visit to Charmouth beach, I jumped in to what I thought was a solid surface but soon found out is was sinking mud and lost my welly!
I hope you are all having a great time home schooling, again, I hope you are all jumping outside your comfort zone and exploring things that you wouldn’t already do, stay safe!
This week in Drama ...
Our Creative Curriculum includes Art, DT, Music and Drama. Each week fun activities are posted which enable children to be away from their screens!
Year 7 are learning about everything involved with Putting on a Show.
They have started with creating collages of the different types of staging and theatres and designing a mood board to show what their theatre would look like.
Year 8 have been thinking Comedy ...
Comedians love to make their audience laugh so they have been practising telling jokes using facial expressions and gestures to engage the audience and make them laugh.
“Why don't koalas count as bears? They don't have the right koalafications!”
“I hate Russian dolls … they are so full of themselves! ”
“I have got to do something in my spare time so I headed to the recruitment consultant and they said “what do you think about voluntary work?”; I said “I wouldn’t do it if you paid me – not a chance!” ”
“A sandwich walked into a bar and the bartender said "sorry, we don't serve food here!"”
by Snoops the Dog
I hope you’ve all had a great week. I’ve been busy keeping up with some of your lessons but my weekly favourite has got to be Mr Watson’s Tutor Quiz!
I woof when I know an answer and I’m fairly confident that I was the first to answer the question about the name of Mr Chippendale’s dog.
As you all seem to enjoy quizzes so much I’ve made a trivia quiz all about dogs. The answers are at the end, but no peeping yet. Maybe you could play with your family and see who the canine expert is amongst you!
1. Which dog breed is the favourite of The Queen of England?
2. Which breed of dog has a black tongue?
3. Which breed yodels instead of barks?
4. Which is the smallest dog breed?
5. Which of the dog’s senses is most highly developed?
6. Who has the most taste buds, dogs or cats?
7. Dogs have 3 eyelids, True or False?
8. Dogs cannot see in colour, True or False?
9. Name the cleverest breed of dog.
10. What breed of dog is Snoopy?
11. Which breed of dog is a playing piece in Monopoly?
12. What breed is Scooby Doo?
13. What were Dachshunds originally bred for
14. Do dogs have an appendix?
15. Now try and unscramble this anagram of a well known dog breed: ‘Eat Danger’
Thinking caps on my friends and next time I see you, please let me know your score!
Bye bye for now
The children in Year 3 and Year 4 have had a very busy week ...
"This too shall pass" (Persian adage)
No matter what happens, no matter how bad or overwhelming it may feel at the time I remind myself that it will not be that way forever. Equally it encourages me to be grateful for everything I have now and appreciate every moment.
Despite the storm, almost 50 pupils, parents and staff members did the King's Loop on Wednesday ... amazing!!
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