26th February 2021
by Justin Chippendale
A week ago we headed into the weekend hopeful that Monday would bring the announcement we all craved – and the good news duly came! Both professionally and personally, the provisional outline of what restrictions are hoped to be lifted at intended points ahead gave a real boost to everyone. A genuine chance to bring into a little more focus even the haziest images that may have been in your mind of being amongst friends, sitting in a theatre, on a beach, eating out and giving someone other than your immediate family a hug!
Also, for those more than ready to hang up your board rubber and retire from parent/teacher status, there was as close to a guarantee that next Friday will be the last day of having the house as a school for (hopefully) a good long while – and I know that has become cause for celebration!
We are not letting the sommelier know our selection to go with the starter, main and dessert choices just yet, though, and we still have a week of home-schooling ahead (sorry) but having the blackout curtains moved aside at the end of the tunnel have been a shot in the arm to run alongside the remarkable vaccine roll out.
My children pointed out that I might have my vaccine soon but I frowned because I am much younger than that – but they’re right, which shows just how quickly the programme is moving forward!
As well as this good news, the sun has shown its face and we should be in for a lovely weekend – is it too early to get the barbecue out and dust it off for when we can have people in our gardens?
This Week in Pre-Prep...
by Claire Luckhurst
I have no doubt we were all buoyed by the news this week that we will be able to step away from the ‘virtual’ world of remote teaching and learning on the 8 March and welcome all the children back to school. As mentioned many times over the past weeks, I have been hugely impressed by the children’s commitment, resilience, hard work and enthusiasm throughout this term which appeared to instantly reignite this week without a flicker of hesitation following the half-term break and has been so rewarding for us all. However, we are all looking forward to injecting their vibrancy back into our classrooms which have been fairly quiet and somewhat lonely without the energy they bring to each and every lesson.Please click here to read the rest of this week's Pelican News
Here are some of this week's brainteasers for you to try at home ...
“What was the name of the NASA craft that landed on Mars last week? Perseverance, Apollo, Gemini or Deliverance ”
“In ‘The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe’ what is the name of the lion? ”
“In French what is the word for dog? Chat, Chien, Poisson or Cheval ”
“When Mr Barrow made his debut for England U19 vs Sri Lanka, what did he score? 0, 7, 50, 158”
“‘Poppies’ is a famous painting by? Claude Monet, Van Gogh, Michelangelo or Blake ”
“Which bird can fly backwards? A chaffinch, A swallow, A hummingbird or A kingfisher ”
Online Festival of Literature
Encouraging a love of reading and storytelling
Just because we are in lockdown why can’t we have a festival celebrating literature?’
Considering this question, our English department decided to take part in the Bishop’s Stortford College Festival of Literature. Inspiring children to read for pleasure is a number one priority at King’s Hall, and so leading up to half-term, the whole school enjoyed reading an incredible range of literature and completing book-related activities, with every year group, from Pre-Prep to Year 8, given access to resources and live online author events. This digitally devised Festival brought events straight from the homes of acclaimed authors, illustrators, and poets into the pupils’ own homes. These hand-picked writers were chosen to engage and enthuse pupils whatever their age, and judging from their reaction, our pupils found both inspiration and enjoyment in the events.Please click here to read more...
Our school shop will re-open on Monday 8th March
Our school shop is situated next to our Astro pitch and is signposted from the main car park. The shop is open every Monday and Wednesday (2.30pm - 5.00pm) during term time. Existing parents do not need to make appointments during these opening times; however, parents of new pupils should make an appointment before attending the shop.
We ask that visitors to the shop wear face coverings and sign in using the NHS track and trace app.
Mrs Cole's Bird Photography Competition
The winner is announced!
Thank you to everyone who voted and we are delighted to announce that Year 7 pupil, Freddy, is the winner with his beautiful photo which captures all of the features of a Robin: distinctive red breast and face, grey under parts and a brown head.
Well done, Freddy!
A Few Words from...Charlie Sidhu
This term's Head Boy
I hope you all had an amazing and enjoyable half term, I didn’t really get up to much, apart from walks and bike rides, but before half term I did give my puppy, Dexter, a nice pamper (not sure he enjoyed it as much as me!). I did enjoy not having to get up in the morning.
As I’m sure you know, we are going back to school on 8th March, it will be good to be back in the classroom and around our friends. It will also be good to get back to playing a bit of hockey and netball. I am really excited to get back and see my friends but I’m not looking forward to having to wear a mask in the classroom. I cant wait to start playing club sports outside of school, hopefully after 29th March, as I have not played in a long time. With restrictions being lifted slowly, I am excited to be doing some things that we haven’t been allowed to do for so long, like seeing family and friends, even shopping seems exciting at the moment. Hope you all have a good time, stay safe and see you soon.
The more that you read ...
Mrs Clare Masters
I have this quote in the boarding house. I’m an avid reader myself and we encourage all the boarders to read for 15 minutes before bed along with the younger ones having bed time stories.
Whilst, throughout the school, the Maths Department has a focus on strong numeracy and problem solving, it is great to see the pupils’ creative skills being applied as they also gain an understanding of the way that Maths fits into a wider context.
Year 4 have been busy recently with their ‘Tremendous Tiles’ investigation. The pupils were required to take the original pattern (in the top left corner) and then rotate it by 90 degrees, 180 degrees and 270 degrees to produce their finished article. The end result was not only some excellent mathematical transformations, but also some beautiful artwork, some of it inspired by the Islamic tiles the class saw in the pictures of mosques during the original discussion. Following on from this exercise, Year 4 then had some fun with human rotation. The class stood behind their chairs and jumped 90 degrees, then back to 0 degrees, then around 180 degrees, and so on. This also proved to be an excellent introduction to the topic of Bearings that the pupils will study in the future.
Just before the half term holiday, some of the Year 6 pupils braved the cold weather to investigate symmetry in nature, as part of their Shape module. Finding ‘real life’ objects that had line symmetry or rotational symmetry (or both) was an ideal way to grasp the topic. The pupils were also surprised at how easy it was to find so many natural things that possessed mathematical properties. Tiling patterns and tessellation weren’t originally part of the remit, but Tilly found an amazing snake skin in her garden with a wonderful repeating pattern.
How does selective breeding affect variation?
Year 6 have been studying selective breeding as part of their Variation topic. Tom H very kindly offered to help Mrs Cole with her online teaching by preparing a series of short videos that highlighted how selective breeding has been used to develop the characteristics of the herd of cows on his farm. Thank you Tom for all of your help!Video 1 Video 2 Video 3
Over half-term, Year 8 pupil Charlotte successfully completed a Cyberfirst online course through the Smallpiece Trust.
Inspired and led by the National Cyber Security Centre (a part of
GCHQ!), Cyberfirst is a programme of activities helping young pupils aged 11-17 years to explore their passion for tech and computing by
introducing them to the world of cyber security. Each course is
designed to seek out young people with potential, offering the support skills,
experience and exposure they need to be the future first line of defence in our
The next free course is on Saturday 6th & Sunday 7th March and Mrs Thomas would recommend anyone in Years 7 or 8 interested in cyber security to have a look ...Click here to find out more
Over half-term, Year 7 pupil Elladie took part in an online icing class with some fantastic results.
Look at her brilliant creation!
Our Creative Curriculum includes Art, DT, Music and Drama. Each week fun activities are posted which enable children to be away from their screens!
Festival of Hope 2020 Children's Art Competition
This week's Art challenge was to create a piece of art inspired by all things British from the clap for carers to our amazing 'national spirit'...
The View From My Window
Grayson Perry, one of Britain's leading artists, brings the nation together through art, making new works and hosting masterclasses set to unleash collective creativity during lockdown.
Having watched an episode of Grayson's Art Club over half-term, where the theme was the 'view from my window', Josh drew this lovely picture ...
by Snoops the Dog
I know that some of you have been cooped up at home and I don’t want to make you feel too jealous but I’m going to have a little boast.
In the absence of all you lovely friends I’ve tried to share my time equally between the children of critical workers and the cutie-pies in Nursery.
I have to say, however, that I’ve had a blast with our littlest hoomans this week.
I don’t know if you ever tried finger painting when you were a tot but it’s such good fun. I, of course, had to do paw painting and even if I say so myself, I created some near masterpieces. My favourite picture was composed of red paw prints. I liked seeing them on the floor as well as the paper; such good fun. The little people are wonderfully messy and I do like that about them.
On the downside, they do have a few ‘trying’ traits but like all the members of our happy community I’ve had to be extra patient, disciplined and tolerant. Patient because everything takes such a long time, even getting coats and boots on to go out for a walk seems to take half the morning. Disciplined because they waft biscuits and sandwiches exactly at my nose height and tolerant because they sometimes fall on me, bump into me and, on occasions, even try to ride me like a pony!
Some of my highlights this week have been the fabulous walkies in the Spring-like sunshine, playing in the Willow Woods and getting to know the chickens and guinea-pigs better. Sadly, I’m not allowed to get too close to the other animals as I haven’t got a great track record when it comes to being friendly towards ducks and squirrels.
Anyway, only one more week until you all return and you wouldn’t even be able to begin to imagine how excited I am about that.
See you all soon.
Lots of love
Years 3 and 4 ...
I took part in the big Bird Count on the farm for the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust. It’s a national event that helps to determine how wild birds numbers are coping with the pressures on their environment. In one hour from our tree hide and walkabout we spotted: Green Woodpecker, Sparrow Hawk, Buzzard, Ravens, Rooks, Crows, Jackdaws, Wood-pigeon, Blackbird, Song Thrush, House Sparrows, Murmuration of Starlings, Blue Tits, Coal Tits, Great Tits, Chaffinch, Pheasants, Robin, Wren, Magpies, Dunnock and Goldfinch!
I was lucky enough to take part in an online ballet workshop with a professional dancer called Isaac Bowry from the Matthew Bourne ballet company. The lesson was based on the ballet Swan Lake and then we were able to ask him questions about his dance training and career. I learnt lots and had lots of fun.
It is crucial that we keep spirits high over this difficult period. Physical and mental health are so important, so look out for tweets which will give you all some ideas. Keep exercising, keep eating well and look after each other.Sports Twitter
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