27th November 2020
BY JUSTIN CHIPPENDALE
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Several classes around school have seen the odd smattering of Christmas sparkle appearing and, today, several Christmas trees have been installed and now expectantly await their seasonal coat to be duly applied.
Whilst the talk out of school is all about tiers (tears?), US transitions, vaccines, impending European departures, on site we continue to learn, perform and grow together.
Learning is going on everywhere as the lessons, exams, research, experiments, projects, preps etc continue to be delivered as business as usual.
On the performance side in Prep, we have already had two excellent plays from Year 8 with the third class due to round things off in the next few days. Mrs Keirle has done a terrific job once again and the children can be very proud of what they have created. You will have noticed more detail in Newsletters as they are performed but whilst we have certainly missed the pizazz of a big musical show, there have been some valuable compensations such as the chance to use punchier material for this age group and the greater examination of more individuals this work has brought. Music, sport and creative arts give plenty of other opportunities to perform, too, and there is no let-up in the volume of activity across the weeks.
Growing in all its physical, spiritual and conceptual ways is an everyday part of life here at King’s Hall as we forge forward together. Particularly when there is a sense of collective burden, everyone pulls even tighter together and often the result is an even more powerful, meaningful and permanent growth experience: it is true to say that our Covid experience is making us all stronger and strengthening our bonds with each other.
Two weeks to go and, as usual, we will delight together in the wonder of this time of year and the joy that it brings – made all the more potent because it is shared, under global duress, with much loved family, fabulous friends and hugely valued colleagues.
This Week in Pre-Prep...
by Claire Luckhurst
Sshhhhh!!!!! Don’t tell the children but the Pre-Prep elves will be working their magic after school and over the weekend to transform Pre-Prep into a festive wonderland ready for when the children arrive back in school on Monday morning. We make no apologies for the ridiculous amounts of glitter, sequins, tinsel and anything else that sparkles and shines the children will inevitably indulge in over the next two weeks as we gear up to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. During this time we will also be producing three Nativity plays, hosting Christmas parties, enjoying a festive lunch and ensuring all learning that has taken place over the course of the term is consolidated. It’s going to be busy and I thank the ‘elves’ for all the hard work they are going to invest into ensuring each child experiences the magic of the season.
A Few Words from...Grace Eakhurst
This term's Head Girl
School is as busy as ever with year 8 plays happening each week, the one I saw today was fantastic. I have been doing mock scholarship exams this week which has meant plenty of revision; fingers crossed I have done okay.
I am looking forward to Monday and the start of Christmas properly, listening to Christmas songs definitely cheers everyone up. The senior choir is getting ready for one of my favourite events - the carol service. It won’t be the same as usual but hopefully it will still have a lot of the spirit of Christmas about it! I am so glad we are going to record it at King’s College Chapel - it always looks so beautiful for the service.
This is the last time I will write for the newsletter; I have really enjoyed being head girl. I hope everyone enjoys the last two weeks of term, there’s always plenty to look forward to!
A View from the Rose Garden
Mrs Hayden-Briffett - Year 3HB
In English Year 3 have been reading Ottoline and the Yellow Cat.
If you are unfamiliar with Chris Riddell, it’s a definite ‘must read’ with the illustrations being just as important as the text. The children have loved the story: when we got to the end of a chapter and had to stop, there have been many groans of ‘we can’t stop there’…
A few of the children’s own comments about the book are included below (Warning spoiler alerts included), as an avid reader myself, my favourite was:
'The Ottoline books are some of the best books in the world!'
Now onto the serious business of Christmas in Year 3!
“The diagrams are great – particularly the puddle map”
“Robert eats a lot even though he is tiny (Robert is a mouse)”
“It’s funny when the lap dog Snarler doesn’t want to want to go back with his owner and claims she will ‘never take him alive’”
“The bear is really funny”
“Ottoline has excellent, clever plans”
“I love Mr Munroe’s clever, silly plan to catch the cat and how he uses the butterfly net to catch the parrot”
by Snoops the Dog
I know I’ve been mentioning my love of this beautiful season over the past few weeks. I’ve posted pictures of my autumn walks and I’m sure you’ve all appreciated my poetic descriptions of the crunchy leaves and splendid colours.
All of a sudden, however, I get the feeling that the winter season is almost upon us. I know we are still in November but there are signs that my hoomans are making preparations for that special day; the one when the jolly, bearded man in a red suit arrives during the night. Last year I could smell the goodies in his sack before he even reached the bottom of the chimney. Even I, brave Snoops, wouldn’t dream of barking at that delightful chap; not that I’ve got a reputation for being a fearsome guard dog (but I’m working on it!) As for Mrs Masters, boxes and parcels have been amounting at her door on a daily basis. I have a love of tearing Amazon parcels open but I know it would be inappropriate at this time of year.
I’ll let you into a little secret. Last year I did a little bit of sniffing under the Christmas tree and without tearing even the teeniest corner of the wrapping paper, I identified a pigs ear. Well this year my detective skills and sniffing skills are even more developed and finely tuned.
As soon as I walked into Mrs Masters’ flat on Sunday evening, the aroma coming from a bag on the living room windowsill was almost too much to bear! I sat to attention (whilst giving her my best puppy dog eyes) and hoped that she might weaken and give me an early present. But no, all my efforts were in vain. The luscious reindeer horn treat has now been moved to the back of a cupboard in the dresser. She did it whilst I wasn’t looking but I can still smell it. Now and again I give the door a little tap or scratch just to drop a few more hints but I’m getting the feeling that I’m going to have to wait until that special day.
My boarding friends have started to decorate their dorms and matron has put her Christmas tree up. That’s another area that is going to be worth checking out now and again! (hint, hint Matron) I’ll keep you all updated with the unveiling of events, festivities and other merriments that are synonymous with this exciting part of the Michaelmas Term.
Boarding Blog by Clare Masters, Houseparent
A weekend with a difference! While most of our boarders went home at the weekend, due to Covid restrictions 12 children remained with us at school. Obviously this was hard for the children and so Mrs M and team set about making it a weekend to remember.
With the children being given the opportunity to make the choices and rules, this had been in a weekend in the making for some weeks.
"All I can say is thank goodness for Amazon! Over the last few weeks the children have been planning and doing a huge amount of online shopping. Our Saturday afternoon activity was model-making and each child chose an Airfix or wooden model to make. So with the record player on (that in itself was a history lesson in the making!) and constant chatter, there was the occasional outburst of singing and eventually some very good models created, which were painted and left to dry.
Amazon also provided the children with Christmas jumpers, hats and glasses – they had great fun trying them all on ready for the last week of term and we did take the opportunity to do a quick photo shoot! Everyone ordered a gingerbread house which turned into a competition and we had some very elaborate houses that caught the eyes of the judges and luckily photos were taken in haste as many began to show nibble marks – by the end of the evening they had totally disappeared!"
"Food played a big part; requests were made for homemade soup, Chinese takeaway and pizzas, not to mention treat boxes, cereals and crumpets. Miss Biggs and I had a great weekend and I know the children did to. They were thoroughly spoilt and absolutely deserved every minute of it. A weekend to remember for all of us."
Year 8K Performance
The Terrible Fate of Humpty Dumpty
The second Year 8 bubble play was performed this week. 8K tackled the thought-provoking play, The Terrible Fate of Humpty Dumpty by David Calcutt.
Every child in 8K played an important role to tell the story through action and words. The play was also brought to life by members of the Year 8 technical team who designed lights and sound. Simple costume and props added to the whole production.
Victimised by the cruel, cunning Stubbs, Terry Dumpton, nicknamed Humpty Dumpty, resorts to truancy to avoid his bullies. Following pressure from his tormentors to prove he isn't a coward, Terry takes part in a dangerous activity resulting in a fatal outcome. He gets killed by climbing an electrical pylon and becomes the victim of the deadly gang at his new school, hounded to the end. Fear, pity, guilt and deceit divide the bullies, giving rise to discussions on moral issues, prejudices and the roles of the community and media.
This tragic play gives an insight into not only bullying but human nature itself and how we so often fail to recognise a dangerous situation until it is too late.
Through their acting, 8K succeeded in making the audience understand that we all share some responsibility for what happens to others and there lies the potential for the growth of mind, the heart and the spirit. In that potential there is hope.
Also, as promised, here are a few more photos from last week’s
powerful performance by 8S
Mr Rudkin's Year 7 Tutor Group
7JR are a lovely tutor group! As a new member of staff they have been so helpful and welcoming. This welcoming environment has been clear to see as our four new arrivals to the school have all settled in so quickly. Within a few weeks this lovely group created the hardest task for a new member of staff as I had to nominate someone for a ‘Good Egg’ award! Sylvie was the well-deserving recipient of this award before half term and I have my radar out for this half term’s ‘Good Egg’.
As we approach the end of term and Christmas festivities I am convinced that my classroom will be the best decorated classroom in the school. The plans, discussions and lists started well before half term and it is only by my insistence that we will start decorating in December, that I am not drowning in tinsel as I write! (secretly, I am very much looking forward to the ‘run in to Christmas’ with my tutor group).
When I asked my tutees for ideas in preparation for this newsletter entry they decided on sharing inspirational quotes; see if you can guess who chose which quote.
“I have never dreamed about success. I worked for it”
“One day or day one. You decide.”
“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”
“To see the rainbow you have to get through the storm”
“If more people valued homes and friends over gold and money the world would be a happier place”
“Two things are infinite. Human stupidity and the universe and I’m not sure about the universe”
“Never say I can’t, always say I’ll try”
“We cannot change the past, but we can change the future”
“Just play, have fun and enjoy the game”
“Be a good person, but don’t waste time to prove it”
Year 7 have been looking at the properties of circles recently and discovered the approximate value ‘pi’ by measuring the diameters and using string to measure the circumferences of various circular objects found in the classroom. They worked out that the value of pi comes from the fact that the circumference is approximately 3.142 times as long as the diameter for any circle you could possibly draw. It’s important to use the word ‘approximate’ because everyone was amazed when, via the wonders of the internet, they were able get a visual sense of the ‘first’ 10,000 decimal places of pi.
This week some of the Year 6 pupils were engaged in an investigation into how many possible ‘2 scoop’ combinations of ice cream there are if you can choose from: vanilla, mint, choc chip, strawberry, lemon and peach. Everyone got to the answer (15), but it was great to see how many different ways the children went about investigating and setting out solutions to the same problem. Some very important skills were used that will be useful for problem-solving in the future.
Year 4 explored metric measurement with relevant examples to bring the maths to life. Do children really understand grams? Do they have a sense of measurement? It’s that ‘sense’ that is so important. What is a gram? Is an apple 5 grams, 50 grams or 100 grams? We actually found out that a Braeburn apple is precisely 130g and a normal sized banana is 138g. The children had to estimate the mass before we used the scales. The whole class had a MUCH better understanding of measurement after we put biscuits, chocolate and fruit on the scales. Did you know that a chocolate digestive weighs 2.8g more than a plain digestive? Give me the chocolate one, please!
“Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think”
- A.A Milne
by Liz Colbourne – Catering Manager
The quote I have chosen is these words of wisdom from author A.A Milne as quoted by one of our favourite residents of the Hundred Acre Wood, which reminds us that a few wise words can sometimes help to get through life’s trickiest days! This quote is urging us to remember, even as the reader, that we truly are braver, stronger and smarter than we might admit, even to ourselves.
Our wonderful King’s Hall Book Club members have had a busy half term. Years 3 & 4 explored their superhero potential through Sophy Henn’s new illustrated adventure Pizazz. Year 5 & 6 were ready to journey wherever a book might take them as they discussed The Strange Worlds Travel Agency by L.D. Lapinski, where the multiverse is explored by stepping into a suitcase! The Year 7 book-breakfast devoured A Kind of Spark, written by the Neuro-divergent Elle McNicoll, as they considered how it takes many colours to make a rainbow. Finally, Year 8 swapped a chilly November morning in Somerset for a sultry sail down the Nile at their book-breakfast as they dined out on the crime mystery Death Sets Sail by one of our favourites, Robin Stevens. We were delighted that the authors responded with messages of encouragement on Twitter. Thank you to everyone taking part for making them such enjoyable sessions. Next term’s tomes for Book Club will be announced in due course so please remind the children to look out for dates and that they are all welcome – we look forward to many new readers signing up.
What a great week of sport and activities! As the sun shone down, our children enjoyed, the King's Loop, and house hockey and netball matches. On Wednesday our Year 8 pupils had a fantastic afternoon completing our on-site orienteering course! Combining geography skills, fitness and team work! Good work everyone!Sports Twitter
The Christmas Cricket Clinics at King's College are now open to book.
Clinics will run on Friday 18th, Monday 21st and Tuesday 22nd December, and are open to pupils in Year 3-8.
The course will be led by Head of Cricket, Rob Woodman and Cricket Professional Alex Barrow.
Open to everyone, from beginners to more advanced players, sessions will incorporate batting, bowling, and fielding, as well as the use of bowling machines, fun games practice and indoor matches.
Prices are £25 per session or £60 for the three days, with a 10% discount offered for a third sibling.
Places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis so if you would like a place please click below to access the online booking form.BOOK PLACE
Dress Warm for Games
Just a little note to remind pupils that now the weather is getting colder, can they please dress warm for games for the next few months.
Pupils are welcome to wear blue skins on the top half and KHS leggings on the bottom half.
Rural Living Show
We're so disappointed not to see our friends from the Rural Living Show, preparing to set up their event across our school site this year ... for obvious reasons.
This means that their usual spare change buckets won't be in operation. If you can spare anything, do visit their JustGiving page and share this post far and wide to spread the message.
Their fundraising efforts go toward helping Children’s Hospice South West.
School Uniform Shop
The School Uniform Shop have only received a small stock of navy leggings. So, at the present time, if you wish to purchase some, they will only be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
firstname.lastname@example.org to place an order.
Reminder – One Way System
Just a friendly reminder that we operate a one way system on the roads onsite during drop-off and pick-up times (between the hours of 8:00am and 9:00am and 3:00pm and 6:00pm).
Please can you ensure that this is adhered to so as not to pose a danger to others.
Also please can we ask that speed is kept to a minimum whilst on site, especially now the light conditions are limited. Please help to keep the children and everyone safe.
During the last week of term (starting Monday 7th December) we would like to invite pupils from across the school to wear Christmas jumpers.
If your child doesn't have one, by all means use an existing jumper and decorate it in some festive way.
More information will be sent out next week.
We have news from the North Pole that due to the tough year we have all had, someone very special will be paying us a visit this December to bring some much needed magic, smiles and happiness! Watch this space for further elf updates!
It's definitely beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
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