5th February 2021
by Justin Chippendale
Looking back this week, not only has there been so much happening here (just look how diverse the Newsletter is) but we have seen some wider news and involvement in our school family beyond just King’s Hall. One quite far away, you should see in the Newsletter a little insight to the online link from two classes at King’s College, India and then, closer to home, we have also had some very positive feedback from the Houseparents at King’s College UK about how recent KHS leavers are getting on in Year 9. It’s very encouraging to read not only what they’re up to but that they are seen as positive contributors who are happy to add their talents and enthusiasm on many fronts as they continue to grow.
In the present, another Friday evening comes around and with it another important chance to stretch body and mind away from school routines over the weekend. We have opened up another jigsaw to be going on with in our house. Jigsaws, particularly the lovely Wentworth wooden ones of which we have several, are another beneficiary of sustained lockdowns. I don’t know if you ever have unspoken family battles to be the one who puts the last piece in place? If so, has it got to the stage where someone secretly takes a piece away at the start in order to guarantee themselves the pleasure!!??
Into the future, next week includes a Wellness Wednesday and there will be a good range of activities on Teams for the children to embrace and they are encouraged to complete at least one line of a bingo card which will be full of ideas. This time next week we will be heading into half term and, of course, still not able to head off as many might ordinarily. Some would leave seeking winter warmth, others the opposite and many just relaxing around home, with relatives or off on a UK minibreak. Click and collect is as exciting as it gets for us at the moment….. the scale of aspiration in the bucket list has had to be reviewed in the light of Covid!
Also next week, in a half term letter, I will offer further brief thoughts and updates about a few matters. Don’t expect it to be earth-shattering in regard to the Covid prognosis for school opening as we don’t expect a great deal more indication from the DfE until Monday 22 February and we all know that crystal balls don’t work when it comes to this Coronavirus!
In the last 8 months we have experienced and adapted to a phased return for younger children in June, the full return in September and then at the beginning of this term we were preparing for a full physical return but with some tighter Covid measures in play including a fully purposed lateral flow testing centre for staff and older children. All staff regularly on site are being tested twice a week and many others besides. Therefore, we feel confident that we will be able to adjust our response and deploy appropriate measures (including tests on return for Years 7 & 8 if required) to best respond to the situation both nationally and regionally. Whether in school or not, we have a robust and effective remote learning model in place to ensure we provide the best education possible under these circumstances.
Yet again, I have written too much – it must be the fact that I have more time to sit at my keyboard than usual….. have a good weekend.
This Week in Pre-Prep...
by Claire Luckhurst
This week has been Children’s Mental Health week with a focus on ‘expressing yourself’ through a variety of media such as music, art, dance, poetry and drama. I know staff have dropped some activities in to the timetable this week to acknowledge the importance of children’s mental health which I hope they have enjoyed. As you will see in this week’s Pelican Gallery, Nursery have achieved ‘expert’ level at expressing their joy at Forest School and have definitely expressed their love of mud! Reception joined me in a ‘Dress to Express’ meeting on Teams today which was lots of fun; I certainly enjoyed hearing their reasons behind their chosen outfits which confirmed how individual and unique they all are! Year 1 have explored the story, ‘Ruby’s Worry’, made ‘mindful glitter jars’ and chilled out in their ‘zen dens’ while Year 2 have expressed what makes them happy through designing posters and showing off their very best funky moves bopping along to the song ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams. However, I was also reminded this week how our choices as parents can also affect our children’s emotions when seeing the response to an art activity a teacher had set which involved the children drawing pictures in response to listening to music. The comment ‘the yellow crying person is what happens when you introduce your 5-year-old to Portishead’ did raise a chortle!Please click here to read the rest of this week's Pelican News
King's Hall Pupil Council
This term, we have been busy thinking about ways in which King’s Hall School can positively influence the lives of families in the local area. We came to the conclusion that it would be a generous idea, in these difficult times, to support the food bank in Taunton and donate some money to them. In 2020 Taunton Foodbank provided 82,000 meals to families in need, thanks to the willingness of local people to donate money to this cause.
As a school community it would be great if we could continue to help provide meals to those families in need in the local area and next Friday, 12th February, pupils will be encouraged to wear fancy dress clothes in order to raise some extra money for this worthwhile cause.
Here are some of this week's brainteasers for you to try at home ...
“What makes up 99% of a Giant Panda's diet?”
“Stratus, Cirrus, Cumulus and Nimbus are types of what?”
“Who wrote The Gruffalo with Axel Schaffer?”
“In French what is the word for breakfast?”
“Where are the Summer Olympics due to be held this year?”
“How much money did Captain Tom Moore raise for the NHS? Just above ... £3 million, £10 million, £22 million or £32 million?”
“Who painted the famous 'Sunflowers'?”
Earlier this week, children in our Year 7 and Year 4 classes enjoyed virtual lessons with their friends over at King's College, India. The experience was invaluable for building relationships and we very much look forward to doing it again soon!
Photo credit: Mr Drew
Mrs Cole is encouraging our Year 7 scientists to get involved in the RSPB England #BigGardenBirdwatch. Currently studying classification, the children will be spending time recording the birds in their own gardens. Open to all pupils, Mrs Cole will be running a photo competition to find the best garden bird image and she has extended the deadline to Sunday so there is still time to take part ...
A Few Words from...Zhie Li
This term's Deputy Head Boy
I hope everyone is doing well.
I know that the start of this year was not the best but it was not really that bad for me although lockdown did stop me from going to Japan and snowboarding which I am really annoyed about.
I usually shoot hoops in my mini basketball hoop; I play a basketball game called H.O.R.S.E with my siblings and I go on my treadmill every Wednesday to do the park run.
This year is the Chinese Year of the Ox (February 12) and in school the Chinese pupils would usually go to King’s College and I would have seen some friends who are not at King's Hall but this year I won’t be celebrating it. I am looking forward to going back to school to see my friends in real life instead of virtually.
I hope everyone is keeping well and being safe
"You can’t use up creativity. The more you use the more you have."
As part of ‘Children’s Mental Health Week’ in PSHE this week Mrs Hardy's tutor group looked at the importance of being able to ‘Express Yourself’. They had a go at expressing themselves creatively by playing the ‘squiggle game’ – the children were asked to draw a scribble, then see if they could turn it into something creative... .
Our Creative Curriculum includes Art, DT, Music and Drama. Each week fun activities are posted which enable children to be away from their screens!
A great number of pupils are engaging with music within the Creative Curriculum and have clearly had lots of fun!
Year 3s have had famous orchestra pieces to listen to including The Flight of the Bumblebee and The Ride of the Valkyries. Year 4s have been listening to well-known opera overtures and deciding which one they like best. They have also been really good at sending in videos of themselves playing pieces.
Many (although, sadly, not all) pupils have been able to continue their instrumental lessons online and have enjoyed carrying their use of Teams across into a very different setting. We look forward to receiving many more videos of musical endeavours over the coming weeks.
Virtual ensembles are getting under way beginning with the Senior Strings and Senior Choir, and pieces for the Junior Strings, Brass Group and hopefully the full Orchestra will be made available to those pupils soon.
This lockdown really isn't much fun ...
This lockdown really isn’t much fun
But I get to spend extra time with my mum.
I hate not being able to see my best friend
But at least the world is not going to end.
I love cuddling my two dogs, one tall and one small.
I miss Pony Club and not being able to ride at all.
I have to remember to stay in my bubble
To make sure I don’t get into any trouble.
Hoverboarding is my new lockdown skill.
I love spinning – it gives me such a thrill!
My eight beautiful chickens are stuck inside too.
It’s not Covid-19 but Avian Flu.
Lockdown! Oh, Lockdown!
Lockdown! Oh, Lockdown!
I hate you! You stink!.
I wish you could disappear with one single blink!.
If only my tongue could split you to nits!.
Lockdown, Oh, Lockdown!
You are giving me fits.
I would rather take a swim with a man-eating shark,
Or wrestle a hippo alone in the dark,
Pet 10 porcupines.
Covid-19 is slime.
Lockdown, Oh, Lockdown,
I hate you,
We all do!
"Do the right thing… even when no one is looking."
One of the most important character traits we can have is moral integrity. Integrity is what keeps us honest when no one is watching; it's doing the right thing all the time, even when it may work to our disadvantage.
by Snoops the Dog
I know I’m late getting started with a New Year’s exercise plan but Mrs Masters subtly mentioned this week, that there’s a time limit on me referring to my cuddly exterior as, ‘puppy fat!’ My age in human years always sounds more flattering as I’m now about 23 in doggie years. Anyway, I’ve been inspired by all your lockdown sport and exercise and I’ve been keeping track of you all on Teams. Earlier this week I was lucky enough to catch the Year 4s doing a dance along with Pudsey Bear in their PSHE lesson.
I’ve decided that a bit of Doga, some quick squirrel sprints and a swift whizz on the exercise bike each day will keep me healthy and trim until we can all return to our normal active routines at school. If it wasn’t for me getting distracted by interesting smells on the King's Loop, I think I would have recorded the best time to date!
Anyway, keep active folks, enjoy your walks and remember: you don’t need to feel sporty to reap the benefits from exercise.
Bye bye for now.
Year 5 have had a busy week ...
I have been doing a selection of hobbies like gardening, baking and walking on the hills. I have enjoyed growing indoor plants and watching my Spring bulbs flower, including grape hyacinths, tulips and I have some mini daffodils on my desk. The bake in the picture is my Cinnamon tear and share bread - delicious! It was great fun at the weekend in the snow on the Quantocks with my brother
During lockdown I’ve been unable to play football with my friends or train with Huish Tigers FC.. However, my coach has been doing weekly zoom training and challenges for us! My favourite so far has been creating a fantasy footballer by using different skills from players across the world to make one outstanding player: my player had the left foot of Messi, right foot of Ronaldo, head of Van-Dijk and hands of Allison!
How are your favourite book characters coping with lockdown?
Mrs Lowery's Library lockdown challenge
Choose your own favourite character from a book and produce an illustration to show what they are up to in lockdown. Alternatively, feel free to create a text or dialogue extract to illustrate the same idea.
Entries should be emailed to RLowery@kingshalltaunton.co.uk together with the title of the book and the name of the character depicted.
The closing date for entries is Friday 19th February and there will be a small prize for the best entry in each year group.
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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