That was a week, that was!

Published on: Friday, March 17, 2023

Well, that was a week, that was!

Mine has included a lot of prospective parent meetings, 36 hours at the Woodard Heads’ annual conference, parents’ evenings, brilliant play performances (one to go), Governors’ meetings and Open Day.  For various children it has involved the joyously bouncy Year 6 play (obvs!), sports competitions at various venues including Ipswich, Year 3 up Dunkery Beacon, Year 7 Book Breakfast, Year 5 to Whatley Quarry, Bruce Izzett’s wonderful, tub-thumping Christian band and a large dollop of House Music practice for all.

One result of all that is not as much time to draw out this intro to the Newsletter this week! Suffice to say that there is much to be proud of and a great deal has been learned from a broad range of experiences across a thoroughly rewarding (if tiring) seven days.

Next week is only a tad lighter on the formal diary side of things but, given it is the final week of term, the days in reality are always full of endeavour and activity anyhow. Following that there is some respite with a chance to relax and declutter our minds over Easter but, first, another seven days of reward lie in wait.

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Published on: Friday, March 10, 2023

You might be thinking the major episode of this week was obviously the more-than-anticipated amount of snow.  Well you’re wrong – a much bigger deal has been the disappearance of Mrs Cole’s precious perfectly perfumed palatable prized pink porcine pleasures. There have been various threads and activities in a terrific STEM week but the search for who stole Mrs Cole’s Percy Pigs has been at the forefront, all brilliantly introduced and hooked in via a wonderful film setting the scene in Monday’s assembly.  A fabulous week has ensued and there is a link to the film in the newsletter.

The snow came and then it went. In many ways this was the perfect amount/time of snow as there was something for everyone: a mix of natural beauty to enjoy, the thrill of massive flakes falling from the sky, a chance to make snowmen, lie in the snow and throw snow at each other, an excuse to wrap up with a hot chocolate and a book – but it only caused short term, minimal disruption so not too many adjustments to make. Will there be the odd smattering to follow up this weekend?

It did wipe out an afternoon of matches but fortunately it came at time that didn’t stop parents coming in for visits to classes in Pre-Prep, to the Year 4 parents’ evening, to the Friends of King’s Hall coffee morning or for the Year 8 Transition meeting.  There will be more parents in next week for the Year 5 parents’ evening, the Year 6 play performances (not limited to only Year 6 parents btw) plus we have our Open Day next Friday, and then in two weeks we have House Music.

Open Days are always such positive occasions and so if you have any friends wanting an insight for their children then do encourage them to sign up, come and join what is already a large number of people visiting.

Contrary to all these welcomes to the school site, it’s time to clear the school out for 48 hours and so I do hope you have a good, restful Long Weekend ahead.

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Reading For Pleasure

Published on: Friday, March 3, 2023

World Book Day yesterday also saw several Governors with us as they enjoyed time in classes across the whole age range, as well as holding some of their termly meetings later in the day. One or two started with Chapel as early as 8.30am and were still here as we ended our last meeting of the day at about 5.50pm.  We are lucky not only to have such an able, knowledgeable and wise body of people but also incredibly grateful for the considerable time they give to King’s – all voluntarily!

A menu not limited to maths, language, literacy, break time with staff, book character costumes, music, drama, cold astroturf visits, hot fish and chips for lunch and science investigations were all in the mix of their day along with discussions, debates and decisions about the business aspects of the schools.

I, too, had a similar mix of WBD and the meetings.  I had a visit from Nursery 1 who were keen that I read to them from their basket of favourite books – how could I resist! (See photo below)

I have really enjoyed watching some matches recently with plenty of fun and skill to witness.  Close games, not so close games, it’s great to see so many children playing hard and for each other.  There have been lots of successes in competitions beyond school matches across the likes of equestrian, cross-country and squash (not forgetting the National Junior Pistol win) as well as with the more obvious but no less impressive netball and hockey teams at various ages. There are some multi-event competitions upcoming, too.

Going back to the mention of science investigations, next week is STEM week across the school and I have heard rumour that there has been a bit of an annoyance for one of the science team just recently  – no doubt we shall find out more on Monday?

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Get Your Motor Running

Published on: Friday, February 24, 2023

Assembly on Monday saw ‘Good Egg’ awards being handed out to one in each tutor group for making our school a better place in the first half of term.  Such a positive way to kick things off after the break and a reminder of how much we value kindness, consideration and collaboration.

We ended the last half of term with lots of music via the Taunton Music Festival and our own brilliant Lent Concert.  Also, in assembly on Monday, we unveiled, by drawing out at random, the song selections for the fun House Music competition that will take place on the last morning of term.  Mr DJ has gone for a theme of ‘Dance’ this year, so at home you may well find yourself subconsciously humming one of the following tunes more and more as the weeks go by: Shut Up and Dance With Me; Better When I’m Dancing; Can’t Stop The Feeling; Never Gonna, Not Dance Again.  As well as these songs, there will be Junior and Senior group performances from each House.

Many Year 8 children have been challenging themselves in the 13+ Scholarship arena this week. For those who wish to, it is a success to have put yourself forward, to expose yourself to the risks but give your best come what may.  It is always worth repeating that whilst there may well be varying degrees of momentary happiness and disappointment on hearing the outcomes down the line, we don’t want anyone to celebrate too heartily or to carry any temporary sadness too weightily. We wish for all children at all ages 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 have also been Parents Evenings, Pancake Races, a full set of matches, play rehearsals for Year 6, Saturday Activities, Ash crosses on foreheads from Fr Mark in Chapel - so, no sense of easing back in: get your ‘Dance’ song playing, put the pedal to the metal and away we go.

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Fun! Fun! Fun!

Published on: Friday, February 10, 2023

At the start of the week, my point in assembly was to make sure that the children use their eyes and ears to the full when in lessons - basically concentrate! The active process of focus through our senses leading to absorption of information for future recall. I didn’t position it that way!   I put some close-up pictures of landmarks, food and sports equipment on the screen as well as playing some everyday sounds for identification.  It was good fun, I did relate it to the fact they must have retained that knowledge through eyes and ears and hopefully helped them see the significance in a playful way.

I then headed over to meet the Head of North Town Primary school, he’s a fun chap and was certainly upbeat despite expecting a visit from the Inspectors any week. As I made my way to the main office entrance I walked by a group of Early Years children splashing around and came relatively close to a good spraying myself - they naturally thought it very funny.

Tuesday evening saw more fun, and a good deal of apposite nervousness, as a huge number of talented children gave lovely age and stage performances at the Lent Concert.  Such a wonderful range to behold, all under Mr DJ’s benevolent guidance and founded on good, honest commitment and practice from the children. There’s a reward as a spectator on at least two levels at such events: the musical treat, obviously, but also the joy of seeing the sense of increasing achievement internally realised by each child.

There is more music fun to be had at the end of this term with the energetic House Music competition for all Prep children. I hope you have the morning of the 24th March locked away in your diaries and will join us at 10am for a toe-tapping, bouncy way to head into the Easter break.

Yesterday morning I had fun in Nursery 2, subitising numbers and sounding rhyming words – a good test for them at their age. Fun abounded last night at the Friends of King’s Hall quiz where adults also had a proper test for their age.  Lots of giggles, the usual frustration at near misses, the odd family disagreement, the delight of getting a difficult question correct, some questionable sit-down dancing to the music round and overall a brilliant shared evening of laughs and geniality. Huge thanks to the team for their background work and to the Chief Pelican for collating questions and compèring with his usual amiable aplomb.

Whilst writing about the Friends, the main purpose is to provide some social opportunities to meet under the banner of King’s, such as last night.  Alongside that, some funds might be raised either for an external charity or to support a ‘nice to have’ addition to the school itself.  On this subject, I don’t know if you’ve ever visited the Enhancing King’s page on our website where there are opportunities to support such items if they take your fancy.  Here’s the link – Enhancing King’s. Equally, if there’s something you don’t see there but wish to support then come and see me - don’t be shy!

Final ‘fun’ for Friday is to say have a fabulous week over the half term break. Please make sure the children get some rest as well as relaxing and having plenty of carefree laughs: tiredness is a key contributor to illness, poor mood and inefficiency – definitely NOT fun!

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