Category Archives: Education

KING’S HALL CELEBRATE OPENING OF STATE-OF-THE-ART SCIENCE LABS

Staff and pupils at King’s Hall School recently opened their brand-new science labs with a special celebration.

Built by Qube Construct, the £1 million facility boasts state-of-the-art apparatus, with pupils having access to equipment including a Van de Graaff generator, multimeters and circuit equipment.

To conclude the school’s annual Arts Week, Headmaster Justin Chippendale, and Governors, Vice-Custos Roger Mott and Revd Canon Linda Barley, were in attendance to celebrate the outstanding facility.

Also present was King’s Chaplain, Father Mark, who blessed the new block, as per school tradition.

To commemorate the opening, pupils took part in a plasma workshop run by the Bristol-based Science Boffins, who officially opened the centre with a ribbon-burning ceremony.

Head of Science at King’s Hall, Joe Hayden said: “We are privileged to have such an incredible building. The facilities are truly remarkable and it makes not only our science lessons captivating, but also running our Saturday STEM Club a real joy.”

He added: “The new faculty is a fantastic space and I feel great excitement at the possibilities for future developments and the amazing educational benefits the pupils will receive.”

KING’S PUPILS ENRICH BIODIVERSITY OF SCHOOL GROUNDS

As part of the school’s sustainability strategy, sixteen green-fingered pupils from King’s College spent the afternoon planting trees around the school grounds.

The day began with a tree planting demonstration by groundsman, Nick Radford, who taught the pupils how to cut the turf into a T shape, before planting the trees in the soil. In pairs, the team planted over 30 trees, including cherry, silver birch, rowan, hawthorn, oak and field maple.

The trees were kindly donated to King’s Schools by The Woodland Trust, the UK’s leading woodland conservation charity. The charity receives funding from organisations such as DEFRA and Sainsbury’s, and aims to provide schoolchildren with the opportunity to plant trees. This is part of a nationwide project to extend the number of trees and woodland areas to create new spaces for wildlife.

Christina French, Head of the King’s Sustainability Strategy, said: “We are so thankful to the Woodland Trust for giving the pupils the opportunity to plants trees and enrich the biodiversity of the school. This is certainly in keeping with the school’s sustainability ethos, which takes a very student-led approach.”

RECYCLE FOR MID DEVON: PRIMARY SCHOOL DRAWING COMPETITION

Winning entries will have a lorry named after them with their artwork displayed on the vehicle.

Mid Devon District Council is running another exciting competition for all Mid Devon primary school children. They would like children of primary school age to enter a drawing which shows what Mid Devon District Council collects as part of its kerbside blue food caddy collection and/or its subscription-based garden waste collection.

Leader of the Council, Councillor Clive Eginton, said: “We have six new lorries that need names and some lovely artwork. All the lorries have a split body where food and garden waste is collected and stored separately. The drawings should give a positive message to inspire people to recycle their food and garden waste. Food waste sent to landfill doesn’t harmlessly breakdown and as it rots it releases methane – a harmful greenhouse gas that is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Food waste collected from your blue caddy is processed into energy and fertiliser. Garden waste is made into compost which is excellent to mix with soil to grow fruit and vegetables.”

The drawings need to be A4 in size and landscape, using paint, crayon, chalk or any other type of drawing material, but not photographs, sorry. They can be done in school or at home but schools may wish to submit more than one entry. However, only one entry per pupil will be accepted and  the decision of the judges will be final.

Other than these rules, pupils can use their imagination, so let the creative juices flow! Good luck!!

The competition entry closing date is midnight on Tuesday 8 May 2018 and winning pupils will be notified by Friday 18 May 2018.

All entries must be posted or delivered to:

Mid Devon District Council
Street Scene Services – Recycling Competition
Phoenix House
Phoenix Lane
Tiverton
Devon
EX16 6PP

See the website for full terms and conditions: www.middevon.gov.uk/media/345268/recycling-drawing-comp-2018-tcs.pdf

ENGLAND CRICKETER JOS BUTTLER OPENS KING’S NEW SPORTS FACILITY

King’s College recently welcomed back former pupil Jos Buttler as he officially opened the schools’ new sports facility, the Sports Performance and Cricket Centre (SPCC).

Friends, parents, benefactors, pupils and staff gathered to celebrate as this much-anticipated facility was officially opened by Jos. Following the unveiling, Jos then demonstrated some of his world-famous cricket strokes in a masterclass with pupils and King’s Director of Sport, Phil Lewis.

Pupils were challenged to bowl at the England player, with the chance to win a coveted Millichamp & Hall cricket bat if they got him out. It was Fifth Form pupil and Somerset girls’ cricket player Alice Dymond who successfully got one past the international cricket star.

Taking part in a Q&A session afterwards in the school theatre with guests and pupils, including a number of promising young players, Jos talked about what life is like as a first-class cricketer. The England star rounded off his visit by meeting some of the pupils, signing autographs and posing for selfies.

Having joined King’s when he was 13 years old, Jos started his career with Somerset County Cricket Club before joining Lancashire. Remembering his time at King’s fondly, he said: “I first came to King’s as part of the cricket festivals that are held at the school every year. My parents, also having looked at other schools, thought that King’s had a great ‘feel’, a real sense of community. This I remember most of all – the feeling of belonging, especially to my house, Tuckwell. I made many life-long friendships at King’s.

“Attending a school that suddenly enabled me to play and practice several times per week was amazing. I always had the determination to become a professional cricketer, but having access to such a fantastic sports programme and being mentored by such positive and supportive people as Dennis Breakwell, was a massive bonus.”

In offering guidance to young players, he added: “It’s important to enjoy the game. Yes, there are times when your performance is not so great. Then there are the celebrations. The key is to remain balanced throughout the highs and lows, and to always remember, there’ll always be another game!”

Of the new sports centre, he added: “This is a fantastic facility. To anyone serious about their cricket, make sure you’re demanding to use it, to make full use of it!”

Commenting on the day, Phil Lewis said: “It is always such a pleasure to see Jos back at King’s and his visit will be an inspiration to the next generation of young players at the school. The Sports Performance and Cricket Centre is a fantastic addition to the school. It will enable us to run an even more challenging cricket programme for our pupils but also to incorporate a number of different sports and training sessions. With underfloor heating, retractable side panels and a brilliant lighting system, it is an inspirational facility and one we know will engage our pupils even more. We are very, very lucky.”

Director of Development, Julian Mack added: “The SPCC is a monument to the power of philanthropy. We are hugely grateful to our generous benefactors who have made it possible. It will be enjoyed for many years to come by King’s girls and boys.”

WEST SOMERSET SCHOOLS: BAKE-OFF WINNERS CROWNED

West Somerset Schools’ Bake-Off came to the crunch with the final of the competition after weeks of floury fun. Crowned worthy winners were: Amy Wickens and Alexis Kemp from Old Cleeve Church of England First School.

Dan Perry from Old Cleeve School said, “I am over the moon that Old Cleeve are the inaugural winners of this fantastic competition and the children’s success is in no small measure to their own hard work and dedication.”

More than 1,000 pupils from six schools in the West Somerset Academies Trust took part with a series of heats – around 40 sessions in all since the Bake-Off was launched in the New Year. The schools that took part were: St Peter’s, Old Cleeve and Danesfield in Williton; and in Minehead: St Michael’s, Minehead First and Minehead Middle.

Finalists from the heats were invited to join a Masterclass hosted by professional chefs so they could get the best possible advice before putting on their aprons for the final.

Judges on the day were: Paul Rushforth (West Somerset Academies Trust), Emma Kelly (Butlins), Cllr Andrew Hadley (West Somerset Council), Ann Wells (Brooks Food Processing Equipment) and Phil David, Steven Franks and Diane Franks (Arthur David) – they represented businesses and partners that contributed significantly to the project.

One of the Judges, Ann Wells from Brooks Food Processing Equipment, said, “It was fabulous to be involved in this competition, anything that encourages local children to get involved with projects showcasing their skills and talents away from the classroom and textbooks has got to be a good thing.”

Werner Hartholt, Development Chef at Butlin’s, and Paul Ruttledge, Head Chef at The Beach Hotel along with the class teachers Lindsay Everett (Danesfield Middle), Sarah Mills and Veronica Curtis (Minehead Middle) have mentored the youngsters and supported them through the early rounds of the competition.

Werner Hartholt Butlins Development Chef said: “The way the students applied themselves was commendable, they all worked hard and were engaged, they really showed how different ages and abilities can work together and really achieve something special. It was a pleasure to be part of it and I would like to thank all those involved for making it possible.”

A number of local businesses have been supporting the event including Brook Food Processing Equipment and Arthur David, who have covered the costs of ingredients, baking equipment, and competition prizes.

“This has been a fantastic project that has involved a huge amount of organisation behind the scenes. Congratulations to everyone involved – the children, our partners and, of course, the winners,” said Cllr Andrew Hadley, West Somerset Council’s Lead Member for regeneration and economic growth.

“I hope that it inspires our children and forges new relationships between schools in the Trust and between pupils in the groups from year 4 to year 8; this is so important in a rural area like West Somerset.”

The project got under way this year thanks to hard work and inspiration from a partnership involving West Somerset Academies Trust, West Coast 360, Butlins, The Beach Hotel, West Somerset Council, Jobcentre Plus, and West Somerset College.

NORTH DEVON SCHOOLS SHOW JUMPING LEAGUE (NDSSJL) ROUND FOUR RESULTS

On Sunday 7 January over 80 pupils from primary and secondary schools in the area took part in the fourth round of the 2018 North Devon Schools Show Jumping League.

Despite the freezing-cold temperatures and howling winds, every competitor rode with high spirits and did their school proud.

Organiser Vicky Fiddes commented, “Even though they couldn’t feel their toes or their fingers, all of our fabulous competitors rode beautifully and were as always super polite and a pleasure to watch! Thank you to every child, parent and teacher involved for making our job so much fun. Huge congratulations to everyone who scored themselves some all-important league points.”

The 50cm team class was won by the Ilfracombe Academy Divas, with their team member Aimee Hearnden taking the individual win on her pony, Champion.

Great Torrington’s Flying Fillies jumped above the other 10 teams in the class to win the 60cm, whilst West Buckland’s Bethany Gay and Rocky went on to win the individual section.

The competition then moved on to the 70cm team class where Great Torrington’s second team, The Day Dreamers, took the win, with their team member Megan Cole, riding her pony Mr Finley, also winning individually.

The 80cm class was action-packed but South Molton Community College’s Team Storm jumped their socks off to beat the rest of the class. Braunton Academy’s Lilli Fiddes, riding Miradays Luigi, took the individual win.

The final class of the day was the 90cm where there was some fantastic sportsmanship. The Bideford Blazers from Bideford Community College walked away with first place. In the individual section it was another win for Great Torrington’s Megan Cole, this time riding her pony, Something Nice.

The organisers would like to thank their sponsors Torch Equine Vets and Devonshire Motors for their support and generosity.

Round 5 of the North Devon Schools Show Jumping League will take place on 4 February.

More info on how you can support or take part in the league can be found at Coxleigh.com.

KING’S COLLEGE OPENS PARTNER SCHOOL IN INDIA

King’s College has recently opened a new partner school in India – King’s College, India – in the city of Rohtak, just north of New Delhi. Pupils from King’s College and King’s Hall School were delighted to welcome a group of their fellow Indian pupils for the first time, in mid-October, as part of a regular exchange programme. As well as immersing themselves completely in the lives of the schools here in Taunton for two weeks, the visitors involved their British counterparts in the magic of Diwali, the Hindu festival of light.

The visiting children and their teachers celebrated the two-day festival with great enthusiasm, enjoying creative workshops, musicals and fireworks. As well as educating staff and pupils about rangoli – intricate floor patterns made using coloured powder – the pupils from King’s College India performed a stunning musical show depicting the celebration of good over evil and the victory of light over darkness in the school theatre.

The celebrations ended on the Thursday night with a fireworks display in the grounds of King’s Hall, followed by a sumptuous Indian supper.

Commenting on their first week in the UK, KCI School Manager, Captain Yashika Dalal, said: “Our first week has been wonderful. We’ve enjoyed celebrating Diwali with our fellow King’s pupils here in Taunton. The Diwali lunch was lavish and included tasty Indian curries and sweets, which took us by surprise – that we were able to enjoy the home made delicacies overseas. It was such a warm gesture.”

HARRIET’S SAMARITANS CHARITY POSTER WINS FIRST PRIZE

West Buckland School Year 8 pupil, Harriet Wilson-North (second from the left, with the bright-orange poster), has been presented with a new ipad by Barnstaple Mayor, Mrs Julie Hunt, after winning first prize in a poster competition celebrating 50 years of the North Devon Samaritan’s branch.

The competition was open to three age categories, with the winners of all three age categories seeing their posters displayed in Barnstaple library over the summer.

In addition to Harriet winning her category, Year 8s Summer Culverhouse, Tyler-Paige Beckley and Jasmine Jefferies were presented with highly commended certificates for their stunning poster designs and a plaque to be hung up in the school in recognition of their girls’ achievements.

The competition, which was open to 99 schools in North Devon, was run to raise awareness of the charity’s invaluable work. Volunteer Anna Flynn was delighted to attend the prize giving at West Buckland in assembly. She said, “This positive and fun activity was aimed at highlighting to students from as young as eight the importance of emotional health and the role of the charity in supporting those in emotional distress. All these girls have put a great deal of thought into their designs and Harriet’s was particularly striking and poignant. Well done to all of them.”

WELLINGTON SCHOOL RAISES MONEY FOR HURRICANE VICTIMS

Pupils throughout Wellington School have been committed to helping those hit by Hurricane Irma. Prep School pupils held a fundraising day recently to support the victims in the Caribbean island of Anguilla.

All children were invited to take part in a non-uniform day-wearing wellies in keeping with the theme of the storm!

There was also a welly-boot throwing competition and a cake sale. As the country’s national sport is swimming, the school stuck with the aquatic theme and held a “row-a-thon”. Pupils and teachers aimed to row a total of 26k during the day (the length of the island) and everyone was involved. Well done to all pupils, who raised over £430.

In addition, the Senior School held another mufti day and raised almost £1,500 for those hit in the island of Domenica, where 22 of the pupils were involved in a conservation and research project with Operation Wallacea this summer. All their camps and bases have been destroyed as well as much of the reef they were diving off. They hope some of the funds will make a difference to those rendered homeless by the hurricane.

 

STUNNING NEW SCIENCE FACILITY AT KINGS HALL & DofE WITH A DIFFERENCE

by Vicki Crandley, King’s

This term we have moved into the most amazing new science faculty with twice the space of before and a facility surely equal to the best available to children this age anywhere in the country. The much anticipated completion of our stunning new Science faculty presented us with a unique opportunity to launch an exciting new event at King’s Hall School: Monday 11th September marked the beginning of our first Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Week.

As part of this event, we were delighted to welcome the BLOODHOUND-SSC Project – an international education initiative focused around a 1,000mph World Land Speed Record attempt.

The main objective of the Project is: ‘to inspire the next generation to pursue careers in science, engineering, technology and maths – by demonstrating how they can be harnessed to achieve the impossible, such as a jet and rocket powered car capable of setting a new World Land Speed Record.’

During their two-day visit, BLOODHOUND treated the children to presentations, workshops, talks and tours of a life-sized model of their record-breaking car. Even our staff enjoyed getting to grips with building and racing balloon-powered cars!

If you would like to learn more about the school, we are holding an Open Day on Friday 6th October.
For further details please contact our Admissions Team: 01823 285920/admissions@kingshalltaunton.co.uk

At King’s Hall meanwhile some of the pupils have been tackling the DofE in an innovative way…

As well as the usual method taken to achieve the DofE Gold Award expedition, six pupils from King’s College decided to take a different approach lately … instead of walking they would travel by canoe.

At the end of August, 17 Lower Sixth pupils headed off to Dartmoor to complete their final DofE Gold Award expedition on foot, and, at the same time, the water-based expedition set off down the River Wye.

Having previously shown an interest in learning to paddle, Harry Cooper-Simpson, Dan Bernardo, Jack Mead, Angus Lyon, Bradley Rickard and Oliver Martin requested the option to canoe, and under the tutorship of Mr Chris Pearson set about perfecting their boat-handling skills as well as preparing for various rescue scenarios.Commenting on their practice sessions, Chris said: “All their preparation and hard work paid off when the group embarked on their practice expedition on the lower stretches of the River Wye, taking three days to make their way from Hoarwithy, through Ross-on-Wye and into the spectacular Symonds Yat gorge. On entering the gorge at the infamous rapids they spent several hours learning introductory white water skills – always a challenge, particularly in a tandem boat loaded with expedition kit! The coordination and understanding needed to successfully navigate a tandem boat is not to be underestimated and requires a deep level of communication and trust between the crew; there’s nothing like the threat of capsizing to sharpen the mind and focus attention.”

With this newly acquired skill and experience under their belts, the boys began their four-day journey, starting at Glasbury, and wending their way out of the Black Mountains in Wales and into the rolling hills of Herefordshire, down into the wide plains below the city of Hereford itself. This was the first time the group would find themselves truly on their own – although accompanied by a GPS tracker that allowed Mr Pearson to monitor their progress whilst giving them the remote experience that is key to the Duke of Edinburgh ethos.

The weather was kind and sunny for the first three days as the group made stops at the wide variety of bridges, where they compared design, style, age and usage for their presentation as well as exploring their surroundings from the unique perspective of the river. On the final day it was a race against the weather as the group embarked at 6.00am to try to finish before the impending rain storm took hold. Alas, the last few hours were cold and damp and resembled any trip to Dartmoor on a rainy day!

Speaking of a rainy Dartmoor… the walkers all completed their expedition in challenging Dartmoor conditions, and should be commended for their resilience and determination.