- Written by K Street
I hope you have all had a lovely summer and were able to enjoy the excellent weather.
Following the sad news of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and in line with the rest of the country, King Ethelbert School will be closed on Monday 19th September 2022 this being the official date of the State Funeral. It is with fond memories that we remember when some of our students and staff had the great pleasure in meeting our late Queen back in 2011 when she visited the Turner Contemporary in Margate.
It has been an excellent first week and students are already demonstrating an extremely positive approach to the new academic year. We have launched the new ASPIRE vision and students are already earning house points for demonstrating good performance in the following areas; attitude, success, pride, inspiration, resilience and enterprise.
Following all the disruption and obstacles from the last few years, I would like to offer huge congratulations to our outgoing year 11 and 13 cohorts. Despite the challenges they faced in this period they demonstrated admirable resilience and achieved excellent results. In year 11 58% of students achieved at least a grade 4 in both English and maths and in year 13, 92% of students passed the IBCP. This Is testament to the hard work put in by the students and the excellent support provided by our staff.
We are all extremely excited by the new academic year and also the return of more trips and extracurricular opportunities. Details of some key events and exams can be seen in our annual calendar (enclosed in this letter) for parents/carers which is correct at the time of printing. We also have our school website which is continually updated with important information so do check the website regularly to find out the latest news and any important information you need to know.
You may already be aware that we are using the Class Charts system and all students have been supplied with their log-in codes and instructions. This system allows parents, carers and students to view their progress and reflect on their behaviour and achievements.
Dear Parents and Carers
It seems incredible that we are once again at the end of another busy school year. Please be reminded that school finishes on Tuesday 19th July at 12.00 pm (please see start times and changes to the day for next year at the end of this letter). This year has continued to present some challenges, but it has been enormously successful in so many ways too.
I must start with a huge congratulations to our Year 13 students who received their IB Diploma results this term. We had well over 100 entries and they have done incredibly well:
Students are awaiting their Level 3 BTEC results which form the final element of the IBCP (International Baccalaureate Careers Related Programme). These arrive in August so we will share these results and their destinations then, but around 75% are aiming to secure university places with others in the application process of higher level apprenticeships or employment. These results are particularly remarkable given that Year 13 did not have the prior experience of formal GCSE exams due to Covid and have had to endure further significant disruptions to their studies throughout their courses. The students have shown immense resilience, determination and drive to achieve this level of success and we wish them love and luck for their future ventures.
Year 11 completed their GCSE and BTEC qualifications this term and have shown tenacity and good humour in equal measures. We have been so proud with the way they have navigated and taken on everything that has been thrown at them and we look forward to finding out how they have got on when their results come through in August. Students, you looked fantastic at your Prom! We are delighted that the majority of you hope to return to our sixth form to study the IBCP.
Thank you to the many parents, carers and friends who have helped us gather and send resources and support to the Ukraine amidst the terrible devastation that we have been seeing on the news. We have also been pleased to welcome and support a number of Ukrainian students to our KES community and we continue to work as a collective of Thanet schools to support this terrible humanitarian crisis in any way we can.
In other news, we have had a plethora of exciting, wider opportunities and activities and it has been wonderful to be able to offer these more routinely again in term 6. We have had a fantastic range of school trips such as Duke of Edinburgh’s Award volunteering work and expeditions, Year 12 university trip, Year 10 citizenship trip to Parliament, Year 9 maths trip to Thorpe Park, Year 8 canoeing trip, Year 7 orienteering trip, Year 10 geography field trips to Whitstable, Year 9 gliding trip and a trip to Wimbledon. Without exception, students have behaved respectfully and responsibly and been wonderful ambassadors for the school as always.
Students have also hugely impressed us in wider curricular activities this term, such as English speaking assessments, Business presentations, Year 10 Employability Day workshops, Sports Day, Year 6 Transition Day support and community service efforts around our site including from our Young Carers and our Student Gardening Team.
We have also had some super individual student successes in sport (including national skateboarding success!), the Rotary Club Innovation Competition, Thanet Schools’ Young Artist Festival Competition and, once again, our Year 12 Business students are planning and leading a range of school community events, assemblies and fundraisers in aid of the mental health charity “Mind”.
The penultimate week of term saw an enormous effort from over 100 students with their staff in planning and executing the brilliant Cabaret Show at the Winter Gardens. It was a joyous show of dance, music, design, catering, musical theatre, drama and fun! At KES we often talk about teamwork and about finding success and happiness for all. The most wonderful and unique part of my job is seeing our young people find their passions and confidence, find individual success and be part of something big — our school shows epitomise this. A week later, we have continued with some more wonderful musical entertainment back at the Winter Gardens with the Coastal Academies Trust Musical Medley in which all of the Trust schools come together to celebrate and perform.
I was recently lucky enough to be lent a copy of the first King Ethelbert School magazine, from a friend of the school; it is dated 1948, 10 years after the school opened! It was wonderful to see a bit of history of the school and to reflect on the journey we have come. In those days, the school houses were named after ships captained by historical explorers such as Captain Cook, Sir Ernest Shackleton and Captain Robert Falcon Scott: Adventure House, Discovery House, Endeavour House, Endurance House and Resolution House. The themes and photos and articles also celebrate the school clubs (including needlework, model making and puppet making!), trips, visits and sports team success (including tug-of-war!)
The message in the ‘Foreword’ from the Chair of Governors at the time still rings true for me in every way:
“It would seem the ambition, that this school should be the best of its kind, rapidly became a tradition and has been loyally upheld throughout its history to date. As the years roll by, it is my earnest hope that the same spirit of achievement will be carried on, and this school will ever remain true to the tradition which has been so well founded and that the generations to come will have every reason to be proud, as we are today, of King Ethelbert School”.
At the end of every year, sadly we have to say goodbye to some staff who are moving on and we send our enormous thanks and love and best wishes to the following:
Mrs Kelly Smith (Art & Photography)
Miss Rachael Braithwaite (Geography)
Mrs Sarah Wright (Head of Maths)
Mr Andrew Green (Maths)
Mrs Maria Beltran-Martin (2i/c MFL)
Miss Andrea Kourellias (2i/c MFL)
Finally, as you will know, I am retiring after thirty years in teaching, to enjoy some time and adventures with my family and friends. I feel very privileged to have been part of the King Ethelbert journey and to have served the Thanet community. Thanet is a beautiful, friendly, creative, challenged, caring, diverse, charitable and remarkable community and, as with all places, it is the people that define it. King Ethelbert School is an extraordinary place and I have been reminded daily of the extraordinary people that define it; students, parents and staff.
To students: Always remember, you are remarkable people. You blow me away every day with your intelligence, creativity, ambition, innovation, humanity and kindness. Continue to follow your dreams in the knowledge you can achieve anything with confidence and perseverance.
To parents and carers: None of the magic happens without you. Thank you for your unfailing support and efforts behind the scenes and for allowing us to share and shape the life journeys of your amazing children.
To the staff, whatever your role: I am in awe of what you do. I am so lucky to have spent the last 13 years as part of the KES team and on behalf of all the lives you touch — thank you.
I wish you all a lovely restful summer and a well earned break.
With very best wishes.
Monday 5th September 2022
Students return as follows:
Year 7 8.55 am
Year 11 8.55 am
Year 12 10.15 am
Year 8 11.45 am
Year 9 11.45 am
Year 10 11.45 am
Year 13 11.45 am
Tuesday 6th September onwards: Timings for the new school day 2022 – 2023:
Registration 08.55 — 09.15
Lesson 1 09.15 — 10.15
Lesson 2 10.15 — 11.15
Break 1 11.15 — 11.45
Lesson 3 11.45 — 12.45
Break 2 12.45 — 13.15
Lesson 4 13.20 — 14.20
Lesson 5 14.20 — 15.20
On Monday 11th July, Year 10 will be involved in a number of activities throughout the day to improve their employability skills. These workshops will be led by a number of external businesses. We are really looking forward to this event.