Volume 2 Issue 12

A Christmas Break   

It has been a long and difficult Autumn. My colleagues have given their all this term to provide every child in their care with the highest levels of academic and pastoral support, and to continue to offer wonderful opportunities beyond the classroom, often under very restrictive conditions. They have worked tremendously hard, in many cases without a break since March, to allow the pupils to flourish despite the many obstacles in their path. I cannot express enough my admiration for the teachers and non-teaching staff of King Edward’s, and from the numerous letters I have received this term, I know that many of you feel the same.

Our staff now need a break. Therefore, please note that the School will be closing its doors immediately after the end of term on Friday 18th December. Teachers and non-teaching staff must be given an opportunity to ‘switch off’ over Christmas, so that they can sustain their dedicated service next term. For this reason, I have explicitly instructed all staff to take a complete break from School matters over the holiday. Staff have also been told not to look at work emails regularly whilst the School is closed. We will continue to provide an emergency contact, accessed through a unique phone number which will be provided upon calling our main switchboard via a recorded message. However, I would ask parents not to use this facility during the holiday period, nor to telephone or email teachers or non-teaching staff, except in cases of genuine emergency. Please note that the School is formally closed and uncontactable in any event between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day. I hope that our parents respect and understand this position, by which I hope to allow our staff to return to School in January refreshed and ready once again to offer the best possible experience for your children.

When it arrives, do have a wonderful Christmas, and may we all hope for a peaceful and happy New Year.

Neal Parker

Whole School Notices 

COVID-19 Important Reminder 

Could all parents please read the below clarification, as to whether pupils should attend school in relation to rules regarding self-isolation.

  • If any member of your household displays COVID symptoms, they must get a test and your whole household must self-isolate until you receive a test result.
  • If a pupil is self-isolating, the school must be informed via the reporting absence form on the parent portal. This should be completed daily.
  • If the test is negative, pupils can return to school providing they are well enough, but the school should be informed prior to the pupil’s return on
  • If a pupil tests positive, they must continue to self-isolate for a total period of 10 days (from the day when the symptoms started) and can return to school after this period if they do not have a high temperature. Please inform the School of a positive test by emailing
  • If someone else in your household tests positive, the pupil must continue to self-isolate for a total period of 14 days (from the day when the symptoms started) and can return to school after this period if they show no symptoms.
  • The School must be kept informed of all of the above information throughout the half term holiday, i.e. any symptoms, tests and results or periods of self-isolation.

Music Competition 

The Music Competition (Grade V-VII and Grade VIII+) will take place on Monday 18th January, adjudicated by Ruth Rogers; principal violinist of the London Mozart Players. If you would like to take part, please collect your application forms from Miss Barnett. For more information, please see this poster

Deadline is 9th January, but please submit your entry before Christmas if possible!

Christmas Lunch

Pupils who do not usually have school lunches but would like to have the Christmas lunch on the last day of term should purchase a ticket for £4.70 via KESpay here . Please ensure that you specify which type of lunch you would like (Traditional (T), Vegetarian (V) or Other (O) e.g. Halal) and your ticket will be delivered to your tutor group in advance of the meal. The deadline for ticket sales is Thursday 10 December.

iPads During COVID 

At this time of increased iPad usage, with lessons happening over Zoom, homework being increasingly set, completed, and marked electronically, and students still needing time to unwind, the iPad has become an even more essential tool for the educational experience here at KES. 

However, there is perhaps a danger that it become too much a part of the daily experience of our students. We as a School are striving to make sure that there are sufficient breaks from screens, and that students are engaged in a range of activities both in and outside the classroom. However, if your child is at home self-isolating, or their teacher is, then this can be harder to manage. We would encourage you to consider what you can do at home to partner with us in this.

Many of you will already be aware that the iPad provides the ability to monitor Screen Time and to set limits on how long your child can spend on various types of activity. This can give some really great insights into how the device is being used, and what percentage of the time is being spent engaged in web-based research, as opposed to gaming for example. We would strongly encourage you to use this as a starting point for a conversation with your child about time management and health and wellbeing, and to think about setting any limits you might want to agree together, rather than trying to impose them, but obviously this is dependent on age and maturity. You can find full details of the Apple settings in their support article here. You can also find some additional guidance about use of devices in the “advice for parents” section of our intranet here. It includes a poster encouraging a focus not on the amount of screen time, but the quality of the screen time, and this can be especially helpful with the younger year groups, although applicable across the board.

The iKES App

Some parents may have noticed that the iKES app, which is used by many to access the school calendar and sports fixtures has stopped working. We apologise for not having notified you in advance, but we have made the decision (based on usage statistics) that this was no longer worth the associated costs of continued development and maintenance. 

We had been assured that although the app would no longer appear on the app stores, that it would continue to work. However, it has become clear that this is not the case. We recommend instead that parents use the Parent Portal as their one-stop source for information, and we have updated the big blue buttons on the home page to shortcut you straight to the calendar or the school sports fixtures system. We hope that this will be an easy transition, and it is worth noting that on a mobile device you do have the option of creating a web shortcut to the Parent Portal, which will make it appear on your home screen as if it were an app.

Dr Woolstenhulme PhD Thesis To Be Published 

We are delighted to announce that King Edward’s Teacher of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Dr Woolstenhulme, has had her PhD thesis published as an academic book.

‘The Matriarchs in Genesis Rabbah’ considers the pertinent questions: Who were ‘the matriarchs’ and what did the rabbis think about them? Whilst scholarship on the role of women in the Bible and Rabbinic Judaism has increased, the authoritative group of women known as ‘the matriarchs’ has been neglected. Dr Woolstenhulme’s book consequently focuses on the role and status of the biblical matriarchs in Genesis Rabbah, the fifth century CE rabbinic commentary on Genesis.

The academic title is officially released on Christmas Eve, and available to pre-order now from Waterstones. We send our heartfelt congratulations to Dr Woolstenhulme on her outstanding achievement.

Christmas Jumper Day - Friday 11 December - £1 Donation

On Friday 11 December all students and staff are invited to wear their best festive jumper to school. We ask that you bring along a donation of £1 which will be donated to Save the Children. You don't even need a new jumper. Dig out last year's, take an old sweater and add some tinsel, or buy from a charity shop. Together we'll help this year not be so bad, and make the world better with a sweater.

First Year Notices 

No notices this week. 

Second Year Notices 

Junior House Spring 2021 - Cancellation

Junior House, which was scheduled to take place after school on Friday 26 February, 5 March and 19 March for all students in the Second and Third Year, has had to be cancelled. 

This is a one off due to the current restrictions with regards to the mixing of bubbles in sport.

Third Year Notices 

Junior House Spring 2021 - Cancellation 

Junior House, which was scheduled to take place after school on Friday 26 February, 5 March and 19 March for all students in the Second and Third Year, has had to be cancelled.

This is a one off due to the current restrictions with regards to the mixing of bubbles in sport.

Fourth Year Notices 

No notices this week. 

Fifth Year Notices 

No notices this week. 

Lower Sixth Notices 

A guide to Higher Education for Lower Sixth Parents   

This booklet is intended to provide you with information about HE and to help you take an active role in preparing your son or daughter for this next, very important, stage in his or her life. Over the next 18 months your son or daughter will need to make a number of key decisions about future study, and we hope that this booklet will help you understand the processes involved. 

The document outlines our Higher Education programme, which covers both Lower and Upper Sixth years, and goes into some detail about the university application process. It also covers alternative routes to Higher Education, including apprenticeships and studying abroad.

Upper Sixth Notices 

No notices this week.

Lunch Menu 

Parents and Students can see the lunch menu here, which is updated by the catering team daily. 

This week at KES...

  1. Virtual Author Visit  

    KES Pupils finished last week off with a virtual visit from author Maz Evans! Maz Evans read a chapter from her Waterstones book of the year, ‘Who Let the Gods Out'.

    This event was planned as part of our Extended Studies programme, promoting the idea of mindful reading. Pupils were then able to ask questions to Maz Evans about the book, concept of the story, themes and the writing process.

    Maz was absolutely fantastic and everyone, including staff, thoroughly enjoyed it, there was much laughter and talk around reading, which is just what we need during these times!

  2. Third Year Chemistry 

    Last week, our Third Year Chemists learnt all about Chromatography! 

    We captured the process in this amazing time lapse video

Please click on the image to enlarge

  1. Library Leaders get Festive!   

    First Year Library Leaders have been transforming the KES Library! We adore the Christmas Book Tree they've created - good job Library Leaders. 

  2. Sewing Club 

    Students have been getting crafty in Sewing Club this week. They have been using different materials to create unique Christmas decorations!

Please click on the image to enlarge 


And so we have reached the final day of the Super League. We welcome back Fourth Year, who will have a one day round robin tournament with 3 games each. 

All other year groups will have 2 matches with semi-finals, 3rd/4th play offs and the final. We will add all placing points from all age groups to those from the previous 2 weeks and all franchises could still finish up as the winners.

The schedules for the final day can be found on:

Super League hockey schedule

Super League netball schedule

All the arrangements remain the same with registration in the top car park and, although the lockdown period has finished, with so many students involved it is still not appropriate for parents to stay and watch.

A number of our rugby players have also been doing some rugby 7’s training and the timings for the final sessions for those invited players can be found on

Rugby 7’s training schedule

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Director of Sport here

We are hoping to be able to resume normal spring term sports fixtures in the new year. If these do go ahead, we will be happy to welcome parents to support these.


Saturday 5 December - KES Super League Semi-Final & Final 

Friday 11 December - Christmas Jumper Day

Monday 14 December - KES Carol Service 

Friday 18 December - End of Term

Monday 4 January  - Inset Day