Volume 2 Issue 17

Welcome to the St John Ambulance   

Last year, before all of this trouble, my family went to Malta for a few days’ holiday. It is a fascinating place, steeped in history, with extraordinary tales of medieval and modern defiance against invaders and besiegers. I learned a great deal, and was reminded, as I so often am, that the world is full of interesting new things to find out.

For example, I found out that our modern St John Ambulance service directly descends from the Knights of St John, often better known as the Knights Hospitaller. An ancient order of European noblemen, dedicated to healing, they were based in Malta from the 16th century, taking part in the Great Siege of Malta against the legendary Suleiman the Great. Learning this, I had one of those ‘a-ha’ moments, finally understanding the use of a Maltese cross for their emblem, or (to be accurate) Malta’s adoption of their emblem for its flag.

I am reminded of this story, because this week KES and St John Ambulance have joined forces. We all know that getting the vaccine out to those in most need is a tremendous logistical exercise. It is not enough that the vaccine is produced and brought to the UK. It also needs huge numbers of trained volunteers to carry out the vaccinations, at an unprecedented scale and speed. St John Ambulance will be playing a critical role in this endeavour, as they so often do in times of need or crisis, but they need regional centres in which to train many hundreds of volunteers. Last week, they asked if we would be willing to help, as Southampton will be a key hub for the vaccination programme, and we were delighted to offer our assistance. It really was the least we could do! So, if you are passing by King Edward’s any weekend day in the coming months and notice large numbers of vehicles and people on the site, let me reassure you that we have not broken government guidance, but rather that we are playing host to a legion of St John Ambulance volunteers who we hope will soon be helping us all to defeat COVID-19. I understand that some of these wonderful volunteers are actually our own fabulous KES parents. If this is you… ‘thank you!’. Thank you from us and thank you from everybody in the community!

Neal Parker


Neal Parker

Whole School Notices 

Pupils Leaving the School 2021 

A reminder for parents of all pupils (excluding the Upper Sixth) who intend to leave King Edward's at the end of this academic year, that written notice must be received in all cases by the Registrar or the Head before the end of the spring term. If you have any questions regarding this, please contact the Registrar.

Access the KES Library Online

We are pleased to announce that students can now access ebooks, audiobooks, GCSE and A Level texts via the KES eLibrary. The online platform has over 2500 ebooks and 900 audiobooks. 

There are also specific reading lists available such as the ‘Wellness Reading List’ and ‘Lower School Recommendations’, to help students browse the eLibrary. These reading lists will be updated each week by Library Manager, Miss Speck.

You can access the eLibrary here: King Edward VI School (Southampton) - King Edward VI School (Southampton) (

To log into the new service students will need to use their Office 365 accounts. This is new to most students, and their username is made up of their normal school user ID (two numbers, three letters, two numbers) followed by ''. The password is the normal password they use to log into the school computers.

Each pupil is allowed two books at one time – or one book and one audiobook, which can be borrowed for a duration of 14 days. If these are not returned or renewed after 14 days, they will automatically be returned.

For help with logging in please email this address and for any book or library issues, please contact Miss Speck

You're Invited to our Historical Dinner Party

The History Department invites all pupils, parents and staff to consider the guest list for the ultimate historical dinner party!

In an effort to encourage some interesting talk and thought during lockdown, the History Department has embarked upon a historical dinner party project whereby they’re inviting all staff, pupils, and parents to identify a single person, out of the whole of human history, that they would like to sit next to at a dinner party. We ask that you send your choice, together with an explanation of 150-200 words as to why you’ve chosen that person, to Mr Diver, the Head of History, by February 5 2021.

A pupil team will then organise and edit all the choices to produce an e-book for internal circulation. We would love to see as many as possible of our parent community getting involved!

The Green Team 'Veganuary' Competition

The Green Team is running a joint competition with the six Houses at KES. This January in our weekly Green Team meetings, we have been discussing how we can try different habits to become more sustainable. One trend is “Veganuary” so we are encouraging students to find, or perhaps create, a vegan recipe, cook it, and submit a photo of their creation with the recipe to the House Google Classroom: ungqyp7. Submissions will close Friday 12 February and the winner will be announced after the half term break, having been judged by a joint panel of staff and Green Team members. Should staff and parents also wish to get involved, they are very welcome!

Inauguration Podcast 

Mrs Burt, History Teacher at KES, has recorded a special podcast examining two presidential inaugurations.

The podcast was created for Miss McClean’s podcast club, and analyses the first and last days of Trump’s presidency. In comparing these two very different inauguration days, Mrs Burt tries to make sense of some aspects of Trump's presidency. 

This podcast is now available for all our KES community to listen to here

First Year Notices 

No notices this week 

Second Year Notices 

Option Choices

Please see this letter from Dr Waymark regarding the subject options available to pupils for the Third Year. The deadline for Second Year pupils to submit their options form is Friday 12 March 2021. 

Third Year Notices 

Third Year History Department Holocaust Project

Third Year pupils are currently embarking upon a study of the Holocaust in their History lessons. As this is such a sensitive subject, we felt it important that parents were aware that this material was being taught. More information on the content the students will be studying can be found here

Fourth Year Notices 

No notices this week 

Fifth Year Notices 

Fifth Year Parents' Evening

Fifth Year Parents’ Evening is taking place Wednesday 27 January. For full information about how the evening will run, including guides on how to book and conduct appointments, please follow this link.

Dr Waymark has recorded a talk regarding Fifth Year Options that he would usually give during the evening. This video can be viewed here. We encourage all parents to view this ahead of the parents’ evening.

A Level Options Choices 

Please see this letter from Dr Waymark regarding final A Level choices for September. The deadline for option form submissions is Friday 5 February 2021. 

Lower Sixth Notices 

No notices this week. 

Upper Sixth Notices 

No notices this week

Lockdown Clubs 

For information on all clubs running through lockdown, see here

Out of the Box - Performing Arts Club 

We are all stuck inside our little boxes, confined by our screens - how do we make theatre across the screens? Who is in the box next to you and how do we connect to each other to make exciting performances?

Get up out of your chair, shake out your hands and get ready to create some shapes.  We invite you to make virtual theatre, on your screen - bring a spoon!

This half term we are going to be playing with some devising techniques by Frantic assembly with an aim to create a short piece of physical theatre that can be performed over zoom.

Interested? Curious? (what is the spoon for?) come along online and find out more...

Out of the Box is taking place at 1pm on Mondays (First Years), Tuesdays (Second Years) and Wednesdays (Third Years).   

KES Book Chat 

Miss Speck, Library Manager, will be running KES Book Chat via Zoom for Sixth Formers on Friday at 1pm. 

The current KES Book Chat is still running on Wednesday lunchtime at 1:30pm for Lower School and First Years, and Friday Lunchtime 1:30pm for Upper School. 

This is an opportunity for students to talk about and share what they are reading with Miss Speck and with each other!

KES Library Literary Review 

The second issue of the KES Literary Review is here! 

Each week the newsletter features guest reviewers to share their opinions on recent or favourite reads. This week the librarians are joined by Miss Forsey, Head of Creative Arts and Alex, First Year. 

Click on the images below to read the newsletter in PDF format. 


The KES Sport Department have put together a program to run while the school is closed. Featuring daily stretch sessions, yoga, specific sport focused sessions, talks from sports scholars and a talk from a sailing double Olympic silver medal winner! 

The full timetable and how to access each session can be viewed here


We have been so impressed with how many pupils, parents and staff have submitted distances so far. As of today, we have made it past China with 7868 KM travelled. Which means we're not far from our destination!

Pupils - 2062 

Parents - 3248

Staff - 2558

Leading Year Group: Third Year 

Click on the image below to enlarge. 


Wednesday 27 January - Fifth Year Parents' Evening

Thursday 4 February - Upper Sixth Parents' Evening 

Monday 15 February - Half Term 

Wednesday 24 February - Third Year Parents' Evening 

Friday 4 March - Second Year Parents' Evening 

Friday 5 March - Deadline for GCSE subject choices (Third Year)