Volume 2 Issue 20


If we were in School, the pupils would note that my ‘Thought for the Month’ for February comes from the 14th Dalai Lama: ‘Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible’.

To me, kindness matters greatly. Sometimes frowned upon as trite, or too ‘Disney’, kindness is actually fundamental to every community, including ours. We cannot get along without kindness, and our world would be a more brutal and unforgiving place in its absence. This is why we have placed kindness as a core value in the School’s aims and objectives, saying that we will ‘put kindness at the very centre of our community’.

So as we reach half term, after the longest period of remote teaching and learning yet in this pandemic, may I take this opportunity to thank you all for your kindnesses as part of our community. For your support as parents; for the pupils’ eager engagement and tireless enthusiasm; for my colleagues’ dedication and care for the children. Each time we make things easier for those around us we are being kind, and at KES we have had the privilege of seeing such kindnesses this half term on a daily basis.

But we should be kind to ourselves as well! So do please remind your child to enjoy this Half Term, to relax and rest and look after themselves as much as others.

Have a good (kind) half term break!

Neal Parker


Neal Parker

Whole School Notices

Head of Lower School - Maternity Cover

With Mrs Walls off on maternity leave, Mrs Gilmour will be taking over as Assistant Head of Year of the Lower School after the February Half Term. 

Half Term Grades

Half Term grades for your son/daughter will be made available on the KES Parent Portal at the end of the school day. They are an indication of the work and evidence produced in class during the last Half Term only. Grade Descriptors and further information on what these grades mean and how you can access them can be found here.

Parents of Fifth Year and Upper Sixth students are reminded to refer to the email sent from Dr Waymark earlier this week regarding grades in relation to any final examination grade.

Voluntary Additional Tasks Available 

Whilst the additional workload and difficulties of remote learning for some pupils is challenging, we recognise that for some this may not be the case. Please be aware that each subject has its own page under the Academic tab of the pupil and parent intranet. Voluntary additional tasks can be found here for each subject, either labelled as ‘extension’ or ‘school closure’ (i.e. for ad hoc closures such as ‘snow days’). Pupils with the time and curiosity are invited to look at these tasks, but please remember that this is extension work and there is no intention of making those who are finding this period of remote learning challenging feel they must do this.


The delays created by the pandemic have meant that we need to delay the introduction of the new uniform from September 2021 to September 2022 (for new starters). We apologise for this change but it has proven totally unavoidable. We are, however, going to introduce navy trousers for girls as soon as possible, and details for this will be with you as soon as we know that Stevensons can supply them.

May we also remind you that when we return to on-site schooling, the pupils will be back in uniform. If you have growth spurt issues, just a reminder that you can email the parent-run OBNO shop,, to see if they have what you might need in an affordable and sustainable way.

First Year Notices 

No notices this week 

Second Year Notices 

No notices this week 

Third Year Notices 

Parents' Evening -  24 February 

The Third Year Parents’ Evening for academic subjects is taking place on Wednesday 24th February. Please follow this link to read a letter from the Head about how the evening will run, alongside guides to booking and conducting appointments using the online video appointment system.

Please can we take the opportunity to reiterate the part of the Head’s letter that highlights the issues surrounding teacher availability, and ask that you only book appointments with those teachers who you really feel you need to speak to.

At the Third Year Parents’ Evening Dr Waymark would usually deliver a talk about the GCSE options process. As this year the evening will be held remotely, a video recording of this talk is available here.

Bookings for the Parents’ Evening open at 19:00 Friday 12 February, so do please read this information as soon as possible.

Fourth Year Notices 

No notices this week. 

Fifth Year Notices 

Overseas Universities Talk 

Mr Hyder will discuss the process of applying to overseas universities, including Europe, US and Australia. Fifth Year students are welcome to attend on 18 March 2021 at 1.30pm in H3.

Lower Sixth Notices 

Subject Options  

In order to assist Lower Sixth students studying four subjects to cope with the demands of remote teaching, we have agreed to offer pupils the opportunity to reduce to three subjects at the start of the second half of this term. The school’s recommendation remains to study four subjects until the Lower Sixth exams in the Summer Term, providing flexibility in the event that something should go wrong. However, if students believe that reducing to three now is the right thing to do for them, they should complete this form by Monday 15 February. All Lower Sixth students on three subjects are also registered for the Additional Study programme where they will be assigned additional work to complete in each of their three remaining subjects.

A further opportunity to reduce to three will be made available at Easter, and again before the start of the Upper Sixth. Students studying Further Maths must continue with four subjects.

The Admissions Process

Students receive talks on the admissions process from the Head of Higher Education & Careers and from university admissions tutors. For your information, the link to the latest talk, from Bath University, held on 4 February, is here.

Overseas Universities Talk 

Mr Hyder will discuss the process of applying to overseas universities, including Europe, US and Australia. Lower Sixth students are invited to attend this talk on March 11 2021 at 1.30pm in H3. 

Upper Sixth Notices 

No notices this week

Lockdown Clubs 

For information on all clubs running through lockdown, see here

Digital Safety Parents' Talk - The Breck Foundation

Thank you to everyone that joined us on Tuesday evening for our Digital Safety Parents' Talk with The Breck Foundation. 

Lorin provided us with a moving and deeply thought-provoking talk on internet safety and digital resilience.

We know that quite a few of you were unable to attend the talk, and so we have provided some relevant links below. 

We have plans to invite Lorin into the school to deliver the talk to our pupils once this is possible. 

We would also like to take this opportunity to remind parents of our school policies regarding digital safety and usage, which can be found here. If anyone has any concern over their child's use of the internet or behaviour, please get in touch with their Head of Year or Tutor, to arrange a meeting or chat. 

The Breck Foundation website

The Breck Story Please note this video illustrates a true and powerful story, that some may find highly upsetting. It is a rated 15 video. 

Useful resources for parents and children 

Click on the images below to enlarge 

Safer Internet Day - Digital Safety Week 

Throughout this week, in-school and on social media, we have been championing digital safety and resilience as part of our Safer Internet Day campaign. 

Students have been getting involved in activities during Tutor Group and Group Base. The Lower School did quizzes, looking at different online scenarios followed by a Q&A with their Tutor. And Upper School watched the making of the Channel 4 Queen's Speech video followed by a discussion on Fake News. 

On social media we've shared resources for parents, videos from previous years and more.

For further information, resources and parent packs, please visit our digital safety page on the intranet here

Click on the images below to enlarge 

KES Library Literary Review 

This week's 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 Mr Robinson, Chaplain and Teacher of Mathematics and Mrs Hawker, Teacher of Drama. 

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


So we made it to Tokyo for the Olympics and we made it to Melbourne for the Australian Open Tennis Championships... but can we make it back home by the end of term?! 

It's the final leg now, so let's dig deep and get submitting those distances! 

Oh, and Mr Kent would quite like to take a little detour and visit Bahrain for Formula 1 which starts in March because, well, why not?! 

We've got 12,364 KM to get to Bahrain and then a further 5,145 KM to get back to Southampton. 

For more information on the challenge, how to take part and how to calculate your distance, click here

Click on the image below to enlarge. 


Monday 15 February - Half Term 

Wednesday 24 February - Third Year Parents' Evening 

Thursday 4 March - Second Year Parents' Evening 

Friday 5 March - Staff INSET Day 

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