May's Monthly Newsletter

Welcome to Kensington's May newsletter edition of the academic year 2020/21


For well over a year our pupils have continued to work diligently and maintain their learning progress despite the COVID-19 regulations which have, of course, made many aspects of school life more difficult than normal. However, there are now very clear signs of light at the end of this pandemic tunnel for our community which is welcome news indeed.

Our teaching team, as defined “priority workers”, are now registering for their second dose of the vaccine. This term has seen far fewer absent days, for both children and adults, than before Easter and no class group has been taught remotely since March.

The Catalan government have also published their plan for the return to school in September. The concept of stable groups “bubbles” and their staggered entry/exit times will continue to apply in the new academic year and, unless the figures improve dramatically, masks will still need to be worn, but only indoors. Morning temperature checks will cease, as will the requirement for minimum distances to be maintained within a class. The gym will no longer be a classroom and our day-to-day regular school routines will gradually return.

Those most impacted by the coronavirus disruptions have arguably been our public exam candidates. For the second successive year there have been no formal exams in the traditional sense this term. Last year´s failed algorithm has been replaced by strongly moderated and structured teacher assessment. Given the limited number of viable options available this was probably the least-worst alternative.

For our Form 5 and sixth form this system of continuous assessment, as teachers build up their basket of evidence, has been just as stressful and demanding as in any normal year. We do hope, and expect, that our final grades will also be in line with our outstanding results of previous cycles. There is no doubt whatsoever that our class of 2021 examinees thoroughly deserve impressive results as they have consistently displayed considerable resilience in the face of adversity.

I would also like to pay tribute to our teachers whose brilliant efforts, way beyond the call of duty, should enable our students to get the results they deserve. We are fortunate in having very experienced subject heads who know what they are doing and are able to adapt to changing circumstances. There is validity in the view that the government and exam boards have passed-the-buck to classroom practitioners this year but our staff have risen to the challenge of having to make high-stakes evidenced based decisions.

Summer terms inevitably seem to be dominated by the exam season but, as you will read in this newsletter, the majority of our pupils, whose lives are not focused on GCSEs and ALs, have continued to enjoy the wide range of opportunities on offer at Kensington. Increasingly, as restrictions relax, our children are being able to benefit from learning outside the classroom and the varied end of term programme, currently being finalised, has an emphasis on outdoor activities.

Indeed, it almost resembles a normal end of the school!


The end of the school year is fast approaching as we reach the end of another action-packed month. Congratulations to our J6 children who have completed their assessment week and now have the coming weeks to enjoy with outdoor excursions and their end of year performance to look forward to.

All classes and their teachers have been working hard to put together short filmed performances ranging from Old McDonald’s farm to Viking Sagas!

Many thanks to Mr Kelly, our new outdoor education coordinator, for organising a Forest School experience for many of our Junior classes.

Hopeful news that many of the current restrictions will begin to ease by the next academic year though the children continue to comply without complaint, adapting with great resilience.

Here’s to June with an abundance of fun activities planned to reward the children for doing so well during the toughest of times.


Junior 2 students go on a minibeast (creepy crawly) hunt at the Rubió and Tuduri gardens near school.

This is part of their science work on animals and their habitats. Students had to record the animals they saw and where they found them which we all then looked at together back at school. They learned lots about "creepy crawlies", where they inhabit and what functions they have to help our planet.

In Art lessons, the J2 children also enjoyed learning about Pablo Picasso and produced their own pictures using felt tip pen and paint, inspired by Picasso’s Bouquet of Peace. The students experimented with mixing their own colours.

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It seems unbelievable that we are are now planning our end-of-year exams and activities.

As our Upper 6 students prepare for life away from Kensington it is again a shame that current restrictions will not allow us to hold our annual Sixth Form leaving dinner. They have been a real credit to themselves in how they have coped with their exam cancellations. Whilst we would normally give practice exams in the run-up to the real things, the fact that this year these practice exams could count towards their final grade has undoubtedly added extra pressure. They have coped with this extra pressure with real resilience; rarely complaining and just "getting on with it".

We are hoping that in September we will be able to get together with them to celebrate their achievements. In the meantime I hope they enjoy the workshops their teachers are preparing for them to help them get ready for their independent life ahead.

As the Upper 6 and Form 5 are finishing their exams, the rest of the school will be starting theirs. I wish them all good luck and look forward to hearing how well they have all done.

Junior Maths Challenge - RESULTS

We are very pleased to announce that fifteen of our students received certificates in the Junior Maths Challenge that is run by the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust.

Congratulations to the following students with a special mention for Yaphel in Form 2 who won the coveted Gold Award, and to Barzin in J6 who won a Silver Award.


Yaphel - F2


Barzin - J6

Zhengyu - F1

Taras - F1

Isaac - F2

Rafael - F2

Sofia - F2


Mark - F1

Jee-hyuk - F1

Darya - F2

Siwoo - F2

Ella - F2

David - F2

Bruno - F2

Sam - F2

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Over the past few months Form 1 have been exploring biology and physics. In biology students have investigated body systems such as the digestive system, and have conducted a range of experiments on food types to determine if they are carbohydrates, proteins or fats. In physics students have studied forces and their effects, the class was put into teams and students had to make streamlined objects. William and Zhengyu made the fastest falling object, but there must be a special mention to Magenta Bobson, the official Form 1 astronaut.

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Since Easter, Form 2 have been discovering more about acids and alkalis, as well as combustion. They have investigated the products of combustion and tested a range of household chemicals categorising them into acids or alkalis. As we head towards the summer assessments, Form 2 have also been developing and experimenting with their revision strategies, writing flash cards, group quizzing and using mind maps.

Form 2


This term, Form 2 students built their own fictitious village as part of their focus on reading and writing non-fiction in English. The students applied for their dream job in “Waikikamukau” Village and after writing letters of application, they were interviewed for the role.

In this photograph, six students deliver their persuasive speeches to be voted for Village Mayor, having been groomed by their campaign teams:

We ended the unit with a heated Town Hall discussion over whether Waikikamukau Village should have an airport. A balanced and persuasive debate was followed by a community vote in which it was decided to keep the village green and NOT build an airport!

This unit prepares students early on for tasks they will need to undertake at GCSE level, and in life! From structuring coherent pieces of writing in different forms to standing up and persuading an audience, they both enjoyed and learned much from this fun unit!




This month Miss Lewis, Mr Goodman and F3 went on an Art trip to visit the American Dream Pop Art exhibition at Caixa Forum. Students were able to view over 200 original artworks by American pop artists from the 1960’s to today, such as Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol and Ed Ruscha.

The exhibition provided a fresh and diverse perspective on a period of profound change in North America: civil rights, the Cold War, the space race, the Vietnam war, rock music and counterculture, feminist movements and the questioning of the American dream due to the growing inequality between rich and poor. The students really enjoyed the trip and will produce artwork inspired by the visit in their art classes back at Kensington. Here are some comments from the students below:

What did you like about the exhibition? What was your favorite part?

"I liked all the colours, my favourite part was how the ‘American Dream’ dies down at the end." Clara

"The powerful, vivid colours." Dante

Think of 5 words to describe the Caixa Forum exhibition:

"Colourful, sad, time machine, deeper meaning, methods." Clara

"Large, bright, quiet, colourful." Riko

"Capitalism, messages." Anna


Form 3 have been learning about volumes and surface area of 3D shapes this month. To help build understanding of the difference between the volume of a 3D shape and its surface area, students each had to first find a 3D object at home and bring it to school so that we could look at how it was made. Students were then given a 3D shape to draw a net for and construct for themselves - it is harder than it first looks! Each poster not only looks at how to find the surface area and volume but also when making the shape how they planned their net, noting which sides and angles had to be the same for it to work. The posters now sit pride of place on the display wall at the back of Maths 2!

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Form 3 have started their GCSE biology and physics courses. They have deepened their understanding of topics such as the seven life processes, specialized cells, scalar and vector quantities and acceleration. During practicals Form 3 have used microscopes to observe different tissue types and specialized cells.

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The students of Spanish as a second language in Form 3 have designed their own inventions and presented them in class. They were given the challenge had to create something that does not yet exist and could help us in our everyday life.

Pastoral Support at Kensington

Looking after our mental health and wellbeing is just as important as maintaining physical health and something that our newly appointed Pastoral Support Advisor Ms Williams is passionate about.

This term Ms Williams had the opportunity to attend an excellent course accredited by Mental Health First Aid England which we hope will enable her to give compassionate and tailored support to any students who are experiencing personal challenges at school.

At times this may necessitate individual support, but it Ms Williams' hope that she can help improve the wellbeing of Kensington students on a wider scale by hosting a series of workshops to give students the opportunity to discuss issues that are worrying them.

So far this term we have had a successful workshop on body image and self-confidence and it was wonderful to have a positive conversation about a sensitive topic with a group of mature and thoughtful F4 pupils. We look forward to holding more workshops on a variety of topics throughout the next academic year.

Kensington Relived Alumni Series

Welcome to our Kensington Relived Series where we chat to former Kensington School students. For our fourth interview of the series, meet former pupil, Greta Portone '17.

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Next Monthly Newsletter Issue - Friday 25th June

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