September's Monthly Newsletter

Welcome to Kensington's September newsletter edition, the first of the academic year 2021/22


In teaching one of the highlights of the annual calendar is usually the start of the academic year and today was no exception. It is always remarkable to see how much the children have grown during the long summer vacation. Welcoming our new students to the Kensington family for their first day with us is always a special occasion and, as usual, pupils joined our small international community from all around the globe. Resplendent in their fresh, often new, uniform our pupils were literally rushing to get through the school gates to exchange holiday anecdotes and meet up with their teachers again after the summer break.

Sadly Jose, on duty at the gate, had to, literally, slightly dampen their enthusiasm and slow them down a little to ensure that everyone's hands were thoroughly sprayed. Yes, despite our optimistic feelings in June, COVID-19 is still very much with us and we will continue to insist on following all the sensible guidelines from the health authorities. We hope that school will be able to return to a greater sense of normality at some stage in the coming months but, for the time being, we continue to much appreciate the support from all families in keeping our children safe and healthy.

There was a very positive and happy atmosphere throughout the building but especially amongst our sixth formers as they celebrated their record breaking exam results with their teachers. We continue to get updates on the final destinations of last summer's leavers and we will share these details once confirmed. However, it is already clear that the vast majority secured places in their first choice universities which is indeed splendid news.

Of the three terms this is, by far, the longest one when much hard work must be undertaken between now and Christmas to ensure that our pupils continue to fulfil their very considerable potential. After the frenetic scenes of the first hour back in school it was therefore encouraging to be able to wander around the corridors mid-morning to savour the calm and purposeful atmosphere for which we are renowned.

Holiday over, everyone refreshed, greetings exchanged - teaching and learning had resumed again for the 56th year at Kensington.

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I would like to wish all new and returning parents and students a very warm welcome back to Kensington School for the new academic year.

After the long summer break, it is always wonderful to see students coming through the school gates with such enthusiasm on the first morning as well as parents, often with equal enthusiasm, sending them on their way!

As we saw last year, the resilience and adaptability of Kensington students never fails to amaze us and this first week has been no different. Whilst many of our 'new normal' restrictions, such as class bubbles, hand gelling and one-way systems, will remain in place for the foreseeable future, it has been refreshing and indeed hopeful to see some other freedoms slowly returning. Perhaps the most well received of these has been the opportunity for students to enjoy their outdoor break and lunch times without masks for the first time in 18 months.
Inside the Junior School, whilst many of us were enjoying our summer holidays, there were exciting structural changes taking place. Thanks to the investment of the Giles family, old spaces have been transformed into bright, modern and practical areas which will be suitable for a wide range of activities for students to enjoy. The toilets have been completely renovated and everyone in the school community is excited to see the new Early Years and multi-purpose spaces which are being created; we hope to inaugurate them and be able to use them later this term.

We are also delighted to welcome two new faces on the Junior School corridor; Miss Sonya, who is the new J4 class teacher and Miss Lucy, who is the new EAL teacher. Both have settled into life at Kensington extremely well and I know the children will benefit greatly from their expertise and knowledge. You will get to know them more in our "Get to know new staff" article later on in the newsletter.

Finally on a personal note, I am delighted and excited to be taking over the reins as the Head of Juniors for this year. I look forward to seeing many of you in person (rather than just online!) as restrictions allow and I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our students every success for the coming academic year.

Early Years

So far this term Early Years have been enjoying our Commotion Under the Ocean Topic. "We have had great fun learning about different sea animals and creating wonderful edible treats and artwork of our favorite sea creatures!"

They also enjoyed a fantastic trip to the aquarium, where they saw huge sharks, graceful rays, fun penguins and even an octopus! Everyone enjoyed a wonderful day out and the children's behavior was excellent - a great start to the academic year in Early Years!


In Junior 2, as part of the topic Geography, students have been learning all about seasonal changes. Discussing how crops are harvested at the end of the summer and how the weather can turn stormy.

Following this discussion, the children copied the beautiful painting "The Wheatfield with Crows" by Vincent Van Gough. The aim was to develop their understanding of the artist’s work and their technique in using brushstrokes to create different effects.

We are including some of the paintings below to see for yourself!


Junior 6 students have been working hard preparing their House Captain speeches, which were presented to the Junior School on Thursday 30th September. Our school houses are Lancaster, Victoria and Middlesex.

Each year a J6 boy and girl are elected as House Captains for each house. It is the job of our House Captains to referee house matches, count house points and announce house point scores at our weekly assembly. It is a much sought after job and this year competition was fierce! Well done to all of the J6 students for taking part!

Kiran Middlesex
Sofiya Middlesex
J3 J4 J5 Lancaster
Sasha Middlesex


Lancaster - Arturo and Marina

Middlesex - Sofiya and Maxton

Victoria - Veronika and Xiaochi

House Captains


This academic year we welcome two new members of staff to our Kensington community and we want you to get to know them a little better! Meet Lucy Clifford, who joins our language department providing English support in small groups or on a one-one basis. Sonya Gordon joins the Junior School Department as our Junior 4 tutor, guiding students through their first year studying the British Curriculum, Key Stage 2.

Without further ado, meet Lucy Clifford and Sonya Gordon.

Lucy Clifford - Language Development

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"Hello everyone and thank you all very much for the warm welcome you’ve given me since the start of term! I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to have met so many of the students and staff already and look forward to getting to know you better over the coming weeks.

I suppose I should tell you a bit about myself. Firstly, I love to travel and I’ve been very fortunate to spend quite a lot of time travelling and working in different countries. Secondly, I’m a huge fan of nature and I spend a lot of my free time outside, hiking in the mountains or paddle boarding at the beach or the lake. Another big passion of mine is food. I'm keen on cooking as well as eating it so I’m always on the hunt for new recipes and restaurants to try out!

In terms of teaching, I’ve been looking forward to helping our learners with their language development. Teaching English to our non-natives enables me to combine my passion for the language with my enthusiasm for foreign languages.

What I find most appealing about Kensington School is the fact it fosters a family atmosphere within an international community, promoting excellence in the students as well as the staff. This is evident from the first moment you walk through the school gate and can be witnessed in every classroom.

I can’t wait to see what the coming year has in store for us!"

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Sonya Gordon - J4 Teacher

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"I am delighted to join the hardworking and helpful Kensington staff. Over my first few weeks I have enjoyed getting to know the staff and students. I can see how these close relationships really build such a positive ethos and environment for learning in the school. This climate also made me want to be part of such an established, thriving community.

I have been a primary teacher for five years in Barcelona and also worked in Scotland in several primary schools. I have always enjoyed working with children and find my role extremely rewarding, especially seeing the children's progress both academically and emotionally throughout the year. In addition, it's always interesting to teach children from different countries and cultures in an international setting. In my teaching I strive to build a good relationships with the children, encourage them to be critical thinkers and take risks in their learning. I also value being able to build communication links with parents to provide continuity between home and school life.

In my free time I enjoy singing, drama and dancing although I don't claim to be of Broadway standard at the moment. I love living in Barcelona enjoying all the cultural events the city has to offer, particularly the culinary delights. Fortunately I also like cycling and exploring new routes around the are to stay active.

I am looking forward to the year ahead with my class and colleagues at Kensington and very pleased to be part of the team."

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It was wonderful to welcome our senior students back to school last week.
Being such a small school with a very stable staff, we can quickly get to know our new students. I have been impressed with how well they have settled in.

Another benefit of being a small school is the individual help we can give our students. Each of our tutors is allocated roughly ten students to support and guide over the year. Over the next few weeks our tutors will be having individual chats with their tutees to find out how the year has started for each of them and to listen to any concerns they may have at this stage.

I have enjoyed watching last year's Form 5 students settling into life as Sixth Formers. From Day One the library was a hub of learning and purposefulness that bodes very well for their future success.

We look forward to sharing various aspects of our school life with you over the coming year via our monthly newsletters and hope you enjoy reading them.



The year has begun with an exploration of the 'Life Processes' which are common to all living things, and discussions about the way in which the development of technology such as the microscope goes hand in hand with the advancement of scientific knowledge. There have been several opportunities to work with microscopes to observe plant and animal cells, but in this practical session members of F1 can be seen investigating the reproductive structures of flowering plants which we will be looking at again later in the term.


For the past month, the Form 5 History class has been studying the Cold War and the effects on superpower relations (1945-1949). In addition to taking notes from the textbook, heavy discussions and vigorous debates take place frequently and class discussions motivate students to share their opinion on political situations.

- Elsa F5

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Sixth Form

Here are examples of sketchbook work and Gelli printing experiments by some of our Y12 A level Fine art students. They have been studying still life compositions and Abstract art so far this term, inspired by the theme of Environment. They are a diligent, creative and inspiring group of students who have made a great start to the course.

Sixth Form Leavers

"This is the time of the year when 18 year-olds go up to university for the first time as "freshers". It is truly an exciting and memorable time with so much to look forward to on campus, in the lecture theatre and at numerous social events. It is also a wonderful opportunity to meet new acquaintances who often become life-long friends. I can still vividly recall September 1974 when, as a naive lad from the Fens, I wandered around Birmingham city centre in the rain laden with heavy rucksack trying to find a bus to Edgbaston! University changed my life and I am sure the same will happen to our class of ´21.

I am delighted to report that almost all of last year's Upper Sixth class have been accepted by their first choice university as a result of the outstanding A Level results they achieved. It is pleasing to note the wide range of degree courses chosen by our former students reflecting the diversity of academic talents in this year group.
In recent years degrees in both Business and Law have often been chosen by our alumni. This month we have students embarking on studies in these disciplines at the University of Glasgow, Wittenborg University of Applied Science and, much closer to home, at ESADE. The proximity of the latter has always made this internationally prestigious centre of learning a popular destination.

Very selective courses at constituent colleges of the University of London normally feature prominently on our lists and this year is no exception.One student has entered Imperial College to read Electrical and Electronic Engineering whilst University College London (UCL) welcomes a Kensington graduate to read Natural Sciences.Both these institutions are globally recognised as centres of excellence.

We have two former pupils specialising in Psychology, one in the north of England at the University of Manchester and another on the south coast at the University of Sussex. Some families take the view that to read Psychology at university one needs to have studied this subject at A Level. This is not the case; the traditional and highly respected academic subjects offered at Kensington provide an excellent foundation for the whole range of degree courses.

The same applies to Computer Science for which a high grade in Mathematics, rather than ICT, is essential. Amsterdam and Delft have an academic pedigree going back hundreds of years and we are delighted that two of last year's Y13 are studying courses with a focus on modern technology at the heart of Europe.

Our Art and Design department were delighted that their A grade student has been accepted to continue her creative design studies in the fashion capital of Europe - Milan.

Dublin is another very popular city for EU students attracted by its longstanding reputation for quality research and student satisfaction. Having been at Kensington since Nursery moving to Ireland to read Applied Languages and Translation Studies is a big step but we know that she, like all of our former sixth formers, will face the challenges of higher education with the self-confidence and resilience typical of our alumni.

We naturally wish them all every success at college and trust that they will keep in touch with us in the coming years."

- Mr Michael Bayes, Headmaster

University Results 2021

National Poetry Day

In recent years, the National Poetry Day Poetry Recital Competition has become something of a tradition at Kensington.

Each year, students write their own poem or find a well-known poem linked to the theme of the year and recite it in the hope of winning a coveted prize. Back in the happy past, we would gather in the school theatre for live recitals which were always a vibrant and often a raucous affair.

Click the link below to find out more!

View Full Article


Eco Committee

Since 2019, Kensington School has been part of the Eco-school programme.

As an educational centre, we believe that it is important to raise awareness of the environmental challenges our world is facing and give our students the opportunity to play an active role in dealing with these challenges.

What is ‘Eco-Schools’?

Eco-Schools is a rapidly growing Education for Sustainable Development programme run internationally by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). It currently involves more than 15.000.000 pupils in 59,000 schools across the globe.

For more information, please visit the Eco-schools global website or the Eco-schools UK website.

The heart of an Eco-school is the school’s student-led Eco-committee.

School Lunches

Kensington School is delighted to share the news that 'Ametller Origen' have been contracted to provide the lunch service for students.

All food is cooked on site, using the fresh, locally sourced ingredients that 'Ametller Origin' is rightly known for.

In addition, all parents at the school will be able to benefit from an exclusive discount when at their shops. Please contact the school office who will happily share details as to how to register.

We trust the new lunch service will be to your satisfaction. The school can also arrange taster sessions for parents.

More information can be found at

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