November's Monthly Newsletter

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


When I meet prospective parents they often ask me about the history of the school and the things which make Kensington so special such as small classes, keen pupils, committed staff, wonderful relationships and that pleasantly purposeful learning environment in which we all thrive.

In future I will now also be able to refer them to an interview with Cristian Conti, who left us over 25 years ago. He fondly comments on his schooldays:

“It was relaxed but also demanding - the only school I found where students wanted to do well for themselves and for their teachers. The unique thing I remember is that when teachers would ask who wanted to come in for a mock exam voluntarily, everyone in the class would raise their hand. It was uncool to be the person who didn’t want to do the exam. It began with the founder Mr Edward Paul Giles, who was so invested in the success of his own school. You felt you didn't want to let him or your teachers down. They worked hard and you could tell.”

I believe that much of what Cristian mentions still applies today and we remain a school in which giving of your best in class is still very “cool”, how Kensington pupils perform in class still matters deeply to our teachers.

Despite the pandemic a rich variety of educational experiences have occurred in November as you will see from this newsletter. However, all schools in the city have been affected by year groups having to self-isolate. Well done to Forms 1 and 5 for the splendid manner in which they approached their periods of quarantine.

Our well established system of online teaching was activated immediately for these secure groups (“bubbles” ) so that any disruption was minimised. I would like to thank parents for their wonderful support in ensuring that their children were fully prepared and ready to continue learning remotely.

Our COVID committee continue to monitor coronavirus developments on a daily basis to ensure all our health and safety protocols reflect the latest scientific and government guidance.

The pandemic meant that, for the first time, our consultation meetings with parents took place remotely this month. The overall feeling was that the experiment was a success and having students involved in the discussions was often advantageous. There were, inevitably, some small technical issues but the overwhelming majority of meetings went ahead on schedule.

Clearly for some parents having such conferences online was far more convenient than having to come to school. Others prefer face-to-face contact and the more flexible format of classroom based meetings. Going forward the probability is that we will offer a blended solution with the first Thursday online and the following week in person, thus accommodating all parental preferences.

We continue to encourage our teaching team to stay very much up to date with developments in the world of education. As a school with small subject departments, it is important for our teachers to be aware of recent innovations in both pedagogy and public examinations. Recently members of our art, chemistry, English, French and physics departments have attended courses in addition to in-service training undertaken by those with pastoral and management responsibilities.

December is always a very busy month at Kensington with much to look forward to – for example staff and students are already busy rehearsing for the Kenny Show. Cristian Conti
will no doubt be delighted to know that such Kensington traditions are still being celebrated!

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Thank you for making our online parent-teacher meetings a success, a testament to the continuous support and collaboration between school and home.

Mr Steve Evans
Head of Junior School


Another hardworking month has passed us by, full of accomplishments across the Junior school. Congratulations to J2 and Miss Suzanne for managing to complete their annual dance project, masked and distanced.

Thank you for making our online parent-teacher meetings a success, a testament to the continuous support and collaboration between school and home.

As we look to the final few weeks of this unique term, the staff are busy making adapted plans to assure the festive spirit throughout the school despite the restrictions. Regrettably there will be no concert to mark the end of the term, however there will be audio recordings available on the classroom streams so that you can listen to some of the musical projects that have been covered.

Early Years

Reception have been studying and learning all about The Sea. They made shape fish, cutting and sticking and a frieze of Noah's Ark. They used different collage techniques, tissue paper, plasticine and they also did lots of different painting techniques.

Noahs ark
Shape fish


Junior 1 students have been learning about the life and works of Antoni Gaudi. Students visited the so-called Pavellons Güell, or Güell Pavilions, a complex of buildings in the neighbourhood of Pedralbes, by the Catalan Modernist architect Antoni Gaudí, built between 1884 and 1887. Students then created their very own scetches of the Pavillons Güell.

To extend their studies of Barcelona's architecture and culture they also painted their very own Casa Batllö and made clay Gaudi dragons 🐉


Our Junior 2 students have been experimenting with symmetry in Maths. They have created their very own symmetrical portraits by drawing using half of a photograph. Fantastic work J2!

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We have been reading and writing poetry about animals and the weather. We used adjectives, noun phrases and prepositions for time, place and cause to write an animal poem based on one which we had studied - Lone Dog.


We have been comparing two famous double portraits - The Arnolfini Portrait by Jan Van Eyck and Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy by David Hockney. We found that there were many similarities and also some differences in the paintings. Both paintings have many symbolic objects in them. By finding out the meaning of the symbols we gained a better understanding of the people in the portrait. We used water colours to paint the pictures.

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J5 students are learning how to give directions in Spanish (dar indicaciónes). To give the students first hand practice they went for a walk around the school neighbourhood following directions to find a bakery, local supermarket and garden centre.

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House Captain Speeches

Junior 6 have had a very exciting few days as write and prepare for their House Captain speeches. A girl and boy House Captain will soon be elected for each House; Middlesex, Victoria and Lancaster. J6 have been busy preparing their persuasive speeches and will be filming these for an online election this year. Results to follow by the next newsletter.

Picasso Art

This month in Art Junior 6 students have been studying the artist Pablo Picasso. They have been looking at his Cubism masterpieces and are recreating a self portrait in this Cubism style.


We invite all families to take part in a special video montage project so that we can spread festive cheer amongst our school community.

If you would like to take part, record a short video message (maximum 10 seconds) with your holiday greetings to [email protected] by Friday 4th December.

Tips- please record your video landscape on smartphones, make sure there is plenty of light, use a festive background and/or clothing.

All clips will be put together in a video montage and released at the end of term, watch this space!


Do you have a traditional recipe or craft activity that you would like to share with the community? Perhaps you have a specific Christmas tradition that you would like to share? We are looking for parents who would like to submit video clips that can be shared on the classroom so that families can join together and share activity ideas over the holiday period. Here are two examples from our K parents: Jane George and Maria Yañez. If you would like to participate send your video clip to: [email protected] anytime before 11th December. They will then be uploaded onto the classroom streams to entertain and inspire the children. Many thanks to the K parents for this wonderful idea.

At this time of year, we are also busy planning our end-of-term activities, which sadly will have to be in a different format this year. I certainly will miss not performing in the traditional 'Kenny Show' that would have been the first one in our newly-refurbished theatre.

Ms Viv Canwell
Head of Senior School


As we come to the end of the first term both students and teachers are busy preparing for exam week. We are so lucky in our school that all our pupils are so keen to do well in their exams. I do hope as they revise they remember all the advice our learning expert Tricia Taylor gave them in her workshops this term. I have been very encouraged seeing so many students writing and using flashcards to help them to remember more by thinking hard!

At this time of year, we are also busy planning our end-of-term activities, which sadly will have to be in a different format this year. I certainly will miss not performing in the traditional 'Kenny Show' that would have been the first one in our newly-refurbished theatre. We will instead be putting together a digital version that I am sure will be one to remember.

This along with our annual Christmas gymkhana, our inaugural up-cycled Christmas jumper day, and other classroom activities, will certainly bring some much-needed Christmas fun to the end of this rather unusual term!

Senior School Art

Form 2

This term their project has been inspired by Insects, at the beginning of the project they produced a selection of observation studies of insects from secondary sources, they also explored and analysed the work of artists. Here are examples of imaginative insects that students created for homework using everyday objects, inspired by Japanese artist Raku Inoue. They then produced some wonderful clay tile pieces, showing inspiration from the work of other artists. The final stage of the process will be to add colour and varnish!

Clay Relief Tiles

Form 4

Students begin the GCSE Edexcel Fine Art course by completing a series of skills based projects which include drawing, and painting inspired by Natural Forms. These projects serve to equip students with a basic toolbox of skills which they can use, develop and refine in subsequent projects. Within these projects, they learn how to explore and respond to the work of other artists, record from observation and learn how to annotate and present their work. Here are some examples of Charcoal drawings inspired by the work of British artist Peter Randall-Page.

Form 5

F5 have been studying mixture of themes, they started their GCSE coursework project by researching artwork related to their respective topics, "Order and/or Disorder", "Identity" and "My Surroundings". Below are examples of ideas that they are developing towards creating a final outcome. Their work so far shows great technique, breadth and creativity and we are looking forward to seeing their final pieces!

KS3 Science

Form 2

As part of their investigation of gravity, one of the non-contact forces which Form 2 have been studying in Physics this November, the class carried out research into different space missions. They learned about the anatomy of a typical space rocket, the types of fuel that are used as means of propulsion, and finally they shared their own research with their classmates.

The highlight of the month would have to be the launch of their own 'water rocket' provided by the school: although not quite achieving orbit, its trajectory was in its own way spectacular. Having landed safely on the roof of the east wing of the school, it was recovered in full working order and will be available for future missions planned by the Physics department.

Sixth Form

On Thursday 5 November, ten sixth formers took part in the UKMT Senior Maths Challenge. The United Kingdom Mathematics Trust was founded in 1996 with the charitable aim of advancing the education of young people in mathematics. Whilst we have been running their challenges in the school for several years this is the first year we have entered students for the Senior Challenge.

Students in the top 40% receive Bronze awards, the top 20% Silver awards with the coveted Gold awards being given to pupils in the top 7%. The challenges are designed to make the students think and our sixth formers certainly rose to the challenge with eight of the ten achieving certificates. Congratulations to all who took part - we look forward to similar success in the Junior and Intermediate challenges in 2021.

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Alumni Group Launch 'Kensington Relived'

This month we published to our Kensington Relived Series where we chat to former Kensington School students. For our first interview of the series, meet former pupil, Cristian.

See full interview here

Remembrance Day

Armistice Day is on 11 November and is also known as Remembrance Day. It marks the day World War One ended, at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month, back in 1918. Nowadays, people remember those who were lost in the war by holding a two-minute silence and by wearing a red poppy.

On Remembrance Day, we acknowledge the courage and sacrifice of those who served their country and acknowledge our responsibility to work for the peace they fought hard to achieve.

Our current students are a few generations removed from the First World War, though some have had family members serve in Korea, Afghanistan or with the United Nations Peacekeepers. It is difficult for some of them to understand the abstractness of war, so it is even more important for us to give them a realistic view of those events and history behind them.

Around the school this month we showed our respect to the First World War veterans and educated students on the wearing and significance of poppies for Remembrance Day. It is very special day that is close to our hearts, an important tradition that will continue to educate our Kensington students on.

Kensington Schools Virtual Parents Evening

We strongly believe that Parents' evenings are important events which enable parents to discuss their child's strengths and weaknesses, share concerns, and take an active part in their education. Due to the current global pandemic, we took the initiative to arrange online Parent's Evenings.

This month our Online Virtual Parents Evenings commenced and with huge success! We will continue to use the same system for future parents evenings until the situation changes and our parents are once again welcomed with open arms on site.

First of all we want to thank you for the well and comfortable parents meeting organised for the Senior School. It has been very dynamic and saved a lot of time for everyone as the schedule is right on time. We sincerely think that this way of meeting should not just be a “Covid era” thing but a definitive one. Again, congratulations and thanks again!

Senior School Parent

Digital Kenny Show

Our annual Talent Contest this year has changed, it will now take place digitally! Look out in December's Newsletter for entries, performances and winners!


It's that time of year again when we begin thinking about preparations for Christmas. The Christmas card design competition is now open! This year, the winning entries will be scanned and the annual Christmas card will be sent electronically to all Kensington families.

Students have also been invited to write a creative Christmas story or poem.

Keep your eye out in December's Newsletter for entries and winners!


Next Monthly Newsletter Issue - Friday 18th December

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