Issue 10, Term 2
Weekly Newsletter for King’s School Manila
Experiencing a change of pace
On Tuesdays the Ducklings had their 9th Aqualogic swimming lesson. The Ducklings have
all made excellent progress in their swimming confidence and skills since swimming lessons
began this year. Those who were initially apprehensive of even getting in the pool were,
this week, splashing and laughing and playing and, all importantly, eagerly listening to and
following the instructions of the coaches. Next week at our ‘Demonstration Day’ the coaches
and children will happily share these successes with you all. Please check the Ducklings
‘Week In the Life’ newsletter for details.
With Mr Cove away at the moment the Ducklings are having a change of pace and using their
skills with the teachers to learn to play new team games. The idea of competing against their
friends hasn’t made any difference to their manners. In a game called ‘Rob The Nest’ where
they are predators stealing an egg from another’s nest, the main sounds are laughter dotted
with “excuse me” and “sorry” and the occasional “whoops-a-daisy” as they work towards a
Physical Development learning goal to “negotiate space successfully when playing racing and
chasing games with other children, adjusting speed or changing direction to avoid obstacles”.
It has been a busy term at the King’s School, Manila. I’m pleased our community is happy with their
children’s education. All the staff have worked solidly since Christmas, worked harder than you’d find in
other schools because we’re a start-up school and we have an ethos we believe in – that children come to
school to work hard and learn.
It’s a simple but direct belief: come to school to work hard and learn. But at the King’s School working
hard means the children are motivated to explore the extent of their abilities. We insist everyone, adults
and children, uphold the values of integrity and respect for others.
Visitors to the King’s School are immediately aware of a vibrant,
happy and secure environment.
In this newsletter the staff reinforce our values. Miss King talks
about guiding the children to using higher level thinking skills. Miss
Tame and Ms Spinks describe the residentials and how the children are
developing independence and an awareness and tolerance of others
while learning to appreciate their own families and circumstances.
We provide an enhanced curriculum at the King’s School. Mr
Stapleton explains our commitment to providing musical education
beyond the stipulations of the English National Curriculum. Our
Chinese teachers, Miss Zhang and Mrs Wootton, continue to offer our
children the opportunity to achieve proficiency in Mandarin.
The parent committee have organised a potluck luncheon for the first Saturday of next term, Saturday,
13th April. Bring some food and we’ll have a feast and talk while the children play. It will be a relaxed,
family affair, and a great opportunity for parents and teachers to gather together.
Lastly, welcome to Rory and Esme Butler. Enjoy being at the King’s School.
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Level Thinking Skills For Short
How? Why? and What If? These are the kind
of questions we want to hear our children ask
during any area of the curriculum because
these are the questions that stretch and expand
their minds. These questions require analysis
NewsHigh and reflective thought and inspire our children dripped through.
to find out more. As teachers we seek not to give
the children the answers but to empower them
to find out for themselves. The greatest minds
of the future generations will be the ones with
the ability to ask questions and know which
skills they’ll need to work collaboratively or
independently to find their own answers and
The little scientists and philosophers in the
Kingfisher class have been hard at work doing
We have been exploring cultural differences
and similarities in our Literacy lessons,
discussing our thoughts on the importance of
wealth through our PSHE lessons and testing
the properties of materials and their suitability
to different uses in Science.
The children have been particularly enthusiastic
when conducting scientific investigations.
We adapted our test (making sure it was fair,
by adding the same amount of extra water
to each material) and then discovered that
when a larger amount of water was added, the
sponge could no longer hold the water and it
“ So the plastic is waterproof because it holds
the water on top.”
“The sponge can only hold a bit of water
before it gets too weak’”
The children had not only made their own
definition of waterproof but had begun to
explore the properties of absorbent materials
and formed their own conclusions.
Following this we decided to test which
materials could float and which would sink.
Which materials would be most suitable for
building rowing boats?
As well as having a lot of fun playing with the
water, the children also made some serious
predictions, tested their ideas and came to
conclusions through discussion with each
other and group work.
We firstly thought about waterproof materials
and what this meant. We thought about what
different materials looked like and made
predictions about which ones would make good
umbrellas for the rainy season. Interestingly,
some children thought that sponges would be
the most waterproof and upon testing, many
children saw the water being absorbed in to
the sponge and took this to mean that the
sponge was indeed waterproof.
‘So why don’t we make umbrellas from
sponges?’ was the question from an intrigued
Another, who was not convinced, suggested:
“What if we add more water?”
The most interesting part of our investigation
was when we tested the cup. Most children
thought because it was heavy it would sink.
However, to begin with the cup floated then
capsized, filled up with water and sunk. The
children decided from this that the material
was good for floating but the shape of the cup
meant that it would fill up easily and the water
made it heavier so it sunk.
Fantastic scientific learning with virtually no
With growing, enquiring minds and the
confidence in their own investigative abilities,
the children are excited about the possibilities
of future experiments and scientific learning.
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This week the Scarlet Macaws set of on
their Banaue-Sagada-Subic residential. The
children (and teachers) have been looking
forward to this trip immensely and it was
everything and more than we expected!
The extremely excited Scarlet Macaws arrived
in school on Sunday evening at 6pm, where we
quickly dropped all our suitcases and sleeping
bags to head to Yellow Cab pizza restaurant
for our pre-residential meal. After dinner, we
all watched a movie and then TRIED to have
some sleep before leaving at 2 am…without
Shortly before 2am on Monday morning, we all boarded our minivan and met our friendly
driver (Joshua) and tour guide (Willie) from Crimson Travel. Everyone was incredibly
excited and awake but fortunately we all managed to get some sleep. We arrived at our hotel
in Banaue in the early afternoon and after a short rest we were ready to explore the rice
terraces with our amazing local guide Loi. We spent around 4 hours twisting and turning,
making our way over, across and through the impressive rice terraces. We were all blown away
by how beautiful the scenery around us was. The children really pushed themselves and Mr
Lindsay and I were very impressed with their determination and enthusiasm throughout.
What an incredible first day!
Day 2 took us further into the Mountain Province and into Sagada. On the way, we first
stopped in the city of Bantoc to take a look around their fantastic Ifugao museum. Inside
were lots of beautiful and interesting artefacts from the Ifugao tribe whilst outside was set
up as an Ifugao village that was very cool!
On arriving in Sagada we met our 2 local guides for the day, Dubal and Pals. First we took a
walk down to the ancient burial caves where we saw nearly 100 old coffins stacked and neatly
tucked into the cave before heading to Sumaging Cave for the ultimate caving adventure!
With the help of our 2 excellent guides and our driver Joshua, we all made our way down
700 METRES into the cave, climbing down ropes, waking bare foot through rock pools that
had been beautifully carved by the water once running through the cave, whilst listening to
the squeaking of the resident bats. Several of the children voted this their favourite part of
On day 3 we boarded the minivan again, this time to bring us to Subic Bay. After quickly
dropping our suitcases of at our hotel we made our way to our ‘Tree Top Adventure’. After
a gentle canopy ride through the forest, the children took the plunge on the ‘Tree Drop’ – a
10 metre sheer drop to the ground! Then finally it was on to the zip wire ‘Superman Ride’.
On the final day of our trip we visited ‘Ocean Adventure’ and then ‘Zoobic Safari’ before
heading back to school!
Mr Lindsay and I are incredibly proud of all the Scarlet Macaws - their positive attitude and
enthusiasm shone throughout the trip with lots of fun and laughter along the way. We are all
looking forward to our next trip with school. What an amazing residential!
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to Villa Escudero
Plantations and Resort!
On Monday morning the
playground was full of anxious
parents and extremely excited
children! A sea of suitcases and
backpacks filled the playground.
After half an hour loading up
the bus we were finally ready to
wave goodbye to our parents and
set off on our very first King’s
The journey was only two hours
and the children entertained
themselves with books and card
games. Once we arrived we were
given a welcome drink of gulaman while we waited to be checked in. We gathered our things
and made our way to Gumamela, the four-bedroom hut on the river. As Gumamela was at
the other end of the resort we took a steady but very interesting journey by carabao, complete
with musical entertainment! After deciding who would share each room the children set
about settling in and organizing their things.
Because our topic in school is paintings, pictures and photos our first activity was to sketch
interesting army artefacts situated near the main entrance. The children concentrated hard
to get the main outline and shapes in place before adding in the detail and shading. As it was
very hot we played for a short while before enjoying our packed lunches in the much cooler
After lunch we returned to Gumamela to put on our swimming clothes ready for bamboo
rafting and swimming. Bamboo rafting was a great experience for the children, but much
trickier for the adults who had to manoeuvre the 15ft raft round in circles! Everyone had a
turn and while they waited patiently with Mr Adonis the children had a go at fishing from
the jetty. Mickey caught a fish but unfortunately it escaped. After a while in the sunshine
everyone was excited to dip in the cool pool. The children played happily together, enjoying
the waterfall and the slide. Towards the end of the swimming session Mr Johnson organized
a few swimming races and then we finished with a group photograph.
Back at the house we changed and prepared for the evening activities: bird watching, dinner
and games. Whilst bird watching was a little disappointing (as they were too far away to take
good photographs) the children still had opportunities to spot them using their binoculars
and they used their own cameras and iPads to take photographs of the waterfall, interesting
plants and flowers and the water buffalo we passed in the fields.
Dinner was eaten at the Coconut Pavilion and was a tasty buffet meal with a selection
of Filipino foods, meat and rice. We relaxed and chatted together before heading to the
Recreational Hall for a spot of videoke and table tennis! Settling down for bed at 7.45 was
no problem for the children, after such a busy day some were even asking to go to bed! By
8.00 p.m. everyone in the hut was fast asleep because we were exhausted!
The girls made an early start the next day, waking up at 5.30 a.m. whilst some of the boys had to be woken up for
breakfast at 7.00 a.m! After a delicious buffet breakfast we went back to Gumamela to pack up our things. Whilst we
were there we partnered up to create a video diary of our favourite parts of the trip. Once we checked out and loaded
up the bus we visited the Museum. Housed in a replica of a long-gone church in Intramuros were hidden treasures
from all over the world. The items of most interest to the children were the costumes, weapons, coins and bugs. There
was also a huge glass case filled with stuffed animals.
We took one final tour of the resort with our iPads to take part in a photography competition. Hidden around the
park are many interesting statues and scenes of life in the plantation and in the Philippines. Mr Lindsay will choose
the winners of the competition and the awards will be given out in assembly on Monday!
At the Waterfalls Restaurant we enjoyed an unusual dining experience. We had to take our shoes off and roll up our
trousers and wade through the water to our tables to eat. The children thought this was brilliant and wanted to play
in the waterfall (but a bus full of soggy children was not a good idea). And so the class adventure was over for a year
and we headed back to school with a slight suntan and a bus full of tired children who were eager to tell their parents
about the fun they had.
All the adults on the trip were impressed with the good manners of the children and the way they interacted. In fact,
so proud that the children earned enough marbles to fill the 500 jar, which means we can enjoy bowling together this
Friday. We felt very proud when members of the public asked which school we were from and commented on their
It really was a brilliant trip and we look forward to doing something similar next year!
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NewsVoices Around The World
The human body is built to make sound;
whether we clap our hands, stamp our feet, pat
our knees or sing songs it cannot be denied that
music is built into our bodies. In all our classes
we explore body sounds whether it is part of a
copying game, memorisation of a sequence of
sounds or a sound effect mimicking a drum or
sound of nature. Regardless, the human voice
always comes out as the most versatile sound of
almost any instrument.
Singing is an excellent way for a community to
bond. In places like Africa singing is a way of
life, played by all members of the community.
It is something to do together, often in large
groups. We see songs bonding fans of football teams in the terraces of a stadium or whilst
travelling on a bus - singing seems to unite the travellers and help pass the time. In schools,
too, singing helps build the community. No matter what year group you are in, no matter
how big or how small you are group singing helps everyone to feel equal.
Next term I am going to be working on a project called “Voices Around The World.” It is
an idea that started last year with the British Pop star Howard Jones who got about 300
schools from around the world to send in a recording of a song he had written. The song was
professionally produced, mastered and released as a single in December 2012. The profits
from the commercial recordings sold raised money for poverty stricken schools in Africa.
This year the project is being repeated but with the hope of a 1,000+ schools participating
and I would very much like King’s School Manila to be part of this. I have included the
“Voices Around The World” project as part of our ASA’s for next term and hope that we can
get as many children and perhaps even teachers and parents involved as possible.
If you want to know more about the project, you can visit the website:
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NewsPotluck lunch on Saturday, 13 April
Bring some food to share and have a
relaxing Saturday lunch with teachers,
parents and children.
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