I am writing this newsletter sitting in the departure lounge at the port in Plymouth, waiting to embark on the ferry to Spain. I am helping to support the Gold Duke of Edinburgh award pupils who are heading into the Picos de Europa National Park. I am also escorting four of our wonderful Spanish pupils (Pepe, Nora, Arrieta and Ana) back to Santander to be reunited with their families.

We will miss them and all of the other pupils who are leaving us this year and we wish all of our leaving pupils the very best of luck.
We have enjoyed some spectacular weather in the last few months and I hope that the weather does not now deteriorate now that the school holidays have started. I hope that where ever you may be travelling and whatever you may be doing over the summer period that you will have a relaxing and fun time with your friends and family.

As ever this has been a very busy and productive year at Kingsley School and I wish to thank all of the staff and all of the pupils for their efforts throughout this busy year.

As the year ends I wanted to say a few words about social media and the wonderful world of the internet. I am aware that certain apps and games have short periods of time when they are in the limelight and the game of the summer is definitely Fortnite. This game has a PEGI rating of 12 because it is a player versus player game where the objective is to kill all of the other players. The game also features a chat capability that cannot be disabled. This means that children cannot necessarily be protected from foul and abusive language from other players. What concerns me is that we believe some of our pupils as young as Year 4 are playing this game. Some parents will tell me to mind my own business but I am concerned that a game aimed at pupils older than 12 is being played by such young children. At the very least please talk to your children about this game and perhaps play it with them to ensure that you are comfortable with them playing it unsupervised.

Secondly, it is widely accepted that teachers do an extremely difficult job, nurturing, teaching and inspiring pupils in their class. At Kingsley we think all our teachers are amazing, but sometimes you might not agree with everything they do. We know sometimes children return home talking about their day and we know from experience that stories can be quite easily misinterpreted! Then, in a split second parents decide to vent about it on social media. Please be mindful that this can be very damaging to the school and indeed to our staff. It is much more helpful to bring any matter to the school’s attention in the following ways:

1) Senior School: phone, email or book an appointment with your child’s form teacher. Or contact the Head of Year.
2) Prep School: meet with your child’s class teacher or contact Mr Trythall.

Matters can then be individually dealt with, and in many cases are extremely easily resolved or indeed turn out to be a non-issue.
I know many of our parents are business owners themselves and will know first-hand how damaging a late night Facebook rant can escalate, and this mode of complaining is becoming more and more common.

So, please do work with us on this. As a school we are not perfect, but just as we work individually with families when there are issues arising in school with your child, we do encourage the same level of respect in return please.

Wishing you and your family a lovely summer.

Pete Last