King's Hall School is a co-educational boarding and day school offering places to boys and girls from the ages of two to thirteen; offering weekly and flexi-boarding from the age of seven. King's Hall provides an environment which encourages all children to thrive on the basis of mutual trust which produces a happy and stimulating atmosphere.
About the school
King’s Hall School is a leading Pre-Prep and Prep school with around 320 girls and boys. Set in a beautiful countryside location surrounded by farmland, the school is only a couple of minutes drive from the centre of Taunton. The school respects traditional values and boarding is a strong feature, which contributes to the tangible family atmosphere that exists in the school. Children enjoy a challenging all-round education in a progressive and stimulating environment. King's Hall has a partner senior school, King's College, Taunton, and the two schools benefit from having their own independent sites, furnished with excellent age appropriate facilities and attitudes to maximise the opportunities for the children in our care. There is a close working relationship between King’s Hall and King’s College and the vast majority of pupils move on there at age 13.
Jago Wins Anthony Horowitz Short Story Competition
During the period of lockdown Jago B, a Year 8 pupil at King's Hall School, entered a national short story competition, and recently discovered he was the winner!
28th September 2020 — Alex Rider is a series of spy novels by British author Anthony Horowitz about a teenage spy named Alex Rider. The series is aimed primarily at teens and young adults. Jago came across the competition online and was instantly inspired to take part.
"When the doorbell rings at three in the morning, it's never good news."
Using the first line from Stormbreaker as the story starter, publishers, Walkers Books, were looking for a short story with a maximum of 500 words, packed with action, adrenaline and adventure, inspired by Alex Rider’s adventures. In Jago's entry, they certainly got what they were looking for.
The judges expressed how Jago's story 'was a pleasure to read with exceptional description, an imaginative plot, good characterisation and great pacing/tension.' His story will soon be published on the Alex Rider website https://alexrider.com/
As part of the prize the school have also won ten signed copies of the brand new mission in the Alex Rider series, Nightshade, and a class set of Alex Rider secret message pens, bookmarks and stickers.
Commenting, Head of English at the school, Jane Stuckes, said: "Using the story starter, ‘When the doorbell rings at three in the morning, it’s never good news’, as a rip roaring opening, Jago’s stylish action-adventure had me literally holding my breath until the witty punchline ending: ‘Then he bolted from the room.’ Move over Anthony Horowitz, here comes Jago B! Congratulations Jago: an outstanding story!"
And to top things off, Anthony himself commented on a tweet from the school saying he thought Jago's story was 'such a lively, entertaining piece of writing', adding 'when I was your age, I was nowhere near as good as you.'
The Year 8 pupils at King's Hall School used their creativity to ensure their usual charity fundraiser went ahead – albeit virtually.
3rd July 2020 — As with many other aspects of school life this term, pupils and staff began toying with the idea of creating a virtual version of the traditional Year 8 Charity Fair that would normally take place in the last week of the school year.
With the intention of raising as much money as possible for the children’s charity, Brainwave, suggestions for how this might work culminated in the idea of a series of challenges that would be recorded by the pupils for others to watch and predict the outcomes.
The onus was very much on the Year 8 pupils to deliver some fun and exciting challenges, and the school were delighted with the results. The activities ranged from the traditional 'guess the number of sweets in the jar' and egg throwing and catching, to the more painful 'hand in an ice bucket challenge' and drinking a pint of cold water in as short a time as possible. The girls proved far braver at this particular one as, unlike the boys, they brushed their teeth first, which apparently makes it more painful!
There were also some exciting football ‘keepy uppy’ and skipping competitions, as well some cricket challenges, grape throwing (and catching in the mouth!) and some challenges in which pupils even managed to involve their horses! Perhaps the prize for originality goes to the ‘guess how long the queue at the MacDonald’s drive thru is’ – the answer being very long indeed.
Some great fun was had by the Year 8s in producing the challenges and also by those watching them, but most importantly a very pleasing amount of money was raised for a very worthwhile charity.
At the time of writing, the children have exceeded their £1200 target.
When the disappointing decision was taken to cancel their annual Grandparents’ Day, our Pre-Prep team decided to propose a new way of connecting with loved ones – letter writing.
7th May 2020 — When the disappointing decision was taken to cancel their annual Grandparents’ Day, our Pre-Prep team decided to propose a new way of connecting with loved ones – letter writing. The annual event, which centers around family and usually sees around 100 attendees taking part, is always popular. So, this year, the children were asked to draw a portrait of a special someone, whether that’s mum, dad, granny or grandad, and accompany it with a short message. They were then encouraged to send the portrait to their chosen recipient; a small yet meaningful gesture that would no doubt go a long way.
Inspired, Year 1 pupil Carmen D decided to take the project to a new level. Over the past few weeks she has been sending her grandma weekly stories to keep them both entertained during lockdown. Much to her surprise, grandma had a similar knack for storytelling and together they created The Adventures of a Girl and her Magic Kitten.
The story follows the tale of Sally and her magical sidekick, Buttercup. When Buttercup’s fur begins to sparkle, the two are transported to an enchanted Candy World filled with cookies, marshmallow and drumstick lollies. In their latest adventure, the pair stumble across a majestic yet sad candyfloss pony. Why is he sad? That's a good question! It's over to you Grandma!
Henry Creates Epic Dictionary for Favourite Fantasy Author
Top fantasy author, Ian Livingstone, received a special surprise from one of our pupils earlier this week. Inspired by his favourite book series, Fighting Fantasy, Year 3 pupil Henry D set out to create a dictionary that paid homage to some of Livingston’s most memorable monsters.
1st May 2020 — Top fantasy author, Ian Livingstone, received a special surprise from one of our pupils earlier this week. Inspired by his favourite book series, Fighting Fantasy, Year 3 pupil Henry D set out to create a dictionary that paid homage to some of Livingston’s most memorable monsters.
The idea came to Henry whilst out on a walk with his parents:
“Henry was running through the skill and stamina stats of all the creatures that he had battled against during his Fighting Fantasy book adventures” said mum. “We were asking lots of questions because we hadn’t heard of these creatures before. So, he decided to make a useful reference book that we could look through instead.”
As a result of his hard work and hours of sketching, Henry’s dictionary now contains over 190 mythical beasts, from the legendary Manticore and Colossus, to the Wild Hill Man and Hobgoblin. Alongside his drawings, he has also included a description of each creature and their skill and stamina points – some might even go as far to say that he has created an epic game of Top Trumps.
When asked what his favourite monster was, Henry said: “The Port of Peril’s Zanbar Bone, a green-eyed skeleton who wears a golden crown and black armour. To defeat him during an adventure, you have to collect hag’s hair, a lotus flower and a silver arrow, as well as get a tattoo of a white unicorn in a yellow sun printed on your forehead.”
Thoroughly impressed by the project, Henry’s mum decided to tweet Livingstone a video of the dictionary, to which he responded: “Brilliant drawings Henry. Good luck on your next adventure!”.
MasterChef's Hope Pointing Opens King's Hall Cookery School
To mark the official opening of our cookery school, last week former MasterChef quarter-finalist, Hope Pointing joined us for a day of culinary celebrations.
22nd October 2019 — The 23-year-old chef, who has cooked for the likes of Gregg Wallace, John Torode, and top food critic Jay Rayner, spoke to the pupils in a Q&A style interview about her time on the hit BBC show. She gave a fascinating insight into the world of professional cooking, sharing top tips for budding chefs and advising pupils on how to cope with pressures both inside and outside the kitchen.
She also spoke to the pupils about healthy eating, which is something that we actively encourage here at King’s Hall. As someone who suffers from coeliac disease, she stressed how important it is that we know exactly where our food comes from and what is in it.
Following the talk, Hope was on hand to assist our panel of experts – Headmaster, Mr Chippendale, Catering Manager, Mrs Colbourne, and soon-to-be Head of Cookery, Mrs Cole – in the judging of our inaugural ‘Master-Pizza’ competition.
Over the course of the morning, sixteen pupils, a junior and senior pair from each house, took part in the ultimate cooking contest. With their chef hats donned and their utensils in hand, the children got to work on their yummy creations. They began by proving and shaping their dough, before using a range of colourful ingredients to personalise their pizzas. Toppings ranged from traditional cheese and tomato, to an epic all-day breakfast (we’re talking sausage, eggs and beans!).
After some tough deliberation (and plenty of sampling), it was Bradfield who were crowned victorious, with Robyn and Monique scooping 1st place in the senior category, and Sylvie and Quincy in the junior. Hope was particularly impressed with Robyn and Monique’s teamwork and presentation skills, whilst Sylvie and Quincy wowed with their Lion King-inspired pizza.
Commenting on the day, Mrs Cole said: “It was lovely to have Hope join us for this long awaited opening. As a former pupil of mine, I just knew that she would be the perfect role model for our children, helping to ignite in them a love of cooking.”
She added: “We are now happy to say that the cookery school is officially open for business, and following the half term break, pupils will be able to take cookery as part of the DT curriculum.”
Thanks to the generosity of a number of King’s Hall parents, we have installed a delightful outdoor reading area adjacent to the school library. Within this space, pupils are encouraged to read and relax under the watchful eye of School Librarian, Mrs Marcuccilli.
14th October 2019 — Thanks to the generosity of a number of King’s Hall parents, we have installed a delightful outdoor reading area adjacent to the school library. Within this space, pupils are encouraged to read and relax under the watchful eye of School Librarian, Mrs Marcuccilli.
The two wooden huts and accompanying hammocks point readers to a spectacular view of the front lawn and to the glorious Blackdown Hills beyond. Each hut is embellished with a sign created by the pupils, “Hogwarts” and “Narnia” being the names of choice, as well a handful of colourful cushions – perfect for hunkering down with a good book.
The huts have already proved popular: children’s author, P.G. Bell, best known for his adventure series The Train to Impossible Places, recently popped in to the reading huts during his visit to the school; and even Snoops has been causing chaos in the cosy cabins.
Commenting on the new facility, Head of Development at King’s Schools, Julian Mack said: “One of the things all educationalists agree on is the importance of developing reading habits in young children. The new reading area is there to encourage the magic of reading in a less formal setting, and I truly hope the children will derive much joy from immersing themselves in stories there.”
Having completed all three phases of the adventure playground, our Development Office is now on the hunt for the next magical enhancement. If you have any ideas or are able to help out in any way, please do contact us on 07767 243 387.