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CAS: Staying connected with our remote societies

a picture of a class on a call looking at countries

If our readers’ lockdown experiences are anything like my own, they will be spending most evenings on FaceTime, Zoom or Houseparty providing friends and family with some company in an effort to remain connected to those that we hold dear. Plenty has been written, and noted in this week’s newsletter, about the importance of taking care of our minds as well as our bodies whilst staying at home. Maintaining healthy relationships is an important facet to our mental health and our students rely on regular contact with their peers, like the rest of us. Students also need to find creative ways to continue the pursuit of their interests, or in the absence of these opportunities, find new interests to keep their minds active. The resurrection of our school’s well-established societies and the invention of new exciting options has ensured that students can embrace new hobbies, critically examine global issues and delve deeper into areas of academic interest. Perhaps most importantly, our students in an act of both creativity and service to the school community, have established 33 remote societies to remain connected with their peers.    

I hope that students and parents alike have enjoyed reading our Societies in Focus feature each week in which two of our societies take the opportunity to provide an insight into their recent activities. Many of the names you will see are long-standing societies and will be familiar to our OEs. The Open Platform and Debating Society continue on their quests to conduct lively debates on the most pressing and often controversial matters of the day. Other societies such as MedSoc (Medical Society) and LitSoc (Literary Society) had been dormant in recent years but have been revived remotely during the lockdown. Finally, new societies have flourished including an Aerospace Society, Alternate History and Space Race Society. I am also reliably informed that Horticultural Society has taken root and promises to be a part of the KES co-curricular programme for the foreseeable future.

The establishment of our remote societies has been an especially creative process, with our students playing a leading role in designing engaging lectures and formulating fascinating topics for discussions each week. For those students seeking a creative outlet I might suggest Cookery Club, Dungeons and Dragons Club, Engineering Society or the Visual Media Society. For other students intent on exercising their intellectual muscles I would recommend dropping into our new Hay Digital Festival Forum for information on access to this year’s events alongside student and staff led follow up sessions aimed at dissecting the views of the Festival’s contributors. Finally, for students eager to make positive contributions to local and global issues, I would urge you to join our Sustainability Society, which is already exploring some fascinating areas alongside the other Foundation schools. I am thrilled that our first KES Community newsletter after half term will hear more from our newly formed Sustainability Society. 

Alas, it would take more than one article to explain how each of our 33 societies operate! I would like to extend a special thanks to all of those staff and students who contribute to the running of our remote societies during closure. 

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