Headmaster’s Bulletin – Edition 2

This Week

Dear Parents,

What a busy week it has been but today has been the busiest day of the new term so far! Those of you following us on Twitter will have hopefully seen the photos we tweeted of the Year 3 boys at Hampton School this morning, enjoying their Team Building activities. It was excellent to see them all talking and trying and failing and talking again and re-deciding what best courses of action to take, as they were all engaged with a range of large outdoor puzzles.

I returned to the Prep to find Year 4 deep in thought, as they completed their maths lesson outside on the Court this morning. A range of rather extraordinary collected together objects was being used as the basis for a lesson on sequencing. Once again, some really top quality talk was in evidence, as excellent mathematical thinking and language was being expressed by the boys.

Some Year 5 boys had their spot in the limelight this morning too. 5C led the first Class Assembly for parents, pupils and staff based upon notions of ‘Responsibility’, which is our theme for assemblies this half term. I was really struck by the way in which the boys had reasoned out plenty of examples of responsibility in action, from both a personal, individual angle, but also from a collective angle too. It was excellent, thought-provoking material.

Year 6 have been to visit the permanent collection at Tate Modern today. That seems to me to be a frightfully civilised way to spend a Friday! Mrs Howell, as Head of Art, hopes that the boys’ exposure to a range of works and discussion on the range of techniques used to produce them will help engender some excellent art work here this term. Although gazing upon great works of art is very enjoyable, in and of itself, the boys’ ability to reason out why some art works are more successful than others, in their minds, was the core purpose of this visit today for Year 6, so soon into their preparation for senior school entrance exams as they are.

Mr Salt, Mr Richards and I met with a particular group of boys in Year 6 this week, to discuss their roles and responsibilities this year. The boys in question were our Head Boy, Adam Gaunt, our Deputy Head Boy, Charlie Gavin and the eight joint Heads of our four Houses. They are:

  • Lancaster: Toby Smith and Harry Wilson
  • Tudor: Harvey Cooper and Tristan Thorpe
  • Windsor: Jacob Austin and Nathaniel Taylor
  • York: Rohan Kripalani and William Skinner

Mr Salt will be running some leadership training for these boys this year and Mr Richards and I will also be meeting with them on a regular basis to hear how they are putting that training into action, with the leadership of the other boys in their Houses. We will also be expecting the joint Heads of House to present to us their growing understanding of the accomplishments of all the boys in their respective Houses over time, and to discuss with us how we, as a School, might best go about celebrating them. I have to say, it really felt like a meeting with boys much older than those who were present, such was their maturity and the very sincere way they explained they wished to assume their various responsibilities. We, the adults, are very much looking forward to working with these Year 6 boys this year.

Have a great weekend,

 

Tim Smith

Headmaster

 

Sports News

We are well into the swing of things now. The last seven days has seen us compete in two tournaments and all year groups competing in their first fixture of the year. Today is extremely exciting as every boy in year 3 gets to play in their first game for Hampton Prep. We haven’t had many games sessions to really get to grips with everyone’s name, let alone their football prowess but as ever today is about joining in and having fun. I’m just looking forward to seeing lots of smiling faces and I presume some very worn out boys by the end of the afternoon.

On Saturday the U11 A & B teams and the U10 A & B teams played in tournaments. The U11 A were at Shrewsbury House and the other three teams were at Hampton. It was a tough morning for the U11 A team, as they failed to win a game. However, this is not a true representation of their performance on the day and I can say this with good authority, as I was there to see their first three group games; which on each occasion they could have conceivably won. A few slow starts didn’t help and there is definitely a need to improve fitness levels with these bigger pitches, but in two of the three games they were the better team and they were very unlucky.

The other three teams all competed at Hampton, in what was a huge tournament and a great festival of football. Hundreds of children were taking part and they utilise a great format that sees the boys play nine 8 minute games, virtually back to back. A tough morning on the legs but it was great to see the gradual improvement in all the boys over the course of the morning and it was a fantastic way to start the season.

On Wednesday all the U11s and U10s played against King’s House. Traditionally a very tough school to play and on count back we lost more games than we won, but we did win both the A team games and on the whole I was proud of all the boys efforts. I took the U11 C team and much like the A team on Saturday, we were by far the better team. However, we went on to lose 2-1 and it was an early season lesson in ‘taking your chances’.

Today, as I mentioned earlier, the U8s play against Bishopsgate as do the U9s. It will be a good feeling to know that, for all the boys, the season is well and truly underway.

Things remain pretty frantic next week with the U10 A & B teams competing in the TPS tournament and as I am sure you are already aware Friday is our house swimming gala. I have been busily collating the races and I will email you all with the final arrangements for the day at the start of next week. On the same day our friends from Elizabeth College Junior School arrive from Guernsey and after the swimming gala the Guernsey boys and the boys who are hosting are visitors will be going bowling, before we all meet on the Saturday morning for our annual 6-a-side tournament at Hampton School. A busy few weeks but lots to look forward to.

Prep News

Please note due to the Swimming Gala taking place there will be no CCAs next Friday 22 September.

Year 3 Team Building

Pre-Prep News

The term feels properly underway now having completed the first full week in school.  We continue to be delighted with how well the children have settled in to life at Hampton Pre-Prep!  With this in mind, you will have recently received an email from Mr Richards, Deputy Head Pastoral, with this year’s Pastoral Handbook. This is a helpful reference point for you and a copy can also be found on the website. Please do contact us if you have any concerns whatsoever as pastoral care is extremely important to us all, after all, ‘a happy child will be a successful child.’ Do remind your child that if s/he is at all worried or unsure about anything they can talk to any adult at school.  We also regularly remind the children that they can use, recognise and respond positively to the phrase, ‘Please don’t do that I don’t like it’.

We are very excited to announce greater Pre-Prep involvement in our School Council this year. School Council is a forum to encourage the children to contribute ideas and suggestions about school life and, to this end, two children from each class from Reception upwards are elected by their peers to sit on the council for a year. Pre-Prep School Council members will meet every half term and the Year 2 representatives will join meetings at Prep.  Essentially, School Council is the vehicle to allow the children at Hampton Pre-Prep the opportunity to offer ideas and suggestions to enhance school life and indeed the wider community by supporting their chosen charities. If your child would like to be a School Councillor, next week they will have the opportunity to tell their class their reasons why and the classes will then vote for their two representatives.  We are very grateful to Miss Goscomb, who will kindly be coordinating the School Council in the Pre-Prep.

It was lovely to welcome Mr Smith to our assembly on Monday and he introduced us to this term’s theme ‘Responsibilities’.  Over the next few weeks, we shall be exploring this is greater depth.  During Monday’s assembly, Mr Smith made the following awards:  James Nunn (Year 2) received two certificates – one Grade 1 viola and one for Grade 1 piano.  We were delighted to hear that James was awarded with distinctions in both examinations.  Aashish Gill (Year 1) was awarded with a medal from Hampton Hill cricket club.  Very well done to both boys!

In today’s assembly the Courtesy Cup and Badge was awarded to Aashish Gill (Year 1) for beautiful manners at all times and Stars of the Week to:

Year 2: Dean Fitzpatrick for having an excellent start to Year 2 – always working hard and trying his best.

Year 1:  Harry Cole for excellent reading this week.

Reception: Jonah Miles for working so hard in Reception class this week for all his teachers – well done, Jonah!

Here’s what we’ve been up to in class …

It has been wonderful to see the children settle into Kindergarten for their first full week. The children have enjoyed the self-registration, putting their named flower into the plant pot as they come into class.  They have had fun printing with shapes on their name trains and getting out the toys that they choose to play with. Malleable materials such as play dough and play foam have been made into cakes for the teachers to sample and the shaving foam play was fun, if not a little messy!

The mud kitchen and the wooden climbing frame has been very popular this week. There was a lovely game of ‘builders’ this morning, where a group of boys donned hard hats and high visibility jackets. We are going to turn our role play area into a builder’s workshop next week for the children to really get into character.

Next week’s topic is ‘Getting to Know you’.

Reception class have settled into our daily routine beautifully. Our topic this week was making our mark. The children have enjoyed listening to the story The Pencil by Allan Ahlberg which is all about the amazing drawings that can be created using just a pencil. Ask your children about the pencil’s clever idea at the end to overcome the mischievous rubber! The boys have enjoyed drawing, painting, using the white boards and play dough.

Our phonic focus this week has been the letters s, a and t. We have been thinking of words starting with these initial sounds. In mathematics we have been learning about the numbers 1 and 2.

We enjoyed listening to the children’s first Show and Tell on Wednesday. The boys all took part and tried to do their best listening to their friends. A huge well done for working so hard this week!

Just a gentle reminder to come into school in PE kit every Thursday!

In English this week, Year 1 have been focusing on putting capital letters and full stops within their sentences. We read the book ‘Knuffle Bunny’ and used it to write our own story about losing our favourite cuddly toy.

In maths, we have been learning to order and write numbers 1 – 20 and identify one more or one less with numbers up to 20. We have also practised ordinal numbers, from 1st to 20th.

We began our topic ‘What Makes a House a Home’ by looking at our journeys to School. We ordered our journey by drawing pictures and writing captions. Paddington Bear has begun his journey to some of your homes this week too!

In Year 2 maths we have been using number lines to add and subtract. We also had our first ‘mental maths’ lesson this morning.

Today in English we received a very important parcel from Bon Bon Elf, the Mayor of Fairyland because all of their punctuation has gone missing! We had to help him by filling in the missing punctuation in some rather strange sentences that he sent us about characters including Goldilocks and Cinderella.

We began our ‘Changes Within Living Memory’ topic by thinking about what things we do during the day, both inside and outside of school as well as what our parents might have done during their school days. We also read the book ‘Peepo!’ to compare homes in the past compared to homes nowadays.

Last week the children had their first gymnastics session at Prep with Mrs Powell. She has asked that on a Wednesday for this session, children wear their shorts underneath their jogging bottoms, as gymnastics takes place in the hall at Prep and it can get very warm.

Finally, a quick reminder that we have Pre-Prep Reading Information Evening coming up next week, on Thursday 21 September at 6.30 pm.  We intend to share our approach to reading from Reception to Year 2; we hope very much that you will be able to join us.

Have a great weekend!