Headmaster’s Bulletin – Edition 9

This Week

Dear Parents,

I do not often reference individual boys in the Bulletin but Emilio Da Silva in Year 6 deserves a special mention this week. Last weekend Emilio took part in the Kingston Music Festival and he did exceptionally well, coming second place and winning a Silver Medal in the ‘Own Choice’ category but coming first place and winning a Gold Medal in the ‘Sonatina’ category. Music overall really is thriving at our school and if parents of boys who do not currently learn an instrument would like them to start one, please do get in touch with Miss Bee.

Last week I promised to let you know how our team of Year 6 mathematicians got on in the National Young Mathematicians’ Awards. Mr Campbell, Head of Maths, and I were excited to learn that the boys have made it through to the Regional Finals, due to take place in Hounslow at the end of this month. If they are successful there they will be invited to go up to the University of Cambridge for the National Finals in December.

Encouraging our pupils to build, maintain and ultimately enjoy positive personal relationships with one another is a critically important part of what we do here. We try to go about this in all sorts of direct and on occasions not so direct ways. First and foremost, I believe we as adults have an especially important responsibility to model the sorts of behaviours and dispositions we expect all our pupils to embody. I am comfortable and happy, for instance, that boys in the Prep roll their eyes and groan – in an affectionately gentle, mocking manner – when Mr Arnold stands up in front of them at lunch time each Friday to tell them his ‘Friday Funny’ joke. I am also conscious – and not at all uncomfortable about this –  that on occasion our pupils, including those in the Pre-Prep, roll their eyes and look rather disparagingly at me when I am attempting to amuse them but my attempts are falling rather flat. I am used to them looking at me like they cannot quite believe I am behaving as idiotically as I am; I suspect there is nothing more effective to bring one down to earth with a bump than the pitying, rather withering looks I get from small children, who simply do not find me funny! (I sometimes wonder if, as their parents, you are ever made to feel the same?) I never sense any unkindness or malice from them when they are doing this however, and neither I hasten to add, do any other adults here.

This week has been National Anti-Bullying Week and we therefore organised a series of anti-bullying workshops for pupils in both Pre-Prep & Prep, which took place on Wednesday and Thursday respectively. I was able to observe some of the workshops and I chatted at length to the trainer over lunch on Thursday about the work she had been doing with our pupils. This notion of the difference between gentle and well-intentioned and well received teasing, compared to outright unkindness which when repeated does indeed constitute bullying, was one of the strands that was explored in the mostly drama led workshops for the pupils. Each workshop for each year group culminated with very clear explanations of what our pupils should do if they feel they are being bullied, with strategies ranging from trying to sort matters out for oneself through to enlisting the help of adults, if need be. Exploring ideas such as empathy and proportionality was also a large feature of the discussions that occurred in each workshop. Before the end of this term, Class and Form teachers will be following up on the anti-bullying messages that were covered this week. I strongly recommend you also discuss these important workshops with your children, if you have not already done so, and as ever we will of course be very keen to receive any feedback you think would be useful for us to know.

This week I was very glad to meet up with Mr James Davies, the Headmaster of Halliford School and we were very happy to host a visit here with Mr Mark Hoskins, Headmaster, and Mrs Rachel Morris, Registrar at Reed’s School. There is a number of senior schools that boys from here have moved onto over the years and these are but two. I mention them only because, although decisions about where some boys currently in Year 6 might go are now down to their performance in their entrance exams next term, the transition to senior schools for boys currently in Year 5 in particular is sitting ever higher in the minds of their parents. I do hear some rather weird tales about how the transfer process to senior school is managed by Prep schools in this part of the world; I recognise that as parents your shared experiences are a matter of some discussion amongst you all, which ought to be good and helpful but if you too are hearing things about senior schools or the transfer process itself that do not seem plausible then I would suggest they are probably not and you should ignore them!

If ever any parents would like a chat with us about the whole next schools process all you have to do is come in to see either Mrs Murphy (with regard to our girls in the Pre-Prep), Mr Arnold or me, and we will always be very willing to oblige. The successful and happy transfer of each boy and girl to their next school is one of our core activities, hence why we consider it especially important to get right.

Have a great weekend,

Tim Smith

Headmaster

Sports News

At the end of last week, the U9s played Surbiton High. All the boys were involved and it resulted in four really competitive games. The A team lost 4-3 the B team won 5-0, the C team won 3-2 and the D team lost 2-0.

The C team actually came from 2-0 down to win their game, so it was great to see such character from those boys. The D team were very unlucky to be on the wrong end of their result as they applied far more pressure throughout the game. However, they struggled to get the ball in the net and eventually they were undone by two breakaway attacks.

On Wednesday the U11s played against Claremont with both the A and B teams recording a win. However, in both cases we scored the winning goal in the last minute, so they were tight affairs and Claremont can clearly count themselves as unlucky to come away with two losses. We continue our fixtures against Claremont next week so it will be interesting to see if those games are just as tight.

Today both the U8s and the U9s play against Twickenham Prep and the U10s depart for their mini football tour of Manchester. As I mentioned last week we have loads of really exciting things planned. On Friday when we arrive we will play against Altrincham Prep school. This school is where many of the Manchester United players send their sons, so you would imagine that it is going to be a tough task tomorrow afternoon.

In the evening we are going to go bowling and then on Saturday morning we are going to visit the National Football Museum, before travelling to Old Trafford for a tour of the stadium and then sitting down to watch Manchester United v Newcastle United. It’s going to be a late night and hopefully there will be lots of quiet sleeping boys on the way back, but either way I hope all the boys will remember it for a long time to come. I’ll keep the twitter account updated, so keep your notifications on if you want to see how we are getting on.

I hope you all have a good week.

Prep News

In assembly this week Headmaster’s Commendations were awarded to Lucas Band (3W) For completing the Reach for the Stars Programme demonstrating continued effort and progress in reading and spelling. Xavier McGuire (3W) For showing interest and insight into the world of dinosaurs and politics. Richard Turner, Massimo Palladino and Sebastian Woods (all 4S) Max Duggan (5H) Ben Crook and Tom Keen ( both 5C) for completing the Reach for the Stars Programme demonstrating continued effort and progress in reading and spelling. Christopher Bathurst (5H) Humanities: For going above and beyond for Second World War independent research prep. Amin Chaudhry (6L) For going above and beyond and being an excellent help to Mrs Howell as Art Monitor. Well done to those boys!

 

During the Christmas Holidays, Chris Harrison will be running a cricket coaching course at Hampton School which is ideal for young cricketers to have fun and improve their game. Each session will include skill drills for batting, bowling and fielding as well as net and match play practice. A great way to spend the holiday period! Please click here for more details.

 

Pre-Prep News

The theme ‘freedom’ has continued to be at the forefront of our minds this week, dovetailing rather nicely with this week’s Anti-Bullying national campaign, ‘All Different, All Equal’.  Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 took part in workshops led by One Day Creative to explore this important topic.  It was clear that the children thoroughly enjoyed their sessions; we hope they will share more about these with you over the weekend.  Any feedback will be gratefully received.

In Mondays assembly, Thomas Chivers (Year 1) received a certificate stating he joined the ‘Go Ape Tribe’ at Bracknell – very well done!

Today in assembly, the Courtesy Cup and Badge were awarded to Teddy Clarke for his beautiful manners, he said an extra ‘thank you’ to the lady who led our workshops this week completely on his own accord.

and Stars of the Week to the following pupils:

Year 2: Sebastian Baker for trying really hard to remember to put his hand up when he has something to say in class – well done!

Year 1:  Harry Morris for fantastic reading!

Reception: Ani Ageer for working so hard with our topic ‘learning to respect’ – he said so many lovely comments about his friends in our circle time.  Thank you, Ani!

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

This week in Kindergarten , we have been reading and talking about the famous tale of The Gingerbread Man. Together we have read many different versions of this story and have discussed how they vary with different characters. We enjoyed making our very own ginger scented playdough and we all had a job to do! We mixed, flour, oil, cream of tartar, salt, and ground ginger. Then very carefully, we added boiling water to the mix. We pretended to make bread and cakes with the playdough. We also collaged pictures of gingerbread men to hang up in our bakery role-play area. In the role-play area, we have had fun pretending to bake biscuits and bread and buy them from the baker, who carefully put our purchases in a paper bag after we gave them some coins. On Thursday, we paired up with a friend and walked to Cavan bakers. We each held tightly our own money and asked the man and the lady in the bakers for a gingerbread reindeer. We were praised for our excellent manners and beautiful behaviour throughout the entire visit. When we returned to school, we had a hot chocolate and a biscuit. What a treat! We enjoyed using the magnetic characters from the story to act out the story on our whiteboard.  In phonics, we have been looking at the sound ‘n’. As we have enjoyed The Gingerbread Man so much, we are going to continue the same theme next week and we are going to make our own gingerbread men, let us hope that they do not hop out of our oven and run as fast as they can!

We have had a brilliant “Learning to Respect” week in Reception and we have immersed ourselves in PSED (personal, social and emotional development). We started the week by talking about what makes us special – we agreed that we are all special and unique, but that we share things in common too – which is what draws us together. We decorated special name stickers and spent the morning admiring each others’ badges; it was lovely to hear so many compliments flying around the classroom.  We spent time talking, writing and drawing about all the things that make us happy – it was heart-warming to hear lots of children saying that school, their teachers and their friends made them happy, and, of course, there was lots of talk about family too.  On Wednesday we pulled names out of a tin and gave each child three compliments – children commented on liking to see other children using kind hands, playing fun games and having lovely smiles and happy faces. It was a joy to watch each child as they received their compliment – their faces were a picture. We spoke about how important it is to say kind things and how that makes people feel.  Children will receive a note of these compliments in their book bags, along with a picture, drawn for them by a friend. In mathematics, we have continued learning how to navigate the hundred square. A game of “hidden numbers” resulted in much excitement! Also in your book bags this week you will have found a copy of the collaborative firework poem that your child wrote last week – ask them to point out which section they wrote.

Year 1 have continued their work on repeating patterns in English this week by retelling the story of The Gingerbread Man and extending the poem ‘Down Behind The Dustbin’. We enjoyed thinking of rhyming words to make rhyming couplets for our poems.

In maths, we have been counting in groups of 2s, 5s and 10s as well as recognising number patterns.

In science, we continued our work on our topic this term ‘Animals including Humans’ by learning about animals from the Artic.

This week in maths Year 2 revised multiplying and dividing 5, 10 and 3. We have also done some work on time and learning to tell the time on an analogue clock to the nearest quarter of an hour. The children are pretty good at this to the point of reminding the teachers when it is 10:30 (playtime) and 12 o’clock (lunchtime)!

In English we have continued our work on poetry by learning about syllables as chunks of sound. We had fun singing ‘London’s Burning’ in various different ways including rounds. The children also did some beautiful handwriting when copying out the poem.

In topic we learned about dishes from around the world and had to locate different countries on a map and what food originates from there, such as pizza coming from Italy.

Christmas Production – A quick plea, if any of you have any old red tights you could spare, we would be very grateful to receive them for our production.  Also, we are really delighted to have secured someone to film Kindergarten’s production – a very big thank you to Mrs Morris for this lead!

Next week, please be advised that rehearsals and extra music sessions will disrupt the normal timetable from Monday 20 November.  We always aim to have most of our rehearsals during the afternoon periods in order to protect core subject teaching time.  However, please note Year 1 will not have PE on Wednesday 22 November or on Wednesday 29 November.  Similarly, games lessons for Reception, Years 1 and 2 will not take place on Thursday 23 or Thursday 30 November and, finally, Year 2 will not have gym on Wednesday 29 November as we will be having our final dress rehearsal at Prep.

We will be sending out a note next week outlining the arrangements for the run up to Christmas, as ever a very busy time lies ahead!

Finally, a very big thank you for your contributions to Children in Need today, we raised £117.82 and it’s already been banked at Lloyds in Hampton!

Have a lovely weekend.