Headmaster’s Bulletin – Edition 1
We all have a favourite teacher or adult from our school past who really made a lasting impact upon us; I am no exception here. Mr Wallace, my A-level English teacher was as famous for his Kenny Everett impressions (I am aging myself there) as he was for his ability to make life lessons learnt from Shakespearean English, as studied by me 12,000 miles or so from the land of the Bard’s birth, a life changing process. Miss Angus, my GCSE French teacher was a 4’11” vegan with hair so long it dragged along the classroom floor. She used to bring in un-baked, sugar-free, chocolate-free, (fun-free) homemade treats at the end of each term. “Keep away from my hair!” was one of the first commands in French I was ever made to understand but funnily enough, I have not had much cause to rely upon it since.
As we begin our new school year in earnest, I hope the team of adults surrounding your children here will leave similarly lasting impressions on them; I hope they will be remembered for the lessons they teach as much for their quirks and techniques and funny faces and amusing voices but above all, I hope your children will remember their Hampton Pre-Prep & Prep teachers for their kindness and generosity of spirit. My colleagues know all too well I expect this of them, for I tell them as much quite often. I also know all the adults here possess those qualities in abundance, which is for me a very large part of what makes working with them such a rewarding experience.
From my time at university I remember the teaching staff much less somehow; this must obviously be because I spent so much time researching and writing my essays in the library (*cough!*). I am now connected via the alumni association of my university with the research it carries out. Over the summer I came across some work which, upon reading it, I immediately knew I wished to share with you.
In New Zealand, Emeritus Professor of Political Studies at the University of Otago, Jim Flynn, has been looking at how parents in particular can develop and enhance their children’s natural cognitive ability. After a life time’s work he has distilled his findings into the six top tips below:
- Be a good role model: If parents read widely, are well informed, talk, challenge and react to the world with intelligent criticism, their children tend to take it for granted that that’s how a person should be.
- Make reading a lifelong habit: Read to your babies and children. As you read, elaborate, make connections, elicit knowledge or ideas: “Who do you know that has a black dog? What do birds eat? Why did she do that? Which one do you like best?”
- Talk aloud: Expose children to the full range of your vocabulary and interests, chat with them at mealtimes, tell them how to do something rather than just showing them.
- Choose schools well: Prof Flynn says class size matters, as do the teachers working in them. Those who show good emotional support and sympathy, as much as relying upon excellent instructional technique, will have a measurable, positive impact upon your children.
- Make homework automatic: Praise children for their hard work rather than for their intelligence. Encourage them much more than you reprimand them.
- Don’t seek perfection: Driving yourself into a frenzy trying to raise the bar will not benefit anyone. Do not push in the face of resistance and destroy the pleasures your life and child should give you.
Points 2 and 3 are chiming loudly indeed with us here this year as my colleagues and I embark upon a programme of professional development centred around ‘talk for learning’. I will be happy to update any of you on this, if you are interested, as the year progresses.
You will doubtless recognise much of Professor Flynn’s findings as excellent common sense but I am, as ever, so pleased that someone far cleverer than me has gone to all the trouble of substantiating these ideas against a background of academic research. How you choose to raise your own children is entirely up to you. I do hope you all feel confident that we are an important part of that process, standing alongside you, shepherding your boys and girls to places where we both know they can make the absolute most of their potential.
Have a great weekend,
Chris Harrison Professional Cricket Coaching
Saturday Sessions @ Hampton School
Chris Harrison will be running his annual Saturday Sessions in the excellent sports hall at Hampton School. These sessions are perfectly suited for young cricketers who wish to improve and enjoy some cricket in the winter period. The weekly sessions will allow young player’s to make significant improvements in understanding, technique, performance and confidence. The young cricketers will be placed in skill specific groups when appropriate and there will be a good coach to player ratio.
Every Saturday from September 24th – December 10th 2016 (No session on 22nd October)
Venue: Hampton School Sports Hall, Hampton School, Hanworth Road, Hampton, TW12 3HD
To book a place on the course then please email email@example.com or call Chris 07900957145. Places will be booked on a first come first served basis so please book early to avoid disappointment.
Coming Soon – Holiday Courses in Autumn Term 2016
ECB Level 3 Coach ~ Hampton School, Professional Cricket Coach ~ Walton on Thames CC, Club Coach ~ Vast playing and coaching experience
Welcome back, we’ve been really impressed with the ease and speed in which the children have settled back in to school this week. We hope you all have a lovely weekend and look forward to seeing you on Monday morning.
Please note this year, all certificates (from home and school) will be celebrated during Friday’s assembly. We should love to see what the children have been getting up to out of school. If your child has a certificate, medal or trophy to show, please tell your child to give it to the Class Teacher by Thursday afternoon.
Congratulations to the following children for their achievements over the summer:
Aahana Kandeepan (Year 1) and Joseph Timba (Year 2) completed the Big Friendly Read at their local libraries.
Theo Tang (Year 2) was awarded a certificate for completing the Ride London Free Cycle and gained a bronze certificate in Mathletics.