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Headmaster’s Bulletin – Edition 3

This Week

Dear Parents,

Experiences outside the classroom are an important part of what we do at Hampton Pre-Prep & Prep. All our pupils, from Kindergarten to Year 6, will enjoy all sorts of trips and off-site activities during their time here; this week numbers of our Prep pupils had a lovely time taking part in some exciting events away from school.

Getting to school in the first place, for some, was a rather different experience on Tuesday as 82 determined members of the Prep school community, alongside some adventurous siblings, parents, grandparents and au pairs participated in the Biker’s Breakfast. A tasty pastry and a healthy, cheerful smile was their reward. Bikers’ Breakfast is a bit of a misnomer really, as the day is primarily designed to encourage any sort of journey to school other than by car. Plenty did come on bikes but plenty scooted and walked too. The delighted Junior Safety Officers would like to remind everyone that travel habits can be changed permanently, and they would like to encourage as many pupils as possible to arrive in the mornings via the Carlisle Park gate.

A small number of Year 3 parents have decided to car pool and I have to say, this is a tremendous initiative. Up to five boys living in close proximity to one another are brought to school in one car on a rota by the boys’ parents. If any others are able to follow this example, we would be delighted to hear about it.

On Wednesday morning Year 4 took a trip to The Stockyard in Bushy Park. All manner of insects, bugs and fish were carefully captured (to be released later I hasten to add) and examined under the microscope. This sort of practical science compliments what we do in science lessons and was a fantastic opportunity to put some theory to the test.

On Wednesday afternoon, as Mr Darmon references in this week’s Sports News amongst plenty more that he is glad to report, the U10A and U10B footballers displayed some tremendous effort and enjoyed some wonderful and well deserved success at the TPS Tournament. The B team played splendidly through to the semi-finals and were knocked out there after a tricky end to the match, resulting in a golden goal sudden death scenario from which they emerged defeated but gracious with it. The A team enjoyed considerably better fortune on the day however, and managed to make it through to the final to lift the overall victor’s cup!

Today Year 3 went to Hampton School to take part in their rescheduled Team Building Event. They very much enjoyed participating in a wide range of activities developing skills such as balance, co-ordination and thinking. Year 3 worked valiantly together guiding each other through the different courses. They were able to stop in parts to think about their next strategic move needed in order to succeed. Both Mrs Lutz and Miss Wakeling were very impressed by the way in which the boys bonded and worked collaboratively, showing their increasing development and independence. I am told they were terribly excited by it all too!

On Monday and Tuesday next week it will be my turn to spend some time out of school. I shall be attending the annual Prep School Heads’ Conference in central London. As ever, this will afford me the opportunity to discuss matters of mutual interest for all of us working in similar schools across the sector, which I always find immensely rewarding. There is a swanky dinner on Monday night, followed by a disco. Imagine, if you can, a ballroom full of postprandial Prep School Heads grooving out to the hits of the 80s – not a pretty sight. Our after dinner speaker this year is Anne Widdecombe. Her historic performance on ‘Strictly’ notwithstanding, I wonder which brave Head might be the first to invite her onto the dance floor…?

Have a great weekend,

Tim Smith


Sports News

This week has seen some fantastic performances on the sports field. The big news of the week is with regard to the U10 A football team, who beat all comers to win the Twickenham Prep 5-a-side football tournament on Wednesday. They showed all manner of admirable traits along with their obvious skill and talent on their way to winning the tournament and it was great to see a group of boys show so much passion, endeavour and pride in what they were doing. The final saw us face Claremont Fan Court School and the Hampton Prep boys dominated the game from the off and never looked like losing.  It was obvious to me how much the boys wanted to do well as a side that was representing their school. If we can harness that across the school, we’ll continue to progress.

Progress couldn’t have been more evident than in the U10 B team in the same tournament. As mentioned last week this team struggled slightly at the Hampton tournament but on Wednesday they showed huge improvement and were only knocked out in the semi-final by a golden goal in extra-time in a game they largely dominated and didn’t deserve to lose. Not only that, they stayed on to cheer on the A team right to the end and were just as overjoyed with the A team’s victory as the boys that were playing. All-in-all it was a great afternoon and I was very proud of everyone’s effort and a ‘well done’ must also go to the U10 team manager, Mr Henderson.

The football didn’t stop there with the IAFS U11 Regionals. The year 6 boys were in a really strong group and played some great football to qualify as one of the best runners up. This meant a quarter final against Alleyn’s School. We started slowly and went 2-0 down, but then rallied to score two very good goals leaving the score all square at the end of full time. Unlike the Twickenham Prep tournament there was no extra time and it was to be decided by penalties. Unfortunately, things didn’t go our way and we lost the penalty shoot-out. However, just like all those that competed on Wednesday the boys could be very proud of their performance.

Today sees our fixtures for the U9s and we will be putting out 5 sides meaning every boy in year 4 will be playing this afternoon, so it should be a great afternoon. I’ll let you know next week how we get on.

Next week is extremely busy with many fixtures. The U10s travel to Epsom college for a football festival which will see them coached by Chelsea FC coaches and the other year groups all play against St. George’s Windsor which will mean our Year 3s will making their debuts for Hampton Prep. Hopefully it will be a great week for all involved.

Prep News

Year 3 – Team Building Experience

Year 4 – The Stockyard at Bushy Park

Pre-Prep News

The following awards were made in Mondays assembly for the preceding week:

Courtesy Cup and Badge: Harry Squires (Year 1) was chosen by Mrs Baldwin for his beautiful manners – well done, Harry!

Star of the Week:

Reception:  Harry Cole, for a fantastic piece of news writing and being a very kind friend.

Year 1:  Sophia Singh, for fabulous number work in maths.

Year 2:  Archie Duggan, for having a fantastic start to Year 2 and working extremely hard.

Today, the following awards went to:

Courtesy Cup and Badge: Stephen Zhang (Year 1) for his cheery greetings to everyone in school each morning – well done!

Star of the Week:

Reception:  Finlay Timba, for working really hard all week and keeping all the Golden Rules.

Year 1: James Nunn, for settling into his new school so well and for always having a cheery disposition.

Year 2: Tom Chance, for being incredibly focused with his work this week.

Congratulations also go to the following children:

Harriet Dumbrell (Year 1) and William Dumbrell (Year 1) received their gold Mathletics certificates in assembly.  Tom Chance (Year 2) received two bronze and on silver certificate.  Freddie Brisbane (Year 2) received a bronze certificate. Very well done to you all!

Julie Brock-Talman (Year 1) has gained her Turtle Level 1 Swim Award – well done!

Alex Boxall (Year 2) received a certificate for completing the ‘Learn to Ride’ cycling course and the ASA Stage 1 Learn to Swim award.  Good effort, Alex.

We are proud to announce our Year 2 House Captains and Vice Captains for the term ahead.

Red / Lancaster:  House Captain – Alfie Keller and Vice Captain – Harry Squires

Blue / Tudor:  House Captain – James Phillips and Vice Captain – Elise Bay

Yellow/ Windsor: House Captain – Anastasia Maheswaran and Vice Captain – Bertie Bishop

Green / York:  House Captain – Meribelle Mari and Vice Captain – Freddie Brisbane

Finally, following a fair and democratic process, Alfie Keller and Sam Corkery were elected to the School Council.

Kindergarten:  The children are now, with support, beginning to find their own name in the mornings as part of our self-registration routine. The role of breaktime helper continues to be a highlight of the morning and the children are working hard demonstrating good listening skills at this time. They have had fun in their two music sessions with our specialist music teacher, Mrs Baldwin and they loved having the opportunity to explore some new musical instruments. Next week, we are looking forward to developing our topic on Transport by learning about ‘Vehicles with wheels’.  May we ask if parents could please put their children’s spare clothes in a small bag on their pegs rather than in their book bags as we are finding it a little tricky to fit all of their lovely paintings and sticky pictures in their bags – many thanks.

 Reception: This week we have been thinking about ‘Ourselves’, we have used the mirrors to help us draw our faces in detail in oil pastels. We had lots of discussions about our feelings and emotions and what makes us happy and sad. We also shared information about our families and siblings. We participated in games to encourage sharing and turn taking.

In mathematics, we collected data about our eye colour and recorded the data onto a Pictogram. We found that brown was the most common eye colour in our class. We have been practising forming the numbers 3 and 4.

Year 1:  Christmas began early (!) in Year 1 this week with the children looking at the story of ‘Harvey Slumfenburger’s Christmas Present’ during their English lessons. They worked on ordering parts of the story, putting capital letters in the correct places and wrote about an interesting place they would like to live.

In maths, we have been learning to name 2D shapes and recognise how many corners and sides the shapes have.

We have continued with our topic on homes with the children writing in the style of an estate agent to describe their own homes.

Mr Smith visited us on Wednesday to read a story and we are beginning to get excited for Harvest Festival next week by learning our Harvest Poem.

Year 2:  This week Year 2 have been looking at shapes in maths. We revised the most common 2D shapes and their properties before spending time learning about reflective and vertical symmetry. We drew shapes with straight edges and had to concentrate really hard to make sure that we were using our rulers accurately. We rounded off the week by doing an investigation into how many triangles, rectangles and squares we could find in Kandinsky inspired pictures. This was really interesting and also made our eyes go wiggly from looking so closely at the pictures!

We have continued our focus on sentence structure and instruction writing in English. Yesterday we received a second very special letter from the Mayor of Fairy Land asking us to write some instructions to guide visitors around Fairy Land so that they stop being eaten by the giants. We have now nearly completed these and are making a book of them ready to send back to the elves.

In science we thought about the things that animals need to survive and grow and linked this to making sure that we look after our own pets carefully.

On Monday in our life skills lesson some of the class presented their manifestos for the School Council. We then took part in an anonymous vote and the results of the vote were announced in assembly later that day. The children who took part all spoke beautifully and should be proud of the effort that they had put into writing their manifestos.


Finally, it was lovely to see some of you at the Reading Information Evening. We hope you found it helpful and informative. Please do not hesitate to ask if you have any further questions about how we teach reading in Pre-Prep.  Have a lovely weekend – enjoy the sunshine!

headmaster's picture
Tim SmithHeadmaster