Headmaster’s Bulletin – Edition 25
This week, through good fortune rather than good design, a very important theme appears to have emerged at both Pre-Prep & Prep and it has manifested itself in a number of different ways. The importance of sharing has infused the thinking and work of pupils, which I have been very pleased about.
The pupils in Reception listened very carefully when I called in to see them on Wednesday to read them a story about creatures living under the sea. The story supported the work Reception have been doing lately about life under the sea generally, and there were some very high level ideas contained in a tale clearly aimed at younger children. We touched on notions of parasites, symbiosis and food chains and then talked in more general terms about the importance of sharing. The pupils lapped it all up! One of the great challenges for our colleagues in the Early Years centres upon how and when they must decide to craft and communicate fairly sophisticated adult ideas into something that five year olds can relate to, and then begin to understand. I am always so impressed to see this happening with such great success in the Pre-Prep and am always so delighted that my colleagues do this with such great flair.
I wandered back to the Prep through Carlisle Park that same afternoon and was immediately struck by the tremendously civilised scene I encountered there: the afternoon was warm and bright and there were teams of our boys playing some really spirited cricket against one of our fiercest rivals. I soon discovered that one of our teams did not have enough players and that very quickly two boys from the visiting opposition had been invited to swap allegiances and play for Hampton Prep that afternoon. Another wonderful example of the importance of sharing.
In the Prep we have been encouraging the boys to focus on the news surrounding the build up to the general election. If you have not done so already it would be very helpful if, over the next couple of weeks, you could support us at home by discussing this matter with your children as we will be holding our own Hampton Prep Election very shortly. Four political parties have been created and they are: Denmead, Rebellion, Creativity and Activate. These are all very interesting names in their own right and each party has also produced their own very interesting manifestos.
Next week representatives from each of the four parties will share salient points from their manifestos with the boys at the conclusion of our assemblies, replicating the idea of party political broadcasts I suppose. In my Current Affairs lessons this week I have also taken the opportunity of explaining to the boys in Year 3 just how important it is to listen to these sorts of ideas – in an effective, critical way – when they are shared with us. I explained how important it is for the boys to make up their own minds when deciding who to vote for and this was a message that Mr Richards emphasised to all the boys in every Year group in assembly this morning as well.
I get the very strong impression that the boys take this sort of thing very seriously indeed. I am always very impressed with the questions they ask and the way they are able to focus on the merits of any ideas that are presented to them, whilst remembering not to be influenced by the personality or indeed perceived “popularity” of the authors or presenters of the ideas. I hope this quality stays with them as they grow up and decide if they wish to vote for real in the years to come. There has already been some quite spirited canvassing and exchanging of “political” ideologies amongst the boys, especially between those in Year 6 it seems. We have been reminding those boys in particular about the importance of giving everyone a fair hearing; I am nonetheless very glad that the place democracy occupies in our community sits high in the minds of all our pupils.
Have a great weekend,
Finally the sun has come out and Wednesday in particular was a beautiful day, that was made all the more enjoyable by the scene that was set on Carlisle Park. Four games of cricket against King’s House and every boy in year 5 playing and enjoying themselves.
We were spread across the entire park and it was also lovely to see so many parents there too; enjoying both the sunshine and the great cricket on display. Over in Richmond the same impressive scene was also on display, as every boy in Year 6 also played against King’s House.
Inclusivity is at the heart of what we do here at Hampton Prep. Sport for all is my mantra and it fills me with great pride when we have afternoons such as Wednesday, where every single boy is able to take part.
They may not all go on to play cricket after they leave this school, they may even claim currently to not enjoy cricket that much, but without a doubt every boy will develop and benefit from afternoons such as Wednesday and I am sure that they will all, regardless of ability, go on to look back at these times with fond memories and appreciate the opportunity they had to compete and be part of a team.
So many children of this age don’t get that opportunity, which is to the detriment of everyone and most of all the child, so I think it’s also important to spend a little time reflecting on how lucky we all are to be in an environment where the boys have these opportunities and therefore not let them pass us by without really making the most of them.
So to the cricket itself. For the U10s it was a good afternoon with the B, C and D teams recording resounding victories. The A team game was a cracker with Hampton Prep posting 96, with a 50 for Natty Taylor, but unfortunately a few too many byes in the first few overs was our downfall and the opposition completed the run chase with two overs left, winning by 6 wickets.
The U11s had a little more difficulty against what is clearly a very talented year group at King’s House and we failed to win any of our three games. However, the real story of the day was the C teams first ever hardball fixture. As I have mentioned to you previously and for those of you that don’t know, getting all the pads on and the helmet and standing facing someone throwing a really hard ball at you from 19 yards away, is actually a pretty daunting prospect and so it was a real milestone in these boys lives that they were able to get all the gear on and give it a go. There was a little bit of confusion about what pad went where or how to attach them, which is to be expected, but all the boys put their best foot forward and attacked it with a vigour that was admirable to see and as mentioned previously, I am sure they won’t forget it.
Today sees the U8s and U9s complete our fixtures for the year against St. George’s Windsor. I am really excited, as are the boys in year 3, about their first ever game for the school and the year 4 boys will be keen to carry on where they left off against St. Benedict’s last week.
The next two weeks are really busy with a fixture nearly every single day so they’ll be lots to tell you about as we move towards half term.
Have a great weekend.
Head of PE and Games
‘Wonder’ is our assembly theme for this half term, and our discussions led nicely on to thinking about feeling curious. As Albert Einstein once said, ‘The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing’. Instilling children with a strong desire to know or learn something is what every teacher lives for, and some research has even shown that curiosity is just as important as intelligence in determining how well children do in school. There’s no doubt curiosity makes learning more effective and enjoyable – curious children not only ask questions, but also actively seek out the answers. Without wondering ‘what’, ‘why’ or ‘if’, it is possible that Sir Isaac Newton may never have formulated the laws of physics or Alexander Fleming would have discovered penicillin.
We loved hearing from James Phillips (Year 2) during our assembly on Monday when he shared his research on the Houses of Parliament – thank you, James!
Also at Monday’s assembly, Mr Smith announced the House Captains and Vice-Captains for the Summer Term, as follows:
Red – House Captain: Lucas Band and Vice-Captains: Tom Chance and Max Beesley
Yellow – House Captain: Aaryan Jadoon and Vice-Captain: Theo Tang
Blue – House Captain: Sam Corkery and Vice-Captain: Arin Patel
Green – House Captain: Phoenix Stromgren and Vice-Captain: Freddie Brisbane
Congratulations to Max Beesley (Year 2) who was awarded with his trophy from the Old Warriors in Wimbledon for being the most improved U7 player of the season and for his medal from Dorking RFU; Harrison Sinnett (Reception) received a rugby medal from Rosslyn Park; and Archie Skinner received two rugby medals – one from Harlequins and the other from Twickenham.
As part of the Healthy Eating Initiative, the children have been earning stickers for making healthy mealtime choices and great excitement ensued when we welcomed Captain Broccoli into Pre-Prep. He reinforced how very important vegetables are in maintaining a healthy body.
In today’s assembly the following awards were made:
The Courtesy Cup and Badge was awarded Ollie Nicholls (Year 2), as his manners are exemplary and he always has a kind and positive comment to offer his friends during the school day.
Stars of the Week were awarded to:
Year 2: Theo Tang for remembering to slow down when completing maths tasks and be really careful – well done!
Year 1: Julia Brock-Talman – for making excellent effort with her handwriting this week.
Reception: Reuben Nicholson – for excellent writing on his under the sea riddle.
Here’s what we’ve been up to in class……..
Well, without a doubt, the highlight of our week in Kindergarten has been the visit by Grace Nicholls’ rabbits – Milky and Malteser! We learnt that Grace’s mini lop rabbits like to eat straw and that this helps to look after their teeth. We found out about the toys they like to play with and the cuddles they like to have with the Nicholls family! We have also embraced our Art Week. We have worked collaboratively on a piece of artwork inspired by Matisse, called ‘La Garbe’. This involved painting with bright colours and then cutting out stylised leaf shapes. Our cutting skills were definitely tested! The finished piece of art work has taken pride of place in the Kindergarten. We have also begun working on a piece of artwork, again collaboratively, inspired by the artist Kandinsky. We have experimented with colour mixing and painting and were surprised by how many shades of green there were to be found in nature! The children have had fun using the parachute in the playground where again, the importance of working as a team was highlighted. Next week, as part of our topic on ‘Growth’, we are excited about looking at and talking about healthy food choices and we are planning to make vegetable soup. So, please could your child bring a vegetable into school on Wednesday so that they can prepare and cook this nutritious meal for their tea! We will provide a suitable container for them to take it home in.
We have been ‘Under the Sea’ this week in Reception class. We have looked at the different creatures that we may find living in the ocean and chose our favourite one. We then made up and wrote a riddle about our sea creature for our friends to try and guess what they were. In art we created a 3D under the sea picture box in our colour teams.
In science we have been looking at various materials and estimating whether they will float or sink. We then carried out the investigation to see if our predictions were right. We also designed and made our own boats out of either paper, foil and play foam. We estimated how many play people our boats would hold and then tested our boats to see how many passengers could climb aboard.
Next week’s topic is rockets and robots!
This week Year 1 have enjoyed continuing with our English topic on fairy stories. We read the story of The Three Billy Goats Gruff and wrote a storyboard showing the events in the story.
On Wednesday, we all travelled to The Science Centre in Winchester for the day. The was huge delight amongst Year 1 watching their rockets they had built fly into the air, whilst learning about pushing and pulling forces. In the afternoon, we watched an exciting live show in the planetarium; learning all about the night sky and some of the planets in our solar system. What a wonderful day!
In maths, we have been learning all about capacity. Year 1 compared capacities using non-standard measurements and ordered containers by measuring their capacity. At the end of the week we began reading scales using ml and litre
Year 2 have continued learning about non-chronological reports this week by learning how to scan texts for key information. Next week we will begin researching different rainforest creatures in preparation for writing reports on them.
We have spent our maths lessons consolidating our understanding of dividing, using our knowledge of our times tables to help.
In science we thought about which animals could live in different habitats and how they are adapted for these. In life skills we learned about the people in our community who help us and what we do. We have made a huge jigsaw to show how all of these people fit together in our society. In topic we learned about the rainforest canopy and the forest floor, thinking carefully about the animals and plants in each. We are very excited about our trip to the Living Rainforest next week!
Finally, don’t forget to order your Pre-Prep party tickets for Saturday 20 May, by all accounts tickets are selling fast, so buy early to avoid disappointment!
Have a great weekend!