Headmaster’s Bulletin – Edition 27
Kindness matters very much here, both to me and to my colleagues and this virtue was the main emphasis for my assembly in the Pre-Prep. Even though the novel ‘Wonder’ is not an age appropriate text for our very young pupils, the word itself has been the basis of assemblies for pupils in the Pre-Prep building, as it has been for the older boys. There was plenty of mind-reading going on during my assembly on Monday; by the end of it, all the Pre-Prep pupils correctly anticipated and then exclaimed out loud the word kindness in unison, just at the point in a sentence where I was hoping they would, in order to bring my assembly to a close. I believe kindness is not complicated. I also believe children should be encouraged to realise how much more rewarding life is when kindness is the default emotion they rely upon, as they form and then work to maintain relationships with others.
Boys in the Prep may have already conveyed this news to parents at home, but I can confirm now that the voting in our mock general election last week resulted in what would have been a hung parliament, if we operated a parliament here at School! As no overall clear majority emerged, we are aiming to have boys from all parties working together. Under the auspices of the School Council, we hope they will reach compromises around the policies they wish to bring to fruition.
There was another really lovely Pupils’ Informal Concert in the James Hall at the Prep last night, with 25 boys playing a broad range of instruments. I was tremendously impressed to notice just how many boys’ musical skills have improved since September. This augurs very well for our first Hampton Prep Proms, taking place at Hampton School after half term. I know Miss Bee has written to parents about this event and a great deal of rehearsal and practice continues here in preparation for the big night. I wonder how the hat decorations are coming along? Mr Nunan, one of our Gap Year Teaching Assistants (and recent former Captain of Hampton School) is in charge of the ‘staff musical item’. I was most enraptured when the title of the song, that it is hoped colleagues will sing was recently revealed to me. I am afraid I have promised not to disclose it to you here, but I am allowed to give you a clue: it is accommodation-themed and it comes with actions, which means parents may be asked to leap up on the night and join in – you have been warned!
Hopefully the sun will continue to shine as we now begin a few days away from School. Boys in Years 3 – 5 are most definitely entitled to relax into the break, given that they were exercising enormous intellectual acuity this week whilst producing their best answers in various exams. Results have been sent home today and for parents of boys in Year 5 there is an opportunity to discuss these results, in relation to our analysis of boys’ progress over time, at our Year 5 parents’ meetings in the middle of June. As ever, should any parents of boys in Years 3 and 4 particularly wish to discuss results, my colleagues and I will be happy to do so.
For boys in Years 5 and 6, the return to School after the break is bound to be infused with great excitement. Both year groups will head off first thing on their major residential excursions for this academic year. Mrs Campbell is leading the Year 5 pupils and staff on their outdoor adventure trip to Liddington in Wiltshire and Mr Richards will be in charge of Year 6 and the accompanying staff on their outdoor adventure trip to St. Davids in Wales.
I know there is a tremendous range of activities and pursuits planned for both year groups, with plenty of time built in to reflect upon personal development too. Pupils will find some of the activities quite testing and this, in my opinion, is a very good thing. I am always so encouraged by the boys’ responses to the challenges they encounter on these trips. No matter how difficult they find the endeavours to be, I know they will all experience how it feels to think about and then actually have a go at something new and exciting. I hope this whets their appetite for more of the same, as the years roll by. Life, after all, is for living.
Have a great half–term holiday,
It’s been a really busy week, with fixtures every single day and with this glorious weather, it’s been a great week.
The week started with the U11 A & B team playing St. Benedict’s school at Hampton school. Both teams were playing full games which meant a late finish, but it was really nice for the boys to get a feel of the surroundings at Hampton and make use of the fantastic facilities.
The A team bowled first and reduced the opposition to a respectable 110 runs with Sam Slaney bagging a couple of wickets. He then went on to make a great start with the bat alongside Jamie Wilson with Sam making a fantastic half century, at which point he had to retire. Unfortunately, though the team were unable to cross the line and reach the target, but it was a good warm up for their next fixture two days later. The B team on the other hand won their game convincingly and there are now a few boys in that team who started to put their hand up for selection in the A team.
On Tuesday the U8s travelled to Esher cricket club to play Surbiton. We put out 4 teams which meant all boys were playing and there were strong performances across the board. The A, B and C teams all won with the D team narrowly losing. Notable performances included Joseph Perry, Daniel O’Sullivan Sanz and Harry Ellis.
On the same day we were visited by Derek Randall. Mr Randall played 47 test matches for England, scoring 7 centuries; so to have someone of his callable coaching the boys and giving them valuable tips was a real treat for all of those involved, including us staff who were also able to soak some excellent coaching points. It was a fantastic afternoon and we hope to see his expert input bear fruit this afternoon when the U9s play King’s House. What was also so great to see was Mr Randall’s enthusiasm when coaching the boys and I only hope that when I’m 66 I still have as much energy and passion for the game.
On Wednesday both the U10s and U11s put A and B teams out against Surbiton High. The As travelled to Esher cricket club whilst the Bs were playing in Carlisle park. It was a good afternoon, with a clean sweep of wins. I was with the U10As and it is becoming apparent that we have some extremely talented cricketers in that year group. We agreed before the game that if a boy scored 25 runs then he would retire to give everyone a fair go. Five of our top seven batsmen scored 25 runs and the other two both suffered a slightly unfortunate run out and so probably would have done too. We finished posting 156 runs which for 20 overs and for boys of their age is very impressive. The opposition struggled to make the target and we won by 64 runs.
The U11s were also successful and they were better able to capitalise on another strong batting start by Jamie and Sam and they knocked off their target of 97 with a fair few overs to spare. Cricket can be a tough sport and you rely a lot on confidence. This team has had a tough start to the season but hopefully these last two strong performances can help them to kick on and with any luck they will by flying by the time they go on tour to Guernsey.
The two B teams were also victorious. These two teams didn’t play hardball cricket, but incrediball pairs. This format gives all the boys equal time batting and bowling and gives them all a chance to develop their skills without the pressure of getting out and dealing with all the cumbersome kit. It is vital for the boy’s development and we are now seeing boys in these B teams who are more than ready to now step up and play hardball cricket on a more regular basis.
Today the whole of year 4 will travel to King’s House to play 4 games and after half term I will let you know how they got on. Thank you as always for all your support this half term. I am well aware of all the taxi driving and often waiting around you all do and I am sure all the boys appreciate it. I certainly do, so thanks once again and enjoy the half term and hopefully lots more sun.
In assembly this week Headmaster’s Commendations were awarded: For completing the ‘Reach for the Stars’ programme, demonstrating continued effort and progress in reading and spelling; George Murphy, Jamie Searancke, Sebastian Woods (all 3L); Teddy Kirby, Richard Turner (Both 3W); Christopher Bathurst (4S); Tom Keen, Edward Reilly (Both 4H); Ben Aldous (5C) and William Turner (6C). History: For an excellent ‘Operation Barbarossa’ project; James Cooper, Charlie Cushing, Alexander Johnstone, Zaki Sadiq-Baig, Joe Wooldridge (All 6J).For an excellent ‘Operation Valkyrie’ project, Joseph Mawdsley (6J). Well done to those boys!
As already reported, ‘wonder’ has been the assembly theme for this half of the term, it has been really fascinating to hear the broad range of interests and hobbies that the children are already involved in outside school. To this end, we have encouraged them to bring their collections or items pertaining to their hobby in to school to share with us – discussions lead us to believe we have some budding geologists and entomologists in our midst.
It was lovely to welcome Mr Smith to our assembly on Monday and he made the following awards:
The Courtesy Cup and Badge was awarded to Aleena Zeshan (Year 2) for being so exceptionally kind and helpful with the younger pupils when walking to Prep.
Stars of the Week
Year 2: Max Beesley for working really hard on his handwriting.
Year 1: Aarav Tegginamath for excellent sentence writing; he is extending his writing with ‘and’ and ‘because’.
Reception: Aashish Gill for fantastic independently written news, complete with a beautiful drawing!
He also congratulated Rocco Freedman (Year 2) for his advanced level ‘Go Ape’ award and Joseph Timba (Year 2) for completing his silver freestyle football on Sunday. Very well done to you both.
In the first week back after half term we shall be holding our Sports Day at Prep. Mrs Murphy has sent out an email about arrangements, but would just like to reiterate the following –
Sports Day takes place on Friday 9 June at Prep and begins at 11.15 am, and it involves all pupils from Kindergarten to Year 2.
Kindergarten and Reception children must come to school dressed in suitable running clothes – preferably, a white t-shirt, shorts and trainers.
Years 1 and 2 must wear their PE kit in to school on that day (house t-shirt, white shorts, white socks, white trainers and tracksuit in case of cold weather). All children must have a sunhat and water bottle with them, and we also strongly advise that the children have an application of suncream before school.
For security purposes please note that only the gate into the Prep site via Carlisle Park will be open to allow entry to the site; it will be open at 11.00 – 11.15 am. After that time, access to the site will be via Gloucester Road where you will need to buzz through to Reception.
Here’s what we’ve been up to in class …
This week in Kindergarten we continued with our theme of healthy eating and focussed our learning on the story of Oliver’s Milkshake. The children have learnt how to make a tally chart to show the most popular and least popular fruits in Kindergarten and we have been delighted with the way they have conducted their own surveys independently, posing this question to their friends. Based on this information, three smoothie recipes were devised. The children then had to make their choice and sign up their name on the appropriate list. Then on Wednesday, we walked to our local Greengrocer’s, St John’s in Station Road, to buy the ingredients needed. We were very grateful to the parent helpers who were able to accompany us. The following day, with the aid of Mrs Tidy’s magnificent smoothie maker, the children helped to cut up the fruit they needed for their choice of drink and make their smoothie! The children were keen to share the recipes with their families so here they are …
Strawberry Surprise Smoothie – 3 strawberries, half a banana and a glass of apple juice.
Brilliant Blueberry Smoothie – handful of blueberries, half a banana and a glass of apple juice.
Mango Mayhem Smoothie – equal quantities of mango and pineapple, and a glass of orange juice.
We have had a ‘Beary’ good week in Reception! Reception really enjoyed their topic of bears and loved reading and listening to lots of bear stories. The class enjoyed using the Goldilocks and the three bears story sack, and used the puppets to tell the whole story. We then listened to differing adaptions of this traditional tale, many of the boys were able to comment upon many of the similarities and differences. Later, we became teddy bear detectives and went on a mission to find Mrs Tidy’s lost panda bear.
In mathematics this week we have been looking at sharing, we have practiced doubling, halving and making quarters. We especially enjoyed cutting sandwiches for the teddy bears picnic into halves or quarters.
On Thursday we enjoyed bring favourite cuddly toys to school for our teddy bears picnic! We enjoyed listening and singing teddy bear songs and poems.
In art this week we have been thinking about sketching. We looked at the artist Huderwasser buildings and took to the front garden to sketch the school! We then used block colour to make our drawings look like the artist’s distinct style. We also used charcoals and chalks to sketch a teddy bear.
Year 1 have enjoyed working on their ‘Superhero’ topic in English this week. We invented our own superheroes and thought about the special powers they could have using ‘ing’ words. We then wrote a conversation between our superhero and their enemy!
In maths, Year 1 consolidated work on position and direction. We learnt the difference between our left and our right, and designed a pirate treasure map, using positional and directional language to describe to our partner where the treasure was hidden.
We continued work on our ‘We are Britain!’ topic by taking a virtual tour around our capital city, London. We talked about the sights we could see and some on the interesting facts associated with them.
In English this week, Year 2 have been planning and writing their own information books about the rainforest. We finished our class book ‘Secret Seven on the Trail’ – it was very exciting at the end! Today Mr Richards came down from Prep to read us a story and answer questions about what the Prep is like.
In maths we have been adding two and three digit numbers together using partitioning and the column method.
In science we used our knowledge of habitats to design some very detailed bug hotels. In topic we learned about a tribe of people called the Kayapo from Brazil. We compared their lives to ours and then looked at tribal art. We made our own dyes from spinach (this was a bit smelly!) and beetroot and used these to paint tribal patterns with.
Sun safety – please do ensure your child comes to school every day with their water bottle, a sunhat and a good application of suncream (applied before school), as unfortunately, we are not permitted to apply this to the children due to safeguarding reasons. If you have not managed to purchase a school sunhat, or if your child has outgrown the one you bought at the beginning of the year, we are happy for you to send in a suitable alternative, but preferably something plain please!
It is hard to believe that half term is already upon us, the last five weeks have simply whizzed by, but it’s clear the children are ready for a short break to recharge their batteries. We wish you all a very relaxing and enjoyable time!