Headmaster’s Bulletin – Edition 31

This Week

Dear Parents,

After yet another very busy week here, we find ourselves surrounded this afternoon by a gang of busy parents who are here to prepare for the summer fair, due to take place tomorrow. Preparations look well in hand to me and I know that we are all hoping for good weather for the day. Do please come with plenty of pocket money, ready to support filling the coffers of your Parents’ Association. We recognise that all the Association does for the pupils here really is tremendous. The bar sales during the Hampton Prep Proms event raised over £300 and this will be spent on extra-large interconnecting building bricks and blocks, for the Year 3 and 4 boys to use at breaks, as they play outdoors under the awning in the Prep grounds. There was also a very generous collective donation raised at the Sports Day yesterday, totalling just over £155 which we will send to the Grenfell Tower Residents’ Appeal. Many thanks for your kindness and generosity on these two occasions.

Tuesday saw the Years 3 and 4 production of ‘Zoom!’ take place in the James Hall at the Prep. It was a very fine affair and as usual the standard of acting, singing and dancing was very high indeed. One boy’s grandfather and I were chatting afterwards and he was most astonished by the wide range of really quite important messages to do with personal qualities that were ensconced in the lines of the play – avarice, generosity, hubris, humility, collaboration to name but a few. They were all so clearly recognisable and played out in full by the boys and their various roles. It seems the age-old message of ‘slow but steady wins the race’ is a good one to remember after all.

Mr Darmon writes fulsomely about the Prep Sports Day in his section of this week’s news. I really love Sports Day at both Pre-Prep and Prep as it feels so much like the culmination of all the sporting endeavours the pupils have enjoyed throughout the year. The energy and drive of the boys was most inspiring, as was their competitive spirit overall. The same can of course be said for the parents – and staff – and I know that the boys loved watching the adults’ races every bit as much as the reverse is true!

Mrs Murphy also writes fulsomely about the very moving Pre-Prep Summer Concert and Prize Giving that took place at the Prep this morning. The performances were truly electrifying, especially as pupils sang the song with lyrics describing a farewell with such strongly felt emotion. I think there was hardly a dry eye in the house as we bade, officially, farewell to Mrs Caldwell who retires from her life time of teaching at the end of next week.

This will be my final Bulletin of the academic year as next week I shall send my customary end of term letter to you instead of a Bulletin on Friday. I have begun the very enjoyable task of reading each of your children’s reports this week and I am certain you will read them with as much interest as I do. They will outline what we have been learning here this year but will of course, most importantly, contain some advice from us for your children on what we hope they will aim to improve upon from September. The adults here will be thinking about that too of course – none of us should ever completely feel we are the perfect, finished article I think. There is always so much more for us all to learn and the most wonderful thing about working in a school is that we here are reminded of that each and every day.

If I do not see you tomorrow, have a great weekend,

Tim Smith


Sports News

I am finding it very hard to believe that I am sat here writing my last bulletin of the year……and what a great deal there is to tell you.

Last Friday was the culmination of the house cricket competition, as Year 3 and 4 did battle. Once again there was some great cricket on show and the boys really showed how important they see these competitions and how much they value the house they are in.

The conditions were a little different to those we experienced on the Monday for the Year 5 and 6 competition and the strong winds meant we experienced an escaping gazebo at one point. However, all the matches were completed and when the scores were entered into our sophisticated data programme, the eventual winners were established and it was Lancaster house that were crowned the 2017 Hampton Prep house cricket champions.

On Monday our U10s played their last cricket fixture of the year as the A and B teams played against Staines Prep. As I have mentioned to you in the past, this is a particularly strong sporting year group and they certainly have many talented cricketers. So much so I decided that I would reverse our usual batting order and give the boys that haven’t had much time at the crease the chance to open the innings. Our strength in depth was then proven, when we posted a score of 126. Competitive by anyone’s standards.

We reduced the opposition to 86, winning by 40 runs and capping off a really successful season. The B team also played really well and narrowly lost by 2 runs. However, Mr Richards made a point of telling how much these B team boys had come on over the course of the season and there certainly will be strong competition for places and a coveted spot on the Guernsey tour next year.

This then brings me to the annual Year 6 v teachers rounders match. If you weren’t there you missed some outstanding performances from Mr Henderson, Mr Wilson, Mrs Sunderland, Mrs Campbell, Mr Salt and a massive home run by the Head of Games and PE. I really can’t remember much about the Year 6s performance and needless to say it was a resounding victory to the staff. Nothing more really needs to be said.

Finally, sports day. If I am honest I was a little anxious yesterday. I have been organising sports days for quite a few years now, but as this was my first here and as I am all too aware of the pitfalls of such events, I was nervous and very keen for there to be no dramas. Thankfully there were none and this was in large part due to the hard work of all the staff on the day and so my thanks goes out to all of them and to all the parents who came to watch. However, my biggest thanks goes to the boys, who without exception, embraced the day and put their best foot forward from start to finish.

There were some cracking performances and when I say this I don’t just mean those boys who won races and broke records. For me the most satisfying thing on days such as this, is seeing those boys who don’t necessarily see sport as something they particularly enjoy or maybe excel at, digging deep and dragging themselves round; showing spades of determination and resilience. We all know that the things we find difficult are the things we would just rather avoid. So to see them take a different approach to our natural instinct is extremely satisfying.

There were however, many records broken. We ran quite a few new races this year so naturally those boys are now in the record books but there were also some that were broken. With Marcus Solomon and Cormac Harvey breaking some long standing records, all of which are listed below.

Thanks again to all those that came to watch and I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did. Have a great weekend.

Cormac Harvey – Year 4 – 75m Sprint- 10:61

Marcus Solomon- Year 3 – 200m Sprint- 34:14

Cormac Harvey- Year 4 – 200m Sprint- 31:10

Toby Walters- Year 4 – 600m Sprint- 2:20.00

Tristan Thorpe- Year 5 – 600m Sprint- 2:18:82

Sam Slaney- Year 6 – 600m Sprint- 2:13:48

Ronav Vallabhaneni- Year 3 – 300m Sprint- 1:42:72

Monty Hunt- Year 4 – 300m Sprint- 1:09:02

Alessandro Tafuro- Year 5 – 300m Sprint- 1:03:60



Prep News

In assembly this week Headmaster’s Commendations were warded to Joseph Mawdsley (6J) for French: Bravo Joe! C’est formidable. Tu as réalisé un super travail qui est original, attrayant, ingénieux et clair! And Nick Lewis (6C) for extensive independent work on a computer programming project “Into to JS: Drawing an Animation.” Well done to those boys!

Please remember boys in Years 5 & 6 to have a good look at home for any library books or text books that maybe under the bed! And bring them in before the end of term.


Pre-Prep News

It’s been a very busy week in Pre-Prep with a large proportion our time taken up with rehearsals for today’s Summer Concert which we hope you enjoyed as much as we did.  We are sure you will agree all classes performed beautifully –  we were so proud of each and every child.  Mrs Baldwin, in our opinion, is a star as she gets the best out of each child by setting her expectations very high.

We are so sad to bid farewell to our Year 2 children and it is really important for you to know we meant every word spoken about them at the end of today’s performance – they have been an absolute joy to teach and we have cherished their company. It is ‘time to say goodbye’ but we know that they are ready to meet their new challenges as ‘fresh moments beckon at last’.  We wish them every success and happiness as they move on from Pre-Prep.

Today was such a poignant occasion as we also said our public farewell to Mrs Caldwell.  We are hugely indebted to Janice for the care and attention she has given to so many children (and colleagues, too) over the past twenty years.  Thank you somehow just doesn’t seem enough but we hope she knows will be sorely missed by children, parents, grandparents and colleagues alike.  We wish her every success and happiness as the next chapter of her life begins.


On Wednesday Kindergarten embarked on their ‘Journeys Outing’ and as is tradition they took in various forms of transport – rail, boat and double decker bus!  Luckily the weather held and the journey unfolded like clockwork (Mrs Caldwell had planned it to perfection)!  As you would imagine their behaviour was exemplary and we can safely say a very good time was had by all. Thank you to all the helpers who accompanied us on the trip, helping to make our outing so special.

Reception enjoyed a ‘bug hunt’ in the front garden in connection with class topic work. They donned some very special head gear for the hunt.

You will not be surprised in the least to know we have been unable to fit in our usual ‘Star of the Week’ assembly due to other commitments but we have been treated to a few solo performances – Aarav Tegginamath (Year 1) brought in his guitar and played several well-known nursery rhymes which we absolutely loved. Also, Charlie Free (Reception) brought along a recorder that had belonged to his Mummy and we enjoyed hearing his tunes.

Please don’t forget we are expecting your company on Monday at the Parents’ Visits.  Morning Kindergarten children will be ready to greet and meet from 11.30 am and we look forward to seeing everyone else at 3.00 pm.  As you know this is just a very informal occasion but it allows you to see your child’s work from the term.  We hope you will be able to join us.

Next week, we shall be unwinding (a little) and having some fun before the end of the year.  Therefore, please be advised the usual routine will quite probably go out the window.  After today, we shall be collecting in reading books.

We hope you have a lovely weekend and look forward to seeing you at the Summer Fair tomorrow.