Headmaster’s Bulletin- Edition 3
On Mondays I am involved in the assembly that takes place in the Pre-Prep. Our ‘House’ system in the Prep is styled slightly differently for our younger pupils: the four ‘Houses’ in the Prep are called ‘Teams’ in the Pre-Prep and are each represented by a different colour, instead of different names. This week Mrs Murphy announced the Pre-Prep Team Captains and Vice Captains for this term, selecting pupils from Year 2 to take up their responsibilities. I had the very good job of handing the boys and girls their badges. What struck me most about the whole ceremony was the very genuinely joyful way in which those who had not been selected were able to express how proud and happy they were on behalf of those who had. It was utterly delightful to see the Pre-Prep pupils supporting their friends in such an uncomplicated and sincere way.
Equally delightful was seeing many of you, later on Monday night, when we explained our new Assessment Policy to those present at our assessment information evening. If you have not yet read the Policy in its entirety you may wish to do so? You can find it in the ‘Policies’ section of our website. All parents have also received this week the information we provide to prospective parents to explain our Assured Place scheme. I am conscious that parents of pupils new to Year 3 in particular, along with those of you who have joined us in other Year groups, may be uncertain about how the decision making process around the Assured Place system operates. As ever, if any of you would like to come in and discuss any of this, please do get in touch and we will be very happy to meet with you.
Our Junior Safety Officers (JSOs) have started the term enthusiastically and were delighted by the environmental and community responsibility shown from pupils, parents and staff to walk, scoot, cycle and park and stride to school on Tuesday this week, ahead of our first Fewer Fumes Breakfast. Car sharers and bus boys also contributed whilst a few more adventurous characters investigated trains and public buses. Overall 84 Fewer Fumes pastries were consumed. The JSOs have also recently sent an email to all parents kindly requesting that engines are turned off at drop off and collection times. This is a national campaign that we are pleased to support.
Our updated Curriculum Map for this academic year is now complete, and it can be downloaded via the link at the bottom of the introduction to our curriculum in the ‘Academic’ section of our website. We are always thinking about the ways in which we can identify and celebrate the academic progress and achievements of all the pupils here. Those of you who have visited the Prep recently will have been hard pressed not to notice our ‘Wonderful Work of the Week’ display wall in the entrance foyer! It is quite an excellent display, in and of itself, and someone truly gifted at producing such creations obviously must have put it together. Each week one pupil’s work from each of the Forms will be selected by their Form teacher to be displayed. This will, we hope, be a source of some quiet pride for the pupil but will also allow all of us who teach here to get a snap shot view of pupils’ progress across the curriculum range, as the year progresses. I hope that whenever you as parents are visiting us, you too will spare a few moments to linger and look at the wonderful work on display. Do ask your children about this initiative; I would be interested to receive any feedback you may wish to share.
Today has been a very exciting day for us here at the Prep! By the time you read this, our swimming gala will have concluded. This was postponed from the end of the summer term but Mr Darmon was determined that it should go ahead at the beginning of this term and I am very glad he was. It was excellent to see so many boys really making a great splash – in all senses – this afternoon, and I was glad to see some race winners emerge from pools (oh dear) of pupils who might not necessarily be very keen team sports players.
We have also welcomed a group of Year 6 boys to spend the weekend with us in this part of the world from Elizabeth College Junior School, on the beautiful island of Guernsey. Some of our Year 6 boys will travel to Guernsey in the summer term to play cricket against the boys who are here to play football against us – and others – this weekend. Many thanks in advance to parents who are hosting our visitors; I hope they will enjoy a very safe yet exciting time. We will be hosting our annual Hampton Prep U11 Football Tournament at Hampton School tomorrow morning. This is a really thrilling event, with a good number of local schools competing, including our touring visitors from Guernsey. I look forward to seeing many of you there.
Mrs Campbell has also been in touch with Prep parents this week to explain how our very first Poetry Party for Years 4 – 6 will operate next Tuesday evening. Thinking about, writing and then hopefully being brave enough to perform poems out loud will be the core activity of this unique and inspiring event. By happy coincidence, I came across the article below yesterday, which illuminates the connection between excellent language skills and being a successful learner in at least one other area of the curriculum. I entirely support Mrs Campbell’s very strong belief that there must be almost unlimited potential for poetry and poetic expression to impact all other areas of children’s academic lives, however. This is why Mr Darmon and Mr Powell have volunteered to help boys write poems on the night about sport and Mr Campbell will be helping them to write poems about maths! I hope you will be able to come in large numbers to this new event; creative writing really matters to us here.
Sadly, I will not be able to join in the fun next Tuesday as I shall be on my way to Edinburgh for the IAPS Heads’ Conference. This is an opportunity for me to further my own professional development and I always come away from it each year with some very thought provoking material to pass on to my colleagues here. Mr Arnold and Mr Richards will be writing the Bulletin for me next week as a consequence. They have already decided to include jokes. You have been warned…
Have a great weekend,
It is an exciting week. Today we welcome our old friends from Elizabeth College Junior School for yet another sports tour. As always it is great to have them here and I am sure the boys from Guernsey are just as excited about being here as our boys are about having them here. Are guests are spending the afternoon at Hampton School where they will play an U12 side, before we all head off for some bowling. After which they will head off to their host families for what I am sure will be a nice calm evening and an early night. Then tomorrow morning sees the main reason why the boys are here, as we host our annual 6-a-side football tournament. Once again we have to say a big thank you to Hampton School for allowing us to use their fantastic facilities, the action starts at 9.30am and I hope to see many of you there to cheer on all the boys.
However, there is plenty to come before that, as this afternoon we head off for our annual swimming gala. It has been a long time coming for me; as you may remember last year’s gala unfortunately had to be cancelled due to the weather, so I am excited to get to the pool this afternoon and see what the boys can do. I see the boys take part in mainly team game activities and as it is a goal of mine to increase the spectrum of sports that we take part in at Hampton Prep, an event such as this is a great chance for me to see the boys perform in an entirely different environment and a chance for boys to shine that potentially find the team sports less to their liking.
Prior to today there were some really important things that had happened that I would like to tell you about. Firstly, year 3 had their first ever competitive fixture for Hampton Prep, when last Friday every boy travelled to Bishopsgate school (an achievement in itself) to play football. We put out four teams, ensuring all boys took part and it is evident we have a great deal of strength in depth in this year group. The A team, B team and C team all won, whist the D team drew. It may have been quite a mission to get all the boys on the bus, ensuring every boy had a boot on each foot and shin pads firmly in place, not to mention a booster seat for those that needed it (they all needed it), but It was well worth it to see them all playing with such enthusiasm that afternoon. What was also great to see, was them having the confidence to sit and talk to their opposition whilst they had their match tea. They’ll be plenty more matches to come for all these boys over the next four years but I sincerely hope they will all remember this one.
At the same time the U9s were playing Bishopsgate at Home. We put out some slightly altered sides that afternoon as per the request of the opposition in order to try and make the games as fair as possible and it seemed to work as the A team on the day drew 3-3. The B team and C team both narrowly lost but It is a good example of how I talk with the opposing head of sport to try and ensure the afternoon is a valuable experience for all those involved. It doesn’t always work, sport is a living, breathing thing and you can’t manufacture performances or results, but we try our best to make sure all that take part are challenged but at the same time not deflated.
Finally, on Wednesday the U10 A and B team took part in the Twickenham Prep tournament. We enter this tournament annually and last year won the tournament with the boys that will be representing the school on Saturday morning, so there was a lot of pressure, on what is also a talented team, to repeat the feat…..and repeat it they did. Seven games were played, six were won, one was drawn and not a single goal was conceded. I used to find tournaments quite a test when I was younger, being able to switch both your mind and body on and off is quite a skill and one I never really got to grips with, so the boys should be hugely congratulated for their excellent effort. Most definitely a great afternoon’s work, well done to all the boys involved, we have a lot to look forward to this season.
In assembly this week Headmaster’s Commendations were awarded to Joseph Gordon (5C) for Looking after a pupil when in need; Dylan Martin (4S) and Luke Nunn (4H) For outstanding effort in reading during the summer holidays, completing and enjoying not just one but many books, far in excess of what had been asked. Well done to those boys!
Year 4 Trip to the Stockyard
You will have seen in the School Calendar that ‘Open Homework’ is due to take place soon. Each year we hold an ‘Open Homework’ Week when pupils throughout the School are given the freedom to explore an open-ended theme encouraging lateral thinking and creativity. During ‘Open Homework’ week no other academic homework is set. The children have a week to create anything they like associated with a given theme. Whatever approach the children take, they should learn something new. They might write a poem, a story or character sketch. They may wish to do a geographical, historical or scientific study. They may make a toy, game or some form of 3D montage. They may like to prepare some food, produce a piece of art or design something on the computer. There is no right or wrong way to approach ‘Open Homework’ and it provides the children with the opportunity to be creative in an area of learning they particularly enjoy.
Over past two years, we have followed the themes ‘round’ and ‘red’, and the range of interpretations were simply amazing. Do look out for Mrs Murphy’s letter revealing this year’s theme.
We know that many of our pupils took part in the Summer Reading Challenge 2017 ‘Animal Agents’. Hampton library send the certificates directly to us for distribution, so once we have these we will hand them out in an assembly. However, if your child took part in the reading challenge in a different authority, it would be lovely if your son or daughter could bring their certificate in to school – we will distribute all the certificates at the same time. Any certificates brought in to school will be kept safely until this time by Mrs Murphy.
This term’s Year 2 House Captains and Vice Captains were announced in assembly on Monday and Mr Smith handed out the badges to the following children:
Red: House Captain – Julia Brock Talman
Vice Captain – Dean Fitzpatrick
Blue: House Captain – Dominic Crook
Vice Captain – Izzy Gray
Yellow: House Captain – Lucas Woods
Vice Captain – Josh Sharma
Green: House Captain – Archie Skinner
Vice Captain – Fred Owen
In today’s assembly the Courtesy Cup and Badge was awarded to Ruark MacDonald for beautiful manners at all times and Stars of the Week to:
Year 2: Tanushh Vaghelaa for having wonderful enthusiasm this week and trying really hard to join his writing.
Year 1: Asher Holmes for excellent effort and great progress with writing.
Reception: Wilf Nercessian for working hard this week with all his work and play.
Here’s what we’ve been up to in class …
Kindergarten Thank you for your participation with the children’s weekend diaries. The children have enjoyed sharing their diaries with us and it has been lovely to listen to them talk about and answer questions about their experiences with their family.
We have been lucky in Kindergarten this week as the children have ‘repaired’ lots of things for us and built some great walls in our construction site, whilst sporting the correct attire! In between their great construction skills, the children have had the opportunity to play with various malleable materials, such as cornflour mix, gloop and play foam. The finger gym resources have been particularly popular this week, so much so that the children have renamed the activity ‘Sticky Wicky’.
In our circle times, we have introduced the Golden Rules. We read the story of ‘Do Listen to People’ and discussed how we need to ‘Stop, Look and Listen’ to our friends and adults when they are talking to us. The six Golden Rules are set out below:
Do be Gentle Do look after property
Do be kind and Helpful Do listen to people
Do work hard Do be honest
This week the children have chosen a school library book to share with you at home. We hope you enjoy reading and discussing the pictures, story and characters together.
Next week we are starting our phonics programme and will focus on ‘s’. We are also going to be looking at the signs of Autumn. We have asked the children that if they are ‘out and about’ over the weekend to bring in to school any fallen leaves, conkers or acorns they find for our topic table.
Our work this week in Reception has focused on the topic of Ourselves; we talked about what makes us unique and different, but also ways that we are the same. The boys loved joining in with a discussion about what they would like to be when they grow up – it’s exciting to know we have some budding zookeepers, nurses, and racing car drivers in our midst! They also enjoyed using oil pastels to draw self-portraits that they personalised with collage details. We all loved taking part in a large collaborative class artwork inspired by ‘making marks’ – we decided it’s a great feeling working together toward an end goal.
In our phonics sessions, we have been learning the sounds p, i, n. We hope you enjoyed playing the phonics bingo game we sent home. We spent time developing a correct pencil grip, and the children have had plenty of opportunities to strengthen their fine motor skills through threading beads, using the tongs to pick up little gems, cutting and sticking and exploring our moon dough. We were also very excited to start our very first ‘dough disco’ session! During dough disco, each child has a ball of playdough, and whilst listening to some upbeat disco music, we poke, prod, stretch and roll the dough and take our fingers for a dance! As you can imagine it’s great fun and such a brilliant way to exercise and strengthen our finger muscles.
This week Year 1 have enjoyed the story of ‘Harvey Slumfenburger’s Christmas Present’ in English. The children wrote about the type of home they would like to live in and progressed their writing to a very long sentence about where their home was and the type of Christmas present they would like to find at the bottom of their bed!
In maths, we focussed on addition and subtraction using a number line. The children used the method of jumping along a number line to solve addition and subtraction sums within 10.
We continued our topic work by pretending to be Estate Agents! We looked at different types of homes and wrote an advert to sell an imaginary home or our choice.
In science, we learned about different types of animals and the groups they are classified in. We talked about our favourite animals and sorted a variety of animals into two groups. We seem to have a lot of animal lovers in Year 1!
In maths this week Year 2 have been revising their knowledge of 2D shape, thinking carefully about the properties different shapes have in terms of sides, vertices and lines of symmetry. Today we had a lesson around Kandinsky’s triangles where we had to try to count the number of triangles in pictures. It was trickier than it sounds!
In English we have thought about how to ask questions, including the words that most questions begin with and remembering to use those all important question marks at the end of a question. Yesterday we received another very exciting package from Fairy Land; Bon Bon Elf wanted us to write instructions for walks that visitors can go on around the land so that they don’t end up in the Dragon’s Den!
In science we learned about what all animals need to survive. We then had a challenge to decide what we would take to a desert island with us (no electronics or other people allowed!). There were some interesting ideas, with the most practical ones being a row boat and a fishing rod.
In topic we have written some questions to ask older people what their lives were like growing up. The children are very excited about the 1950’s themed day we are having next Thursday.
Finally, it was lovely to see so many of you at last night’s Reading Information Evening and, as promised, please find details of the Children’s Bookshop below.
Norfolk Children’s Book Centre
Have a great weekend!