Headmaster’s Bulletin – Edition 20
It has been a week of dressing up and dressing down (sort of!) here. The boys in Years 5 and 6 looked tremendous in their costumes on Wednesday night in their production of ‘Orpheus’. It was wonderful to see the drama, in its initially tragic but ultimately uplifting glory played out on the stage at the Hammond Theatre at Hampton School. The boys really did themselves proud.
Plenty of them, along with the boys in Years 3 and 4 were all dressed as characters from stories they have been reading and enjoying, as we marked World Book Day on Thursday this week (due to the residential trips and other matters that were taking place last week). I know how much the boys love getting into the spirit of dressing up in this way and it is always great fun to see them in lessons and about the school all looking so wildly different.
In Year 6, our Head Boy, Deputy Head Boy and the two joint Heads of House are elected to their posts by their peers and the staff here in the summer term. At just over the mid-way point of this academic year, it has been tremendous to see these boys rising to the various leadership challenges placed before them since September.
The ten boys have been meeting with Mr Salt each half term to discuss a different leadership ‘style’ in the hope that they might then be able to apply it themselves, as they fulfil their responsibilities. They also meet once per half term with Mr Richards and me; we lay on what seems like a very copious selection of refreshments for them, none of which are left by the end! During our meetings we discuss the leadership style that Mr Salt has previously introduced and how these boys are using it to help them develop the leadership skills of all the boys at the Prep, as well as within themselves. We talk about matters very much in the spirit of service to and encouragement of others.
It was really exciting in January of this year therefore when the boys raised the question, at one of their meetings with Mr Richards and me, of how we might develop our system of Excellence Slips currently in place at the Prep. These boys thought it would be an excellent idea to amplify the system by allowing them, as leaders in their own right, to recognise the endeavours and behaviours of their peers. I wholeheartedly agreed with them. They then devised a system they named Accomplishment Slips, which we have been trialling over recent weeks.
In essence, these purple slips operate in the same way as our white Excellence Slips, except they are given by the ten boys in the leadership roles to recognise either kindness, effort, helpfulness or good manners. There is a very smart perspex box in our reception area now and anybody who receives an Accomplishment Slip must deposit it into the box. We will hold a draw for a prize of some sort at the end of this term.
The boys’ trial of their new system seems to be going pretty well so far. I love this system for a great number of reasons, chief amongst them is the fact that the boys here came up with it themselves! I also love it because the boys have recognised there is some in-built intelligence to their system. They are all keeping a check on each other at the moment, to ensure they are not just handing out Accomplishment Slips to their friends or brothers; there was an abhorrence from them of any favouritism creeping in to this. They also hope – in time – that the responsibility for handing out Accomplishment Slips will be extended to a different group of boys in Year 6, other than those currently in the elected posts. Do please ask your sons if they have received an Accomplishment Slip yet, or for their views on the system in general.
The Year 6 boys are also conscious that the adults working here should be able to receive Accomplishment Slips, where relevant, too. Next time you see Mrs Campbell or Mr Chilcott ask them why they were the first amongst us to receive theirs. As far as mine is concerned, well, ‘must try harder’ seems to be the order of the day!
I look forward to seeing many of you at the Surrey Rugby Festival at Cranmore School tomorrow.
Have a great weekend,
This week has been geared around the boys’ preparation for the Surrey Junior Rugby festival which is taking place tomorrow. Therefore, it was fortuitous that the U10s and U11s were scheduled to play St. Benedict’s on Monday, who have always provided us with tough opposition.
They certainly didn’t disappoint and although we won 3 of the 4 games, they were all hard fought matches which is exactly as I would have hoped for in order to help focus the boys for tomorrow.
In the U10 age group the As won 3-2 and the Bs won 6-5. In the U11 age group the As won 8-6 and the Bs lost 10-8. In both age groups a worrying trend has been a lack of aggression at the break down and some dubious tackling techniques. This has been partly down to the standard of the opposition but regardless it has been something we all needed to address and playing a team that forced us to ruck and tackle properly was really helpful.
However, our technique still wasn’t good enough and so the boys were put through a hard contact session in their CCA on Tuesday evening. All being well the boys will be primed and ready for Saturday and we can do ourselves justice.
As always winning and losing is not the most important thing but we want to give a good account of ourselves and fulfil our potential. If we get beat on the day by a better team then so be it, as long as we can say we tried our best.
Next Monday sees us host our Inaugural Hampton Prep rugby festival which focuses on giving the boys that have predominantly played in the C and D teams in the U10s and U11s a chance to play in a festival and gives us a chance to show how much we have appreciated their efforts this year. The other schools involved are Willington, King’s House and Surbiton. There will be no overall winner but we will celebrate their efforts and I hope it will be a really enjoyable afternoon.
Next week is incredibly busy regardless of the festival on Monday. On Tuesday all the boys in Year 3 will play against Staines Prep and two teams in Year 4 will travel to the annual Caldicott festival.
On Wednesday all the boys in Year 5 and 6 will be competing against St. Piran’s, on Thursday we hope to complete the Pre-Prep House Cross-Country and on Friday the majority of the boys in Year 3 and 4 will be playing against St. George’s Windsor, whilst I take two teams to the Epsom College Cross-Country competition. The Easter holidays are still a long way off.
If you are coming to the festival tomorrow, please say hello and I hope you all have a great weekend.
In assembly this week a Headmaster’s Commendation was awarded to Bryn Griffiths (6C) for an excellent piece of curve stitching. Well done!
We celebrated our World Book Day on Thursday this week with a fantastic array of costumes:
On Friday Year 3 held the final cake sale of the term raising a total of £148.40 for their chosen charity Woking and Sam Beare Hospices. Well done!
As book lovers, we jumped at the chance to don costumes to celebrate our favourite stories here at the Hampton Pre-Prep & Prep Book Day. We celebrated authors, illustrators and generally had enormous fun reading all sorts of different stories during the day. Year 2 wrote their own stories and later shared them with Kindergarten on Thursday. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support in helping us to mark this important event – what fabulous costumes!
Congratulations to Charlie Freer (Year 1) who received two certificates this week, one for successfully completing Learn to Swim Award 2 and the other for gaining his planets badge from Beavers where he is part of the 1st Hampton Hill Sea Scouts Group – well done!
We also congratulated Rishi Shchneider (Reception) for achieving a Martial Arts Grading Belt Orange – excellent effort!
Today in assembly, the Courtesy Cup and Badge were awarded to Harry Cole (Year 1) for all-round good attitude.
and Stars of the Week to the following pupils:
Year 2: Izzy Gray for always trying her best
Year 1: Harry Sinnett for excellent poetry writing
Reception: William Lewin-Smith for his lovely Elmer writing.
Here’s what we’ve been up to in class ….
Well, it has been an eggs-travaganzer of a week in Kindergarten! Monday morning was a hive of egg-citement as living eggs arrived in our classroom. We have been walking on egg shells, patiently awaiting the hatching of our chicks. Wednesday brought with it the first of our hatchings – we arrived at school with three chicks waiting to meet and greet us and, since then, have had a total of nine chicks.
The children enjoyed an eggs-periment testing to see just how strong the shell of an egg is. Through using books to weigh down on 4 egg shells, we balanced as many books as we could to see if they would hold before they cracked. The children took it in turns to choose a book to balance on the eggs and we were all astonished that it took a total of 26 books before the shells broke. We were all surprised at just how strong the shells were and discussed how hard the chicks must have worked to break out of their shells.
We were able to see this first-hand when watching a recording of one chick hatching when Mrs Tidy was lucky enough to catch this on camera when everyone had gone home. Comments from the children, such as ‘It is so tired’ and ‘It had to work really hard’ were heard after they had watched the video.
The next steps for the children will be to help to take care and look after our newest arrivals by cleaning out their brooder box and ensuring they have a fresh food and water. The children have been keeping a close eye on our ‘Chick Rota’ to see when it is their turn to be the helper.
On top of such a busy week, we had a great day yesterday celebrating HPPP’s book day. The children looked amazing in their costumes and we had a fun day. We had an extra treat as Year 2 visited to read their wonderful stories that they had written in classs.
Next week we continue our topic ‘Chicks’.
Reception enjoyed a lovely walk to Hampton library on Friday. On the way there, they looked for signs of spring and noticed the buds appearing on the trees and the beautiful daffodils in the park. We met the librarian who talked to us all about the library and what we can borrow from there. We were amazed to find out not only could we borrow lots of picture books at a time, but we can borrow non-fiction, audio books and DVDs! We had a look around the children’s library and chose books to share with our friends. The librarian then read us a story about Elmer. The boys’ behaviour during this trip was outstanding. Comments from the librarian and members of the public were made on how smart and polite the boys were. Well done, Reception!
We have focused much of our learning on the Elmer books this week – we sequenced the story, made collage patchwork elephants and ordered elephants by size in mathematics. We loved all the amazing Book Day costumes and had a great day – walking down the catwalk to show our costumes, speaking about why we had picked our characters, writing and drawing about our chosen character and, of course, having a look at and sharing all the wonderful books.
We have also talked about our mothers this week, what makes our Mummy so special to us. We shared our thoughts with our friends, saying ‘I Love Mummy because…’ and wrote a special piece of writing and drew some fantastic pictures of our Mums. Happy Mother’s Day!
This week Year 1 have been learning about poetry in English. We looked at the rhyming word in the poem ‘Sounds’ and thought of our own endings. Later in the week, we wrote our own rhyming poem about different sounds we could hear. We also enjoyed many fun World Book Day activities on Thursday.
In maths, we have been consolidating our addition and subtraction skills, using listening exercises and our mental maths skills.
We continued our topic on ‘Plants’ in science this week by learning about plants found in our gardens. We also recorded how our bean plants have changed since planting them last week.
In science this week, Year 2 investigated how gravity affects the speed that a car moves down a ramp by increasing the height of a ramp and timing how long it took for a toy car to travel down it. We had to think carefully about making our test fair by only changing one variable (the height of the ramp) and keeping the others the same.
In English, we finished our ‘Bob’ books and read them to Kindergarten as part of our book day celebrations. These will now be on display in Year 2 where people can come and read them.
We have been focusing on data handling in maths; this has involved collecting data and displaying it in tally charts, frequency tables and bar charts.
On Wednesday, we did our House Poetry readings. The children must all be commended for all learning a poem off by heart, reciting their poems to each other and listening to and enjoying each other’s. Eight children (two from each team) were voted to go through to our final, which will be held on Monday 12th March in our assembly and will be judged by Mrs Campbell, the Head of English.
The Travelling Book Fair opens next week at the following times:
Monday 12 March: from 8.30am & again 3.30pm
Tuesday 13 March: from 8.30am & again at 3.30pm
Wednesday 14 March: from 8.30am
If you cannot make the fair but would still like your child to buy a book under ‘guidance’, please send money in by Monday 12 March in a named envelope. Generally, the books on sale are under £10 – often there is a deal on multiple purchases.
Your next challenge is to make a fabulous Easter themed hat for our Easter Bonnet Parade on the last morning of term (23 March 2018) – there will be prizes for the most imaginative hats!
Have a super weekend