Headmaster’s Bulletin – Edition 4
While Mr Smith is away at a conference, Mrs Tinkler and I have been charged with the responsibility of creating The Bulletin this week. Mr Smith will return to School on Monday morning so his regular Bulletin will appear again next Friday. In the meantime, here are a few thoughts from us!
One of the many benefits of having very young children is the opportunity for rediscovering magical ‘first time’ experiences through their eyes. The first time they ride a bike. The first time they hear a famous story. The first time they taste ice-cream. One recent example of this for me was sitting with my 3-year-old daughter while she was watching Cinderella for the first time. In the modern adaptation, Cinderella’s mother leaves her daughter with one simple piece of advice; be kind and have courage.
It’s easy enough for us to dismiss sentiment like this as hackneyed and saccharine, but when you give it some thought, it’s a pretty sound philosophy for a successful and happy life. In the modern era of politics and business, it’s easy to arrive at the conclusion that the cold-hearted and ruthless mentality is the ultimate recipe for success in these areas, but the people I know who I would judge as being ultimately successful in life, tend to operate with kindness and courage in all pursuits.
I am, therefore, very pleased to report that both qualities have been abundantly evident here at School this week. Year 4 left early on Wednesday morning for their residential camping trip. I was present prior to their departure, and all seemed in good spirits. I’m sure some of them were experiencing nerves and doubts, but the challenge was met with a smile by everyone. By all reports, the last three days have been a roaring success (I’ve seen the pictures of the tents… I’d call it glamping rather than camping). Mr Henderson has demonstrated particular courage by overcoming his fear of small, harmless insects. In a message to me on Wednesday, he described himself as a ‘natural woodsman’. What a transformation!
It was wonderful to hear 5Ch in assembly this morning. They reinforced to us the inextricable link between people and industry and it was inspiring to hear their dreams for their own working lives. Many of their aspirations are admirable and involve the innate desire to help others. Yet another example of kindness in action here at School. It was also fascinating to hear them talk about the courage that it takes to choose an extraordinary life. I have no doubt that they are all capable of achieving momentous things during their careers.
Next week is a busy one (it feels like we say that every week!). Our Harvest Festival will take place on Tuesday morning at St Mary’s Church and Friday is not only our Open Morning, but also the rescheduled day for the Swimming Gala. This is all terrific news I think. Schools are supposed to be busy places. Perhaps I wouldn’t have the courage to write this had Mr Smith not been away, but there is as much learning and development in what happens outside of the classroom as what happens during lessons (dare I say it, possibly even more!). I said to the boys in the Prep at the beginning of this term that schools are, in essence, very simple places. Our job is to provide opportunities for development and it is up to the children to make the most of these opportunities. If you think back to your own school days, so many of the skills and attributes that you use to your advantage everyday were not developed in a classroom, but in your interactions with others and your participation in extraordinary events. So, in my mind at least, a busy week represents an opportunity for plenty of academic, social and emotional development for all the children. I hope they enjoy it!
Please click on the next tab above to see what Mrs Tinkler has to say this week…
Enjoy the weekend
Deputy Head (Academic)
I have had the most amazing couple of weeks getting to know your wonderful children and yourselves. I cannot thank you enough for your words of support and kindness along the way. We all know how it feels to be the ‘newbie’ but it is safe to say I certainly feel very settled!
Earlier this week, I met Mrs Hynes and Mrs McGuire, our Co-Chairs of the HPPPA. We had a very productive meeting about their plans for the year ahead. As I’m sure you are aware, tickets for the ever popular, ‘Headmaster’s Quiz Night’ are now on sale. Last year, in what was a closely run contest, the teachers team narrowly took victory and we are looking forward to another battle of minds on the 12th October. The HPPPA have found a wonderful venue to host us for the evening with beautiful river views, fully stocked bar and a delicious feast with a decidedly Spanish feel. Please join us for what promises to be a great evening of entertainment and fundraising for the School.
Tickets can be purchased via the following link:
On Thursday, Mrs Howell kindly invited me to attend the Year 5 trip to the ‘The National Gallery’. I still get excited when approaching Central London on the train especially when the London Eye comes in to view. After a short Tube ride, we were basking in the beautiful sunshine right in the centre of Trafalgar Square. We then explored the exhibits with a jam-packed schedule thoughtfully designed by Mrs Howell. The boys observed an array of famous and inspired art work from Van Gogh’s famous chair to The Ambassadors by Hans Holbein. I was particularly lucky to have Mrs Baker in my group, whose expertise in art history really came in to play! The boys spent time filling in their notebooks Mrs Howell had prepared and even had time to sketch a few of their favourite paintings. Your boys are incredibly lucky to have such dedicated staff, who bring learning alive in such a vibrant and creative way.
Celebrating the children’s achievements is something we do really well. Nearly every Prep assembly I watch boys being presented with a variety of certificates followed by ‘three claps!’ My office is inundated with excellence slips that staff have awarded, and the box for the accomplishment slips is bursting! These are but a few examples in which we acknowledge and celebrate the children’s successes.
Unfortunately, as we all know in life not everything always goes to plan and as a result it could mean we might end up in strife. I know!! Can you believe it? However, I want to reassure you it is completely normal and it is all part of the learning process. What is absolutely paramount is how we make the children reflect and learn from their mistakes. We take great pride in the scrutiny of all our decisions when we action a sanction. The children are fully aware of our expectations and I understand that it may be a little upsetting for you if your child receives a yellow card, or in some cases even a red. But we ask that you support our professional judgement. It can be very tricky and undermining if you challenge staff and it will send mixed messages to the children. That is not to say you cannot get in contact with your child’s form tutor to discuss any incident. In fact, I highly recommend that in the first instance you do always approach your child’s form tutor. We do not want the children to be worried or scared of making mistakes and so it is vital that we view the use of yellow and red cards as part of the reflection process. I strongly recommend you re read our policy on ‘Promoting Good Behaviour’ to refresh yourselves with the processes we have in place:
Have a terrific weekend
Deputy Head (Pastoral)
Last weekend was a particularly busy one. The boys from Elizabeth College Junior School arrived Friday morning. They were picked up from the airport and brought back to school to have lunch with the Year 6 boys. After which they had a quick training session, then departed for Hampton School where they played a game against an U12 C team.
This game ended a draw, a fine achievement for the younger lads, playing on a big pitch against some much bigger boys. After the match it was time for KFC back at school, then a movie in the library, snuggled up on bean bags. Predictably the boys didn’t get to the end of the movie and half way through the early start and long day had caught up with them and it was time for bed.
The next morning, I and the rest of the games department met bright and early at Hampton School to set up for the 6 a-side tournament. This is an annual event and the reason why the boys from Guernsey fly over each year.
We had one new school to welcome in Hall Grove School. This is a new contact for us and we hope to reinforce this new relationship further on Wednesday when we take all the boys in Year 6 to a triangular fixture at their school. As well as Hall Grove we welcomed back TPS, Claremont, Surbiton, King’s College Wimbledon, Newland House and of course Elizabeth College. We also entered three teams. Two U11 teams and one U10.
The teams are split into two pools with everyone playing everyone in the pool stage in order to decide the knock out stages. In Pool 1 Our U11 A team were drawn against our U10 A team. Both sides had won their first game before playing each other. There had been much talk during the week about the younger boy’s chances, they have had an excellent start to the season and they have some very talented players. However, I have to admit I firmly believed that size would play a major factor and that ultimately the U11 would win. I was wrong!!!!!
Maybe the U11 team were a little too relaxed, maybe we just have to say the better team won. Regardless I think we have to pay huge credit to the boys in the U10 team for pulling off a fabulous victory. In reflection I also think it might have been a useful process for the U11 boys to go through. Complacency and a touch of arrogance can often accompany boys as they enter into their final year at school. Being the ‘top dogs’ can often go to their heads and I had experienced a touch of this in the first few weeks of term. This defeat brought them back down to earth with a bump and if I fast forward a few days to Mondays games session, the focus and effort I saw from the boys was significantly better.
After that second match both sides remained undefeated in the pool stages. The U11 B team found things a little tougher and hadn’t managed to win a game. This took them through to their final game that would decide 11th and 12th spot in the overall standings. The boys in this team hadn’t managed to score a goal in the pool stages but this dramatically changed in their final game as they scored three and managed to win the game 3-1. The efforts of the U10 A team and the U11 A team were brilliant and I was very proud of them, but this last game for the B team made me the proudest. They fought back after a pretty demoralising morning and I think they truly deserved that victory.
The two A teams they both had semi-finals to play. The U10 team were drawn against TPS A and The U11 team were drawn against King’s College. The U10 team continued to impress with a superb victory to take them through to the final. Who would have believed it? A week before they weren’t even in the tournament and only brought in last minute to cover a school that had dropped out. Now they were in the final. The boys were overjoyed and rightly so.
The U11 team fought hard to be 1-1 at full time. The rules dictated that there would now be 5 minutes of sudden death extra time. Whoever scored first would go through. Unfortunately, in a reversal of last year’s final, it was King’s who scored, taking them through to the final versus our U10s. It would have been fascinating to see our U10s versus our U11s in the final, but it wasn’t to be.
The U11s played TPS for the 3rd and 4th place play-off and unfortunately came up short. I think the disappoint and energy spent in the longer game against King’s had taken its toll but all the boys should have been very proud of their efforts that morning.
To the final. King’s had been the stand-out team all morning and ultimately it was a game too far for the U10 boys. I think the occasion overawed them a touch and it was a very tough ask to beat a team as talented as King’s. So congratulations must go to the boys from Wimbledon. They thoroughly deserved their victory. The same though can also be said about our U10 boys. It is a morning that will live long in the memory for them and us and I hope they had a big smile on their face all weekend.
After the tournament it was an action packed day of picnics, culture, pizza and bowling. The Elizabeth College boys were a credit to their school all weekend and I am hugely looking forward to heading over to Guernsey in the summer for the Cricket tour.
Back to normality this week. On Tuesday all the boys in Year 4 played against the Mall with four wins recorded. It is always a great sight to look across the fields and see all the boys in a year group playing and as of next Wednesday, all the boys in every year group will have represented the school at Football this term.
On Wednesday we had a large colts fixture against St. George’s Windsor. A colts fixture means that the teams are a combination of Year 5 and Year 6 boys. This causes a little confusion in the boys and they often question the different team they seem to be playing in. However, if you consider that every team has 5 Year 6 boys and 4 Year 5 boys in it; this alters the numbers available in each team and boys move down accordingly. We only do this against SGW and Bishopsgate, other than that it is the usual system of A-D. Out of the five games played we won 4 and lost 1; a good afternoon’s work.
Today we see our U8s play their first ever fixture for Hampton Prep, so I am sure there a lot of very excited boys coming into school this morning. Today sees us put out 3 teams against St. George’s and next Tuesday we put out 4 teams against Willington, meaning that all the boys will play. As well as this fixture we have our big triangular at Hall Grove for the U11s on Wednesday and our U10 A&B teams are in a tournament tomorrow.
We have re-scheduled the swimming gala for next Friday. We appreciate the temperature might be a little cooler than that of the original date. However, the pool is heated and it is imperative that all boys have a towel, a track suit and a big warm coat to wear, so that they are able to get dry and warm as soon as their race is complete.
If you have any questions about the gala, please do get in touch.
I hope you all have a lovely weekend.
Head of PE and Games
In our assemblies this week, we have continued to consider the theme ‘Industry’ relating it to the farming industry. We have discussed how vital this industry is in providing us with good food to eat, which in turn helps to give us energy and helps us to grow. We talked about the changes to farming over the years and the fact that farms used to employ lots of people and horses to help do the day-to-day jobs and, of course, machines such as tractors, combine harvesters and milking machines instead do many of these jobs today. Many of us decided that we did not fancy being farmers as they are so busy all year round preparing the ground and growing crops, as well as looking after animals and breeding them.
Discussions have led us very nicely on to Harvest Festival, which we will be celebrating next week. This takes place at St Mary’s Church in Hampton on Tuesday 2 October for all year groups (Years 1 – 6). The service starts at 9.30am and we hope to see you there.
We are pleased to report the first School Council Meeting of the year was held on Wednesday with our newly elected officers. Pre-Prep School Council now have the important task of deciding which charities they will support and perhaps more importantly how they are going to go about raising money for the chosen cause. We look forward to sharing their ideas with you in due course.
Awards in assembly yesterday went to Anirudh Ageer (Year 1) for completing series 5 of his gymnastic course – we were delighted to hear he was awarded first place in his group!
We also congratulated the following pupils in Year 2 – Toby Bradbury has achieved his kicking badge in Kuk Sool Won, a Korean Martial Art, Harry Brisbane for gaining a certificate for being ‘skier of the week’ at Sandown Junior Ski Club last weekend and, Asher Holmes received a medal for being the Hearts of Tedlothian FC ‘Player of the Week’.
Courtesy Cup and Badge were awarded to William Lewin-Smith (Year 1) as he was spotted by Mrs Swain, Miss Goscomb and Miss Page helping a friend to do his buttons up on his blazer! He is such a kind and helpful friend.
and Stars of the Week:
Year 2: Harry Morris for working hard this week, particularly with his handwriting.
Year 1: Batu Kirbay for practising hard and learning how to do his buttons on his shirt. Keep it up!
Reception: Finlay Meehan for his fantastic drawing and writing about his ‘very different dragon’.
What a treat it was for us in assembly to have Reuben Nicholson (Year 2) donning his tap shoes and taking us through three of his tap routines – thank you, Reuben!
Here’s what we’ve been up to in class …
This week in Kindergarten, we have been focusing on the signs of Autumn. The children worked collectively to make an Autumn tree using their hand prints in autumnal colours. Lots of fun and giggles were had while painting their own hands ready for printing! To continue with our Autumn theme, the ‘Dingle Dangle Scarecrow’ featured highly. The children used a variety of skills and techniques to produce their very own ‘Dingle Dangle Scarecrow’ using scissors and split pins. Their scissor skills were also put to the test with some of our children enjoying making a hedgehog mask and using them in class much to the children’s amusement.
We have been making the most of the great weather outside this week and the children have really taken full advantage of the outdoor area, especially with our new water play feature. This has been thoroughly enjoyed by those who accessed it – they have been busy collecting water to pour into the funnels to see where the water will come out.
We look forward to discussing and focusing on Harvest next week.
This week in Reception we have been learning about our bodies. We have talked about what different parts of our body can do and have written about our favourite ways to exercise. We have made skeletons using different pasta shapes and used our ICT skills to take photographs of our friends’ work using the digital camera.
We have also continued to enjoy reading and talking about Dragons – the children loved hearing the story Tell Me a Dragon by Jackie Morris. This beautiful book with detailed illustrations and colourful descriptions inspired some excellent simile writing. The boys wrote about dragons who were as soft as dogs, as fierce as lions and with wings as tiny as a fingernail!
In mathematics, we have been ordering numbers – poor Sapphire the dragon had her numbered eggs all muddled up so we had to help her arrange them in the right order.
In our Phonics sessions, we have continued developing our blending skills, and learning the correct formation of c, k, e, h. The boys also played a fun tray game to help them listen out for initial sounds in words – I Spy is a great way of developing this skill.
This week in Year 1, the children have been so busy learning lots of new, exciting things, as well as practising their poem for the Harvest Festival celebration next Tuesday. In English, the children have been learning how to use adjectives to describe, in preparation for a pretend ‘Missing Pet’ poster that they made on Thursday. They discussed the importance of being able to describe accurately in this situation and they took this very seriously! We are continuing to practise our letter formation and have focused on the ‘sh’ and ‘th’ sounds, too.
In maths, the children have impressed all the adults with their brilliant knowledge of 2D shape! They have been identifying the properties (how many sides, how many corners, name) of 2D shapes as well as having a go at drawing some different shapes, using a ruler.
In other areas of the curriculum, the children learnt all about the Hindu festival ‘Raksha Bandhan’ and had a go at making their own Rakhi. Ask them to tell you what it is! They also pretended to be Estate Agents and wrote up an advert for their family home, using adjectives that they felt would impress a buyer. We have continued to read ‘The World’s Worst Children’ by David Walliams, which is going down brilliantly. I strongly recommend investing in a copy at home!
What a terrifically exciting and busy week Year 2 have had! On Thursday, we travelled back in time to 1958 to discover what life was like sixty years ago. The children enjoyed having a little taster of how different it was, wearing clothes reminiscent of the era, learning about the different coins that were used, hearing some popular music from the time and tasting typical 1950s food. Jelly and spam were big hits! There were also differences in school life, which included using a blackboard instead of a whiteboard, having to stand in a corner and wear a dunce hat if you were silly, and having to sit in rows and learn by rote.
During the rest of the week, the children finished their book of instructions for Bon Bon Elf and sent these back to Fairyland; we are eagerly awaiting his response! We began learning about recounts by hearing the story ‘Diary of a Wombat’. We spoke about what a conjunction is and the children worked in pairs to join two sentences together using these.
In maths, we have been using known number facts to solve calculations using bigger numbers, for example knowing that 3 + 5 = 8 has enabled us to work out that 30 + 50 = 80.
In science, we spoke about the importance of healthy eating and sorted foods into food groups, talking about why each group is important and how much we should be eating of each.
In the beginning of term letter, we reminded everyone about the need to park considerately in the areas surrounding the School. It can be very irritating for our neighbours if they find their driveways blocked so please do keep this in mind at morning drop offs and afternoon collections. As a school, we are very keen to establish a harmonious relationship with neighbours in the local area. We greatly appreciate for your cooperation in this matter.
We wish you all a very happy weekend!