Headmaster’s Bulletin – Edition 5
I was really excited to see the Swimming Gala finally taking place this afternoon, in front of such a massive crowd of very supportive parents! Plenty of boys at our School are good, strong swimmers and it was excellent to see those for whom some team sports are not quite their ‘thing’ (yet) really making their mark in the swimming races today – and the sun did shine, despite the strong misgivings of some of our Year 5 boys as they arrived this morning!
This time last week the boys in Year 4 had just returned home from our first ever school camping trip – they were our pioneers in every sense of the word and I am thrilled to report that it appears a very exciting time was had by all. We are looking at the possibility of a similar trip for boys in Year 3 in October 2019, as well as repeating the trip for the boys who will be in Year 4 by then. So much of our lives can end up lacking the sort of rough and tumble that helps us all to push beyond our own boundaries. Trips like this are so important as they help our boys to build up an understanding of what they can cope with, and reflect upon how brave they are becoming.
It was a great pleasure to see so many of you at our Harvest Festival at St. Mary’s Church, Hampton on Tuesday morning this week. I was particularly impressed with the quality of the boys’ reading aloud. It was very moving to hear so much sophisticated detail being conveyed about the Barnardo’s Charity. It was clear to me that even though much of the material was challenging in terms of content, the boys really engaged with what they were reading to us. Very many thanks to those who attended for your kind generosity at the end of the service. Your donations, which we will forward to Barnardo’s, totalled £468.15.
It is often said of the invisible and intangible elements of life, such as happiness or joy, “If only this feeling could be bottled, I could sell it and I would be a millionaire”. Well, Mrs Lutz made a pretty good stab at her own attempt to bottle up a potential fortune for herself in assembly on Wednesday morning in the Prep, as she and a number of very helpful boys continued our exploration of the theme of ‘industry’. Mrs Lutz, ever fragrant, covered the history of the perfume industry, from the ancient Egyptians through to modern day fancy French scents. A pair of budding parfumiers from Year 3 were then instructed to produce their own best-selling creation before our very eyes. In went a whole host of weird and wonderful natural and not so natural ingredients. I was “fortunate” enough to have a jolly good sniff of their efforts once their new perfume was finished and I have to say, it smelt rather, er, extraordinary to me!
We could have easily been forgiven for thinking this was all Mrs Lutz’s assembly entailed. In actual fact, we have a clear and very entertaining programme of vocabulary development in place at our School so, to that end, at the beginning of the assembly a fair selection of boys in Year 3 highlighted all the sorts of fascinating words that can be used to describe sniffing, stinks and smells. Building vocabulary is a challenge for any school but I am very glad that Mrs Campbell, as our Head of English, has a pretty intransigent approach here regarding this rather herculean task. She insists that we should all be seeking to develop the boys’ vocabulary in a very systematic but inventive way, which I fully support. The important part of this endeavour is for the boys to then use the words they are learning of course. You can support us at home in this by expecting your boys to draw upon sophisticated language when they are speaking to you and if need be, modelling it for them first. Do ask your boys if they can remember any of the words Year 3 highlighted for us!
This time next week I shall definitely be dusting off my thinking cap and trying it on for size, as I and the other members of the staff team and partners prepare for our annual Quiz Night. I am told that tickets are selling fast but there are still enough left for any parents who have not yet signed up to come along and show off their intellectual dexterity. If that does not appeal, there is a very nice meal included in the ticket price anyway, and a bar is available, so it is bound to be an entertaining evening either way. Please book via this link and I am very much looking forward to seeing plenty of you there:
Have a great weekend,
There have been a number of large block fixtures this week and all boys in the school have now represented Hampton Prep on the football field this term. On Tuesday all the boys in Year 3 and Year 4 played against Willington School. The U9s travelled away and recorded two wins, one draw and one loss. The U8s stayed at home and they too won two, drew one and lost one.
On Wednesday we had our first ever fixture against Hall Grove School. This involved all the U11 boys and we travelled to their school to play a triangular tournament against Hall Grove and Edgeborough School. Each team played two games and we certainly won more than we lost. Parents from Hall Grove commented on our boy’s fantastic behaviour and how smart they looked in their blazers, as well as their excellent performance on the field. It was a really enjoyable afternoon and so I hope this will be a relationship we can maintain for many years to come across all sports.
Today is the first of our large annual sporting house competitions. At 1pm this afternoon we will all walk to the open air pool in Hampton for our swimming gala. I have been busily creating the races based on the information you have given me about your son, whilst thinking hard about who I think the most appropriate opposition will be based on my own personal knowledge of your boy. This is always a tricky jigsaw puzzle to put together. It is not an exact science or ever a perfect fit but I hope you will all see the hard work that has gone into putting this event on and remember that the core values of enjoyment and participation are at the heart of events like this.
I love house competitions as they really bring out the competitive nature in the boys. As I am sure you are aware our assembly theme this half term is Industry and afternoons like this require the boys to be industrious and work hard for each other for the sake of a cause greater than just themselves. I believe these kind of events are incredibly important to help develop the virtues of selflessness, generosity and gratitude as well as hard work and a competitive spirit. As you know I drone on a fair bit about what we can learn from sport, that often is impossible to achieve in the classroom. A house event is the perfect example and I hope the boys enjoy it, whilst probably unknowingly for them, continue to grow as an individual and develop these incredibly important personal traits.
Next Monday three teams from the U10s play against Staines Prep. An extremely busy Friday sees the U11 A team taking part in the ISFA 7-a-side competition. Friday is the regional round and if they were to win this they would got through to the Nationals later in the year. On the same day the U8 A team are taking part in the annual King’s College tournament and all four U9 teams host King’s House.
I hope to see many of you this afternoon at the gala and if you are reading it after the event, I hope you and your son enjoyed it. Good luck to everyone!
In assembly this week a Headmaster’s Commendation was awarded to Cormac Harvey (6J) for developing an industrious and increasingly mature attitude towards Mathematics. In the words of Elon Musk: “The first step is to establish that it is possible, then probability will occur.” Well done!
Please remember that on Thursday 11 October late stay will be taking place on at the Prep School.
How lovely for us to catch up with former Pre-Prep pupils today when they hosted at our Open Morning. Guests were extremely complimentary about their Year 5 guides, impressed by their obvious pride for their school.
As reported earlier on in the term, an amazing number wanted to represent their peers on School Council and it is important to recognise that those who were unsuccessful this term have demonstrated resilience and supportiveness, and despite their disappointment have been extremely gracious and supportive of their friends. Pre-Prep School Council met for the second time this week in order to decide upon the charity that will be supported throughout the Autumn Term; we are pleased to announce our support goes to The Greenwood Centre in Hampton. Do look out for further information about this as the term progresses. Being supportive of one another is a common trend and one we embrace at Pre-Prep fully, recognising that one’s passage through life is made far easier if ‘we can rely on one another’.
In assemblies, the children demonstrate a supportive attitude in spades – celebrating their friends’ successes both in school and out of school. Congratulations to Arith Marappa (Rec) whose artwork was chosen to be published on the BBC Cbeebies website.
On Thursday, great excitement ensued as the new ‘Courtesy’ badges were unveiled (complete with a ‘friendly’ Hampton Pre-Prep and Prep lion emblazoned upon them)! Even better is the fact that from now on, recipients may keep their badges forever, wearing them with pride on blazers or school coats.
Mr Smith made retrospective awards to the children who have already received the old style badges earlier in the term, and made the additional award to Harry Brisbane (Year 2), who received the Courtesy Cup and Badge this week for always having excellent manners and remembering to say please and thank you.
Stars of the Week were awarded to:
Year 2: Thomas Chivers for working so hard on his joined up handwriting and the presentation of his work.
Year 1: Wilfred Nercessian for such good progress with his reading!
Reception: Tiarnan Hanna for working so hard on his reading. He is demonstrating excellent blending skills.
Here’s what we’ve been up to in class …
This week in Kindergarten we have been learning about Harvest Festival. Together as a group, we decided that the farmers are gathering their crops ready for the winter just like the animals who store food ready for hibernation. We learned that farmers need scarecrows to protect their crops. We then made scarecrows, personalising them with photographs of our faces.
We enjoyed listening to the story of The Little Red Hen. As a class, we then acted out the story using the story sack props and all joined in with the repeated refrains. On Thursday, our classroom smelt delicious as we made bread just like Little Red Hen. We mixed together all the ingredients to make a dough before rolling it into shape and then we let the yeast work its magic for half an hour, before baking in our oven. We were very excited to take our very own bread roll home at the end of the day.
In phonics this week, we have been looking at the sound ‘s’ and looking for objects around our classroom that begin with this letter.
Our topic next week is transport.
Another busy week in Reception – with a definite highlight being fruit salad making! We talked about the importance of eating healthily and how important fruit is in our diets. The boys then made choices about the fruit they would like in their salad and developed their cutting skills to cut each piece into bite-size pieces. The children have enjoyed taking part in different fruit inspired creative activities including, printing, close observational drawing, cutting and sticking. We read the story Handa’s Surprise and enjoyed thinking about the different fruits and animals she saw on her journey to visit her friend Akeyo in the next African village. The boys retold the story using puppets and props and we then made zigzag books to help us sequence the story. Our mathematical focus has been 2D shapes and the boys have been beginning to describe shapes using mathematical language.
This week in Year 1, the children have been very busy. At the start of the week, the children took part in the Harvest Festival celebration at the church as they recited a poem off by heart. They all did brilliantly. We continued to think about poems in our English lessons and we wrote our own list poem called ‘I love and I hate’. They were very amusing!
In maths, the children have been practising their addition and subtraction skills as well as familiarising themselves with doubles up to 10. Today, the children had a go at ordering numbers such as 5, 2 and 9 from smallest to greatest and from greatest to smallest.
The children learnt what the 5 senses were in science and practised using 4 of them (sight, smell, touch and taste) as they tried some different fruits. They had to sketch the fruit and then record how it smelt, felt and tasted.
The children have continued to practise letter formation and have enjoyed some fine motor activities such as threading beads onto a string, using tweezers to pick up dried pasta and linking paper clips together to form a chain.
In Monday’s life skills lesson, Year 2 discovered that the class bears had been very unlucky at the weekend and had managed to injure themselves in all sorts of ways! The children had to give them some medical care by bandaging them up and deciding what else to do to make them better. We then spoke about our right to medical care and who looks after us if we are poorly. I am pleased to report that the bears are now on the mend!
In maths this week, the children have been learning how to add and subtract multiples of ten. They have also been solving missing number calculations, using hundred squares to find the difference between two numbers.
In English, they have planned and begun to write their own versions of ‘Diary of a Wombat’. We are hoping to finish these and read them to the children in Reception next week.
We learned about the history of communication in topic and had to work in teams to put different types into chronological order. This afternoon, we learned more about telegrams before writing and making our own; we also had a go at deciphering Morse Code. We had great fun in ICT learning how to edit and save photos by taking selfies and using 2Paint on PurpleMash to manipulate them. In science, we had to design a healthy lunch that comprised food from the different food groups – this linked nicely to thinking about what food we could pack for our trip to Brooklands in a few weeks.
Have a super weekend – we are very much looking forward to seeing the children’s Open Homework on Monday!