Headmaster’s Bulletin – Edition 6
On Monday morning this week it was a great honour to host a number of guests at assembly, chief amongst them Mr Ian Whittle, son of Sir Frank Whittle who is largely credited with the invention of the jet engine. Mr Whittle came to talk to us about his father’s pioneering industrial design work and touched upon his own distinguished career as a Captain of 747 jumbo jet aircraft. We were all able to enjoy this terrific talk from Mr Whittle about the airline industry, and the way in which jet propelled flight has really transformed our society, as a direct result of Monty Hunt in Year 5, who met Mr Whittle whilst visiting a museum he helps to run over the summer. Monty emailed me when the new school year began and was most insistent that Mr Whittle should come to talk to us – I am very glad he did!
Mr Whittle’s address was a tale of how to overcome adversity and how not to let anything hold one back from really going for it and following one’s dreams. He provided a fascinating historical round up of the history of the jet engine, including the obstacles his father – Sir Frank – had to overcome in order to have his own dream for jet propelled flight come into being. There were some excellent, high level technical elements of jet engines explained to us but what moved me most was the way in which Mr Whittle explained he is quite dyslexic and how hard he had to work to account for this when he was a boy and a young man, all at a time when there was much less known about dyslexia if indeed anything at all. He told me he was determined not to let his dyslexia hold him back from becoming an international airline pilot; his story is a wonderful example of the power of sheer grit, tenacity and endurance.
There was a great deal of excellent creative enterprise out in force at the Prep this week. Mrs Campbell and I were thrilled to see so many boys and parents at the Poetry Party on Tuesday evening and Miss Bee and I loved, as ever, hearing the boys play their instruments and recite some poetry as part of their LAMDA work at the Pupils’ Informal Concert, our first one of the year, on Wednesday. Mr Darmon writes about the exciting football happening here this week in his Bulletin. I really do get a huge amount of pleasure from knowing that our boys have had so much exposure to such a wide range of events and activities. I think there might have been one or two lessons in there too!
The impact of this sort of involvement in school life adds up over time. I believe it is the cumulative effect of participating in the wide range of opportunities we have on offer here at our school that brings us all so much… JOY! I almost cannot wait until next Friday when the boys in the Prep will be bringing in all they have accomplished from their explorations of the word JOY for their Open Homework projects. Mrs Murphy and I had great fun looking at the boys’ and girls’ work based on the word JOY in the Pre-Prep yesterday. I know that we are bound to be astonished and amazed at what the boys in Years 3 – 5 will produce. Let the joyful endeavours begin…!
Have a great weekend,
There was a huge crowd for last week’s House swimming gala and so I suspect most of you reading this were there. However, if you weren’t, it was a fantastic afternoon and we were once again blessed with fabulous weather. I was a little worried with our new rearranged date, but we could not have had better weather and I was slapping on the factor 50 before the boys arrived.
There were 50 races in total and we completed the programme in record time. Some notable accomplishments were that of Archie Skinner in Year 3 who broke the backstroke record only to have his new record broken in the very next race by James Nunn with a time of 42.59secs.
The eventual winners were Lancaster house but 5 points in total separated 4th to 1st and so it certainly goes down as one of the closest competitions in recent memory. I wrote in last week’s bulletin about why I enjoyed house competitions so much and pointed to the fact that everybody contributes regardless of ability contributed. As long as you are able to grit your teeth and finish, or maybe turn a fourth place into a third place, then you have made a difference to your house and your point could be the difference between winning and losing. This close competition epitomised that.
A big thanks must go to all the staff who helped during the afternoon, the staff at the pool, the parents who came to watch, but most of all the boys. Without their positive attitude the house competitions would be non-events, so well done to all the boys.
On Monday of this week all the boys in Year 5 played against Staines Prep with three wins out of four. I have written a lot in recent weeks about the excellent performances of the U10 A team and Monday suggests that there is tremendous strength in depth and competition for places. I am sure this will only intensify as we move deeper into the season.
Today is also extremely busy. I am heading off on a long trip to Elstree with the U11 A team who are taking part in the Herts/Middlesex Regional 7-a-side ISFA Tournament. This is the first round of a national prep school competition. If we are successful today and win this tournament, we would then go through to the national finals at the FA’s national football centre later in the year.
The U8 A team are heading off to Wimbledon to take part in the King’s College tournament and the U9s are hosting King’s House on Carlisle park, which will see all the boys in Year 4 play.
Last Saturday the U11 A and B teams competed in the inaugural Surbiton High 5-a-side tournament. The A team dominated their group and progressed with little trouble to the quarter finals. The B team had a difficult morning in the group phases but qualified for the plate competition. Unfortunately, the A team lost their quarter final, which in reflection was against a team that was arguably weaker than anything they had previously played that morning. However, credit to Sussex House for the victory. The B team however, reached the final of the plate competition. I was really pleased for these boys, as they have played in a number of tournaments against really strong opposition so far this season. However, they have continued to persevere and shown a great attitude. Unfortunately, the final proved to be a step too far and they lost 2-0 to the hosts of the tournament.
I read an article recently by Douglass Robb, Headmaster of Gresham’s School, that was centred around the need for children, particularly teenagers, to develop a positive attitude to sport and fitness. This is not only to counter-act the worrying fact that now one in three British teenagers are overweight and obese. It is also to address the other end of the spectrum that would suggest that out of the two in three teenagers that are not obese, many will have different but equally unhealthy, relationships with fitness and diet. Obsessing over muscle definition and tiny waists is just as mentally unhealthy as obesity is physically unhealthy.
So what is the answer? Well I believe, as does Mr Robb, that making sport fun is the key and from an early age we are able to communicate with pupils and parents what constitutes a positive attitude to competition.
This doesn’t mean that sport should not be challenging and competitive, if this is the case pupils will miss out on the great lessons learnt from adversity. The sporting provision should however, be suitable to the needs and talents of each pupil. A boy will gain nothing from playing against boys significantly more talented than themselves, nor will the boy who finds the competition far too easy.
Therefore, it is our job as professionals to, in the words of Mr Robb, “read each situation and identify the appropriate level of competition and encouragement, in order to ensure the right combination of challenge and joy”.
I would like to think that we find the right balance here at Hampton Prep. I think the house swimming event is a great example. My job is not just to manage the sporting experience of the boys on a day to day basis, but to give them the tools to continue to have a healthy attitude to physical activity and sport for life. Therefore, this balance is key.
If you would like to read the whole article it can be found in Issue 16 Autumn/Winter 2018 of ‘Independent School Sport’ magazine.
Head of Games and PE
In assembly this week Headmaster’s Commendations were awarded to Monty James (5Ch) For writing a truly epic quest adventure in the summer holidays which was particularly entertaining due to the elements of humour that he included and Sebastian Woods (5Ca) For writing a truly epic quest adventure during the summer holidays which included fabulous descriptive language as well as tailor made illustrations. Well done!
Mrs Campbell and the prep teachers hosted our annual Poetry Party on Tuesday this week. The evening was a great success, with lots of rhymes, verses and no end of hilarious limericks!
During the October Half Term and Christmas Holidays, Chris Harrison will be running a cricket coaching course at Hampton School which is ideal for young cricketers to have fun and improve their game. Each session will include skill drills for batting, bowling and fielding as well as net and match play practice. A great way to spend the holiday period! Please click here for more details on how to book.
It’s hard to believe we’ve just finished the penultimate week of this half of term – where has the time gone? They say time flies when you’re having fun, and Open Homework created plenty of fun this week and more than a little joy, too! There is one thing for certain, the children have worked ‘industriously’ on their projects and must been commended upon their efforts.
‘JOY’ has been interpreted in so many interesting and varied ways, each one so different and unique. We have seen such wide-ranging approaches, from poetry to the preparation of delicious cakes, as well as delightful pictures and photographs of the children engaged in their favourite tasks (the ones that bring them the most joy). We have even seen the creation of a brand new Mr Men character, ‘Mr Joy’, completed stylishly in Lego! We hope you all experienced plenty of joy when viewing the children’s amazing pieces at the exhibition yesterday; it is abundantly clear to us here that a great deal of learning has taken place as well as lots of fun along the way. We heard from one little boy that Open Homework weekend is eagerly anticipated in his household, as it is his daddy’s favourite time of year!
Mr Hole visited our assembly on Monday to present a lively presentation about healthy eating and caring for one’s teeth. He taught us two catchy songs to deliver important messages about brushing teeth. It was shocking to learn just how much sugar is contained in certain drinks.
We were thrilled to welcome Ben Rowe, Mohamed Suliman and Aaryan Jadoon to our assembly yesterday; they came along not only to demonstrate their musical talents but also to show the children here the wide range of instruments that can be taken up from Year 3 onwards. They shared their words of wisdom sagely, practice does not make perfect, but certainly helps in leading to progress. Ben explained how he started learning the piano at the age of seven – we saw very clearly how his diligence in practising has paid off. On that note, Mr Kneebone gives regular updates about his pupils in Year 2, in fact, children who have just taken up this instrument; he reports they are working extremely hard. How lovely to think they might be back to play for us in one of our assemblies in the future!
Having had a few near misses with keyrings on blue book bags this week in school, particularly when removing said bags from the book bag boxes at the end of the school day, we would like to make a plea that they are removed altogether, please! We find they can also be a huge distraction when lining up.
Mr Smith awarded The Bike Academy certificates to the following two pupils – Arith Marappa (Reception) and Batu Kirbay (Year 1). We were delighted to see Harry Sinnett (Year 2) receive his Junior Parkrun ‘Half Marathon’ wristband, which means he has completed 11 2km runs in order to get it. Very well done to them all!
The Courtesy Cup and Badge were awarded to Krishi Parmar (Year 1) chosen by Mrs Timba as he showed ‘real care and concern’ when she stumbled in the playground this week.
In addition, Stars of the Week to:
Year 2: Asher Holmes for always being so kind and for trying hard to get onto the challenge activities in math.
Year 1: Jonah Miles for always following the Golden Rules and being a super role model for others.
Reception: Alfie Seward for an excellent contribution to our class discussion on kindness.
Here’s what we’ve been up to in class …
In Kindergarten, we have been looking at the different ways we travel. First, we read The Train Ride by June Crebbin, discussing along the++++ way where we have travelled to, as well as where we would like to travel to by train. This sparked a big circle time discussion about the many different ways we have travelled with our families – the children had many different suggestions.
We have also started to learn names of common 2D shapes. We have printed with shapes, played guess the shape and played a sorting game. When identifying shapes, we have looked to see if the chosen shape has any sides and, if so, how many.
In our circle time, we talked about what to do if we do not like something that others are doing or saying to us. We are going to try and remember to put our hand out in front of us and say ‘please stop, I don’t like it’, in order to make sure that our friends understand.
Our topic next week is ‘Pirates’. We would like to invite the children to come to school dressed as pirates on Thursday for a Pirate Parade and, of course, we will be searching for treasure hunt!
What a busy week in Reception! In mathematics, we have been very busy learning all about 2D shapes – we have been using mathematical language to describe them and went on a very exciting shape hunt to spot shapes in our environment. The children used a tally system to record how many of the different shapes they could find.
Every child used oil pastels to create close observational drawings of a pineapple. They looked carefully at the fruit, working hard to represent the different textures using a variety of marks. We have loved seeing the wonderful Open Homework – it brought us great joy to see how hard the children had worked and the wide variety of work produced. Following on from our joyful discussions, we really enjoyed reading a book by Carol McCloud called Have You Filled Your Bucket Today? The premise of the story is that we all carry around an invisible bucket – these buckets can be filled when people say nice things to us, are kind or do something to help us. Having a full bucket makes us happy! The children suggested some insightful ways in which they could be bucket fillers and ideas included: smiling at everyone they saw, saying thank you to the lunch time teachers, telling other children they liked their work, and being helpful at home. We also read and then retold the story of The Little Red Hen – thinking carefully about the sequencing of it. Our week culminated with Year 2 children’s visit to read their stories to us – we loved listening to the funny tales. What a perfect end to a splendid week. We wish you a weekend full of “full-bucket” moments!
Year 1 have been working really hard this week to create their own rhyming verses for poems. They also created their own catch phrase for ‘Run, run as fast as you can, you can’t me I’m the Gingerbread Man!’ by changing ‘Gingerbread Man’ to something else that rhymes with can. Some examples were ‘you can’t catch me because I’m Superman!’ and ‘you can’t catch me because I’m an old Gran!’
In maths, we have been learning how to solve missing number problems, how to write numbers in words and how to solve addition and subtraction word problems. The children came up with their own word problems, which were very creative.
Furthermore, the children have been grouping animals according to whether they eat meat, plants or both (carnivores, herbivores or omnivores) and in ICT designed their own colourful elephant and added labels to it.
In maths this week, Year 2 have been measuring lengths using centimetres. They have also been comparing lengths using the inequality symbols and solving word problems involving length.
The children finished their books based on ‘Diary of a Wombat’ and had a lovely time reading these to the children in Reception. We have just begun some creative writing work on different settings and writing detailed descriptions.
We had a very active science lesson this week where we learned about the importance of exercise in keeping us healthy! We had to do various different exercises and think about what happened to our bodies. In topic, we learned about the postal system and have written and posted letters home.