Headmaster’s Bulletin – Edition 11
It has been a week for us all to focus on developing further our own personal philosophies in the Prep. We were delighted to welcome Mr Gargour, a parent of two boys here, to speak to us in assembly on Monday. During his inspirational address he stepped us through his take on what philosophy means to him. He went on to explain how certain philosophical notions have helped him to understand what true happiness really is and how that impacts him on a daily basis. Miss Bee left us all pondering some immensely deep questions as she concluded her assembly on Wednesday. Boys were invited to consider what the difference between good and not so good might be, and how the choices we make in life will influence not only our own destinies but almost certainly the destinies of others too. This morning the 3W class assembly rather neatly picked up on this point and we were encouraged to reflect upon the difference between right and wrong behaviours. It might be helpful for you to reflect on this material with your boys this weekend too – what were the choices they made this week at school and how did their actions make a difference to their progress and learning?
Miss Goscomb and Mrs James very kindly led a staff training session for us all last night, on the important topic of child and adolescent mental health, feeding back to us on various matters they had covered in some training off site they completed recently. I was struck by the World Health Organisation’s definition of mental health they presented to us and include it here for your reference also:
“The emotional and spiritual resilience which allows to us to enjoy life and survive pain, disappointment and sadness. It is a positive sense of wellbeing and an underlying belief in our own, and others’ dignity and worth… Mental health influences how we think and feel about ourselves and others and how we interpret events. It affects our ability to learn, to communicate and to form, sustain and end relationships. It also influences our ability to cope with change, transition and life events… It is a resource for everyday life, not the object of living.”
We are thinking particularly about Year 6 and their mental health at the moment as we recognise that a good number of them are feeling the pressure somewhat as they gear themselves up for their entrance exams next term. A bit of pressure is a part of life, and we are all bound to feel under more pressure on some occasions than on others. However, as a staff we have discussed the importance of balance and taking the time out needed to release the pressure valve every now and then. This applies to all of us as much as it does to the boys in Year 6 of course, but can I please remind parents of boys in Year 6 now not to work your sons unreasonably hard in the evenings or at weekends as they enter the final stages of their exam preparation? We have seen your boys working really hard here at school and we are confident they will be able to go into their exams next term with their heads full and held high. I very strongly feel it is counterproductive to the whole process however, if the boys end up becoming unduly burdened from having no opportunity to step back from their books and enjoy some empty headed rest and relaxation time in equal measure.
Mrs Skinner, a Year 3 parent, has asked me to include the following message from her in the Bulletin this week:
An urgent request for help…
SPEAR is a charity for people experiencing homelessness in South-West London. SPEAR build communities in which everyone has a place to call home and provide the help needed to lead a fulfilling life. My sister and I work for SPEAR and we are in desperate need of men’s warm winter clothing donations to help people on the streets this winter. If you have a coat that has been gathering dust for too long it could help the homeless. Our appeal is because stocks of men’s clothing are very low. We’d love you to donate clothes that are ‘everyday or casual wear’ such as warm coats and jackets, warm jumpers, hats and gloves, long sleeved tops, jeans, winter boots and shoes/trainers. All donations gratefully received – thank you in advance!
We are happy to store items here at school for Mrs Skinner so if parents do wish to donate any of the above items, please bring them in to the office at the Prep and we will take them off your hands and pass them on.
A message from the residents of Wensleydale Gardens now. One of the residents living there has a serious medical condition which means they could need an ambulance at any time. Please be especially mindful of this if ever you are driving in or aiming to park in Wensleydale Gardens. Please may I kindly remind you not to park in such a way that would obstruct an emergency vehicle attending anyone living there.
Have a great weekend,
It has been a really busy week and one which signals, for all but one year, the end of the football season. I can’t believe how quickly it has come around, but as the weather becomes increasingly soggy, it’s probably pretty good timing.
You may recall last Friday I along with Mr Salt and Mr Chilcott set off with the Year 5 boys on our long journey to Manchester and our first stop was Altrincham School. We have developed a really good relationship with the school and Mr Birch the Head of Sport over the past three years and so it was lovely to see him and for the boys to play against entirely new opposition, in entirely new surroundings.
We put out three teams that afternoon and they were three great matches. Some were more competitive than others but all the boys from both schools put on a really good display of positive and sportsman like behaviour. The A team lost 1-0, despite a host of chances. You’d say they were the better team but they just couldn’t score and so had to swallow the bitter pill of losing a game they most definitely should have won. The B team and C team both had it a little easier with the Bs winning 6-1 and the Cs winning 6-2. In the C team game Bailey Sarpong was the star of the show, scoring 5 goals, despite spending 10 minutes of the game in goal.
After our match we had match tea and the customary presentations. Our three captains were presented with and Altrincham School pennant and we presented their captains with a Hampton Prep tie.
That evening the boys had a whale of a time bowling and trying to win tokens in the arcade. Omer Olcer taking the spoils in this game, as he hit the jackpot winning one thousand tokens in one go on his last attempt. However, the joy was short lived when he realised that one thousand tokens only afforded him two pots of slime and a bouncy ball!!!
The next morning we visited the National Football museum and the boys pitted their skills on the numerous interactive footballing challenges, before we made our way to the highlight of the weekend, Old Trafford.
At least it should have been the highlight, but unfortunately it was a dour 0-0 draw. However, the boys seemed to enjoy themselves nonetheless. Although none of them seemed to go to sleep on the coach journey home, there were a lot of thoroughly exhausted looking boys as we pulled up at the Pre-Prep at 10pm Saturday evening.
Whilst this was all taking place, on the Friday the remaining Year 5 boys were treated to a Fencing workshop at LEH school followed by time on the climbing wall at Hampton school in the afternoon. The boys enjoyed the fencing so much the majority of the group said they would definitely sign up to fencing if it was offered as a CCA, so this is something we are looking into. I hope all the boys in Year 5 enjoyed their day(s). They have all worked very hard this term and I am glad they could cap off the season in such a way.
This week has seen numerous fixtures. On Tuesday all the boys in Year 3 played against Surbiton High in pretty horrible, wet, cold conditions and as I said to the boys at match tea, I didn’t hear one boy complain. In fact, quite the opposite they all ploughed on with a big smile on their face and It was another great afternoon.
Wednesday afternoon was a colt’s fixture against Bishopsgate School. Three teams travelled away and three stayed at home. The teams were a mixture of Year 6 and Year 5 boys and as it marked the last ever football fixture for the Year 6 boys they took priority when it came to selection, with the Year 5 boys filling in where necessary.
However, I took the A team fixture and I can safely say that the Year 5 boys in my team only served to strengthen the team and they can be very proud of how they performed. In fact, it was a great match that I could have happily watched for a further 45 minutes. We started the game very well and were soon two goals up. Some great passing and pressure saw us dominate the first half and we reached the break 2-1 up. I couldn’t fault their attacking play but I felt we needed to tighten up in defence. However, my words fell on deaf ears and Bishopsgate scored three goals in the first three minutes of the second half. In the blink of an eye we were 4-2 down. We did though, regain our composure and once again began to dominate but we could only pull one goal back and so eventually lost 4-3.
They were really competitive fixtures across the board and it was a reasonably even split of wins and losses across the six teams. We repeat the fixture again today with the U9s and U8s, with every single boy taking part.
The only fixture we have next week is an U8 A&B game against Weston Green next Friday. With this in mind the other three year groups will commence with rugby training as of next Monday. The boys will be required to bring their reversible rugby shirt, their dark blue shorts and their usual games socks. In addition, they will need a gum shield and their full school track suit, which they will be required to put on after their games session.
Have a great weekend.
In assembly this week Headmaster’s Commendations were awarded to Jay Aragon (3L) For a great diary entry showing Arthur questioning himself and how he’s feeling based on the class reader “Arthur and the Golden Rope”,Thomas Bainbridge (3L) For excellent effort made in writing a diary entry imagining what Arthur might have put in his journal based on the class reader “Arthur and the golden rope.” Ian Chen (3L) For consistent effort in maths, accurate calculations and well-presented work. Ben Jago (3L) For a fabulous diary entry reflecting Arthur’s thoughts based on the class reader “Arthur and the Golden Rope”, William Meehan (3L) For a detailed diary entry showing events of Arthur’s day based on the class reader “Arthur on the Golden Rope”, James Nunn (3L) For excellent features of diary writing shown in his diary entry in the role of Arthur on the class reader “Arthur and the Golden Rope”, Johnny McMonagle (3W) For creating a fantastic book called “The fancy Crocodiles” in your own time at home, Archie Duggan (4S) and Tom Chance, Thomas Duffy, Josh Gibbins and Alfie Keller (All 4H) For writing an excellent descriptive piece of creative writing about the Baptism of Jesus. Well done to all those boys!
- Please note that next week will be the last week of CCA’s, there will be no CCA’s taking place on the last week of term.
What a joyous sight to see the children carefully choosing Christmas gifts at Secret Santa this morning! A big thank you to Mrs Cole and her team for making this such a special occasion for the children in Pre-Prep – we hope you enjoy your gifts in due course.
It barely seems any time at all since we were welcoming everyone back to school but Christmas will soon be upon us. Festivities will be ramping up a notch next week with Reception, Years 1 and 2 performing their Christmas Play, ‘Once Upon a Christmas Time’. This starts at 2.30pm and takes place in the James Hall. Please note we have arranged for the gate into Prep, via Carlisle Park, to be open from 2.15pm. We would prefer you to access the site by this means and will allow you to park in Wensleydale Road as normal – please do remember to park considerately. Also, do send your child to school in their PE kit next Thursday as this will assist us greatly with the changing into/out of costumes.
We promised to let you know the amount raised at our ‘Silly Socks’ fundraiser last week which you will remember was in aid of the Greenwood Centre in Hampton. We are delighted to announce a grand total of £93.70, so thank you so much to everyone who took part – it is safe to say everyone had great fun and we admired lots of pairs of jazzy socks.
A final call … this weekend will be the last chance to take part in the Anti-Bullying poster competition – all entries must be submitted by Monday 3 December. We are looking forward to seeing them on Monday.
Next Friday (7 December) the HPPPA will be holding a cake sale in the James Hall. Please note it is essential that all cakes are delivered directly to Prep where there will be a table to receive them on Friday morning. Please note, we have Open Morning here and simply do not have the capacity to store lots of cakes on that day. The sale opens from 3.50pm and we hope to see many of you there buying some sweet treats for the weekend.
In line with the our whole school assembly programme, we have been focusing on ‘Philosophy’ in our assemblies, grappling initially with its definition and, to this end, discovered it comes from the Greek ‘philosophia’ and can be defined as literally a love of wisdom. From this, we looked to wise words from wise people from the past for our inspiration, starting with Mahatma Gandhi. He once said, ‘The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong’ but also ‘Be the change that you wish to see in the world’ – not surprisingly, this led us nicely into interesting discussions.
Two awards were made in assembly this week: the first went to Theo Heath (Year 2) for taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge and the second to Joshua Hill (Year 2), who received a badge and certificate for achieving Level 2 ‘Learn to Swim’; he had to learn to push off and glide in the water, perform a tuck float and swim unaided for 5m – well done, boys!
The Courtesy Cup and Badge were awarded to Asher Holmes (Year 2) for always having excellent manners and for always being so kind and sympathetic towards his friends.
and Stars of the Week to:
Year 2: Joshua Hill for working really hard to learn his number bonds.
Year 1: Rishi Schneider for his brilliant improvement with his reading.
Reception: Arith Marappa for excellent effort with his show and tell creations.
Here’s what we’ve been up to in class …
Brrrr… it has been a cold week in Kindergarten exploring ‘Winter’! We looked at lots of winter photographs of icicles, frost, snow and rain, and talked about how they made us feel very cold. We then discussed how we could stay warm and the what type of clothes we should wear at this time of year. We noticed that our hats, gloves and scarves are made with wool. This led onto a big discussion about wool, where it comes from and how it is made, and we then used our computer and to find out even more information. We enjoyed reading the story ‘Jack frost’ by Kazuno Kohara and liked how magical everything looks when it is covered in frost.
We have been very creative this week and have explored paint using a range of tools. Using paint brushes, we painted snowmen and then used pen, a cork and a playdough plunger to print the snowmen’s buttons. We also used a sponge to make a robin’s body and had great fun printing the wings using our hands. We needed to use our hands again to print ‘cold’ hand prints with glitter for our season tree display. It has been a very messy, but fun week!
Our topic next week is Christmas.
Reception have been thinking about Christmas trees – we have loved admiring the beautiful tree chosen by Mrs Murphy in our school hall. We read the story of The Little Christmas Tree and the children wrote about their favourite part of the story. In our phonics sessions, this week we have been learning about digraphs – two letters that make one sound. We have focused on sh, ch and th, and had fun sorting objects into three hoops, listening for the initial sounds. In mathematics, we have been learning to tell the time. We concentrated on ‘o’ clock and the boys had opportunities to read and record the time. We were very pleased with the way the boys approached this task and we are sure they will impress you with their clock knowledge this weekend. Every boy has used the interactive whiteboard to create their own ICT Christmas design and the pictures are now on display in our school hall. In book bags today you will find an ICT survey – we would love to hear all about how the boys use technology at home. On Friday, they spent a very happy time choosing gifts for their nearest and dearest at our Secret Santa event. Their faces when they returned laden down with gifts were a picture! Have a lovely weekend.
In Year 1, we have enjoyed reading stories about Mog the Cat by Judith Kerr. This included reading and watching the Sainsbury’s Christmas advert, ‘Mog’s Christmas Calamity’. The children absolutely loved the carnage that unfolded and used this as inspiration to write their own Christmas ‘disaster’ story! Their ideas included the Christmas tree falling over, house pets eating the Christmas dinner and mice zooming around on remote control aeroplanes. All the stories were very imaginative – well done, Year 1! Next week we will be following and writing our own instructions about how to make Christmas biscuits.
In maths, we have been practising adding and subtracting accurately and have solved missing number problems such as 4 + ? = 9. The children used number lines to do this and are becoming really confident at it! Today, we worked out some word problems together too that involved addition and subtraction. Next week, we will be finding fractions of shapes and numbers.
This week we have continued to think about different homes and explored what Victorian homes were like, as well as learning about Lighthouses before painting our own in art with Mrs Murphy.
We have had a rather noisy week in Year 2! In English, we have been writing poems based on the pattern of ‘London’s Burning’ – having to think carefully about the number of syllables in each line and making each line repeat. There were some very creative poems and great titles, including ‘My Dog Amber’, ‘I Love Football’ and ‘Eddie’s Eating’.
In maths, we have been learning about position and direction, including using grid references and compass points. We had fun practising which direction to go in to get to places such as Father Christmas’ house, where penguins live and where we could find leprechauns. Today, we solved problems using pirate maps. Next week, we will be focusing on telling the time to the nearest quarter of an hour on an analogue clock.
Topic this week has involved learning about how food shopping has changed since the 1950s. This afternoon we set up shops based on different eras; the children were rather enterprising with their efforts! In science this week, we learned about renewable and non-renewable sources of energy and how these can affect the environment.
We wish you all a wonderful weekend!