Headmaster’s Bulletin – Edition 8

This Week

Dear Parents,

I have been chatting to Mr Darmon a little more frequently of late as of course you will all know by now that he is leading on arrangements for the L.I.O.N. Award, our in-house leadership skills and personal independence development programme for the boys in Years 3 – 5. We have all been reflecting upon how to develop the L.I.O.N. Award going forward and I am very glad to learn from Mr Darmon that he is in full support of the strands within it remaining in place. He is also keen for the timetable of when to complete the individual sections or strands to be developed differently this year, with a view to making the whole process a little more efficient for us all.

Mr Darmon and I are very aware, as result of witnessing this over the last two years, that great numbers of boys here achieve all sorts of remarkable feats in their own spare time. One of the greatest strengths of the L.I.O.N. Award, as we see it, is how it can act as a sort of repository if you like for all the personal accomplishments the boys are responsible for in their own time. Whether it be climbing Snowdon, walking an elderly neighbour’s dog, running a second hand book stall on the pavement in front of the house one weekend or making a point of visiting every single cathedral in England (one boy actually made his family do this!) over the course of a few months, please do not forget that the L.I.O.N. Award is a great place to record all this activity. It is always fascinating for us here at school to hear about this sort of independently led activity. There are some boys here for whom sport might not be their thing (yet), nor music (yet), but doing something really different (wacky even!) under the aegis of the L.I.O.N. Award is a great way to celebrate individual pupil’s personal development.

Our assembly theme for this half term is now the word ‘philosophy’. We had the Year 6 boys’ mock exams in the James Hall on Monday so Mr Salt did a remarkable job of covering the development of Western philosophical thought from Plato through to more modern day notions of what it might mean to “be a philosopher” on Wednesday – all in 15 minutes! Do please ask your sons what they think behaving like a philosopher might mean, as his assembly included some top tips to get their philosophical thinking going. I then had the unenviable task of trying to replicate Mr Salt’s fantastic efforts and introduce aspects of philosophical thought to the pupils in the Pre-Prep on Thursday morning. Hmmm…I’m not sure I was quite so successful with our younger brethren!

The ancient world featured heavily in the lives of Year 3 this week as they visited the Verulamium Museum in St Albans. They enjoyed learning about the Roman market place and discovering different foods, clothes and instruments whilst perusing the stalls. They saw wonderfully preserved Roman artefacts including Roman mosaics, which they are looking forward to recreating during their residential trip to Hooke Court in the Spring term.

It was very moving for us to welcome WWII veteran Mr Chris Millar to school this morning to assist us with our remembrance assembly before lessons and then to bear witness with us during our Act of Remembrance at morning break. Mr Millar served in a tank regiment in Italy during the Second World War and was able to share his stories with the Year 6 boys after assembly, which was a very powerful experience for them. You may wish to know that Mrs Tinkler, our Head boy Ben Rowe and Deputy Head Boy Mohamed Suliman and I then processed down to the Hampton War Memorial – which has been very beautifully rebuilt and restored – and laid one of our wreaths there.

Thinking ahead a little, we have a terrific bunch of Year 2 boys coming in to visit us tomorrow morning for our 7+ assessment event and we are very much looking forward to welcoming them here and discovering what makes them ‘tick’. Next Tuesday evening the first HPPPA ‘Holistic Parent’ talk will take place in the James Hall and I am told that there are only one or two tickets left. I am looking forward to seeing many of you there. I believe there may be a rugby match due to take place somewhere near Twickenham tomorrow afternoon too, between two great rugby rivals? My Māori is pretty rusty these days but if called upon to do so my advice to both teams playing would be ‘kia kaha’, a Māori language affirmation which loosely translates as ‘be strong’. Good advice for life, as well as rugby, I would say!

Have a great weekend,

Tim Smith

Headmaster

Sports News

We have got straight back into the swing of things this week. There have been fixtures for every year group with virtually every boy representing the school. Those that didn’t get the chance this week are guaranteed to play next week, which I think signals a great start to our final few weeks of the football calendar.

The week of fixtures started on Tuesday when the whole of Year 3 played against Staines Prep. I was with the D team and the hard work and tenacity shown by the boys was a real joy to watch. I think it is fair to say that football may not come easy to some of the boys in this team. There may even be the odd boy, who if they were being completely honest, doesn’t enjoy the sport that much. However, there was absolutely no evidence of any negativity or lack of drive and enthusiasm. They all worked really hard for each other and were rewarded with a well deserved 2-1 win.

I have been really pleased and impressed with the attitude of all the Year 3 boys. There has been so much for them to learn in such a short space of time since starting in September and I am sure there have been many daunting moments for them. That said, they have always displayed an excellent attitude in games. They listen well, work hard, show great sportsmanship and enjoy their sport. What more could I ask for?

The other teams followed suit in terms of application. Unfortunately, the A team lost but the results are of secondary importance and as far as I am concerned the Year 3 boys are always winning.

On Wednesday the whole of Year 5 travelled to Hinchley Wood as we put out five teams against Surbiton High. The U10 A team have been impressing on every occasion and their reputation is growing within the local area. However, as in life there are bumps in the road and this Wednesday was one of those bumps as they went down 3-2. Mr Salt commented that he hadn’t quite felt the right vibes in training on Monday and so wasn’t surprised by the result. The boys will learn from this. Maybe it was complacency, maybe they were just beaten by a better team on the day but either way it gives them a focus and a new challenge. All good teams falter, it’s how they react to this that will be the measure of them. In the other results the E team lost but the B, C and D teams all won.

At home all the boys in Year 6 laced up their boots to turn out against the same school. It was three wins from three for these boys. It was the first match since the A team had won the ISFA regionals and so I tried to get the boys to tap into that positive energy and confidence and sure enough they played some fantastic football to win 5-1.

On the last day before half term it was our House Football competition. We were once again blessed with a beautiful afternoon and a big crowd turned up to watch the afternoon unfold. As is always the case, enjoyment and fun were at the forefront and it was a pleasure to watch the boys compete so hard but with such humility and sportsmanship. Lancaster house were the eventual victors and it would seem as they the other houses are playing catch up when it comes to the sporting house competitions. It will be interesting to see if the same trend continues in the Cross-Country and Rugby competitions.

Today the U8s will all play against Surbiton High and there will be three teams playing from the U9s. Next week all the age groups will compete against TPS and there will also be a fixture against Weston Green for the U11 to look forward to it.

I hope you all have a great weekend and I look forward to seeing many of you on the side lines next week.

Prep News

This week Year 3 had their trip to the Verulamium Museum, here are a couple of photos from the day:

 

Pre-Prep News

Welcome back to school! With the second half of term well underway, we have an exciting and busy time ahead.  We will endeavour to keep you up-to-date with what will be happenig and more importantly when during the next few weeks – it promises to be an action packed programme ahead of Christmas!

Firstly, an important reminder regarding next week when we shall be celebrating History Day on Thursday 15 November.  You will recall Mr Henderson, Head of Humanities, wrote to you back in September advising you that children in Years 1 – 6 should come to school dressed in a costume reminiscent of either the Roman, Viking, Tudor, Victorian, WWI, WWII eras, or as a famous historical character of their own choosing on that day.  We are really looking forward to seeing the children’s costumes next week.

Children in Kindergarten and Reception will bring in a toy (old or new) on this day rather than dressing up, as they will be taking part in an educational workshop at Pre-Prep based on the theme ‘Toys from the Past’.

Please note Years 1 and 2 must still bring in their PE kit on that day for their sessions during the afternoon and Reception should wear their PE kit to school as normal.

This term, the Pre-Prep School Council have decided to raise money for the Greenwood Centre in Hampton Hill. The centre was set up to help people who struggle with being socially isolated in the community. They organise services such as shopping trips, transport to Day Centres and outings to places such as National Trust Centres.

To raise money for the charity, the School Council will be holding a ‘silly socks’ day on Friday 23rd November. For a £1 donation, children may wear a pair of ‘silly socks’ on that day.

We have just received the certificates for this Summer’s library reading challenge ‘Mischief Makers’  from Richmond – if your child has one from another borough then do sent it in to your child’s Class Teacher and we will make sure all are awarded together next week on Friday 16 November.

Various awards were presented in assembly this week for activities undertaken out of school. Daniel Fitzpatrick (Year 1) gained his ‘Swordfish’ swimming award’ and Thiyaan Dissanayake (Year 1), his purple belt in kickboxing. Harrison Sinnett (Year 2) received two awards – firstly,  a plaque for being Sutton and Epsom RFC’s team’s ‘best attacking player of the festival’ and also a certificate for ‘Manager’s Choice Player of the Week’ during his week of training at Fulham FC. Harry Cole (Year 2) received his Blue Peter badge; he sent them ‘a terrific picture of an airport baggage belt’ and they commented how much work he had put into it.  Our congratulations to them all!

This week the Courtesy Cup and Badge went to Arthur Band (Year 2) for being kind and compassionate towards his friends in school.

and Stars of the Week to:

Year 2: Aashish Gill for doing fantastic listening this week.  Well done!

Year 1: Anirudh Ageer for always following the Golden Rules and setting a good example for others!

Reception: Ronak Banerjee for always contributing to class discussions.

Here’s what we’ve been up to in class …

It has been lovely to see the children settle back into the Kindergarten routine after the half term. We have enjoyed listening to their holiday news.

It has been a very busy week as we discussed and celebrated festivals and special days this week. We started by talking about the fireworks that the children had seen over the weekend and agreed that they are beautiful and colourful, but so very loud!  We made our own colourful and sparkly firework pictures using paint and glitter. We also discussed the importance of staying safe around fires and fireworks.

On Wednesday, we were very lucky to have Mrs Gill come into class and help us make chapatis to celebrate Diwali. We used a rolling pin to make our dough into a very round circle before Mrs Gill put them in the frying pan on a very hot stove. We enjoyed eating our yummy bread during circle time.

We rounded the week up by finding out lots of information about Remembrance Day and why we wear poppies. We watched clips of children selling poppies and found out that the money goes to the men and women who keep us safe. We all made a poppy to wear with pride on Sunday.

Thursday 15 November is History Day and we will be looking at the history of toys and invite the children to bring in a small toy to show their friends in circle time.

Our topic next week is 3D shapes and patterns.

This week in Reception, we have focused our learning around the theme of festivals of light. We talked about the beautiful firework displays lots of us saw, and created some exciting and colourful pictures using paint and glitter.  We have also created some super sparkly firework art and used pom poms, ribbon, gems and glittery pipe cleaners to make transient art on black paper. We talked about the festival of Diwali and how this is celebrated, and each boy made a clay diva lamp. We read the very exciting story of Rama and the Demon King, which the children absolutely adored. We talked about the different characters in the story and used magnetic props to help us retell the story thinking about the sequence of events.

In mathematics, we used the hundred square to help with some simple addition problems – we hopped on one square to find the answer to ‘one more’ questions. We read the story Inside, Outside, Upside Down to learn about positional language – we gave instructions to a partner, asking them to put a teddy bear in all sorts of funny places! Poor Teddy didn’t like being under the box at all! The boys learnt about why we commemorate Remembrance Day and thought about those who lost their lives in the war. We talked about the significance of poppies and painted some of our own.

Next week, we are very much looking forward to celebrating an extra special show and tell in advance of our History Day on Thursday. All the boys will take part in a workshop based on the history of toys, and we would love the children to bring in a special toy from their past – this could be a toy from a family member or a toy from their childhood (baby toy or similar). Please don’t bring anything too precious! We may stretch show and tell over two days (Wednesday and Thursday) next week to enable us to fully enjoy each toy.

Year 1 have had a very busy first week back to school after the half term. They have been learning what command sentences are and they have been reading and writing their own command sentences too. Some children pretended to be the teacher and gave bossy sentences to the rest of the class! In maths, the children have been counting in 2s, 5s and 10s mostly from 0. Those that were feeling particularly adventurous had a go at counting in 10s from their own choice of number such as 3! The children have enjoyed learning about Diwali this week and we were lucky enough to have some children in the class share their own experiences about it. The class have also spent some time reflecting on Remembrance Sunday and have made their own beautiful poppy patterns on the iPads. Well done for a super first week back!

In maths this week Year 2 have been learning all about fractions! They have learned how to read and write halves, quarters and thirds, and how to find halves and quarters of shapes and objects. Today, they used their new knowledge to solve and make up their own word problems involving fractions. They were also very excited to have their first times tables test today.

In English, we have been planning and writing stories about finding an animal living in the cupboard under the stairs and going on an adventure with that animal. We had to think very carefully about how to make our stories interesting by adding in extra details, as well as checking through our stories and adding in any missing punctuation or words.

In topic, we learned about toys from the past before designing and making our own wooden spoon toys. In RE we talked about the festival of Diwali; some of the class had celebrated this over half term and were able to tell us lots about it!

Coming up later in the term, we have the following events:

  • Secret Santa – Friday 30 November (the HPPPA will be in touch about arrangements about this event);
  • Reception, Year 1 and 2 Christmas Production – Thursday 6 December in the James Hall at 2.30pm;
  • Open Classroom Visits for Parents – Monday 10 December (timings in the School Calendar);
  • Christmas Merrie – Thursday 13 December (*please note the children may come to school dressed in their own clothes for the day);
  • End of Term – Friday 14 December at 11.45am.

If you do have any questions about any of the above, please do ask Mrs Murphy, who will be very happy to help.

Have a great weekend.