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Headmaster’s Bulletin – Edition 9

This Week

Dear Parents,

It has been a very thoughtful week here, as we continue our exploration of the theme ‘philosophy’. We have had two excellent assemblies, one from Mr Chilcott and one from 4H, ably assisted by Mr Henderson. What has struck me the most is the way in which the boys have been able to take a few choice quotes from a careful selection of famous philosophers and make the meaning of those quotes abundantly clear to us.

I thought it might be useful for you to see the wise, philosophical words that we have been considering this week so I have listed some of the quotes that featured in assembly below. If you have a few spare moments over the weekend do please ask your boys if they can recall what the practical meaning might be that lies behind these quotes. It might be helpful for them to also explain to you how they think they could embody the wisdom contained in these words, in their own lives.

All these quotes, and the philosophers attributed to them, have one thing is common. There is an ‘Excellence Slip’ available for every boy who comes to me first thing on Monday morning to explain what that is. There is another one on offer if they can provide a quote from a philosopher who does not share the commonality they have identified!

  • To find yourself, think for yourself – Socrates
  • Be a free thinker, don’t accept everything you hear as truth. Be critical and evaluate what you believe in – Aristotle
  • It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop – Confucius
  • Man is born free, but is everywhere in chains – Jean Jacques Rousseau
  • He who thinks great thoughts, often makes great errors – Martin Heidegger
  • There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance – Socrates
  • Life must be understood backward. But it must be lived forward – Søren Kierkegaard
  • You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation – Plato

On Thursday, a spot of time-travelling occurred, as the Prep was descended upon by Romans, pilots, chimney sweeps and Tudors to name but a few on our first History Day organised by Mr Henderson. Year One and Two joined us for some historical lessons with art, music and board games through the ages. There were themed history and maths lessons, a military assault course, and a WWI workshop, all of which made for a jam packed day of antiquity and investigation. Kindergarten and Reception got in on the act as well with their historical toys workshop. The boys’ costumes were terrific and the staff looked suitably historically attired too. There are some photos of the day on our Twitter feed if you wish to see history coming alive for yourselves.

Next week is Road Safety Week so a good time to reinforce important safety messages to the children both at home and at school. Parking issues continue to take up more of our time than they should and added to this it is very upsetting for staff here to receive calls from irate neighbours who cannot get in or out of their driveways. We would urge you please to think very carefully about where you park your car at drop off and collection times – if it means parking a little further away in order to be safe but also considerate to our neighbours so be it.

Have a great weekend,

Tim Smith


Sports News

The football fixtures continue to come thick and fast this half term and it has been another action packed week. Last Friday the boys in Year 3 travelled to Surbiton High where we put out five teams, which meant all the boys were involved. It was a great display by all the teams, with five wins from five. At the same time the U9s hosted Surbiton High on Carlisle Park with another three wins from three.

On Monday, Weston Green brought two teams to Carlisle Park and after discussion it was decided that we would field a B and a C team in order to match them ability wise. In the B team game, it was a hard fought contest but the Hampton boys went down 3-1, whilst the C team boys won 6-0.

We haven’t played Weston Green regularly in the past, but we have fixtures scheduled with them across three different age groups and I hope this will be a long standing arrangement between the two school for many years to come.

On Wednesday the A & B teams in both Year 5 and Year 6 played against Twickenham Prep. The U11 boys travelled to the TPS ground in Kempton Park and the A team won 4-2, whilst the B team won 3-0. In the A team game, despite having lots of possession, the first half was a relatively flat affair and I spoke at length about how the boys would need to self motivate themselves in the second half if they were going to win the game. For the most part in the first half, it didn’t look like we really wanted to win. However, credit to the boys, they took my words on board and scored two goals in the first five minutes of the second half to take the game away from the hosts. We are certainly playing a better brand of football now, with a much better understanding of the need to keep the ball on the floor and pass the ball earlier. That said, there are still plenty of things to work on, particularly the accuracy of our passing and our finishing.

Today sees the U8s and the U9s also play against Twickenham Prep and next week is just as busy. On Monday the U10s play Claremont Fan Court, on Tuesday all the boys in Year 4 play against Newland House, on Wednesday all the boys in Year 6 also play against Claremont Fan Court and finally on Monday two teams from the U9s will play against Weston Green.

Congratulations must go to five boys in Year 6 who at the weekend all trialled for the District Prep Schools football squad. Tom Keen, Thomas Deedman, Alistair Hill, Cormac Harvey and Daniel Gray were all successful in being picked for one of the squads that are associated with the district set up. Congratulations boys, a well deserved acknowledgement for all the effort and application that you have put in so far this season.

This time next week Mr Salt, Mr Chilcott and I will be taking 20 boys from Year 5 to Manchester on our annual Football tour. On the Friday afternoon we will be playing a fixture against Altrincham Prep before dinner at our hotel and then an evening of ten pin bowling. On the Saturday morning we will visit the National Football Museum before heading to Old Trafford to watch Manchester United v Crystal Palace in the Premier League.

Those boys who will not be coming to Manchester, will not have a day short of excitement. In the morning they will travel to LEH School where they will receive a two hour fencing workshop. Then in the afternoon they will go to Hampton School to spend time on the schools climbing wall under the expert tuition of Mr Clark.

I hope all the boys have a fantastic time and I look forward to telling you all about it in a few weeks.

Have a great weekend.

Prep News

In assembly this week Headmaster’s Commendations were awarded to Manilo Carraretto, Aron Drishti and Tanushh Vaghelaa (all 3W) For successfully completing his first voyage of the Reach for the Stars Programme demonstrating consistent effort, perseverance and progress in reading and spelling. Aron Drishti and Aarav Tegginamath for an excellent wanted poster based on our class reading book “Arthur and the Golden Rope” and Theo Barrett, John McMonagle and Vihaan Kukreja (all 3W) for an excellent newspaper article based on our class reading book “Arthur and the Golden Rope.” Well done to those boys!

Here are some photos from our history day on Thursday this week:


Pre-Prep News

Without a doubt, the highlight of the week has been History Day.  Kindergarten and Reception enjoyed learning about toys in the workshop ‘Toys of the Past’.  In this, they discovered materials used to make toys from days gone by – from china dolls to whipping tops, skipping ropes to tin soldiers. Thomas the Toy Maker took them off on a magical journey through the world of toys, comparing old with new.  It was also very exciting to see the range of toys that the children brought in to school – some were very old and, naturally, extremely precious, so we thank you so much for allowing us to share these prized possessions.

Our older children joined in with a range of activities at Prep in the morning – they took part in an educational workshop ‘WW2 Soldier’, enjoyed singing and composing sea shanties with Miss Bee and got creative in the art room with Mrs Lutz.  Back at Pre-Prep, the fun continued with hot-seating tasks, further art related activities (pirate map making – Year 1; medal making – Year 2), topped off with historical games with Mr Wales and Mr Darmon in the playground. What a fabulous array of costumes, too – a very big thank to you all for embracing the day so wholeheartedly!

As you will be aware, this week was also Anti-Bullying Week and in school we have spent time focusing on this year’s theme ‘Choose Respect’.  We have explored the definition of respect and the notion that it is perfectly acceptable to disagree with others, however, we have agreed that this should always be done respectfully.  We will be sending out details of our poster competition next week, which we hope will serve to reinforce the important message ‘Choose Respect’.

Next week is Road Safety Week so a good time to reinforce important safety messages to the children both at home and at school.  It was reported to us by a concerned onlooker that there was a near miss in Wensleydale Road at drop off time on Wednesday morning, when apparently a child wearing our school uniform ran into the road.  Thank goodness, no harm was done but according to the onlooker, this was down to the presence of mind of the driver who managed to stop just in time. Not surprisingly, both driver and onlooker were left feeling shaken up having witnessed this incident.  We have spoken to the children in assembly about the matter.

Parking issues continue to take up more of our time than they should and added to this it is very upsetting for staff here to receive calls from irate neighbours who cannot get into or out of their driveways.  We would urge you to think very carefully about where you park at drop off and collection times – if it means parking a little further away in order to be safe but also considerate to our neighbours so be it. Please do avoid parking in Wensleydale Gardens if you possibly can.

On Friday, we were delighted to make the following presentations from the library service to pupils who took part in the Summer Reading Challenge ‘Mischief Makers’: Arthur Band (Year 2), Thomas Chivers (Year 2), Harry Cole (Year 2), Arthur Hanna (Year 1), Theo Heath (Year 2), Joshua Hill (Year 2), Jack Morris (Reception), Harry Morris (Year 2), Wilfred Nercessian (Year 1), Reuben Nicholson (Year 2), Tommy Nicholson (Reception), Ahaan Shankar (Year 2) and Eddie White (Year 2).

Also, trophies were awarded Arthur Band (Year 2) for Player of the Week from Twickenham Rugby Club and Theo Heath (Year 2) for being ‘Man of the Match’ at his football club last week – well done!

This week the Courtesy Cup and Badge were awarded to Callum Porter (Year1) for helping his friend when he fell over.  Callum quickly ran to him and checked that he was okay.  What a super friend!

and Stars of the Week to:

Year 2: Reuben Nicholson (from Claire at Hurst Pool) who noted he listens carefully and is making great progress with his swimming.

Year 1: Arthur Hanna for always following the instructions given by adults and setting a good example for others

Reception: Keyan Tomgusehan for super effort with his reading.  Well done, Keyan!

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

Kindergarten have been learning about 3D shapes and their correct names as part of their mathematics topic. After learning their names, they had fun looking for 3D shapes around the classroom and in the playground. We learned that 2D shapes are ‘flat’ and 3D shapes are ‘fat’, and grouped the shapes in their families. We have also been looking at repeated patterns and had a try at continuing our own patterns using paint and a cotton bud to continue a snake pattern. We then had a try at putting the compare bears in different patterns according to their colour or size.

As part of Anti-Bullying Week, the children had a number of circle times discussing how to be kind. We talked about what it means to be a good friend and what we could do to show kindness to our friends. The children had lots of ideas, “ask them if they are okay!”, “ask them if they would like to play with you”, “If our friend is upset, we can give them a hug” were amongst some of their suggestions. We also discussed ‘respect’ and agreed that just because we do not all like the same things, it does not mean that we cannot be friends and it is good to be different.

We celebrated History Day on Thursday and had a very special visit from Thomas the Toy Maker. Thomas took us back 100 years when toys were made out of wood, metal and china. We looked and held these very old toys carefully and found out exactly how they were made. All the children participated in this event and had so much fun playing with some of them. After the toy workshop, we each looked at the toys we brought in from home and discussed the different materials that were used in the past and present.

Next week we look forward to our topic ‘The Gingerbread Man’ and our trip to the bakers.

Reception enjoyed a wonderful day on Thursday for History Day, the boys participated in a brilliant workshop with Thomas the Toymaker, learning all about old toys.  The workshop was very interactive with opportunities to play with spinning tops, china dolls, wooden puppets and wind up frogs.  We learnt that a hundred years ago toys were made from three main materials – china, wood and metal.  We have loved seeing all your special toys, from babyhood and those belonging to parents and grandparents. What a treat!

As part of Anti-Bullying week, we spent time talking, writing and drawing about all the things that make us happy – it was heart-warming to hear lots of children saying that school, their teachers and their friends made them happy and, of course, there was lots of talk about family too.  We also spoke about respect and how we will try and show respect to our teachers, friends and family. Every child wrote their own respectful promise and these will be displayed as part of a class charter – encouraging everyone to “choose respect.”  In recognition of this, we will be sending home respect certificates next week when we observe this behaviour at school.

In mathematics, we had to sort out a dispute between our class dragons who just could not share their picnic food fairly! The boys had to help share crisps, fruit and sugar cubes equally between the two dragons. Then their friend Tiny Ted wanted to join so we had to find ways to make it fair between the three friends! Thankfully, we managed and harmony was restored. We wish you all a happy weekend, with plenty of respect thrown in for good measure!

Year 1 have been enjoying reading ‘Harvey Slumfenburger’s Christmas Present’ by John Burningham this week. The children have sequenced the story in order and have made predictions about what they think the present is! Next week, we will continue to use this book to inspire more writing activities. In maths, the children have been learning how to use their knowledge of counting in 2s, 5s and 10s to help them solve simple problems. For example, if there are 3 pairs of socks on a washing line, how many socks is that altogether? 2, 4, 6! There are 6 socks altogether! Next week, we will be moving onto position and direction. This will include different types of turns such as a quarter, half and three-quarter turns. Please have fun with this at home, taking it in turns with your child, to give each other directions to move from one room to another!

During our humanities lesson this week, the children discovered when and why houses started to be built out of bricks…The Great Fire of London! All children were incredibly engaged with this event in history, and asked some super, thought provoking questions. We discussed fire safety today and how lucky we are to have such a brilliant fire service. The children have made houses using white card and strips of black paper to show how the houses looked in 1666, which are very realistic.

This week in maths Year 2 have been learning to multiply and divide using the 5x tables. We have also solved number puzzles using the 5x tables.

In English we have been writing poems about what we might have seen on the way to school. In our grammar lesson, we learned how to use commas in lists.

In science, we learned about static and current electricity and where it comes from. We used balloons to see how static electricity can be made by rubbing them on our heads. We learned about food from the past and around the world in our topic lesson – this made us all very hungry!

Have a super weekend and watch out for details about our poster competition in support of Anti-Bullying – all entries need to be submitted by Monday 3 December.

headmaster's picture
Tim SmithHeadmaster