Headmaster’s Bulletin – Edition 23
It has been another week for all sorts of excitement here, including what has been going on in lessons. Year 6 are now beginning to explore the use of mathematics in practice. Using our excellent school building – which is the ultimate mathematical resource when exploring angles and exterior lines – they have been testing their skills in exploring what sort of shape and angles the architects may have used and why, when the building was being planned.
For the rest of the Spring and Summer term their mathematical skills will continue to be developed. We are planning for them to hone their own design skills and come up with some challenging board games, along with working on their ability to strengthen their electronic coding techniques. This all sounds excellent to me and I am sure will provide opportunities for the boys to flex their “mathematical wings” in readiness for Year 7 as well as explore how their skills in mathematics can be used in a profession and in the outside world.
Mrs Campbell was not going to miss an opportunity to highlight how important it is to keep reading. In assembly on Monday morning, with the support of selected boys and staff, she explained how important it is to remain committed to books. We heard one or two selections of favourite works of literature being read aloud, all serving to remind us of how the imagination can soar and ideas can be generated when one throws oneself into a really good book. We also handed out book tokens as prizes for the rather wonderful book marks that boys had designed for World Book Day recently. Many thanks to the HPPPA for generously donating those.
We had our second Science Fair at Hampton Prep on Monday too. We had 30 entries with the topics ranging from the nuclear arrangement of a carbon atom to stages of flight of a Supermarine Spitfire. The planning and execution of these projects was truly inspiring. Our Science Fair has a competitive element and five projects were selected to go up to Hampton School the following day. Our boys seemed totally at home explaining the science behind their entry to boys and staff at the Senior School. Their Science Fair is not a competition, so there are no scores to communicate but several of their science teaching team expressed how impressed they were by our boys to Mr Hole and me.
Flushed with effort and nails bitten down to the quick, our valiant (and brainy) Quiz team emerged in third place in the Semi-Finals of the National General Knowledge competition on Wednesday. After being in pole position much of the way, the team relinquished their hold towards the end of the competition and did not manage to claw their way back to the top. Well done to all four boys in the team for a terrifically impressive performance, nevertheless.
A further plug for some consideration of sustainable travel now. Boys and staff enjoyed our ‘Fewer Fumes’ breakfast yesterday at the Prep. There were all sorts of delicious breakfast treats available for those who scooted, walked, cycled, skipped, ran (!) to school on Thursday morning. It is our hope of course that having a go at coming to school in a different way every now and then will inspire us all to make that means of travel as permanent as possible. Do please consider our request to ‘park and stride’ as well. If you can manage to park 10 to 15 minutes’ walk away from school and arrive here on foot that makes a difference to the boys’ health, to our environment and it is appreciated by our neighbours too.
Year 6 boys officially began their ‘Leavers’ Programme’ yesterday, as they all visited Holly Lodge for their Junior Citizenship Workshops. Mrs Tinkler has written to Year 6 parents today with a full breakdown of the activities that are scheduled to take place next term.
To round this week off with a bang (well, with some ‘toil and trouble’ at the very least!) the boys in Years 5 and 6 will be steadying their nerves and readying themselves for their end of term production of ‘Macbeth’ this evening in the Hammond Theatre at Hampton School. I am very much looking forward to seeing many of you there.
Not many of the characters in ‘Macbeth’ are particularly kind; they could have done with being at 3W’s assembly this morning, where the boys in Miss Wakeling’s class reminded us how vital it is to commit to being kind to one another. Boys will be boys every now and then – we all recognise that – but it was so great to hear the boys in Year 3 explain that kindness is just as important a quality for any boy to demonstrate, no matter what sorts of other behaviours are important to them.
Have a great weekend,
So before we know it, it’s the end of the rugby season. Today is the last fixture as the U8s take on Claremont, on Tuesday it is House Rugby and then we can safely pack our gum shields away and dust off our cricket bats.
This week our U11s played their last game for the school in a competitive fixture, both the A team and the D team played, with two wins recorded. Tough, hard fought wins they were too. The D team won 12-11 and the A team 6-5, the latter coming after being 5-2 down mid-way through the second half. Willington were the opposition against the A team. We had played them earlier in the season and won comfortably, but they were missing many of their key players and so their master in charge was keen for a re-match.
It was a great game and extremely competitive, particularly at the breakdown. If I am honest we didn’t play great rugby with ball in hand, but what made me really proud was the boys resilience and determination to keep battling on and they rescued the game to win in the final few minutes. It has been a pleasure to work with these boys this season. We have not lost a game outside of tournament rugby and the boys have responded really well to the coaching they have received, in an attempt to turn all of them into more mature and accomplished players. I hope they are now in a position to go on to their senior schools and be players who lead by example and play the game in a manner beyond their years.
The D team played St. Piran’s who like us, are keen to get more fixtures in their diary for the C and D teams and so I am extremely indebted to them, that they made the long journey to bring their U10 and U11 D teams for a game. Both Hampton Prep teams won and both games were played in a great spirit and were a fitting way to end the season.
I look back on the season with tremendous pride. As much as we don’t measure ourselves against winning or losing matches, our win ratio is evidence of the great coaching the boys have received and the great attitude and hard work the boys have put in.
House Rugby on Tuesday will be a celebration of this rugby season. It generally causes the most fervour and passion and with it, some great games of rugby. Some boys will be ecstatic, others distraught, but I am in no doubt that it will be played in a tremendous spirit with enjoyment at the heart of the afternoon. I hope many of you will be able to make it to Carlisle Park to watch and support the boys. Tea and coffee will be on offer in the James Hall and as I look at the forecast now, it appears my good luck with the weather may be running out, so don’t forget to bring a brolley.
And so we look forward to the cricket season. I have spent every Thursday evening for the last 6 weeks attending senior winter cricket nets at Hampton and I have been incredibly impressed by the talent on display. I will be working with the U10s and I am extremely excited to do so, after seeing what the boys are capable of. For the U11s the carrot of the Guernsey tour will keep motivation high and I am sure the boys will be on tenterhooks until the squad is picked. It is a great way for these boys to end the year and essentially their time at Hampton Prep. It seems strange to be talking about the end of year already, but the Year 6 leaving programme has already begun and that tour will come round before we know it.
There is also the small matter of the U11 National ISFA Football finals and Sports Day. If I don’t see you next week, have a fantastic Easter holiday and I look forward to seeing you for what I am sure will be another successful and exciting term.
In assembly this week a Headmaster’s Commendation was awarded to Tom Chance (4H) For volunteering to take care of his school environment by helping to clean up the dining hall of his own accord. Well done!
Our Science Fair on Monday was a great success, well done to Mr Hole and the boys who took part.
The HPPPA House Easter Egg Hunt took place today at Prep with boys in Years 3 to 6 hunting around the school grounds for tokens that the “Easter Bunnies” had hidden.
We have enjoyed a truly busy Spring Term – a hive of industry has been seen in every one of our classrooms, from Kindergarten to Year 2. Seeing the children happy, busy and purposeful in their learning is really what early years education is all about in our view. With this in mind, we do hope you can make Open Classrooms on Monday (1 April) so that you can take a look for yourselves at what we have been up to in school. Here’s a quick reminder of timings:
- Morning Kindergarten at 11.30am;
- Afternoon Kindergarten, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 at 3.00pm.
Our Poetry Competition concluded this week and we were so grateful that Mrs Campbell, Head of English, was on hand to judge the final, and what a difficult task she had! Before announcing the winner and runner up, it is important to note for the record that every single member of Year 2 rose to the challenge of committing a poem to memory, and this made us extremely proud – very well done! Learning poetry is so important, indeed, according to J. Patrick Lewis, it simply is “the best words in the best order. The rhythm and rhymes can help children develop a love of language – and a love of reading. Once kids begin flexing their writing muscles, poetry can spark their creativity and let their imaginations soar!” – and, of course, we wholeheartedly concur with his view.
After much consideration, Mrs Campbell decided that the overall winner of the competition was Harry M and the runner up was Alfie. Whilst here, she also announced the winning bookmark designs for each year group – Jazz (Kindergarten), Fin (Reception), William (Year 1) and Finn (Year 2).
At Thursday’s assembly, Mr Smith presented a number of awards. Firstly, Reuben (Year 2) received his marathon wristband for completing twenty-one parkruns – what an impressive effort! Fin and Ronak (both Reception) gained a certificate from The Little Gymathon for having raised money for the charity Sparks. Ronak also successfully passed his Stage 2 in swimming. Further swimming certificates went to Aubin (Reception) Learn to Swim 3 and Harry C (Year 2) Learn to Swim Level 4. On the rugby front, Aubin also received a trophy for being part of Quins Team of the Week and Arthur (Year 2) a trophy for being Player of the Week for Twickenham RFC. Very well done – our congratulations to you all.
This week the Courtesy Cup and Badge went to Alexander (Reception) for being a kind and helpful member of Reception – well done!
and Stars of the Week to:
Year 2: Harry C (2 stars) for writing a fantastic alien themed poem this week.
Year 1: Jonah (2 stars) for using exciting sentences when writing, such as questions and commands!
Reception: Arthur for working really hard in literacy this term – super reading and writing.
We are very much looking forward to Pyjama Day on Tuesday 2 April. If your child wishes to wear pyjamas to school then they will need to bring in £1 and this will be donated to the charity Mind. Our Pre-Prep School Council has masterminded this fun initiative. The charity works to support people with mental health difficulties by providing them with help and care through things such as counselling and outreach events.
Don’t forget the Easter Bonnet parade takes place in the playground at 9.15am on the last day of term (Wednesday 3 April) – we hope you can stick around a little longer after drop off to take a look at all the wonderful designs, we are quite certain there will be some truly ‘egg-cellent’, ‘egg–travagant’, ‘egg-citing’ hats to see. It will also be the perfect opportunity to say your fond farewells to Mrs Tidy.
Finally, we would also like to take this opportunity to wish Pre-Prep mummies a wonderful Mother’s Day this weekend – hopefully lots of spoiling and relaxing are on the cards for each one of you. Reception parents do look out for the questionnaires completed by the children – as they say, ‘out of the mouths of babes’, some responses about ‘Mummy’ made us chuckle out loud!
As this is the last bulletin of the term, we should like to take this opportunity to wish you all a wonderful Easter break!
Here’s what we’ve been up to in class …
Kindergarten have been looking at the signs of new life at Springtime. We discovered that, at this time of year many baby animals such as chicks, lambs, rabbits are born. As well as Easter being an important celebration for some people.
This led us into discussions as to why some celebrate Easter and how it is celebrated around the world. To celebrate Easter, we have decorated and cut out our Easter basket. We have placed our baskets on our Easter display table in hope that the Easter bunny will pay our classroom a visit! We also made Easter rabbit cards for our families by collaging the rabbit with different shades of brown and white paper and then we had to choose either sticker eyes or ‘wiggly eyes’ and stick on a nose and whiskers.
Whilst reading the diaries, one child told us all about the Holi festival that he had enjoyed celebrating with his family at the weekend. He told us that is a festival that celebrates colour. We then used the computer to find out more about this Hindu festival. After watching a short video of people celebrating the Holi festival we all agreed that it looked like great fun throwing colour powder over family and friends.
We talked about Mothering Sunday being an important day for all of our mummies and said why our mummy is special to us. We used paint and forks to make ‘tulips’ on the front of our Mother’ Day cards – we hope you like them!
What glorious weather we have had this week? Reception have loved the warm, sunny afternoons and spent lots of time learning outside. In the classroom, we have looked at photographs of blossom trees and spring flowers, and enjoyed discussing signs of the changing seasons. We have read information books about Spring and sorted pictures to match with each season. We learnt about animals that hatch out of eggs and wrote about our favourite one. We continued our work on labelling, to design and label our own ‘Disgusting Sandwiches’. This was following reading a very funny story about a badger who chases a peanut butter sandwich that gets more unpleasant on each page! The boys were very creative and they loved drawing and labelling ingredients like snail slime, smelly boots and oozy mud to their sandwiches. In mathematics, we have continued our work on number bonds, also working practically on addition and recording simple number sentences. We have also talked lots about our mothers this week, and about what makes our Mummy so special to us. We shared our thoughts to our friends about ‘I Love Mummy because…’ and wrote a special piece of writing and drew some fantastic pictures of our Mums. Happy Mothering Sunday! We are all super ‘egg-cited’ about our Easter egg hunt and bonnet parade next week! Not to mention pyjama day on Tuesday! What a fun and busy end to a fabulous term.
This week Year 1 became real life weather reporters, presenting their made up weather news live from a studio of their choice. They even used a map of the United Kingdom to talk through the weather in all four countries – it seems that we might be in for some extreme weather! Earthquakes and floods have been predicted!
In English, the children have been continuing to read and enjoy poems and yesterday we read a very poem called ‘Where Teachers Keep Their Pets’. The boys used their imaginations to come up with their own names for teachers and what pets they might have. We tried our best to make the teacher’s name and the pet rhyme too! Some examples were:
Mr Take had a snake!
Miss Chida had a spider!
Mrs Log had a frog!
We have been very busy practising our addition and subtraction skills too this week and have solved some missing number problems such as 7 + ? = 15. Very impressive!
Next week we will be completing a range of Easter-based activities including writing Easter poems and solving Easter related maths problems using all the skills we have learnt this term.
In English, Year 2 have continued their work on sensory and silly poems by writing some funny alien poems. We also learned about prefixes this week and how these can change the meaning of a root word.
We have been looking at number patterns in maths and had to be really careful when looking at sequences and trying to find the missing numbers. We had fun tackling some Sudoku puzzles as part of this!
We carried on with our ‘inspiring individual’ work in topic by making fact files about the people we have been researching.
In science, we learned about air resistance. We then had a competition to see who could design the best parachute (the one that would take the longest to fall from the climbing frame). There were some very unique designs – well done to Aashish who won with an interesting double layered parachute!