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Headmaster’s Bulletin – Edition 32

This Week

Dear Parents,

This is the 32nd and final – Bulletin that I will write for this academic year. Next week, as tradition now dictates, I shall send you a letter on the last day of term.

The importance of team work and sharing in the highs and lows of the achievements of others is our main takeaway from our study of the word ‘collaboration’ in our assemblies this half term, I would say. Prep parent Mr Band covered an extraordinary amount of fascinating detail in his assembly on Wednesday, when he very kindly agreed to come and talk to the boys about the perils and joys he has encountered during the course of his career as a deep sea diver and deep sea diving team leader. This morning Mr Cantelo and the pupils in 5Ca, with a little help from some boys, parents and staff in the audience, set out their understanding of how important it is to work well together. I am sure the boys in Year 6 will be thinking about all this as they get to know their new friends at their next schools in September.

It was terrific to see so many of you in such great numbers at the HPPPA Summer Fair last Saturday. Mrs Hynes and Mrs McGuire, your Co-Chairs, did a magnificent job rallying the troops ahead of the event itself. All that careful organisation and planning very definitely paid off on the day with a wide array of really enjoyable stalls and activities for boys and parents to participate in; a lovely sunny afternoon also helped the odd cup of Pimms go down nicely too (so I am told!) I meet each half term with Mrs Hynes and Mrs McGuire and at our meeting just this week it was truly amazing to hear from them in person that the Fair raised a sum just north of £4000! Very many thanks from me for all that you do as parents to contribute so positively to the School in such a way. I know how hard it is to juggle “normal” family life from time to time, so your support for our Fair in particular means a great deal to us here.

Mr Hole and one of his ‘life outside of school’ band members sang a very amusing sea shanty at the Fair on Saturday about how much fun it is being a pirate. A good number of Year 6 boys were being well prepared for just such endeavours at the end of last week as they all took part in an excellent sounding sailing course at the Queen Mary Sailing Club, another strand of our Leavers’ Programme. When they returned later on Friday afternoon I asked if any of them had fallen into the water and the gleeful reply was “We all did!”

Our intrepid cricketers in Year 6 set off on the same day last week for our annual cricket tour to Elizabeth College Junior School, Guernsey. They too enjoyed some terrific weather and threw themselves wholeheartedly into their cricket. We are very much looking forward to hosting some visitors from ECJS Guernsey here in Hampton in September, as that school ventures forth to the mainland to take part in one of our football tournaments next term.

Following on from earlier in the term when our first ever French play was performed here, Mme Houghton made more French Dept. history at our School this week when she announced the results of her first ever French Spelling Bee. Boys have been competing in heats in French lessons and the semi-finals and finals took place over morning breaks last week. Ali Bux came first overall, as he was able to accurately translate and spell (in French) 15 words per minute. Second place went to Daniel O’Sullivan Sanz and Luke Nunn took third place. Congratulations to all.

Mr Darmon writes more fully in his Bulletin than I will here about our terrific Prep Sports Day that took place earlier in the week on the beautiful, vast grounds at Hampton School. I am, as ever, so grateful for all that he and his team do to ensure that boys at our School can try out and hopefully enjoy a whole range of sports and physical endeavours – the second paragraph alone of his Bulletin (tab above) is testimony to that.

There are all sorts of large, thrusting, gung-ho Prep schools out there on the patch where, it seems to me, the spirit of sporting competition alone manifests itself somewhat differently from how we seek to instil that in the boys at Hampton Prep. Winning at sport is great, and competition is important but it is very definitely not all. Medals, certificates, cups and trophies are lovely to look at, and anyone receiving any such prize has every right to be quietly proud. My own strong belief however is that the values underpinning how boys play sport matter more than the gongs they may receive for doing so, and should certainly never be compromised in the pursuit of any accolade on offer. This is the spirit currently infusing all that we do here, how we play our sport included, and I am very glad about that on both a personal and professional level.

This half term has without doubt been the busiest half term of the year. All our pupils are exposed to so much all year however, and it is a constant source of some considerable joy to see how much their personal values develop, from September through to July. We will be seeking to recognise this development at our annual Prize Giving Ceremony in the Hammond Theatre at Hampton School next Thursday evening. It is an event that my colleagues and I look forward to very much. We will be delighted to welcome Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton as our Guest of Honour this year. Dr Cohen-Hatton’s fascinating and at times quite unique life story definitely qualifies her to present the prizes to the boys and to pass on, I hope, a few words of wisdom too.

If I do not see you at the Year 3 & 4 production in the Hammond Theatre this evening or at the Year 6 Leavers’ Party later on, have a great weekend.

Tim Smith


Sports News

Here it is, the last sports bulletin of the year. There has been some great sport and competition taking place this week but before I tell you about that I would like to take the opportunity to celebrate what I believe has been our best year yet on the games field.

We have competed in more fixtures than ever before with far more boys taking part on a weekly basis. We won the regional ISFA U11 7 a-side tournament, countless local football tournaments across a number of age groups, made the final of the Surrey Youth Rugby Festival and had a winner at the Epsom College Prep Schools Cross Country Championship and the London Prep Schools Athletics Championships. House competitions were fought with passion and commitment and no less than 7 records were broken on sports day and a further 2 at the swimming gala. Alongside our regular sports of cricket, football and rugby, boys took part in fencing, rock climbing, kayaking, cross country running, rounders, sailing, tennis, windsurfing, golf, basketball, judo, karate, yoga, table tennis, coasteering, chess, gymnastics, athletics, swimming and surfing. Tours were taken to Manchester and Guernsey and adventure residentials to St. David’s and PGL. We played in St George’s Park, Rosslyn Park, Carlisle Park and Bushy Park and against new schools such as Hall Grove and Edgeborough and some old friends in Elizabeth College and Altrincham Prep. Boys laughed, cried, argued, made up, celebrated and commiserated. Games were lost in the last minute, won in the last minute and we kicked, hit and passed every ball with them.

None of this could have possible without you, the parents who support their boy’s day in day out. I am extremely grateful that you are bringing up your boys in a way that is giving them a passion for physical activity and friendly competition. This makes my job a whole lot easier and I hope you get as much joy as I do, out of seeing the boys compete and ultimately have fun through sport.

As I said at Sports Day, I have a department that is passionate and enthusiastic and utterly dedicated to ensuring the boys get the product they deserve. Along with your support, it is their passion that is the reason for all the success we see on a weekly basis. When I say success, I don’t mean winning. I mean seeing boys chomping at the bit to play for whatever team they are picked and running around with a big smile on their face. Having said that, we punch well above our weight on the local prep school circuit. We routinely beat schools that are much bigger and with a much larger playing pool to pick from and that is entirely down to the great coaching that the boys receive.

We continue to strive to be better and before the next term even starts, everyone in the Games department will have attended an FA course in preparation for the new season.  I have seen the benefits this cricket season, of the ECB course we all attended at the start of the summer term. Therefore, I look forward to the progress we can make off the back of this football course in the Autumn term.

Finally, I would like to recognise the contribution of the boys. I continue to be empowered by their enthusiasm and passion for all things sport and I can’t help but be motivated by their attitude at the start of each term. They are a credit to you and I can’t wait to see where we can take their performance levels next year with our new ‘instruction from the side lines’ policy next year.

We have had a great week of sport, with House cricket on Monday, a fantastic Sports Day on Tuesday, fixtures for our U10s and U11s on Wednesday and our last fixtures of the year this afternoon when our U8s and U9s take on Surbiton. I won’t spend too much time telling you about Sports Day, as by the looks of it most of you were there. However, I will take the time to say that every single boy tried his heart out and worked his socks off. They can all be really proud of their efforts both on the day and throughout the year and it was a great way to round off the sporting year.

Prize Giving will see our boys receive the final sporting accolades of the year. Congratulations to all the prize winners in advance and I wish you all a fantastic summer break. I look forward to doing it all over again in September.

Below is a list of all the record breakers from Sports Day:

Year 5 200m – Marcus Solomon – 30.43

Year 6 300m – Jonathan Morrison – 1.05.63

Year 3 300m – George Halberstadt – 1.08.40

Year 6 600m – Ben Wheeler – 2.07.94

Year 5 600m – Gabriel Gargour – 2.15.06

Year 4 600m – Gui Gargour – 2.10.16

Year 6 800m – Marcus Solomon – 2.36.00


Nick Darmon

Head of PE and Games

Pre-Prep News

Welcome to the last bulletin of the academic year, on behalf of all at Pre-Prep, I should like to wish you all a super summer break – enjoy time pausing and resting from your busy schedules and have plenty of fun with you families!


As you will recall from last week, today’s bulletin will, for the most part, be written by the children.  This is all part of the enormously successful ‘Kids Rule Day’!  It’s safe to say, we’ve had such fun today in school, whilst raising money for the charity, Save the Children.  We know the money we raised will help to support their fantastic work.  The charity stands side by side with children in the toughest places to be a child. They do whatever it takes to make sure children survive, get protection when they’re in danger, and have the chance to learn.  We felt humbled in assembly today when we paused to think of all the things we simply take for granted in our everyday lives – how lucky are we!  We will let you know how much has been raised in due course, but should let you know that a former Pre-Prep pupil, Theo (Year 4) is an ambassador for this very charity.  He has happened upon a scheme whereby GSK double any monies raised – it makes perfect sense to us to add today’s money to Theo’s pot so we, too, can take advantage of the scheme.

Before handing over to the children, I would just like to remind everyone about several important events next week.  Firstly, on Monday we shall be holding Open Classrooms – 11.30am for morning Kindergarten and 3.00pm for the remainder of the School.

Secondly, our Summer Concert and Prize Giving takes place on Thursday 4 July at 9.30am in the James Hall.  As there will not be any games sessions in the afternoon on that day, we would like all the children to come to school dressed in their school uniform, please.

Here are the final awards of the year – the Courtesy Cup and Badge awarded to: Edward (Year 1) for being kind and helpful towards others in the playground and in the classroom!

and Stars of the Week to:

Year 2: Harry H (2 stars) for always trying his absolute best.

Year 1: Wilf (2 stars) for making fantastic progress this year with his reading!

Reception: Arith Marappa (2 stars) for excellent reading and writing progress this year.

Congratulations to Mylo (Year 1) and Jonny (Year 1) for having completed the ‘LAMDA Introductory Graded Examination’ – both boys passed with flying colours. Very well done!

Rishi (Year 1) can do backstroke for 100m and has achieved the Penguin 4th Stage – good effort!


And now, here’s what we’ve been up to in class courtesy of the children in Pre-Prep.

The Bulletin by Kindergarten

“Mrs G’ came, we wanted to see, we wanted to learn about bees! So, umm, Mrs G’s bees… Mrs G found two more Queen Bees and…she had to take all the bees out because they were trying to eat all of the things! And then, that’s it, that’s all I know!

We learnt about longest and shortest with Mrs Hand. Everyone’s caterpillars were that big long ways and then my caterpillar was a bit more shorter than Harry’s one, it was super small!

We have caterpillars growing in our classroom and two caterpillars have even got in their cocoons. They have already made a cocoon inside them. And butterflies, so they will turn into butterflies and then you have to let them into the whole big world!

I’ve forgotten what it’s called, it’s quite tricky to say…RAFFLE! Mrs Hand is printing a raffle for my hat, it’s so you can take the butterflies home!

We doing, next week, umm… I don’t know! Oh! We’re going to learn about butterflies or ladybirds, ants and SUMMER!”

Reception boys report … “In Reception we have been learning about minibeasts. We did some sharing with minibeasts – sharing leaves so that they could eat the same amount. We did our bug hunt, in the front garden – we saw woodlice, a butterfly, ants, bees, caterpillars, wasps and a dragonfly even came into our classroom. We were minibeast detectives and we had to guess what animals were hiding with the clues coming up. Then we did our own ‘What Am I?’clues; Miss Johnston had to guess what minibeast we were describing.

Kids Rule Day was fun. We gave out team points and we played hide and seek. The disco dancing this morning was the best.”

Year 1 bulletin written by Miss Page but spoken aloud by the boys…

“We were writing haiku poems in English. We were doing scooter training. The class were learning about syllables. We have been walking to the Prep to our good computing. Year 1 have been researching about animals recently. We are learning about how to save the environment. We have been learning about halves and quarters. We were playing o’clock bingo. In our science lesson we were learning about seasonal changes and we wrote weather reports. We have been thinking about lots of British bands. We drew a house, some trees and mummies and daddies. We have been reading ‘Grandpa’s Great Escape’ by David Walliams.”

Welcome to Year 2’s bulletin piece. We have had an unusually busy week at Pre-Prep! This week, we are very excited because we are writing the bulletin (YES!). Here is what we have been up to…

In maths on Tuesday the Year 6s came over and showed us their games they made! We have been doing dividing and multiplication and then this morning Year 2 were making potions. We made some slime with the following ingredients: water, cornflour and you can add food colouring.

In English we had some rhyming words, like Thai pie and don’t put your fly into your pie! We were writing scary stories about a boy who was a woodcutter. Well some of us did, but others wrote stories about a boy who saw the RAF flying in the sky, or about a boy in the Congo Rainforest or about a boy that got saved by some hunters from a fallen tree. We also acted what we thought happened next in the Magic Finger. We have been doing some Mrs Wordsmith words, like succulent, stifling, rancid and conquer

In science, we have been learning about plants. We have also been observing beans and cress. We are looking at seeds and how they turn into plants. We have been smelling cress and looking at it and doing some experiments about how they grow without water, light, warmth or soil.

In topic, we have been making our rainforest shoeboxes. My favourite part of making shoeboxes is the animals (Daniel)! We have painted the backgrounds and we have been making plants and animals. We are going to be taking our shoeboxes home next week. Hooray! Yippee! Yes! Whoopee!

Other news… on Tuesday, we did the fun swim. On Thursday, we had scooter training from the JTAs. We loved the scooter training! Today, we did some fun things like the children read the stories at snack time, the children are writing the bulletin right now and we got to give out Team Points.

Thank you for reading our Bulletin, we hope you enjoyed it. We can’t wait for next week because it’s our last week and we think we might be going to do some really fun things…

headmaster's picture
Tim SmithHeadmaster