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Headmaster’s Bulletin – Edition 7

This Week

Dear Parents,

This has been a very busy half term and it feels to me as if we have not only accomplished plenty in the past seven or so weeks, but we have all enjoyed doing so!

On Wednesday, Mr Hole took a group of five boys down to York House in Richmond for the Youth Climate Change Summit. The highlight of the event was listening to an address from no less a living legend than Sir David Attenborough himself. He spoke about Climate Change and answered selected pupils’ questions from the 14 schools present. Shreyan Kottala in Year 6 was one of those selected to ask his question to Sir David – quite an honour for a Hampton Prep boy! Climate Change leaders then came and sat amongst all the pupils, our boys included, and they discussed and planned endeavours which they, their families and their schools might reasonably undertake in order to lead on making a positive difference to the environment.

It was excellent to see so many of you at the House Football Competition this afternoon. The boys were obviously keen to throw themselves into the spirit of the event. I expect some of you will be throwing some rather muddy kit into the washing machine this weekend.

Following on from the football, we had the Open Homework exhibition to wander into afterwards and to warm ourselves up with a cup of tea and a nice piece of cake. We first introduced the concept of Open Homework here five years ago, and over the time we have been doing it we have all been amazed and astonished by the variety and originality of everything the boys choose to research. To celebrate this being the fifth year of running Open Homework the theme was the word OPEN.

This is one of the most exciting days of the year for us as staff as we all love to trot round the classrooms in the morning to look at the quirky, wonderful and astonishing pieces that the boys bring in. Selected Open Homework highlights from me include:

  • A project from a boy in Year 5 on his famous grandfather, who was a pioneer of open heart surgery for babies and young children.
  • An in-depth and very well illustrated history of the State Opening of Parliament.
  • Several projects that involved chained up boxes, sealed envelopes and secured vessels of all shapes and sizes, with accompanying complex, brain teasing puzzles and codes that had to be cracked in order to open the container to reach the treasure locked inside.
  • A beautifully baked and decorated cake which, when sliced open, revealed a trove of hidden sweets.
  • A good number of models in both 2D and 3D of the human brain, all emphasising in various ways how important it is to remain open minded when learning something new or when seeking to maintain warm, meaningful friendships.
  • A very beautiful open letter to planet earth, written by a boy in Year 3 summing up in his own words his understanding of the human impact upon our planet; it was also full of hope for the future of humanity and our life here on earth… #mademequietlyweep

Next half term the theme for our assemblies changes and we will be exploring the word ‘integrity’ from all sorts of different angles. This morning’s assembly brought our exploration of ‘diversity’, the theme for this half term, to a close. Miss Wakeling and the boys in 4W presented an excellent theatrical piece which highlighted how absurd the arbitrary and sometimes unexplainable rules and regulations are that we, as people, impose upon ourselves and others. I was so impressed with each boy, as he then cheerfully and unashamedly let us all know what it is that makes him different from his friends and therefore why he stands out. “Being different does not matter” was the final message delivered loudly and clearly from all the boys. I could not agree more!

Have a great half term,

Tim Smith

Headmaster

Sports News

This half term has seen a mountain of sport take place, right from the very first weekend. We entered into it with a new approach, which I hope you have seen the benefits of over the course of the last 6 weeks. I still believe this is the right course of action and so I ask that you continue to support us with this policy during the remainder of this term.

With my previous experience at KS3-5 and in my current role, it is apparent that the pressure placed on children has certainly intensified significantly in the past 10 years. Therefore, I am more aware and conscious than ever, that sport should be an outlet for the boys and a chance to experience a rest-bite from the academic pressure and rigours that they experience in the classroom.

That is not to say that we don’t try and get the best out of the boys and make every effort to improve them both as individuals and sportsmen. Our aim is for each boy to reach their potential but be aware as to what that potential means in a wider sporting context. Whilst not heaping pressure on them, that would detract from reaching this potential.

Recently I was directed towards a very interesting an insightful interview with Gary Lineker. He told of his own experiences as a Father, watching his children play football and how he felt genuine sorrow for some of the other children who had parents and coaches becoming irate about their performance.

He was passionate about the need to allow children to enjoy their sport and not be worried about ‘making it’ or winning. In fact, he pleaded for all adults to “just let them play”. The cream will rise to the top and no amount of advice and well-meant instruction before, during or after the game will make any difference. In fact, it will only serve to decrease their chances of reaching the top. Good quality coaching that is consistent, over a long period of time and uses sound principles, is the only way to help children learn. After that, genetics will decide whom ‘makes it’.

Last Friday the U11 A team travelled to Hertfordshire to compete in the ISFA 7 a-side regionals. The format was different to that of last year when we won the tournament and this year consisted of two large pools with only the winner and runner up progressing. We certainly did ourselves justice and won the three matches where I felt we were certainly the better team and lost the three matches, where it was clear our opposition were stronger. This meant we didn’t progress out of the pool, but six matches back to back is a tough ask and the boys can be proud of their efforts.

Whenever we lose I try and use the experience to help the boys lean something and improve for the future. The way in which the three teams that beat us, used the width of the pitch was a certainly a lesson and one which I hope we can benefit from after half term.

The scheduled U11 triangular fixture against The Mall and Wetherby on Monday was unfortunately called off, due to conditions under foot. However, we did mange to play the same fixture with the U9s the day after. We also welcomed Falcons School, making the afternoon into a mini tournament.

Today is our annual House Football competition, one of the most hotly contested competitions of the year and worth three house discs. Needless to say, the boys are primed and ready to go, so I am looking forward to a fun afternoon and getting to sit back and watch some good football, the standard of which has certainly improved since September.

Have a great half term and I look forward to seeing you all in a few weeks for plenty more football.

 

Prep News

Our open homework this year was based on the word “OPEN” celebrating 5 years since our first one! Here are some photos from the exhibit which took place in the James Hall this afternoon:

 

 

Pre-Prep News

When I pause to reflect on the fact that half term is already upon us I can barely believe it, as it seems hardly any time at all since we were welcoming everyone to school in September.  I can safely say Pre-Prep children have not stood still for a moment – instead, they have been busy and purposeful during their time in school. I feel they are now more than ready for a little downtime. The half term break is timely, providing us all with the perfect opportunity to unwind and recharge our batteries a little.  Whatever you are doing during half term, I wish you all a great break and cannot wait to hear all the holiday news on our return to school.

Great excitement ensued this week with the first ever ‘Rainbow’ draw.  For those of you not in the know, we have added another tier to our reward system this year.  Children may be placed on the rainbow for consistently keeping the Golden Rules and, as a result, receive a special rainbow sticker and certificate.  Names of all rainbow recipients over the course of the half term are placed into a special draw – those drawn out attend a special rainbow tea. It was very exciting to hold the inaugural ‘Rainbow Tea’ today.  Very well done to the following attendees:  Miles (Reception), Fin (Year 1), Yuchen (Year 2) and Daniel (Year 2).

A quick plea, over half term do check your child’s school uniform and school belongings very carefully.  Several missing items have been reported to us but we are finding it very tricky tracking them down. In particular, please keep an eye out for a size 26 new school jumper – it was named but may have worn off.  If you have a jumper that you don’t recognise, then please do let us know.

On the same note, we would be extremely grateful if you could check to see if all items labelled in the summer holidays are still fit for purpose and, if not, please re-label over the break.  Sometimes it can feel a little like dressing many sets of twins – if, on the other hand, all items of clothing are clearly labelled, our task is so much easier!  Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Just to give you some forewarning, Shakespearience is coming to The Hammond Theatre. You can join Shakespeare’s Men as they fly through Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet and Twelfth Night in a whirlwind hour of mischievous storytelling.  With tons of audience interaction, more than a dash of mayhem and a star turn from one lucky adult (shhh, don’t tell!), Shakespearience is the perfect treat for all the family!  Suitable for ages 5-14

Shakespearience has been touring the UK from Edinburgh fringe to the Underbelly festival in London and all points in between.  As with the puppet show earlier this year, we are offering a 10% discount for all Prep & Pre-Prep bookings using the code: SHAKEHS.

The Hammond Theatre is located on the Hampton School Site on Hanworth Road, Hampton with ample on-site parking.

For booking details please go to: www.thehammondtheatre.co.uk/whats-on/

Today, the Courtesy Cup and Badge went to Jazz (Reception) for his exemplary behaviour on our outing – well done.

and Stars of the Week to:

Year 2: Aryan – for always working really hard during lessons and producing excellent work!

Year 1: Alfie Seward – for fantastic effort with his handwriting this week.

Reception:  Arjun – for super writing about The Enormous Turnip.

Jonny and Mylo (both in Year 2) were presented with medals today for participating in a rugby festival for their club, London Scottish, last weekend. Both played extremely well and won nearly all of their games – well done!

Arjun (Year 2) was also presented with a medal, as last weekend, he took part in ‘Race For The Kids’ 5K walk/run. The event was held to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital. Well done, Arjun!

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

We have had ‘triceraterrific’ week in Kindergarten continuing our dinosaur topic. We have all been palaeontologists, carefully using sieves, brushes and magnifying glasses to discover dinosaur bones and fossils in the sand. We also made our own fossils out salt dough and used a shell to make an imprint of a fossil. When they were dry, we painted them with brown paint mixed with sand – we were very impressed at how realistic they looked and have been excited to bring them home this weekend. We did a lot of fact finding again this week and used the computer to find out information, discovering that dinosaurs lay eggs just like chickens and other birds.

We have all been trying to be like our new dinosaur friend in class called ‘Thinkodocus’ – he says: I think of my own ideas, I try out my own ideas and I guess what may happen.

In maths, we made a pictogram. We each voted for our favourite dinosaur and coloured in a picture of it, then we each stuck it onto the pictogram. We looked at the numbers on the left-hand side of the graph to inform us of how many friends like each dinosaur – Tyrannosaurus-Rex was by far the most popular whilst Velociraptor was the least favourite.  We practised our cutting skills as we needed to cut certain shapes to build a dinosaur picture. We needed to look very hard at the different size circles, squares and triangles needed to complete our picture.

Finally, we went to the hall to look at the ‘Open Homework’ exhibition. There were lots of amazing and very different pieces which we really enjoyed looking at in detail.

Our topic after half term is Autumn Festivals, when we will be learning about Diwali, Guy Fawkes and Remembrance Day.

Reception enjoyed celebrating harvest by picking pumpkins directly from the fields at Garson’s Farm. The farmer took us on tractor ride through the fields of crops. We enjoyed spotting some seasonal fruit and vegetables, as well as many animals and birds on our ride. We had lots of fun walking in our wellington boots, we took a rather muddy path full of puddles to the Pumpkin Patch.  Once there, we enjoyed looking for suitable pumpkins to collect. We had lots of fun comparing the pumpkins sizes, colours and shapes. We also tested our strength by selecting some gigantic pumpkins! Together we carried all our pumpkins back to the tractor for the bumpy ride back to the minibus.

This week, we have also enjoyed the story of ‘The Enormous Turnip’,  particularly acting it out with puppets and props. We talked about and then remembered the sequence to the story, and drew some pictures of the characters. The boys tried sounding out the names to write labels for the pictures independently.

In mathematics, we have been counting and using the number fans and lines, we have been finding one and two more than a given number. We have also been ordering objects by size. Have a happy half term and enjoy decorating your pumpkin!

Year 1 have enjoyed an ‘enchanting’ week this week, writing all about our class reader ‘The Magic Faraway Tree’ during English lessons. The children produced beautiful writing, thinking of an alternative ending to the chapter titled, ‘The Land of Goodies’.  At the end of the week, Year 1 designed WANTED posters, using descriptive language to hunt down the thief that had stolen the peppermint doorknob from the angry man’s front door!

In maths, we have been counting in 2s, 5s and 10s using a 100 square and number line to help us with seeing the pattern when counting in steps.

We have been learning all about hibernating animals during our science lessons, including, toads, bees, dormice and hedgehogs. The children produced a table to show which animals hibernate and which stay awake all year round.

After half term, Year 1 will be looking at family history. As per the email from the office, we would be very grateful if you could email a photo of your child as a baby to Mrs Timba.

Year 2 have been learning how to write diary entries this week. The boys imagined they were part of the circus and wrote a diary entry about their day. There were lots of very imaginative ideas such as things going wrong during the practice, missing circus school due to over sleeping and having waffles for breakfast! After half term, we will be reading ‘Lila and the Secret of Rain’ so please don’t read this over half term!  We will complete a range of activities such as sequencing and character descriptions.

This week in maths we have been very busy measuring in centimetres and comparing lengths using the <, > and = symbols. After half term, we will be reinforcing our counting in 2s and completing multiplication and division exercises based on the 2 times tables – any practice on this over the half term would be really helpful!

In science, the children investigated air resistance by making and testing parachutes! They found out that the bigger the parachute, the slower it would fall. In RE, we enjoyed the story of Zacchaeus from the Bible. We also found out all about Diwali as Arjun brought in a lovely book all about it – thank you, Arjun. This afternoon the boys used atlases and their knowledge of the continents, to map out a circus route their travelling circus might take.

Have a super half term break – we look forward to seeing you back in school on Monday 4th November.

headmaster's picture
Tim SmithHeadmaster