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Headmaster’s Bulletin – Edition 5

This Week

Dear Parents,

Last week Year 4 travelled to Blenheim Woods to take part in their residential camping trip for this academic year. It was a very exciting time by all accounts; whilst away the boys learnt to build camps, light and cook upon an open fire and even trap teachers! The boys thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to sleep out in the wilderness and use their ‘DR ABC’ to rescue Miss Wakeling and Mr Cantelo from an aeroplane wreckage. They were encouraged to cook for themselves and try new foods that they may not have eaten before. Although the weather was not on their side, the boys and teachers all had a fantastic time covered in mud and I am told they all returned to the comforts of home on Friday looking and smelling as if they had made the most of their adventure in the great outdoors. Year 3 are off on their residential trip next week and I hope they will have a similarly terrific experience.

Mr Darmon writes in his Sports Bulletin (tab above) much more fully than I will here about our visiting pupils from Elizabeth College Junior School, Guernsey, who came to play in our football tournament at Hampton School last weekend. My sincere thanks must go however to the Hampton Prep families who kindly hosted the lads from Guernsey, making sure they were made to feel so welcome and so well looked after.

On Wednesday afternoon we hauled our beautiful baby grand piano forward to pole position in the James Hall so it could be played upon and used to accompany others in the ‘Pupils’ Informal Concert’. This was the first of what will be a number of concerts and performances for the boys to participate in this year and my thanks to Miss Bee for organising all the wonderful music the boys play at our School, and on this occasion thanks to Mrs Morrison for accompanying. It was excellent to see boys playing, singing and reciting their LAMDA pieces when some of them have only had four weeks’ or so worth of lessons.

On Thursday Hampton Pre-Prep and Prep participated in a whole school themed day based upon the great continent of Africa. All the pupils had the chance to play African drums, learn and then sing traditional songs in Swahili, create African sunset inspired art, study the lives of some famous inventors born in Africa and take part in PE lessons with various African animal based activities. It was an exciting day which stimulated plenty of questions and enhanced everyone’s understanding of the history and geography of the continent, which all tied in very well with our current assembly theme too.

Unlike increasing numbers of advertisers, I simply refuse this far in advance to name the event that preoccupies many in December. It was nonetheless a little bit “December-y” this morning in the Prep as Mrs James and the boys in 5J presented their understanding of the word ‘diversity’. Some excellent scientific explanation was used to highlight how individual each winter snowflake that falls is, but when seen en masse one could be forgiven for thinking they are all the same. This is rather like people of course, and the boys were suitably humble and kind as they pointed out not only what they believe makes themselves unique but more importantly, what they know makes others in their Form unique and how much they admire their friends for that.

Have a great weekend,

Tim Smith


Sports News

has been an eventful couple of weeks since my last bulletin. The main event being the arrival of our guests from Elizabeth College in Guernsey and the subsequent tournament hosted by us at Hampton School last Saturday morning.

The boys from Guernsey arrived on Friday morning and were picked up from Gatwick and driven back to the Prep, where they enjoyed ‘Friday fish and chips’ whilst getting to know the boys who they were staying with. In the afternoon, they travelled up to Hampton to play an U12 side, who they beat convincingly, before they and the Hampton Prep boys, headed off to Ten Pin Bowling. After the bowling the boys were all picked up by their host families and Mr Sutton and Mr Sargent could finally relax and declare themselves off duty for the night.

The staff from Guernsey and the Games staff here at Hampton Prep all met for an enjoyable meal on the Friday night, before we all met up again Saturday morning for our 6-a-side tournament.

We were very fortunate with the weather and managed to complete the tournament during what I think was the only prolonged dry spell that weekend. In Pool 1 our A team dominated proceedings apart from being held to a draw by Surbiton High. In Pool 2 our B team boys were finding things a little tougher but nonetheless, were holding their own and recorded a couple of wins along the way. It was KCS who were the real stars of Pool 2, as they easily swept aside all comers.

Last Year it was our U10 A boys who were beaten in the final by KCS, so it was written in the stars that they should meet again. I’ll be honest, after watching both teams I predicted only one winner (and it wasn’t us). However, we blew the opposition away scoring 4 goals in a couple of minutes to leave the game beyond the opposition, eventually winning 5-0. The boys were ecstatic with their tournament victory and it was a great way to cap off a fantastic morning of football.

What was also great was that there were 15 senior school football and rugby matches taking place at the same time around us. The view across the grounds was spectacular and really inspirational for the Prep boys.

After the tournament the boys headed off with their host families and did a variety of activities from going on the London Eye to Indoor golf. On the Sunday morning we reconvened and took them back to the airport for their return flight.

It was a fantastic weekend, with great feedback from all involved. A big thank you must go to all the host families and the staff for helping to make the weekend such a great success.

This week all the boys in Year 3, 4 and 6 played in fixtures. For the Year 4s and 6’s it was new opposition in Wetherby School. It is always great to find new schools to play and we had two really competitive and enjoyable afternoons against them.

The next seven days sees some equally important events with the U11s playing a tournament tomorrow at Surbiton High and then competing in the ISFA regional tournament on Friday. You may remember that the U11s last year won this tournament and so progressed to the Nationals at St. George’s Park. Needless to say the current U11 boys are desperate to emulate their achievements.

During the week all boys in Year 6, Year 5 and Year 4 are playing against Surbiton High, Weston Green and The Mall respectively.

Remarkably the end of this half term is already in sight but there is still plenty in the calendar to keep us busy, not to mention some pretty important rugby to keep us all excited and provide lots of inspiration for the following term.

Have a great weekend.

Nick Darmon

Head of PE and Games

Prep News

Wednesday saw the first of this terms informal concerts take place in the James Hall, fantastic performances from all those involved:

Thursday this week as mentioned in the main bulletin was Africa Day in school, here are a few photos from the day:


During the October Half Term and Christmas Holidays, Chris Harrison will be running a cricket coaching course at Hampton School which is ideal for young cricketers to have fun and improve their game. Each session will include skill drills for batting, bowling and fielding as well as net and match play practice. A great way to spend the holiday period! Please click here for more details.

Pre-Prep News

At the very beginning of the school year we cautioned against putting questions such as, “how was your day” or “what did you do today” to the children after school.  That is, in the hope of avoiding this being met only with a shrug of the shoulders and the response “fine” or “nothing” – both are very common responses we understand! Instead, try an open-ended conversation starter, for example, “tell me about the best part of your day”, “what games did you play at break time”, “who made you smile today”, “what was the funniest thing that happened today”, or perhaps “what new fact did you learn today”.  Hopefully, you will be able to get a better sense of your child’s life at school by asking questions that elicit far more than a one-word response and… who knows, you may hear about our busy week in school!

Years 1 and 2 were very lucky to be involved in a ‘Circus’ themed workshop on Wednesday in connection with topic work undertaken in Year 2. The children turned their hand to juggling with scarves, walking along a wire-tightrope and balancing feathers; it was fantastic to observe the children’s sheer determination whilst acquiring new skills.  We hope you enjoy the photographs capturing the experience.

Additionally, Reception, Years 1 and 2 took part in an African themed day yesterday along with friends in Prep.  They were engaged in a wide range of cultural activities – a drumming workshop, African inspired art (mask making and line drawing), learning Swahili with Mrs Campbell and games with Mr Damon and Mr Salt. As I’m sure you will imagine, great fun was had by all – I’m just hoping the children will tell you all about it in greater detail at home!

We celebrated the following children during our assembly this week:

Freddie (Year 2) for playing his first full rugby mini tournament last weekend at Guildfordians Rugby Club. He played for London Irish and him and his teammates played excellently, making themselves and their club very proud.

Jonah, Edward, Robert and Daniel (Year 2) for competing in the ‘Year 2 Fun with Numbers’ competition against other local schools and securing 2nd place!

This week the Courtesy Cup and Badge was awarded to Henry in Reception – for his excellent manners to his teachers and friends.

and Stars of the Week to:

Year 2: Yuchen – For his beautiful handwriting and presentation of work.

Year 1: Felix – For outstanding effort and contribution during Africa day

Reception: Ayansh – for his fantastic writing and picture about the story Handa’s Surprise.

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

We have been talking about Harvest in Kindergarten. There were discussions about the work that farmers do and how they need the help of scarecrows to stop the crows from eating their crops. We read the story ‘The Scarecrow’ by Gina Thompson. We felt very sad for the scarecrow who did not have any friends and we shared how we could be good friends to the scarecrow and to each other. We enjoyed the story so much that we collaged our own scarecrows and used the hole punch and split pins to make a movable scarecrow.

As part of our harvest topic, we read lots of different versions of ‘The Little Red Hen’ story. We noticed that whilst each story had different characters in them, all of the animals did not help the hen. Just like the hen, we too made bread with the help from Miss Barun. We followed the recipe to weigh the flour using the scales and used the measuring spoons to measure the yeast, salt and sugar. We used a jug with numbers on to measure the water. Using a spoon we mixed all of the ingredients together before using our hands to knead our individual pieces of dough and make them into a ball shape. The dough was left to rest for a little while and we observed that they grew in size because of the yeast. We thought that the yeast is a magic ingredient.

Our role play area has been transformed into a farm shop. We have been writing shopping lists of the fruit and vegetables that we want to buy and then picking up the shopping basket to select the produce. There has been many queues at the tills as the farm shop has been very popular.

 In maths, we have been looking at making patterns using colours. We used paint, beads and compare bears to continue and make our own patterns. We have also been looking at 2d shapes and identifying them in our classroom and play.

Finally, we have a new dinosaur called ‘Tryatops’ who is teaching us to;

  • Try new things
  • Show a ‘can do’ attitude
  • Initiate activities

Our topic next week is dinosaurs.

Another busy week in Reception – with a definite highlight being Africa Day! We all enjoyed our African drumming workshop, we all had a drum which we played in different ways to tell a story about the African savannah. We also loved dancing to the music our friends played!

We have been talking about the importance of eating healthy diet, and eating fruit and vegetables. The boys decided they would like to make a fruit salad. They made choices about the fruit they would like in their salad and developed their cutting skills to cut each piece into bite-size pieces. The children have enjoyed taking part in different fruit inspired creative activities including, printing, close observational drawing, cutting and sticking. We read the story Handa’s Surprise and enjoyed thinking about the different fruits and animals she saw on her journey to visit her friend Akeyo in the next African village. The boys retold the story using puppets and props.

We also enjoyed a visit from the school nurse, who taught us how important it is to wash our hands to remove germs. We used her glitter germ cream and light box to check our hands were completely clean!

Our mathematical focus has been 2D shapes and the boys have been beginning to describe shapes using mathematical language.

Year 1 have continued reading Harvey Slumfenburger’s Christmas Present in English and working hard on adding ‘ed’ to words from Father Christmas’s actions in the book. In maths, we have been understanding that the term ‘find the difference’ means subtraction and solving number sentence problems with missing numbers.

This week has been action packed with workshops galore! Year 1 had a wonderful time on Wednesday learning a variety of Circus Skills, including: learning to juggle using scarfs and balancing a feather on their hands, foreheads and fingers – wow! On Thursday, we travelled to Africa, spending the day experiencing lots of different African themed activities. We made textured African masks, experienced a wonderful workshop that took us on a journey through the African savanna through drumming and had fun playing African themed games. At the end of the day we gathered information for a fact file on an African animal.

On Friday afternoon, we continued with our ICT lessons. Year 1 are working on logging on independently. Any opportunity you have at home to practise logging on to Purple Mash – please, do!

Year 2 have continued with their English text ‘Clown’ by Quentin Blake (a picture book) and have enjoyed studying the pictures in closer detail. The children added speech bubbles to the pictures, writing what they think the characters could be saying. Their work is going to make an excellent display! Our phonics sound for the week has been the ‘long o’ sound and we have explored the different graphemes for this sound (oa, o-e and ow). Next week we will be reading and completing a range of activities based on ‘Peter Spier’s Circus’ by Peter Spier. Our phonics sound for next week will be the ‘long u’ sound (u-e, oo, ew). We have been working on our handwriting too this week, particularly our ascenders. Any practise at home would be super!

During maths we have been practising our number bonds to numbers up to 20. There is a great game on Purple Mash linked to this called ‘Bond Bubbles’, should you wish to practise more at home. We have also been making links between number facts such as “If I know that 2 + 5 = 7 then I know that 20 + 50 = 70”. Next week we will be continuing with addition and subtraction and we will also be finding missing numbers within calculations such as 4 + ? = 12.

On Wednesday we had our very own Circus Skills workshop where the boys were taught some amazing skills such as how to juggle, spin plates, balance feathers and walk across a tight wire! They absolutely loved it and we definitely have some natural circus performers within the group. This afternoon, the boys discussed the statement ‘A good circus should have performing animals.’ Their ideas were fantastic and we spent a long time talking about the positives and negatives of having animals in our circuses today.

Have a super weekend!

headmaster's picture
Tim SmithHeadmaster