Headmaster’s Bulletin – Edition 8

This Week

Dear Parents,

Passing on to the boys helpful, relevant feedback from all sorts of angles is an important part of what we do here, and this week has been no exception. First thing on Monday morning I had one message for the boys in Year 6 ahead of them getting stuck into completing their mock exam papers: DYBT!

That well-known acronym stands for the well-known phrase: Do Your Best Thinking! I believe they very definitely did, or at least tried to, which is of course all we ask of them. Colleagues have been feeding back to the boys in lessons this week and Year 6 parents will be receiving mock exam results very shortly. It will be excellent to see Year 6 parents next week too of course, as there is the opportunity for you to come in and discuss your boys’ efforts at our Year 6 Parents’ evening, if you wish to do so.

Boys in 6C were especially busy this week as they also had their assembly to consider, which took place this morning. It was an excellent introduction to our theme for this half term, namely the word ‘integrity’. I am always very glad when Year 6 boys can act as role models for their younger peers and true to form, the boys in 6C were brilliant at this today. They performed a wise old tale about a clever Emperor who needed to select his successor from his cohort of fellow citizens. Dishonesty and trickery were exposed as the ghastly qualities they are and the stand out line for me from the whole performance has to be “integrity is about doing the right thing come what may, even if it feels uncomfortable”.

It was really lovely to see lots of girls (and one boy!) from Collis Primary School here at lunch time today. Mr Cantelo and Miss Bee have organised some choral singing to take place at two care homes for the elderly, one of the arrivals halls at Heathrow and the ITN television studios in central London later this term and numbers of our boys have joined forces with the Collis pupils to create a joint choir. Any Hampton Prep parents are welcome to head along to Heathrow to watch the choir perform there at least; do get in touch with Miss Bee or Mr Cantelo for details of timings etc. I am sure they would welcome some cheerful parents’ voices joining in at the care homes too!

As per our calendar we will be holding our annual Act of Remembrance on Monday next week, which begins just before 11.00am. You are, as ever, very welcome to attend if it is convenient for you to do so.

Have a great weekend,

Tim Smith

Headmaster

Sports News

I hope you all had a restful half term. Over the course of the two weeks, for many there will have been some highs and lows whilst watching the Rugby World Cup. For English, Welsh and Kiwi supporters, euphoria and dismay. For Scottish, French, Irish and Australian, mainly dismay. For South Africans, endless euphoria.

Yesterday I read an article in The Times by Michael Atherton about failure and how the human aspect of sport means there are no certainties. After the final Eddie Jones, when asked why England played so badly, just responded with:

“Dunno mate”. I’ve been coaching for 23 years and It happens periodically. You think you’ve got a team right and ready to go and for some reason they don’t perform. Why? I don’t know. It’s sport mate”

Isn’t that why we love it? If it was predictable, would we care as much? As Atherton wrote:

‘It is that uncertainty, as much as any desire to witness perfection, that keeps us coming back for more’

We all win, we all fail, no need to go over the top when either happens. The key is to keep things in perspective.

Having said that what could be more inspiring than watching Siya Kolisi taking the very same trophy that was in our school hall back in April, to South Africa to unite a nation.

The first black captain of South Africa, born a day after the apartheid laws were repealed in a township in Eastern Cape. A man who did not dream of playing for his country because he was too busy worrying about where his next meal was coming from.

It’s going to be another busy half term for Hampton prep. Many boys will be experiencing lots of pressure and working very hard. I sincerely hope the sports field can be a place of enjoyment and escapism for them. A place to keep things in perspective.

This week we have already seen every boy in Years 3, 5 and 6 play a fixture and next week is equally busy, with fixtures every day of the week.

The house football competition (won by Lancaster) and the season so far, has been superbly supported by many parents. Therefore, I hope to see lots of you over the course of the next five weeks, so we can all enjoy watching the boys make the most of the wonderful opportunities they are afforded.

Have a great weekend.

Prep News

In assembly this week Headmaster’s commendations were awarded to Reuben Nicholson (3H) For demonstrating beautiful manners when speaking to the ladies in the office, always enquiring how our day is and always with a lovely smile. And also to
Luke Nunn, Jamie Searancke, Lucas Shortman, Elijah Wilkinson (all 6C), Amar Bajwa, Richard Baker, Teddy Kirby, Daniel O’Sullivan Sanz, Aaron Lear, Hari Patel, and Marcus Solomon (all 6S) For an outstanding scrap book, packed with details of holiday reading and embellished with photographs, word games, whizzy vocabulary and much, much more – all presented beautifully. Congratulations – be very proud!

Pre-Prep News

Welcome back to school, I hope you all enjoyed a terrific half term break with plenty of relaxation and fun.  We love this time of year as the excitement steadily builds in the run up to Christmas.  As no doubt you will have noted in the school calendar, a very busy time lies ahead of us!  I shall endeavour to keep you posted about the events coming up over the next five weeks. Just in case you have not already noted these important events in your diary, on Wednesday 4 December Reception, Years 1 and 2 perform their Christmas Production in the James Hall at 2.30pm.  It will then be the turn of Kindergarten, with their performance in their classroom on Friday 6 December at 11.15am.

 

‘Space Race’ Summer Reading Challenge 2019 certificates arrived from our local Richmond library service during half term, which we aim to distribute them next week.  However, before doing so, we just wondered if any of our children took part in the challenge outside the borough.  If so, please do  send in your child’s certificate and we will make sure that they are all awarded together at Thursday’s assembly – I already have a couple that I have been keeping hold of safely.

A quick plug for the next HPPPA Holistic Parent Presentation, which takes place on Tuesday 19 November on the topic ‘Resilience and Social Media: Top Tips for Parents’.  You will have received an email from the School Office containing information about the link for bookings – do try to come along as this is such an important topic.

 

Today, the Courtesy Cup and Badge went to Ani (Year 2) for politely holding the door open for Mrs Timba so that she could walk through first – well done.

and Stars of the Week to:

Year 2: Krishi for working really hard to improve his handwriting.  Keep it up.

Year 1: George for his excellent handwriting this week.

Reception: Lev for his super firework drawings and writing firework words independently. 

Jonny (Year 2) was awarded with his trophy for ‘player of the week’ at Chiswick Rugby club and Ralph (Reception) received his Learn to Swim Stage 1 certificate – our congratulations to both!

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

Kindergarten

The children have been excited coming back to Kindergarten and getting back into the daily routine. It has been lovely to see the children sit at the front of the class, sharing their half term holiday news about all the busy things they have been up to.

We have been learning about Guy Fawkes and why we celebrate the 5 of November every year. We found that Guy Fawkes was not very kind and that he certainly was not keeping any Golden Rules. Using cardboard rolls, crepe paper and sparkles we made our own rockets for our firework display. We all tried to use describing words to imitate the noises of fireworks. We thought ‘whoosh’, ‘crackle’ and ‘bang’ were the best words. Keeping safe is very important when we go to watch fireworks and we talked about how we never hold fireworks, stand well back, wear gloves when holding sparklers and keep pets indoors. One child had a great idea to keep extra safe we can put the sparkler in a carrot to hold so we don’t burn our fingers.

As Remembrance Sunday approaches this weekend the children have been learning about ‘Poppy day’ and the significance of poppies. We cut out a green hand print and coloured a red poppy each and assembled them together to make poppy wreaths for our classroom.

Finally, we have revisited the Golden Rule ‘Do Look After Property’. We have had lots of discussions about how we need to look after our toys and resources in Kindergarten otherwise we will not have anything to play with when we come into school.

Our topic next week is Shapes and Patterns.

This week in Reception we have focused our learning around the theme of festivals of light. We talked about the beautiful firework displays lots of us saw, and created some exciting and colourful shape collage rockets. We have also created some super sparkly firework art and used pom poms, ribbon, gems and glittery pipe cleaners to make transient art on black paper. We talked about the festival of Diwali and how this is celebrated, and each boy made their own clay diva lamp.

In Mathematics we have been counting and ordering, and looking for missing hidden numbers on the number line or hundred square.  We used the number line to help with some simple addition problems – we hopped on one square to find the answer to one more questions. We read the story Inside, Outside, Upside Down to learn about positional language – we gave instructions to a partner, asking them to put a teddy bear in all sorts of funny places! Poor Teddy didn’t like being under the box at all! The boys learnt about why we commemorate Remembrance Day and thought about those who lost their lives in the war. We talked about the significance of poppies and made some of our own.

Year 1 have enjoyed reading a variety of poems in English this week. We especially enjoyed reading ‘Peter Ate a Worm’ and thought carefully about where the capital letters were within the text and how it might feel to eat a worm! The children then wrote their own descriptive poem about eating a worm.

In maths, we have been counting in sets of 2s, 5s and 10s and making connections between arrays and number patterns. We used strawberries to share out numbers up to 12 into groups of 2, 3 and 4 and learnt new mathematical vocabulary – ‘division’.

Year 1 began a new topic in Science – ‘Animals including Humans’. We labelled the parts of our body and discussed the reasons why humans are classed as mammals.

Year 2 have enjoyed the story ‘Lila and the Secret of Rain’ by David Conway this week. We read the first part of the story and then the boys had to predict what they thought was going to happen next. Their predictions were all so different and exciting! Today we read the ending of the story and compared them to our predictions. Some of the predictions were spot on! The children then retold the story in their own words, identifying the beginning, middle and end. It was impressive to see many of the boys using our Mrs Wordsmith words such as ‘lashing’, ‘overwhelming’ and ‘optimistic’ in their work. Next week we will be thinking about Lila’s character in more detail, as well as describing the setting in which the story takes place.

Our maths this week has been focused all around the 2 times table. The children have practised counting in 2s, multiplying and dividing by 2 and they have also solved word problems involving these operations (tricky stuff!). Any extra practise of this at home would be super. Next week we will be completing similar tasks, but using the 5 times table!

Our afternoons have been very busy with a variety of activities taking place such as… practising the Christmas Show songs, locating Africa on a world map, weaving our own Kente Cloth, designing the front cover for the Christmas Show programme, discussing Diwali and how children in our class celebrated it over half term, identifying and naming everyday materials and practising how to touch type using BBC Dance Mat.

We were also very lucky to have a special visit from Chef Paul this week. He came over from Hampton School to teach us all about the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables. He also read us the story of ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’ and pointed out how poorly the caterpillar felt after eating lots of sugary foods. The children then made their own caterpillar, butterfly or smiley face out of fruits, vegetables and cheese on a wrap. All of the boys tried a new vegetable or fruit and many of them discovered new ones that they liked! The fruits and vegetables they had included carrot, cucumber, tomato, spinach, mint, pomegranate seeds, dried cranberry, and sweetcorn. It was really great to see the children trying new things. Well done!