Headmaster’s Bulletin – Edition 9
We were moved and honoured once more this year as we hosted Mr Chris Millar, now in his mid-90s and a WWII veteran, to join us for our Remembrance Assembly first thing on Monday morning and then later to be welcomed as our Guest of Honour at our annual Act of Remembrance which began just before 11.00am. These events are important to us. I very strongly feel it is our duty to remember the names of the former Prep pupils who, as young men, sacrificed their lives during the course of WWII. At the conclusion of our Act of Remembrance our Head Boy, Deputy Head Boy, Mrs Tinkler and I walked down to the Hampton War Memorial to lay our wreath, accompanied by the leader of the CCF Brigade from Hampton School and two of his pupil cadets.
Year 4 wrapped up warmly on Tuesday, all the better to enjoy their science and habitats exploration trip to Bushy Park. The boys lifted up, looked under and peered into all sorts of nooks and crannies in the wilds of the park in an attempt to spy upon and then study all sorts of creepy crawlies. Mr Hole would of course prefer me to say ‘the boys observed a selection of invertebrates in their micro habitats’ (much more scientific!). The highlight of the trip was taking specimens from their aquatic ecosystem and looking at them on the microscope, which was linked to the big screen.
Mrs James very thoughtfully stepped us through what integrity (our current assembly theme) means to her on Wednesday morning, and the boys in 3L supported plenty of what she covered in their assembly this morning. I loved the way the Year 3 boys highlighted two important messages: firstly, we should always try carefully to consider the choices we make and secondly there is a big difference between acting thoughtlessly and trying to be very thoughtful in everything we do.
What struck me most from Mrs James’ talk on Wednesday was the way in which she explained how our sense of integrity might on occasion be diminished. She set out a number of circumstances when, at the end of the day and against our better judgement, we might actually feel we had let ourselves down a bit and not been able to do what we knew in our heart of hearts was the “right thing”. These circumstances are below and I am sharing them with you in case you feel you would like to pick up on these at home and discuss them further with your boys.
Our sense of integrity may well be diminished:
- When everything always has to be “all about you”
- When our morality is tested
- When we are making decisions based on others’ opinions
- When our self-esteem rises and falls depending on others’ opinions
- When we make too many compromises
- When our emotional intelligence is not sufficiently developed
Have a great weekend,
Integrity…….that is the assembly theme for this half term. Something that is pretty essential in sport. It is a hot topic at the minute with Saracens rugby team at the forefront of a wage cap scandal and Dr Richard Freeman, the Sky Cycling Team doctor currently part of medical tribunal for ordering testosterone for the team.
In both cases there is an argument to suggest that they have not cheated. But in both cases, there is also clear evidence that they have done their best to study the wording of the rules and bend them to gain an advantage. In my opinion in both cases they have lost their integrity.
It is something as a school and particularly as a games department we are very conscious of instilling in the boys. When we win, we do so fairly and magnanimously. When we lose, we do so with knowing we have tried our best and been beaten by a better team on the day.
It is yet another example of the uniqueness of the educational setting that is the sports field and the great lessons it can teach us. However, it is not just those that are playing, sometimes as spectators and adults we need to remember our integrity and remember that it is just a game, particularly in our case when the participants on both sides are just children.
We have had plenty of opportunity to hone our integrity with every age group in action this week. On Monday the U10s played Staines Prep. On Tuesday the U8s had their first ever trip on the bus when they were away to The Mall. On Wednesday both the U11s and U10s played against TPS and today sees both the U8s and U9s also play against TPS.
Next week we have an U10 and U11 fixture against Claremont Fan Court and an U9 fixture against Surbiton.
Some of the boys have already started asking about the rugby season and you will all soon receive an email explaining what kit the boys will need to wear. There will be no football fixtures in the last two weeks of the term, which will allow us to do some rugby training and hit the ground running in January.
With this in mind they will need their rugby kit as of December 2. If boys don’t have their gumshield at that point please don’t worry, but it would be useful to start contact as soon as possible. If your son is in Year 3 this is not something you need to worry about this year.
Have a great weekend.
In assembly this week Headmaster’s Commendations were awarded to Shreyan Kottala (6C) For showing maturity and bravery by returning to school after having an accident on his bike when he was on his way home.Toby Bradbury, Charlie Frank, Ruhaan Vinod (3L) For creative writing of a paragraph demonstrating excellent use of a variety of punctuation.Harry Cole, Aashish Gill, Harry Hayes (3L) For creative writing visualising images from our class reading book Arthur and the Golden Rope, and retelling parts of the story in their own words. Well done to those boys!
Our Year 4 pupils set out on their trip to the Stockyard in Bushy Park on Tuesday this week, here are some photos from their day exploring the environment:
It has been a week of reflections here at Pre-Prep. At the beginning of the week, Year 2 children took part in the Remembrance Service held at Prep and returned glad to have had the opportunity to pay their respects and honour those who lost their lives serving their country.
We have also embraced Anti-Bullying Week which is something that occurs every year in schools across England each November and, this year, has followed the theme, ‘Change Starts With Us’. The event is organised by the Anti-Bullying Alliance, who worked with over 1,000 children and young people to decide on this year’s theme: Change starts here – Change starts now – Change starts with us. During the week, we have explored this idea in assemblies and in class, noting that by making, small simple changes we can break the cycle of bullying and instead create a safer environment for all. We acknowledged that by acting together, we are altogether stronger and can implement changes to challenge unwanted behaviour.
Many thanks to all for supporting Children in Need today – we shall let you know next week how much money we raised in support of this important charity for children around the UK.
It was exciting to distribute The Reading Agency and Libraries ‘Space Chase’ Summer Reading Challenge 2019 certificates in assembly yesterday. Many congratulations to the following children: Jazz (Reception), Arthur C (Year 1), Thomas (Year 1), Arthur H (Year 2), Arith (Year 1), Jack (Year 1), Wilf (Year 2), Zachary (Reception) and Aubin (Year 1).
We were also delighted to see Callum (Year 2) receiving his judo trophy – very well done!
Today, the Courtesy Cup and Badge went to Miles (Reception) for his beautiful manners and helpfulness in school.
and Stars of the Week to:
Year 2: Mylo for working really hard during English and maths lessons – keep it up!
Year 1: Jack for challenging his maths learning.
Reception: Zachary for his fantastic story writing.
Here’s what we’ve been up to in class …
At the beginning of this week we had many discussions in Kindergarten about ‘Poppy Day’ and the meaning behind this memorable occasion. The children did amazingly well when observing the two minute’s silence at 11.00am along with the rest of the country. We spoke about how we wear a red poppy to remember the soldiers and their families.
We read a great story called ‘Shaun the Shy Shark’ by Neil Griffiths in line with Anti-Bullying week. We enjoyed listening to the story whilst watching the character puppets in action. We found out Shaun was very different to the other sharks and sadly he did not have any friends. Luckily, it was a happy ending as he met lots of other sea creatures who were also different and happily soon had lots of friends. This led into discussions about being friends and treating our friends with kindness, respect and care, just as we would wish to be treated ourselves. We also discussed that we are all different and that is what makes us so very special.
In mathematics, we have been looking at and beginning to use mathematical names for 2D shapes. We identified each shape by looking at how many sides they have and then categorised them into the right group. We have also printed with shapes, and have had many shape hunts in our classroom, demonstrating an awareness of shapes in the environment. We enjoyed learning about shapes so much that we decided the perfect finish to a shape filled week would to be to make cheesy shapes!
Our topic next week is The Gingerbread Man.
Reception have enjoyed working with the fairy story ‘Goldilocks and the three bears.’ We listened to an E-book on the whiteboard, as well as to other versions of the story in class this week. This inspired us to write our very own accounts of the story – the boys enjoyed writing their pages in stages and then completed their books with a lovely front cover design. They were very pleased with the result, and even suggested that we might have them printed!
Our discussions led to us talking about Goldilocks’ poor behaviour choices and we counted the Golden Rules that she had broken! It was suggested that she should apologise for her behaviour towards the bears, so we helped her to write a letter to say sorry.
In mathematics, this week we have enjoyed using the tough tray to measure capacity; we have loved filling the funnels, scales and containers with oats – using appropriate mathematical language to describe what we have been doing. On Wednesday, the children enjoyed measuring the ingredients to make porridge with Mrs O’Brien, which we then enjoyed eating! We have also been counting and looking for missing numbers along number lines.
This week Year 1 read the poem ‘Love it or hate it!’ We wrote lists of things that we really love and some things that we didn’t like as much. The teachers were thrilled to see ‘School’ frequently on the love list! The children then used their lists to write their own version of the poem using rhyming couplets.
In our humanities lesson, the children began to describe similarities and differences between historical artefacts and pictures, Year 1 thoroughly enjoyed looking at all their baby pictures and trying to guess who was who!
In maths, we have been consolidating addition and subtraction skills. We have been learning the number sentences that make 20 and subtraction facts within 15. At the end of the week, we tackled worded problems using addition and subtraction.
We explored our senses in Science this week, describing the touch, taste, and smell of different types of fruit. The children then draw pictures of some of the things they use their senses for.
In Year 2 we have continued enjoying ‘Lila and the Secret of Rain’ and have described the main character, Lila, by thinking about what she looks like as well as thinking about her personality. The boys had to think of examples from the story to support their ideas about her personality. We have also been thinking about verbs and how we can use exciting ones in our writing. Next week we will be reading ‘Mama Panya’s Pancakes’ and linking this to instructional writing. We will also be learning about adverbs.
In maths we have been learning all about the 5 times tables by counting in 5s from 0 and multiplying and dividing by 5. Today we completed a mental arithmetic activity, followed by an open ended challenge that required the boys to make as many numbers as they could from a given set of digits.
We have been reflective during anti-bullying week and have been thinking about ways that we can be kind to one another. Each of the boys now have am ‘Acts of Kindness’ checklist in their tray where they can tick off things that they have done to be kind. The list includes acts such as smiling at others, making a new friend, helping someone and holding the door open for someone else. It’s been great to see many of the boys already ticking things off!
This afternoon we have been learning all about Kenya and located it on a map and within the continent, Africa. The boys have made some beautiful African sunset pictures by blending reds, oranges and yellows together and they have used black paper to create silhouettes of people or animals. During science, the children tested different types of tissue and paper to find out which would be the best at mopping up a water spillage! Interestingly, they found that paper was particularly good at soaking up water quickly.
Have a lovely weekend!