Headmaster’s Bulletin – Edition 12
“Ho! Ho! Ho!” said someone rather famous, renowned at this time of year for being the personification of all that is festive and bright (a few more mince pies on my part and the similarities between him and me will be even more startling…)
The Christmas season swung into action at our School this week, as parents and colleagues alike attended both the Pre-Prep Christmas Production and the Kindergarten Nativity Play. These two events at this time of the term are always excellent opportunities for our pupils to demonstrate their natural and unaffected joy for the excitement of the Christmas period to come, and for us as the adults in their lives to enjoy watching them perform. More of the same at our Carol Service at St. Mary’s Church, Hampton, on Monday evening next week. I look forward to seeing many of you there.
There were quite a few of us “wiping dust out of the corners of our eyes” (Mr Ford’s euphemism!) in assembly this morning as Mr Henderson and the boys in 3H led us through an especially emotional and very moving interpretation of what ‘integrity’ means to them. It was quiet, reflective and very moving and made us all think about our own heroes, and why their integrity is something which can continue to inspire us even when we may not loudly and overtly acknowledge it.
Next week boys will bring home their second Grade Sheet of this academic year. You will recognise that we only report on pupils’ effort and progress on these Grade Sheets, as a matter of course. Progress is not the same as attainment; our judgment of your boy’s progress will be specific to him, regardless of his ability. Expected progress (currently represented by the letter ‘C’) is what we are after. Anything above expected progress is naturally terrific to see and anything below it makes life interesting for us all! Please do remember to look carefully at the grade descriptors on the reverse side of the Grade Sheet as they explain what the letters representing your boy’s progress mean. As ever, if you wish to discuss your boy’s attainment, do please feel free to make an appointment to come in and see subject or class teachers, as appropriate. Do please also have a read of our Assessment Policy (on our website) if you feel you need a top up on how we aim to assess pupils at our School. Pages 4 – 6 will be the most relevant for parents of Prep pupils in this respect.
Finally, many thanks indeed to all of you as parents for the kind and very generous invitations for the staff here, via Mrs McGuire and Mrs Hynes, to the Parents’ Association Christmas Party last Friday night. Those of us who were able to make it had a great time and it was excellent to see so many of you there too. My particular thanks to the Association for organising what turned out to be such a jolly occasion for us all. I was also delighted to see plenty of parents helping out with the Parents’ Association Secret Santa event in the library at the Prep this week. Please rest assured, your sons really do take their time to consider very carefully indeed which gifts to choose for you! I am very glad they have the opportunity to do so.
Have a great weekend,
It is the end of another term and we wave goodbye to another football season. For some this will be disappointing, for others a cause for celebration as we transition into a new rugby season.
Regardless, there has been plenty of opportunity for all the boys to get involved and display their football talents since September. In total there have been 112 matches of football played, not including 10 tournaments entered.
The boys have shown a great attitude as always and what I am most proud about is the way the boys conduct themselves on and off the pitch. They are polite and respectful, they win with grace and lose with dignity, and that is all I can ask.
I genuinely believe we have also seen a significant improvement in performance since the beginning of the term too. This is down to a combination of the hard work shown by the boys and the staff who coach them on a weekly basis.
Parents, I would like to thank you for the effort and time you also put in. The hours spent on the side lines and the lifts you give, not just to your own children are invaluable. Without you they wouldn’t get to have all these amazing experiences. A great example being the 7 families who gave up their weekend in September to host boys from Guernsey, an experience the boys from both schools will remember for years to come.
So, we move on to rugby and it has been really exciting this week to start our first rugby sessions. The great thing about the rugby season beginning is that for each year group there is something new to learn. For the U11s there are now two players allowed in the ruck and they can start kicking. For the U10s they start to ruck for the first time. For the U9s they start to tackle for the first time and for the U8s, for many they play rugby for the first time. This makes it really exciting for us as coaches too, as you see the enthusiasm in the boy’s eyes to embrace something new.
I said to the U8 boys on Tuesday that this could be the greatest day of their lives. I genuinely meant it too. For some, Tuesday was the day they first played the game they would love for ever more, the game that may dictate the career path they follow, the friends they meet, the family they have. For others it may not be so significant, in fact they might look back and see Tuesday as the worse day. I hope that isn’t the case, but whatever happens we will do our best to make it fun. I don’t want any boy dreading playing any sport we do here at school and so enjoyment will remain our main focus.
Thank you again for your support this term and I hope to see you in January, for what I hope will be a successful and enjoyable rugby season.
Have a very Merry Christmas.
Head of Games and PE
Remember this week was the last week for CCAs this term – there will be no CCAs running next week, collection will be at the normal time of 3:50 pm.
We kick started our week here at Prep with our first ever Year 3 Museum Exhibition in the James Hall. The exhibit was created with all of their hard work during this term based on the topic of the Stone Age. Well done Year 3!
On Thursday Years 4, 5 and 6 enjoyed a visit from the Young Shakespeare Company with their performance of Macbeth!
During the 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 on how to book.
The Christmas tree is up and the Christmas post box is out, so it’s official, we are on countdown to Christmas, however, Monday (9th December) will be the last day for the children to post Christmas cards to their friends in school.
The two Nativity plays have been performed – one took a direct route to Bethlehem, whereas the other, went all around the world. Staging these was great fun but we hope you enjoyed watching them just as much. How immensely proud we felt of all our little performers – what stars! Both were very much team efforts, we rely heavily on everyone getting involved and supporting one another in the run up to the day, so a huge thank you and very well done to all.
Don’t forget the following events next week: on Monday, it is Open Classrooms, which we hope you will be able to attend. On the same day, it is the Prep Carol Service at St Mary’s Church, Hampton; this starts at 6.30pm and if any Pre-Prep siblings attend, they must wear their school uniform please. Thursday 12th December will be an extremely busy day here at Pre-Prep, as in the morning we have our ‘Christmas Merrie’. The children may come to school in their own clothes for the day but, as per my earlier letter, nothing too smart please, as we will be involved in messy activities in the morning. The Golden Treat in the afternoon tops off the day.
We were delighted to support William’s (Year 2) efforts to raise money for Water Aid. Independently, he decided to make delicious rocky road treats to sell to friends, family and members of staff at Hampton Pre-Prep. He is sending all the money raised to his chosen charity, Water Aid to support their great work.
In our assembly today, the following Year 2 children were awarded with certificates for completing their judo course: Callum, William, Yusuf and Aizhou.
Arthur (Year 2) was examined in electronic keyboard and successfully completed step 2 – well done!
Today, the Courtesy Cup and Badge went to Henry (Year 1) for being exceptionally helpful and thoughtful in the classroom.
and Stars of the Week to:
Year 2: Batu for delivering the lines in the Christmas play loudly and clearly.
Year 1: Viaan for excellent singing and participation in the Christmas Production.
Reception: Rayan for his super writing about the first Christmas.
Here’s what we’ve been up to in class …
It has been a flurry of excitement in Kindergarten’s role-play area as a reindeer, penguin, Father Christmas and many elves have been busy in Santa’s Workshop. Lots of banging of tools could be heard as toys were crafted, gift wrapped with plenty of Sellotape and then finally the items were posted in our post box. We have been very creative this week and have also painted wooden Christmas tree decorations sprinkled with lots of glitter; these are now ready to sparkle on our trees at home. We enjoyed making a 3D shape sphere shaped reindeer in mathematics.
In the Christmas writing area, we have been busy writing cards to our friends and teachers and post them in our class box. There have also been letters and wish list writings to Father Christmas. We practised our cursive style writing as we wrote our Christmas cards to our families.
What a great finale – the children displayed their musical and acting talents as they performed ‘The Nativity Rhyme’ for their families this morning. The boys and girls remembered all the words to the many songs and, more importantly, had fun and enjoyed delivering such a ‘west end’ quality musical – well done!
Our topic next week is Christmas and we are all very excited about the Christmas Merrie on Thursday.
We are so proud of all the boys in our Reception class who sang beautifully in our Christmas Production. What superstars! A lot of our week was taken up with rehearsing for the play and the children have really impressed us with their patience and commitment to making our show such a success. We have also enjoyed celebrating the start of Advent. Each day we have added a character to our nativity advent calendar with excitement and begun the countdown to Christmas!
The children listened to the story ‘A letter to Santa’ and then all had a go independently, writing their own letters. We loved that Jazz asked for a snowman and a jug to keep him in over the Summer! In mathematics this week, we have been looking at estimation and prediction. We have had great fun at making sensible guesses playing games with different amounts.
It has also been very creative week; the Reception classroom is a very glittery place to be! We made paper mâché baubles, these required a lot of squashing and squeezing – fantastic exercise for our fine motor skills! We have been busy making our classroom Christmassy which we are sure you will enjoy at our Open Classroom on Monday. We will be singing a few Christmas songs at 3pm!
Year 1 are thoroughly enjoying the build up to Christmas in school. They worked extremely hard rehearsing for their Christmas Production and, I’m sure you’ll all agree, they did a marvellous job on Wednesday afternoon!
We watched the story of ‘Mog’s Christmas Calamity’ this week, pausing the video at various points to look at Mog’s expressions. We discussed some captions that we could put into speech bubbles to describe those observed on his face. Do have a look at our speech bubbles on display during ‘Open Classroom’ on Monday afternoon.
On Thursday, we wrote about our favourite moment of the Christmas Play. It was wonderful to read that lots of the children mostly enjoyed having their parents visit to watch them perform on stage!
In science, we continued our topic ‘Animals including humans’ learning about what different animals eat and the difference between carnivores, herbivores and omnivores. We used a Venn diagram to classify different animals.
Year 2 have been using their best research skills this week to find out as much information as possible about a chosen African animal of their choice. The boys have used websites, books and information sheets to gather enough information on their chosen animal to create a non-chronological report. The reports are nearly all finished, and they look amazing! Next week we will be completing some Christmassy writing including ‘If I was in a snow globe there would be…’ – if you have a snow globe at home, please send it in for us to admire!
In maths we have been finding fractions of numbers and learning how to read the time to quarter past the hour. Next week we will continue to work on quarter past and quarter to, as well as learning how to read the time to the nearest 5 minutes.
As well as putting on a spectacular performance on Wednesday, the children have been busy adding to their African lap books, making and designing invitations on Purple Mash (for our Open classroom on Monday), learning about the festival of Holi and painting beautiful Christmas trees with Mrs Timba. A very busy week indeed!
Have a lovely weekend!