Headmaster’s Bulletin – Edition 19
Some really exciting news about two lovely boys in Year 6 this week to start off with. “They’re all lovely!” I can hear you cry from here. (Yes, I know!)
Monty James is an excellent climber, and has taken to this sport with great alacrity in his own spare time. Last weekend he competed in the British Youth Open Lead Championships in Sheffield. Twenty-six boys took part in the qualifying rounds of this national climbing competition with the top eight going through to the final. Monty qualified in seventh place. He went on to win the final, from that qualifying position, beating older and more experienced climbers including six GB team members! This means he is now British Champion for Lead Climbing (in the ‘Youth Boys C’ category). This is a massive achievement on Monty’s part; he will be invited to the GB team trials later in the year.
Conor Harding, also in Year 6, was away from school the week before half term and then remained abroad during the break as he was participating in the English Alpine Skiing Championships in Italy. Conor competed in the U-12 age group in three disciplines: Slalom, Giant Slalom and Parallel Slalom. There were 120 competitors. Overall, Conor placed mid-table in all three races. As it is his first year in the under 12 category, he surpassed the expectations of his team coaches. Conor put in 100 hours of training on snow during his time in the Alps, improved his ski racing skills and made lots of new friends.
I am always delighted to hear of this sort of news about our boys and I have to say, it never ceases to amaze me what they all get up to. Do please keep this sort of news coming our way, if ever any of your boys accomplishes something that might be considered a bit out of the ordinary.
Mrs Tinkler will be writing to you all in the Prep this week outlining a couple of new out of the ordinary Co-Curricular Activities which we hope to run next term if sufficient numbers of boys sign up for them. We are aiming to offer a ‘Music Tech’ CCA, in which boys can use online digital technology and music composing software to develop soundtracks for short animated films. We are also introducing fencing for the first time (“en garde!”). The costings are a little higher than most other externally provided CCA options we arrange here, but we are testing the waters with these two and if none of your boys sign up, we will understand.
I am looking forward to seeing many of you tomorrow evening at the Quiz Night, organised by the HPPPA. Its official title is, as I understand it, ‘Headmaster’s Quiz Night’ which heaps considerable and undue pressure onto the shoulders of my colleagues and me (I need a ‘sad face’ emoji in here). We are hoping we do not come last, but it remains to be seen how close to the top of the league table we will finish…!
Have a great weekend,
It would appear the weather gods have not finished with us yet and we have fallen foul to the rain once again this week. Numerous matches have had to be cancelled due to the pitch conditions and the rain today has made things even worse. We are still hopeful that the SGW U10 festival on Saturday will take place, obviously if things change we will let you know asap.
We did manage to play one block fixture this week when our U8 boys took on The Mall. We won all of our games and Mr Chilcott reported back that he was incredibly impressed with their performance and general mature attitude. It appears the boys are embracing the sport really well and generally loving the competitive nature of rugby. Long may this continue.
I won’t be writing a bulletin next week, as on the Friday morning I will be departing with the U10 boys on their annual sports tour. In previous years we have travelled to Manchester and ran it as a football tour. However, this year we have decided to mix things up a bit and we are travelling to the Midlands and running it as a rugby tour.
On the Friday we are travelling to Bluecoat School in Birmingham where we will have lunch with our hosts before playing two matches against them in the afternoon. From there we will travel to our accommodation in Swadlincote and in the evening we will be taking the boys bowling. On the Saturday morning we are then going to travel to Fairfield Prep School in Loughborough, for our second match of the weekend followed by lunch.
In the afternoon we are going to watch Wasps v Gloucester in the Gallagher Premiership at the Ricoh Stadium. After which we will return to our accommodation to watch England v Wales and our evening meal. On the Sunday morning we will jump on the coach and make our way back to school.
It will be a busy weekend and one which we hope will be enjoyable for all those involved. I have always found sports tours to be incredibly rewarding both as a child and as an adult and I hope this is something that the boys will remember for many years to come.
For those boys not coming on the tour we have also arranged some exciting activities for them to take part in, as we would hate for them to feel left out. Therefore, In the morning the boys will harness their inner Robin Hood and be taking archery lessons, whilst in the afternoon we are looking to discover the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, as the boys will be taking part in a Coding workshop.
Mr Ford has put in a tremendous amount of effort to organise the tour and the activities in school. Therefore, I would like to say a big thank you to him for all his work and to Mr Salt for giving up his weekend to come with us.
If the weather allows, we have a busy week next week before we depart for the tour. As was mentioned previously, the U10s have a festival at St George’s Windsor tomorrow morning and then next week the U11s, U10s and U8s are all taking on Surbiton. There is also a further game for the U11s v Claremont Fan Court later in the week. Then on Friday the U8s and the U9s will travel to King’s College Wimbledon to take part in the Surrey Junior Rugby Festival.
As was the case last year the U8 and U9 competition is on the Friday afternoon and the U10 and U11 competition on the Saturday morning. Therefore, the U11 boys will also be competing on the Saturday morning. Unfortunately, we had already booked in our sports tour by the time the festival date was announced for the U10s, so this year we were unable to enter our boys at this age group.
It is a great event and very well organised by King’s. The best rugby playing schools in the county attend and so this is an excellent measure of our progress so far this season. In previous years the U11 boys have done very well and showed themselves to be one of the front runners in the festival. Regardless of outcome I hope all the boys taking part enjoy themselves and are able to say that they tried their best. As always, enjoyment and effort are our main goals.
I hope you all have a lovely and relatively dry weekend.
Head of PE and Games
This week our school lunches took on an international theme! On Tuesday and Thursday we went the extra mile with French and Spanish days (due to these 2 languages being taught in school) and added some decorations in our lunch hall – great fun!
World Book Day celebrations will soon be upon us – in fact, on Thursday 5 March! Please do ensure your child comes to school dressed as a character from their favourite book and do bring along the book (named, of course) depicting the character for us to enjoy and share on the day.
Don’t forget we would love to hear from you about your favourite childhood book and, even better, if you could spare a few moments to write this in a letter to your child. Letters can be hand-delivered or posted to school (address below), as there’s nothing more exciting, in my view, than receiving a personal letter! In the letter, you could tell your child about your favourite character(s) and the plot – also, the reason(s) why the book is so special to you. If you are busy, then perhaps you can enlist the support of granny or grandpa, or even uncles or aunts?
Please send your letter to the following address:
Child’s name & Year (Kindergarten, Reception, Year 1 or Year 2)
Hampton Pre-Prep & Prep School
Middlesex TW12 2UQ
So far, we have only had a few letters and we are so grateful to those of you who have already sent one in – we intend to share these on World Book Day, and it is being kept as a surprise for the children. If you haven’t written your letter yet, you still have plenty of time to put pen to paper!
World Book Day vouchers will be sent home with the children next week – please know these can be put towards books purchased from the Travelling Book Fair from Monday 9 March onwards.
Today we waved Mrs Doyle off on maternity leave, wishing her all the very best – we promise to keep you updated about any news. By the same token, we were delighted to welcome Mrs Maynard to school this week, taking up the reins from Mrs Doyle to work alongside Mrs Timba in Year 1 – we hope she will be very happy at Hampton Pre-Prep.
Following on from a busy half term holiday, we celebrated a number of skiing successes in school this week, namely, Jonny (Year 2) who went skiing in Champery where he competed in a slalom race (against children up to 13 years old!) and came 3rd overall; he is now in the Red Prince ski group and received a badge to mark this. Jack (Reception) completed Ourson skiing ability and Arthur (Year 1) Alpine skiing ability – very well done boys!
Other recipients of awards this week included the following: Rayan (Reception) a badge for his ‘slide break fall’ skill in Kuk Sool Won. Alfie (Year 1) received a ‘Reindeer Driving Licence’ following his trip to Lapland and a Teddington Rugby keyring for his improved rugby skills. Anirudh (Year 2) received two badges gained through his endeavours at Scouts – the first, ‘Book Creator’ saw him designing a book cover and the second, for successfully completing ‘Digital Citizen Stage 1’, in recognition of the fact he can safely log on and send an email.
This week the Courtesy Cup and Badge went to Theo (Year 1) for being super polite towards Mrs Doyle when having interrupt to ask her for something – he did so with impeccable manners.
Stars of the Week went to:
Year 2: William for unpacking his bag and beginning his ‘Early Bird’ work promptly – keep it up!
Year 1: Fin for all round outstanding effort in his classwork this week.
Reception: Miles for working hard learning number bonds.
Here’s what we’ve been up to in class …
This week, Kindergarten have been reading the traditional fairy tale story, ‘The Three Little Pigs’. Many versions have been read, from very old little hardback books to modern picture books. We discussed the differences between them but, one thing we noticed in each version was that a big bad wolf appeared and tried to gobble up the little pigs. There was plenty of talk about how the little pigs must have felt and this followed on to us agreeing that we need to be aware of not only our own feelings but our friends’ feelings, too – unkind words and action do hurt others.
Using foam and wooden bricks, sticks and straw, we set about building houses for the pig puppets in the role-play area. Just like the story, the straw was the easiest to blow down but the bricks were far too strong to be blown down.
On the interactive whiteboard we completed a program called 2 Paint. Using the different tools, brushes and colours we ‘had a go’ at designing our own house for the three little pigs and then had to type our name on the bottom of it using the keyboard.
We made lots of salt dough this week and individually made a pig face, looking carefully at the shape of their heads, ears and nose – we carefully used tools to create the shapes. After a few days of drying out, our very own little pigs were ready to be painted.
Great excitement in the classroom ensued on Tuesday as we celebrated Pancake Day. We talked about why we celebrate Shrove Tuesday and the fact that some people give up their favourite things for Lent. Some of the children spoke about what they are giving up or how they are going to be extra kind and helpful. Together we carefully weighed out the flour, measured out the milk and counted out the eggs, before we whisked it all together to form a batter. Chef Tomkins took charge of cooking the pancakes and flipping them in the air. A difficult decision followed – as we chose a topping for our pancakes – lemon, sugar, honey, jam and banana, and we wished we could have pancakes every day!
We have been learning all about road safety this week in Reception. The children were so excited on Tuesday to go outside to use the scooters and cars with our special road safety set. They practised safe stopping, scooting fast, slowing down and navigating a tricky obstacle course! We also played at being lollipop people and drivers, and made sure our pedestrians carefully crossed the road. In the classroom, we have spoken at length about safe crossing of the road and the children demonstrated good understanding of the need to stop, look, listen and think.
We enjoyed listening to the story ‘The Runaway Pancake’. We spent time sequencing the story and re-told our own version using the puppets and props. Our story told of a teacher with 17 hungry Hampton Pre-Prep boys! The pancake ran away from the classroom and out of the school down Wensleydale Road and to Bushy Park, meeting various animals on the way! The boys demonstrated some excellent story writing skills and we can’t wait to write the end of our stories next week. In mathematics, we have continued our work on ordinal numbers – having races and talking about our position in the race. We have also worked hard with our number bonds. In phonics this week, we have been learning the new digraph oi. Next week, we are looking forward to celebrating World Book Day on Thursday and our topic is Elephants.
Year 1 spent the week learning about instruction writing in English. All week, we have been writing instructions on everyday tasks for an alien to follow. At the end of the week, we used our knowledge to write instructions on how to make pancakes in celebration of Pancake Day, making sure they were very accurate so we could then make our pancakes successfully – yum!
Our work in maths has been all about measuring mass. We weighed objects and compared weights using non-standard units. At the end of the week, we used our knowledge to weigh our ingredients in grams to make our pancakes. Luckily, Year 1 were very accurate and our pancakes were perfect!
Next week, we will be planting beans in our science lesson and, over the course of the next few weeks, Year 1 will be recording what is happening, observing our beans grow and change.
Year 2 have enjoyed getting stuck into our new English text, ‘The Wilderness War’ by Julia Green. The boys made predictions about what would happen in this story and carefully thought about what they would have in their own ‘wilderness’. Today they designed dens, similar to those made in the story, and used descriptive sentences to explain them in detail.
In maths, Year 2 have been revising addition and subtraction within 100 and recognising the links between these operations. On Tuesday we had our first ‘Talkative Tuesday’ lesson, which is a new style of lesson we have introduced. The boys were given 4 statements to discuss with their learning partner and they had to prove if the statements were true or false by giving examples. It was brilliant to hear the boys talking about maths and explaining their thoughts to one another. One of the statements they had to discuss was, “If I add or subtract 10, the ones digit stays the same. True or false? How do you know?”
During the afternoons, the children have enjoyed our introductory lessons for our new topics for the half term and were particularly inspired by the work of Sir David Attenborough. When the class were asked, “Who thinks they would like a job like Sir David Attenborough’s when they’re older?” about 90% of them raised their hand! I think we have some keen scientists and naturalists in the making. It was great to hear the children share their own facts about animals and the planet this afternoon.