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Headmaster’s Bulletin – Edition 20

This Week

Dear Parents,

Our assembly theme this half term is the word generosity. Last week Mr Darmon reminded us that “generosity is an attitude”. He explained that, in his opinion, being truly generous is as much about a way of being as it is about any generous act we might engage in. That said, in assembly this morning Mrs Lutz and the boys in 3L trotted us round the globe and showed us how generous various nations are, according to how many charitable donations each different population makes and how much time each country’s citizens devote to charitable causes. It was fascinating to see all the details the boys had been studying about a whole range of really interesting countries. It also reinforced so well the point Mr Darmon had made previously.

I hope you all enjoyed seeing the photos of a whole host of pupils looking splendid in their World Book Day costumes last week? There was a lot of talk here at school about books which coincided with the WBD focus. I was delighted to see the work from boys in Year 3 who had put so much effort into making their ‘book in a box’ exhibits, based upon the novel Flora and Ulysses, which Year 3 have been reading.

Equally impressive were the exhibits that a great number of boys had created as part of our Science Fair on Monday afternoon this week. I was especially taken by the way the science behind the lights in the miniature disco had been explained and by a number of other exhibits in which boys had taken a really hands on approach and come up with experiments they could do in front of all of us who visited the fair, which represented their developing scientific thinking.

The results are in for the Bonus Round of the Primary Maths Challenge 2020 – a special extra event for a small proportion of the participants in the original Primary Maths Challenge who get top marks. This year we have smashed our record of pupils getting to the bonus round and Marcus Solomon, Luke Nunn, Daniel O’Sullivan Sanz, Monty James, Charlie Halberstadt, Cyril Bellamy and Steffan Hilmy all did really well. Steffan scored the highest mark achieved in Mr Hole’s time at this school.

I hope you have been reading the various updates we have been sending you regarding the developing situation for all schools, ours included, regarding the effects of the coronavirus outbreak? Do please keep asking us questions if you are at all unsure or anxious. We will always do our best to help. Please also understand how grateful I am to all of you who are trying to remain as calm as possible at this uncertain time. Calm and organised is the approach we are adopting here at school.

Have a great weekend,

Tim Smith

Headmaster

Sports News

The last few weeks have been really busy. Unfortunately, not everything survived the weather. The biggest casualty being the Surrey Junior Rugby Festival, which was cancelled for all age groups last weekend. This is the premier event in the season and so it was a real shame that the boys were not able to get out there and show how much they have progressed. However, prior to last weekend, there were plenty of fixtures.

The U11s played in a full A-D fixture v Surbiton on the Monday. The U8s all played against Surbiton on the Tuesday. Two further U11 teams played against Claremont on the Wednesday, whilst all the boys in the U10s also turned out against Surbiton on the same day.

On the Friday the U10s departed for their rugby tour to the Midlands. Low and behold the sun was shining and we arrived in Birmingham to glorious conditions. Our first stop was Bluecoat Prep School where they kindly provided us with a lovely lunch of fish and chips before we headed over to Bournville Rugby Club, which they went out of their way to arrange, as their pitches, just like most others in the country, were unplayable. The rugby club had a 4G pitch which was a real a novelty to a lot of the boys and meant we were both able to play and not get muddy and wet.

Two good competitive games ensued, resulting in two wins for Hampton Prep. However, I think it is fair to say the boys were probably adversely affected by the long bus journey, as neither team played their best rugby. Nonetheless, there were smiles all round come the final whistle and Archie Duggan did a great job at the post match presentation by very eloquently offering our thanks for the great hospitality and presenting the school with a Hampton Prep match ball.

From there we travelled to our accommodation in the New Forest, where the next exciting instalment of the tour was to play out; finding out your roommate(s). An important part of touring is making bonds with people you don’t usually socialise with and so Mr Ford had decided on the rooming’s and they weren’t for negotiation. These decisions are also important for ensuring the staff get some sleep.

After dinner that evening we went Ten Pin Bowling, where the boys were treated to a masterclass from none other than yours truly. The boys then proceeded to take the arcade by storm.

Despite the singing on the bus and therefore our reservations, the boys went to sleep (or at least kept quiet) as instructed and as a consequence were not greeted by three grumpy teachers the next morning. Therefore, we headed off to Fairfield Prep in Loughborough with a spring in our step and ready to take on our next challenge.

We had been told by the Bluecoat staff that Fairfield would probably present a greater challenge to us, as was the case, and so it was great to see us take our performance up a notch. Both teams really improved on the previous days display and despite improved opposition, recorded two more wins. The manner in which the boys played was the most pleasing aspect and they should be commended for their sportsmanship and general attitude and demeanour during both fixtures.

Archie once again spoke after the match and after an excellent jacket potato, the best jacket potato Rocco had ever had apparently. Then it was time to head to Coventry to watch a match between Wasps and Gloucester. What an excellent match It was too, Wasps running out 39-22 winners. The club shop was also a highlight for the boys and they forced staff to trek down to the stock room to replenish the replica balls that nearly every single boy bought.

We headed back to the accommodation after the game for burger and chips and then settled down to watch England v Wales. We took steps to ensure we did not find out the score in advance and so it was a great evening watching the match unfold. Sorry Henry, I am not sure you had as much fun as the rest of us.

That evening we had no such reservations about the boys going to sleep as they were clearly exhausted and we had to wake a fair few of them up in the morning. After breakfast it was time to hit the road and as we entered the south east the heavens opened and I questioned why I ever left the sunny midlands in the first place.

I hope the boys enjoyed themselves, I still remember tours I went on at that age and so I hope in 30 years’ time they still will too. Their behaviour was exemplary and they were a credit to all of you. A huge thank you to Mr Ford, who did the lions share of the planning and to Mr Salt for giving up his weekend. It is fair to say all three of us are looking forward to a small lie in on Saturday morning.

So, after a busy weekend I should have planned a quiet week, unfortunately I wasn’t that switched on. On Monday the U10s and U11s played against St. Benedict’s, which for the U11s was a long away journey. The four teachers who took the teams across the two year groups all suggested it was their best performance of the season. There was either something in the air or the boys are benefiting from some long awaited continuity, provided by some slightly more settled weather.

On Tuesday we took two U9 teams to the Caldicott festival, another long journey but a great tournament against lots of big country prep schools. Consequently, we found the going pretty tough but the character all the boys showed was excellent and they will learn from such an experience. Special mention should go to Archie Skinner and Niam Thakrar Vara who won a prize (special green laces for their boots) for showing the best core values on the day.

Then on Wednesday another long journey for all the U11 boys as they travelled to St. Piran’s in Maidenhead, whilst the U10 boys hosted them at Carlisle Park. This was the last fixture for the U11 boys as a whole year group and so I certainly made a point of saying this to my team and although we lost, we certainly kept our promise of making sure we gave our best in our last ever match and they can be proud of their efforts and progression this season.

Tomorrow, was meant to be the Epsom College Prep School Cross Country Championship but due to various circumstances this has been cancelled. However, the U8s are still hosting Claremont on Carlisle Park, so please come along if you are free.

There are a number of fixtures for the U8s, U9s and the U10s next week but the big draw of the week is House Rugby next Friday. One for the diary.

Have a great weekend.

Prep News

We began the week at Prep with some of our boys taking part in the school Science fair, they spent a lot of time on their experiments and it showed – well done boys! Next week a selected few will take them up to Hampton School to show at the big Science Fair. Here are a few pictures from the afternoon:

Congratulations to Gui Gargour (5C) for receiving a Headmaster’s Commendation in assembly this week, for staying extremely focused in a very tricky Maths lesson. When marking you had your hand up for every answer – More of this dedication please!

Pre-Prep News

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

We have enjoyed the fairy tale ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff’ this week in Kindergarten. We read different versions of the story book and online spotted the similarities and differences. We noticed that the goats are always small, middle and big and that there is a big bad troll who lives under the bridge. However, we did spot that sometimes after the troll is butted into the water he is never seen again but other times he goes back to living under the bridge!

In our role-play area we have enjoyed acting out the fairy tale using the puppets and props, there has been a lot of low grumbling of “Who’s that trip trapping over my bridge” and the troll flying through the air!

We got creative with clay to make our own Billy Goat. Once we made the body and head we pushed match sticks into the body for their legs and horns and then painted them. The finishing touch was sticking on their googly eyes.

We have explored different resources to make bridges. We used the wooden bricks, foam bricks and Lego to make impressive bridges for the Billy Goats to cross.

Our focus in maths this week has been measuring. We have been using the Unifix bricks to measure how tall and how long objects are. We had fun estimating how tall our billy goats and troll puppets would before using the bricks to check our estimation and who was the closest. There was then lots of measuring around the classroom.

We were introduced to a new dinosaur friend in class this week called Kindosaurus. This led to lots of discussions about what would be required to be a Kindosaurus. We decided that we all need to be kind to our friends using our words and to look after our friends if they are feeling sad.

 Kindosaurus says ‘I am kind with my words’

                               ‘I am kind with my hands’

                               ‘I am kind to my friends’

This week in Reception our topic has been the weather. We have enjoyed forecasting our predictions for the week and watching the frequent changes in the weather during the day. We were especially surprised by a sudden hail shower on Thursday which was then followed by warm sunshine!

We read the story ‘The Little Raindrop’ by Joanna Grey which is a lovely story about a little raindrop’s adventures through the water cycle. The children have begun to write their own stories of their own little raindrop’s adventures, which we are going to make into a book.

We enjoyed a lovely sunny walk to Hampton library today. On the way there, we looked for signs of spring and noticed the buds appearing on the trees and the beautiful daffodils popping up everywhere.  We met Mickie the librarian who talked to us all about the library and what we can borrow from there. We were amazed to find out not only could we borrow lots of picture books at a time but we can borrow non-fiction, audio books and DVDs! We had a look around the children’s library and chose books to share with our friends. Mickie read us a story called Otto the Book Bear – a charming story about a bear who lives in a book! The boys’ behaviour during this trip was outstanding. The Librarian commented upon how smart and polite the boys were – Well done Reception!

This week Year 1 have been immersed in poetry.  We have enjoyed a range of poems and have begun to write our own.  A favourite was Sounds by Irene Rawnsley and all the boys wrote their own version, describing the spookiest, tiniest and sweetest sounds they could imagine.  We were really impressed with their creative responses.

Our work in maths this week, has been all about addition and subtraction. We used our existing number knowledge to work out missing number problems.  We also used the number line to count on and back to work out the missing numbers.

In our science lesson the boys were very excited to plant their broad beans.  Every morning they have been eager to check their beans and observe any changes – we are happy to report that most are now beginning to sprout shoots and next week we will be carefully observing and recording any further changes.

 

This week Year 2 have continued to read and enjoy ‘The Wilderness War’ by Julia Green. The boys have thought about ‘Wildlife Laws’ and they have created their own set of them. Today they have written diary entries from Noah’s perspective, detailing the latest events involving his beloved wilderness. In phonics, we have been focusing on words that end with a ‘y’ but make an ‘igh’ sound, like in the word cry. During grammar, we used spinning wheels to practise using different suffixes and the rules associated with adding suffixes.

In maths, we have been revisiting multiplication and division. They boys have completed a variety of problems that require these operations and it has been pleasing to see their confidence grow within this area of maths. They are becoming increasingly more confident at understanding and recognising the relationship between these two operations, which is super. Next week, we will be learning about fractions.

This afternoon, the boys learnt about the equator and how climates vary based on their location to the equator. They sorted animals based on what climate you would find them in and enjoyed watching a snippet of David Attenborough’s ‘Seven Worlds, One Planet’. In science, the children thought about what humans need in order to stay healthy. They then focused on personal hygiene and identified ways that we can keep clean.

The boys did an excellent job at reciting their poems for the poetry recital and we are excited about the next stages of this house competition!

headmaster's picture
Tim SmithHeadmaster