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Headmaster’s Bulletin – Edition 24

This Week

Dear Parents,

I ended last week’s Bulletin referencing a French philosopher. I should like to open this week’s edition by referencing another. Simone de Beauvoir was a renowned philosopher, writer, activist and generally frightfully clever person overall, as many of you may well know. Writing in the 1950s (I believe) she said:

“One’s life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others,

 by means of love, friendship and compassion”.

I am hugely fond of this seemingly simple but very effective quote because I first came across it many years ago, and it has stayed with me ever since. I am also fond of it because of the way in which I believe it sums up the essence of excellent teaching.

Any bunch of school teachers I have been lucky enough to kick around with all have the sorts of outward facing, kind-hearted attributes and dispositions that, as personal qualities in and of themselves, I have always found very appealing. I am indebted to the ways in which my colleagues now have been turning their minds and skills towards operating in a wholly unexpected and extraordinary fashion at the moment. Many thanks to you as parents as well for the ways in which you have been getting in touch to send your votes of encouragement and thanks to the teaching and support staff at both the Pre-Prep & Prep – they continue to be gratefully received.

I have been speaking – via live interactive video conferencing tech – to my colleagues this week, and numbers of us have also been able to catch up in person whilst we supervise the children of key workers on site in the Prep building. From all my discussions with them it is clear to me that the boys are settling with increasing ease and stability into our programme of Guided Home Learning, and they are managing to accomplish some really excellent work.

There was some fantastic science work on trees and plants from the Year 3 boys that Mrs Lutz shared with me and Mrs Sheaff has been keen to tell me how impressed she is with the boys’ developing comprehension skills in English. I have also managed to watch some of the magnificent interpretive dances based upon the words ‘optimism’ and ‘hope’ that boys were inspired to practise, record and upload following Mrs Tinkler’s assembly on the theme of heroes on Monday this week!

We would be grateful if you, in your roles as parents and in your capacity as shepherds of our programme of Guided Home Learning, could please reinforce with your boys just how proud we are of their efforts, enthusiasm and achievements so far. Keep all that lovely work coming – it is so fantastic to see!

Stay safe and well,

 

Tim Smith

Headmaster

Pre-Prep News

As the end of week 2 draws to a close, I would like to congratulate everyone on their superb efforts again this week. It is clear that everyone within the school community continues to work their ‘socks off’ to make guided home learning work for the children – work returning to school, from Kindergarten children to Year 2 children, is just fantastic. Seeing everyone pulling together in this way makes me so feel proud and lucky to be a part of Hampton Pre-Prep. Hold on to the thought that this storm will pass; it won’t last for ever and we will all be back together again at school as soon as we possibly can and when it is safe to do so.

We thought you would enjoy seeing some more pictures of the children engaged in their home learning.

Whilst on the subject of work, please remember timetables sent to you are there for your guidance only; we well understand that some families will be sticking to these, some will not. Do what works best for you and your family. Due to the personal/family obligations of some colleagues, including those who are making their way to the Prep site each day to supervise the children of key workers, we have to be flexible in this regard.  If each day your child only completes English and Maths work (in the case of Kindergarten and Reception, Communication and Language & Literacy and Mathematics Development), that is fine with us.  There is more flexibility for non-core subjects. Deadlines for the return of all work are extended to a week after tasks have been set – that said, if you are managing to submit work on a daily basis and this works for you, then please do continue to do so.  Please be aware work submitted after a deadline has expired will not receive feedback from colleagues.  For Years 1 and 2, we hope that non-core subjects provide the opportunities to develop other key skills at suitable points throughout the week, but without additional pressure to complete too much in any given one day.

Jan Dubiel, a nationally and internationally recognised specialist in Early Childhood Education, believes infant teachers have around 1,000 interactions every single school day, small wonder then that we are missing being with the children so much.  We are very keen to let them know that each and every one of them is in our thoughts – on that note, we hope you like our message below!

Our new assembly theme ‘Heroes’ has got underway and I think we can all agree that all NHS workers are the ‘True Heroes’ of the hour.  Captain Tom Moore’s sterling efforts to raise money for the cause has elevated him to National Hero status and I know from the messages received from the children this week, he has certainly captured their hearts and minds.  Our very own Mrs Timba has likewise been raising money – if you would like to donate money to the NHS, then please consider doing so by following the link below.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/josephsNHSrun

 

‘Shout outs’ for magnificent accomplishments in out of school activities go to the following children:

Yuchen (Year 2) for passing a grading assessment for Kuk Sool Won; he was awarded with his Yellow belt.  Arjun (Year 2) for writing an impressive song, which he performed and recorded for his teachers to enjoy. Inspired by the NHS Heroes (True Heroes), he penned a song titled, ‘I am NHS the Conqueror’ – and we loved it!

Responses to the first puzzle set on Century were amazing – I was overwhelmed by the children’s efforts. Who knew so many words could be made out of the letters in our school’s name?  Please know how delighted I am with all participants in Puzzle Number 1, however, special mention must go to Jazz (Reception) for making a total  of 117 words and Arith (Year 1) who made a staggering 204 words – WOW!

I have also been delighted to share a Wellbeing Journal for Week 1.  Jonny (Year 2) sent in the first edition of his journal; it was really wonderful and heartening to see the different activities that he has been up to during the first week of the Summer Term – working jolly hard but importantly having downtime in order to relax and top up his wellbeing.  Well done, Jonny – thank you for sharing!

 

Stars of the Week went to:

Year 2: Jonny for working SO unbelievably hard from home; he did not give up with the maths challenge until he found the answer – a great example of resilience and perseverance.

Year 1: Thomas for carrying out extensive research about the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Reception: Lev for his wonderful entries to his Gratitude Diary this week; his cursive writing is beautiful and his pictures so colourful and detailed.

Well done to everyone – another week of Guided Home Learning done and dusted – you have all been AMAZING!  Have a super weekend.

 

headmaster's picture
Tim SmithHeadmaster