Headmaster’s Bulletin – Edition 31
This is, as tradition dictates, the very last Bulletin of this academic year. Next week I shall send you all a letter on the final day of term, instead of publishing a Bulletin that afternoon.
It has been an exciting day for Prep pupils today, whether they have been on site or continuing with their programme of Guided Home Learning. In my assembly on Wednesday this week I explained to the boys that today they would be taking part in our own ‘General Election’. They have all voted for boys currently in Year 5 to take on some leadership roles with effect from September, once they are pupils in Year 6.
It is important to me that our boys are able to experience what it means and what it feels like to take part in a democratic process. Furthermore, ‘Democracy’ and ‘the Rule of Law’ are two of the so-called ‘Fundamental British Values’ that all schools are obliged to promote. In keeping with the spirit of both of those, all boys in Years 3 – 6 and all members of staff voted today with equal responsibility. When it comes to choosing which pupils will represent the School and each of the four Houses, adults do not get any preferential treatment at our School nor do they enjoy any special voting favours. Mrs Henderson is our very own Returning Officer and I shall be very happy to announce who has been elected next week, once she has completed the count and conveyed the results to me.
I have been keeping abreast of the arrangements that Mrs Tinkler, with the support of a number of other colleagues, has pulled together for Year 6 next week to mark their departure from Hampton Prep. Saying farewell to our Year 6 cohort is always bittersweet at the best of times. We have all been operating in quite dramatically different times this term of course, but we have tried as best we can to ensure there are sufficient rites of passage for the Year 6 boys to reflect upon their time at their Prep before they leave us on Friday next week. Chocolate fountains, a picnic, the traditional (but differently organised) final stupendous Rounders match against staff, toasting marshmallows on a real open fire and doing a bit of out loud soul searching (as they would have done one evening, had they been able to go to Wales), shirt signing and a Prize Giving ceremony will all form part of what the Year 6 boys will enjoy (we hope!) next week.
I have also been keeping in touch with Mrs Hynes and Mrs McGuire this term who, as Co-chairs of the Hampton Pre-Prep & Prep Parents’ Association, have continued to do a truly splendid job. Mrs Hynes and Mrs McGuire took on the shared responsibility to run your Association two years ago. If the wonderful Summer Fair they had begun to organise had taken place, I would have thanked them publicly and in person on that occasion. I should like therefore to record now my immense gratitude to them both for making sure the Class and Year Reps had a purpose to their role (and occasionally received a few gentle, timely reminders!), for being so creative and forward-thinking regarding fund raising and social events involving pupils, staff and parents over the last two years and finally for generally acting as excellent positive forces for good!
I must also thank you, as Parents, for your tremendous fund-raising efforts under the aegis of the HPPPA. Every year the HPPPA kindly asks us to put together a ‘wish list’ of items that they will happily purchase for the benefit of all the pupils across both the Pre-Prep & Prep. Very many thanks indeed to the Association for agreeing to the purchase of the items on our ‘wish list’ this year. They will make a big difference to the educational offer we can provide for the boys and girls at our School.
Both Mrs McGuire and Mrs Hynes have commented to me how much fun it has been to lead the HPPPA, and how rewarding they have found it overall. Various – but not unreasonable – challenges along the way notwithstanding, Mrs Hynes explained to me in an email recently “…the last two years have been a fantastic experience and I’ve really enjoyed working with Mrs McGuire to help build an active, fun and purposeful PA. We have fantastic parents in our community, we see that all the time through the support we get from the Reps and other parents who help out at events. I’m hoping there might be someone out there who will be keen to take the role on, as Mrs McGuire and I now step down.”
The posts of Chair for next year, or indeed two posts of shared responsibility as Co-chairs, will become vacant in September and as I write, the chance to step up and take on this exciting role remains available! If any parents are keen to lead the HPPPA next year, do please get in touch with Mrs Hynes, Mrs McGuire or indeed me and we can fill you in with a few more details. I am hopeful someone will be keen to enjoy this rewarding role with effect from September.
Attain is the magazine of the Prep Schools’ Association, and we have occasionally contributed articles to it over recent years. Please see this link to a digital version of the magazine for this term, which contains all sorts of features that I thought you might enjoy reading over the summer months:
Stay safe and well,
As the Summer Term draws to a close, I am wondering if this is the feeling one gets as a marathon nears completion? Today, certainly seems very much a milestone as this will be the last bulletin of the term – and, in fact, the very last of the academic year 2019-2020. What absolute troopers all the children have been during this unusual time. Note, I do not say ‘unprecedented’ as it has become one of my least favourites in the whole of the dictionary. Much earlier in the term, I said how proud I felt of all the children and you will be pleased to know my view has not changed in the slightest; indeed, if anything, I am even prouder, if that is possible!
A very special mention must go to our Year 2 children, who have continued to work tirelessly at home. Sadly, they are the only Pre-Prep year group who have been unable to come back on-site for the remainder of term. In normal circumstances, I would spend much of my time in the run up to the end of the school year talking about the Year 2 children as they get ready to embark on the next stage of their school journey. It seems very fitting, therefore, that I use the opportunity presented here to do just this.
Many of the current Year 2 cohort bounced into our lives here at Pre-Prep back in September 2016. When they were just three years old Mrs Caldwell was their very first teacher in Kindergarten, along with Mrs Timba and Mrs Tidy. In Reception came Miss Johnston and Mrs Timba again, and lastly Miss Page, but not just for Year 1 also for Year 2! New friends have joined the class along the way but I think it is a great testament to what a super, kind, caring and welcoming bunch they are, that one has to think very carefully as which children joined when and where. It goes without saying, we shall miss each and every one of them – their cheerful presence and lively sense of humour has made them the greatest of company. Year 2 children, from us all here in Pre-Prep, we wish you every success and happiness in the future – what exciting times lie ahead, a new chapter just about to begin!
The ‘Shout Out’ this week goes to Arjun (Reception) for completing a rainbow challenge recently; he dressed in rainbow colours for 7 days and, with his mummy who ran, he cycled 4 miles each day. He did this to support the charity ‘Grief Encounter’, and together with other teams raised a whopping £25,000. Many congratulations, Arjun!
Stars of the Week went to:
Year 2: Yusuf for continuing to participate fully in live lessons and remote learning despite breaking his arm! A terrific show of resilience and determination – it has not stopped him from learning, well done!
Year 1: Avyan for demonstrating excellent multiplication and division knowledge in Maths this week. Keep up the great work!
Reception: Aryan for his fantastic neat cursive independent writing this term.
Here are the details of the next House Competition. Children working from home will have by now received information about our second House Competition of the term which all pupils (Kindergarten to Year 6) are being encouraged to get involved in. Please note the children in school will complete this task in school.
Quite simply, we would like all the children to design and create a flag for their House. They need to think about what they already know about their House – starting with the colour and then use their imagination to invent their own to wave proudly! Those working from home need to submit a photo or video of themselves waving their flag design in one hand and our school flag in the other. Adults, of course, will need to help with some of the above – particularly sending back the photos/ videos – please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. As mentioned above, we will take care of those working on-site with us.
Lastly, a quick reminder that there is still time to get involved with ‘Animal Antics’ – the winning House will be announced on the last day of term. Many children, I know, are chasing 40 points by completing all eight events!
As this is my last bulletin of the term, I should like to take the opportunity to wish you all terrific summer holiday with plenty of rest and recuperation. In the meantime, have a great weekend and stay safe.