It has been excellent to see many parents this week, either at the beginning or at the end of the day, to say hello and to share positive good wishes for the year ahead. I extend now my best wishes for 2024 to any parents I have not yet been able to see in person.
Today has been very exciting all told, for we have officially launched the celebrations for our Centenary Year! As I mentioned on a number of occasions last term, our school (then known as ‘Denmead School’) was fully up and running exactly 100 years ago this month, in the buildings that now form our Pre-Prep on Wensleydale Road. When we opened the new Prep building in 2016 we commemorated our founders, Mr and Mrs James, by naming the hall at the Prep in their honour. Now, in 2024 it is our opportunity to celebrate the excellent school that was established by the James family all those years ago!
Mrs Murphy led the Pre-Prep pupils in a very jolly assembly this morning as part of our launch day and in the Prep this afternoon the boys took part in a similar event. I stepped the boys through the founding acts of our School, and we reflected on some of the differences and potential similarities between life in Britain in 1924 and life in Britain as it may yet turn out to be this year (politically speaking, 1924 was especially turbulent!)
All pupils are coming home with some launch day paraphernalia this afternoon, namely a balloon emblazoned with our Centenary logo (inflated for those being collected but deflated for those on the coach network – please blow it up as soon as they get home!) as well as a hard copy of the brochure that sets out the events we have planned for the year (an electronic copy of which can be accessed here: Hampton Pre-Prep & Prep School Centenary Year Events
I must publicly thank now Mrs Moria, Mrs Jones, Mrs Dearden and Mrs Colvine (colleagues primarily based at Hampton School) for the excellent work they have so cheerfully undertaken to support the events and activities occurring this year. There are numbers of colleagues at the Pre-Prep & Prep who are leading on individual events too, and naturally I am grateful to them for their willingness to ensure 2024 is a suitably joyful celebratory year for us all.
I look forward to seeing you at the events outlined in the brochure, the first one for parents being the 1920s themed Quiz Night in March, which shall take place in the James Hall at the Prep. We are inviting all parents to take part, at no cost to yourselves, and we shall be coming to you very shortly with more details on how to get your quiz teams together and how to let us know you are coming along. If you did not manage to pop in and see our magnificent Centenary Timeline on the walls of one of the stairwells in the Prep after school today, do please come and have a look at some point. It is a fitting tribute to … well, us!